Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gaming Characters: Female vs Male

Miniclip may not contain memory-massive games, but that doesn't mean it escapes from the 'ravages' of sexism. 
Miniclip has a game category 'Games For Girls' -yet no 'Games for Boys' equivalent. Are those games really games targeted ONLY towards girls? No, but they are obviously being suggested as games that girls should play.
It's as though every other section is dedicated to boys, and assumed that only/mainly boys play games. (audience percentage is irrelevant)
It is undoubtedly true that girls play games outside the Games for Girls category, and that boys play the games inside the Games for Girls category.
Hmm, a games for girls section...everything to do with girls just gotta be pink, totally!

In the Miniclip game, Clone Wars Adventures, there is less customisation for the female avatar as compared to the male avatar - and yet the media extols the fact that it's girls who constant worry about their appearance and need a super wide range of choice?

The gender 'male' has 3 choices of species: human, Twi'lek and clone, whereas the gender 'female' has only two choices: human and Twi'lek.

At first off, the two genders look rather similar -as humans. And then you get to the Twi'lek. Yes, they both have 'Right Lekku', but seriously, 'Slender Lekku'?? And of course, the male-only clone class.

Now going back to the front page. On the front, you can see four characters: 2 male, one female, and one hard-to-identify. Already, gender imbalance. Furthermore, both male characters are larger than the female character. And whilst both male characters are full clothed, the female character is actually showing more skin than just here face! That is, her upper arms, fingers and random cleavage (I admit it is hard to see, but it's there)

Clone Wars Adventures wasn't the perfect example - gender imbalance is a lot more rife in big-name gaming, if wundergeek at Go Make Me a Sandwich is anyone to go by (and she is someone to go by)

(From I Love Charts - click on the picture to go to the original) Sums it all up in an easy to understand chart:

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