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BENJAMIN ZEMKE

Madagascar

Sexism in Video Games

March 7, 2016

Ben Zemke
Karin Hogen
Language and Literature
November 22, 2015
Sexism in Games
Gaming is a very popular pastime; however, some people are not fortunate enough to be able to enjoy it. Women, for example, are often harassed or  mistreated when they play. Therefore females should be just as welcome as males in the gaming community and games should not favor a certain gender.
The first reason games should not favor a certain gender is that men and women are equal and should be treated that way. In Nathan Rott’s point of view, “#Gamergate is about two key things: ethics in video game journalism, and the role and treatment of women in the video game industry — an industry that has long been dominated by men,” (#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games). Nathan Rott’s point is that in the past, the video game industry has been dominated by men in the past, now it is about a sense of right or wrong and how women are treated in videogames. This shows that men and women should be treated equally. This is important because people are sexist inside and outside video games but if we can prevent sexism in games then we might be able to prevent all sexism, or at least most of it.
The second reason that females should be just as welcome as males in the gaming community is that women are often objectified or made to seem inferior and that’s wrong. According to Andrea Dworkin “Sexism is the foundation on which all tyranny is built. Every social form of hierarchy and abuse is modeled on male-over-female domination,” (Gaiamlife). Andrea Dworkin’s point is that evil and tyranny are built of male-over-female-domination. This shows that video game culture has an impact on sexism in real life. This matters because sexism is a big problem, especially in the gaming community, and since both genders are equal, women should be just as welcome as men in the gaming community.
The third and final reason that games should not target a certain audience is that females are often harassed or made fun of online, just because they are girls, and I think this is due to the objectification of women in video games. According to the NPR Staff “O'Leary explains that before the introduction of voice chat into online gaming systems, many women would use avatars or screen names that wouldn't give away their gender. Voice chat, which can make gaming more fun and interactive, takes away that opportunity for disguise and can make women targets for harassment right away,” (Online Harassment Gets Real for Female Gamers). The NPR Staff is discussing that voice chat makes games much more interactive but makes it much easier for people to be harassed. One can see that the objectification of women in video games can lead to the mistreatment of females in the real world. Therefore, games should not target a certain audience because women are often objectified, and such a thing can lead to people harassing females online.
Some people might say that female gamers are welcome but they are just not used to the way people act online and that games don’t target certain genders. According to http://www.salzburg.umd.edu/unesco/objectification-women-video-games, “In many cultures worldwide, women are objectified and sexualized across media such as advertisements, movies and video games.Today, newer forms of media such as video games and social platforms are duplicating the traditional media perspective in their depiction of women to some extent by also emphasizing their physical features and reinforcing the notion that they are weaker than men,” (Objectification of Women in Video Games). In other words, women are often objectified in media or made to seem weaker than men. Such a statement proves that games are targeted towards men because of the objectification of women.
In the gaming community, sexism is a huge problem. It has been getting a lot better but is still a problem. If you just show kindness to everybody then it won't be, but that’s not the case. There are some mean people out there, but we are just going to have to ignore them or not give them a reaction. They are trying to get a rise out of you and if they don’t, they might stop.

















Bibliography
“#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. <http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/09/24/349835297/-gamergate-controversy-fuels-debate-on-women-and-video-games>
“Online Harassment Gets Real For Female Gamers.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. <http://www.npr.org/2012/08/08/158433079/virtual-harassment-gets-real-for-female-gamers>
“A Quote By Andrea Dworkin on Abuse, Sexism, and Tyranny.” A Quote by Andrea Dworkin on abuse, sexism, and tyranny. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. <http://blog.gaiam.com/quotes/authors/andrea-dworkin/2841>

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