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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 79
Title: Girl Spotting: The Performance of Female Identity in the Virtual Gaming Community of World of Warcraft
Lead Author: Viamonte, Connie M
Abstract: This research project will examine how gender is expressed and performed in the virtual gaming community of World of Warcraft. The premise for this research is working through the assumption that virtual communities might break down gender lines through allowing members to pick their gender or doing away with biological differences in gender altogether. This research hopes to discover whether or not this is actually the case and, furthermore, fill an important gap in existing sociological studies about virtual societies and games. An important aspect of this research is finding out how female players perform their gender, if at all, within these virtual societies. Many of the female avatar appearances in World of Warcraft adhere to attracting male players through highly sexualized armor choices. How does this affect the female players choices? Initial observations suggest that some female players choose deliberately less attractive female avatars or even male avatars to avoid objectification by their male counterparts. The current research is lacking in areas related to gender. Since the phenomenon of multi-faceted virtual interaction is relatively new, only very cursory studies have been done on the subject of female gamers. Even more limited are studies dealing with on-line interactive gaming.
PDF: Viamonte_Connie_79.pdf

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