Understanding gaming perceptions and experiences in a women's college community

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Shaer, Orit
Westendorf, Lauren
Knouf, Nicholas A.
Pederson, Claudia C.
Shaer, Orit; Westendorf, Lauren; Knouf, Nicholas A.; Pederson, Claudia C. 2017. Understanding gaming perceptions and experiences in a women's college community. Proceeding CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp 1544-1557
Recent trends in gaming diversification have shown that women are both an increasingly significant pool of consumers and game producers, and regular victims of misogynistic harassment. Such observations stress the importance of investigating the complex relationships of women and gaming. In this paper, we draw upon perspectives from Feminist HCI to extend the current knowledge of issues in gaming that are specific to women. We present results from a mixed-methods study with 327 participants who are students and alumnae of a women's college. Our findings shed light on the complex relationships of women with games, with other gamers, and with gaming culture and industry. The results also indicate that in some cases gender-related negative experiences of gaming have lasting impact on the participation and self-confidence of young women. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for the design of games, game development education, and for the study of gaming.
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