Objectify or Idealize: Sexism in Video Games


Unfortunately, this is not a new topic. With last month’s reveal of death threats and terrorist threats against female video game critics, such as Anita Sarkeesian, the sexist portrayal of women in video games has become a topic of even more interest. With physics breaking chests and outfits made with the same material as condoms, women are certainly not portrayed accurately or appropriately. However, a great deal of men like to argue that their gender is also inaccurately portrayed. While this may be true, there is a great difference between objectification and idealization.


Video game developers openly admit that their target audience is men, so they will give the images men want to see. And this is where the differentiation between the portrayals of both genders occurs. Because the intention is to please men, the portrayal of men is idealized for what men wish they could be: muscular, brave, the hero, etc. On the other end of the spectrum is how woman are portrayed, which is objectified for the pleasure of men. Women tend to be the overtly sexual but personality deficient hero’s help, the damsel in distress, or the evil that must be destroyed. None of these character types are anything I would want to be. Even if a woman seems powerful, she is there for a man’s eyes, thus causing the physics condom outfits and physics breaking chests.


Why does this matter if men are the one’s playing video games? Because men are not the sole players of games. In fact, women comprise almost half of the amount of video gamers out there, shown in the graphic below. It is clear that women are playing the games and seeing these horrible images of what their gender is supposed to look like, according to developers. Women really need to be more outspoken about this injustice, like Anita Sarkeesian is.


Video game developers should really strive for more equality in their game representations, for both men and women. Now I offer this option: either make women more realistic/ equal to men or keep them objectified, but if you choose the latter I better see some physics breaking features on men to make up to difference (which I’m pretty sure no one wants to actually see). You make the call developers.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it.

    Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues?
    Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?


    1. Thanks for liking the article! I have fixed the RSS issues and you can subscribe on the home page. Let me know if there are more issues!


  2. Mead says:

    As a woman, who has been gaming about 30 years, I have absolutely no interest in seeing feminism become part of gaming. I think that developers have done a decent job giving us strong female characters, more so than the Western film industry has. What jiggly, bulging penises? Okay, buy Skyrim and install Schlongs of Skyrim. Tada. I was gaming long before feminists had to put their two cents into the matter and I did not feel oppressed for it. The gaming community is already one of those places where you’re respected for how well you game, not whether you’re male or female. Yeah, I don’t mind my toon wearing a bikini while she kills off mobs. I’m just glad times have changed where the female role isn’t limited to “healer” or “mage.”


  3. Kate says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice
    would be greatly appreciated. Cheers


  4. Nice Blog, thanks for sharing this kind of information.


  5. I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is
    written by him as no one else know such detailed about
    my problem. You are incredible! Thanks!


  6. I love the graph that shows just how many women game. It’s not very smart for game developers to objectify women because it could alienate half their consumers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I think one problem is the lack of representation of women in any part of gaming. And if there are women they are getting attacked or they are there as “eye candy” (ie Mari from Smosh Games)


  7. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective.

    A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance.

    I must say you’ve done a amazing job with this. In addition,
    the blog loads super fast for me on Firefox. Superb Blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s