Do you Identify as a Gamer? Gender, race, Sexuality, and Gamer Identity

Shaw, Adrienne
New Media & Society

The demand for minority representation in video games often focuses on proving that members of marginalized groups are gamers. In turn, it is asserted that the gaming industry should focus on appealing to these players via targeted content. Being targeted as a gamer, however, does not a gamer make. Identity as a gamer intersects with other identities like gender, race, and sexuality. Negative connotations about gaming lead people to not identify as gamers, and even to not play video games. This article concludes, based on interview data, that those invested in diversity in video games must focus their attention on the construction of the medium, and not the construction of the audience as such. This shift in academic attention is necessary to develop arguments for representation in games that do not rely on marking groups as specific kinds of gaming markets via identifiers like gender, race, and sexuality.