"Jeg hadde forventet en skranglete type, men dere ser helt vanlige ut". Norske kvinnelige spillutvikleres opplevelser i en mannsdominert bransje
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The focus of this paper is how Norwegian female game-developers experience working in a male-dominated industry. Through qualitative interviews with Norwegian female game developers I wish to get an insight in the culture they work in. How do they experience working in a culture that traditionally, and still to a certain degree, exclude women?
Gaming as an activity is strongly linked to the male-sphere, despite the fact that about half of all gamers are female. Games have classically been marketed towards men, and this has reinforced the notion that games are for men. Today around 22% of game developer’s world vide are female. Also in Norway about 1/5 of game developers are women, despite the fact that Norway as a country has prioritized gender equality policy, that might have led to an increased percentage of female developers.
Does gender affect how these women are received and perceived in the industry? Does the industry provide space and facilitating for the women to gain ownership towards the industry they are a part of? As a theoretical framework, I have used gender theory with emphasis on Judith Butler’s theory of performativity. Her theory assumes that gender is socially constructed, which both shapes and is shaped by the society they are a part of. The constructions are created through language, and is reinforced through action. These constructions affect our perception of how things are gendered. I also use Michel Foucault’s theory of power to explain the male hegemony with games and gaming industry. I use labor-theory to shed light on gender-minority challenges in professions in general and in the gaming industry. The paper also looks at what might happen if female developers get a bigger influence in the producing and developing games.