Studies of women’s use of popular media have highlighted how these contested genres may be used by women to create a space of their own. Is this also the case when the media text in question is a digital game and the community around it moves online? Investigated via a netnographic approach, this article analyses the articulated experiences of playing The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 in relation to how the players perceive the activity’s function in their everyday lives. Seven emic categories are identified and discussed in the inductive analysis, namely “relaxation and dealing with stress,” “playing according to mood,” “managing and taking control,” “experimentation,” “get what one does not have,” “making something one’s own,” and “creative outlet.” A central denominator of these seven categories is the notion of a space of one’s own in the widest sense of the phrase. In the discussed accounts playing becomes a way not only to escape other obligations for a while but also in various ways to work with the self and its place in everyday life.
Feminist Media Studies, 2014, Vol 14, Issue 5, p. 727-742
popular media; digital games; gender; everyday life; leisure