From this week’s discussion section about the social contexts of videogames, I have realized that we have always lived in a male dominated world. Obviously this is not a new revelation to me but while discussing this week’s reading about the history of videogames and how videogames further developed gender roles, I became disturbed by the amount and variety of ways women were controlled and restricted by a masculine society.
It’s incredibly ridiculous to me that early machines of entertainment in arcades and in the work place became a vessel for showing off masculinity and further controlling femininity as men were obsessed with games and women were socially band from them. From the invention of slot machines as entertainment, it became an unwritten rule that proper women did not gamble, or seen using slot machines or present when slot machines were being used. This separation made the way for what I think is a direct link to who videogames are marketed towards and how gender is displayed within video games.
I believe that there is still a market for masculinity in the world of videogames. Society’s connection between becoming a man and violence is directly related to the popularity of major games in our generation. For example, violence and death is condoned in a male dominated society as a way to bring honor and pride to others, specifically when discussing joining the military. Despite the large amount of women fighting for our country in the military, television commercials and ads are marketed towards men and young boys. It doesn’t seem like a coincident that the most popular videogames are games like Call of Duty. The forced persona of who was allowed to play with entertainment machines throughout history and who now dominates the videogame world in reference to its consumers are still the same.
There is also a major subliminal message concerning gender roles in the avatars and characters used in videogames. In my experience as a rookie to the gaming world, I have found the most joy in finding avatars that look the most like me. I must say that Wii has spoiled me, but when attempting to find female characters that look like me or just female characters at all in games other than on the Wii system it becomes an issue. It is very uncommon that games give you a choice of gender in the characters you play or for games like Call of Duty, the characters that are on your team or who you are involved with. As an example of gender specific marketing reflecting who creators think are buying their games and who really buy mistakenly neglects the female player. When female players are given screen time, it is usually in the form that is pleasing to the male eye. As seen in the pictures above, real women are not portrayed in videogames in outfits that are conducive to kicking butt or saving the world. Who can save the world wearing a crop top or a bra and cut off shorts? Women in videogames and the idea of women playing videogames throughout history has always been inferior to the male designer and consumer, therefore proving that this has always been a male dominated industry that reflects a male dominated world.