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Friday, June 14 • 10:30am - 11:30am
Gendered Play

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This individual papers session, ”Gendered Play”, will include the following:

Gameplay Enjoyment, Gender, and 19 Individual Characteristics More Influential than Gender
As the field of game studies matures and the scientific understanding of players and the gameplay experience grows, it becomes ever more necessary for games scholars to refine the manner in which they approach research. Although observable differences between players may appear to exist along gendered lines, empirical evidence has not been so conclusive. Following a survey of the gameplay preferences, gaming goal orientations, and play habits of 301 participants, a stepwise regression analysis was undertaken to examine gender alongside several other potential predictors of gameplay enjoyment. In the end, gender did not prove to be a substantial predictor of gameplay enjoyment, while gaming goal orientations were the strongest predictors. The results of this study point to several promising variables that should be considered in continued research. Furthermore, this study reaffirms the need for games scholars to focus towards detailed individual characteristics that can provide deep insights into player experiences.
John Quick, Robert Atkinson

Game Guise: Analyzing Hierarchical Heterosexual Masculinity and Its Effects in Game Spaces
This paper seeks to discover how the use of heterosexual hierarchical masculinity as a tool for domination might affect younger players’ abilities to learn in Team Fortress Two, and what implications these barriers to learning might have in school settings. Game interactions were observed using YouTube clips, noting in particular the use of satire and ostracism by older members against younger members as an attempt to eliminate younger players from the game space. Results indicated that older adolescents utilize heterosexual masculinity to ostracize younger players from the game space, often by feminizing the victim based on childlike appearances, and asserting their own heterosexuality and dominance by undermining the masculinity of younger players.
Keari Bell-Gawne

The Mangle of Play and Gender: Teaching Gamers about Gender and Gaming
For those of us who teach university courses on games and game design, gender and gaming can be a tricky topic. Many students in such courses are avid gamers, and they can bring strong opinions about male and female gamers, as well as about the gendered content of game play. The significance of gender in gaming still is debated; girls and women are playing games in growing numbers, while stereotypes about female gamers continue to flourish. Scholarship on gender and gaming offers multiple and conflicting perspectives, typically focusing on the exclusion or stereotyping of women while leaving dominant tropes of masculinity in games unexamined. I will describe various strategies for "unpacking" the significance of gender in gaming in the context of university courses and raise questions about their impact on students' understanding, with the goal of stimulating conversation about how and why gender matters in the education of gamers.
Betty Hayes

Mary Flanagan, Discussant


Mary Flanagan

Mary Flanagan is an award winning game designer and author of Critical Play: Radical Game Design (2009, MIT Press). Flanagan pushes the boundaries of medium and genre across writing, visual arts, and design to innovate in these fields with her 'critical play'-centered approach... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Robert Atkinson

Dr. Robert Atkinson

Associate Professor, Arizona State University
avatar for Keari Bell-Gawne

Keari Bell-Gawne

Research, Games Learning Society
I'm passionate about connecting new paradigms of learning to the environmental movement. How might unique characteristics about games (e.g. massively multiplayer, modding, immersion) be harnessed in a way to better understand, and say new things about the state of human interaction... Read More →
avatar for Betty Hayes

Betty Hayes

professor, Arizona State University
Betty is currently on the faculty at Arizona State University and holds the Delbert and Jewell Lewis Chair in Reading & Literacy. She was a founding member of the GLS group while she was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and loves to come back to Madison to participate... Read More →

Friday June 14, 2013 10:30am - 11:30am

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