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  1. 1. Gendered avatars: representation of gender differences between cartoons and simulated online role playing games in Taiwan.Introduction Recently, the population of online role-playing gamers hasincreased tremendously. To expand the market, many game developers inTaiwan are striving to attract more female players who were previouslyconsidered to have little to do with the masculine domain. One of theirstrategies is to adopt an animation style that can evoke youngfemales interests. Shojo Manga, a popular comic genre for youngfemale readers, has now been adopted by game designers to create a newaddition of Massively Multiple Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs).However, it will be intriguing to observe if the new "pink"wave will instill innovative elements into the conventionally masculinearena and cause changes, or if it will be merely another"variant" replicating stereotypes in the game field. MMORPGs and Avatars MMORPGs is an abbreviation for Massively Multiplayer OnlineRole-Playing Games, which "provide a naturalistic setting wheremillions of users voluntarily immerse themselves in a graphical virtualenvironment and interact with each other through avatars (visualrepresentations of users in a digital environment) on a dailybasis. " (Yee, 2004). Singhal and Zyda (1999) propose five featuresto define those virtual worlds: 1. A shared sense of space 2. A shared sense of presence 3. A shared sense of time, making real-time interaction possible
  2. 2. 4. A way to communicate (various interaction methods) 5. A way to share (dynamic environment that can be interacted with) In sum, MMORPGs provide a graphic environment that resembles thereal world in functionality and appearance. It is a parallel space ofsocial interactions that allow players to control their online personae(avatars). With the population of online role-playing gamers increasingrecently, and expands the market, many game developers are targetingpotential female players. Kawaii style, a popular comic genre for youngfemale readers, is now adopted by game designers to create a newaddition of MMORPGs. However, it will be intriguing to see if the new"pink" wave will instill innovative elements into theconventionally masculine arena and cause changes, or if it will merelybe another variant-replicating stereotype in the game field. MICs1 in Taiwan conducted a national survey (2008) focusing on thedemography and motivations of MMORPGs players; this survey was conductedfrom August to September in 2008 with 6, 871 valid samples. The reportfound that two-thirds (66. 3 percent) of female players prefer to playKawaii (Shojo, cartoon-like) games (e. g., Maple Story, Mabinogi), andmore than half of the males (51 percent) like to play simulation games(e. g., World of War Craft, Lineage II), with only 14 percent on Kawaiigames, and the rest in other genres. Their definition of those twogenres is similar to that of the current study; the only difference isthat it divided each genre into two subgroups: Western Kawaii(simulated) style and Eastern Kawaii (simulated) style. Therefore, wecan conclude that in Taiwan, Kawaii online role-playing games (KORPGs)are played mostly by females, whereas simulation online role-playinggames (SORPGs) tend to attract more male players. Literature Review
  3. 3. Gender Portrayal in Video Games Video games have long been considered a male domain, and femalecharacters are often marginalized as victims or objects for male gazing.According to Provenzo (1991), only eight percent of video gamescontained female characters, and most were commonly in the role of the"damsel in distress. " Provenzo also noted that the mostpopular games at the time typically depicted stereotypical views ofgender-appropriate behavior, where men were often depicted as ruthlessaggressors and women as victims of violence (Beasley, 2002). Another study was conducted by Dietz (1998), who employed contentanalysis to examine how, in 1995, women are portrayed in 33 popularNintendo and Sega Genesis video games. Dietz found that 41 percent ofthe games were without female characters. In addition, of the games thatincluded female characters, 28 percent depicted women as sex objects.Dietz found that only 15 percent of the video games featured femaleheroes, and 30 percent did not contain any female characters. The"damsel in distress" characterization of female charactersoccurred in 21 percent of the games. The vast majority of femalecharacters, regardless of their centrality to the action, were shown inrevealing clothing and with sexually enhanced physical features. Beasley and Standley (2002) investigated the portrayal of women in47 randomly selected games from Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation consolegaming systems. The study indicated that there was a significant sexbias in the number of male versus female characters, and out of the 597characters coded, only 82 (13. 74 percent) were women. Scharrer (2004) conducted a quantitative content analysis of 1, 054advertisements for video games appearing in large-circulation video gamemagazines and found that males outnumbered females by more than three toone. Scharrer also examined stereotypes of male characters in the videogame advertisements and found that male characters were often presentedas very muscular.
