What Makes Them Play? Hedonic vs. Symbolic Aspects of Girls’ Intention to Adopt Gender-Specific Hedonic Information Systems
Florian Pethig
Markus Nöltner
Julia Krönung
Beiträge in referierten Konferenzbänden
erschienen in:
Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2016), Dublin, Irland, 2016.

Children’s hedonic use of computers positively influences their computer self-efficacy. According to recent empirical work, boys are substantially more likely to play computer games than girls, which contributes to enhanced computer confidence and expertise. In order to attract more girls, the video game industry has increasingly developed gender-specific hedonic information systems (HIS), so-called “pink games”. However, such HIS often cater exclusively to girls’ most stereotypical interests, thereby reifying socially problematic gender stereotypes. Prior research argues that the marking of gender as a salient category through stereotypical marketing acts as a form of further marginalization of females in the information technology field. Through a conceptual research framework, we provide indications that symbolic perceptions can indeed outweigh the intended hedonic perceptions in contexts where a specific and self-defining identity, such as gender, is highlighted and potentially perceived as stigmatizing or identity threat. Implications and suggestions to empirically validate our framework are discussed.