Equality in Video Games: Fact or Fiction?

You mean these aren't eyeshadow dispensers?

That twelve year old called me what?!

As members of the internet community, i’m sure that many of our readers have become aware of the sensation sweeping the world… Er, well, okay, certain chunks of the virtual world – Girl Gamers. Girl Gamers can generally be found posing sexily with XBox controllers on Facebook, or on Twitter not-so-subtley fishing for attention by stating “Playing Skyrim, such a nerd lol (PS what’s a dragonborn?)” – Or some such 140 character gem.Now, as an out-and-proud “Look at me, look at me!” sort of lady myself, I can’t really blame these girls. As far as I can tell, their sinister world domination plan is working perfectly. Guys can’t get enough of females who know their way around a Grand Theft Auto game, and why not? It’s a person with boobs playing a game that revolves primarily around… Boobs. Also guns. Mostly boobs, though, and that’s logic I can get on board with.

What some people do take issue with, however, is the gaming industry itself. In years gone by we have been bombarded with advertising campaigns, game franchises, and even consoles themselves aimed towards a mainly female fan base (-Cough- Casio Loopy -Cough-). But how much is this actually achieving for the real female gaming community? I asked a few fellow lady gaming enthusiasts for their opinion on the matter.

“I think they could portray girls as the same as boys more, like show girls playing more “manly” games such as COD and war games and not just kiddy games such as Mario Kart.  Even Zelda would be an improvement!” – Fran, student.

“Not an accurate representation of gamer girls. They only seem to target the DS at girls – There’s no girls on XBox adverts and such.” Robyn, student.

“I think, in some cases, girl gamers are treated by advertisers like a bunch of namby-pamby, fluffy-brained morons who play nothing but Super Mario and Animal Farm. However, it could be argued that maybe these ads are aimed towards younger girls, not simply females in general. Having said this, the ads for more challenging games like COD or Skyrim definitely seem to be aimed more towards men… There rarely seems to be a happy medium. It could be that this is too hard to achieve; maybe it’s just easier to flood the adverts with extreme male/female imagery and be done with it. Maybe the male contingent of gamers is just stronger, therefore they’re the obvious audience. We’ve got to remember that it’s not just the gaming industry that’s to blame for any apparent discrimination; the advertising agencies they use would often be the ones to blame.” – Jen, sales assistant.

Well, mixed opinions. I suppose the natural conclusion to this matter is that girls can basically play whatever games we like – I mean, if everyone paid attention to advertising, we would all be using WonderBrooms and have a cupboard in each house exclusively devoted to the storage of shopping channel jewellery. Sure, you may be assailed by half-naked virtual women every which way you turn, but that’s the price we females have to pay for equally naked virtual abs.

Oh, and one last note… If you notice me out and about with my pink DS, complete with Hello Kitty sticker customization… You saw nothing, okay?!

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