Would the 'real' girl gamer please stand up? Gender, LAN cafés and the reformulation of the 'girl' gamer

  • Beavis C
  • Charles C
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Abstract

In this paper we consider the significance of cyber ‘LAN’ cafés as sites where on and off-line practices meet in way that complicates binary notions of the gendered gamer. Existing research into computer games culture suggests a male dominated environment and points to girls’ lower levels of competence and participation in games. Building on recent studies interested in the constitution of gender through engagement with online technologies, we draw on Judith Butler’s politics of performative resignification, and conceptualise digital culture as a resource through which ‘girl’ gamers are mobilised and potentially reformulated, experiencing their gaming identities in contradictory ways, and fragmenting the category ‘girl’ in the very act of articulating their place in a male dominated gaming culture. It is argued that through the meeting of on and off-line practices, LAN cafés operate as a location that is particularly amenable to reformulative work in relation to gendered gaming identities

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Authors

  • Catherine Beavis

  • Claire Charles

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