SeXbox - Women and Video Games

Girl Gamers - A rare, yet glorified species (if you are into that sort of thing). But who are they and what do they do that makes them so fantastic?  Without delving into the finer details of sexism in the gaming industry, I want to discuss females and their role as sex symbols in this society.

Females are not the target audience when it comes to video games as we can see. Pink controllers, consoles and girly games are created simply because "girls don't like regular guy games". And the feminizing of gaming equipment is insulting. I don't need a pink controller to get motivated to play. In fact, I think a pink controller would look horrible with all the blood splatter from the games I like to play. Although the cuteness does sell, it's really not necessary!

So why is it that girl gamers make great girlfriends? Well, it's because guys like seeing girls act like guys. And girls know this. Yes it's sexist, but that doesn't make it any less true. Playing video games is a masculine hobby by nature, when girls express their enjoyment of a male dominated field, they begin to take on masculine traits/hobbies.

Then there are female game writers. Kind of like myself. While I probably only write about gaming 5% of the time, I spend a lot more time actually playing them. Most writers are the same way. You can't write good content without doing the research. And to any good game writer, the number one method of research is actual game play.

Game writers, just like the girl gamers themselves, are often scrutinized among their peers. Female game bloggers are often believed to be overly popular BECAUSE of their obscurity. Men are dying to know what we think of the games they worship.

And finally, the video game sexiness themselves. The characters that make every nerd drool and every geek girl wish she had a body like that. Female video game characters and stars are often "overly sexed" as some would put it. A quick Google search for "Female Game Characters" turns up a slew of results. Most frequently we see Top 10 Lists that rank a writers favorites. Here is the GossipGamer.Com Top 50 List. They rank Tifa from Final Fantasy as their number 1.

Tifa - Final Fantasy

Overly sexy? More often than not, these video game beauties are indeed busty, curvy and scantily clad. Men eat it up. And women tolerate it for the sake of the game. (However, to play devils advocate, the men/stars of the game are also very good looking.) Is it obvious that we are working with a fantasy here? Illusions as they appear. Women don't look like this in real life. Even the real live women that give voice to these vixens don't dress like slutty superhero's in spandex. Raunchy, ridiculous and oh so appealing, sexy video game stars are the norm and they aren't going anywhere.

Even though they are "cartoon" women, there is still a real woman behind the action who records all of the voice overs for video games. Just like in cartoons and animated works, there are talented actresses used to make these characters come to life. From time to time the character is often designed to resemble the actress that plays her. 

The site girlgamer.com is great for all girl gamer needs. One article on the site is an interview with Deus Ex star Kim Bubbs. Her first job was performing in the Assassins Creed games and has gone on to work with Sean White on his game series. I was disappointed to see that she had never played the game Deus Ex and comes across no knowing much about video games. But for arguments sake, she is a beautiful woman. Like most anypne in the entertainment industry.  

A lot goes into gaming. And women are a central point in gaming, whether we see it or not. Often sexist, although striving for equality (I think), gaming has become a wonderful hobby for many women to enjoy. It's not always about inequality, and sometimes we have to work with the hand we are given, even if women are outnumbered in this industry.

How do we get more women interested in gaming? Time I suppose. That and not being afraid to spread the fun to other ladies. Many women don't play simply because they can't get their boyfriends to give up the controls. Men - let ladies have their turn. And Girls - invite other girls to join your clan.  It's time we pick up our weapons and battle on. While ignoring messages of sexism. 


Dori Davis said...

Soul Caliber -- beautiful women, tasty boys, gorgeous costumes, mouthwatering colors and way cool weapons and moves. What's not to like? I never got especially good at the combos, but I loved playing it.

I've been a "girl gamer" since the days of Breakout and Space Invaders. I was the first person in my neighborhood to own a console system, which made me quite a hit with the boys This was back in the day when you had to go to a 7-11 or an arcade and plug quarters in to a machine, which, as you can well imagine, got very expensive, especially until you got good at any particular game.

When Dreamcast launched, I stood in the KayBee parking lot at 5:30 in the morning, waiting for the store to open so I could grab my reserved system. I was the only female there. One of the guys in the parking lot asked me if I was buying the system for my kid. (Em... no. I'm here for the Special Edition Dreamcast T-Shirt. And the Dreamcast.)

My sister has been banned from so many MMORPGs it's hilarious. She's playing WoW these days - she's a better gamer than I could ever hope to be. But we both agree that, unless you've called in sick to work in order to play a game, you're not an "authentic" gamer. What's *your* standard for authenticity? :)

October 6, 2011 at 5:42 PM
_-* AMANDA *-_ said...


I think you are an A+ gamer, seniority wise! Not many can say they've been playing that long. That's some dedication there missy!

I had an original Nintendo, a 64 and a Sega growing up - along with assorted Game Boys. Between playing Barbie and Tea Party I would kill aliens or mobsters in whatever games I had in my selection.
Then I got my XBox a few years ago. After spending time focusing on laggy computer games, I found real gaming. I dream about Call of Duty. But I admit I'm not the best player out there!

It's tough when men think women can never play video games. I would be pretty embarrassed for a guy to ask me that at a game release. Luckily, women are getting more recognition for their skills with a joystick!

October 8, 2011 at 3:05 PM

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