Confronting Gender Representation: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences and Motivations of Female Casual-Gamers


  • Mark Griffiths Nottingham Trent University
  • Andrea Lewis Nottingham Trent University


Women are playing video games in ever increasing numbers. However, the empirical literature has consistently shown that males play video games more frequently than females, that males play for longer periods, and that both genders are equally likely to view game playing as a masculine pursuit. As a consequence, a study was carried out to examine salient themes in the experiences and motivations of females who frequently play ‘casual’ video games. The participants comprised 16 adult female casual-gamers who completed two self-report online interviews (at the beginning and at the end of the study) and participated in an online blog/diary and discussion forum over a four-week period. The data were analysed for salient themes using Thematic Analysis. Results showed areas that were important to female casual-gamers included knowledge peripheral to games, domestic commitments and personal priorities influenced by gaming, and the social, financial, and emotional investment of games. By exploring the prominent themes underlying women’s motivations to play casual games, the results provided potential new research directions for future research on women gamers from positively gendered perspectives.