Reference : Of princesses, paladins, and player motivations: Gender stereotypes and gendered perc...
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Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Communication & mass media
Of princesses, paladins, and player motivations: Gender stereotypes and gendered perceptions in video games
Melzer, André mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Evolutionary psychology and digital games. Digital hunter-gatherers
Breuer, Johannes mailto
Pietschmann, Daniel mailto
Liebold, Benny mailto
Lange, Benjamin mailto
[en] Video games have been labeled a male space, and playing video games an activity created by men and for men (Fox & Tang, 2014; see also Lange & Schwab, this volume). The present chapter analyses the typical roles of male and female video game characters, their presentation in games, their effects, and how players perceive these characters.
To this end, gender in video games will be analyzed on different levels. Although women and men share the same overall interest in playing video games as a medium for entertainment, they differ substantially with regard to genres and game titles they prefer. These gender differences have been attributed to the overrepresentation of male characters in video games, uninviting game contents that strongly rely on competition and physical aggression, and the stereotypical portrayal and scripted behavioral patterns of hyper-masculine or “macho” male and sexualized female game characters.
The issue of gender portrayals in video games will be discussed in the light of theoretical considerations on evolved dispositions that differ by sex versus the social structural account that attributes sex differences to the differing placement of women and men in the social structure. It will be argued that both theoretical approaches make similar predictions regarding gender-specific video game preferences.

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