Gender Gaming Essay

1550 words - 6 pages

Electronics, social networking, and video games are all outlets as ways for today’s society to drive off boredom or express themselves un-anonymously or anonymously. The use of electronics and social networks have become deeply embedded into today’s culture. Going without Facebook, Twitter, or an iPhone/phone is unusual by current standards in developed countries. With the fact that electronics and social networking have become the norm, using electronics and social networks as catalysts, video games and gaming have become a norm in today’s generation. A vast amount of males and a minute amount of females play video games throughout the world constantly. Looking at gender in a binary fashion, there are stark differences between the male and female audiences for video games. Similarly to the audience of a game, there are vast differences in the ideals that the video game industry puts onto male and female characters; protagonist and supporting. Acknowledging that there are differences in the audience and industry portrayal of genders, video gaming is considered pre-dominantly a male orientated activity. The sexualization of a female “strong” protagonist, the representation and heavy participation of male audience and characters, and the use of video games as an escape from a “feminine” world, all point to the idea of a “masculine” dominated field.
Video gaming can be considered to be a pre-dominantly male orientated activity due to the fact that there are more male players than female. Female players make up about 39% of the audience, but “[although] the [Entertainment Software Association] boasts that women make up 39% of video game players, sizable gender differences have been found in studies of children’s video game play habits” (Ivory). The 39% statistic goes along with the fact that the ESA states that a little over half of Americans age 6 or above play video games for entertainment or other reasons (Ivory). To add to the fact that over half of Americans play, “approximately one in five adults play every day or almost every day. In fact, video games surpass television in terms of time spent among some populations” (Williams et al.). These statistics demonstrate that video games have become embedded into our culture as a method of mass communication.
Knowing that there are more males in the audience of video games, it can be inferred that “most video games target a male audience, and analyses of video game content have found female video game character portrayals to be in-frequent and sexually objectified” (Ivory). To “appease” the male target audience, the video game industry starts to sexualize female characters. Female characters are usually “depicted wearing revealing and provocative clothing and indulging in sexually suggestive behavior” (Ivory). It doesn’t matter if the female character is a support of the story or even the protagonist. The use of sexualized female characters causes the trifling amount of females in the audience to...

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