Júlia Vilasís-Pamos & Fernanda Pires de Sá

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

The article presents a part of the results of a research project on the ways teens articulate the construction of gamer identity through their day-to-day interaction with their colleagues at schools, their gender, and socioeconomic positions. This article presents a map of gamer categories that were identified in their discourses.

This research was conducted in Barcelona, Spain, a socially stratified city with complex neighborhoods (Blanco & Nel, 2018). Four focus groups in two schools with different sociodemographic characteristics were carried out with teens with 12 to 16 years. Besides, semi-structured interviews were also implemented.

Based on the obtained data, the study provides new gamer categories: “professional-gamer”, “celebrity-platform-gamer”, “poser-gamer”, “escapist-gamer”, and “ashamed-gamer”. These categories demonstrate that certain male game practices become explicit; while females remain more silenced. Moreover, sociodemographic characteristics further complexify inequalities, resulting in the struggle against normative models of femininity and masculinity. Also, it shows how teens struggle against heteronormative values associated with the game industry, and the moral panic usually spread by the media. This phenomenon was identified by the research team and called videogameism – a stereotyped negative vision of video game effects that teens experience with their parents, especially in disadvantaged collectives.

Júlia Vilasís-Pamos is a Ph.D.Candidate at the Communication Department and a member of the MEDIUM research group at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Her research is focused on game studies, gender and gaming culture, social class, popular culture, and youth studies.

Fernanda Pires de Sá has a postdoctoral “Juan de la Cierva” fellowship at the Department of Communication of Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. She holds a PhD in Information and Knowledge Society at the Open University of Catalonia. Her main research interests include varied subjects such as co-viewing, social practices, popular culture, sexuality and digital materialities.