Cuddle Core, a.k.a. Jeannail Carter, recalls a lot from her first televised tournament as a pro Tekken player. There were the butterflies before the show, the rush of adrenaline under the bright lights, and the bouquet of flowers waiting for her when she walked off the stage in her parents' arms. But it's the toxic comments that she remembers the most four years later. As the pink-haired android Alisa Bosconovitch, it wasn't about her insane combos or perfectly timed counter hits. Rather, the tweets and chat comments were about Carter's hairstyle as a Black woman, her glasses, and how she lacks sex appeal for the anonymous people (read: men) who lurk behind faceless profile pics in chat. In a recent phone call with Refinery29, she says, "Even the shape of my mouth [was criticized]." "It was the total disintegration of someone's appearance."

Her Twitch community was behind her, and she was proud of her performance, but the barrage of personal attacks clouded the experience. "People like to say that everyone gets that in Twitch chat," she says, but this is simply not true. "You judge people based on their gameplay, and women are judged twice as harshly."
If you're a female gamer, Carter's story will sound all too familiar. It's the same story if you're transgender, a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or a member of any other marginalized group that has historically faced harassment and toxicity in a space that has been dominated by white dudes for a long time.

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