Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Virtual worlds are two- or three-dimensional spaces with multiple modalities in which users can engage in mediated interactions with other users. In virtual worlds, users have the freedom to craft and assume identities that are unburdened by offline biases based on gender, race, and other sociodemographic characteristics. How do men and women build collaborative and socio-emotional relationships in these worlds? Does gender influence social network dynamics online, consistent with offline gender norms? This chapter first offers an overview of gender disparities and social relationships in virtual worlds, followed by a review of the challenges and benefits of the current approaches to studying gender and virtual worlds. Then it provides an empirical research example, situated in the massively multiplayer online game EverQuest II (EQII), focusing on gender and networks of collaboration. It concludes by identifying a few limitations to current approaches and suggesting future directions with digital trace data.

Keywords: gender, virtual worlds, online games, social networks, digital trace data

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.