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Roles of female video game characters and their impact on gender representation
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Due to immense popularity of video games the author investigates the presence of gender portrayal within them. The purpose of this study is to thoroughly analyse a general phenomenon, such as gender, within video games to develop a better understanding of its particularities in this form of media and to expand the general body of knowledge on video games as a research topic. As prior literature shows, gender within video games can be either defined by its biased and sexualized character or by a tendency towards equality and strength for woman. To explain those varied results the author introduces the category of role as an important factor for character representation based on the use of theoretical frameworks of symbolic interactionism, more particularly dramaturgical approach of E. Goffman. She then further proceeds with a qualitative discourse analysis of both protagonist and support characters from 22 different games. The author finds that there is a visible difference within the manners females are presented depending on their role. Lead characters are more likely to be strong, independent and self-sufficient whereas support characters most often require immediate help, are dependent on others and are more likely to be abused. Presented results can account for some of the variety in prior research and they open the field of video game studies to possibly new research topics. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
gender, video games, content analysis, role, dramaturgical approach, qualitative
National Category
Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225393OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225393DiVA: diva2:720865
Subject / course
Digital Media
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2014-06-11 Created: 2014-06-02 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved

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MA Thesis Rajkowska(955 kB)655 downloads
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