  4. 4. In addition to different depictions of males and females, there arealso sex differences in gameplay. Hartmann and Klimmt (2006) conducted asurvey and found that females prefer nonviolent and rich socialinteraction games. Their survey results also show that the relativeimportance of social interaction was much higher than the relevance ofgender role stereotyping and violence in the game. In addition, theassumption that competitive structure of most digital games couldcontribute to females indifference toward them (Vorderer,Hartmann, & Klimmt, 2006) got support in their study. Moreover, Miller and Summerss (2007) study on genderdifferences in video game magazines with a focus on the appearance andattire of characters depicted the same scenarios that the prior workconcluded: male characters were more likely to be main characters andheroes, use more weapons, and be more masculine, whereas female characters tended to be supplemental characters,more sexy, and tended to wear more revealing clothing. Overall, the research on gender issues in video games tells thesame story: compared to female characters, male characters appear muchmore frequently, mostly as leading characters, and they are depicted asheroes. In contrast, female characters appear much less frequently andwhen they do appear in the game, they are presented partially nude orwearing revealing clothing, and behaving provocatively. Taylor (2003) asserts that womens motivation to use computersis often framed around how they enjoy communicating with others."Chatting, connecting with other people, forming relationships andmaintaining them are all aspects of the interpersonal pleasure ofMMROPGs afford and multiuser games have benefited by drawing in thiscomponent of online life" (Taylor, 2003). Furthermore, Purple Moon, agame company, examined play patterns of boys and girls and concludedthat girls like complex social interaction (Gorriz & Medina, 2000). Manga and Simulated Online Role-Playing Games
  5. 5. Manga is a Japanese word (meaning playful images) for comic booksand print cartoons. It was inspired by the exaggerated features ofAmerican cartoon characters such as Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse.Therefore, manga has some cartoon-like features, namely, characters withlarge heads, bodies, and eyes, small noses and mouths, and flat faces. Alarge portion of the market is shojo (meaning an unmarried teenagegirl), which are comic books designed to appeal to girls (Frey andFisher, 2004). Images in girls manga (Shojo Kai, meaning girls world)are drawings of physically mature women with Kawaii or cuteness- largeeyes and pupils; long lashes; slim torso, limbs, and hips; and petitenoses, mouths, and breasts. Such elements persist today, althoughbreasts are often grossly exaggerated (Eliane Rubinstein-Avila, 2006).For the convenience of discussion, the study determined to call themanga and cartoon-like genre Kawaii Online Role-Playing Games (KORPGs). Simulation, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary,means "made to look genuine. " Hence, simulated onlinerole-playing games (SORPGs) are games in which avatars are simulated asreal persons with 3D graphics (e. g., Lineage II). There are two reasonsSORPGs are apparently for male players. Practically, online role-playinggames are a variant of video games, which are dominated by male players.Theoretically, simulation in these SORPGs connotes technology, andimplies masculinity. Based on the assumption that computers are a mediumfor thought, which seem more familiar and friendly to men than women,Edwards (1990) asserts "the feature of computer simulations-internally consistent but externally incomplete- is the significance ofthe term microworld. Computer microworlds have a specialattraction in their depth, degree of complexity, and implacable demandsfor precision" (Edwards, 1990). Method This study utilizes content analysis to examine gender differences
  6. 6. between KORPGs and SORPGs; the former primarily played by females andthe latter by males. Due to limited numbers of Massively Multiple OnlineRole-playing games (MMORPGs) in Taiwan, this study analyzed allaccessible online role-playing games official websites in Taiwan.The main reason for choosing MMORPGs in Taiwan is that there are roughlyan equal numbers of KORPGs (19/35) and SORPGs (16/35) released. Thesecan represent both femaletargeted and male-targeted online games forcomparison. The sample selection is based on a complete list of the mostpopular and comprehensive website, Bahamut, 2 for MMORPGs players inTaiwan. The unit of analysis is the entire MMORPGs official website,beginning with the home page. With regard to the coding process, twocoders carried out the content analysis; the overall agreement was 83percent, and discrepancies were resolved after discussion. As mentioned previously, this study aims to investigate genderdifferences between different online role-playing games targeting male(SORPGs) and female (KORPGs) players, respectively. Here are thehypotheses: Hypothesis: There are gender differences between KORPGs and SORPGs official websites. H1: SORPGs have more masculine themes than KORPGs. H2: SORPGs have more male characters appearing in the main picturesthan KORPGs. Results I. Theme of titles
  7. 7. The theme of the title is measured by words appearing in thetitles. In the category, this study measures four values, including: 1. Masculinity: Words in the titles contain masculine adjectives3,nouns such as war, fight, sword, dragon. 4 Title use of male names suchas "Nobol" (a Japanese Generals name) also fall intothis value. 2. Femininity: Words in the titles contain feminine nouns such asromance, pure, love, angel. 5 For example, a game named Angel S Romancefalls into this category. 3. Unidentifiable: Titles contain a mixture of masculinity andfemininity, having vague or no hints to recognize. 4. Other: Titles do not belong to any value above. According toTable 1-1, the theme of this title is dominated by masculinity for 13out of 16, which equals 81 percent of SORPGs (for male players). None ofthem has a feminine theme. In KORPGs, though the percentage ofmasculinity (26 percent) is greater than "Femininity" (16%),the discrepancy is as large. Forty-two percent of KORPGs fall into thecategory "Unidentifiable", indicating that the themes of thetitles of SORPGs are more flexible than KORPGs. II. Background Color This category measures the entire visual treatment of thebackground color. It contains three values. The first two values aresharp contrasts: 1. Dimly Light/Dark: The color primarily contains dark elementssuch as dark red or black.
