Female Video Game Players: A Different Type of Player?
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
Gender differences in gamingMales 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
Attraction to gamingSocial 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
Research on female gamersThe 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
. 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
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
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
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
ConclusionsMove 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
Future ResearchReliance 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
“Because its fun!! And explodingheads are also pretty satisfying!” (SF1) Lavinia McLean & Mark Griffiths (2012) 12
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
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