An investigation of gender and sex-role in gaming motivations and preferences using a focus groups of gamers and professional video game designers.

This source preferred by Jacqui Taylor

Authors: Taylor, J.

Start date: 19 September 2013

Much of the research investigating the use of videogames has been conducted on male players, with female use and motivation often ignored by researchers and receiving less attention from the gaming industry. This study used focus groups to explore gender and sex role regarding motivation to play videogames. Two groups of participants were involved: undergraduate students (3 males, 2 females) and video game designers from a games company (4 males, 4 females). The Bem Sex Role Inventory was completed to classify participants as Masculine, Feminine, Androgynous or Undifferentiated. Video game preference was classified using a previously used questionnaire and a measure of gamer commitment was collected. A thematic analysis of the focus group transcripts was conducted and three themes emerged regarding motivation to play videogames: (i) time, (ii) entertainment, and (iii) expense. The responses to four prompts (relating to characters, game genre, storyline and graphics) during the focus group also revealed interesting gender differences in motivations to play videogames; sex role was not related but the sample was very small and did not reflect all BEM categories equally. However, the high masculinity scores for the expert sample suggest that sex role may be a motivator for working within the videogame industry.

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