Christopher Near studied the effects of women on video game characters on the covers of video games. Studies have suggested these things are true, which is particularly worrisome considering the people who play. History indicates that women began appearing in video games around the mid-80s. Despite these eyebrow-raising activities, the Grand Theft Auto series is perpetually popular. Plenty of great female characters exist, but those numbers are barely a drop in the bucket compared … However, there are still issues with women only being shown in secondary roles and being objectified more than their male counterparts. HeadStuff is all about putting buckets of interesting stuff in one place. Sarkeesian received death and rape threats and the attackers leaked her home address. Because in most cases, these villains are key characters in the games and not merely given background or subservient roles, this is arguably a major transition that is mostly positive. Some analysts even say Grand Theft Auto has drastically changed the video game industry. The percentage of games that allow you to play as multiple genders continues to increase. Ms. Pac-Man is a good example of that trend. Although there is still a long way to go before women are consistently represented more favorably in video games, some characters have been boldly designed to break the mold. A 2008 Gallup poll indicated that men and women each make up half of all American video game players. Big Ant Studio is the first developer in the world to feature women in a cricket game with Don Bradman Cricket 17. They are the alien other to the norm. The representation of women in video games. Following Tomb Raider was Grand Theft Auto, an immensely popular series that began in 1997. 12. Sometimes these female characters were barely distinguishable from male characters except for one minor characteristic, such as long eyelashes. She had to cancel her speech at Utah State University after the institution received threats. In August 2014 Anita Sarkeesian released a series of episodic videos Tropes vs. Women in Video Games that focus on stereotypical female representation. But has female representation in video games gotten better as time has passed, or worse? . Copyright infringement not intended. Many of us can see with our own eyes that there aren’t as many female characters in video games as there are men. When looked at, there’s something not quite right about the portrayal of women, to some, at least. Only 21% of E3 conference … Those reportedly began as a joke shared in the office of her creators, but they were supported since the gaming audience for the Lara Croft series was predominantly male. Female characters serve more as cheerleaders than active characters. In the past, players choosing female characters had to avoid head-on battles. There is speculation that when individuals see so much violence against women within the game, they won’t feel as shocked by it in real life. Studies have suggested these things are true, which is particularly worrisome considering the people who play Grand Theft Auto most often are young males. Even as recently as 2012 t here weren’t many examples of video games with primary female characters. If they speak out and say they want changes made in the way female characters are represented in their favourite games, it could have a major impact on the industry. While we believe that increased and improved female representation in games is vitally important, it’s also necessary to note that it’s just one of many things to … Female representation in video games continues to be a hot topic, but that probably depends on who you’re asking and the questions being asked. According to a 2007 article from Monica K. Miller and Alicia Summers, "of the 4… This page was last edited on 17 February 2021, at 13:36. Forget historical accuracy and those arguments for a second, and focus on the pure statistical representation statistics. What will happen in the future remains to be seen, but it’s helpful that women make up such a sizeable chunk of gaming demographics nowadays. 2. If you want to know more about our chocolate chips, please visit our Privacy Policy page. The introduction of Lara Croft in the 90s presented what is now considered to be one of the first strong female characters not just in video games, but in media in general. Players are also urged to make a male protagonist grope a female stripper repeatedly before a bouncer discovers his tactics. Video games can reinforce the unrealistic beauty standards of a “curvaceously thin” body, which can be impossible to achieve without surgical modifications. A brief overview: For many people the issue of female representation within video games is an elaborate fantasy merely thought up by media outlets in order to further complain about the rise of modern gaming and women's rights. Downs and Smith state that the idealized and sexualized representation of female characters in video games can result in body dissatisfaction among female gamers. In a video game character content analysis, James D. Ivory found that "female video game characters appear to be underrepresented overall, as active characters, and as playable characters" (Ivory 111). The research question of the study assessed whether the representation of women in video games leads to female self-objectification and negative body image in adult women. Representation of women in video games It's great when we see powerful female characters in the spotlight who aren't just on-screen to be sexualised. Female Representation in Video Games. Dill and