  8. 8. 2. Bright/Light: Bright colors such as sky blue, green, or yellow. 3. Other: Color that is neither Dimly Light/Dark nor Bright/Light. Table 2-1 indicates that KORPGs have more than half the gamesfalling into the Bright/Light value. However, in SORPGs, 80 percent areDimly Light and Dark and no game falls into the Bright/Light value.Hence, there is a difference between KORPGs and SORPGs in backgroundcolors. The former is more bright and light, whereas the latter is dimlylight and dark. III. Background Themes The category mainly measures the themes of the background, which isalways a combined value of a scene of characters and activities. Itcontains three values with the former two in opposition. 1. Menacing: If the image is about war and fighting, the facialexpressions of main characters are aggressive or threatening, or thereare appearances of weapons or blood. 2. Light-Hearted: If characters in the background are smiling orlook excited, the color of the background is bright and light. 3. Unidentifiable: If the theme is difficult to recognize. 4. Other: Themes that are not included in the values mentionedabove. According to Table 3-1, 81 percent of KORPGs have light-hearted
  9. 9. background themes, whereas 75 percent of SORPGs have menacing themes. IV. Theme of Main Pictures The category measures the overall visual treatment of the mainpicture. It is a combination of three elements: 1) apparent atmosphere,2) activities, and 3) the appearance of main character(s). Thismeasurement partially refers to the categories created by Ford J. B.,Vooli P. K., Honeycutt, E. D. Jr, and Casey S. L. (1998) by analyzinggender portrayal in Japanese magazines (see Appendix). Ford et al.identified numerous traits and classified them into two categories,feminine and masculine. 1. Masculinity: Images include war, fighting, the appearance ofweapons (e. g., guns or swords) or menacing facial expressions of malecharacters. 2. Femininity: Images in which characters are smiling or friendly; images that indicate romance or friendship;main characters that are animals (usually pet-like animals, such asrabbits or dogs). 3. Unidentifiable: Mixture of masculinity and femininity, and isdifficult to identify. For example, in the game "Hope", thereare two pet-like animals smiling, but are fighting with toy swords. 4. Other: Themes that do not fit into any of the above values. Masculinity is as high as 93 percent as a predominant theme in themain pictures in SORPGs. Fifteen out of 16 games have a masculinitytheme. Though KORPGs are not as extreme as SORPGs, almost half (47percent) of their main picture themes feature femininity.
