Female Video Game Players: A Different Type of Player?


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Female Video Game Players: A Different Type of Player? By Dr Mark Griffiths & Lavinia McLean

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Female Video Game Players: A Different Type of Player?

  1. 1. Female gamers: A thematic analysis of their gaming experience Lavinia McLean & Professor Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University)Interactive Technologies and Games: Education, Health and Disability: Nottingham, 2012. Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 1
  2. 2. Gender differences in gamingMales play for longer and more frequently (Rideout, Roberts & Foehr, 2005; Olsen et al, 2009).Gender differences due to socialisation, design or gender specific skills.Is there a change occurring: Entertainment software Association (2012) data suggest females over 18 years fastest growing demographic.Males and females attracted to different genre of games. Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 2
  3. 3. Attraction to gamingSocial Interaction (Cole & Griffiths, 2007).Relaxation (Snodgrass, Lacy, Denagh, Fagan & Most, 2011)Escape (Klimmit, Hefner & Vorderer, 2009).Stereotypical characters in games (Dill & Thill, 2007). Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 3
  4. 4. Research on female gamersThe experience of females playing of games.The impact of violent video games on males and females.Are these findings relevant to females who prefer to play violent video games?Some indications that females dislike violent content, competitive elements and stereotypical characters (Griffiths, Davies & Chappell, 2004; Lucas & Sherry, 2004; Hartmann & Klimmit, 2006). Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 4
  5. 5. Present ResearchPublicgaming discussion forum.Favourite games: FPS, RPG, action, horror.May 2011-May 2012: 409 discussions.Thematic AnalysisSocialGame/PlatformMiscellaneousAttitudes/Opinions Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 5
  6. 6. . ATTITUDES & OPINIONS DISCUSSIONS Table 1: Main categories identified within “attitudes/opinions” Inductive thematic discussions and the corresponding discussion threads and number of analysis. replies Threads Posts Coded into four main Playing Online 10 297 categories based on title Characters 13 533 and content. Gaming Habits 9 329 Coded for actual and Male vs 11 200 semantic meaning. Female Three main themes Totals 43 1359 emerged. Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 6
  7. 7. Social Interaction Interaction peripheral to gaming “Its great to know that these ladies share the same interest because I personally know few girls who game” (F2) .Playing with significant others, particularly families.In contrast to previous research (Cole & Griffiths, 2007).Online interaction.“People would talk over me and ignore everything I said..kicked me out of guild soon after”Sexism, abusive language, unwanted advances and threats.Male and female behaviour. Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 7
  8. 8. Identity Identity laboratories (Klimmit, Hefner & Vorderer, 2009). “She’s so realistic...she doesnt have huge boobs or skimpy clothes” (A12) Self Identification with characters: physically and in terms of personality characteristics. “ She is kind hearted and soft spoken, kinda like me (T2) Inspiring characters. “Shes my hero and we look alike” (B2) Females assuming virtual identity, for different reasons to previous research. “Its annoying why cant I just be me, without having to hide behind other non gender related gametag” (MJ1). Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 8
  9. 9. Integration Gaming integrated into their lives. Time spent playing indicating a flexibility. “If I didnt have a full time job, it’d be more like 60+ [hours a week]” (LD1) Form of escapism “I dont mind the skimpy outfits, its like Halloween to me, pretending to be someone else” Relaxation“It helps me to unwind from a long day at work, a stress reliever” Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 9
  10. 10. ConclusionsMove away from “bikini clad girl with an arsenal of weapons” (C3)Stereotypical characters offer a way to escape.Gaming key element of their identity but integrated into their lives.Identity linked to own gaming but also to behaviour of others online.Similar to research with other genre of games social interaction key attraction to gaming.Playing for enjoyment, not just because of others. Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 10
  11. 11. Future ResearchReliance on secondary data and different samples.All female posters?May represent a particular group of participants only.Have we underestimated numbers of female gamers?Females indicating a similar attraction to these video games, other research needed on female gamers? Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 11
  12. 12. “Because its fun!! And explodingheads are also pretty satisfying!” (SF1) Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 12
  13. 13. References Cole, H. & Griffiths, M. (2007). Social interaction in massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 10, 575 – 58. Dill, K. E., & Thill, K. P. (2007).Video game characters and the socialization of gender roles:Young people’s perceptions mirror sex­ist media depictions. Sex Roles, 57, 851 – 864. Griffiths, M. D., Davies, M. N. O., & Chappell, D. (2003). Breaking the stereotype: The case of online gaming. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 479 – 487.  Griffiths, M. D., Davies, M. N. O., & Chappell, D. (2004). Online computer gaming: A comparison of adolescent and adult gamers. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 87 – 96.  Hartmann, T., & Klimmt, C. (2006). Gender and computer games: Exploring females dislikes. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11, 910 – 931. Klimmt, C., Hefner, H., & Vorderer, P. (2009). The video game experience as “true” identification: A theory of enjoyable alterations of players’ self-perception. Communication Theory, 19, 351 – 373. Lucas, K. & Sherry, J. L. (2004). Sex differences in video game play: A communication-based explanation. Communication Research, 31, 499 – 523. Olson, C. K., Kutner, L. A., Warner, D. E., Almerigi, J. B., Baer, L., Nicholi, A. M. & Beresin, E. V. (2007). Factors correlated with violent video game use by adolescent boys and girls. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 77 – 83. Roberts, D. F., Foehr, U. G., & Rideout, V. J. (2005). Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 year-olds. Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation.  Snodgrass, J. G., Lacy, M.G., Denagh, H.J., Fagan, J. & Most, D. E. (2011). Magical flight and monstrous stress: Technologies of absorption and mental wellness in Azeroth. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 35, 26 – 62. Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 13