Essay about She Can't Win!

Submitted By lcas92186
Words: 747
Pages: 3

She Can't Win!
Lauren Long
SNHU - PSY 211
February 13, 2013

The subject of video games is very controversial. Many parents think kids these days spend too much time in front of a screen with a controller in their hands, leading to obesity. Other parents think the violence in video games leads to a violent mindset, and lifestyle. A recent hot topic in society is the gender roles involved in many of today's video games and how it leads to sexual and physical aggression, as well as promiscuity. Knowing next to nothing about video games, I presented the topic to friends who are more familiar with video games. The overwhelming response I received was "they all have gender stereotypes, and the female characters are a joke." After a little research, I discovered that many of the most popular video games portray women as something to be controlled, beaten or saved. Two trendy game titles, "Grand Theft Auto" and "Super Mario" distinctively present this hot issue. As a teenager, I remember watching friends play the game Grand Theft Auto, as it was the "cool" new game available on the market. The game was about stealing cars, or so I thought. I vividly remember a scene of the player's character assaulting a female character, what I assumed to be a hooker, and the character "winning" money for this assault. This female character was thin, with large breasts and dressed provocatively. The game was rated "M for Mature" meaning it couldn't be sold to anyone under the age of seventeen....but my friend was only fifteen. A journal article on this topic explains more of this degradation against females in the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City game: "...if the male hero kills the prostitute after they have sex, he gets his money back. When a male character punches a female prostitute, she does not respond by screaming or saying ‘‘no,”—negative responses likely to happen in real social interactions—but rather is programmed to retort, ‘‘I like it rough” and to punch back" (Dill 2008). Women in this game series are portrayed as submissive sex objects that can be abused, assaulted and insulted, whereas the male "hero" characters are cocky, strong, mean, aggressive and hostile. Not only does this "game-play" evoke power over, and violence against women in the game, but I think it's entirely possible that it doesn't remain in the game world. A friend I went to school with since grade school recently got out of prison for assaulting his girlfriend. He's heavily into video games with titles like "Assassin's Creed" and I have no doubt that he is familiar with the Grand Theft Auto series. He has a very narcissistic personality, and tend to wonder if the lifetime of video game exposure had anything to do with it. The gender bias doesn't start with the mature-rated games, it can also be seen…