Female Gamers

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.

 

Work cited.

Washington Post

 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

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/10/17/more-women-play-video-games-than-boys-and-other-surprising-facts-lost-in-the-mess-of-gamergate/&gt;

VG24/7

Nunneley , Stephany.  “Study – 63% of women polled report being harassed while gaming online” VG24/7 N.p 8 September 2012 Web. 06 march 2015

<http://www.vg247.com/2012/09/08/study-80-of-gamers-believe-sexism-is-rampant-in-the-gaming-community/&gt;

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7 thoughts on “Female Gamers

  1. It seems you’re not the only one who wrote about female nerds. I noticed it’s a common subject this term. I would like to point out that you state women are either the damsel in distress or the sexualized person, but I think that’s a little too outdated,.

    • I have also noticed I wasn’t the only person to write about female gamers. I get where you’re going with the “outdated” and I could have incorporated how men may also have to deal with something similar with the way they are depicted in games. I have also noticed that women in games are becoming more “normal” I guess.

  2. Hey Amanda,

    It was interesting to see your take on the subject of gaming, because most of the posts I see about that are from the male perspective. It was great to hear a different voice from what I would assume is the minority of gamers. I don’t really play video games, but my wife does, so I appreciated you taking on the subject matter. I thought what you said about game developers creating games that have a central female figure and how that will be a good thing overall, was an interesting point that I wouldn’t have thought of prior to reading your paper. Do you think that games like Tomb Raider, which have been around for a long time, is a good thing for female gamers or does it just play into certain stereotypes?

    • To me Tomb Raider is one of those one the fence games. Yes its a lead female game but the way she was created (her body/look) was, I think, made for the male gamer. So yes I think it plays into a stereotype that women have to be sexy or good looking to be strong and independent. But you could also say that for men as well when it comes to games like Far Cry, where the male lead is good looking and fit.

  3. Hi Amanda,
    I am very enjoy in reading your essay. I think you made a great improvement on your final piece. I am not interested in video games, so I may not often pay attention to “female gamer” this topic. I was appreciate you point out this issue. I think one reasons that female gamers are less concerned by society is because comparing with male communities, they may still is small portion. However quantity does not equal to ability. In China, more and more girls start to play video games. I think it is a big change. Female gamers are usually give people a impression of nerd. But today, I saw many cute and lovely girls play games. Thanks to share your ideas.

  4. As a male gamer I’ve seen, on more than one occasion, women getting harassed online (specifically in video games). I think it’s really odd that someone would rather harass someone instead of playing the game. From my perspective it’s a problem with the internet being so detached from your personal life. I for one, really love gaming and don’t really care whether I’m playing with a girl or guy. I’d rather the person just be good at the game. Everyone is there to have fun. So because of that, I’ll never understand the harassing. It was interesting to see how a woman sees the topic because I’ve always been the bystander to that harassment. Good work.

  5. Amanda – Loved reading your paper. I just recently watched a Law & Order SVU episode based around female gamers and how they are treated in the gaming community. I had no idea! So it was really fun to follow up with your paper. Great job!

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