Video Games as Gendered Play Spaces

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330The Game Design Reader Saten and ZimmermanComplete Freedom of Movement: Video Games as Gendered Play SpacesHenry JenkinsContext This essay was written in the midst of a significant push to develop games for girls. I was returning from a trip to San Francisco to consult with Brenda Laurel who was then building up Purple Moon, which was developing friendship adventures- for girls. On the flight back, I found myself pondering the differences between my son’s play experiences and my own, as well as the differences in what Brenda had shown me, and the traditional games on the market. I scribbled down some notes and this essay was born. It was initially presented at MIT as part of the From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games conference and later was published in the book by that title, which I edited with Justine Cassell.The Player Experience Game Economies Cultural RepresentationHenry Jenkins is the founding director of the Comparative Media Studies Program and the de Florez Professor of Humanities at MIT. He is one of the leaders of the Education Arcade, a joint MIT—University of Wisconsin effort to promote the pedagogical uses of computer and video games. He is the editor and author of a dozen books on various aspects of popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, From Barbie to Mortal Kom-bat: Gender and Computer Games, and Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Intersect.

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