• Niels-Christian Eklund
  • Ruxandra Olteanu
4. semester, Culture, Communication & Globalisation, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
It is our interest in games that guided us towards the study of this field, namely online gaming. As we read and researched, we realised that the study of female gamers has not been often undertaken. The decision was therefore made to investigate more about female game consumers. After further inquiries into this field, what was discovered is that in a virtual space that is considered as highly masculine and at times overtly sexist, research papers have suggested that there are spaces in which the female population is increasing at a steady pace. This further increased our interest, thus we decided to investigate the following: Looking at women in the globalised virtual space of MMORPGs, how can their gaming behaviour be understood, and how are they treated, based on their gender?

In investigating this research area, we used a subjective analytical approach, because we decided to focus on the thoughts, opinions and feelings of female gamers. We did so because we believe this approach is the best way to help us better understand women, and their gaming behaviour. Data was gathered from interviewing a total of nine participants, selected based on specific criteria, ensuring that it can provide us with relevant answers. The data thus obtained was then run through several analysis processes. We firstly divided their statements in categories created base on our literature and theory review, coupled with our research questions.

The categories were than used as a basis for our themes, which are Globalised Virtual Space of MMORPGs, Gender, and Female Gaming Behaviour in MMORPGs. The interpretation of these themes aided us in answering our research questions. We furthermore applied a model, known as Hierarchical Value Map, onto our findings within the Female Gaming Behaviour in MMORPGs. We believe that our findings prove that within MMORPGs, sexism and harassment are less prevailing, which creates a safe space for women. Thus, our case study of MMORPGs proves to be a black swan, as we believe we uncovered an online gaming space which strays from the norm. In this case the norm displaying a negative and misogynistic approach to female gamers.

One of the first findings of our analysis is that the virtual space of MMORPGs is a globalised one. As such, it displays a specific culture, rules, norms, and it also promotes equality. However, sexist incidents do occur, even if on rare occasions. When looking at gender, we discovered that women are comfortable with theirs in this space, as our participants believe that they are treated equally all around. Furthermore, some enjoy playing both male and female characters, as they believe gender should not be seen as important.

In investigating their attraction for MMORPGs, we sought to not only identify what they are attracted to, but also what they get in return for playing. Thus, their attraction for the imaginary world was coupled with escapism, creating their character was linked to them reinventing themselves, as well as a sense of fulfilment as they carried their role successfully. Questing and raiding brought them achievements and accomplishments.
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato29 maj 2015
Antal sider256
ID: 213134256