HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

How do women create and manage their identity in a hostile and gendered gaming community: The case of League of Legends.

Davignon, Native ULiège
Promotor(s) : Dessart, Laurence ULiège
Date of defense : 5-Sep-2022/10-Sep-2022 • Permalink :
Title : How do women create and manage their identity in a hostile and gendered gaming community: The case of League of Legends.
Translated title : [fr] Comment les femmes créent et gèrent leur identité dans une communauté de jeu vidéo hostile et genrée : Le cas de League of Legends.
Author : Davignon, Native ULiège
Date of defense  : 5-Sep-2022/10-Sep-2022
Advisor(s) : Dessart, Laurence ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Standaert, Willem ULiège
Bruwier, Jean Paul 
Language : English
Number of pages : 78
Keywords : [en] Identity creation
[en] Identity management
[en] Female gamers
[en] Gaming communities
[en] Identity dilemma
[en] Blended identity
[en] Defensive othering
[en] Stigmatisations
[en] Gender-based harassment
[en] League of Legends
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Marketing
Target public : Professionals of domain
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en international strategic marketing
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] In an era where inclusivity and gender equality are at the centre of our societal preoccupations, this thesis investigates, through the prism of identity dilemmas, how female gamers manage their identity(ies) in a hostile and gendered gaming community: League of Legends. Accordingly, this research fills a gap in the literature by combining the themes of online communities, female gamers, and identity creation in relation to aggressive behaviours, namely gender-based harassment and stigmatisations. Additionally, this research, by investigating such a challenging topic for the industry, brings food for thought to the gaming sector, namely game developers. As a result, various findings could be drawn from this research relying on in-depth-interviews of 20 female League of Legends players.
First, the focus of this research is based on the definitions of the gaming communities and the notion of femininity accepted by both our society and respondents. I argue that several women and gamer identities must be considered to analyse such an identity process. Then, the sources of identity dilemmas are explored which leads to the conclusion that stigmatisations are the trigger of the studied identity dilemmas, complemented by gender-based harassment and incongruity between identities. Later, this research allows the identification of four types of resolutions to identity dilemmas, also called identity management styles in this thesis. In addition, factors which might influence the identity management styles developed by female gamers are addressed. Thus, the influence of game rank is denied while the influence of exposure to stigmatisations outside the community is assumed. Finally, recommendations for future research are formulated, as well as the identified limitations of this thesis.



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  • Davignon, Native ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gest., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Standaert, Willem ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Management : Marketing and Strategy
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Bruwier, Jean Paul
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  • Total number of downloads 339

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