Gender Stereotypes In Video Games

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I. Introduction The status of the video-games industry, with its fast growing multi-billion dollar market has never been stronger. The importance and impact of this medium cannot be neglected. For many years now video games are no longer an entertainment for the chosen. A recent survey revealed that as much as 59% of all Americans play video-games and children start playing as early as at the age of three. The games can stimulate education and development, but they can as well shape the perception of reality and set behavioral patterns. No wonder that this issue is an interesting and common subject for academic studies and a never-ending source of controversy. In spite of the enormous changes and development the industry has undergone…show more content…
The image of women in video-games for a long time has been a source of many controversies and a subject for numerous papers and research. The early games often presented female characters as copies of their male counterparts with added parts that stereotypically represent femininity, like eyelashes, lipstick, or a blusher. Nowadays, an overwhelming majority of games are facing accusations of women objectification. An interesting comparison had been drawn recently between the male and female characters in on of the best selling games of 2011 – Batman:Arkham City. All main female characters, that is Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are very scanty clothed, with their breasts, underwear and feminine aspects heavily exposed and vulgarly oversexualised, compared to mostly fully clothed, serious looking males. And as consumer feedback shows, this is what a large percentage of males want, so again there is an economical factor behind this objectification. The oversexualised approach and perception of women is particularly visible in fighting games and MMORPG 's. Scanty armor and clothing, revealing most of the body to harm, despite being logically pointless, has become one of the trading marks of these genres. A study by Karen E. Dill and Kathryn P. Thill on gender roles in video games from 2007 involving analysis of game-related magazines and an extensive survey demonstrates that modern video games depict women as highly physical, visions of beauty and objects of…show more content…
All above seems to be both the reason and a result. A larger number of female game designers and developers would surely positively influence the market as well as position and presentation of female characters. At the same time, women feel discouraged and threatened to be a part of the industry with such clear lack of respect towards their sex. A glimmer of hope might be the fast growing number of female gamers and the support women in the industry offer to each other – both of which I will discuss in the next

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