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Learn More. Research investigating female gaming has begun to emerge despite gaming being traditionally more popular with males. Research in the 21st century has drawn attention to the role of women in culture, society, and technology, and female gaming is one of the growing phenomena not to have been researched in depth. The aim of the present paper was to review female gaming i. A search of three scientific electronic databases yielded 49 papers for further evaluation.

From a methodological perspective, studies had to fulfill the following criteria to be included: i Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium between the years and ; ii assessed female gaming or the female position within gaming culture, iii contained quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods approaches to produce empirical data or discuss theoretical implications through reviews, iv be retrievable as a full-text peer-reviewed journal paper, and v published in English, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or French.

The main findings showed playing video games has benefits for women in terms of enhancing cognitive, social, and physical abilities. Video games are associated with stereotypical male characteristics, such as being overly aggressive, and frequently contain sexualized content. Female gamers appear to require coping strategies to handle online harassment. Females look for different things in video games, which are not often included in game des thereby limiting their abilities. For instance, female avatar representation—which is exaggerated and hypersexualized—can prompt social comparisons and lead to feelings of decreased self-esteem, depression, and other impacts on well-being.

Overall, there are still obstacles for women playing video games even though they Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium half of the gaming population. Over the past two decades, the of female video game players has increased, and females today make up half of the gaming population according to both the Entertainment Software Association ESA 1 and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe ISFE 2. Simultaneously, research on addictive internet use has proliferated, and gaming disorder was recently recognized as a new mental health disorder and a behavioral addiction by the World Health Organization 3.

Thus, gaming addiction is now officially a new psychopathology that has emerged as a consequence of the development and increasing popularity of video games and online technologies during the 21st century. Despite the growing female gaming population, almost all research on gaming addiction is focused on male gamers.

Currently, there is no agreement on the prevalence of gaming addiction due to its conceptualization and methodological problems within the research that has been conducted to date. This is because most research i comprises surveys using non-representative samples i.

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For these reasons, the estimated prevalence rates of disordered gaming have been reported to range from 0. Higher prevalence rates are reported in Asian countries, especially in young adult males 7.

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However, very little attention has been paid to the societal and cultural parameters associated with gaming, even in cross-cultural studies. These tend to have a robust psychometric approach that usually guarantees measurement invariance across languages 89 and focus on individual factors 10 However, these recent studies suggest an integrative biocultural approach i.

During the past decade, a few empirical studies have specifically researched female gaming 12 — Through interviews and online diaries, Lewis and Griffiths 12as well as McLean and Griffiths 15highlighted that women usually play casual games typically for shorter periods compared with men.

They take on their own female roles as gamers and have their own i gaming experience and habits, ii game motivations and choices, iii technology preferences, and iv gamer identity.

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In summary, this research has found that female casual gamers report i peripheral knowledge from gaming [i. However, it has also been found that women feel comfortable making technology purchases and consider age as a more important factor than gender, which appears to negatively affect older women who do not grow up with technologies and online video games. Finally, female identity is sometimes viewed as vulnerable and may underlie why some female gamers utilize male avatars in-game. However, from a neuroimaging perspective, Wang and colleagues 14 recently found that females appear to be more vulnerable to online gaming addiction relative to males.

The study tried to get a better understanding of sex differences relating to biological mechanisms underlying IGD, a proposed mental health disorder included in the final section of the latest fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association They used the structural magnetic resonance imaging technique and detected a group-by-sex interaction.

More specifically, they found that male and female IGD participants had increased and reduced cortical thickness, respectively, alongside their right posterior cingulate cortex PCC compared to same-sex recreational game players. Contrarily, male and female IGD participants reduced and increased cortical thickness, respectively, in their right PCC. Moreover, only females had negative correlations between cortical thickness and their self-reported cravings and IGD scores.

These findings suggest that males and females are differently affected by IGD and that women are more vulnerable than men based on the effects created by IGD in the brain regions examined. More recent quantitative studies analyzing IGD 1718 have Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium that the prevalence of disordered gaming appears to be more balanced than studies. For instance, a recent study 17 found differences between genders when comparing specific problematic internet uses, where the potential at-risk problem online gamers comprised Moreover, how gaming preference affects IGD scores across genders has been also observed 18where IGD was predicted by several variables with gender differences.

