Levelling (Up) the Playing Field: How Feminist Gamers Self-Identify and Learn in Online Communities.

Das, S. (2014). In V. Venkatesh, J. Wallin, J. C. Castro & J. E. Lewis (Eds.), Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities (pp. 81-100). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Abstract: This ethnographic study explores how feminist video game players mobilise in online environments. The main research questions of this chapter involve identity and learning. How are identities formed in online feminist gaming communities, how much of one’s identity is disclosed, what determines these choices in identity disclosure, and for what purpose? What kind of informal learning is promoted and produced in online feminist gaming communities, and how does this learning take place?  After analysing posts, articles, comments, and interview responses from members of feminist gaming blog The Borderhouse, it was found that feminist gamers prefer identity disclosure to concealment. While identity disclosure can be traumatic for some feminist gamers in non-feminist online gaming communities, identity disclosure is encouraged in feminist gaming online forums, as it contributes to a member’s credibility and garners trust from other members. The trust and credibility garnered affects the learning that takes place, as those who are trusted help influence the content and production of discussion. Furthermore, it was found that informal learning occurs with participants of the blog through regular informal feedback, networking, and the encouragement of critical thinking skills.

Link to chapter.