My Momma Shoots Better Than You: Who is the Female Gamer?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This paper is a component of a three-year empirical study of gaming moms undertaken with the aim to modulate the conventional constructions of gamer identities and examine the contested status of gaming in everyday life. It presents samples of mothers in gaming discourse – from TV, Music-video, forums, and ads. Mothers have been largely invisible in popular gaming discourse or formulaically portrayed as unsympathetic to/ policing the gaming habits of other family members. Now, gaming companies increasingly target women and families, female gamers exceed 40 % of players (US and Sweden), and console gaming is displacing TV-watching as the core living-room activity. The Boy-nerd-in-the-Bedroom is, at least statistically, being dispelled and complemented by the Girl-into-Gaming. Still, a tenacious nineteenth-century icon lingers: the Angel-in-the-House. Mothers today do more than bring Hot Pockets to gaming kids (South Park WoW-Episode) or serve as the implied inferior player populating taunts like “My Momma shoots better than you” (Q3A). Mothers game too. The paper uses feminist critical theory (de Lauretis) to illustrate the situation of the female gamer as oscillating between the fixed sign of “Woman” and the dynamic experiences of “women”. It acknowledges and elucidates both the power and consequences of representation and personal experience in meaning-making processes, to which the growing cultural discourse and practice of gaming belong.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ethnology


  • female gamers, feminist theory, gaming discourse, gaming moms, Gender, Mothers, popular culture, Women, representation, discourse analysis
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - the [player] conference
EditorsOlli Leino, Sara Mosberg Iversen, Gordon Calleja
PublisherIT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen
ISBN (Print)978-87-7949-182-3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch

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