University students and video games: Perceptions, use, and preferences according to gender




videogames, genres, platforms, gender, higher education


This work analyses the video game culture in terms of perceptions, use, and preferences towards video games for a group of 610 university students, focusing on the impact of gender. The study is quantitative in nature, based on a cross-sectional survey and the subsequent statistical analysis of the data. Results show that students at this stage of life play video games and that they have – to a discernible degree – a video game culture, even though differences exist between men and women. Explanations for these differences, which affect other aspects like the platforms they use and their favourite games, are explored in the final part of the article. It seems that, besides their possibilities as an emergent media, video games are cultural products permeable and embedded in a context of gender inequity. This work aims to be a starting point for designing educational projects and policies that use video games in higher education while taking advantage of the diversity that this media can offer.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Jorge Oceja, University of Cantabria

Jorge Oceja is a teacher, educational psychologist, and M.A in instructional design by California State University (Fulbright Scholarship). He holds a PhD by the University of Cantabria with the thesis "Design of Game Experiences to Promote Civic Competence”. He has completed academic residencies in the Gamification Lab at Universidad do Minho, the IT and Learning Design Lab (ILD)/CEAGAR at Aalborg University in Copenhagen and the Gamification Lab/ICAM at Leuphana University. He has worked as an elementary and secondary teacher in Spain, UK and USA and he has been the director of the Fundación Botín Educational Program. He is an Associated Professor at Universidad de Cantabria and CESINE. 

Natalia González-Fernández, University of Cantabria

Profesora Contratada Doctora del Área MIDE (Universidad de Cantabria). Su labor docente se ha centrado tanto en la formación universitaria (grado, máster y doctorado), como no universitaria desarrollando cursos de formación para profesorado de infantil, primaria y secundaria. Sus líneas de investigación actuales, se centran en la alfabetización mediática, las metodologías emergentes en educación y la evaluación formativa y compartida en educación.



How to Cite

Oceja, J., & González-Fernández, N. (2020). University students and video games: Perceptions, use, and preferences according to gender. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 66.