Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Anthropology and Sociology

First Advisor

Dana Fennell

Advisor Department

Anthropology and Sociology


Existing literature has long been divided over whether the gaming world fosters violence and misogyny or provides a space for people to explore diverse identities. Not enough is known about how women experience videogames, especially the hypermasculine environment of first-person shooter (FPS) games. Competition, violence, and war, are dominant features of these games. The following thesis explores what harassment and discrimination women playing FPS games face, how they respond, and in what ways they find games to be empowering. A survey was distributed online to an international sample of 141 female FPS gamers. This research finds that women who play FPS games often feel empowered by playing (79.4%), even though a majority also experience forms of verbal harassment or discrimination (75.9%).


Honors College Award: Excellence in Research