In the beginning, according to some, there was Adam and Eve. The story is a familiar one. It is taught to churchgoers from an early age. However, the tale of genesis and paradise bears a deeper meaning concerning the roles of its principle characters. Think of Adam. He was created in God’s image, and is the default model upon which the rest of humanity is based. Think of Eve. She was created as an after-thought, using Adam’s rib, and is of lesser importance and strength. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, it is Eve who gives in to temptation and gets the both of them thrown out of paradise. It makes sense for a patriarchal society to develop such a belief system. In fact, the mythologies and culture to which the modern world abides are both intentionally and unintentionally crafted to reinforce the patriarchy. Video games are an ever-growing presence in popular culture, fortifying the patriarchal values found throughout society. The gaming industry frequents the use of pernicious plot-devices and poor representations of women, which not only reflect patriarchal values, but contribute to sexism.
Before describing the specifics concerning patriarchal notions within video games, it would be prudent to explain what a patriarchy is. Simply put, a patriarchy is a society in which men are the socio-economic and political majority (Lindsey). Women are systematically oppressed in patriarchies, often through agents of socialization, including popular culture, which now includes video games (Maitra). More specifically, agents of socialization are what’s responsible for the ideas and beliefs that members of a society develop over time. In a patriarchy, where masculinity is praised and femininity shamed, all agents of...
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