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ABSTRACT. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) involve long term intense social bonds between male players. Still, little is known about how masculinity constructs work as glue in these game communities. This study concerns masculine identities in applications (N=210) for community membership of a MMORPG community in Finland. Drawing on three identity dimensions (virtual, real, and projective) and three masculinity dimensions (heroic, ordinary, and revolting) the study shows that gamers emphasize real-world identity’s ordinary and deviant masculinities, while heroic identity constructs are almost non-existing. Constructs of the virtual identity contained attributes and characteristics of the gamers’ in-game skills. An ordinary masculine identity was emphasized in view of gamers’ suitability as member of the clan and it was further underscored by “geek” and “nerd” characteristics. Being an outsider group (gamers), but still emphasizing the “ordinary” and being the “average guy,” deviates from governing media images of gamers’ communities as breeding grounds of isolation and aggression. pp. 90–106

Keywords: MMORPGs; masculinity construct; identity; (extra-)ordinary; skill

How to cite: Hellman, Matilda, and Maija Majamäki (2016), “Ordinary Men with Extra-ordinary Skills? Masculinity Constructs among MMORPG-gamers,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 6(2): 90–106.

Received 26 August 2016 • Received in revised form 22 September 2016
Accepted 22 September 2016 • Available online 10 October 2016

doi:10.22381/JRGS6220166

MATILDA HELLMAN
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Department of Social Research,
University of Helsinki;
Department for Social and Cultural Research,
University of Tampere
MAIJA MAJAMÄKI
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Department of Social Research,
University of Helsinki

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