From: Betty’s Last Word
The frustrations of a female gamer are a hard thing to match. With full days of classes and long nights of working, it’s tough to find time to keep up with the latest games. Being a female gamer myself, it is almost impossible to ignore the many faults of the past and present marketing strategies and ideas of the gaming industry. Most of the games that have been released in the past three decades are noticeably sexist, complete with objectified women on a Double D-angerous scale. There are little to no strong, independent female lead characters in video games, and if there are, they have breasts and a body shape that makes them look like a caricature of a porn star. The importance of video games and their effects in society are carelessly overlooked, as it seems to most people to be another case of feminists complaining. While they are not most peoples’ cup of tea, video games demonstrate important social constructs in the world that are difficult to see, which explains the heavy-handed sexism. The majority of social media, especially video games, acts as a mirror to reflect the way the general public reacts in certain situations, especially in relation to women and their purpose in a specific culture. While I feel a good amount of this sexism is due to the lack of women in the gaming industry and also the absence of empathy in the male developers, the majority of it is due to the intense need for a quick and easy marketing strategy. Sex and violence sell, so those are the two main things that are slipped into our virtual entertainment. The most well-known instance of this is in the Lara Croft Tomb Raider series, when the developers exaggerated Lara’s proportions specifically to use as a hook for the teenage boy demographic. While a good amount of gamers are female, games are usually targeted toward the male audience. This is because the gaming industry is mostly dominated by men. Due to this shift in power, there are very few strong female leads in video games, but numerous objectified women whose only purpose is the damsel in distress or the brawny hero’s eye-candy. This patriarchal standpoint in the gaming community affects how women are viewed in society.