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Mainstream Game Development Is Predominately Designed By Men

1241 words - 5 pages

First of all, despite the gaming audience being half women, most AAA games are made focussed entirely on male in mind. Ken Levine himself said that “Bioshock Infinite” was marketed to appeal to frat boys. And Naughty Dog has revealed they didn’t want to see what women thought of “The Last of Us” and that they were trying to appeal exclusively to males. While the director of “Remember me” has said the female protagonist has been killed off by publishers because men allegedly don’t want to play as a “girly girl”. Mainstream game development is predominately designed by men, for men. In the same way female characters are being designed to appeal to men, so too are male characters, but not in ...view middle of the document...

Such as physical strength, mobility and bravery, it is preferred to have those traits than to have no personality and life outside of having the female anatomy. Some would say there are plenty of strong and powerful playable female characters such as Lara Croft from “Tomb Raider”. But even the best playable female characters are going to be inoffensively beautiful in some way shape or form. Lara Croft was a powerful and intelligent woman, but she was overly sexualised in the older games. In the latest “Tomb Raider” game she is attractive, realistically proportioned, properly clothed and is more human-like which makes her an acceptable sexualisation because she’s not objectified.

Sexism in the Gaming Industry

For 20 years the industry's attitude was "women don’t play video games", although they are slowly changing their attitude because 48% of gamers are in fact female, there is still major sexism in the industry that remains. An indie female game developer – Zoe Quinn, was trying to release her game “Depression Quest”, an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression, on to Stream Greenlight. Evidently her gender, or her desire to design game, or some combination of the two caused her to receive men dialling her number to spout rape threats, sexist comments and telling her to kill herself. The abuse got so bad that Zoe had to change her phone number. She eventually took the game down because she couldn’t handle the abuse anymore. She then in the long run decided to try Greenlight again, she stated that, “I thought since the game got into [International independent game festival] IndieCade, people would respond to it a lot better… Mostly though, it came down to the fact that I talked to a lot of people who said that it helped them. I thought, honestly, I could take the hate if it meant the game could reach somebody who would get something out of it, feel less alone.” But after resubmitting the game to Greenlight, the same thing happened, but this time a bunch of online users decided to also launch a harassment campaign against her. There have been a number of stories like this in the past couple of years. Another major case was in 2012, media critic Anita Sarkeesian created a web video series to point out some of the sexist tropes repeated again and again in video games, only to encounter a backlash from gamers that led to some people emailing her images of her getting raped by game characters, among other misogynist comments. Those kinds of responses just reinforced her broader point, which is that the...

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