Thill's study analyzes the representation of female characters in video game magazines. Industry bulletin's cover sets off firestorm", "Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor: An Idea Whose Time Has Come", "Women's role in popular video games: Stripped down and killed off", "Dead Island Riptide's bloody torso statue sparks anger, confusion", "GTA 5 "Violence Against Women" Criticisms Spur Ban from Australian Retailers", "Top Ten Shameful Games: 1. The character is not defined by her gender, and she demonstrates that women can be mythical heroes just as effectively as men. Ms. Pac-Man is a good example of that trend. A different way of sexualizing male characters is that performed by players and fans communities, in particular for characters open to their own emotions. In this view, depictions of males as objects of desire are coded by including feminine traits, vanity and attention to personal attires, or. A small number of these characters, such as SHODAN from the 1994 video game, the extreme sexualization of women reached its highest point in 1995 and then declined. She found that the extreme sexualization of women reached its highest point in 1995 and then declined. Fan feedback is one thing that could help gradually increase the number of admirable female characters in the gaming industry. However, there are still issues with women only being shown in secondary roles and being objectified more than their male counterparts. ", "Gender and computer games: Exploring females' dislikes", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gender_representation_in_video_games&oldid=1007313824, Articles with Japanese-language sources (ja), All Wikipedia articles needing clarification, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from October 2018, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from May 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, In the interpretation as gender performance under an heteronormative perspective, a male being sexy is seen as an opposite of masculinity. There is a roughly even split in the world between men and women, so that should be represented in video games. Teresa Lynch, a media communications researcher at Indiana University, completed a doctoral project where she evaluated 571 playable female characters in video games released from 1989 to 2014. But the percentage of games that outright star a female character is the second lowest since 2015. Although it’s not necessarily a good thing for young girls to see women in games displaying villainous traits, it’s better than them only seeing females as sexual objects. There is speculation that when individuals see so much violence against women within the game, they won’t feel as shocked by it in real life. BY JENNIFER RICHARDS: Women in video games – the imperfect men, abnormal specimens wrought from the ribs of Adam. There is speculation that when individuals see so much violence against women within the game, they won’t feel as shocked by it in real life. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISEDAll Images and Videos are used for educational purposes. Gender Representation in Video Games Video games have long been known as a male-dominated media, including in the terms of market audience, player base, and character representation in game. There is speculation that when individuals see so much violence against women within the game, they won’t feel as shocked by it in real life. In fact, it’s worse than it was in 2015, just after the tide had started to turn in favor of women in gaming. She is also an independently existing character and not the family member of a main male character in the game. Even in games where sexuality plays a minimal or nonexistent role, women are sometimes portrayed sexually for advertisements or covers. The fight for healthy and decent female representation in video games has been a constant one for years. The video game industry is booming, but it repeatedly comes under scrutiny for what appears to be the persistent sexualisation of female characters. Not everyone, of course, is happy with these advances, or the even the notion that women need better representation in the first place. Male' Trope", "Videogame Ad Sets New Low for Objectifying Women", "How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)", "Will the Fantasy Genre Ever Grow Up and Ditch the Chainmail Bikini? The relationship between women and video games has received extensive academic and media attention. There were also complaints about the character’s unnaturally large breasts. While 65% of analyzed games permitted the player to select or create protagonists of more than one gender, only 5% presented a default female protagonist (down from 9% in 2015). While we’re several years out from the ugliness of 2014’s Gamergate movement, an extreme cyberharrassment campaign that targeted female game developers and critics, there’s still plenty of opposition to lifting the industry’s ongoing male gaze. When she's not writing, she can usually be found lost in a book or hitting the trails for some outdoorsy inspiration. The study uses two evaluation steps. Samus Aran, a heroine in the 1986 Metroid game, is considered the first playable female character, rather than a woman who merely appeared in the background. A Brief History of Female Representation in Video Games, History indicates that women began appearing in video games around the mid-80s. According to a 2008 study by the Pew Research Center, "Fully 99% of boys and 94% of girls play videogames." Since the 1990s, female gamers have commonly been