HOW WE ARE (NOT)COPING UNDER THE NEW GAMING PUBLIC: AN EXISTENTIAL-MATERIALIST ETHNOGRAPHY OF LIFEWORLDS WITHIN (AND AGAINST) GAMER HEGEMONY
Keywords:feminist game studies, ethnography, existential-materialism, lifeworlds, (not)coping
This paper argues that existential-materialism is a useful generative tool for feminist games, media, internet, and cultural researchers to investigate how people cope (or do not cope) with the hegemony of the new gaming public as it crucially apprehends the medium of videogames as part of people’s lifeworlds embedded in materiality rather than separate from everyday life. Contributing to the emerging field of Feminist Game Studies, this research seeks to intervene into the hegemonic culture fostered and maintained by the ‘new gaming public’ which has become tied to the persistent imaginary of ‘Gamers’ as predominantly young males. Using qualitative mixed-methods to gather empirical data through fieldwork, surveys, and semi-structured interviews, this research presents a sociological examination of everyday struggles within (and against) hegemonic systems of oppression, reporting on how people are coping (or not coping) with exacerbated forms of sexism, racism, and homophobia pervasive across their digitally entangled and materially embedded lifeworlds. In the discipline of Game Studies, the methods of investigation are frequently configured around the study of play, players, or the creation of play; however, we must take greater stock of people’s lifeworlds, including non-players, non-play relationship dynamics, and non-play centric spaces in our intersubjective relations to videogames and beyond the hegemonic new gaming public.