New Research: A collaboration between UK and Spain team members analyzes the participation of Women in Gaming

Throughout the years, video games have been considered a masculine interest. However, through INVENT, the UK survey found no gender differences in responses to the question regarding the belonging of video games to the definition of “culture” (10% of men and 10% women replied “yes” to this question).

In a new collaboration between Neta Yodovich (from our UK team) and Jinju Kin (Spanish team), a new paper has been recently published. Much like INVENT, the article takes a bottom-up approach as it investigates how YouTube viewers perceive women who engage with video games. This paper applies a sentiment and thematic analyses of YouTube comments they scraped with R.

The paper scrutinizes the feminization of backseat gaming by examining the successful YouTube gaming reviews channel, Girlfriend Reviews. This channel, which provides the perspective of a male gamer’s girlfriend, offers a compelling case study to explore the ways in which women can access the gaming community. Through sentiment and thematic analysis of 76,142 comments through data mining techniques with the R program, the paper explores how viewers engage with the channel and why they support or condone it. Yodovich and Kim argue that viewers gravitate toward the channel for three significant reasons: (1) the girlfriend being a supportive backseat gamer, (2) who holds no prior knowledge on gaming, and (3) does not engage with feminist discourse. They argue that the position of “the girlfriend”/“backseat gamer” provides women an alternative pathway into the gaming community. However, moments of pushback demonstrate the fragility of this role in a presumed male-dominated community.

To read the full paper, click the following link:

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