• Do Others Understand Us? Fighting Game Community Member Perceptions of Others’ Views of the FGC

      Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Reed, Jordan; Keys, Christopher
      Our perceptions of how well others understand us and our communities can affect how we see ourselves, as well as how we perceive and interact with others. Community psychologists may be interested in examining community meta-stereotypes, or how community members believe outsiders see them. The current mixed-methods study asked fighting game community (FGC) members about their perceptions of outsiders’ understanding of the FGC. We collected data from 496 FGC members, who provided descriptions of others’ perceptions of the FGC, reasons these perceptions exist, and their reactions to these perceptions. The data supported our hypotheses that FGC members feel misunderstood by non-members; gaming affiliation and media affiliation each had significant effects on FGC members’ ratings of others’ understanding. Non-gaming media were perceived as exhibiting especially high levels of misunderstanding. Respondents’ negative comments focused on non-gaming media’s overreliance on outdated stereotypes and lack of research into the community. Recommendations for community psychologists, researchers, FGC members, and media outlets are included, which may allow various stakeholders to explore key issues and sources of friction. Finally, future research directions are discussed.