Society changes views on gaming, gender

I find it extremely amusing that certain people think things are reserved for specific genders: boys should not like the color pink, football is not for girls, cooking is not a guy’s job, and girls should not play video games.

Gender equality is an idea that most of us like to think exists, but in reality, inequality continues to be more prevalent.

Like a Girl Campaign put out a video highlighting the stereotypes of what it means to be a girl. They had young adults and boys show what it means to “throw like a girl” and “run like a girl.” They threw the balls with flimsy limbs and ran while flailing their arms around.

In stark contrast, when the producers asked young girls to run and throw “like a girl,” they pumped their arms and pretended to “throw a ball” 100 yards.

The significance of the study was to show that the stereotype of gender inequality is not innately within us. Society is what creates these false conceptions of what it means to be a boy or girl.

And with the recent pushes of feminist activists, a controversial conversation has arisen concerning video games. Normally, video games are thought to only be played by males. Most games created for girls are about Barbie, weddings or puppy rescue.

Conversely, “boy” games are all about the action and weapons used to wreak havoc. And in those games, females are often portrayed in ways that perpetuate the stereotypes of girls.

Game developers rely on females for the roles of the “sexy sidekick” and/or the “woman in distress.” Females that like video are up in arms because they feel they are not represented in a positive light and I agree.

As a female that likes playing some of the games socially reserved for boys, such as Halo and Assassin’s Creed, I think that game developers need to stop discriminating against women and using them negatively for the furthering of the male heroes.

The makers of Assassin’s Creed recognize this and last year came out with an expansion pack of their game with a female as the main character. While it is definitely a step in the right direction, the step was not large enough.

Other gaming corporations need to realize that men are not the only ones that enjoy playing virtual games, and that displaying women as they are now can no longer remain the status quo.