Are video games inherently sexist?: a study on how sexism within the video game industry can affect both men and women

Gourlay, Kyle (2016) Are video games inherently sexist?: a study on how sexism within the video game industry can affect both men and women. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The first game that was designed with a female protagonist appeared in 1996 in the form of Tomb Raider, which became a popular game in video game history. Since then, multiple games have emerged and they have become popular amongst female players. However, researchers have argued that sexist content prevails in video games and that there is a need to examine the links between video game consumption and the associated creation of attitudes towards women. Through a detailed thematic content analysis approach, this research attempted to answer the questions:
    Are video games inherently sexist? How does sexism within the video game industry affect men and women?
    The study presents the following key observations.

    -Ambivalent sex theory, cultivation theory and self-identity theory are some key elements which can help understand sexism within the industry.

    -The level of stereotyping is high, with most women characters depicted as non-playing characters or secondary characters. Male domination remains in terms of the number of characters depicted.

    -There is a decrease in benevolent sexism trends and an increase in hostile sexism trends.

    -There is clear evidence of gender swapping, gender bending and gender fluidity with an effort to meet the goals of the game. Gender binaries are slowly dissipating in some online games.

    -There is no clear evidence of improvement within the industry. The female developers continue to face challenges, and unless these challenges are addressed, problems will remain within the industry.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Creative Technologies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 15:25
    Last Modified: 20 Jun 2016 15:25
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/20940

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