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Lömska demoner i drömska domäner: Representationer av fiktiva bibliotek och bibliotekarier i dataspel
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Devious Demons in Dreamy Domains : Representations of Fictional Libraries and Librarians in Video Games (English)
Abstract [en]

Introduction. Stereotypical representations of libraries and librarians in popular culture and media have been a cause of concern for decades. Nevertheless, representations of fictional libraries and librarians in video games have so far been ignored by scholars. This thesis aims at an initial mapping of this uncharted territory.  

Method. The two types of source material, fantasy video games and textual productions made by video gamers, were identified through online searches. Various forms of data, such as screenshots, videos and notes, were analysed through qualitative textual analysis.

Theory. The thesis is grounded in a social constructionist approach, with central concepts such as representation, stereotype, genre, and thematic and ludic dimensions of video games, mainly derived from cultural studies, media studies and game studies.   

Analysis. Textual analysis was carried out focusing on (1) the form and function of libraries; (2) the appearance, personality and actions of librarians and their relations to library users, and (3) the significance of genre. Several themes were identified, such as the library as a romantic meeting place and a source of information about the video game world.

Conclusion. Representations are often influenced by genre. For example, libraries tend to be reduced to resource generators in strategy games. While librarians are portrayed with fantasy features such as tentacles and green skin, the female librarian stereotypes dominating the media landscape today, the ”old maid” and the ”sexy librarian”, are clearly present in video games. Male librarians are more varied however, and the often referred to feminine librarian is not prevalent. Video gamers reproduce stereotypical images of librarians as angry, shushing and – in the case of female librarians – sexually attractive.

Paper type. This is a two years master’s thesis in Library and Information Science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 147
Series
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 780
Keywords [en]
Video Games, Libraries, Librarians, Representations, Stereotypes, Fantasy
Keywords [sv]
dataspel, bibliotek, bibliotekarier, representationer, stereotyper, fantasy
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-400589OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-400589DiVA, id: diva2:1381812
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-12-29 Created: 2019-12-27 Last updated: 2019-12-29Bibliographically approved

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