‘You game like a girl’: Perceptions of gender and competence in gaming

Danielle Kelly, Brona Nic Giolla Easpaig, Paola Castillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While there is an abundance of research concerning the gendered dimensions of video gaming and online communities, there is a limited focus on gameplay competence. This study examined the relationship between sexism and gendered perceptions of competence in gaming. Three hundred and 85 participants volunteered to take part. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three gendered conditions (female, male or neutral). Participants watched two video game clips within each condition (novice and expert playthroughs). Participants rated the competence and warmth of the players, estimated the number of errors made and completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory. The findings indicated that female and neutral clips were perceived as less competent than male clips in both skill levels. This difference was more pronounced in the expert level. Warmth ratings varied significantly across conditions. Hostile sexism predicted lower perceptions of warmth. The study demonstrates the need for inclusive and safe online gaming environments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGames and Culture
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


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