regarded as a minority, but industry surveys have shown that over time, the gender ratio has become closer to equal, and since the 2010s, women have been found to make up around half of all gamers. The study produced some key statistics: 1. Although there is still a long way to go before women are consistently represented more favorably in video games, some characters have been boldly designed to break the mold. It’s also important that critics keep recognising the clear gender inequality and voicing their opinions that it shouldn’t continue. According to a post by the Gamecult Blog, Princess Peach appears in “14 games of the core Super Mario Brothers platformer games and she’s kidnapped in … Samus Aran, a heroine in the 1986, Despite these eyebrow-raising activities, the, However, people are understandably worried that such exposure to severe violence against women in extremely realistic video games, normalizes it and even causes people to become less empathetic, . History indicates that women began appearing in video games around the mid-80s. Female representation in video games is not improving as it should. Custer's Revenge (Atari 2600)", "You'll 'Want To Protect' The New, Less Curvy Lara Croft", "Tomb Raider Creators Are No Longer Referring to Game's Attempted 'Rape' Scene As an Attempted Rape Scene", "Tomb Raider Creators Say 'Rape' Is Not A Word In Their Vocabulary", "The Three Modes of Male Sexuality in Videogames", "Male Protagonist Bingo: A study in cliches [MANY IMAGES]", "Your Critic is in Another Castle: The Gamer's Gaze, part 1", "The Video Game Characters You Never Knew Were LGBT", "Dressing Commander Shepard in pink: Queer playing in a heteronormative game culture", "How Not To Address Homosexuality In Gaming", "Gay gamer survey results with large hetero inclusion", "Video games won't feature gay protagonists 'for a while,' says Far Cry 3 writer Lucien Soulban", "Dorian of Dragon Age: Inquisition: Why Gaming's 'Breakout' Gay Character Matters", "GLAAD awards will spotlight video games for the first time", "Games with exclusively female heroes don't sell (because publishers don't support them)", "The games industry is wrong about kids, gaming and gender", "Just How Important Are Female Protagonists? If this is true, Grand Theft Auto could be one of the many things perpetuating violence against females. A small number of these characters, such as SHODAN from the 1994 video game System Shock and Ultimecia from the 1999 title Final Fantasy VIII, have earned particular acclaim from fans and game reviewers, taking their places in video game history as some of the most memorable characters of all time. We most often see female video game characters featured in dresses, skirts or skimpy clothing, wearing bows and make-up, and maintaining dainty, delicate, or over-sexualized dispositions. Ask for more female characters and suddenly we’re apparently demanding for all games to include women, or for strict government guidelines on representation. The gender ratio differs significantly … Statistics from Feminist Frequency, charted by Wired. We all spend so much of our time clicking through reams of content and sometimes not reading anything of interest at all. Of the 126 games at E3 this year, just six center around a female protagonist, while five times as many center around men. ョン処理が導入されたADV, "Getting the Girl: The myths, misconceptions, and misdemeanors of females in games", "Lara's curves reduced to appeal to female gamers", "50 Greatest Heroines In Video Game History", "As game players diversify, developers start to rethink the stars of their games", "Intro to Gender Criticism for Gamers: From Princess Peach, to Claire Redfield, to FemSheps", "Shigeru Miyamoto and the Damsel In Distress", "Objectification of Women in Video Games", "The Lara Phenomenon: Powerful Female Characters in Video Games", "Are These The Top Women Game Characters of All Time? For my study I decided to look into something that I feel strongly about as a female that plays video games and that is female representation in games. There were several notable instances of female characters being cast as the antagonists in video games beginning in the early 90s. However, people are understandably worried that such exposure to severe violence against women in extremely realistic video games normalizes it and even causes people to become less empathetic. HeadStuff.org is a collaborative hub for the creative and the curious. An excellent example of … She’s the protagonist from Sword and Sorcery, a video game for mobile platforms. Then there’s Jade, a character from the 2003 title Beyond Good and Evil who represents progress because there were plans to have her defy stereotypes from the start. Typically having a male character rescuing the ideal female character. Statistics show that the gender ratio of video gamers is fairly equal, with about 48% of all gamers identifying as female and 52% as male. But has female representation in video games gotten better as time has passed, or worse? The game glamorises stealing cars and has been shunned by some gamers for the way it glorifies sexual harassment and the murder of female characters, catering to cisgender males while alienating minority groups. Although women represent half of the demographic of gamers, they are massively under-represented as characters in video games, particularly as lead characters or protagonists. Despite the increase in women playing video games, a 2019 look at video gamesreveals that representation for women in video games is still poor. Kate Harveston is an aspiring writer with