Abstract

Despite accounting for almost half of the game playing population, women gamers are an underrepresented and excluded group within the gaming culture, both in regards to the advertising and production of video games. Prior research suggests that male gamers exclude women from gaming activities, question their legitimacy within the community, and create hostile environments for women both virtually in-game and in physical gaming spaces. As such, women gamers can be understood to hold a marginalized status with the gaming community. The current study looks to examine how women define themselves as "gamers" while negotiating this marginalized status. By adopting an identity work perspective, this research examines if and how women gamers perform identity work strategies, and more specifically the generic social processes defined by Schwalbe et al (2000) and expanded upon by Ezzell (2009). Drawing from interviews with 12 collegiate women gamers, this study explores how women define themselves as gamers through the identity codes of the gaming community, specifically through forms of commitment such as their time or honing their expertise. The data additionally explore how women negotiate a gendered gamer identity, as the identity codes they use to define themselves as gamers are often associated with gendered stereotypes, such as the "girl gamer" stereotypes, causing the women to utilize identity work processes, such as othering and subordinate adaptation, in order to maintain their gamer identity. As little research has looked to explore women gamers and their gamer identity construction, the present study addresses this gap in the literature through the unique theoretical lens of the identity work perspective.

Graduation Date

2017

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Anthony, Amanda

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Sociology

Degree Program

Applied Sociology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006786

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006786

Language

English

Release Date

August 2017

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Sociology Commons

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