This included time spent online, gaming motives, and depressive symptoms.

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For female gamers, IGD predictors included higher time spent online, higher scores on specific gaming motives i. Another gender issue in IGD concerns gaming preference across genders. For men, coping is a predictor of IGD, while for women, competition is a predictor, whereas escapism is a predictor of IGD in both genders. However, in a recent quantitative study concerning female gaming, women who played video games also reported spending more time on role-playing games, MMORPGs, FPS games, simulation games, action-adventure games, casual games, and MOBA games. Moreover, achievement and social motivations were predictors of IGD and daily time spent online Thus, the preferred game genre may explain differences between genders in terms of time spent gaming e.

Clinicians treating gaming addiction have reported that this mental disorder may go unnoticed in females 20 and that women being treated for this problem appear to show differences in the experience of other psychopathologies including IGD and other addictions compared with men Nevertheless, problematic and potentially pathological gaming in women has rarely been addressed in either theoretical work or empirical research.

With respect to the scarce literature on female gaming Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium female gaming culture 22women are arguably situated outside of video game culture i. Women are often discriminated against by male players, which also discourages women from labeling themselves as gamers A of comprehensive narrative reviews have been undertaken regarding the phenomenon of female gaming relating to gaming culture.

Moreover, the association between representation of women within video games and their well-being has been recently studied Findings showed female gamers report self-objectification and consequently perceive low levels of self-efficacy, which was corroborated by both genders e. Findings showed that stereotype-threatened females underperformed on the gaming task relative to males in the control condition e.

Thus, two types of harms appear to be associated with female gaming at present: i the personal harm of potential gaming addiction at an individual and psychopathological level, and ii the societal harm of stigmatizing female gaming at a community and psychosocial level. Moreover, almost all studies reported have focused on negative consequences associated with female gaming Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium assessing female gaming behavior from both positive and negative perspectives at individual and community levels.

Consequently, there is a gap in knowledge regarding female gaming from a gender perspective, including its nature, benefits, and potential risks to individual and community health. In order to overcome the limitations in female gaming research, the aim of this narrative literature review is to provide a comprehensive overview of studies assessing female gaming or the position of women within gaming culture.

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The present paper includes studies from both an individual perspective and a cultural perspective in order to obtain a more inclusive and contemporary view of gaming behavior in females. A narrative review of the literature was undertaken to identify all of the relevant publications concerning female gaming, female gaming addiction, and the position of women within gaming culture.

This is an alternative search strategy tool compared to the Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome PICO model, which is usually used as a systematic search strategy tool intended for quantitative research questions The following research questions where Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium 1 What is the role of the female gamers in gaming behavior and gaming culture in contemporary society? Following title and abstract review, duplicate papers were removed. All other papers that appeared to meet the inclusion criteria were then assessed using the full text.

At this point, any variations from the inclusion criteria were noted, and these papers were excluded. For instance, studies where the female subpopulation could not be distinguished from the male subpopulation were excluded. In addition to this, studies which were not published in peer-reviewed journals were excluded as indicated in the inclusion criteria 27 — The search strategy is presented in Figure 1.

All included studies were read, and key pieces of information were extracted including: sample size, recruitment process and participants, de of the study, aims, measures or tools used, mainand the implications of the study. Thematic synthesis was then conducted.

Forty-nine studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria for this review see Figure 1 ; see Appendix A in the Supplementary Material. As this study was the first of this nature concerning female gaming, the included studies represented research using various methodologies, such as clinical trials, experimental studies, and case studies, as well as other methodologies. The section briefly outlines each of these. A few studies had material which could be included in more than one category.

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Within the included studies, several considered how women engaging with video games might have a beneficial outcome. These comprised research examining clinical or environmental interventions 35 — 40investigating cognitive and social learning, as well as strategies developed through game play 363741 — Clinical interventions considered the physical 363739 and mental benefits 353738 which could be offered to women who interact with video games. However, they had relatively small sample sizes ranging from two seniors 3740 to 23 women The majority of studies also recruited from only one website 3538 Despite these limitations, video games were shown to have physical benefits, such as encouraging exercise in adults with lower mobility due to age and illnesses 373840 and relieving pain symptoms in participants with fibromyalgia syndrome by offering cognitive distraction Female gaming was also shown to improve mental well-being because video games were demonstrated to be acceptable psychotherapeutic tools to assist mental health recovery in adolescents Gaming positively influenced executive functioning ability in women with urinary incontinence 37 and attention in elderly individuals Two studies considered how gaming environments might be utilized as a teaching tool within undergraduate student populations In both studies, it was observed that learners with less gaming experience showed lower levels of presence within the environment than others and that women were just as likely to succeed with this type of educational intervention as men 36 However, DeNoyelles and colleagues 36 concluded that college-age women were less likely to be gamers.

