gender and computer games literature

Since starting this list many many years ago the area of gender & games research has boomed. This list is no longer updated and is by far not complete. It is meant to provide some starter theory background, a few classics on gender & tech (of different perspectives), and a handful of early works on gender & gaming for those with a starting interest in the domain.

From there, flex your lit search skills and please make sure you read some of the fantastic work that’s been done on the subject in the last several years!


Bornstein, Kate. Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, New York: Random House, 1995.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. New York: Routledge, 1990.

Connell, R. W. Masculinities. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1995.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. “Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color,” Stanford Law Review, 43:6, pp 1241-1299.

Halberstam, Judith. Female Masculinity, Durham: Duke, 1998.

hooks, bell. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Boston: South End Press, 1984.

Jordan-Zachery, Julia. “Am I a Black Woman or a Woman Who is Black? A Few Thoughts on the Meaning of Intersectionality,” Politics & Gender, 3(2), 2007.

Kerber, Greeno, Maccoby, Luria, Stack, and Gilligan. “On ‘In a Different Voice’: An interdisciplinary forum,” Signs: Journal of Women and Culture, v.11, n.21, 1986.

Kimmel, Michael. Manhood in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Lorber, Judith and S.A. Farrell (eds.), The Social Construction of Gender, London: Sage, 1991.

Pascoe, C.J. Dude You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Segal, Lynne. Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities Changing Men, New Jersey: Rutgers, 1990.

Wearing, Betsy. Leisure and Feminist Theory, London: Sage, 1998.

Critiquing “Scientific Difference”

Anderson, Elizabeth. “Feminist epistemology and philosophy of science,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2004 Edition), E. N. Zalta (ed.).

Bleier, Ruth. “Theories of human origins and cultural evolution: Man the hunter,” from Science and Gender: A Critique of Biology and Its Theories on Women, New York: Pergamon Press, 1984.

Bleier, Ruth. “Sex differences research: Science or belief?” from Feminist Approaches to Science, R. Bleier (ed.), New York: Pergamon Press, 1986.

Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Myths of Gender, New York: Basic Books, 1985

Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Sexing the Body:Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality, New York: Basic Books, 2000

Hyde, Janet Shibley. “The gender similarities hypothesis,” American Psychologist, 60:6, pp 581-592, 2005.

Laqueur, Thomas. Making Sex: Body and Gender From the Greeks to Freud, Cambridge: Harvard, 1990.

Longino, Helen E. “Research on sex differences,” from Science as Social Knowledge: Values and Objectivity in Scientific Inquiry, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Tarvis, Carol. The Mismeasure of Woman, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992

Valian, Virginia. Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999.

Zihlman, Adrienne. “The Paleolithic glass ceiling: Women in human evolution,” in Women in Human Evolution, L.D. Hager (ed.), London: Routledge, 1997.

Sports & Tech

Bolin, Anne and Jane Granskog (eds.). Athletic Intruders, Albany: SUNY, 2003.

Cahn, Susan. Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women’s Sport. Cambridge: Harvard, 1994.

Haraway, Donna. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, New York: Routledge, 1991.

Kay, Tess. “Sport and gender” in Sport & Society, B. Houlihan (ed.), London: Sage, 2003.

Kiesler, Sara; Sproull, Lee; and Eccles, Jacquelynne. “Pool halls, chips, and war games: Women in the culture of computer,” Psychology of Women Quarterly, 9, 1993.

Messner, Michael. Power at Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity. Boston: Beacon Press. 1992.

Turkle, Sherry. “Computational reticence: Why women fear the intimate machine” in Technology and Women’s Voices: Keeping in Touch, C. Kramarae (ed.), New York: Pergamon Press, 1988.

Wajcman, Judy. Feminism Confronts Technology, University Park: Penn State Press, 1991.

Young, Iris. “Throwing like a girl” from Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.

Gender and Computer Games

Bryce, Jo and Jason Rutter. “Killing like a girl: Gendered gaming and girl gamers visibility” in CGDC Conference Proceedings, F. Mayra (ed.), Tampere: Tampere University Press, 2002.

Carr, Diane. “Contexts, pleasures and preferences: Girls playing computer games,” DiGRA Conference, 2005.

Carr, Diane. “Games and gender” in Computer Games: Text, Narrative and Play, Carr, Buckingham, Burn, Schott (eds.) Cambridge: Polity, 2006.

