Playing online game help reinforce gendered identities
A case studies in women playing Audition Online game in Vietnam
The apparent of “gendered space” in video gaming give the attention to both researcher and game makers, creating considerable and conflicting perspectives on its cause and strategies to address it. Before that, the gamer developers just concentrate to create the games for men and forgot that we have a big market segment is women. In many games, we can see most of characters are men and woman have unimportant role in these games. Despite game online began in Vietnam in 2000s, with growing numbers of games for both men and women, gaming continues to be a very “gendered practice”. Women play more online “casual” games such as The Sims. The same product like The Sims launched in 2006 created a big “echo” and has remained a position until now. The development of woman game is an indispensable rule when male market was not a fertile land. In this essay, the researcher will chose Audition Online to be a genre, and this research aim is analyzing internet users to finding how they (game players) reinforce their identities in the online world.
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The game is Audition Online 2 – Rhythm of life (Vietnamese: Nhá»‹p Äiá»‡u Cuá»™c Sá»‘ng), is a downloadable multiplayer online casualrhythm game (MMORGs), This game is the first online music in Vietnam with a play based on the control characters represent hip hop dance music on the popular music of Vietnam and the world is remade style dance music.
Gender and gendered space
It is the fact that the terminology within gender theory literature varies, it is important to define the terms used. It is first vital to establish the difference between gender and sex. According to Renzetti & Curran (2003), “a biological given, sex (i.e., maleness or femaleness) is used as the basis for constructing a social category that we call gender (i.e., man or woman).”; Gender socially generated attributes and behaviors, usually organized in a binary, dichotomously as masculinity and femininity (follow, Behrmann, 2011). “Gender”refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. To put it another way: “Male” and “female” are sex categories, while “masculine” and “feminine” are gender categories (WHO, 2014).
In the Anthropology of Apace and Place, Low and Lawrence-Zuniga (2003) offer us the following definition of gendered spaces – “particular locales that cultures invest with gendered meanings, sites in which sex-differentiated practices occur, or settings that are used strategically to inform identity and produce and reproduce asymmetrical gender relation of power and authority” (flow Adelman & Moraes, 2008, p. 107). Gendered space separate women from knowledge used by men to produce and reproduce and privilege. (Spain, 1992, p. 3)
This essay use documentary analysis method. The data is secondary data come from many resources, such as: books, book chapters, essays, interviews, discussions, newspaper headlines and articles, historical documents, speeches, conversations, advertising, theater, informal conversation, or really any occurrence of communicative language (Bowen, 2009). Robson (2002) pointed out the advantage is that documents are unobtrusive and can be used without imposing on participants; they can be checked and re-checked for reliability.
Audition is distinctive in its open-endless, offering players a majority variety of potential gaming character styles, Audition offered a particularly useful for exploring how gender how gender might have influenced the women’s orientations and practices within the games (information about the game, see http://au.vtc.vn)
The Figured World of Audition – Small society of Audition
Audition online allow players create and develop character by selecting attributes at beginning and throughout the game marking choices the dance style and fashion. The game officially begins with four locations: Discotheque (Broadcasting Station) where you compete with other players via the vibrant dance. Shop Shopping (Shopping Mall) where you buy music or, or choose costumes and other accessories idiosyncratic. Cafe (Cafe) – where you meet and get acquainted with the other partner through the chat system. Home (My Home) – where you practice, hone the spectacular dance moves, personalized avatars and the stage itself.
In certain respects, it is similar to Audition popular simulation game The Sims. The girl will certainly enjoyed his return home (My Home) after each show to open separate room or decorate the house according to your individual interests, and personalization stage and avatar. If you do not want to dance anymore, you can visit cafes to communicate, make friends with other members. When you have found the dancer having the same level, you will have more confidence to back new Discotheque where you can performances in double dance or dance group. Store (Shopping Mall) is not only a place for the girl love to shop but also a place for the boy proved dating level with the partner. There are two fields to choose from Music and Fashion. Music is the place where you can listen to and buy music for their own collections, while fashion is where the purchase of costumes for the characters. In addition to the usual items bought by Den (online money), you can buy some goods especially in Cash. You can rent (1 week, 1 month) or permanent purchase items with Cash. In addition, you can also gift (with the purchase of this item) to another player mode Gift box.
Players can choose the gender of the character, the physical elements like height, size breakdown, hair color, face, eye color. Players also choose outfits and design their own home. Players can shape their own kind of dance they participate by choosing halls and rooms of different competitions. Join in the dance room, depending on the type of dance class and you will receive experience points and Den (game currency), respectively.Experience point helps you level up to gain access to the level is higher, the higher challenges as well as adding new songs.Den help players improve accessories for character, create a difficult style of character.
