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Title: A conceptual framework for supporting gender inclusivity in games
Author: Ibrahim, Roziana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 9791
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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Gender inclusivity in games is still exploratory and despite an increase in games and gender research, many challenges remain in designing a more gender-inclusive game. This thesis addresses the problem of how to support gender-inclusivity in games by incorporating theories in games and gender. Existing research in games and gender tend to focus on finding out how each gender plays and their preferences in games. However, there is little evidence that researchers have approached the issue of gender inclusivity in games with the intent of building a cohesive understanding of gender inclusivity in games and the relationships that exist between the different dimensions and components. Consequently, the aim of this research is to develop a conceptual framework that can support gender inclusivity in games. A central contribution of this research is the development of a Gender Inclusivity Framework (GIF) to support an integrative approach to understanding and evaluating gender inclusivity in games. The proposed framework aimed to understand the makeup of gender-inclusivity in games and measure the level of gender-inclusiveness in games. Drawing upon established theories and prior research findings, the proposed framework suggests that gender inclusivity in games can be determined by 3 dimensions: (1) gameplay, which relates to game behaviours; (2) content, which relates to aesthetics elements of a game and; (3) genre, which relates to types of games. Each dimension in the framework is divided into individual components that can be modified or further investigated in future studies. Each component in combination describes the dimension in terms that can be measured and evaluated in empirical studies. Hence, the combination of dimensions and components used to construct the framework provide the description of gender-inclusivity in games, which in turn is expected to predict the degree of gender-inclusiveness in games. An example of GIF application was demonstrated through the development of a novel measuring instrument called Gender Inclusivity Rating Scale (GIRS) and through a series of experiments, the measuring instrument was validated and used in a research scenario to investigate the differences in gender inclusivity in games’ components between a gamer’s gender role orientations. This thesis presents a detailed discussion of the GIF development, validation and application. For researchers, GIF provides a common framework in which to conceptualize their research and make it easier to see how individual variables fit into the larger picture. For game designers, GIF enables deconstruction of the concept of gender inclusivity in games into smaller, conceptually distinct and manageable component to guide the design of gender inclusivity in games.
Supervisor: Wills, Gary ; Gilbert, Lester Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; HM Sociology