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Free Content World of Maskcraft vs. World of Queercraft? Communication, sex and gender in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft

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This article examines the construction, representation and commingling of gender identity in the online role-playing game (RPG) World of Warcraft. I show how players on German-speaking non-RPG servers blend gender by using linguistic markers of gender (like specific articles and suffixes) in an interchangeable way. Subsequent to this analysis, possible consequences for the online world as an opposition to offline reality and as a space for negotiation of gender identity are discussed. Focusing on different modes of communication while playing, I develop a more differentiated view on communication, sex and gender in online communities a view that goes beyond an assumption of simplistic, one-dimensional gender bending.
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Keywords: MMORPG; World of Warcraft; avatar; chat; communication; gender

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Albert-Ludwigs-Universitt Freiburg (Germany).

Publication date: 01 May 2009

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  • The Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds focuses on theoretical and applied, empirical, critical, rhetorical, creative, economic and professional approaches to the study of electronic games across platforms and genres as well as ludic and serious online environments.
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