I've covered before the subject of gender choice in games, and how it's important (the post was literally called Gender Choice In Games if you want to read it, I think) and now I'm going to talk about gender outside the gaming world. A girl gamer called Anita Sarkeesian has set up a kickstarter project for a series of videos in which she will "explore, analyze and deconstruct some of the most common tropes and stereotypes of female characters in games. The series will highlight the larger recurring patterns and conventions used within the gaming industry rather than just focusing on the worst offenders." Basically she's going to examine how women are portrayed in video games.
Now, girl gamers is a whole other rant. I love you guys, really, but you can get on my nerves sometimes. Like I said though, whole other rant. Male gamers can piss me off too, THAT is what this rant is about. See, she's managed to get a lot of unwanted, unnecessary, and quite frankly unkind (that's a tame word for it but I love alliterations) "criticism" from the gaming community. It effectively amounts to "HURR DURR GET BACK IN THE KITCHEN". But it's still wrong.
Girls portrayed in games may have a tough break, but times are improving. Normally in games when girls are protagonists they're typically wearing very little, display whorish behavour, and are often over emotional. I'm looking at you almost every girl in a fighting game and in Warcraft ever. Especially World Of Warcraft. I read a post on their forums once where someone was complaining about how tight and revealing the armour is.
Like I said though times are changing. A lot of games these days have a choice between genders. There are some strong female protagonists out there. Look at the Final Fantasy games. A lot of their protagonists are female, and most of them are just more than a pair of tits. Rikku doesn't count. Boy was she over-sexualised. Yes Yuna (in X-2 at least), Ashe and Lightning wore trace amounts of clothing (plus Penelo I guess) but for the most part they were strong individuals and very good characters. Seth Balmore from Lost Odyssey is another example. The best example though is probably Samus Aran from Metroid. Yes she got a lot more stereotypical in Super Smash Brothers Brawl but there was a long time when not many people knew it was a woman under that armour. She was just the ultimate badass.
Women in games have come a long way, and they will continue to do so. Male characters are sexualised as well I feel I should say. A lot of things are sexualised in this day and age. For some reason. Times they are a changing. This for me as an example of the majority ruining it for the minority. Not every male gamer is a sexist pig, and I hope the girl gamers out there know this. We're not all bad. There are many art forms and mediums where women are portrayed the same way.
Rather than call every guy out there a huge sexist dick we have to meet in the middle. By blaming eachother we're just delaying the inevitable, and good, result that will come from this. A more acceptable view of women in every form, not just games. We're working on it. We can only get there together though.
Wow it's been a while since I had a good old fashioned rant like that.