Burgess, Melinda C.R.; Burgess, Stephen R.; Stermer, Steven Paul. “Sex, Lies, and Video Games: The Portrayal of Male and Female Characters on Video Game Covers.” Sex Roles 57 (2009): 419-433. Web. 24 June 2013.
Again, this article pretty much re-stated the other research that I have read and summarized many times. One thing I would like to point out that I found particularly interesting was this line: “One can only imagine what kind of effect playing as (or watching a boyfriend play with) a ‘curvaceously thin’ female character can have on a young woman’s self-image” (Burgess et al. 429). Another article I read emphasized the impact of seeing a depiction of the ‘ideal’ body can have on both men and women but this is the first to suggest the problem of the added complexity of watching a boyfriend (or further, any significant other) play a hypersexualized women. Not only is the female (we’ll make this a very general, heterosexual discussion) onlooker seeing the ideal, hypersexual, and most likely sub-standard (relative to the powerful men in the game) female character but she is watching her boyfriend play and derive entertainment from the game. This phenomenon would be super interesting to find research on! My notion is that this kind of passive on-looking could be more detrimental to a woman’s self-image than playing the game herself because her boyfriend is at once using the woman for his own means (double entendre intended), deriving entertainment from the game, and most likely is attracted to the character all while she (the girlfriend) is exposed to the ideal image and stereotypical depictions of the female character as weak, passive, and less dominant than her male counterparts (Burgess et al. 428). Furthermore, the girlfriend herself is passive and less dominant in the situation between her and her boyfriend. She watches him play, she does not. He chooses the course of action, she does not. She is reduced to an onlooker while he plays the gallant hero. This is a whole other arena of complexity, and I hope I can find more about it.