Women more often being seen as video game main characters

2 years 6 months 4 weeks ago Monday, April 18 2016 Apr 18, 2016 Monday, April 18, 2016 3:47:00 PM CDT April 18, 2016 in News
By: Katie Cammarata, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Female protagonists are gradually becoming more common in video games of all sorts. 

University of Missouri Graduate Sociology Instructor, Zach Rubin, said women have been more often placed in leading roles in video games in recent years. 

He also said the number is still much less than it should be, with male characters being most likely to conduct heroic feats and rescue other characters from peril.

A study by one of the largest video gaming research companies, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, said, in a study of 669 games, only four percent had a sole female protagonist, 47 percent had the option to play as either a male or female character and 51 percent had only a male protagonist.

"There are very few roles for women as protagonists in video games," Rubin said. "That translates to there being fewer women gamers because there is less of a model for women to emulate, and they feel less included in the field of gaming."

While the number of female protagonists is increasing, those characters generally wear highly sexualized clothing.

Life-long video gamer Natalie Abright said she has seen less objectifying of women in the video game industry recently but would like to see more realistic women, wearing clothes that match what they are doing.

"I really love games that manage to tell a really emotional impactful story and have compelling, well-rounded characters that actually seem like real people," Abright said.

She sais she chooses video games based on the story, not whether or not there is a female protagonist, but she appreciates being able to choose a woman when possible. 

"I think it is, inherently, a little bit easier to play as a character that matches your gender," Abright said.

Rubin said one way to further increase female inclusion in video games would be to have more female programmers in the industry.

"Women account for 11 percent of game designers and three percent of programmers," Rubin said. "They're still somewhat of a minority, and even though there's plenty of women who are interested at very young ages, the further they go in the industry, the more they feel shut out."

Abright said, as more women enter the video gaming industry, there will be "an even greater diversity of games and probably of more female protagonists and more stories that speak to the female experience."

Although many companies, like Sony, offer scholarships for women to attend a video game design program, some of the women who enter the field and move higher up in the industry feel pressured by their male peers and leave by the age of 35. 

Rubin said one woman, Anita Sarkeesian, who has a blog about the female experience with pop culture, especially video gaming, received death threats for publishing her opinions online. 

Another female video gaming programmer, Zoe Quinn, was accused of soliciting good reviews in inappropriate ways, even though those reviews were never published. She also received death threats for her position in the video game industry and also has a blog detailing her experience with the discrimination.

"I really want to see situations like this change," Abright said. "But that's not all gamers. As a female, I've really had a very positive experience overall in the gaming community."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A man suspected of stealing more than $46,000 from the Boone County Treasurer's Office in late 2017 is... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:21:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested Dyran Hill, 23, of Columbia in connection with a robbery Thursday in the parking lot of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Department of Education on Friday proposed new rules for dealing with sexual harassment and assault on college... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 11:55:52 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Jennie-O Turkey recalled packages of ground turkey in a salmonella outbreak, and regulators say additional products... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 10:58:02 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The week around Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods in the year. AAA projects... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 10:16:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, DC - The White House says it will "temporarily reinstate" the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:40:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - A pedestrian was struck and killed Thursday night on Highway 63 just south of Moberly, according to crash... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:49:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Out-of-state vehicles around the University of Missouri are having their license plates stolen. It’s been happening in garages... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Where would a man celebrating a half century of giving blood go to celebrate? Another blood drive... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:55:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- In a meeting this afternoon, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes, apologized for the confusion surrounding the Columbia Police Department’s... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison for a 2017 armed bank robbery turned... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:14:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City is looking for a municipal judge to fill a temporary position, starting January 1, 2019.... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:13:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said it's making progress on detecting hate speech, graphic violence and other violations of its... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:53:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Employment providers, state agencies and employers serving people with disabilities across the state came together to learn how... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:12:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the statue that stood on top of the State Capitol for 94 years, touched ground Thursday.... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:48:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bronze statue called Ceres will spend the next year being cleaned and touched up for conservation... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has hit a tied record low. Data released Thursday from the... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:56:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MAGALIA, Calif. (AP) — Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century,... More >>
2 days ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:52:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
10pm 34°
11pm 33°
12am 32°
1am 32°