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Abstract

In her article "Gender Identity Construction through Talk about Video Games" Sara Cole discusses the construction of gender identity in terms of experiences of digital media and interactive play. Digital literacy expresses, shares, and reaffirms gendered self-identification through experiences of video game play with narratives that either confirm or deny stereotypical biases. In-depth interviews were used to explore the effects of play practices on conceptions of masculinity and personal identity in males who grew up in the 1980s by focusing on a linguistic analysis of the pragmatics of their shared thoughts on play, fantasy, use of digital media, and violence. This investigation provides insight into the influences of fantasy and play on future perceptions of reality as well as cultural identification and in/out group formation. The study gives voice to these participants through a pragmatics of verbal discourse regarding gender identity construction as influenced by both childhood and adult experiences of interactive digital entertainment media.