The genesis of this blog came from an article that I wrote for See Page XX examining prevalence of sexist depictions of women in different areas of gaming. Before you read anything else here, you should really go read the article. (Yes it’s important enough to link twice.) If you find yourself wanting to argue with the article, please read this post here elucidating common arguments against my findings and clarifying some points regarding my criteria and methods.
My goal is to make this a place you can point people to regarding specific issues pertaining to sexism in gaming.
If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome! If you don’t want to read chronologically, consider checking out this guide on how to use this blog. If you’re a feminist or ally looking for a specific post to use as a reference, then visit this guide here.
3 thoughts on “INTRODUCTION”
not really related to this specific post, and you’re totally free to delete it later, i didnt have a better way to say something to you.
I thought this was something that might interest you
particularly the last half that talks about a broader issue that includes the sort of sexism you talked about in games, that thoughtless design can unintentionally send all sorts of bad subliminal messages. It’s a quick video but an interesting perspective, not sure I’ve ever seen it framed quite like that.
(I don’t know where else to write this, sorry for the inconvenience)
Hi, I’m Ezequiel Alvarez and I disagree with you. You deal with a lot of issues in your writings, but there is one that you are attacking from the wrong angle: Objectification.
You claim it’s “sexist” to depict more women than men in suggestive clothing and/or posses, but the actual definition of “sexism” goes more along the lines of “your gender affects your abilities”.
Actually, if objectification is sexist or not is still being argued: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_objectification
I’m not a grammar troll or anything like that, but that difference makes a great deal. Calling video game artists “sexists” implies they are inherently evil, while on the other hand they are just “lazy designers” (as that Penny Arcade video puts it perfectly).
Your hate is misdirected, this people (designers, developers, directors, etc (and in all media, you go against gaming because since it’s new it’s more obvious, but this a problem that affects everything and everyone since the creation of mass media)) are just victims of our material society. Why would they want to pay more for a good designer when they can hire a cheap one who will draw big tits everywhere, probably increasing sales? Capitalism is about doing things as cheaply as possible, so I don’t know why you expect good design in extremely cheap games like WoW or other MMORPGs. Of course, every medium and genre has examples of great quality, but that’s not the point.
The point is, in synthesis, that I think you are wrong when you criticize the gaming industry of being sexist. Sexism is everywhere, it is more abundant in new mediums like video games, but it’s in the character designs, not the drawings, and only in bad games (which may be mainstream or not, quality has nothing to do with sales).
Now, objectification is an issue. It is really prevalent in cheap games, which don’t even count to me anyway, like Disgaea, DotA, CoD, Persona, etc; but it’s also common in “cheap” movies (made with billion of dollars, yet of crappy quality) and cheap novels, etc.
But I agree, it is too common in video games, but not good video games. And this is like that for all mediums. The difference is that Bad Video Games aren’t usually recognized as what they are, while this too affects all mediums it’s extremely obvious in the Gaming Industry. Look at CoD4, BF3, WoW, DotA, LoL, FF13, FF7, etc. There are examples in other mediums of course, but they aren’t so obvious (Avatar (movie), Kafka on the Shore by Murakami (book)).
Just wanted to say that. I read like 70% of your articles, but I can’t agree with most them. If some japanese guy wants to draw Samus with an ass illegally big, it’s for masturbation (monetary and sexual), I don’t blame him for that, but the people around him who go and buy his shit, and the publisher who only wants money. It’s a social problem, but the root is in the definition of quality and the direction of praise. As long as humanity continues to throw power at semi-naked idiots singing bullshit over 2 alternated funk chords, most people will want to be like them.
And on a side note, you criticize a lot of character art because it shows women in passive roles wearing non-clothes, but that’s just how those men want women to look, they are victims of society. That’s why they live fragile sexual lives and generally suffer, I’d feel pity for them, not hate (even if they make 10 times more money than I do and are praised as heroes, it’s not their doing, it’s society’s).
Sorry for my english, it’s not my native language.
Hi Anna 😀
I don’t know if it’s the good place for write to you 🙂 I want only to tell you that i’m so so so happy that your stunning “The Watch” is now available in my language (i’m from Italy).
I’ve first discovered your blog and your emotional story behind the game, and then i’ve started to read it and play it and i love it sooooooooo much 😀 I’m a queer guy and i’ve played this game with straight guys in a “blind RpG night” (i don’t know what’s the good translation) and it was so so good at the end of the game talking with this guys about gender identity and male privilege. Rpg are so full of power, they can change the things, and I’m sure you are doing so great changes with this game 😀
I hope one day you’ll come to Italy for a speech about feminism or for talking about your game.
Thank you so much ❤
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