Some people think that video games are harmless, but some researchers would disagree. Melinda Burgess et al. writes in “Playing with Prejudice: The Prevalence and Consequences of Racial Stereotypes in Video Games,” that women are gender stereotyped and treated as sexual objects in video games today, which affects how male video gamers and society treat women. There are many ways video games use women to attract video gamers, sexuality being a big one. I will argue that Burgess’ claim is true because often male video gamers who play sexually-oriented video games are rewarded for objectifying women and have been shown to treat women as objects and harass them in real life.
Kimmel looks at both sides of the argument that video games and other media influence violence in young men in real life, but focuses on the perception that violent video games influence violent young men. In my third informal writing assignment reflecting on that chapter, I stated “I can see the side where it does have an impact of young kids, and I see it in my younger cousins when they can recite the cutscenes in the games they play, and see it when they play fight and pretend they are their favorite game heroes”, concluding with “Today’s violent games weren’t made to teach children how to kill, they’re only made for entertainment” (Brinkman-Sull). Before I took this class, and even at the beginning of the semester, I was extremely defensive of the criticism on violence in gaming, but after reading more into it, I realized just how deep in the industry the problem is– highly sexist notions in a lot of popular games. Many of them portray women as objectified beings, purely used for sex appeal and to attract the larger male gamer population. The male characters are also idealised in a similar way– typically portrayed as muscular, brawny men, with basic levels of thinking and reasoning. These brawny men are typically focused on one thing– complete the mission in whatever means possible. This kind of violent thinking is widely reflected throughout many other typically male-dominated organizations, including the
Dietz, Tracy L. (1998). An examination of violence and gender role portrayals in video games: Implications for gender socialization and aggressive behavior. Sex Roles, 38(5/6), 425-442).
A more in-depth study may look at video games from a Marxist point of view, characterizing the games as a modern day “opiate of the masses” with multi-billion dollar corporations publishing the games to keep the proletariat occupied and oblivious to their plights. A feminist may cite the standard role of female video game characters as being the “damsel in distress” and even strong female characters usually being relegated to sex symbol status.
When dealing with a feminist perspective there are many elements that deal with this technique. One of the topics I will be talking about that deal with this is Grand Theft Auto V published by Rockstar Games. Grand Theft Auto V displays women in various types of situations in which they are presented as sex figures and are not respected by male characters in the game. Using this game, I will use the critique method by analyzing hegemony and its principles. Specifically talking about gender stereotypes, masculinity, and heteronormativity. The game advertises sexist oppression through the restricted decisions it gives players, overly sexualizes female characters, how this effects men who play this and how they treat women. and other content that involves advertising and talk shows that demonstrate women as sexual objects.
Gender disparity in video games is a topic that both scholars and major gaming icons have discussed before. However, the topic recently resurfaced with the upsurging population of female gamers. The integration of females was a spectacle that caused a massive culture shock. Many members of the gaming community were unsure how to handle the change and took to discriminating females. While discrimination may seem unimportant, many scholars and icons believe it is a prominent factor of gender disparity: an environment which typically favors males, a hostile or “toxic” atmosphere, and repeated stereotypes all manifest certain behaviors of both genders that can cause a disparity to grow. Although some sources claim gender disparity is evident in gaming as a whole, others insist the novelty of female discrimination in video games is less prominent due to a more leveled percentage of male-to-females in gaming. However, both agreed that the competitive gaming community is a different story. Time and time again the competitive gaming community was mentioned for its exclusion of women due to biased and misogynistic members who sexualize and degrade females. These members believe women are inferiors that encroach on their territory with unskilled and seductive natures. Therefore, for the females in the gaming community, their actions will shape the future of women in the competitive gaming community. The change in female treatment is detrimental to gender disparity. Not only because
It is difficult to find a video game that does not depict females as a damsel in distress or a sex object. The target audience for video games has been males, and video game companies are marketing to males with stereotypes of females in video games. A surprising finding is that around 150 million Americans, or almost half of women play video games (Kelleher, 2015). Yet video games continue to depict females as old-fashioned stereotypes that leave a lasting affect on a female’s health.
