We talk a lot about the way women are represented in the media. I’ve certainly devoted quite a lot of room on this blog examining this topic, and it’s heavily discussed pretty much anywhere that you look.
Many people who study this topic, however, fail to put any real focus on one of the most prevalent forms of mainstream entertainment today – video games. To be sure, there are many people who have written about representation in video games, and who fight to put a spotlight on the macho and male-dominated industry, but it still doesn’t get quite as much play as TV, film, etc.
I highly suggest you watch the video below, which does an excellent job of examining some of the anti-feminist tropes that exist in video games and attempts to dissect why these tropes are relied on in big AAA games such as the Grand Theft Auto series.
It’s an important topic that needs to have light shed on it, because video games are probably the form of media that reach the most kids and teenagers and boys around the world. If kids are brought up learning that women are objects to be exploited, or only see them as hyper-sexualized ‘non-playable-characters,’ those values will potentially be instilled in them and applied to the real world.
Games where strong women play prominent playable roles do exist, but they are not nearly common enough. Plain and simple, the vast majority of games are directed towards highlighting the trope of ‘dominant male’ vs. ‘background object’ women, which is simply unacceptable, especially considering the amount of girls and women that play video games.
You should also definitely check out the Feminist Frequency website, because it has a lot of really insightful and important content.