I’d like to have a house like that

Keywords | Nøgleord

#gender, #video games, #leisure, #uses and gratifications, #female gamers


Vosmeer, Miriam, Jeroen Jansz, og Liesbet van Zoonen. 2015. “I’d Like to Have a House Like That: Female Players of The Sims”. Academic Quarter | Akademisk Kvarter, nr. 11 (oktober):129-41. https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.v0i11.2757.

Abstract | Abstract

Jeroen Jansz holds the Chair of Communication and Media in the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He was co-founder of the Special Interest Group Game Studies in the International Communication Association and the Dutch chapter of the Digital Games Research Association.

Liesbet van Zoonen is professor of Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, dean of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities and holds a chair in Media and Communication at Loughborough University (UK).

This qualitative interview study explores the practices of adult female gamers who play the videogame The Sims, focusing on the motivations they have for playing and how playing a video game might influence their digital competence. We address the wider context of leisure and the household, investigating to what extent playing videogames has become domesticated in the daily life of the family. It is found that female gamers play The Sims because they enjoy the particular way it allows them to take control, fantasize, and be challenged. For some, it is clear that playing this video game has increased their digital skills. We notice that there is an interesting similarity between the pleasures of playing this videogame and more traditional ways of female media engagement such as reading women’s magazines or romance novels and watching soap operas. Our gamers similarly enjoy The Sims as leisurely moments for themselves, clearly and intentionally separated from domestic and family duties. We conclude that playing a videogame can be seen as a highly modern and liberating practice, as both playing in general and using ICT have traditionally not been a part of the female leisure domain.