Feminist geographies of online gaming

Elsevier, Digital Geography and Society, Volume 2, January 2021
Woods O.

This paper identifies opportunities and pathways through which feminist digital geographies can expand into the realm of online gaming. Whilst research at the nexus of gender and online gaming has come a long way in the past two decades, geographical perspectives are noticeably lacking. They can contribute to the discourse by emphasising the contingent nature of online gamespaces, and how a gendered subject position might be redefined through, and help to redefine, the (in)distinctions between “online” and “offline”, “gaming” and “non-gaming” spaces. I identify four directions in which feminist geographies of online gaming can unfold: aesthetic-affective spaces of the “virtually real”, relationality through and beyond the avatar, labours of play and the purpose of leisure, and non-gaming spaces and the gaming of space. These directions foreground an exploration of gender within/and online gaming that is ontologically open, spatially fluid and replete with epistemological potential.