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Video Games are profoundly sexist, and largely reflect a dominant ideology, which reinforces unequal power relations men and women. Agree or disagree, use at least 3 examples.

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Introduction

NAME                        Louise Alexander

NO.                         s1545100

SUBJECTVideo Games Culture

CODE                        3411FMC

TUTOR                David Cox

ASSESSMENT        Item 3 – Culture Issue Essay

WORD COUNT        2,082 words

DATE                        30th May 2003

QUESTION:

Video Games are profoundly sexist, and largely reflect a dominant ideology, which reinforces unequal power relations men and women. Agree or disagree, use at least 3 examples.


As the popularity and accessibility of video games continues to increase, the question of the effect of the portrayal of women in video games arises. Also, the roles of males and females in this text, and how they differ from one another. The idea of male dominance in video games is demonstrated by these traits: expectation that males should be tough, brave, and aggressive; exclusion of women as a powerful force; and frequent quarrelling and fighting[1]. A wide variety of media messages can act as teachers of values, ideologies, and beliefs and can provide images for interpreting the world. This paper illustrates that the video games that are being played by today's society present an overwhelmingly traditional and negative portrayal of women and that the development of gender identities and expectations (especially among youngsters) may be affected by these portrayals. For example, girls

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Middle

Blood Rayne, which centres on a vicious yet seductive woman who is half vampire. Most action-adventure games engage the player through a character viewed only from the rear as he or she confronts foes and challenges. The solution was to reverse the vantage point whenever the character was at rest.

''After several rounds of focus testing, we learned that everyone wanted to see her face more…Players could see her face and watch her adjusting her leather pants, her belt…The lead character is inherently sexy…I don't have a problem of using that to get her out there.”[3]

Ms. Buckley recalled of Blood Rayne. According to Ms. Buckley by injecting sensuality into the game, which cost $2 million to develop, it enhanced its market prospects. She described its mix of plunging necklines, blood-red hair and pointy teeth as ''lethal erotica.''

So while it seems positive that male players pay more attention to female characters we now understand why. Obviously by having a scantily clad, sexy and erotic character games such as these are contributing to the sexist nature of some video games and adding to the male dominant ideology that all characters must fit this description.

Violence, however, is not the only controversial issue in video games.

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Conclusion

Cy Girls, Brute Force, WarCraft III: Reignof Chaos, and Enter the Matrix, female characters have just as much chance of winning as the males do.

Bibliography

Cassell, Justine and Jenkins, Henry (1998) "From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games" American Library Association Oct 15,

Chancer, Lynn S., (1998) Reconcilable differences confronting beauty, pornography, and the future of feminism University of California, Berkeley     

Creedon. Pamela J., (1993) Women in Mass Communication 2nd ed. Sage Publications, Newbury Park pp201-207

Flynn, Bernadette (1994) “Woman/Machine Relationships: Investigating the body within cyberculture” In MIA, No. 74, pp11-19

Gilbert, Pam, (1991) Fashioning the feminine girls, popular culture and schooling

Allen & Unwin, Sydney

Herbst, Philip (1998) “Gender and Computer Games” The Booklist Chicago

Oct 15, Vol 95 No 4

Lumby, Catharine (1997) Bad girls the media, sex and feminism in the '90's

Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards pp136-146

Marriot, Michel (2003) “Fighting Women Enter the Arena, No Holds Barred”

New York Times May 15

Poole, Steven (2000) Trigger Happy: Inner Life of Video Games, Fourth Estate Ltd, London pp154-167

Sanday, Peggy Reeves (1981) Female power and male dominance on the origins of sexual inequality Cambridge University Press, Cambridge p164

www.angelfire.com

www.gamesfirst.com


[1] Sanday, Peggy Reeves Female power and Male dominance on the origins of sexual inequality pg164

[2] Cassell, J. and Jenkins, H. "From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games

[3]Marriot, Michel (2003) “Fighting Women Enter the Arena, No Holds Barred”

New York Times

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