“MORE FEMINIST BULLSHIT”Exploring Sexism and the Battle Over Gender Construction in Video Game Discourse Communities

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Author: Ola Nenzelius; [2021-02-09]

Keywords: Video games; Women in games;

Abstract: Abstract: Thisstudyexplores gender construction in video game discourse communities, using Critical Discourse Analysis(CDA)as a theoretical frameworktogetherwith a quantitative, corpus linguistic methodology.Discourse samples weretaken from five online content creators for World of Warcraft(WoW)who react to the four Shadowlands: Afterlivestrailers for theWoW expansion released in November of 2020.The collected dataconsist of gender discourse both from the content creators themselves, as well as a corpus of viewer comments collected from their respective communities.The central findings of thisdiscourse analysis corroborateprevious studies, whichindicatethe existence of a widespreadpatriarchal discourse hegemony within‘gamer’ culture.The study also givesqualitative descriptions of how thishegemony enforces its views in the face of counter-hegemonic renegotiation attempts, and analyseswomen’s social status in online gaming.This study demonstratesthatwomen arerelegated to a ‘second class’ statuscompared to men, bothinregards totheir perceived competencies as gamers, but also inthe way that gamersdiscussfictional depictions of women in the game itself.Finally, this study also finds that in the absence of gender expressions tochallenge patriarchal hegemony, the latter attemptsto enforce other ideological values that are notdirectlyrelated to gender.The paperconcludes by recommending this apparent trend as a potential topic for future research, and discusses possible venues for pilot studies on the topic.

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