Once upon a time, MsPlayer got addicted

Women self-identifying as digital game addicts: Their interpretations of power

[This paper comes from 2007 and was completed for a qualitative methodology course at Ohio State University under the amazing Patti Lather. She encouraged us to try different methods of communication research results; so I did a comic book, which you can see here.]

What is digital game addiction?

A number of approaches, theories, and entire discourse communities have arisen in the past century to understand this thing called “addiction” (West, 2001; Bailey, 2005). According to West (2001), beginning with a behavioral psychology perspective, addiction “typically involves initial exposure to a stimulus followed by behaviors seeking to repeat the experience. After a number of repetitions of the behaviour-stimulus sequence, the addiction becomes established.” (p. 3). All the approaches, theories and discourses have attempted to explain this process of addiction. What leads to the initial exposure? What about the stimulus or the engaging with it leads to a desire to repeatedly seek it out? How does this repetition become so ingrained that it is hard, if not physically impossible, to stop using it?

Medical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, economical, theological — all have weighed in on what causes this repeating behavior that is seen as ultimately deleterious to the person, even to the point of being perverse and sociopathic. Addiction is seen by all as a loss of control, only the reason for this being lack of control changes depending upon one’s metatheoretical viewpoint. However, while many have used qualitative, phenomenological methods, such as in-depth interviewing, to understand the perspective and experiences of the addict, there has been no systematic attempt to theorize addiction from an interpretive or constructivist viewpoint (Davies, 1998; Hirschman, 1992; Larkin & Griffiths, 2002). That is, a common approach has been an a priori application of some theory developed from someone looking at the addict and not a grounded theorizing approach of looking at addiction as an addict.

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External link to Experiences of Hobby Game Players: Motivations Behind Playing Digital and Non-Digital Games

Experiences of Hobby Game Players: Motivations Behind Playing Digital and Non-Digital Games

Based on a large online data collection effort back in 2006, the collaboration of GAMA, Ohio State University, and that other website, resulted in a pretty robust dataset that yielded a variety of interesting explorations. By: CarrieLynn Reinhard and Brant Guillory, 20 April 2014 ABSTRACT Central to our understanding of why people play digital games (either video or computer games) is to understand the reason people want … Continue reading Experiences of Hobby Game Players: Motivations Behind Playing Digital and Non-Digital Games

The Nintendo Wii U Experience

Thanks to the technology grant offered by my wonderful university, I was able to purchase a Deluxe Nintendo Wii U — which means it comes with Nintendo Land so that you do not have to purchase it separately.  As part of my ongoing series as Dr. Geek for Clearance Bin Review, I wrote about my initial reaction to and experience with the new console system, the new … Continue reading The Nintendo Wii U Experience

2013 and the Future of Gaming

My last two posts for Clearance Bin Review as Dr. Geek have been considerations for the future of gaming given some technologies that are scheduled to be released this year.  These technologies all share a common aspect: they appear to be challenging the traditional console gaming market, whether by hardware, interface, or game distribution. In my article on the upcoming console system Ouya, I discuss … Continue reading 2013 and the Future of Gaming

Hypersexualism in Gameplay and the Problem of the Action Heroine

The history of consumption of video games and computer games has largely been of one-sided demographics: the notion that men are more likely than women, boys more than girls, to play the games that had been the backbone of the gaming industry.  This notion has also become entrenched in the stereotype of the gamer as young adult or adolescent males.  With the rise of casual gaming through online games, social games, and mobile games, we have seen this gender gap shrink, and even reverse.  However, such a change is if one considers gaming as a whole; when considering video, computer and even MMO gaming to online, social and mobile gaming, the gap still sees more male players than female players.

For years, various studies have been conducted to explore this gendered gap, resulting in various theories.  In 2005, for my master’s thesis, I conducted a study to explore the reason behind this gendered gap by focusing on how women are represented in video games.  The portrayal of women in games has received both empirical and critical scrutiny, finding that this portrayal is consistently in the vein of sexuality and submissiveness.  One particular portrayal, hypersexualism, is embodied in the archetype of Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, whose advertised body size is 5’9″, 132 lbs and 34D-24-35.

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Playing Digital Games as Scaffolding

[This is a research proposal from 2005 on how a child’s cognitive developmental level could interact with digital games’ formal features.  The entire proposal, with references, can be found here.] Introduction The history of the mass media has born witness to a chief concern: how will interacting with this or that medium and/or its content impact our children?  So it was with film, comic books, … Continue reading Playing Digital Games as Scaffolding

Women and Video Game Addiction: Experimenting with research narratives

This is an experimental research paper relaying women’s stories, gathered with Sense-Making Methodology interviews, of times they felt they were addicted to video games.  My analysis, and thus the framing for this paper’s “narrative”, focuses on the dynamics of power in and around the women’s lives during this period of addiction. This representation of the research paper was constructed to play with the ideas of … Continue reading Women and Video Game Addiction: Experimenting with research narratives