  10. 10. V. Gender of the Main Characters in the Main Pictures The main picture refers to the largest picture, which is always inthe upper part of the front page and excludes the background of theentire Webpage. According to Table 5-1, in SORPGs, 11 out of 16 (i. e., almost 70 percent) have asingle male character who appears in the main pictures. That is, singlemales are predominantly the main characters in SORPGs. By contrast,there is no dominant value in KORPGs as in SORPGs; there are equalpercentages (21 percent) in both male only and female only values.However, the most frequent value in KORPGs is "Both Male and Female", having 37 percent,whereas in SORPGs only 7 percent. VI. Total Number of Males and Females in the Main Picture The category counts and compares the relative number of male andfemale characters appearing in the main pictures in KORPGs and SORPGs.According to Table 6-1, though, in KORPGs, females have more frequencyand a higher percentage (55 percent), but the discrepancy of malecharacters (45 percent) is not so big. In addition, SORPGs have asimilar result: Male characters have a higher percentage (58 percent) ofappearance in the main pictures than female characters (42 percent), butthe percentages are close. VII. Facial Expressions of Male and Female Characters (1) Facial Expression of Males7 in the main pictures
  11. 11. The categories have three values: 1. Amicable: The characters are smiling in a friendly way. 2. Harsh: The facial expressions of the characters are stronglyaggressive and stern. 3. Other: Facial expressions not included in the above values, suchas curiosity, excitement, sadness, or pouting, are not easy to identify. Almost all the male characters in SORPGs are harsh, no character isamicable. This contrasts with the male characters in KORPGs in whichhalf of the male characters are amicable. (2) Facial Expressions of Female Characters in Main Pictures The categories have three values: 1. Amicable: Characters are smiling in friendly ways. 2. Harsh: The facial expressions of the characters are stronglyaggressive and stern. 3. Other: Facial expressions not included in the above values, suchas curiosity, excitement, sadness, or pouting, are not easy to identify. Almost all the female characters in SORPGs are harsh. In KORPGs, 65percent of the females are amicable. Discussion and Conclusion
  12. 12. H1: SORPGs have more masculine themes than KORPGs. H1 is supported in that SORPGs have more masculine themes thanKORPGs, in four categories: Themes of Titles, Background Colors, Background Themes, and Themesof the Main Pictures. In Table 8-1, roughly 80 percent of SORPGs havemasculine titles, dark background colors, menacing background themes,and the themes of the main pictures are masculine. H2: SORPGs have more male characters appearing in the main picturesthan in KORPGs The results of the H2 statement accords with the hypothesis thatSORPGs have more male characters appearing in the main pictures thanKORPGs do, with SORPGs having 58 percent male characters and KORPGs 45percent, but the discrepancy is only 13% and is weakly supported.Overall, KORPGs have more female characters (55 percent) than malecharacters (45 percent), which is contrary to Beasley andStandless study in which the number of female characters inNintendo was 64, and in the Sony PlayStation console gaming systemsfinding, there was a significant sex bias in the number of male versusfemale characters: of the 597 characters coded, only 82 (13. 74 percent)were women (Beasley and Standley, 2002). Putting aside how femalecharacters are portrayed in these KORPGs, the finding that femalesoutnumber males can serve as further evidence that female players aregetting more attention than before. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In addition to the hypotheses, there are several significantfindings. First, at least 37 percent of the main pictures have two ormore characters in KORPGs, and in SORPGs almost 70 percent have a single
  13. 13. male, and most are holding a weapon or fighting with another male. Thevalue, both female and male, has the highest percentage in KORPGs.Looking further, one can see that some are couples and some are friends.The "other" value is significant, because numerous mainpictures have several characters appearing at the same time. Thisphenomenon accords with the observation of Hartmann and Klimmt (2006)and Talyor (2003) that females prefer rich social interactions games.Along with some pictures in KORPGs, in which several characters aregathering happily and excitedly, it also indicates that females are moreeager to build private relationships and community. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] By contrast, game worlds for males (SORPGs) tend to create aviolent scenario and dichotomize the world into good and evil, whichillustrates that, "Male gender identity is based on (emotional)isolation, from demands for competitive achievement to the organizedviolence at the center of male role" (Edwards, 1990). As shown inthe two pictures below, the one male character in the left picture isholding a sword aggressively; though the right picture has twocharacters, they do not seem to be comrades, but are likely enemies. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Furthermore, even though there are two SORPGs (Combat AmongEmperors and Guild War) that have one female appearing as a maincharacter, it does not mean that they are heroines; reversely, they aredisplayed, conventionally, as a sex object or a reward. As shown below(Picture 8-3), both are sexy and without any weapons in their hands. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
