Abstract: The Sims is the best selling PC game of all time. It has regularly been stated that its success is partly due to its attraction to a much wider audience than the proverbial male adolescent, yet academic research on its player base is lacking. This article reports on the first ever explorative survey (N = 760) conducted among players of The Sims2. Our study combined social role theory with gender and games theorizing to enable us to understand gender differences in play. We focused on gender differences in motivation for playing The Sims2, employing uses and gratifications as our guiding theory. Our results revealed that most of our participants were indeed female. The significantly higher score of male players on the challenge motive was anticipated by social role theory, but their higher score on social interaction was unexpected. Accordingly, we discuss the implications of our results for uses and gratifications theory as well as the necessity to investigate actual practices of play in more detail.

gender, gender differences, motivation, uses and gratifications, video and computer games
dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461444809342267, hdl.handle.net/1765/22848
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
New Media & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Jansz, J, Avis, C, & Vosmeer, M. (2010). Playing The Sims2: an exploration of gender differences in players’ motivations and patterns of play. New Media & Society, 12(2), 235–251. doi:10.1177/1461444809342267