By JesterPC238 4 Comments
Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Work has been pretty busy, I'm thinking about taking the blog down to a post a week. We'll see. After last week's "worth reading" and all the runoff from E3, gender equality in gaming has been on my mind. I think the issue is a deep seated thing, and is informed by the way women are portrayed and treated in society at large. That said, gaming can be a subculture that progresses gender relations rather than hinders it. Right now, it still comes off as a boy's club. Now I want to make it clear that I disagree with the notion that the ESA should outlaw booth babes, because I don't think some sort of governing body is in a position to quell the issue. Instead I think the solution lies with the gaming community, developers, publishers, and press. The press, first of all, can stop engaging positively with sexist behavior. I shouldn't see pictures of editors with booth babes in Game Informer, models reading from teleprompters on G4, or similar models telling athletes that they are "so hardcore" because they play Call of Duty on Spike. The burden, of course, partially lies on the consumer, because by consuming that media we only encourage this kind of behavior. Next, developers need to stop type casting women so much. Why is it that practically every female video game character is under dressed and under written? And why aren't there more female Master Chiefs, Marcus Fenixs and Nathan Drakes? This isn't to say that the occasional DOA or Lollypop Chainsaw shouldn't exist. There's a time and place for T&A, but we need it in much more moderation.
Next, publishers could stop pandering. Yes, games often have polygonal boobs in them, but how about showing me what makes the game good. I play DOA because I like the fighting system. If all I cared about was scantily clad women then there's an entire Internet of swimsuit photos and porn out there. Publishers could also stand to push for more realistic, strong female leads.
Finally, and most importantly, the community needs to be more accepting and friendly in general. This goes beyond the sexism issue. I can't tell you how many times I've been called a faggy dickweed by some stoned-out-of-his-mind teenager, or the times I've heard some 12 year old telling his mom to "fuck off bitch," during a game on XBLA. Usually people just stay quiet, but enough is enough. We, as adult, mature, well adjusted consumers of gaming media need to start speaking up on these services and make our voiced be heard as loud as them. There's nothing wrong with some language, but when it becomes derogatory, something needs to change.