  14. 14. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]Appendix IPreviously identified Japanese Gender Traits(adopted from Ford et al., 1998) Masculine FeminineIto (1978) Active CalmA leader CharmingAmbitious CuteBold DelicateConfident DevotedDependable ElegantQuick in decision Self-attentiveSelf-assertive SexyStrong Speaks politelyStrong will SubmissiveWilliams and Best (1990) Ambitious AttractiveAssertive CharmingAutocratic CuriousBlustery DemandingBossy FearfulCapable FeminineCoarse FlirtatiousCourageous FussyDependable GentleDetermined ModestDignified ObligingDominant PrudishEfficient Rattle-brainedEnergetic ReservedEnterprising SentimentalForceful SexyForgiving SuggestibleGenerous SulkyHandsome SuperstitiousHard-headed TalkativeIndependent ThoroughIngenious Worrying
  15. 15. InitiativeInsightfulMasculineOriginalReliableResponsibleRobustSevereSteadyStrongToughAppendix IISamples selected from "BAHAMUT", the most popular website thatalmost all online gamers will visit.Website: http://wiki. gamer. com. tw/.Cartoonish Online Role Playing Games (KORPGs)Name of Game English Name /(Cartoonish Games) Phonetic Translation[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Maple Story[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] A Journey to Kabala Island[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Mabinogi[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] RagnarokRF Online RF[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Shin-jiue-dai-sliuang-j ieu[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Re-shie-jiang-hu[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] CrossGate[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Dream of Mirror Online[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Mystina[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Newseal[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online The Pirate[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Stoneage[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Wonderland Online[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Getamped[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online X-Legend[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Mo Siang Online[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Flame Dragon[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Angel Love
  16. 16. SORPGs (Simulated Online Role Playing Games)Name of Game English Name /(Simulated Games) Phonetic Translation[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] World of WarCraft[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Lineage[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Lineage II[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Joy Park[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Guild Wars[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] II Online Spirituals of Chevaliers[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Noble Online[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online The legend of ThreeEmpires[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] II EverQuest II[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Ultimate Online[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Heat Project[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Soul of the UltimateNation (SUN)[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Combat Among Dragons[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Sengoku Musou[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online Silk Route[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] II King of KingsName of Game Homepage Address(Cartoonish Games)[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://tw. maplestory. gamania. com/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://cabala. chinesegamer. net[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://tw. mabinogi. gamania. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://ro. gameflier. com/RF Online http://rf. gameflier. com/ Main. asp[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://tth. gameflier. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://www. wayi. com. tw/hot/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://cg. joypark. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://domo. joypark. com. tw/hot
  17. 17. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://mo. lager. com. tw/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://www. newseal.[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://www. kopo. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://www. wayi. com. tw /stoneage/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://wl. chinesegamer. net[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://tw. getamped. gamania. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://hbo. xlegend. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://ms. runup. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://fdo. gameflier. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://al. gameflier. com/SORPGs (Simulated Online Role Playing Games)Name of Game Homepage Address(Simulated Games)[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://www. wowtaiwan. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://tw. lineage. gamania. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://lineage2. plaync. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://gvo. joypark. com. tw/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://guildwars. nctaiwan. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] II Online http://jx. gameflier. com/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://nobol. gameflier. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://so. gameflier. com/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] II http://tw. everquest. gamania. com/[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://www. ultimaonline. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://tw. heatproject. gamania. com[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online www. soulultimatenation. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://www. 9ds. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] http://www. musouonline. com. tw
