Submitted by JamesSterling87 1245d ago | opinion piece

Feature: The Portrayal of Women in Video Games

Anyone who has played a video game in the last 10 years will know that the industry is fairly rife with direct and indirect sexism, but a new Kickstarter campaign which seeks to create a web series about these issues has caused a whole lot of controversy within the community. Is sexism the last gaming-taboo? (Culture, Industry, iPad, iPhone, Kickstarter, Mobile, PC, PS3, Tag Invalid, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)

JellyJelly  +   1245d ago
This again?
Septic   1244d ago | Offensive
egidem  +   1244d ago
Septic couldn't simply behave like an adult.
Calvin_ISA  +   1244d ago
Right? Women are portrayed super-feminine, men are portrayed super-masculine, and there are exceptions everywhere. No big deal, people need to get over it.
c1oudy  +   1245d ago
It does annoy me that if you put a female character in a game with a good body thay call it hyper-sexualised and sexist but no such controversy appears when the vast majority of men in videogames have abs that are so well defined they look a canal system.
JamesSterling87  +   1245d ago
As far as a ratio goes, there are far more odd and imperfect male characters (Barry Wheeler - Alan Wake, Pigsy - Enslaved, Paco - Heavy Rain, even Max Payne) than female characters in games.

It would be refreshing to see more female protagonists who don't look like supermodels and the occassion lead that is far from it (like Brienne of Tarth). Variety is after all, the spice of life.
Slugg3r  +   1245d ago
Well you won't have to look further than Portal. To be fair they actually gave Chell supermodel makeover in the second one.

Related image(s)
maddfoxx  +   1245d ago
There are always exceptions. I can name some female ones. Faith - Mirror's Edge, Elena - Uncharted Series, Alyx Vance - Half Life 2, Aerith - Final Fantasy 7. I can go on forever.

My point here is that feminist make it seem like females are ALWAYS sexulized and treated like objects in video games and then pretends that it doesn't happen to the other sex at all. We see over-sexualized males, both androgynous and transgendered (Poison), but no one seems to complain about them.
Bimkoblerutso  +   1244d ago
^That's kind of been my understanding of the whole situation as well.

Sure, there are a ton of scantily clad women in many, many games, but when you consider that male characters get the "beefcake" treatment 9 times out of 10 as well, you start to realize that it's never really been a gender thing. It's just lazy design. It's just developers mistaking aesthetic idealism for interesting characterization.

And it may just be old fashioned exploitation many times as well. Either way, both genders get the treatment in one way or another.
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ShaunCameron  +   1245d ago
It's because women generally got self-esteem issues in regards to their own body image and appearance thanks to Western culture's beauty standards reinforced in video games just like it's reinforced in every other media. How else can you justify the existence of anorexia, beauty products and cosmetic surgery?

<but no such controversy appears when the vast majority of men in videogames have abs that are so well defined they look a canal system.>

Men generally don't have body image or appearance issues. That's why (main) male video game characters can be widely celebrated equally regardless of looks. Mario, Marcus Fenix, Nathan Drake, Link, (insert GTA main character here), Kratos, (Old) Solid Snake, etcetera.
#2.2 (Edited 1245d ago ) | Agree(11) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
pandaboy  +   1245d ago
Actually many men do have body image issues and again it's the product of what we are exposed to in society. Men just tend to keep it to themselves because it is deemed unmanly or feminine to admit to it. That's why the suicide rates in young males is significantly higher than females with the same issues, the men have nobody to talk to about it.
TekoIie  +   1244d ago

"Men GENERALLY don't have body image or appearance issues"

Generally is the keyword here, how did you miss that?
Getowned  +   1244d ago
lol really you think a lot of men don't generally have appearance/image issues ? what planet do you guys live on, just would like to know because I like on earth?

Lots of people have appearance/image issues not just women or homosexuals, everyone at some point in the day or time in their life has image/appearance issuses. Men just don't take it to as high of an extream as women do.
Rettom  +   1244d ago
And where is the proof of that statistic?
ApolloTheBoss  +   1245d ago
You can't spell Mass Effect without Ass Effect.
doogiebear  +   1245d ago
Thumbs up for the lolz
HalfNerdHalfAmazing  +   1244d ago
ShaunCameron  +   1245d ago
Is this worth whining about?
Hazmat13  +   1245d ago
they should have the option to play as a female soldier on BF3 or MW3.
homer  +   1245d ago
No thanks. Everyone would play as the women so that they will be slimmer and smaller and therefore be harder to shoot unless they gave us the option to play as testosterone pumped shemales.
TekoIie  +   1244d ago
Well games like gears have done pretty well with characters that have a smaller frame so I bet BF3 could. You just make the character slightly smaller but leave the hit box alone.
rezzah  +   1244d ago
The hit box should be the character body, not their invisible body extensions.
ZoidsRaven  +   1245d ago | Well said
I never could understand this double standard about sexism in video games.

