WiG 2007 Situated Players - Dr Laura Fantone


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Dr Laura Fantone
Playing with Female Sociality. An exploration of identity, pleasure and power
Istituto Universitario Orientale Naples

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WiG 2007 Situated Players - Dr Laura Fantone

  1. 1. <ul><ul><li>Laura Fantone </li></ul></ul>2007 Situated play/ers > Playing with Female Sociality >> identity, pleasure and power >>> inside & outside videogames
  2. 2. Videogames can create identities that have an impact outside of cyberspace Games are providing new possibilities of embodiment, pleasure and gendered subjectivities Importance of looking at ‘real’ consequences on the perception of gender for women players. premises:
  3. 3. FEMALE BOBS: empowerment and/ or sexualization <ul><li>(definition by by Anne Marie Schleiner) </li></ul><ul><li>a generation of superheroes who are female, sexy, and </li></ul><ul><li>do adventurous stuff like male action-heroes. </li></ul><ul><li>innovative link between power and pleasure, </li></ul><ul><li>male and female socially accepted roles </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Videogames as a heavily gendered </li></ul><ul><li>context </li></ul><ul><li>in which playing takes place: </li></ul><ul><li>Demography </li></ul><ul><li>Still male-dominated </li></ul><ul><li>-Aesthetics </li></ul><ul><li>male-pleasure-centered scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>-confrontational and/or sexual ‘vibe’ </li></ul>
  5. 5. The connections among DESIRE ROLE- PLAY SUBJECTIVITY and its material limits given by societal hyerarchies. Let’s look at power as performance: its creative side CREATIVITY is crucial in games in performance, in gender as performance (Butler)
  6. 6. In videogames, if gender identity is performance, is it more or less creative than in everday life?? Research on game players demographics shows that women gamers favor social interaction and cooperation to competitive game play (stereotype or truth?) Maybe a self-fulfilling prophecy…. Female and male players are invested in the invention of a social life in cyberspace, based on their creative abilities to invent their own cyber-persona’s and interact with others in cyberspace outside of boundaries of gendered roles in real life
  7. 7. 2 examples from Sims and Second Life <ul><li>Both sociality games </li></ul><ul><li>Both for young audience, aiming at the consumer/ entrepreneur citizen: social connections are always marketable and economy-driven </li></ul><ul><li>most players, both male and female chose female characters </li></ul><ul><li>(fairies, warriors, cool hackers, </li></ul><ul><li>fashion girlfriends, </li></ul><ul><li>all sexy, tall, busty, etc </li></ul><ul><li>rarely aesthetically </li></ul><ul><li>innovative) </li></ul>
  8. 8. These two cases outline suggest that games do not necessarily assign women new roles or create ‘feminist’ characters mainly repeat an old stereotype “ Chick with gun”
  9. 9. what else? - ::::::: The LIME LIFE CASE Girls' Night Out Solitaire where female players perform female characters. the game follows a specific aesthetics designed by women programmers to a ‘female taste’ NO Wild bodies NO technobodies NO femaleBobs NO mutations
  10. 10. <ul><li>Argon, J. and Sampaio, A. 2001. Filtered Feminisms: cybersex, e-commerce, and the construction of women’s bodies in cyberspace, << Women’s Studies Quarterly>> </li></ul><ul><li>Butler, J. 1990, Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity New York, Routledge </li></ul><ul><li>Bittanti, M. and Flanagan, M. 2003. The Sims, Similitudini, Simboli e Simulacri, Milano, Unicopli. </li></ul><ul><li>Compton, S. 2005. Gamers, New York, Soft Skull Press </li></ul><ul><li>Hawthorne, S. 2001. Wild Bodies/Technobodies </li></ul><ul><li>  Schleiner, A. 2003. Mutation.fem , << opensorcery.net >>, on-line source </li></ul><ul><li>Vered, K. O. 2000. “Beyond Barbie: Fashioning a Market in Interactive Games for Girls&quot; in Millennium Girls: Today's Girls Around the World, New York, Roman & Littlefield, pp. 169-191. </li></ul><ul><li>Wright, K. 2001. Gender Bending in Games ,<< WomenGamers.com>>, on-line magazine European Foundation for the Development of Living and Working “Quality and work and Employment in Europe. Issues and challengesZ </li></ul><ul><li>womengamers http://www.ea.com/official/thesims/thesimsonline </li></ul><ul><li>/us/nai/index.jsp .com </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>secondlife .com </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www. limelife .com </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>some links & reference