Lucas and Sherry, Sex Differences in Video Game Play

Lucas and Sherry, Sex Differences in Video Game Play -...

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http://crx.sagepub.com Communication Research DOI: 10.1177/0093650204267930 2004; 31; 499 Communication Research Kristen Lucas and John L. Sherry Sex Differences in Video Game Play:: A Communication-Based Explanation http://crx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/31/5/499 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: Communication Research Additional services and information for http://crx.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://crx.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://crx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/31/5/499 Citations at CORNELL UNIV LIBRARY on January 2, 2009 http://crx.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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10.1177/0093650204267930 COMMUNICATION RESEARCH • October 2004 Lucas, Sherry • Sex Differences in Video Game Play KRISTEN LUCAS JOHN L. SHERRY Sex Differences in Video Game Play: A Communication-Based Explanation In this study, we examined gender differences in video game use by focusing on interpersonal needs for inclusion, affection, and control, as well as socially constructed perceptions of gendered game play. Results of a large-scale survey ( n = 534) of young adults’ reasons for video game use, preferred game genres, and amount of game play are reported. Female respondents report less fre- quent play, less motivation to play in social situations, and less orientation to game genres featuring competition and three-dimensional rotation. Implica- tions for game design are discussed. Keywords: video games; sex differences; FIRO; uses and gratifications Although there exists an understandable fascination with the relationship between violence and video games among scholars and the general public, video games do not produce only negative effects. Video games have been linked to several positive benefits such as acquisition of computer literacy (Greenfield et al., 1994; Greenfield & Cocking, 1996; Griffiths, 1991b), improvement of cognitive and attention skills (Green & Bavelier, 2003; Subrahmanyam & Greenfield, 1994), development of positive attitudes toward technology (Canada & Brusca, 1991), and entry into jobs in high-tech fields (Cassell & Jenkins, 1998; Margolis & Fisher, 2002). As such, children who do not have access to or interest in video games are believed to be at a dis- advantage compared to their peers who have exposure to video games (Cassell & Jenkins, 1998). One group that is of particular concern in regard to not reaping the benefits of video games is girls. Despite considerable debate regarding the effects of video games, one find- ing that has been stable throughout the past decades of research is that video 499 COMMUNICATION RESEARCH, Vol. 31 No. 5, October 2004 499-523 DOI: 10.1177/0093650204267930 © 2004 Sage Publications at CORNELL UNIV LIBRARY on January 2, 2009 http://crx.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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games are liked more and played more by males than by females (e.g., Griffiths, 1991b; Kaplan, 1983; Phillips, Rolls, Rouse, & Griffiths, 1995; Wright et al., 2001). This difference may be due partially to access. According to the annual Annenberg Public Policy Center survey on family media use,
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