Gender Swapping in Online Gaming

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In online gaming, players are represented by an avatar, which is a three dimensional (3D) model used in computer games or a two-dimensional icon like a picture. A player’s identity is not usually revealed. This has led to an internet phenomenon known as gender swapping. Gender swapping is when a player swaps the gender of their identity in the game they are playing. Assortments of studies have been done on gender swapping in online gaming, but most of them fail to find the real reason many online gamers gender swap. However, many reasons have been discovered within this research based on three different previous studies into gender swapping and other various facets of online gaming players. This paper will discuss the results of three different methods with three different sets of results done to help us understand why players switch their gender in online games. Literature Review

The research study done by Hussain and Griffiths (2008) was about why people engage in gender swapping. The authors point out the lack of research on the entire subject so the authors say that past research in this area had usually focused on demographics for online gamers. It was stated that more research on gender swapping would be enlightening. One statement was made to the fact that gender swapping seems to be a phenomenon of common practice. One hundred fifty seven participants were given an online questionnaire that asked questions of demographics, online playing behavior, and the reasons for playing with a small section on history of playing, including gender swapping. The questionnaire was then used on several online forums. The results showed that the majority of gamers (57%) had gender swapped. Hussain and Griffiths (2008) took a quote from an actual online gamer, “Because if you make your character a woman, men tend to treat you far better” (p. 50). The authors to explain the results used several extracts from the questionnaires. Hussain and Griffiths (2008)...
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