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ORDINARY MEN WITH EXTRA-ORDINARY SKILLS? MASCULINITY CONSTRUCTS AMONG MMORPG-GAMERS

ORDINARY MEN WITH EXTRA-ORDINARY SKILLS? MASCULINITY CONSTRUCTS AMONG MMORPG-GAMERS Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) involve long term intense social bonds between male players. Still, little is known about how masculinity constructs work as glue in these game communities. This study concerns masculine identities in applications (N=210) for community membership of a MMORPG community in Finland. Drawing on three identity dimensions (virtual, real, and projective) and three masculinity dimensions (heroic, ordinary, and revolting) the study shows that gamers emphasize real-world identity’s ordinary and deviant masculinities, while heroic identity constructs are almost non-existing. Constructs of the virtual identity contained attributes and characteristics of the gamers’ in-game skills. An ordinary masculine identity was emphasized in view of gamers’ suitability as member of the clan and it was further underscored by “geek” and “nerd” characteristics. Being an outsider group (gamers), but still emphasizing the “ordinary” and being the “average guy,” deviates from governing media images of gamers’ communities as breeding grounds of isolation and aggression. Keywords: MMORPGs; masculinity construct; identity; (extra-)ordinary; skill http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Research in Gender Studies Addleton Academic Publishers

ORDINARY MEN WITH EXTRA-ORDINARY SKILLS? MASCULINITY CONSTRUCTS AMONG MMORPG-GAMERS

The Journal of Research in Gender Studies , Volume 6 (2): 17 – Jan 1, 2016

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Publisher
Addleton Academic Publishers
Copyright
© 2009 Addleton Academic Publishers
ISSN
2164-0262
eISSN
2378-3524
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) involve long term intense social bonds between male players. Still, little is known about how masculinity constructs work as glue in these game communities. This study concerns masculine identities in applications (N=210) for community membership of a MMORPG community in Finland. Drawing on three identity dimensions (virtual, real, and projective) and three masculinity dimensions (heroic, ordinary, and revolting) the study shows that gamers emphasize real-world identity’s ordinary and deviant masculinities, while heroic identity constructs are almost non-existing. Constructs of the virtual identity contained attributes and characteristics of the gamers’ in-game skills. An ordinary masculine identity was emphasized in view of gamers’ suitability as member of the clan and it was further underscored by “geek” and “nerd” characteristics. Being an outsider group (gamers), but still emphasizing the “ordinary” and being the “average guy,” deviates from governing media images of gamers’ communities as breeding grounds of isolation and aggression. Keywords: MMORPGs; masculinity construct; identity; (extra-)ordinary; skill

Journal

The Journal of Research in Gender StudiesAddleton Academic Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2016

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