Sexual Representations in Video Games

As we discussed in lecture it is difficult to find video game narratives of women without sexual aspects present. But when I think about this issue it makes me question who these sexual representations actually appeal to. As a heterosexual man I do not find them appealing and I cannot imagine any adult man finding them selves attracted to such representations in video games, but maybe I’m just making generalizations. The only audience that I can think of that these sexual representations would appeal to are young teenagers. Which if these games are meant for mature audiences only then why are hypersexualized representations of women still prominent in the majority of female narrative video games?

I do realize there is a market for this content to adolescent males but I cannot help but think that marketing video games toward women would be a lot more profitable. By only representing women as sexual beings in video games it seems to marginalize women as an audience altogether. It makes me wonder about games such as Grand Theft Auto 5 which offers three characters to choose from as protagonists. What if one of the characters were a woman and the gender roles in the game were reversed for that character. For instance that would mean that there are male prostitutes and male strippers. I can imagine that it would be very controversial and there would probably be a backlash from the male audience. But maybe there would also be a new perspective gained from it. It would make some question what the purpose is of having such content.

These representations are not necessarily a problem and as discussed in lecture I do not think that there should be censorship of this kind of content, but an issue does arise when these are the only representations of one demographic. As a heterosexual male I can imagine that I have not covered all of the basis of this issue so if you have anymore to add to this conversation please do so in the comments section.

0 thoughts on “Sexual Representations in Video Games

  1. I really don’t think the way to combat sexism and objectification of women in games is to reverse the roles and objectify men the same way. It’s equally offensive and problematic. There must be alternative means of critiquing these negative representations without insinuating the same harmful attitudes.

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