Sexism in Video Games
Summer has just started and summer holidays just have begun. New video games are released. This is a marketing strategy aimed at teenagers because they are the majority of users for video games. The hottest new game releases for this summer are Injustice 2, Tekken 7, Crash Bandicoot, The Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, and Agents of Mayhem. There is no doubt that kids will spend hours or their whole summer playing these games. When we mention gamers, we immediately think of male gamers.
This is the norm because we believe boys are better players but are they? Well, we cannot know who are the better players. We can look at the statistics of video gamers’ distribution based on genders. A 2016 survey by Entertainment Software Association shows that 41% of gamers are females. So why do we assume that gamers are all boys? This is due to the marketing strategy by the video game corporations. Most of the games have male characters as the main stars. They also feature female characters in their game covers. But, they are mostly featured behind the male characters. The marketers always aim at boys rather than girls. This started with the release of the original Nintendo game console. The marketers decided to sell the Nintendo and its games in the toy section instead of electronics. In the toy section, the games are sold in two sections, boys and girls’ section. They decided to go with the boys’ section. Hence, most of their advertisements targeted boys ever since. Furthermore, when ladies are featured on video games, they will most likely be half naked or side characters.
Have we lost hope? The gaming industry has come a long way but games like Overwatch, Mirror’s Edge and Tomb Raider do feature female characters that restore hope to the next generation of gamers. The mentioned games are all profitable video games which will hopefully awaken the marketers of video games toward unisex games.