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Search Algorithms and Gaming Feminism

Search Algorithms and Gaming Feminism

In order to compare the algorithm behind Google, and the Dartmouth College Library search, I searched for the phrase “video game feminism” on both. You can see above some of the top results on google, which include several articles discussing the role and necessity of feminism in videogames. These are mostly written by female gamers who live within that culture. This is an industry which has been criticized many times in the past for the over-sexualizing of women, and had the #Gamergate incident. When searching in the library catalogue, related content of a similar kind comes up, but articles on the Summon service such as “I Will Own You” and “Gaming Feminism: An Analysis of Feminist Discourses in the Video Game Blogosphere” discuss the issue from a more academic and “outsider” perspective.

Obviously, both are very relevant to the topic of discussion, but the question is what is the reasoning for the top results for each? One returns an opinion piece that is a few hundred words long, while the other returns a thesis paper that is 76 pages long. Obviously, there was a lot of research and work put into the thesis, but the everyday person does not wish to read an entire thesis. On the other side, a short article returned by Google is much more open and approachable and will hopefully reach a wider audience. So while the library search algorithm may return information that is more in-depth and informative overall, the Google search algorithm returns results that are more popular and more approachable. 

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