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Vevila Dornelles – University of Reading

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Vevila Dornelles

Gendered Geographies of Online Gaming: a Brazil/UK comparative case study of gendered spatial practices of inclusion, exclusion and agency in the MOBA League of Legends.

Scaffolded by a feminist standpoint, this multiple instrumental case study explored online gaming as gendered practice and online games as digital spaces produced by gendered relations. Gendered spatial practices of play are profoundly marked by players' gendered performances in the game and beyond. Through an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach, the project pushed the boundaries of digital geographies by framing the underexplored field of computer and videogames with feminist enhancements of, and critiques to the Lefèbvrian theory of the production of space. As a result, the study attended to how gendered gaming practices both materialise and highlight processes of social inclusion, exclusion and agency through the relationship between identity and belonging. This relationship is ultimately expressed in practices of strong antagonism and rapport within the game's social arenas in Brazil and Britain. The discussion entailed by this study is paramount for tackling gendered digital divides and injustices in both countries.


About Me:

Vevila graduated as Bachelor and Licensed Teacher in Geography at the University of Brasília (Brazil) in 2006. At the time, her academic work introduced her to the burgeoning field of digital geographies by attending to the social production of boundaries in online environments vis a vis the perceived deregulation of social network sites. After six years in the GIS industry, Vevila obtained a Masters in Human Geography from the same university. At the occasion, defended (with Honours) a dissertation exploring the formation of exclusionary territories in cyberspace. The study focused on the case of Brazilian public policies for digital inclusion, and their role on the fight against social exclusion. Vevila's industry experience spans ten years in total, having started before her Bachelors' graduation. More recently, she volunteered as Inclusivity Officer at the postgraduate forum of the RGS-IBG, aiming to raise awareness of the mental health crisis at higher education.

Research Interests:

  • Digital Geographies.
  • Geographies of Gender and Sexuality.
  • Feminist Theory.
  • Video and Computer Games.
  • Digital Ethics.

Research Groups:

Human Geography Research Cluster





Professor Avril Maddrell(University of Reading)

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