A1 Journal article (refereed)
Becoming a Gamer : Performative Construction of Gendered Gamer Identities (2022)

Kivijärvi, M., & Katila, S. (2022). Becoming a Gamer : Performative Construction of Gendered Gamer Identities. Games and Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media, 17(3), 461-481. https://doi.org/10.1177/15554120211042260

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kivijärvi, Marke; Katila, Saija

Journal or series: Games and Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media

ISSN: 1555-4120

eISSN: 1555-4139

Publication year: 2022

Volume: 17

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 461-481

Publisher: Sage Publications

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/15554120211042260

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78274


This article examines how women construct their gameplay identities in relation to the hegemonic “gamer” discourse. The article is based on semi-structured in-depth interviews with women who occupy central roles in the Finnish gaming industry. We deploy Judith Butler’s theorization of performative identity construction to examine how the women negotiate their identity in relation to the hegemonic gamer discourse, focusing on how they both embrace and resist the hegemonic, masculine constructions of gameplay. The study shows the dynamics surrounding the gamer identity. While women submit to the hegemonic gamer discourse, reproducing the masculine gamer notions to gain recognition as a viable member of the gameplay community, the study also identifies how subversive opportunities arise as the women deploy new, alternative versions of gamer identity. The hegemonic discourse is subverted through the identity position of tech-savvy, which departs from the masculine connotations.

Keywords: game sector; game industry; game culture; gendering; gender roles; social identity; performativity

Free keywords: gender; gamer identity; digital games; resistance; performativity

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-04 at 08:22