June 17th, 2006

University of Illinois Studies Sexual Diversity Among Gamers

While many gamers chafe about stereotypes and the non-gaming public's perception of who we are and what we are all about, oddly enough there has been little serious study done concerning gamer demographics.

Jason Rockwood, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois hopes to change all that. Under the supervision of Professor Dmitri Williams (author of a game violence study often cited by the ESA), Rockwood has designed a survey which examines the sexual diversity of gamers and how sexual orientation affects their gaming tastes and concerns.

Rockwood provided insight about his project during an interview with GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen:

AE: Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to conduct this study?

JR: I'm interested in studying convergence: technological, economic, cultural, etc. The rate at which scientific innovations are occurring is accelerating, and I want to research how the human experience will change as a result. Though I am not a gamer myself, I became fascinated with video game culture when I realized the impact gaming has had (and will continue to have) on assimilating emerging technologies into society. Video gamers are the avant-garde, though I think they couldn't care less about that. Still, the media paint a very one-dimensional picture of video game culture, focusing on the heterosexual teenage male. My experience of gaming culture is that it is incredibly diverse and socially progressive. I designed this survey to attempt to quantify that diversity.
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