>Depictions of Women in Games, Game Art, and Promotional Material

>At this past GenCon, Simon of Pelgrane Press asked me if I would be willing to write an article about sexism in gaming for his irregularly published webzine See Page XX. I immediately said yes, and the resulting article is what ultimately gave me the inspiration to start this blog. So it makes me very happy to announce that the article has finally been posted! Please go give it a read!

For everyone out there who has ground their teeth when forum trolls respond to allegations of sexism in games or game art with “show me some numbers”, here is some ammunition. In this article, I created a consistent set of variables that I used to examine art from tabletop RPGs, CCGs, console games, and MMOs. There are numbers to be had, and graphs. So very, very many graphs.

I have some vague ideas about pulling some things out of the article for more in-depth analysis here, but nothing too concrete yet. Anyhow, here’s the link again: Depictions of Women in Games, Game Art, and Promotional Material.

7 thoughts on “>Depictions of Women in Games, Game Art, and Promotional Material

  1. >A game not included in the statistics that surprised me pleasantly was The Lord of the Rings Online. Every female character I've seen in the game is wearing practical, adventure-ready clothing and/or armor that provides cover from neck to ankle. I don't know what the promotional material is like, but the fact that the game is built that way is surely a good thing.As a contrast to some of the others, I think it's worth taking a look at, even if its active population is relatively low compared to some.

  2. >I just wanted to say, you did a great job compiling and presenting all this research. At the very least, point people to this article and ignorance will no longer be an excuse.

  3. >Jonathan: LotRO wasn't in the top seven population wise back when I was putting together initial data regarding MMO populations. I suspect that it would be now, and I do certainly plan to examine LotRO some time. I'm putting it off, though, because of the historical sexism inherent in the source material, honestly. But yeah, from what I've seen of LotRO, it's one of the better ones out there.Chaltab: That is honestly my hope for how this will be used.

  4. >@JonathonOMG. I never bothered checking out the LOTR MMO because I tend to assume that licensed games are terrible and I didn't really like LOTR. But I checked out their site after your comment and the lack of sexism on the website actually shocks me. The female characters are noticeably "prettier" than the men, but still very reasonable. I think my only complaints about the site presentation are that the male/female balance is a bit out of whack, and the use of "man" to describe humans (although IIRC that was Tolkein's deal and I'm sure the fanboys would REALLY have flipped their wigs if that had changed). Check out the lady hobbit playing the lute under Become a Hero –> Hobbit! It's… an attractive yet non-sexualized character! All of the screenshots of women in the class section are fully clothed!I am DLing it now to see if the lady dwarves have beards like (I think?) they're supposed to. And check out the crafting system. And, you know, maybe some stuff.

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