California’s second lady: Games need to ‘think bigger’ about portrayals of women

VB - At the Game Developers Conference, Jennifer Siebel Newsom implored game developers to feature strong women in their games rather than highly sexualized figures.

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majiebeast1848d ago (Edited 1848d ago )

Just what we need politicians giving their opinion on gaming...

Women have less interest in the tech field then men, there isnt some guy screaming you shall not pass, to every woman wanting to work in tech.

jeeves861848d ago

That's not true. There have been a lot of stories regarding women facing discrimination in the workplace, particularly in the tech field.

Are you purposely closing your eyes to these issues, or did you just not know about them?

dedicatedtogamers1848d ago

She's wrong. Here's why: the majority of female characters don't care about the portrayal of women, or even men, for that matter. Remember, over 50% of gamers are women, but a lot of these play smartphone games, puzzle games, stuff like that. Nothing wrong with those games, by the way, but can you notice the common thread between those sorts of games? Ahah! You guessed it: storyline is non-existent. The majority of women gamers do not care about storyline (some women do, of course, but statistics don't lie). The portrayal of a woman (or a man) is something related to storyline. If the majority of female gamers don't pay attention to story, then where is the business value (please take special note of that phrase "business value") of how we portray women? Male gamers form a much higher percentage of those who purchase games for the storyline.

I'm not saying turn women into sleazy sex objects, but the reality is that, looking at the big picture of gaming, the videogame industry is very respectful of women. Sure, not all games are, just like not all...say, chick flicks are fair in their portrayal of men. But hey, males aren't the target demographic of chick flicks, so they don't change.

DasTier1848d ago

Hmmn, I think there need to be a line between Gaming on a console or PC Gaming rig and playing on a smart phone.

If my calculator had a mini game on it does that count as gaming?

dedicatedtogamers1848d ago

What I'm pointing out is that - across all styles of gaming - over 50% are women. However, a fraction of those actually play the "gamer games" that you're talking about. And that's my point.

Out of the 10s of millions who buy Call of Duty, let's say 50% were women. Okay, if that was the case, I can see the reason why we should portray women differently. But we know its not the case. So, women are portrayed in a way that is attractive to the biggest demographic, males.

I used the example of the chick flick. Men are portrayed very stereotypically in such movies. I'm married. I've seen my fair share. I've noticed that women like the way men in these movies are portrayed. But men aren't standing up and demanding that the "chick flick market" starts giving men a fairer portrayal. It would be silly, because these movies are aimed at women.

The same goes for videogames. Why are the male-focused games being held to such a standard? Women don't typically play these games. It's a silly "vocal minority" thing.

RememberThe3571848d ago

I agree with her point. Luckily Bioshock: Infinite just came out as well as Tomb Raider and both of those games are great examples of strong women in vastly different roles. Tomb Raider gives us a very attractive main character that through tragedy, hardship, and pure necessity, becomes a super badass chick; sexy and takes respect, my type lol. Bioshock gives us a character that is so in tune with the world and your character, you begin to actually care about her as if she was real.

I actually feel like the gaming industry has done a really good job portraying women, especially in recent years. Think Elika from Prince of Persia, Elena and Chloe from Uncharted, Madison from Heavy Rain, and now Jodie form Beyond. None of our big games really objectify women as they're too busy glorifying war. So even though I share the concern of young men objectifying women I don't think the the gaming industry has a very bad track record on that front.

auragenz1848d ago

Hasn't "thinking bigger" about portrayals of women gotten the industry in enough trouble already?

MegadethAndy1848d ago

I'm sure she spends more time doing her hair in one morning than playing video games in one month.
Maybe she should give Mass Effect a go.

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