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games research

Research 6: Process Problems

So far I have done the assigned duty of writing five blogs about studies that I have read.  So far I do not feel I am entirely close to figuring out exactly what my thesis is.  It is still revolving slowly around the implications (maybe?) or reasons for (maybe?) the underrepresentation of female characters in video games.  It is also moving towards the underrepresentation of race.  Or perhaps I should go more into the consequences of and/or reasons for the overrepresentation of white males in video games.  I often feel that notions of masculinity are not a heavily researched topic, but I find it interesting.  While media is often targeted for projecting unrealistic ideals to young, vulnerable females, gender-types portrayed for men really are not dealt with to the extent they should be.  I recently saw a commercial for some shaving product for men and it explicitly told the men to look and feel the way women wanted them to.  Can you imagine if a female product’s commercial was so overtly encouraging molding oneself to the preferences and ideals of another?  (Of course they still do it, just not as directive.)

The articles I have read have given sooooo much statistical information about over and underrepresentation in video games but none have given much theoretical discussion or conclusions; most have simply stated that more research needs to be done to see what the implications are.  I think I may need to look into other media, such as television and advertisement, to get a better understanding of exactly what such representation leads to.  I find it particularly intriguing that two studies I read suggested player affected representation, the developers put in the types of characters players want to see.  Players both affect and are effected by characters in games.  Since young males are the main demographic of players, this makes sense.  Why do they want to see (primarily) heroic, white males?  That could be a highly interesting topic. 

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Research 6: Process Problems

  1. I think the answer to your last question is closely related to the subjective view discussed in Gaming. When people play videogames they often want to put themselves into the character’s virtual shoes. Hence why the subjective view is so popular among games in which the player controls a heroic character, who doesn’t want to be a hero? Seeing as the stats you found say that more young males play videogames than any other demographic, this is why the hero often fits that description. Just a thought 🙂

    Posted by sccrdude540 | June 20, 2013, 1:16 pm
  2. In addition to that though, in the latest article I’ve read (to be summarized shortly), the researchers had male and female players play games in which they could create an avatar to look like them. Even when creating a virtual version of themselves both genders experienced an increase in negative self-image. It is a really interesting contradiction! We want to play characters like ourselves, but when we do, we feel kind of shitty about ourselves.

    Posted by emmajani | June 20, 2013, 9:24 pm

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