Simulating marriage: Gender roles and emerging intimacy in an online game

Guo Freeman, Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell, Susan C. Herring

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    21 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Virtual marriage is a complex social activity in virtual worlds, yet it has received relatively little research attention. What happens when an important relationship such as marriage is transformed into gameplay? In this paper we present an empirical study of how players perceive, experience, and interpret their in-game marriages, especially with regard to representations of gender and sexuality, in an online game (Audition) where a ludological simulation of marriage is centrally embedded in gameplay. Findings reveal that marriage-As-ludic-rule-system and marriage-Assignificant-sociocultural-institution provide a double set of gameplay/social/psychosexual resources that players collaboratively learn and perform, and that this negotiation is a source of pleasure, frustration, and meaning in the game. These findings can contribute to understanding the specificity and heterogeneity of players' gender representation in virtual worlds and inform the design of mixed reality games that simulate important life events for learning.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    Pages1191-1200
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450329224
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 28 2015
    Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
    Duration: Mar 14 2015Mar 18 2015

    Publication series

    NameCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

    Other

    Other18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015
    CountryCanada
    CityBC
    Period3/14/153/18/15

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Computer Networks and Communications

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