“Oh you are a woman and you play video games? The guys must love that.”
We all unconsciously use subtle forms of sexism everyday and more often than not it’s done completely by accident and without malice. However even though the fight for the equality of men and women has come a long way, in the gaming world its a different story. There has been a public outcry from female gamer’s of the abuse they receive everyday from fellow players. “Get back in the kitchen” and “Gaming is not for women” are comment’s women are receiving as well as obscene sexual advances.
The fact women can’t pursue something which they enjoy due to the sheer amount of abuse they receive online is deeply saddening. However just like mine, women have started to create blogs to help raise awareness of this issue. You can read the entire article here about the vile comments women have received online whilst playing games such as Call of Duty.
Watch out boys!
A research project interviewed 4,000 UK residents and results showed that 52% of all gamer’s are now women. Therefore the stereotype of “only boys play video games” needs to be corrected. At 19 i’m playing video games not only by myself but with my boyfriend and friends. I find myself playing anything from Sim’s to Nazi Zombies on Call of Duty. Thankfully I have never encountered any kind of horrific abuse women gamer’s have received. Many feel that video games were specifically meant to bring gamer’s together, however they seem to be having the opposite affect. Gender should be irrelevant when it comes to playing and enjoying video games.
The sexualization of women in video games has always been apparent. It seem’s that creators are simply aiming their video games towards the straight male player. BY simply looking at games such as such as Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider, both portray women in extremely unrealistic ways (extremely slim, large breasts and skin tight clothing.) It is obvious to any gamer that much work need to be done to change how female characters are represented within games. However as previously stated 52% of all gamers are now women so the stigma that only men and boys play video games needs to be eradicated.
Female characters being sexualized could be a reason why when women play video games, they receive such obscene sexual advances from male players. A possible way to improve this would be to encourage games developers to represent women realistically in games. However there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are far more female protagonists making their way into peoples PlayStation’s. Emily Kaldwin is set to lead the way for women in video games with the release of Dishonoured 2.