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
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.
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.
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.
According to several studies, women are now making up a significant portion of the gaming demographic, but the industry hasn’t done much to make them feel welcome. During the last decade, the mainstream video game industry has seemed to operate under the same apparent assumptions: girls don’t play big action games, boys like the sexualization of girls in video games and won’t play as a female character unless she is heavily sexualized, and that girls play video games for the attention of boys. These assumptions are what allows the gaming industry to continue to focus on their male players, particularly young men, despite the fact that the number of women playing games today may someday soon rival the number of men.
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.
This study researches the potential effects on children by the use of gender representations and violence within popular video games. Outlined by the study of symbolic interactionism, the research questions the line between the representation of males and females, as well as how prominent violent topics are in games. These themes combined are used in order to hypothesize possible implications on young boys and girls.
When you think of the average gamer who comes to mind? On television you probably see some over-weight and unemployed guy who is living in the basement of his parents’ house. The visual discourse in this is that only males are gaming “nerds” and that there is no place in the field for women. The group called The Fine Young Capitalists (TFYC) try to change that narrative with a contest of their own allowing women to create their own ideas for games. Some disturbing contradictions came out of their mission, and it was criticized by game developer Zoë Quinn.
As video games become more and more popular, we will inevitably see an increase in amount of video games being produced. The growth in popularity of video games is facilitated by the creation of a website known as Twitch.com. This website allows gamers and content creators to stream themselves playing video games online and interact directly with a live audience via chat. This new platform makes gaming both more accessible and more acceptable. The social stigmas that accompany video games are diminishing; in fact there has been an increase in competitive electronic sports as well. Logically, the growing interest in video games encourages programmers to make more and more games. Melinda Burgess et al presents an interesting perspective about video games. She explores the prevalence of racial stereotypes and how their effects are detrimental to society as a whole. In Burgess’s essay, “Playing with Prejudice: The Prevalence and Consequences of Racial Stereotypes in Video Games”, she provides fantastic commentary on how top selling video games show “overt racial stereotyping” (Lunsford et al 551) and negatively affect how we think. By providing statistics and data about the videogames that she is critiquing, she effectively shows that there is may be a correlation between video games and how we think and interact with the world around us.
Our society is deeply rooted in a culture that allows violence to be a solution to problems. Violence against women is one of the most prevalent forms of violence within our society. Our legal system ensures that the law is there to protect the people and to reinforce order and equality. Domestic violence, sexual assaults, rapes, abuse of all shape and forms are so common but yet only a few cases make it into court. How can we as a society evolve and progress when more than half of us are faced with such injustices? This essay will focus on how the social construction of hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity establishes rape myths and stereotypes within the society that are aimed to hurt women. I will also focus on how these concepts are integrated within the legal sphere making the law partial and unfair. I will talk about the well-known Ewanchuk case that highlights many rape myths and how its connected to the relationship between violence and masculinity and the way woman are expected to conform to a societal norm.
The notion of hegemonic masculinity has altered the field of gender studies and many academic arenas. An idea popularized by R.W. Connell, hegemonic masculinity has played an integral role in the emotional development of American men, articulating the impact that this societal construction has had on the concept of American masculinity. It is a contested topic, yet the impacts that it has in terms of sexuality, struggles for power and political leadership, and gender identities are valid (Connell 830). Although difficult to fully achieve, it acts as a guiding force for the stereotypically masculine. Hegemonic masculinity assumes the subordination of all other forms of masculinity, placing it at the top of the social hierarchy. At the same time, the idea of hegemonic masculinity has served as a bridge between the growing field of men’s’ studies and female studies (Connell 829). Several authors share the premise that men in American society conform to the standards of the social construct of hegemonic masculinity.
After an hour of frustration and an inability to find a topic for this qualitative gender portrayal, I gave up and decided to play video games to relax. All of a sudden, I sat staring at my TV screen completely dumbfounded as a nearly nude woman popped up on the loading screen of Grand Theft Auto V. For very obvious reasons, I was inspired to qualitatively analyze Grand Theft Auto V focusing specifically on gender stereotypes and sexualization present in the game. In order to accurately depict the video game’s portrayal of gender I studied both the story mode and online mode looking closely at the actions and speech, physical appearance, and prevalence of females within the game.
Overall, it was found from my research that even with the emergence of next-generation systems and shifting landscapes in gaming, there is still a cultural perception of the gamer as white male. There are exceptions to this, which can be seen in many commercials that challenge our expectations of what a gamer might look like and how he or she might behave. Certainly, as time goes on, it’s been found that there is an increased inclusivity in terms of who might actually appear in these commercials. Some commercials have begun to play with and tease out these representations: the commercials of Call of Duty: Ghosts, for example, that featured a wide variety of players. While representations of the gamer have mostly stayed consistent, these examples pre-empt the beginnings of a shift, as the video game industry continues to diversify.
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.
Imagine a world where you can fight dragons in medieval times, be a soldier in WWI, or build a fortress while gathering resources to survive a zombie apocalypse. Gamers can experience all of this and more through the world of video games, but many people have developed false perceptions of who the gamer community consists of. These false perceptions have only formed negative stereotypes for the gaming community, but the truth is gamers can be anyone.