Gender Disparity in Games


Erik Yan


Dr.Carrie Hall


How many games can you name with a female main character? You’d probably be able to name one, Lara Croft. Who is the oh so popular archaeologist and treasure hunter. She is one amazing example of a female leader but that’s also a pity because she’s the only one people would think of. A ton of people play video games with male leads but not so many female leads. Female representation in the game industry is terribly low. This would mean that majority of the industry are male dominated and appeal more towards the males that play games.

There are a lot of popular video game titles such as Master Chief from halo or Nathan Drake from Uncharted. As you can imagine, most of these popular heros are all male characters. The disparities between the gaming industry and females in them have led to female misrepresentation and harassment. This would probably be due to the lack of females in courses related to video games such as computer science. Since there isn’t really many females in the development of games, there is no input from them either this would lead to male creators making the characters however they want. This has led to a lot of games where women have been sexualized. Some examples would actually be Lara Croft. The original iteration of her was portrayed as having large breasts and a super skinny waist. This portrayal of Lara Croft appeals to the male masses. This can also lead to false representation of women in the real world. This stereotypes women in having only large breasts and a slim waist.

The video games that do include females have them in a supportive role or a damsel in distress role. This would making portraying women as weak and having to rely on the male main character to assist them. A great example would be Mario. Mario is Italian plumber whose main goal throughout the multiple Mario games is to save Princess Peach. This is the most iconic damsel in distress example. Every version of Mario, you have Mario trying to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser who is the king of the koopa race. The koopa race are basically a turtle like race.

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