Gender, electrodermal activity, and videogames: Adding a psychophysiological dimension to sociolinguistic methods

Norma C Mendoza-Denton, Scarlett Eisenhauer, Wesley Wilson, Cory Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

User experience research on the affective dimensions of videogame players’ interactions has looked to psychophysiological measures as proxies for emotional states. We add to the growing body of literature on this topic and offer our research as a novel application to the methodological toolbox of sociolinguistics. We present a case study of an interaction occurring in a mixed-gender group (3m/1f) playing a video game that has a potentially sexualized component in gameplay, using a Nintendo Wii-mote joystick as a mimetic penis in the game Mario Party 8. Through a detailed analysis of (1) gameplay interaction, including talk, laughter and gesture, (2) participants’ electrodermal activity (EDA), and (3) a post-game debriefing, we track the varied engagements of the players in-game and with each other, showing how the design of the game itself and the entanglement of hardware and software design with gendered gameplay serve to marginalize and exclude the female participant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-575
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • electrodermal activity
  • embodiment
  • entanglement
  • gender
  • Laughter
  • videogames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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