Going Beyond the Game: Development of Gamer Identities Within Societal Discourse and Virtual Spaces


  • Jan Grooten University of Erfurt
  • Rachel Kowert University of Münster


What is a ‘gamer’? And what does it mean to be a gamer today? This paper will address these questions through a theoretical discussion of the gamer identity in terms of its construction within society, both virtual and within offline communities. A multi-modal model of gamer identity will then be proposed that incorporates the relationships between the gamer identity and the various contexts in which it is developed and maintained. Drawing from social identity theory, it is argued that the gamer identity is multifaceted and extends beyond game playing habits or preferences