Sexualization Of Women In Video Games

Decent Essays
Does the sexualization of women in video games affect women’s self esteem and perpetuate female stereotypes?
Annika Lindburg
Linfield College


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.
How are women in video games treated?
Donkey Kong was released in 1981 and was one of the earliest arcade video games that portrayed females as a damsel
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Video games are created from a male perspective that is exaggerating female’s sexual or feminine traits (Near, 2013). Part of the problem is the lack of diversity in the gaming industry. Most game developers are men, which result in less sexism on purpose, and more of a diversity problem among video game creators (Ferguson, 2015). If there were more females in the video game industry, there would be more realistic female avatars in video games. Royse et al. (2007) argued that the gaming industry has begun to make games for females like Dance Dance Revolution and Eyetoy but that females are still wrongly thought of as having one perspective or experience. Since the majority of video game writers are males, they create video games that interest them and their target audience. Near (2013) found that predominantly male audiences identify better with a male avatar than a female one. Thus males write a stereotypical script in which a woman is scantily clad and needs to be saved which brings them revenue and further undermines a women’s self
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