When you think of the stereotypical video gamer, it’s a young or twenty something year old male correct? Would it be surprising to you that females occupy a little over half the percentage of males in the industry? Females who play video games are more common than you think. According to this Washington post article and more online expressing the views of women in the video game industry, we are a growing member of that world. We just don’t show ourselves much or are represented as well due to issues that I will be expressing in this blog entry.
If you personally know me, you’d know that I am a fan of video games and of anything sci-fi or fantasy like. Growing up, I was always told that girls couldn’t do what boys did because we were too different. I never believed that and knew that I could do whatever I wanted and was never afraid to be me even if the world didn’t see it that way.
In my personal experience and in many discussions that I’ve heard and or read from other female gamers, one of the major reasons why females are not as represented in the industry is because of sexual harassment. You wouldn’t believe how many times that males have talked down on me and overly harassed me when I played video games with people online and found out that I was a girl. It is obvious that they have probably never talked to a girl before and it drives me nuts. I want to be treated like everyone else and when hundreds of men ask me to see my photo or to add me as a friend on some social media site, I always said “No thank you” and there great comeback was that I was probably ugly. Shallow much?
Another major reason why women are underrepresented and or afraid to come out as a video gamer is because of the lack of real female characters in video games. The fact is that in a majority of video games, the main character is always a male Caucasian. Not female, not black, not gay, not anything else unless you count aliens and nonhuman characters. And when a female character is in a video game, it is always your stereotypical two personalities. The damsel in distress or the sexual vixen. I didn’t know that was what women were only allowed to be? Noteworthy bad ass female famous video game characters are Lara Croft, Bayonetta, and Samus Aran.
There are several other reasons but these seem to be the most common reasons why females are not portrayed as well in the video game industry. As technology is growing and future games are constantly being developed, I believe that with more proper representation of female video game characters and having women being treated more fairly by people that females will be able to not be as afraid to be themselves and to be a part of something that they love and enjoy.