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.
Feminist-a person who supports feminism.
Feminism-the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
A great scene from ABC’s short-lived drama Commander in Chief starring Geena Davis.
By now, online conflagrations seem to burn with an all too familiar cadence. The rhythms of cyber-fire rise and fall in predictable waves of 1s and 0s when a woman dares to speak her mind online. The monster with a thousand faces rears its Gorgon visages to counter such an outrageous violation of the expected order, each face becoming an intercepting antibody meant to obliterate the offending feminine virus.
The cyber mob that is still attacking Sarkeesian and Park is the virtual embodiment of patriarchy’s crowdsourced police; we should stop treating it like the weather — uncontrollable, if predictable; to be endured, not altered. To simply slough off responsibility and say, as some have, that “other” people, not “Colbert fans,” are attacking Park is to genuflect to the crowd and deny your own moral agency even as you attempt to demand an outspoken woman of color embody it for you.
Here’s a great critical video by Errant Signal examining how the “freeing slaves” game mechanics in Assassin’s Creed 4: Freedom Cry work to undermine empathy.
I’m honored to be the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award. The Ambassador Award honors an individual or individuals who have helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games and help further our art. The award was presented to me by Neil Druckmann, creative director on the 2014 GDC Game of the Year, The Last of Us.