Doing/Undoing Gender with the Girl Gamer in High-Performance Play

  • Emma Witkowski
Part of the Palgrave Games in Context book series (PAGCON)


This chapter explores the actions and experiences of women who participate in esports and high-performance cultures of play. Across networked game scenes, women are regularly framed as “girl gamers.” A stigmatising term placed on the women who play games as a high-performance practice. Through qualitative research, players and esports content producers account for how the girl gamer is lived and produced, reflecting on what the term means for their everyday participation. Inter-related pressure nodes include the ongoing negotiation of gendered embodiment in networked cultures, traditional marketing economies, and the institutional power of a male-dominated field. How the girl gamer identity is positioned and engaged with across high-performance game scenes highlights how gender modulates activity, experience, and practice across careers of networked play.


Gender Feminism Esports Gamer girl Representation Embodiment Performance 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma Witkowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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