Exploring adolescent computer gaming as leisure experience and consumption: some insights on deviance and resistance

Informa UK Limited
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Leisure Studies, 2022, 41, (1), pp. 28-41
Issue Date:
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The popular media and some aspects of social science research view computer gaming either in disruptive pathological terms or through one-dimensional notions, such as violence inducing or as simple escapism. These singular perspectives create gaps in the research and skew our understanding of computer games as a social phenomenon. To address this, we examine computer gaming as a leisure experience in the context of contemporary western consumer culture. The paper presents a conceptual investigation which critically analyses selected themes on gaming, designed to offer an interpretation of the adolescent gaming experience and its links with self–identity. Outcomes indicate that gaming has the potential to create resistance to commodifying processes and adult modes of the self but can be convalesced by the market to attract the purchase of and engagement with games. Adolescent self-identities, analysed through the lens of leisure experience in consumer culture and within the ambivalent experiential consciousness and leisure spaces of everyday life, may provide alternative perspectives on gaming. In this view, gaming can create experiences that lead to the formation of self-identity through social interactions and relations that have the potential to build social and cultural capacities for adolescents while also enabling resistance to social norms.
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