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Girls’ perceptions of characters’ gender roles in digital games: A study in Singapore

Jennifer Isabelle Pei Ling Ong, Pei-Wen Tzuo

Abstract


This article explores girls’ perceptions of (1) characters’ gender roles, (2) game genres, and (3) female power status as portrayed in digital games through the lens of poststructuralist feminism. Research interests arise from identifying gaps in the findings and critiquing the research methods deployed by various related studies. The significance of the study is in adopting an innovative research method by empowering female participants as agents in designing game narratives to approach their perceptions more closely. Fifteen teenaged girls in Singapore participated in the study in 2009. The results indicate girls’ preferences for future digital games to add customizable features for players to negotiate power relations between boys and girls in the most expedient manner and to allow girls to act as a social justice authority. On the basis of the findings, we suggest that there should be space for girls to express their unique and multiple female roles, further leading to autonomy in developing gender identity within various social and learning spaces.


 


Keywords


digital games; girls; gender; learning

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