Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Representation in Video Games

Chosen game: Grand Theft Auto V

Women: Throughout the game, all women are portrayed as sexual objects. They are positioned to enhance the gaming experience through their use as prostitutes. The women are dressed in skimpy clothing which shows off their bodies. 

Homosexuals: The gay community is stereotyped also. "Gay Tony", the only homosexual character throughout GTA is created in a sense, just to be mocked. He is never portrayed in a serious manner. There is also a lack of male prostitutes throughout GTA, suggesting that the target audience are straight men who do not want anything to do with male prostitutes.

Race: Race is stereotyped commonly throughout GTA. Italians are stereotyped to have pizzerias whilst the Irish are mean and crazy. During the trailer for the game stereotypes are followed as a African-American man is pictured shooting people and then being chased by the police, this fuelled outrage from those from similar ethnic minorities. 

Gaming Industry

1. Who was your first woman video game character you can remember? Describe her.
Lara Croft. She wore very revealing clothing that highlighted her female 'assets'. Although it was a breakthrough to have a main playable character that was female, she was created in such a way that undermined women. Her long brunette hair and petite figure that was clothed (rather not clothed) in items which showed off her flat stomach and legs attracted a male audience.

2. Who was the first woman you knew that played video games? Describe her?
The first female I knew that played video games was Aimee Prendergast in primary school. She played pokemon. Aimee wasn't the stereotypical female 'gamer', she was very girly and sociable.

3. Do you think that woman gamer felt she was 'represented' in the character you described? Why, why not?
No. Lara Croft was portrayed as eye candy. She had a very false appearance which women do not replicate. Her explicit appearance, especially in the earlier games, would not have been as appealing to women. Lara's perfect appearance would have possibly attracted to her to the game as Aimee would be able to play this woman, and in a way, become her for the duration of the game.

4. Can you think of another female character that this woman would feel is a representation of her?
Possibly Princess Zelda in the Zelda series of games. She is feminine but also uses combat when she is a playable character.