Gaming Moms is the project and contact site of our research venture called, yes that is right: “Gaming Moms”! Primarily, we investigate the everyday playing experiences of gaming mothers. Below, you will find a longer description of our research project.
Currently we are recruiting participants – if you are a mother who plays games and would not mind being interviewed, filling out a questionnaire, or quite simply, writing us a letter telling us about your experiences – then please get in touch with us!
As console gaming increasingly is displacing TV-watching as the core living-room activity, and more and more people, young and old, devote more and more time and money to playing video games, it becomes vital to understand the role gaming plays in family life.
The main goal is to examine family life through the lens of gaming in families where the mother is an avid gamer. Thus, we also look at gaming through the lens of the mother. Until now, the focus on female gamers has been limited to teenagers and young, unattached women but since gaming is an activity for all ages, a missing key to understanding the role of gaming in family life is to look at gaming mothers. This is important because female gamers with families are often playing in a distinct situation that involves intertwined normative gendered ideas of work, family roles, and leisure, time and place constraints. Games, due to their traditional definition as objects of personal time-consuming pleasures may cause direct or indirect conflict with other everyday activities. This conflict is usually associated with children’s high consumption of computer games. But, what happens in the families where mom is a gamer? Gaming moms are mothers who do not stereotypically support or deny the gaming of the rest of the family, but moms who are active and enthusiastic gamers themselves. How is this role negotiated and contested? How does gaming influence, change and organize adult women’s and their families’ everyday life? And how do women organize their gaming/life?
Gaming mothers have largely been invisible in popular discourse, or formulaic ally portrayed as either unsympathetic to, or policing, the gaming habits of other family members. By calling attention to gaming moms, we wish to modulate the stereotypes of gamers and the stereotypical construction of gamer identities; games are not just for adolescent males and children, and women don’t just play casual games.
The phenomenon of mothers who play has not previously been examined. Turning our interest to mothers and the much debated activity of gaming, we tap into the area of gender roles, family time management and issues of equality and examine the elsewhere contested status of gaming in the family of the gaming mom.