Abstract Title

Gaming and Gender Inequality

Additional Funding Sources

This research was supported by Boise State University.

Abstract

My project focused on gender inequality in online gaming environments. Using observation, participation, participant observation, semistructured interviews, and a story completion exercise, I explored the online environments of two popular massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). The customer journey map for online gaming experiences is riddled with pain points, even before factoring in the stress of gender-based harassment in these forums. I spent approximately sixty hours in set-up and without my stakeholder as a guide, I am sure it would have taken longer.

During my interviews and story completion exercise, I discovered that most online players of MMORPGs are accustomed to these pain points and do not really mind the work of setting up or the expense of pay-to-play, as long as the game is worth it. My story completion aimed to find out what makes it worth it to invest time and money into a game. The results were better than I expected, gamers know what they want, they just do not have an available platform to get it from. Working with my stakeholder, I created some prototypes for an online ratings and social media site that fulfills all of these needs and provides a safe community for gamers.

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Gaming and Gender Inequality

My project focused on gender inequality in online gaming environments. Using observation, participation, participant observation, semistructured interviews, and a story completion exercise, I explored the online environments of two popular massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). The customer journey map for online gaming experiences is riddled with pain points, even before factoring in the stress of gender-based harassment in these forums. I spent approximately sixty hours in set-up and without my stakeholder as a guide, I am sure it would have taken longer.

During my interviews and story completion exercise, I discovered that most online players of MMORPGs are accustomed to these pain points and do not really mind the work of setting up or the expense of pay-to-play, as long as the game is worth it. My story completion aimed to find out what makes it worth it to invest time and money into a game. The results were better than I expected, gamers know what they want, they just do not have an available platform to get it from. Working with my stakeholder, I created some prototypes for an online ratings and social media site that fulfills all of these needs and provides a safe community for gamers.