Gender-bending in virtual worlds - Investigating need for achievement between goal-orientated and non goal-orientated environments
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The aim of this study was to examine a potential relationship between gender-bending online and Need for Achievement (nAch) in goal-orientated (World of Warcraft) and non goal-orientated environments (Second Life). Gender-bending has existed online since the creation of MUDs (Multi-user Dungeons) and chat-rooms (Donath, 1998). There were two stages to this study. Firstly, participants took part in informal interviews (n-6) to accumulate rich data involving their motivations behind genderbending. Secondly, participants (n=253) responded to an online questionnaire to find out their motivations behind why they gender-bend, and to find out their level of Need for Achievement. Findings show women in a goal-orientated virtual environment with high nAch are more likely to gender-bend then women with lower nAch. Findings also showed that that men who gender-bend have lower nAch than men who do not gender-bend in a goal orientated environment. There was no difference in nAch scores between individuals who do and who do not gender-bend in a non-goal orientated environment. Findings implicate that reasons for gender-bending differ between environments types, additional research is warranted into investigating and discovering further motivators for this behaviour.
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