Stereotyping of Digital Games
The article analyses the stereotyping characteristics of digital games. It presents research data obtained by the classical Glaser’s strategy version of the Grounded Theory. The results of the research demonstrate that digital games are not often perceived as a multidimensional phenomenon but, instead, they are understood through one or several properties of the game, i.e. through stereotyping.
The following dominant stereotypes applicable to digital games (Digital games are addictive; They reduce children’s creativity and skills; Girls do not play. Games are not a feminine thing; Digital games are no art; They promote aggressive behaviour; A game is a game. Science is science; When playing, people do not think; The goal is to make people addicted to the product) are analysed in terms of stereotype forming characteristics associated with digital games, in terms of stereotype formation stages, and in terms of maintaining, changing and denying stereotypes.
Feelings, emotions, initial experience influencing any new experiences, and social context are important factors of the stereotype formation process related to digital games. Stereotype formation stages described by other researchers are also characteristic of the stereotypes applicable to digital games. The stereotypes of digital games are maintained through: illusory correlation and assimilation, attributional and automatic processes and, also, by the fact that they often are self-fulfilling prophecies. The existing stereotypes on digital games are resistant but they can still be changed. The researchers have distinguished between the following stereotype change models: bookkeeping, conversion, subtyping, and exemplar-based model, which can also be seen in the stereotype change mechanisms related to digital games.
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