Gender and Sexuality in Online Game Cultures: Passionate Play, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Gender and Sexuality in Online Game Cultures

Passionate Play, 1st Edition

By Jenny Sundén, Malin Sveningsson


234 pages

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How do gender and sexuality come to matter in online game cultures? Why is it important to explore "straight" versus "queer" contexts of play? And what does it mean to play together with others over time, as co-players and researchers?

Gender and Sexuality in Online Game Cultures is a book about female players and their passionate encounters with the online game World of Warcraft and its player cultures. It takes seriously women’s passions in games, and as such draws attention to questions of pleasure in and desire for technology.

The authors use a unique approach of what they term a "twin ethnography" that develops two parallel stories. Sveningsson studies "straight" game culture, and makes explicit that which is of the norm by exploring the experiences of female gamers in a male-dominated gaming context. Sundén investigates "queer" game culture through the queer potentials of mainstream World of Warcraft culture, as well as through the case of a guild explicitly defined as LGBT.

Academic research on game culture is flourishing, yet feminist accounts of gender and sexuality in games are still in the making. Drawing on feminist notions of performance, performativity and positionality, as well as the recent turn to affect and phenomenology within cultural theory, the authors develop queer, feminist studies of online player cultures in ways that are situated and embodied.


"Useful, timely, and accessible… Routledge has published a valuable addition to the growing literature elucidating the experience of often-invisible, often-ignored minorities among the largely homogenousmass of online gamers." - Dorothea Salo, Feminist Collections, Voulme 33(3)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Into the Game Jenny Sundén and Malin Sveningsson 1. Go with Your Passion! Malin Sveningsson 2. The More the Merrier! Malin Sveningsson 3. The Straight Game Malin Sveningsson 4. Playing Along Malin Sveningsson 5. Desires at Play Jenny Sundén 6. A Feel of Play Jenny Sundén 7. Coming Home and Coming Out Jenny Sundén 8. A Queer Eye on Transgressive Play Jenny Sundén Closing Chapter: Writing a Twin Ethnography Malin Sveningsson and Jenny Sundén

About the Authors

Jenny Sundén is Associate Professor in the Department of Media Technology at the School of Computer Science and Communication, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. Malin Sveningsson is Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies at Karlstad University.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality

Routledge contact:

Emily Briggs  [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies