Sexism in the Video Game Industry

4263 Words18 Pages
Linzy Waltke
Professor Andrew Forrester Discernment and Discourse 1313 5 May 2014
Sexism Sells: The Male Dominated Video Game Industry
Only 4% of video game titles released in the past 10 years feature a playable female character as the leading role, and there are even fewer female protagonists on the list of the top grossing video games (ESA). This trend of male dominated storylines is evident in other forms of media as well: movies and television shows tend to be centered around men, but video games show the least diversity in protagonists and often have regressive views on women and their position in society. Women make up 20% of console video game players and 46% of computer and mobile game players in this 20 billion dollar a
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My focus however, is on single player console games, where women make up a very small minority at around 20% of players across all platforms (ESA). Console games have many different genres but there are only five ways to play and five respective players, according to Educational Technology Research and Development Study found in Game Work by Ken McAllister. These categories are: explorative, active / aggressive, social, creative, and strategic, it was found that there is a strong divide between men and women and their ability in the various types of gameplay (McAllister 16). This study of middle and high school boys and girls found that over 50% of boys proved to be active and aggressive players, while less than 10% of girls showed strength in the active games; all of the boys showed a strong ability to play strategically while less than 5% of girls were able to problem solve in the game (McAllister 18). Girls in the study found their strengths to be explorative and creative games with over half of female participants showing strength in each area, while the boys typically saw these genres as not challenging enough, and quickly gave up (McAllister 20). Economically it would make sense to introduce more games that women excel at to bring in a large demographic and increase market share; despite this the industry is tailored to the male consumer as 75% of games released in the past 10 years were targeted towards men and featured violent and
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