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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262032582 | 380 pp. | 7.1 x 8.9 in | October 1998
 
Paperback | $32.95 Trade | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780262531689 | 380 pp. | 7.1 x 8.9 in | February 2000
 

From Barbie® to Mortal Kombat

Gender and Computer Games

Overview

Many parents worry about the influence of video games on their children's lives. The game console may help to prepare children for participation in the digital world, but at the same time it socializes boys into misogyny and excludes girls from all but the most objectified positions. The new "girls' games" movement has addressed these concerns. Although many people associate video games mainly with boys, the girls games' movement has emerged from an unusual alliance between feminist activists (who want to change the "gendering" of digital technology) and industry leaders (who want to create a girls' market for their games).

The contributors to From Barbie® to Mortal Kombat explore how assumptions about gender, games, and technology shape the design, development, and marketing of games as industry seeks to build the girl market. They describe and analyze the games currently on the market and propose tactical approaches for avoiding the stereotypes that dominate most toy store aisles. The lively mix of perspectives and voices includes those of media and technology scholars, educators, psychologists, developers of today's leading games, industry insiders, and girl gamers.

Contributors: Aurora, Dorothy Bennett, Stephanie Bergman, Cornelia Brunner, Mary Bryson, Lee McEnany Caraher, Justine Cassell, Suzanne de Castell, Nikki Douglas, Theresa Duncan, Monica Gesue, Michelle Goulet, Patricia Greenfield, Margaret Honey, Henry Jenkins, Cal Jones, Yasmin Kafai, Heather Kelley, Marsha Kinder, Brenda Laurel, Nancie Martin, Aliza Sherman, Kaveri Subrahmanyam.

About the Editor

Henry Jenkins is Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. He is the coeditor of From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (MIT Press, 1998).

Endorsements

“[A]n imaginative, original, and complex volume that crystallizes feminist dilemmas regarding the origin and persistence of gender roles.... Ultimately this book—pluralistic, experiential, and collaborative—inspires us to search for games that give voice to participants' exploratory and even competitive desires while enabling them to build identities based on the emotional nuances of real life.”
Sandra Hackman, Women's Review of Books