Heteronormativity At The Videogame Industry

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Heteronormativity in the Videogame Industry Over the years, the entertainment industry has emerged in many different mediums, ranging from new genres of music and television shows to the very creation of the internet. The newest form of electronic entertainment that has evolved is the videogame industry, truly growing in popularity around the 1970s with the creation of the game Pong. Though originally very popular with young boys and seen as being childish to play (a view adults still had when I was a video game playing child), video games have since become an enjoyable form of amusement for people of a diverse range of ages, and for males and females. However, in spite of the fact that the videogame industry is now much more open to women…show more content…
While discussing how videogames are created to appeal to male adolescents, Soukup states, “(…) research has concluded that arcade and computer games are often filled with stereotypical and even degrading images of women accompanied by graphically violent narratives” (Soukup, 161). It makes sense that game creators would concentrate on these tropes if they are aiming to appeal to the teenage male gamer, considering how I have heard countless jokes about the stereotypical nerdy video game player that is secretly violent and sexually repressed. Looking past the blatant sexism of how females are depicted, even more disturbing is the way that many of the more popular video games appear to parallel real-life standards of normative masculinity. In Western society in particular, standards for men dictate that they must constantly strive to be successful and must compete with other men in order to reach the “top,” the most powerful position, the best paying job, the most attractive wife and family, and so on. In examining the design of video games, Soukup is quick to point out how popular games have this same “entelechial motivational system,” with players constantly striving to master the game and gain power, often so that they can dominate other players or destroy NPCs in combat, or to otherwise gain complete control of the game, at which point they have finally “beaten” it (Soukup, 165-168). These
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