Wednesday, 5 March 2008

On gender...

There's a short piece in today's UK Guardian (the online version is longer) by Bobbie Johnson (who is one of the speakers at our symposium this year by the way), reporting on a study undertaken by staff at Nottingham Trent University which looks at gender swapping in online games.
The research, in which 125 players of complex computer games were questioned, found that women were more likely to switch their gender than men.
The article goes on to explain why players like to experiment with their gender in these kinds of activities. The reasons tend to break along gender lines, as you'd expect, with women typically adopting a male role to avoid unwanted attention or because they feel it makes them more equal with other players, while men want to "flirt with other players and explore a different side of their personality".

There's a follow-up piece in the Guardian Technology blog which suggests that in the context of online gambling, some men adopt a female role because they think that will make it easier to separate other players from their money. Sigh :-(

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