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‘Where are all the female gamers?’ – Female Gamers and Competitive Gaming in Esports

LAW, Ying-Ying (2019) ‘Where are all the female gamers?’ – Female Gamers and Competitive Gaming in Esports. In: Proceedings of the 14th ESA Conference. European Sociological Association, p. 1. ISBN 978-2-9569087-0-8

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Abstract or description

Female gamers have often been routinely marginalised with a lack of acceptance in video game spaces. However, many studies tend to focus on the marginalisation and exclusion of female gamers within private spaces (such as in their own home), rather than their participation in public spaces (such as gaming events). Traditionally, women in public gaming scenes have often been documented as the marginalised girlfriend, or more recently as the hyper-sexualised or sideshow professional player/all female team. This example prompts some worthwhile considerations on access to gaming and game spaces where entry involves a more complex structural arrangement, including networks, gaming know-how and access to technology/games – in particular, in esports (electronic sports - competitive gaming with high stakes). To date, some esports tournaments and organisations have started to consider the gender diversity of video game communities with ‘women only tournaments’ and ‘women gaming spaces’ to normalise the notion of women competing. For example, Smash Sisters is a series of women’s crew battles feature the Super Smash Brothers games, GirlGamer Festivals, WEGS women-only tournaments for specific games (CS:GO and Hearthstone) with smaller prize pools and Badass Women of Hearthstone tournaments. However, there have been continuous debates whether women only tournaments can be justified. This places importance on understanding the attitudes towards female gamers and competitive gaming, as well as encouraging women to compete in video game tournaments on the same platform as men to challenge the gender diversity of video game communities within video gamer culture. There is also of equal importance to understand the attitudes towards male gamers and competitive gaming, as well as encouraging a balance between community and competition for competitive gamers.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Additional Information: Presented at the ESA Conference 2019: 14th ESA Conference: EUROPE AND BEYOND: BOUNDARIES, BARRIERS AND BELONGING; Manchester, United Kingdom; 20-23 August 2019
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Games and Visual Effects
Event Title: ESA Conference 2019: 14th ESA Conference: Europe and Beyond; Boundaries Barriers and Belonging - Abstract Book (Autumn 2019)
Event Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Event Dates: 20-23 August 2019
Depositing User: Ying-Ying LAW
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 11:08
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 14:55
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5851

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