Gender is presented in video games is based on stereotypes associate with “male” and “female.” When focusing on outer appearance, males are “muscular,” while females are “sexy” (Zorrilla, 1). Female characters are often secondary, therefore few video games have strong female leads. As well, male characters in mass media “appear more frequently, talk significantly more, and engage in noted behaviours more, such as achieving and showing leadership” (Mou & Peng, 923) compared to their female counterparts. These characters follow gender stereotypes prevalent in the modern world.
The purpose of this essay is to examine the portrayal of female characters in video games. It will look at how the roles they play and their physical appearance have negative psychological implications. It will focus on the connection between gender stereotypes and an adolescents perception of reality and self identity.
In video games, females are regarded as objects. Their bodies are sexualized, purely for the benefit of male viewers. Yi Mou and Wei Peng (2009) did a study where they took nineteen games (picked based on top sales along with popularity) and stu...
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...rtray gender to that of their traditional roles. In doing this it presents a hierarchy based on gender, which is relevant in the modern world. Women must be “sexy to have power or they are a damsel in distress that is reliant on men” (Everbach, 6). Young children learn from this form of media and use these images to “undermine the power of females” (Everbach, 7). Video games depict what is currently going on in today’s patriarchal society. Game developers and companies must realize there is a need for balance. It is inevitable there will be games developed sole for males and solely for females. However, companies must market these games in a way both males and females will be interested in playing them (Kondrat, 180). To see a change, video games and all other forms of media need to empower women and remind society gender does not define you. Men and women are equals.
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