Therefore, they suggested that female non-gamers might struggle slightly more due to less gaming experience and suggested standardized support according to gender. Even at an early age, it has been demonstrated that girls have similar abilities to gain strategy and performance skills by playing video games compared to boys This was shown in children second to fifth-grade where frequency of gaming was viewed as a better predictor of gaming performance and strategy than gender This was reinforced by Olson and colleagues 45 who considered the main differences between video game play of males and females to be the amount of time spent playing and the types of video games.

Within in-person co-playing, a subsample of Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium demonstrated heightened prosocial behavior and stronger emotional connection when engaging with their parents Again, this is evidence that video game playing has a positive impact on how girls develop their cognitive abilities, including social interaction. Alternatively, Olson and colleagues 45 demonstrated that more boys played video games than girls and that gaming could be utilized as a male anger management strategy.

This could be reflective of how adolescents are primed to cope with emotional responses. It has also been found that adult female gamers need less input when evoking response reactions than female non-gamers and have a greater neural plasticity which enhances this ability due to the familiarity of movements which are needed in gaming This was verified in two studies by Gorbet and Sergio 42in which they showed that playing video games has beneficial consequences on visuomotor performance but that these brain patterns are different from studies observing male responses, which may indicate different ways in which male and female brains react to problem solving within video games.

Nonetheless, video games have a positive impact on muscle movements and response times to stimuli, as well as enhancing brain plasticity Traditionally, women are thought to play less video games than men 13 Several studies included in this narrative review discussed this consideration and offered reasons why female gaming is less common. Notable was the influence of gender expectations among those that engaged with playing video games. As ly mentioned, Olson and colleagues 45 attributed gender differences in time spent gaming to how social gender identities influence how children play, although male and female children play for the same reasons e.

One study found that if women play as often as men, they tend to reach similar levels of success within the game, discouraging the belief that women are less skilful at gaming However, they also noted that female players tend to play less or stop earlier than their male counterparts, which they argued was due to gender expectations and peer community, e.

These implications originated from two large studies of 9, players and 18, responses across two online video Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium. The lower levels of female gaming may also be due to the nature of video games and the relationship with personal traits.

For instance, violence and aggression are the focal point of many video games, such as FPS games. It has been suggested that repeated exposure to violent video games may elicit more aggression from boys than girls A study of 98 adolescents from China indicated that there was no difference in reaction time to aggressive words when girls were primed by violent and non-violent video games, but that boys scored ificantly higher when playing violent video games This finding is supported by 48 suggesting that violent-sexist video games are related to masculine beliefs e.

This might suggest that girls play video games less frequently than boys due to the level of aggression required by some video games. The authors suggested that this inconsistency of would likely be reduced by a cultural research shift to preregistered studies and a focus on the validity of published Generally, it is argued that exposure to violent video games can increase aggressive behavior and that this motivation can be higher when playing as a same-sex character This second point relates less strongly to female gaming due to there being fewer female characters to act as 50 and because violence in video games causes women to disengage earlier Within their study of students across two universities, Hartmann and colleagues 51 suggested that women had limited exposure to violent video games due to trait empathy, which caused more anticipated guilt while playing, and therefore reducing enjoyment.

Both men and women often select male avatars, which has been associated with more aggressive game play For women, the selection of a male avatar may negatively influence the level of identification with the avatar. This may lead to women playing less often than men Looking for gamer chicks to play ac Belgium due to aggression but due to less presence with characters within the video games.

This conjecture is supported by studies from Eastin 53which indicate that same-sex avatars encourage greater levels of presence within players, influencing aggression

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Female Gaming, Gaming Addiction, and the Role of Women Within Gaming Culture: A Narrative Literature Review