Until end of turn: a semiotic analysis of the female gender representation in magic: the gathering

Escuyos, L. O. (2018). Until End of Turn: A Semiotic Analysis of the Female Gender Representation in Magic: The Gathering, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines,College of Mass Communication.


Magic: The Gathering is the most popular role playing fantasy themed trading card game which shares similarities with action-adventure role playing video games. With a growing community internationally and locally, Magic: The Gathering has tried to expand its audience reach through making its community more inclusive by creating content inspired by diverse cultures and gender identities. This study examined whether Magic: The Gathering challenges or reinforces gender stereotypes by looking at how the female gender is represented through its female Planeswalkers. Using semiotic analysis as forwarded by Ferdinand de Saussure and Naila Kabeer’s concept of women empowerment, the female Planeswalkers were scrutinized according to their (1) characterization, (2) social relations and (3) purpose in the narrative of Magic: The Gathering. The study found that Magic: The Gathering as a role playing game presents a potential in promoting liberation from female gender stereotypes.

Keywords:gender discrimination, collectible card game, gender equality, digital media