If you play a game on a screen, it is a video game.
Many of you, who will read this, will go ‘what is the point of this?’.
What is the point of writing an article to do with gaming when the theme for this month is ‘girl power’?
A fact of life is that many people will agree and think that gamers are primarily male. Let’s face it, the stereotype is pretty strong as so many video games are aimed towards the male audience and yet, in 2014, 52% of gamers are girls (x). And even with this knowledge, it is only recent that women have started breaking the stereotype boundary in video games.
A game that everyone has played, at least once, was Pac-Man. Pac-Man was yellow and a circle with a part sliced out for a mouth. Pac-Man was only gendered due to the ‘man’ part of Pac-Man but if no one knew what Pac-Man was; no one would question the gender. It was just a damn yellow circle. That was until Ms. Pac-Man came out. When Ms. Pac-Man was advertised, you already knew what the gender was: a female. Ms Pac-Man had a pink bow, make up, eyelashes and was suddenly sexualized during its advertising period. She was advertised with slender legs and heels to go with it while sitting in a ‘provocative’ position.
Talk about the step-up from nothing to everything.
In the Mario world, you have Wendy who is one of Bowser’s seven children and only girl. To differentiate Wendy from the rest of the boys, she was given the generic ‘girl personality’ where she was whiny, greedy, incredibly girly and portrayed as a spoilt little girl. This was in comparison to the rest of her brothers who have mixed personalities and were very well rounded. She too was also given the stereotypical color of pink, high heels, eyelashes, make up and jewelry.
They are also just the female versions of their male counterparts.
Clementine and Ellie are young female characters who have not been sexualized or have had pink added to their characters. The female characters get into the gritty of the situation and can handle guns without the use of the generic ‘female’ personality. They are able to handle themselves without looking like their male counterparts. These are not your average video game female characters. These are strong, well rounded characters who are in award winning games. Both of these characters have given men and women alike ‘the feels’ that have been lacking in so many games recently. These characters, although do have a father-like relationship with their male counterparts, can do things by themselves as well as look after themselves. Clementine deals with the loss of a father while Ellie is shown to be *spoiler* a lesbian and loses her love interest.
They don’t have to be whiny.
They don’t have to be pink.
They don’t have to be a male counterpart’s love interest.
They don’t have to be sexualized.
They don’t have to be a stereotype.
There is also a really good video to do with this topic and you can find it here.
(click photos for sources)