By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
When it comes to video games, my knowledge derives mostly from social media and friends who are avid gamers. My skills lie in button mashing and hoping that some sort of glitch in the game that will help me win.
Despite my poor playing skills, I’ve grown up surrounded by a society that actively presents conflicting views on video games. On the positive side, video games, if played for less than three hours at a time, may actually help kids lead better lives and improve cognitive abilities.
However, there have also been studies that link video games to violence, depression and bad behavior.
The latest controversy involves linking sexism, culture and video games together. Journalist Leigh Alexander writes that the three topics may be tied together more than we’d previously thought. Video games may be a reflection of how we allow society to treat and see women (in this case, quite poorly), a view that has become part of our culture.
Feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian has a series of videos discussing how women are represented in video games. She explains and gives examples of how women are treated as “Background Decorations” instead of being lead characters.
Yes, there are female protagonists featured in video games, but there aren’t nearly enough to match the amount of male protagonists. In addition, weak female characters (who are also scantily clothed and violently killed off) exist in shocking quantities.
I think it is high time that we reexamine the content that we allow to be created in the video game world. Though it may be make believe, it is a reflection of the society that exists.