Christoph Bareither What Do Players of Video Games Experience When Enacting Virtual Violence?

Christoph Bareither is Junior Professor of European Anthropology and Media Anthropology at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Previously, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen. In his research, he applies an ethnographic approach to studying the way digital technologies transform everyday practices and experiences. In 2016, he received the German Dissertation Award for his PhD thesis.

Area of Research

Cultural Anthropology, Media and Digital Anthropology

Christoph Bareither. "“That Was So Mean :D” – Playful Virtual Violence and the Pleasure of Transgressing Intersecting Emotional Spaces." Emotion, Space and Society (2017).  
Christoph Bareither. "Vergnügen als Doing Emotion. Beispiel Youtube." In Macher – Medien – Publika. Beiträge der Europäischen Ethnologie zu Geschmack und Vergnügen, edited by Kaspar Maase, Christoph Bareither, Brigitte Frizzoni and Mirjam Nast. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2014: 36-49.  

since 2017

Junior Professor of European Ethnology & Media Anthropology

Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) (more details)

Institut für Europäische Ethnologie



University of Tübingen (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Department of Historical and Cultural Anthropology


Teaching Assistant

University of North Carolina

Institute for the Arts and Humanities



University of Tübingen (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Department of Historical and Cultural Anthropology


Magister Artium

University of Tübingen (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Department of Historical and Social Anthropology


- German Dissertation Award (2016)

© Heike Zappe/ HU Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

In 1810, Wilhelm von Humboldt’s idea of founding a new type of university became a reality. The combination of teaching and research, academic freedom and the comprehensive education of students was not only a model for the Prussian university but for the world as well. And a new era for universities and academic research began. Each year, over 6,000 people decide to study at Humboldt-Universität located in the heart of Berlin. There are few other places where you can choose from 190 degree programmes, from Agricultural Science to Asian Studies. The university is first and foremost dedicated to fundamental research. Humboldt-Universität’s strengths in particular are in research on antiquity, history, philosophy, and quantitative economics as well as the life sciences, especially theoretical biology, neurology and immunology. It also has strengths in mathematics, material and optical sciences, and climate and sustainability research. These key strengths are shaped by twelve collaborative research areas, nine graduate research clusters and eleven interdisciplinary centres. Three integrated research institutes strongly connect and coordinate different research areas while developing focused topics for the future. (Source: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)


The topic of virtual violence in video games has been highly contested in Germany and other countries, especially in the context of school shootings. In contrast to these public debates, CHRISTOPH BAREITHER is interested in investigating the emotional experiences players have while enacting virtual violence. As he explains in this video, he used an ethnographic approach known as participant observation – in this case playing over a thousand hours of video games – in combination with interviews and the study of magazine articles in order to establish the emotional practices of players. He found that these emotional experiences are indeed very heterogeneous and very complex. This finding offers a new insight that could contribute to future public and political debates on the topic.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Gewalt im Computerspiel: Facetten eines Vergnügens

  • Christoph Bareither
  • Published in 2017
Christoph Bareither. Gewalt im Computerspiel: Facetten eines Vergnügens. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2017.