Gender dynamics and the social and spatial organization of computer gaming

Jo Bryce, Jason Rutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing popularity of computer gaming and its associated technologies are evidence of the increasing convergence of new technology and leisure practice. The size and popularity of the games industry stands out in contrast to the relative lack of understanding of computer gaming as a serious leisure activity. Previous research on computer gaming has tended to focus on the negative aspects of gaming such as aggression, addiction, and social isolation, rather than viewing it as an activity which forms an important part of many peoples' leisure lifestyles. This paper examines the relationship between gender and the social and spatial organization of computer gaming. The concept of leisure constraints and resistance are utilised to examine the extent to which technologically-mediated leisure activities, such as computer gaming, are part of wider changes in female access to private and public leisure spaces. Computer gaming is still perceived as a highly gendered activity which has the potential to reinforce traditional conceptualizations of masculinity, femininity and associated leisure activities. However, the popularity of domestic and online gaming among females, and the development of female gaming clans, highlights that leisure activities and spaces are becoming less gendered, and can provide sites for resistance to societal notions of the gender appropriateness of leisure activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


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