Feminism In Video Games

1462 Words6 Pages
The Research Essay As a growing trend, video games mirrors society’s characteristics: from the use of societal topics such as inequality and violence that stems from the implicit prejudices found in today's culture. Whether video games are merely perpetuating the stereotypes of racism and sexism or providing social commentary on burgeoning social issues remains to be discussed. Despite the game developers or artists’ intent on such issues, there is an ongoing trend of negative portrayals upon women, such to the extent that these portrayals have continued the ideals of injustice among the audience and consumers of video games. Despite public discourse, video games are nuanced in their intentions and therefore is left to individual discretion…show more content…
Femininity as portrayed within the media is a fairly progressive view, especially in the male dominated industry of video games. Despite the apparent appeal to a male audience, video games have actively mirrored societal expectations of men and female alike. In the "Characterization of Female Protagonists in Video Games: A Focus on Lara Croft", Hye-Won Han produced a critical analysis of female protagonists; Laura Croft in particular to emphasize the varying roles women play in video games. As subsectioned off into three different eras, Laura Croft is an excellent archetype for the female role in video games since the Tomb Raider franchise has been around for 17 years. Her differing representations throughout the years underlines the dual identity she partakes in by being a intelligent heroine and a sex symbol. As a constant, her sex appeal has been apparent but more subtle through the years. Han underlines this significance as “characterization of [women] protagonists reflect the values of the time and inevitably certain ideologies”. (27-29). This is evidently true from a historical perspective of video games, within the earlier years of the video gaming industry, video games were targeted for an older male audience. One of the infamous depictions of this appeal from “Video Games and Gender Based Violence” was the video game Custer’s Revenge where a cowboy rapes a Native American woman for points in order to win. This blatant example of sexual violence would be socially unacceptable to mass market even more so today than when it was made in the 1980’s; eventually the developers of Custer’s Revenge were sued due to the obscenity. (Gutierrez,
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