Sex Roles

, Volume 65, Issue 3–4, pp 198–207 | Cite as

Gender and Race Representation in Casual Games

  • Donghee Yvette WohnEmail author
Original Article


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.


Gender 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and MediaMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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