Computer Science

CS Colloquium Seminar: Dr. Cuihua (Cindy) Shen

Professor Cuihua (Cindy) Shen from the UC Davis Department of Communication


Title: Gender and Performance in Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Host: Vladimir Filkov

When: Thursday, November 17, 2016, 3:10 PST
Where: 1131 Kemper Hall


Prior research on digital games illustrates a perceived gender gap in participation and performance, suggesting men as playing more and better than women. My research challenges the gender gap using longitudinal behavioral data of men and women in 2 MMOs in the United States and China. Results show that women advance at least as fast as men do in both games. Thus, perceived gender-based performance disparities seem to result from factors that are confounded with gender (i.e., amount of play), not player gender itself. We conclude that the stereotype of female players as inferior is not only false, but also a potential cause for unequal participation in digital gaming.


Professor Shen’s research and teaching interests revolve around the structure and impact of social networks in virtual worlds and social media sites. Her recent work has focused primarily on the patterns, effects and dynamic evolution of participants’ social networks in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (EverQuest II, EVE Online, Chevaliers’ Romance, and Dragon Nest) as well as other online communities designed for collaborative peer production, social support and entertainment. In her research she tries to match “big data” from online behavioral logs with “smaller data” collected from surveys and experiments. She received her PhD in Communication from the University of Southern California in 2010.

1131 Kemper Hall

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