It's "sexism" and a "bad portrayal" of women in video games when a female character is not wearing a lot.

But not "sexism" or a "bad portrayal" of men when a male character does not wear much?

It's "sexism" and a "bad portrayal" of women in video games when a female character is wearing tight clothes.

But not "sexism" or a "bad portrayal" of men when a male character is seen wearing tight clothes?

It's "sexism" and a "bad portrayal" of women when the woman does it but when the male does it, it's all good.
That's like saying "Women should only wear this and should only act like that.".
Why the h#ll would people (like Anita Sarkeesian) talk about equality when they want to restrict what female character(s) say, do and wear?
Male characters are not restricted, so why should female characters be?
Video games got male sterotype too, are male characters restricted to avoid them? NO. Is it a problem? NO.

For political correctness has NO place in gaming. Disagree?
Then you might not like the following.
Pokemon: You catch animals and make them do battle.
God of War: Need I say a thing?
Uncharted 2/3/GA: Drake steals things (mostly when he needs to but you get the point).
Street Fighter: Fighting is "wrong".
And the list goes on and on.

If people really feel this way about gaming, make your own games.
That scam artist (Anita Sarkeesian) got $158,917 so she can "research" (LMFAO XD) sexism in video gaming (even though she can just look up Wiki pages and walkthroughs for FREE). You mean to tell me she can't use some of her funds to at least learn how to make games?

FIN... 7_7
#6 (Edited 1245d ago ) | Agree(13) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
Rupee  +   1245d ago
Well said
ginsunuva  +   1245d ago
Okay then let's make every woman in games fat. Then let's see what people say.
PopRocks359  +   1244d ago
Fat Princess was awesome.
SeekDev  +   1244d ago
Then the women would complain that they are still being misrepresented. There's no winning because it's their opinion, and all of their opinions are slightly different from the next gal.
caperjim  +   1244d ago
Most woman love to be looked at and desired sexually. They wear push-up bras, low tops, short skirts, tight outfits and high heels. Are they doing this to stay cool or because its comfortable? No.

My woman wears all that because she has a great body and wants to look sexy for me.

If i want to see a fat girl i will go to a fast food restaurant. I dont need to see it in a video game where it is suppose to be a fantasy world.
#8 (Edited 1244d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Getowned  +   1244d ago
"Most woman love to be looked at and desired sexually. They wear push-up bras, low tops, short skirts, tight outfits and high heels. Are they doing this to stay cool or because its comfortable? No."

This man speaks truth! lol I know lots of women who openly addmit they dress sluty for attention its their choice how they dress. I didn't pick what they wear. I do agree women in video games for the most part are always Portrayed wrongly. A good example of a game portraying women right imo is HL2 with Alyx Vance, shes strong, smart, can handle herself, shes not sluty but she is still a very sexy and beautifull women with out flashing her boobs all over the place.
Count  +   1244d ago
''most women''? What do you know about ''most women''? The amount of women you date in comparison to ''most women'' in the world is like a 0.0000001%. Think about it, you're basing the entire female gender on your experiences with such a low percentile of females.

I don't think women like being looked at as some form of sex toy, because that's pretty fucking degrading. I like to think that they value themselves higher than that. Because, at the end of the day, they're human regardless of what gender they are. If I don't think I'm some kind of pornsack, then why should they?

I want to see 'whatever' girls in video games. I don't care if they're fat, or have a ridiculously sculpted cg ass like miranda, so long as they have a story to tell. I'm not going to fuck a video game, so any enjoyment that shit could bring me is marginal at best.
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caperjim  +   1243d ago
A woman being regarded as sexy or desirable is far from degrading. Its actually empowering.

People hold this idea that if a woman is beautiful she must not have intelligence to go with it.

Remember many woman that dress sexy have more brains and make more money then you and i combined. Theres nothing "degrading" about that.
aliengmr  +   1244d ago
So Lara Croft fighting off an attacker and killing him is weak?

While sexism and racism exist in our culture, there are times when folks get overly sensitive about it. They actively look for it and end up seeing what they want to see in order to confirm their beliefs. This is why a few individuals saw Lara Croft being raped when those of us of a sound and rational mind saw nothing of the sort.

Its ironic really that those upset about the portrayal of women in game are attacking a studio trying to change one of the most hyper-sexualized female characters in gaming. Seriously, this is crying wolf and IMO is just pissing people off. If you really think there is a major problem with sexism in gaming, attacking those on your side isn't a good idea.
Angels3785  +   1244d ago
Let me just say that I have no such beliefs that women in games are wrongly shown and I don't actively look for it, but the Lara croft scene was put there for a reason. It was an implied rape, meaning that the male character was about to. Granted it didn't go to far......and that is the point, it was a scene drawing you to the complications of the female character...it is seen all the time in film and it should not be a problem in gaming. I have no problem with it. It drawed emotion so you can empathize with the situation, rape is ALWAYS a common problem among women...ask ANY woman and they will say they are scared to go out at night for a fear of getting raped. If you talk with any women they will tell you a lot of things about creepy characters that they have met in their lives.

