I'd like to have a house like that: Female players of The Sims

Mirjam Vosmeer, Jeroen Jansz, Liesbet van Zoonen

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This qualitative interview study explores the practices of adult female gamers who play the videogame The Sims, focusing on the motivations they have for playing and how playing a video game might influence their digital competence. We address the wider context of leisure and the household, investigating to what extent playing videogames has become domesticated in the daily life of the family. It is found that female gamers play The Sims because they enjoy the particular way it allows them to take control, fantasize, and be challenged. For some, it is clear that playing this video game has increased their digital skills. We notice that there is an interesting similarity between the pleasures of playing this videogame and more traditional ways of female media engagement such as reading women’s magazines or romance novels and watching soap operas. Our gamers similarly enjoy The Sims as leisurely moments for themselves, clearly and intentionally separated from domestic and family duties. We conclude that playing a videogame can be seen as a highly modern and liberating practice, as both playing in general and using ICT have traditionally not been a part of the female leisure domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
JournalAkademisk kvarter: Tidsskrift for humanistisk forskning
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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