Games, Gender, and Digital Culture: An Analysis of Three Communities
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As digital entertainment becomes more advanced, the medium of the video game has gained a broader audience. Today, more women are spending their leisure time enjoying video games. This research focuses on serious (or ‘hardcore’) women who play games traditionally believed to appeal primarily to males. Interviews and observation were used to explore their experience as gamers and as members of women-only communities. Results showed that these women are choosing the experience of playing shooter games because it is interactive, social, and enjoyable, not to be resistive. This study also analyzes the role of these women gamers within game culture, considers how they are being perceived, and identifies the ways the gaming community and games industry has responded to these women. Textual and discourse analysis was used to study social constructions of gender. This analysis showed that the ways women are framed by game culture and in the media limits their potential to be regarded as skilled gamers and legitimate contributors.