Research 10- “Gender Disparity in Video Game Usage”


This is a 2012 Media Psychology article entitled “Gender Disparity in Video Game Usage: A Third-Person Perception-Based Explanation,”  by Mark Cruea and Sung-Yeon Park.

The study looks at 1) others’ perceptions of peoples’ time spent playing games and 2) perceived influence of “unrealistic images” in terms of body, much like my earlier post, the article from Sex Roles.

The study start out by noting that gamers, be they women or men, are considered gamers by a very large blanket-term; anyone from Solitaire and Minesweeper players who play one game a week to players who rock their Xbox for more than four hours per day. This study, of course, spotlights people’s perceptions of others’ play, which probably contributes to some of the confusion in terms of who’s playing what and the thought that video gaming is “still a man’s world.”

I found it interesting because, as I mentioned with the previous study about body images in games, I was surprised that in-game body image was such a big factor in the real world. I guess I still am, and always seemed to overlook it myself, never finding it to be of much importance. I’ll admit, when I saw the girls in Mortal Kombat for the first time, I noted that yes, they were wearing very revealing clothing and their bodies were hypersexualized, but I don’t know.  Like I said, I kind of overlooked it. I mostly played Scorpion anyway, and he was a ninja. I’ve always wanted to be a ninja myself, so that was cool… and really, he was never supposed to be sexy, unlike the women in the game- the dude took off his mask and there was a flaming skull underneath. Not very attractive.

Thus, I am increasingly seeing this argument’s importance.

Most importantly, I find that the perception that others are affect by this imagery much more than one self is rather interesting. We seem to think, perhaps, we are less prone to suggestions than others are. This  probably means that we either underestimate the effects of hypersexualized characters on our own psyches, or we are overestimating the effects on everyone else.


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