The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
User avatar
Erik_Twice
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6249
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming?

by Erik_Twice Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:33 pm

I thought this was an interesting topic to discuss. It has been argued, (and I think is a pretty popular argument) that the reason why there are few women in gaming is because games as a whole are sexist, or gaming culture is sexist or a combination of the above.

I do not quite agree.


It would be silly to argue that sexism doesn't drive people away, of course it does. But being incredibly sexist hasn't prevented other forms of media from being incredibly popular with women. Cosmopolitan magazine is sold in more than a hundred countries and Twilight was a huge hit. Today I watched (endured?) a movie called Three metes above heaven that is so disgustingly sexist that the romantic relationship depicted in it starts with the guy physically abusing the girl and threatening to rip her best friend's ear off. If sexism were such a big factor in driving women away this wouldn't happen.

Hell, gaming is now more popular amongst women than it has ever been and it's not because the industry has done much to market to them. I would even venture that casual, free to play and mobile phones, in which the female market share has grown the most is the least concerned about not being sexist.

This is enough for me to think the hyphotesis isn't valid.

Feel free to give me your thoughts :wink:
Looking for a cool game? Find it in my blog!
Latest post: Often, games must be difficult
http://eriktwice.com/
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 10084
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:44 pm

Uh-oh....

IMO, video games are no more misogynistic than any other medium. Video games, fans, on the other hand...
User avatar
Retrogamer0001
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1665
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Retrogamer0001 Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:01 pm

I know lots of women who play video games - I also know lots of women who enjoy reading books, watching movies, and watching pornography. I also know lots who don't enjoy these things. Arguing about this stuff is pointless because it all comes down to individual perspective and taste.
Image

The game room - > http://racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=45478

"We're on an express elevator to hell - goin' down!"
User avatar
Fragems
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 5430
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:01 am
Location: Proctorville, OH

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Fragems Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:07 pm

User avatar
dsheinem
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 22990
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by dsheinem Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:11 pm

It's not a question of it the hypothesis is "valid" or not. It's not a "yes/no" question as "women" aren't a homogeneous group.

For some women and men, the treatment/representation of women in video games and in the games industry historically and/or today may be enough to make them want little to do with the medium. For others, that's not an issue but they find that the culture is one that's oppressive so they stay out of that while still playing games. For others, neither of these are a concern but they were raised to treat games as something that "guys do" and that "girls don't do" and their current view of games is shaped by their relationship to that view. There's lots of other reasons that have to do with gender which also account for why people may or may not care about games.

I don't think the cross-medium comparison here is especially useful, to be honest. Film and TV are tied to their own historical contexts, audiences, etc.
User avatar
Fragems
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 5430
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:01 am
Location: Proctorville, OH

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Fragems Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:29 pm

I don't really have much of a problem with sexism in games. Sure it exists but it's not a big freaking deal everyone is open to their own opinions about it and if it truly offends them then they can just skip purchasing it.

The only thing that really bugs the shit out of me and that probably drives many women to either never reveal their sexuality in game or avoid playing online in general is anonymous douche bags. I'm sure we have all had a few female gamer friends if we have been playing online games for long. I myself have a few which I used to play with on a regular basis. Just about every time they spoke in game or revealed they were a girl in the presence of random pubs. Either A) some dick head started bad mouthing women or B) suddenly everything had to be sexual and people started hitting on her. No matter the case suddenly the girl in the room became the center of attention and it usually wasn't a very positive experience. Such is the nature of online gaming though when there aren't any real world repercussions a lot of random assholes pop up :P.
User avatar
Erik_Twice
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 6249
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Madrid, Spain

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Erik_Twice Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:57 am

dsheinem wrote:There's lots of other reasons that have to do with gender which also account for why people may or may not care about games.

Well, let's discuss them then! :lol:

I don't think the cross-medium comparison here is especially useful, to be honest. Film and TV are tied to their own historical contexts, audiences, etc.

Funnily enough, I find them useful exactly for those reasons. It can open very interesting venues of discussion and make us reconsider some common lines of thinking.


Fragems wrote:The only thing that really bugs the shit out of me and that probably drives many women to either never reveal their sexuality in game or avoid playing online in general is anonymous douche bags.

I agree, I agree. In fact, "I don't want to be the only girl in the room" is the main reason friends give me for not playing online or boardgames.
Looking for a cool game? Find it in my blog!
Latest post: Often, games must be difficult
http://eriktwice.com/
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 22518
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by MrPopo Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:48 am

dsheinem wrote:For others, neither of these are a concern but they were raised to treat games as something that "guys do" and that "girls don't do" and their current view of games is shaped by their relationship to that view.

I think this is a bigger factor than most people give it credit for; there's a similar conversation happening amongst engineers and the massive gender disparity in those fields. There is still a heavy bias in the culture as to what things are ok for boys and what are ok for girls. I think that girls become biased against games before they're old enough to recognize what we traditionally think of as sexism in the games/industry.
Image
Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Key-Glyph
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:38 am

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Key-Glyph Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:24 pm

MrPopo wrote:I think that girls become biased against games before they're old enough to recognize what we traditionally think of as sexism in the games/industry.
Hear, hear.

A different complementary result is that little girls decide that girly things are "stupid" due to their intrinsic femininity, since they're not old enough to recognize that it's really the marketers'/designers' bias or homogeneity that's at fault.

I am not proud to say that the "I don't want to play a girl character because they're all stupid" line of thinking is definitely something I often fell pray to at recess way back when. Instead of hating the lack of interesting or varied female characters, I disliked the female characters themselves. I was actually holding them accountable for some sort of personal failing, all because I was too young to think critically. So you can see how insidious this sort of thing can be.

Thanks goodness for the Bunnie Rabbot and Princess Sally Acorn of the 1990s is all I have to say.

Image

^ Bunnie's hi-tech, one-on-one brawl with roboticized Sonic was one of baby key-glyph's childhood highlights.
Image
BogusMeatFactory wrote:If I could powder my copies of shenmue and snort them I would
User avatar
Violent By Design
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 1627
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:23 pm

Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Violent By Design Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:17 pm

I'm confused, are we talking about why there are so few woman MAKING games or why there are few woman playing games?

If it is the latter, then there is hardly an issue. More and more woman are growing up playing video games. The reason why it wasn't socially acceptable before is just because video games were marketed as boys toys for a long time, and of course woman can't play games because it makes them nerds, same way that adult men were discouraged from playing video games. Woman looked at video games as silly things, not sexist things.

Now the video game industry is much more mainstream, there are plenty of woman who play games who are a bit younger than me, and I'd the younger the generation is the more exposed woman are to playing games.
Return to Games As Culture

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest