Now think of how many of those female characters and protagonists are oversexed, created for the male gaze, or put in an inactive damsel role for the plot of the game. Representation matters. A Study last year proved that exposure to tv shows increased the self esteem of young white boys and markedly decreased the confidence and self esteem of girls across the board (and we haven’t even started on the representation of characters of color and the effect it has on children’s self perception).
Video games are a different media, and even more concerning if representation metrics are changing how our kids think of themselves. Especially knowing that 67% of American Households have video game consoles and 91% of Children play video games regularly, how do you think the portrayal (and lack of portrayals) of women and girls in these games is affecting little girls – or influencing how little boys view their importance and/or influence over them?
— Comics. Movies. Lit. Pop Culture. The Smash Survey is an upcoming podcast project that will critically explore the representation of race, gender, and queer identity in media and pop culture in a fun and engaging format.
This important, it’s not so much bad representation as it is under-representation, even if you’ve got some damsel in distress or whatever, at least there’s someone there, women can find something good in them to admire, but if there’s nothing, then the only admirable traits in the world are in men and masculine.
We watch, read, and play stories to explore parts of others and ourselves in the most simple way, and if the only parts of us we explore are masculine, we’ve got a problem no matter how you look at it. It creates a silence in half our understanding of the world around us. It’s bad for everyone, not just young women, and is not just a feminist issue.