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Coming out of the Gaming Closet : Engaged Cultural Analysis and the Life-Line as Interview Method and Consciousness-Raiser

Enevold, Jessica LU and Hagström, Charlotte LU (2017) In Cultural Analysis 16(2). p.20-44
Abstract
This article accounts for and problematizes the process and development with the research tool and method, “the Life-Line”, which we used in our project Gaming Moms. Juggling Time, Play and Everyday Life (Enevold & Hagström 2008a) to involve our informants in the production, outcome and consumption of research beyond merely being respondents to interview-questions. We propose to call the collaborative ethnography which resulted from this work “engaged cultural analysis”. The Life-Line was one out of several methods employed in the study, conducted between 2008 and 2012. It combined Feminist Cultural Analysis with Scandinavian Ethnology and Game Studies to study how gaming restructured human lives and roles, and how roles and lives... (More)
This article accounts for and problematizes the process and development with the research tool and method, “the Life-Line”, which we used in our project Gaming Moms. Juggling Time, Play and Everyday Life (Enevold & Hagström 2008a) to involve our informants in the production, outcome and consumption of research beyond merely being respondents to interview-questions. We propose to call the collaborative ethnography which resulted from this work “engaged cultural analysis”. The Life-Line was one out of several methods employed in the study, conducted between 2008 and 2012. It combined Feminist Cultural Analysis with Scandinavian Ethnology and Game Studies to study how gaming restructured human lives and roles, and how roles and lives were restructured according to gaming, in everyday family life. We show here, how we used the Life-Line to reconstruct the “gaming lives” of a selection of informants, to illustrate the interweaving of gaming mothers’ everyday work, play, and family life. We focused on the everyday digital playing practices of adult female gamers, because digital gaming is traditionally a highly-gendered leisure practice, dominated by male-identified gamers. By studying non-traditional gamers, “gaming moms”, the project aimed to nuance the common stereotype of the young male gamer in his bedroom and the stereotyped (non-gaming, often policing) mother, and take a measure of gender equality as regards play, work and time, in everyday life. This article, however, focuses on one of the methods used – the Life-Line. While we discuss the difficulties encountered and the remedial modifications made to our method, we also explain how this process was integral to the female players, who came out of the gaming closet to collaborate with us, realizing that they too are gamers. This newfound awareness was a significant goal of the project, and essential for the research to be engaged, an engaged cultural analysis; it enabled us to participate in creating a more equal game-cultural landscape accessible to players of all ages and genders. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Life-Line, Engaged Cultural Analysis, interviews, game studies, ethnology, collaborative ethnography, mothers, feminist methods, Method development, gender, gamer identities, qualitative research, Feminist Theory
in
Cultural Analysis
volume
16
issue
2
pages
20 - 44
publisher
University of California
ISSN
1537-7873
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
e864fb47-324f-4fad-bf47-489fcf72c5a3
alternative location
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~culturalanalysis/volume16_2/pdf/Enevold_Hagstrom.pdf
date added to LUP
2018-10-11 12:38:58
date last changed
2019-02-15 13:08:48
@article{e864fb47-324f-4fad-bf47-489fcf72c5a3,
  abstract     = {This article accounts for and problematizes the process and development with the research tool and method, “the Life-Line”, which we used in our project Gaming Moms. Juggling Time, Play and Everyday Life (Enevold & Hagström 2008a) to involve our informants in the production, outcome and consumption of research beyond merely being respondents to interview-questions.  We propose to call the collaborative ethnography which resulted from this work “engaged cultural analysis”. The Life-Line was one out of several methods employed in the study, conducted between 2008 and 2012. It combined Feminist Cultural Analysis with Scandinavian Ethnology and Game Studies to study how gaming restructured human lives and roles, and how roles and lives were restructured according to gaming, in everyday family life. We show here, how we used the Life-Line to reconstruct the “gaming lives” of a selection of informants, to illustrate the interweaving of gaming mothers’ everyday work, play, and family life. We focused on the everyday digital playing practices of adult female gamers, because digital gaming is traditionally a highly-gendered leisure practice, dominated by male-identified gamers. By studying non-traditional gamers, “gaming moms”, the project aimed to nuance the common stereotype of the young male gamer in his bedroom and the stereotyped (non-gaming, often policing) mother, and take a measure of gender equality as regards play, work and time, in everyday life. This article, however, focuses on one of the methods used – the Life-Line. While we discuss the difficulties encountered and the remedial modifications made to our method, we also explain how this process was integral to the female players, who came out of the gaming closet to collaborate with us, realizing that they too are gamers. This newfound awareness was a significant goal of the project, and essential for the research to be engaged, an engaged cultural analysis; it enabled us to participate in creating a more equal game-cultural landscape accessible to players of all ages and genders.},
  author       = {Enevold, Jessica and Hagström, Charlotte},
  issn         = {1537-7873},
  keyword      = {Life-Line,Engaged Cultural Analysis,interviews,game studies,ethnology,collaborative ethnography,mothers,feminist methods,Method development,gender,gamer identities,qualitative research,Feminist Theory},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {20--44},
  publisher    = {University of California},
  series       = {Cultural Analysis},
  title        = {Coming out of the Gaming Closet : Engaged Cultural Analysis and the Life-Line as Interview Method and Consciousness-Raiser},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2017},
}