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games research

Research Project # 6 – Gender and identity in video games

This is going to be my last post on research as I am going to start posting fragments of my paper on this blog.

There are many essays written on gender inequality, where research states that there is a great gender gap in the gaming audience and a misrepresentation of gender in video games. One other essay entitled: ” gender and racial stereotypes in popular video games” by Yi Mou and Wei Peng, which states again that female characters are misrepresented in video games:

“Compared to male characters, females were more likely to be represented in a hypersexual way: being partially nude, featured with an unrealistic body image and shown wearing sexually revealing clothing and inappropriate attire” (  Downs and Smith). This can be seen in game I enjoy playing like the ‘Soul Caliber’ series and another which a male friend of mine likes playing, ‘Dead or Alive- Extreme beach volley ball’. When doing a quick google search on sexualised female characters in games, I came across an article, disturbingly titled- The 10 sexiest nude mods:


Like in my previous research posts I had mentioned that research conducted by Beasley and Standley where they stated that “A majority of the female characters wore clothing that exposed more skin than the male characters.” Hyper sexuality in female characters does not mean that these characters are secondary. Some female characters are also the main hero in certain video games, for example Lara Croft. However, these characters are often represented in a stereotypical way- big breasts, tine waists and less clothing. this phenomenon is called the Lara Phenomenon, where ” female characters in a leading role appeared as often as male did. However, these female characters were portrayed in a stereotypical way: female features were exaggerated by sexy attire and thin body.” This is a major problem, as female characters are grossly misrepresented. This is an issue mainly because the part of the audience being young boys and girls are learning form video games and other medias that this is how a woman or a man should be like- in other words these gender stereotypes have a great role in building the receptors own identity and self.




3 thoughts on “Research Project # 6 – Gender and identity in video games

  1. I agree that a lot of these games take the sexy video game vixens a little too far and to have a web site that is devoted to the top nude mods is sort of silly. The fact that someone took time to write code in order to take a digital characters clothes off is interesting to say the least but it is funny that there isnt the question of who is making these mods. The reason being that everyone knows that it is men, right, or are there women out there making these mods. I think the idea that there is no question of who made these is a funny phenomenon on sexual division and the different mindsets of men and women. Although we share many simularities our chemistries are very different and to compare them as the same would be to not do the other justice, we are just symbiotic organisms.

    As Bogost told us that games cannot be considered art due to the completely abstract way of classifiing art in recent centuries and also as something that has no purpose elsewhere which is what Galloway talks about. But art is full of these same images of hypersexual women and misrepresented curves and has been for centuries meaning that gaming has just been the next wave in nude cave paintings. If you draw a stick person are they necessarily nude?

    Posted by diomazurek | June 21, 2013, 1:45 pm
  2. This website was interesting to say the least. I was not at all bothered by the idea of nude characters or the pictures of them. What most disturbed me was the language the other used, such as “bouncing melons”. Although the photos depict hypersexualized ‘ideal’ women, the language is the most degrading part of it all. The language re-enforces a media-constructed view of women as sexual objects, there for the male viewing party the author revels in. I didn’t even bother to click on the “Pervert Link” below the pictures – I’m not sure what male gaze I’d be forced to be apart of.

    It is verrrrrrrrry interesting however that they nudes are mods. They are created not by developers but players. Players have willingly entered into these depictions. Most of the research I have done has suggested such hypersexualization to be created by developers and merely consumed by players. The fact that this is consumed AND created by players raises some really interesting questions.

    Posted by emmajani | June 21, 2013, 4:48 pm
  3. A significant volume of global web traffic is related to porn. In that context, the development of nude mods is not surprising. Indeed, one of the commonplaces of media history is that emerging media find some of their earliest uses in the depiction of sex. This actually got me thinking about Second Life, where some of the main attractions were in the ability for players to have virtual sex. I suppose the appeal is something like that of phone sex.

    Posted by Alex Reid | June 22, 2013, 7:29 am

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