Video games are sexist

Katie Henderson, Guest Writer

According to “Variety” in America, roughly 211 million people play video games. Of these people, 48 percent of the video gamers are female.

Almost half of the gamers in the world are female. So can the gaming world be sexist if there are so many female gamers?

The answer is yes. The gaming world is sexist.

Stereotypes fill the covers and storylines within games. Women are often portrayed as objects, wearing little clothing and depending on the male hero figure to save them.

In a way, game developers have created a caricature of what girls and women are supposed to be.

For years gaming has been considered a “guy thing” or a “guy hobby.” In my personal experience, I have been told that as a girl I should not be playing or that I cannot play at the same standard.

While a lot of people have moved away from the conventional idea of who gaming is for, the way women are portrayed as items to possess does not improve this view. Studies have shown that 80 percent of video games represent women as either sexualized, scantily clad or a vision of beauty.

Women are not shown as people who can be independent and heroic but rather as accessories to the heroes.

In a 2019 study of video game protagonists, researchers found 4.8 percent were female, 21 percent were male, 66 percent had multiple options and the remaining percent were gender-ambiguous or N/A. While few games only have a main percentage of female protagonists over the last few years, more games are adding the option to pick the gender of your protagonist.

I believe that this shows improvement in gaming stereotypes but does not solve the problem of fantasizing and creating objects of women. Video games need to portray women in a way that is respectful and promotes gender equality.

Women are real people with feelings and personalities that should be respected. I would love to see a gaming world that shows women as more than the damsel in distress. As the world promotes gender equality, they should promote the idea within the gaming world. Show our daughters that gaming is not just a “guy thing” and they can be a hero.

It is about time gaming developers let Princess Peach work toward being the hero of her castle.