Since the late 1980s, parents, gamers, and educators alike have decried the lack of games targeted to girls and women and the misogyny that infects the video game industry. Over three decades of home video gaming later, there has been little improvement.
There is a demonstrable lack of video games featuring a strong female protagonist that is not sexualized or even containing a female playable character at all, and many games incorporate stereotypes persisting from the Victorian era or blatant violence against women.
Whether it’s scantily-clad women lying around waiting to be rescued or games that are covered in pink with mind-numbingly ridiculous plots marketed to girls, the gaming industry’s treatment of women is painful. Research regarding the long-term effects of this misogyny in video-game culture has clearly indicated that it is wholly detrimental. Women have been pushing back.
Videos, blogs, articles, petitions, research and groups are rapidly making the issue no longer merely a thorn in the side of the industry, but a cyst that requires attention. Even those that come to the defense of the industry are critical.
But it’s not all stodgy research papers, long-winded articles, and activist vlog diatribes. In what has become a beloved stereotype of geeky gamer girls, blogs, posts, and articles full of sardonic wit have tackled the issue. A favorite post by Ubersexyrobotpirateninjatrout on Group Think deserves note. The post, entitled Every Misogynistic Argument You’ve Ever Heard About Video Games, answers the most common arguments made to excuse and explain the video game industry’s misogyny. The post states,”For realsies, though, the gaming community has a huge problem in its treatment of women,” and;
“Have a tiny bit of empathy for people who aren’t you, and ask yourself – REALLY ask yourself – if the problem isn’t women playing games, but the men who are too scared to share their toys with the scary, unknowable ladypersons.”
In an industry that struggles with respect for women, perhaps a look at the respect some of the male gamers give their female friends could inspire.
Edited by SS