Video Games as Technologies of Gender: Analyzing Final Fantasy Forums

Date: January 1, 1970
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Media researchers have identified a range of mass media as ‘technologies of gender’. This term indicates that gender identities and gender discourse are constructed out of the language, practices and behaviours of daily life. In this paper we explore the meaning of videogames as technologies of gender. Videogames and videogameculture are generally seen as being connected to masculine preferences and we are interested in finding out what this means for both male and female gamers. We have looked at discussions on online forums concerning the RPG Final Fantasy X-2 and made a qualitative analysis of postings that contained some sort of gender-performance. We found that Final Fantasy X-2 can be a starting point for discussions about the meaning gamers attribute to male and female gender performances. They discuss the ways boys and girls should look, how they should dress and how they should behave, and we therefore conclude that videogames can indeed function as technologies of gender. Also, at least on the forums concerning this particular game-title, we found that the issue of male dominance is no longer as strict as in other fields of videogameculture.

Publisher: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Dresden International Congress Centre, Dresden, Germany, Jun 16, 2006
Year of Publication: 2006

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