In my journey in finding more essays and journals talking about gender and identity in gaming, I found another essay which was an interesting read. This essay entitled: ‘Level up- A case for female gamers’ by Kuljit Brar, female gamers and their role in the gaming world. The author identifies what he calls the gender wars on videogames, and how in the past female gamers were a minority, which is now changing. Asking an important question: How is gender construed in a medium which is though of as genderless? Brar states that contemporary video games are not genderless, but is similar to society which defines gender in every form.
Video games, Brar states, define females as either sexual objects or as meek submissive. He uses the example of Super Mario, which is built around the concept of the hero saving the damsel in distress. He deems that because of the gender identities as dictated by social norms are so prevalent in gaming, it becomes hazardous, and so there is a need for more female gamers in the gaming world.
Brar does state that the gaming world has changed since the 80s and the 90s, with more female characters in games, yet the characters are shown as either to placate the male gaze or are seen as fairy tale characters (the more traditional approach). Lara Croft serves as an example of sexualised female character, whose main audience are young teenage boys.
In my next post I will be focusing on research and essays talking about people who belong to ‘non- normative’ or belonging to other sexual identities. I would like to find out what role they play in the gaming world.