Women have to deal with a lot, but this scene did NOTHING to draw attention to a full on rape, it drew attention to the possibility and that the strong female lead had to overcome her situation. To deny the fact that that is what the development team were going for when making a game that is trying to reach the cinematic quality of movies and games like Uncharted is laughable. It is what they were trying to show, people just over reacted to it. YOU are also falling victim to your own diagnosis...saying people are looking for problems...well me AND you are both denying what was going on because we don't want people bagging on our games, face it...its what the dev team was going for, emotional impact through the struggles of being a woman...its real, its raw and its good.

So what I'm saying is that the feminists and the gamers need to meet in the middle because rape was implied though not drawn through and the feminists over reacted and the gamers will naturally deny anything against games. When I first heard about this I immediately thought the anti game crowd was out in full force, but then I saw it and you can tell by the mans physical demeanor from the body language to the creepy subtle laugh to the camera angle that he had "intensions", but the feminists dont see this scene as someone who sees a movie and understands the emotional impact of the situation.

Look at my comment history...I'm not some feminist lady, I enjoy my games to the full extent and I WILL be picking up tomb raider. But look at it logically...go and talk with your woman about rape...show the scene to a non gamer or a woman and they will agree....the guy was about to rape her....but they will also agree it was for emotional impact because nothing happened and the strong female lead overcame her situation. I agreed with you because I dont see what the fuss is about. Especially since in a twisted metal trailer there was a scene that people thought was rape, but in reality the scene didnt fit the bill and sweet tooth is a MURDERER, so you can dismiss that easily. But the Lara croft scene fits because its what the team is going for a cinematic emotional experience, the male (man part of some underground group low morals,stuck on an island) has reason to do something like this. So its all subjective and it is ridiculous to deny that this scene wasn't an implied rape to draw emotion from the player.

Lastly before you say "BUT crystal dynamics denied the implied rape"....they only denied it after one of the lead designer said thats what they were going for ,but it drew too much negative attention http://www.computerandvideo...
Its perfectly natural to deny this so as not to draw to much against the release of the game, they just want to move on.
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rezzah  +   1244d ago
This is perfect.

+ bubble.
Mottsy  +   1244d ago
how many feminist does it take to change a lightbulb? None Feminist can't change anything. just a joke lets not get hostile! =p

Now to the matter at hand. As the guy said above me, political correctness has no place in video games. This reminds me of the whole PETA thing which got on the Mario Bro. games for the squirrel outfit. Video games are a work of art and entertainment. I don't see people getting bent out of shape for the millions of movies with "perfect" actors and actresses. What about all those magazines with Keyword: REAL women showing almost nude pics of themselves in "teen" magazines, but they want to attack someones made up world. There is so much going on with the world then how females are portrayed in people's work of art. This just seems like a huge self esteem issue and all i got to say about that is well here let this brother explain.


Parental Advisory on Video above! Peace and love !
#10 (Edited 1244d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Bercilak  +   1244d ago
Judging from the photo that accompanies the article on this site, I'd have to say that the portrayal is fine.

Very *very* fine.
BitbyDeath  +   1244d ago
Not sure how this is a bad thing, why do we want to see a fat/ugly chick?

Better to give the fat/ugly ones rolemodels to live up to. Otherwise they'll just accept being fat/ugly and no-one wants that. (Except the fat/ugly ones that are too pigheaded (lol pun) to change)
CyrusNightshade  +   1244d ago
You cannot win with people like this. There is nothing wrong with the "potrayel of women" in video games. Know why? Because they are not real women. They are characters in a game, you are not supposed to see them as role models. I have so much I would like to say about this but it just makes me so angry that I cant think. Its the same as anything else, you dont like it, then dont play it. You dont need to make it so everything is the way you like, nor should you have the right to.
DivineAssault  +   1244d ago
Its not real so whats the big deal? Why wouldnt any man on an adventure want to be surrounded by hot women that aide & assist???? why wouldnt u wana play as a cool bad ass going on quests & fighting for whatever the game is about? U dont see scum buckets on GQ magazine covers or any other forms of media so why is it wrong in games?
Elvis  +   1244d ago
cagu   1244d ago | Spam
Bakkies  +   1244d ago
Nothing can compare to the true horror of how Women portray themselves.
polorsport  +   1244d ago
This is a bunch of bullshit just like the 49% of women are gamers.

That's not exactly true they usually play bullshit casual games facebook, ios, wii games.

There is over a 10,000 to 1 ratio of male to female players in hardcore games. FPS, RPG, Action, etc.

We like tits and ass let us have it. We buy and play the damn games.

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