Sexism in the Video Game Industry Essay

4256 Words Sep 29th, 2015 18 Pages
Linzy Waltke
Professor Andrew Forrester Discernment and Discourse 1313 5 May 2014
Sexism Sells: The Male Dominated Video Game Industry
Only 4% of video game titles released in the past 10 years feature a playable female character as the leading role, and there are even fewer female protagonists on the list of the top grossing video games (ESA). This trend of male dominated storylines is evident in other forms of media as well: movies and television shows tend to be centered around men, but video games show the least diversity in protagonists and often have regressive views on women and their position in society. Women make up 20% of console video game players and 46% of computer and mobile game players in this 20 billion dollar a
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The video game industry is dominated by men and portrays women as sexual objects and damsels in distress: games also reinforce problematic societal gender roles including the justification of violence against women.
Throughout this paper I will explore why women are not better represented in the video game world, both on screen and behind the scenes, by discussing how women play games and why men are the dominant demographic for all genres of console games. Then, at how games utilize the damsel in distress trope and archetypal characters to marginalize women, how companies market games to different genders, and the issues with “girl games” as well as games with female protagonists. I will also look at why society views men as innately better at games and technology and how this leads to the gender divide in game development and rampant sexism in gaming culture- especially during professional industry events. Finally, I will use a case study of the Grand Theft Auto series to highlight its use of sexualization and gender stereotypes in Grand Theft Auto 5 and the Hot Coffee controversy, the legal ramifications, and what responsibility gaming developers and industry leaders have to women.
Gender Differences in Gameplay
Women are the fastest growing demographic in the gaming industry and make up around 80% of the casual and social games

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