  18. 18. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] Online http://www. sro. com. tw[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII. ] II http://www. tw/gkk/ Correspondence to: Chia-I Hou Department of Bio-Industry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan References Beasley, B. and Standley, T. C. (2002). Shirts vs. skins: Clothingas an indicator of gender role stereotyping in video games. MassCommunication and Society, 5(3), 279-293. Chao, W. P. (2005). Gender-Role Portrayals in Taiwanstelevision commercials: A content analysis of Times Advertising AwardWinners 1997-2002. Unpublished thesis, University of Florida. Cowan B. (2001). What Was Masculine About the Public Sphere? Genderand the Coffeehouse Milieu in post-Restoration England, History WorkshopJournal (51): 127-157 Dietz, T. L. (2004). An examination of violence and gender roleportrayals in video games: Implications for gender socialization andaggressive behavior. Sex Roles, 38:(5-6), 425-442. Dugger, K. (1988). Social location and gender-role attitudes: A
  19. 19. comparison of black and white women. Gender and Society, 2, 424-448. Edwards, P. N. (1990). The Army and the Microworld: Computers andthe Politics of Gender Identity, Journal of Women in Culture andSociety. Retrieved Dec 03, 2006 http://www. jstor. org/view/00979740/sp040063/04x1361i/0 Ford, J. B., Vooli, P. K., Honeycutt Jr., E. D. and Casey, S. L.(1998). Gender Role Portrayals in Japanese Advertising: A MagazineContent Analysis. Journal of Advertising, 27. Frey, N. and Fisher, D. (2004). Using graphic novels, anime, andthe Internet in an urban high school. English Journal, Retrieved Dec 03,2006 eric. ed. gov Goffman, E. (1979). Gender Advertising, Harper & Row, New York,NY Gorriz, C. M. and Medina, C. (2000). Engaging girls computerssoftware games. Communications of the ACM, 43(1), 42-49. Hartmann, T. and Klimmt, C. (2006). Gender and computer games:Exploring females dislikes. Journal of Computer-MediatedCommunication, 11(4), Retrieved Dec 8, 2006 http://jcmc.indiana. edu/vol11/issue4/hartmann. html Hou, C. I. (2005). Changing Lifestyles in Taiwan: Representation onTV Commercials of Cars. In International Conference of Cross-CulturalCommunication in Taipei, Taiwan in July 6-8, 2005. Scharrer, E. (2004). Virtual Violence: Gender and Aggression inVideo Game Advertisements, Mass Communication & Society, 7(4),393-412
  20. 20. Schwartz and Rebinstein-Avila, E. (2006). Understanding the mangahype: Uncovering the multimodality of comic-book literacies, Journal ofAdolescent & Adult Literacy 50 (1) 40-49 Taylor, T. L. (2003). Multiple pleasures: Women and online gaming.Convergence, 9 (1), 21-46. Provenzo, E. F. (1991). Video Kids: MakingSense of Nintendo Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Wu, S. (2004). Gender stereotypes in media in Taiwan. Taipei:Center for Media Literacy in Taiwan. (1) MIC stands for Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute(http://www. iii. org. tw/), which is an authoritative researchorganization on information and digital media under the governmentadministration. (2) There is no credible or professional Website that specificallyfocuses on online games. Bahamut is the most popular Website that almostall online gamers will visit. Now the Website is trying to employ theconcept of Wikipedia to collaborate a complete list of all the onlinegames. Their new Website is http://wiki. gamer. com. tw/. However, severalgames no longer exist, so this study selected samples that are stilloperating. (3) In general, few titles contain adjectives. (4) A dragon in East Asia is a symbol used for emperor, which ismasculine. (5) Angels in Western culture are androgynous or gender neutral.But in Taiwan, angels in movies or on TV are always played by females,and, therefore, always have an association with females.
  21. 21. (6) The total percentage of KORPGs is not 100 percent, because thepercentage is roughly displayed without any decimals. (7) The total number of characters facial expressions may notequal the entire number (i. e., 16), because some main pictures mightinclude more than one character. Chia-I Hou National Taiwan UniversityTable 1-1: Theme of Titles KORPGs SORPGsMasculinity 5 (26%) 13 (81%)Femininity 3 (16%) 0 (0%)Other 3 (16%) 1 (6%)Unidentifiable 8 (42%) 2 (13%)# of total 19 16Table 2-1: Background Colors KORPGs SORPGsDimly Light/Dark 6 (32%) 13 (81%)Bright/Light 11 (58%) 0Other 2 (10%) 3 (19%)# of total 19 16Table 3-1: Background Themes KORPGs SORPGsMenacing 2 (11%) 12 (75%)Light-Hearted 13 (81%) 1 (5%)
  22. 22. Unidentifiable 3 (16%) 3 (19%)Other 1 (11%) 0Total 19 16Table 4-1: Themes of the Main Pictures 6 KORPGs SORPGsMasculinity 4 (21%) 15 (93%)Femininity 9 (47%) 0Other 1 (5%) 0Unidentifiable 5 (26%) 1 (7%)Total 19 16Table 5-1: Gender of Main Character in Main Pictures KORPGs SORPGsMale only 4 (21%) 11 (69%)Female only 4 (21%) 2 (13%)Both M and F 7 (37%) 1 (7%)Other 4 (21%) 2 (13%)Total 19 16Table 6-1: Total Number of Males and Females in the Main Picture KORPGs SORPGsMale 14 (45%) 18 (58%)Female 17 (55%) 13 (42%)Total 31 31Table 7-1: Facial Expressions of Male Characters in the Main Pictures KORPGs SORPGsAmicable 7 (50%) 0Harsh 3 (21%) 17 (94%)Other 4 (29%) 1 (6%)Total 14 18
  23. 23. Table 7-2: Facial Expressions of Female Characters in Main Pictures KORPGs SORPGsAmicable 11 (65%) 1Harsh 2 9 (69%)Other 4 (24%) 3 (23%)Total 17 13Table 8-1: Comparison between SORPGs and KORPGsCategory (Value) Comparison of percentageThemes of titles (Masculine) SORPGs: 81%KORPGs 26%Background Colors (Dark) SORPGs: 81%KORPGs: 0%Background Themes (Menacing) SORPGs: 75%KORPGs: 5%Themes of Main Pictures (Masculine) SORPGs: 93%KORPGs: 21 %