a passion for politics and social change. However, Croft was depicted in tight pants and midriff-baring tops, and people asserted that this meant the focus was not on her strength, but on her sexuality. There is … In 2014 in the UK and in Spain, women comprised 52% and 48% of video game players respectively. New or old-school, hero or side-kick, female video game characters like Princess Peach are too often designed as stereotypically feminine. The campaigns the player is given when choosing a female character in a video game can be altered compared to a male character. One of them is The Scythian. ", "The 25 best new characters of the decade", "Effects of the Sexualization of Female Characters in Video Games on Gender Stereotyping, Body Esteem, Self-Objectification, Self-Esteem, and Self-Efficacy", "Survey of 31 years of video games shows a decline in sexualized female characters", "New Anita Sarkeesian Video Looks At Gaming's 'Ms. Some experts say women who work in the sex industry are already at an elevated risk for being harmed by clients, and that Grand Theft Auto isn’t helping that statistic go down. Game 1: The Witcher The Witcher is a role playing game delevoped by CD Projeckt RED STUDIO and was released as a PC exclusive in 2007. A few years after her introduction, the Lara Croft character got a makeover that remains today. Even when women are represented in video games, they are often in secondary character roles, or “typical” character roles for their gender. Are men… This will compare and contrast two game titles of similar nature in which gender representation in both games will be thoroughly examined. A few days ago, there was a small controversy related to the b*****s of a skin in Fortnite that, when making a specific emote, swayed in a way that was considered offensive and even forced Epic Games to remedy the situation. Sometimes these female characters were barely distinguishable from male characters except for one minor characteristic, such as long eyelashes. There are currently 11 standalone titles and four expansion packs, which have collectively sold hundreds of millions of copies. When it comes to different intersecting identities, certain groups may be completely not represented at all, such as women of color. And while recent global statistics place the ratio of male to female gamers at an almost 50/50 split, the fight continues. The character’s creator, Michel Ansel, wanted her to be well rounded and not further the clichés of female characters who act like males. Most notably, I changed my angle from studying the evolution (or lack thereof) of gender representation in video games to focus more on the audience experience. If you like her work, you can follow her on Twitter or visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased. The female roles that are played out in the video game are similar to that of a “Disney princess” film. Cookies are yum so we use them to make your HeadStuff experience more yummy. In Mario and The Legend of Zelda respectively, Princess Peach and Princess Zelda appear as damsels in distress – and, in many cases, the objective of the game is to rescue them from peril. I am writing to act as a non-bias party, shedding light on this sensitive subject. She now wears a tank top and pants and firmly represents the role of a strong heroine. Many critics have assertively spoken out about how strong female video game characters are rare, with the characters that do appear are often being presented as “prizes.”. I hope this can be a more positive take on the topic that is more enjoyable for an audience, as well as addressing key issues to hope for change in future. In one version of the game, the goal is to kill as many women as possible. These measures are necessary to keep moving in a positive direction instead of becoming fixated on females who are objectified or only shown in minor roles. So it's easy for you to find and enjoy high quality content from our wonderful contributors. Representation in Video Games, a Female Perspective Posted by Vanri The Rogue February 1, 2016 January 31, 2016 Posted in Op-Ed , Opinion Piece Tags: female , female gamers , Feminism , Games , Gaming , girl gamers , girls , Misogyny , Real Women of Gaming , representation of women , Sexism , Video Games , Women , Women Gamers , Women in Gaming We're all about the quality, and support good writing and reading. Apart from sexism in video games and under-representation of female characters in games, there is also the sinister world of real-life sexual harassment of women players and those in the gaming industry. Then there’s Jade, a character from the 2003 title, wanted her to be well rounded and not further the clichés of female characters, NO ENCORE #257 | TOP 5 BEST/WORST IRISH NUMBER ONES (2000 – 2021), Reviewables #40 | Ground Control with Conor O’Toole, Riposte | The Pantheon of Books at documenta 14, Violence In Video Games Can Be Extreme, But That’s Beside The Point, Lara Croft: the First Lady of Video Gaming and a Unique Vision of Self-Direction. We get up every morning to make your daily journey through the internet more interesting and productive. 4. It seemed female protagonists were simply created to tick the “diversity” box. Lynch looked for indicators of hypersexualization such as huge breasts and tiny waists. Sometimes these female characters were barely distinguishable from male characters except for one minor characteristic, such as long eyelashes. In many cases, female characters cannot even be actively used during the game. 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