Gender and identity in video games as a virtual learning environment

Matilda Johanna Ståhl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The design of video games encourages playfulness and exploration in an environment that revolves around problem solving. The development of these traits and the learning potential in virtual environments have caught the attention of educators (Gee & Hayes, 2010) [1]. Video games are a very common motivator in learning how to use new technology; skills the students will have great use of in the future. Although since gaming is considered unfeminine, many girls tend to give up gaming as teenagers and they thereby miss the opportunity to learn how to use new technologies as well as developing their skills in problem solving (Gee, 2007) [2]. Video games and other virtual learning environments can also be considered as alternative realities where the gamer can become whoever he or she wants. Juul (2009) [3] argues that the gamer's identity is highly characterized by his or her attitude towards gaming and whether he or she is inclined to identify as a gamer. Gee (2007) notes the relevance of the identity perspective in regard to learning through video games. According to him, the gamer identity consists of three different identities that together form an entirety: the virtual identity, the real life identity and the projective identity where Gee plays with the word project and its two meanings. On the one hand there is a gamer projecting his or her values and desires onto the virtual character. On the other hand, the character can be considered a project where the gamer within the limits of the game creates a personality for their character [2]. In other words, the girls who give up gaming also miss out on the possibility to explore their own identities as well. During eLSE I wish to give a presentation based on my master's thesis on how video games, even commercial ones, can be considered learning environments and how this point of view will evolve in my doctoral thesis.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationeLSE 2016 : eLearning Vision 2020!
EditorsIon Roceanu
Publisher“CAROL I” National Defence University Publishing House
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Scientific Conference eLSE - 12th International Scientific Conference eLSE "eLearning and Software for Education"
Duration: 21 Apr 201622 Apr 2016


ConferenceInternational Scientific Conference eLSE


  • video games
  • virtual environments

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