To the gaming industry: Stop objectifying women

6/13/2016

By Ally Hamzey

“Interactive media is fundamentally changing every aspect of the creative industry.” Our guest speaker, Brian Baglow, a video game connoisseur with years upon years of experience in the video game industry, specifically instructed us to “take note of that slide” if we were to take notes at all. His emphasis on this notion wasn’t hard to miss. Video games clearly have changed the game (no pun intended). Baglow explained the rapid transition of games to any screen device, and it seems obvious at first when mentioned. However, it’s a thought that hadn’t crossed my mind before. I hadn’t put the concept together that some high-tech fridges have games available, and that even the Ziosk screens at my work used for quick payments at tables have games to play on as well. Games are an everyday part of the technology and media we use, yet it is almost unnoticeable to us.

It was alluring to hear Baglow speak on the disruption and permanence games have established in all forms of media, but it was even more intriguing to hear him speak about the large changes the game industry is taking. Baglow said the game industry is “leaving old genres, cliches, and misogyny behind.” Naturally, as a supporter of women’s equality and as one who finds misogynistic video games repulsive, I was thrilled to hear this.

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Ah, GTA, was it really necessary for this character to wear nothing but a bikini? Courtesy of Google Images.

Upon asking Baglow about the steps being taken to eradicate such sexism from the game industry, he said the question of ethic is a key discussion that is being made in the industry right now. I assume this questioning of ethics would relay back to, “How should we display women in games? Should they still wear skimpy outfits with big breasts and a small waist?”

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These “perfect” body types in video games construe the idea that in order to be a powerful female protagonist, you must attain these features (which is untrue). Courtesy of Google Images.

I am intrigued to see what changes are made in the gaming industry regarding gender equality. I know video gaming has turned me off for a majority of my life simply because of the heterosexual male focus a lot of games have. I would like to see a repeal on games that sex up female characters and paint them in an objectifying manner, so girls can grow up knowing that their sole purpose on this earth isn’t to be eye candy or an object to men. Baglow gave me hope that it is possible to see those results in the industry.

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