POWSR Call For Papers – Gender & Gaming

Call for Papers

Psychology of Women Section Review Special Focus 2018

Gender and gaming

Editors: Jenny Cole and Sarah Grogan

Video game research has been steadily rising over the last 20 years, especially as video games have become more realistic, more mobile, and more accessible to wider demographic groups (Chambers, 2012). Traditionally considered the realm of teenage boys, estimates over the last few years suggest that almost half of gamers are women, and in the US, women over 18 years of age represent a larger proportion of gamers (31%) than boys under 18 (17%) (ESA, 2016).

Women and other gamers who do not fit the ‘young white male’ stereotype are often excluded from video game marketing (Burgess, Stermer & Burgess, 2007) and can be ostracised from mainstream gaming community spaces (Fox & Tang, 2014). When calls for more diversity in video games have been voiced, this has been met with defensive and aggressive reactions such as the #GamerGate controversy which saw high profile female developers harassed on social media and offline (Chess & Shaw, 2015).

Despite these barriers, is important that digital gaming is accessible to wide range of players because the playing of video games has been linked to confidence and engagement with technology in other contexts such as school and work environments (Cassel & Jenkins, 2000). It is important, therefore, that we continue to add to the knowledge about these issues already gained from psychologists and researchers from other disciplines. This Special Focus issue of POWSR aims to facilitate awareness of this fascinating area in psychologists who take a feminist perspective.

We invite contributions that examine issues related to gender in digital gaming. Contributions may explore questions such as those below:

  • What are the barriers or benefits to participation in gaming culture for women and other groups who adopt gender identities not commonly associated with gaming?
  • How does gender identity interact with gaming experience and immersion?
  • What might be the barriers to digital gaming moving forward to become more inclusive of diverse gender identities, sexualities, ethnicities and bodies?

Contributions may take various forms including original articles (up to 6000 words), observations and commentaries (up to 2000 words) and brief reports/research in progress (up to 3000 words) and creative writing pieces (up to 2000). Submissions will be subject to the usual peer review process. The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th September. Queries can be sent to Jenny Cole (j.cole@mmu.ac.uk) or Sarah Grogan (s.grogan@mmu.ac.uk).

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