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Academic Paper

Title: The Grips of Fantasy: Female characters in computer games
Editor: Judith Baxter
Institution: University of Reading
Author: Isamar Coromoto Carrillo Masso
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Bangor University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Abstract: Videogames have become a huge success in contemporary pop culture, both as ludic devices and as narrative instruments. Because of their immense popularity they are also the didactic means in which a number of social constructs are spread and perpetuated. This is particularly true in the case of Diablo and World of Warcraft, two games produced by Blizzard Inc. This study uses a hybrid method to study both games as texts, combining Fairclough's (2003) approach to critical discourse analysis and Corpus Linguistics. The main Corpus was compiled by gathering texts about the characters in these two computer games, and their accompanying visual representations, from a) official Blizzard websites and b) user-edited websites and forums. Further data was gathered through the application of a questionnaire about male and female characters in these two games to 50 participants, and by playing each game and recording in-game interactions with non-playing characters and with other players. The linguistic data was examined using a concordancer, and then analysed following Fairclough's (2003) approach. The devised methodology makes a strong emphasis in the correlation of linguistic and visual data. Through this correlation and analysis it was determined that there is a strong discourse of gender difference operating within these two games.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress

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