Gender and Race Representation in Casual Games
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This paper examines gender and race representation in casual games through content analysis. Study 1 looks at gender and race representation in a random sample (N = 200) of casual games retrieved from the websites of the largest five casual game distributors. Study 2 looks at the most popular games on websites of the same five multinational distributors (N = 54) and analyzes how primary characters are portrayed in terms of appearance and personality. Females are overly represented as primary characters but chi-square analyses indicate no significant differences between sexes in terms of how they are portrayed: of note, neither males nor females are depicted in a sexual manner. These results conflict with previous studies of gender representation in game characters: this paper suggests that sampling methodology and the relatively new trend of casual games excluded this subset of games from prior research. Implications are discussed using a social cognitive framework.
KeywordsGender representation Video games Casual games Content analysis Race representation Gender stereotype
Thanks to Editor Irene Frieze, the anonymous reviewers, and Felix Fish.
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