Sexism in Video Games

With physics breaking chests and outfits made with the same material as condoms, women are certainly not portrayed accurately or appropriately. However, a great deal of men like to argue that their gender is also inaccurately portrayed. While this may be true, there is a great difference between objectification and idealization.


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Video game developers openly admit that their target audience is men, so they will give the images men want to see. And this is where the differentiation between the portrayals of both genders occurs. Because the intention is to please men, the portrayal of men is idealized for what men wish they could be: muscular, brave, the hero, etc. On the other end of the spectrum is how women are portrayed, which is objectified for the pleasure of men. Women tend to be the overtly sexual but personality deficient hero’s help, the damsel in distress, or the evil that must be destroyed. None of these character types are anything I would want to be. Even if a woman seems powerful, she is there for a man’s eyes, thus causing the physics condom outfits and physics breaking chests.

Why does this matter if men are the one’s playing video games? Because men are not the sole players of games. In fact, women comprise almost half of the amount of video gamers out there, shown in the graphic below. It is clear that women are playing the games and seeing these horrible images of what their gender is supposed to look like, according to developers. Women really need to be more outspoken about this injustice, like Anita Sarkeesian is.

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Video game developers should really strive for more equality in their game representations, for both men and women. Now I offer this option: either make women more realistic/ equal to men or keep them objectified, but if you choose the latter I better see some physics breaking features on men to make up to the difference (which I’m pretty sure no one wants to actually see). You make the call developers.lara-crofts-evolution.jpg

Is it getting better? In fact it is. Look at Lara Croft’s evolution. Look at the Overwatch characters. It is getting better, but the battle isn’t over.

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10 thoughts on “Sexism in Video Games

  1. Omg! Yess!!!! So much yes! Countless woman characters are overly objectified for the male pleasure. GTA – they actually get to beat the prostitutes and get back their money. Do you enjoy computer games more or games on a console?

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  2. I love the armor female characters have. WHile the men get full body armor, women get magical chain ail bikinis that flatter their curvaceous bodies and somehow keep their overexposed flesh protected from the enemies. Gotta love em. *end heavy sarcasm*

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  3. I’m a woman and have been a gamer since I could hold a controller, and I have no issue whatsoever with how women are portrayed in gaming. For instance, you show Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (a favorite of mine) and the girls are in swimsuits… Because they’re playing volleyball! I believe a lot of women like to pick apart only certain series’ or a singular game to make a point that there’s less armor, or bigger chests, when in reality – if you truly look into most games – that’s not the case. (Not that there is anything wrong with either.)

    Whether it’s a game with a main female character, side game, or one like MMORPGs where you customize your character, there are so many other choices. Example: Tomb Raider, Mirror’s Edge, Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Dead or Alive games that aren’t the volleyball series, Until Dawn, and this is just going with some popular titles. There’s so many others, and then you get into HUGE character customization games, like Saints Row series, Fallout 4, Way of the Samurai 4, Knights of the Old Republic, Skyrim… Again, just to name a few.

    Finally, MMORPGs, where women seem to complain the most about skimpy armor (which is kind of sad, because a lot of that armor is beautiful), or knock men for eyeing hot pixels (another pet peeve – especially when it’s directed towards men, as women do the same). You have jackets, pants, dresses, skirts, blouses, heavy armor, medium armor, light armor; there’s everything from robes to armor that barely covers your chest. Something for everyone, no matter what you like.

    I am 100% behind men getting characters who match their bodies, and what kind of armor they want, because I know many of my male friends hate that every male body is buff, especially.

    I don’t want to see skimpy armor, big chests, buff bodies, etc. go away, but I do want to see equality. Skimpy, or full coverage armor, or a mix of both; small chests (which to be honest I find cuter despite having a large one myself), skinnier bodies, heavier bodies, etc. For everyone!

    Just speaking from one female’s perspective.

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  4. Love it! I’m a video gamer girl for sure!! I always thought that developers should make the same exact game, but change the look by having a “MODE” where the characters change. People could play in Male friendly mode (for men) and female friendly mode (for women) This would be the easiest thing ever!

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  5. I agree. And I also think that what Chocolate Mama said makes all the sense. To have a friendly male mode and a friendly female mode would also be a solution. But, I don’t think the environment is going to change any time soon. I’d love if it changed quickly though… sigh.

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