A Study of the Relevance of Gender Identity and Characterization of Female Gamers in Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Article Chinese OPEN
Mei-Hsueh Yang ; I-Ning Chao (2018)
  • Publisher: National Chengchi University
  • Journal: Mass Communication Research (issn: 1016-1007)
  • Subject: Massive Multiplayer Online Game | gender identity | P87-96 | Communication. Mass media | characterization
    mesheuropmc: human activities

The population of female gamers of Massive Multiplayer Online Games has increased significantly. Massive Multiplayer Online Games provide a virtual stage for players to freely shape their virtual roles and rebuild their self-identification based on preferences. Thus, characterization has become one of the most important parts when discussing female gamers of Massive Multiplayer Online Games. To understand the relevance of gender identity and characterization of female gamers in Massive Multiplayer Online Games, this paper divides gender identity into two parts: sexual orientation and gender role; and separates characterization into three parts: gender, class, and appearance. The results show the following. In gender identity, most female gamers are attracted to men. In gender role, female gamers must gradually shed gender stereotypes. This paper also finds that female gamers turn gender stereotypes upside down concerning toys, jobs, housework, and leadership. In characterization, female gamers tend to create female roles, tend to choose wizard and archer as an occupation; and create roles that have light skin and exude confidence. For gender identity and characterization, females’ psychological sex, sexual orientation, and gender role all have significant influences on a character’s gender and class.
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