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Challenging notions of gendered game play: teenagers playing `The Sims`
journal contributionposted on 2005-09-01, 00:00 authored by Catherine BeavisCatherine Beavis, Claire CharlesClaire Charles
This paper challenges notions of gendered game playing practice implicit in much research into young women's involvement with the computer gaming culture. It draws on a study of Australian teenagers playing The Sims Deluxe as part of an English curriculum unit and insights from feminist media studies to explore relationships between gender and game playing practices. Departing from a reliance on predetermined notions of “gender”, “domestic space”, and “successful game play”, it conceptualizes The Sims as a game in which the boundaries between gender and domestic space are disturbed. It argues that observing students' constructions of gender and domestic space through the act of game play itself provides a more productive insight into the gendered dimensions of game play for educators wishing to work computer games such as The Sims into curriculum development.