For this project I will be covering the issue of Gender Roles and Stereotypes within the Gaming community and Industry. The idea behind this project is a combination of my own ambition of becoming a Game Designer and the recent issues regarding gender within gaming which prompted me to think about it a little more.
The English aspect of this project will contain a video detailing the general point of Gender Roles and Stereotypes and how they are relevant within the gaming community and industry. A summarization of the video's contents contain an explanation of the issue with Gender Roles and Stereotypes with splices of interviews to give other perspectives on the there will also be links to the full interviews as well.
-Full Interview Links-
The art aspect of this project I will be looking at the designs of characters in video games and looking at how some of them are exaggerated and make them appear more realistic or at the very least lower the exaggerations. I will be taking notes on how to improve designs to more realistic proportions and to be more fitting with their fields. For this I'll be looking at Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and Zangief from Street Fighter. The issues with exaggerated designs is the unrealistic emphasis on key features that are the "main features" of each gender and building characters around it. For men a lot if not most of their designs are based on the idea that men should be toned and muscular thus having characters be walking meatheads with nothing but muscles. Women on the other hand are designed with the idea that they should be sexy and visually pleasing, so a large portion of their designs have large emphasis on their busts and hips mostly enlarging them to unnatural proportions. Look to the left of this paragraph for the concept arts and design notes.
The social studies aspect of this project will cover the connections between how men and women are portrayed within gaming and Gender roles that are embedded in our society.
In society men are expected to play the role of the “Leader” and “Provider” typically being in the positions of Head of the household or the Executive of a major business. Men are also taught early on that they have to “man up” and that “men do not cry.” Correlating with this they are also scolded from doing things that are considered “feminine.” In gaming men are portrayed devoid of any emotion, radically muscular, overly violent and constantly committing violent acts and playing the role of: Protector, Leader, or Hardened Veteran. In general men are portrayed playing dominant and more active role, and being the main hero and center of the spotlight.
In society women are expected to "stay in the kitchen," take care of the children and maintain the household. In most cases women are expected to hold roles of the housewife or teacher, typically roles that are either supporting children or supporting their husbands. They are raised learning that they have to be "feminine" and act/behave in a "fair and delicate" manner with more emphasis being placed on their bodies. In gaming women are portrayed as accessories or eyecandy, constantly being either the: "damsel in distress," "sexy villain," or "the sexy best friend." All of these roles bearing romantic/sexual feelings towards the main male hero. In general women are portrayed as submissive or accessory like roles where they aren't relevant to what is going on, and are there only for visual pleasure.
On both sides their appearance is heavily exaggerated. For men they are consistently portrayed as "powerful" beings, having their muscles being the most defining features and constantly building their characters around it. For women they are always being portrayed as the role of "beautiful" so they are always having their busts and hips be the defining aspect and having their character revolve around that.