Written by ModernMediaMix
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
As a woman who happens to love video games, I’ve always been a little concerned with the portrayal of women in them. There really isn’t that many games targeted AT women — like, to play. Then again, most games don’t have female characters.
Some games have female characters as supporting roles. I’m going to take it back a little and talk about Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. for a minute.
Remember the plot? Princess Peach (that silly little goose) goes and gets herself princess-napped because she can’t take care of herself, and the mustache twins Mario and Luigi have to rescue her.
So, first of all, the woman character needs men to save her. What do you think that teaches little girls? Second, you might not know it, but there is a whole community of people who talk about Princess Peach like she’s a second-string stripper at the local club. (I cannot confirm or deny my involvement in this community). Check out this thread of gamers who obviously have given it some thought.
Even the games that star women such as the games in the Lara Croft series portray a kind of woman that is unrealistic. I’m certainly happy that the newest Croft game is getting such awesome reviews, but have you seen her?
One writer from PC Gamer talks about a game where the lead character was a female, but didn’t quite meet the standards of most gamers. “Even in that early model she wouldn’t have made it as a star character – she wasn’t attractive enough, there were problems.”
In the words of my favorite 5-year-old YouTube celebrity: Is this real life? I looked up the game; the character was a librarian and had “normal people” clothes on. But because she wasn’t wearing the world’s shortest shorts and a revealing tank top she was shut down? Shame on the gaming industry!
On a similar topic, the author of the article “Top 10 Badass Women of Video Games” (I’m not gonna link to that) wrote that the women in video games today “Tend to draw more attention than the occasional well-designed and far more interesting female characters who wear actual clothes …”
Maybe it’s just me, but should we seriously be allowing our children (boys and girls alike) to grow up thinking that this is what women should be? Girls need to learn they can respect themselves, but shouldn’t be shunned away from games because they are “made for boys” and young boys these days really do need to learn how to respect women. But how is anyone supposed to respect a woman who can’t take care of herself or a woman who exploits her body?
- Christian Holt