Lara Croft is a well-known adventurer. From rock climbing in Bolivia to shooting at vicious monkeys in a forest in India, Lara Croft has done it all. There is much more to this adventurer though. According to Helen W. Kennedy, author of the article “Lara Croft: Feminiets or Cyberbimbo?”, “[Lara] is a positive role model for young girls or just the perfect combination of eye candy and thumb candy for the boys.” From her debut in 1996 to now, Lara is also seen as an iconic female figure within the gaming community. With Lara we are able to see a strong female role who, unfortunately, is at the same time is overly sexualized. Girls in the gaming community are given a chance to be represented but at a cost. Lara Croft allows for there to be a
Given that association, this new study took a gander at whether exemplifying sexualized female symbols online changed ladies ' conduct. The Stanford scientists asked 86 ladies matured 18-40 to play utilizing either a sexualized symbol or a non-sexualized symbol (dressed provocatively or conservatively). At that point, specialists outlined some of those symbols to resemble the player encapsulating them. Those ladies who played utilizing sexualized symbols who seemed as though them were all the more tolerating of the assault myth, as indicated by the study. Subsequent to playing the diversion, ladies reacted to numerous inquiries with answers along a five-point scale (emphatically differ to firmly concur), including, "In the lion 's share or assaults, the casualty is indiscriminate or has a terrible notoriety." Those who played attractive symbols who looked like themselves will probably reply "concur" or "unequivocally concur" than those ladies who had non-hot symbols who did not seem as though them. Members were likewise requested that free compose their musings after the study. Those with sexualized symbols will probably self-generalize in their expositions after play. In spite of the fact that this is a little study and unquestionably not a conclusive response to the subject of how computer games influence female players, the outcomes do raise concerns. Upwards of 46% of gamers are ladies, and, as indicated by this examination, in a large portion of the most mainstream
According to several sources around 42% of the American population plays video games, and around 1.2 billion people worldwide play video games today. Gaming has become an increasingly more popular hobby since its creation. As such the medium has obviously attracted a multitude of different people and groups, all consisting of diverse backgrounds, body types, sexes, races, nationalities and the like. However, contrary to the numerous demographics video games have come to attract, it is very evident the vast majority of them do not seem to be marketed toward many of them via game characters, and their importance, if any, in a game. Video games show an overwhelming amount of white male characters, despite the many demographics they reach. Of the characters that are not white, or male, that are represented, are often represented poorly. For example, many black characters represented in video games are often characterized as vulgar, and violent. Women represented in games are often characterized as support characters, or objects of sexual desire. Considering forms of sexism, racism, and other such types of prejudices are still prominent in modern society, and these representations obviously do not help how people see these marginalized groups. Ultimately, these representations, or lack thereof, affect people in society in a number of ways, by perpetuating prejudice and harmful stereotypes.
Carrie Reinhard asserts that women do not feel comfortable playing as hypersexualized female protagonists in video games, because the video game industry provides "characters modeling a body they cannot achieve, more an object for the male gaze than female empowerment (Reinhard. 6)."Personally, seeing "the sunflower with the big breasts" did not encourage me to feel empowered. I felt weak and insecure because of the stereotypes of women that are illuminated within video games. Video games represent women as a typical damsel in distress, whereas men are viewed as the hero (Brenick et. al. 3). Although, providing female protagonists in video games were supposed to appeal to more women, it subsequently discouraged women from playing video games.
For definition of the male gaze, this area of the exhibit will focus on Laura Mulvey’s “Woman as Image, Man as Bearer of the Look.” In this piece, Mulvey discusses two theories: voyeurism and fetishistic scopophilia. To briefly explain, voyeurism involves deriving pleasure from the assertion of control, usually done by a male. On the other hand, fetishistic scopophilia transforms the female entity into an object whose sole purpose is to pleasure. An area of this exhibit include an arcade machine of the game “Mortal Kombat” to depict the difference in the way males and females are drawn and portrayed in video games. Male characters within this game are provided armor, or clothing at the least, that covers their vital organs and suits their fighting style. It is obvious the intention of the male characters’ clothing is functionality. However, the same can not be said about their female counterparts. Not only is their clothing minimal, their fighting style is also hypersexualized. This video game is almost the epitome of Mulvey’s fetishistic scopophilia. Next to this will be side-by-side showcasing of famous superhero costumes such as Wonder Woman vs. Superman and Catwoman vs. the Joker. Again, these costumes reinforce fetishistic scopophilia as female characters are purposely clothed with minimal armor that accentuates a female’s breasts and butt. Music videos are another reliable source for elaborating on fetishistic scopophilia. For instance, the popular rock band Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” reduces the band’s teacher to nothing but a sexual object to whom they sexually fantasize about instead of respect and learn from. Moreover, the famous “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne reduces the band’s friend’s mom to a sexual object for visual pleasure. The novel “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov will be used to further detail how males view women, even young teens, as subjects for their pleasure,
Throughout the world women are depicted to be oversexualized among forms of media such as video games and comic books. The idea of oversexualization towards female characters is that they have been often drawn and animated in hypersexual ways. Even going as far as viewing them as a sex object, their revealing body images are eye candy through the eyes of men. Hence women found in comic books and video games are frequently emphasized by their excessive physical appearances, objectification, portrayal, and character role.
The portrayal of men and women in video games, as in other media, is a subject of research in gender studies. This topics is discuss in terms of sexism in video gaming. Especially, women are underrepresented or use as objectification in mainstream games. Women in video games are generally, as a rule of thumb, killed, raped, abused or rescued by the male heroes. This is extremely sad to see because the role of women in society is changing compare to ten years ago. Women has been proven themselves to be stronger and tough in different fields such as sports, politics, education but the representation hasn’t change.