Building new identity as newbie player
Some researchers have focused on the opportunities that video gaming provides for experimenting with new identities, identities that might challenge dominant conceptions of gender roles. The way that each woman oriented toward Audition as a gamer were clearly influenced by the ways that she had come to understand herself clearly and her identity in the past. In this section, I will discuss several aspects of their game experience: their initial creation of physical appearance, how the game seemed to encourage exploration of new identities within the games.
Graner (2004, follow Hayes, 2007) suggested three main factors about gender differences in gaming of women include: (1) woman want to achieve something socially significant and beneficial, (2) women want errors delete and to continue in the game, (3) women prefer observe model game play. Firstly, newbies showed quite different orientations to learning how to play the game, providing good examples of the diverse ways that new gamers might orient to game play (Hayes, 2007). While Audition is open-ended, it does have a series of quests that move the player central storyline, that of developing player identity as icon fashion and dancer. For some players, the success in the game will open a chance to famous in the real world. Many player joined Miss Audition competition, and become a “hot-girl”, famous singers, dancers, and actors. Some player learned the fashion trend and knowledge by seeing the new style in the online store, and adapting to building their real style in the real world. The women were more motivated by the significance of their own personal goals rather than by any particular goals offered by the game itself (Hayes, 2007). For example, Bao Thy is one of the most teenager singer develop her career from Audition. In 2006, Thy participated Miss Audition, the girl have nickname “Lona” to performed 2 song and dance copy from game, and won the crown.
Secondly, Audition is a relatively forgiving game; the players can save at any point and never death. For example, After many hours of game play with hip-hop style dance, the players can choose other dance room, and chose other avatar, other appearance when players did not like current status. Players may see this as a test, and can completely change his style, which creates a new identity for their characters. This test is the same as a process of learning and perfecting their style of play and his style. Players can spend so many times to experiment with different styles to choose a style that you really want.
Thirdly, it is very difficult to predict the preferences of new gamers. How a new gamer will approach learning to play a game will be reflective of her goals and self-confidence (Hayes, 2007). Of course, showed a variety of learning model, and not all games are as flexible. In addition, each player struggled with learning to navigate the game space, and their personal goals combined with the pressure of a course requirement contributed to their persistence.
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Playing like a girl? The meanings of gendered practices
Women have different interpretations of and responses to overtly gendered practices within video games, just as they do in the “real world.” Take as one example the assertion that women prefer games that allow them to develop cooperative social relationships, rather than games that feature violence as the main form of social ‘interaction’ (Goodale, 2004).
Audition offers somewhat unlimited opportunities for cooperative social relationships, concentrating in talking and sharing. In Audition Online game, the players were able to take very different approaches to developing their characters’ abilities, which also meant that they acquired quite different sorts of knowledge, skills and even real money related to the game. Players contact together and build social relationship within the game, which developed their character’s personality skills.
Players share the experience and skills to be able to earn points through which virtual money to buy clothes, houses. From here, creating a rivalry between the players, people have to spend money to buy things other people to assert their position in the game. However, there are still players only buy fashionable clothes based on the score they actually earn. Audition allows players to increase the persuasiveness of their character by outfitting them with attractive clothing. Player changed their clothes often, in response to different situations in the game. In addition, Audition has done a good job of connecting players through the model of “little family”. In particular, the function of Marriage and Childbirth in game helped improve friendship, love blossomed from the virtual world into the real world steps.
Enjoying “feminine” combat
Combat is typically used as an example of masculine practice commonly found in video games that women do not find appealing. In Audition, the “no blood” combat is equally fierce, women often expressed an initial desire to avoid fighting, woman players combat differently, in relation to their own past experience and goals. When it became apparent that fighting was unavoidable, at least for self-defense, they both improvised identities and practices that allowed them to engage in combat in ways that they found comfortable and rewarding (Hayes, 2007). Some player want to become famous fashion icon in games lead them to join in the race of buying fashion. They enjoyed competition, particularly to obtain leader role in dance room.
Adelman, M. and Moraes, F. A (2008). Breaking their way in: Women jockeys at the racetrack in Brazil. Advancing Gender Research from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries. Advances in Gender Research, Volume 12, p. 99-123.
Behrmann, Erika M., “Investigating Trait Attribution through Gendered Avatar Play: An Analysis of The Sims 3” (2011). Master’ s Theses and Doctoral Dissertations. Paper 372.
Debitage (2014). Gender and Sexuality. Debitage.net. Available from: http://debitage.net/humangeography/gender.html. [Accessed: 15th Nov 2014].
Goodale, G. (2004). Games women play. Christian Science Monitor. 2004, June 11, 2004. Available from: http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0611/p13s01-stin.h. [Accessed: 15th Nov 2014].
Hayes, E (2007). Gendered Identities at play: Case studies of two women playing Morrowind. Games and Culture Volume 2 Number 1, p. 1-26, 2007.
Spain, D. (1992). Gendered Space. The University of North Carolina Press. 1992.
WHO (2014). What do we mean by “sex” and “gender”? WHO 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/. [Accessed: 15th Nov 2014].
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