Video games have been a big part of growing up for a lot of people ever since games have come out for commercial use from the 70’s and 80’s. A lot of those people though are males. You may not see a lot of females in the gaming era because they are yet to be really noticed and are slowly being recognized. Like many females today we are harassed, sexualized, demeaned and overcoming the male spectrum. Woman are just as capable at gaming as men as they are with everything else men can do but not all of us are given that chance.
According to the Washington Post men under the age of 18 are 17% of the gaming community while women over the age of 18 are 36% of the gaming community. This study was done by a gaming advocacy group Entertainment Software Association. The number of female gamers age 50 and older increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013.
Many of us who have been playing video games for a long while can say that most women are portrayed as the damsel in distress or over sexualized goddess like warrior/super hero. Games like Zelda, Super Smash bros, Mortal Kombat and some characters in the RPG game Skyrim are a good example of these. In many of the Zelda games, Link, the hero is sent on missions to save his land and also save the princess Zelda, this also goes for the Mario games with princess Peach. As for Mortal Kombat, the women are very over sexualized by wearing bikinis with huge chests and tiny wastes. In Skyrim the females are portrayed as house wives or sexy warriors. I believe because of these games women aren’t looked at as equal when it comes to playing the games with other people.
As games have started changing and adding more female roles (females as the protagonist) more female gamers have started coming to light. One game in particular would be The Walking Dead by telltale games. It starts out with a male main character but soon changes to the younger girl’s point of view. These types of games are not only for men but for women too, or at least that’s the image they are trying to put out there. With games like these it definitely gets more females involved especially the women that like gore. If you were to look on YouTube or type in the search “gamer girls” or “female gamers” you will see a lot of females pop up. Some are videos of girls being scared or being bad asses.
Because games are trying to get more women involved, more women start playing. The game Grand Theft Auto V has a new feature, online gaming, with this new online gaming anyone can play. Meaning they have both genders for your choice and any race you want, the same goes for Call of Duty Ghosts. Video games like this are where women get harassed the most. On a web site called VG24/7 there was a survey conducted by Emily Matthew and she found out that women are harassed four times more than men while playing video games. I for one am one of those females. No matter what game I play I’d rather be male and not use my microphone so no one knows I’m female. I do love games that have female characters or have more female options, but that is just setting us up for tons of harassment.
Overall I feel society as a whole views women as lesser individuals when it comes to the gaming community. Whether it be being made fun of for strategizing and problem solving, or being constantly harassed by other fellow male gamers. Women have branched out and become more prominent in the gaming world. More game developers have incorporated females and female protagonists to get more women involved but with the online community and harassment we female gamers will still be scared to fully come to light.
Harwell, Drew. “More women play video games than boys, and other surprising facts lost in the mess of Gamergate” the Washington post N.p 17 October 2014 Web. 06 march 2015
Nunneley , Stephany. “Study – 63% of women polled report being harassed while gaming online” VG24/7 N.p 8 September 2012 Web. 06 march 2015