Cassell, Justine and Henry Jenkins (eds.). From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1998.

Chess, Shira. “A 36-24-36 cerebrum: Gendering videogame play through advertising,” Critical Studies in Media Communication, 28(3): 230-252, 2011.

Consalvo, Mia, S. M. Grimes, et al. “Digital games and gender: commentary and criticism,” Feminist Media Studies 7(1): 99-110, 2007

Dovey, Jon and Helen Kennedy. Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media, Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2006.

Flanagan, Mary. “Troubling ‘games for girls’: Notes from the edge of game gesign,” Proceedings from DiGRA 2005, 16-20 June, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2005.

Fron, J., Fullerton, T., Morie, J. & Pearce, C. (aka Ludica). “The hegemony of play.” In Situated Play: Proceedings of Digital Games Research Association 2007 Conference, Tokyo, Japan, 2007.

Fullerton, T., Morie, J. & Pearce, C. (aka Ludica). “A game of one’s own: Towards a new gendered poetics of digital space.” Digital Arts and Culture Conference, Perth, Australia, 2007.

Graner Ray, Sheri. Gender Inclusive Game Design: Expanding the Market. Hingham: Charles River Media, 2004.

Jenkins, Henry. “Complete freedom of movement: Videogames and gendered play spaces” in J. Cassell and H. Jenkins (eds.). From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1998.

Jenson, Jennifer and Suzanne de Castell. “Girls@Play: An ethnographic study of gender and digital gameplay,” Feminist Media Studies, 2 (11), 1-13, 2011.

Jenson, Jennifer and Suzanne de Castell. “Gender, simulation and gaming: Research review and redirections,” Simulation and Gaming, 41, 51-71, 2010.

Jenson, Jennifer and Suzanne de Castell. “Her own boss: Gender and the pursuit of incompetent play,” DiGRA Conference, 2005.

Kafai, Yasmin, Carrie Heeter, Jill Denner and Jennifer Y. Sun (eds.) Beyond Barbie® and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming. The MIT Press, 2008.

Kennedy, Helen. “Illegitimate, monstrous, and out there: Female Quake players and inappropriate pleasures” in Feminism in Popular Culture, Hallows & Mosley (eds.), London:Berg, 2005.

Kennedy, Helen. “Lara Croft: Feminist icon or cyberbimbo,” Game Studies, February 2002.

Kerr, Aphra. “Women just want to have fun: A study of adult female players of digital games” in Level Up Conference Proceedings, M. Copier & J. Raessens (eds.), Utrecht: Universiteit Utrect, 2003.

Krzywinksa, Tanya. “Demon girl power: Regimes of form and force in videogames Primal and Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Women in Games Conference, Dundee, 2005.

Laurel, Brenda. Utopian Entrepreneur, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2001.

Royse, P., J. Lee, et al. “Women and games: Technologies of the gendered self,” New Media and Society 9(4): 555-576, 2007.

Schott, Gareth and Siobhan Thomas. “The impact of Nintendo’s ‘For Men’ advertising campaign on a potential female market,” Eludamos, 2:1, 2008.

Schott, Gareth and Kirsty R. Horrell. “Girl gamers and their relationship with the gaming culture,” Convergence, v. 6, n.4, 36-53, 2000.

Sundén, Jenny and Malin Sveningsson. Passionate Play: Gender and Sexuality in Online Game Cultures. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Taylor, Nicholas T. 2009b. “Where the women are(n’t): Gender and a North American ‘pro-gaming’ scene.” In Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory: Proceedings of the 2009 Digital Games Research Association conference, eds. Barry Atkins, Helen Kennedy, and Tanya Krzywinska. London.

Taylor, T.L. Raising the Stakes: E-sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012.

Taylor, T.L.  “Becoming a player: Networks, structures, and imagined futures,” in Kafai, Yasmin, Carrie Heeter, Jill Denner and Jennifer Y. Sun (eds.) Beyond Barbie® and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008.

Taylor, T.L. Play Between Worlds. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.

Walkerdine, V. “Playing the game,” Feminist Media Studies 6(4): 519-537, 2006

Yates, Simeon J. and Karen Littleton. “Understanding computer game cultures: A situated approach,” Information, Communication, & Society, 2:4, 1999.