Reading through my classmates’ blog posts and listening to in-class discussions one thing appeared abundantly evident to me. Despite trying to be an understanding person, aware of others’ issues and problems, I remain ignorant of many issues that do not pertain to myself. I had always thought the overly sexualized nature of female characters in most video games mainstream video games today was silly, but I never saw it as such a troublesome issue. Partly because I assumed that most people who play video games simply don’t care. Thinking back, I’m almost ashamed to think that because people don’t care, they didn’t need to be exposed to another perspective. What I’m getting at is that, exactly BECAUSE the video game industry is full of young male customers, the vision and perspective they see needs to be altered not to serve them, but to educate them. The video game industry is actually the perfect platform, because within it exist a vast majority of ignorant males who need exposure to something other than fanservice, who need to start being counter-indoctrinated, and liberated from their simple minds.
Chris’ post about Skyrim, and the role of women for instance, was very eye-opening. I had never considered the reality that many of the women in the world are submissive and without a real independent role. The stupid excuse that, “it’s realistic that way” does not go in a game with dragons, magic, and elves. In fact, it is in exactly THAT world where we need to see equality – a virtual world. What does it say about a developer when they create a world that retains issues from reality, like inequality and sexism? Especially when you’re given a choice to right the wrongs by creating a new world. It says that they are ignorant.
Samantha in her post about GTA as well makes very strong observations. Yes, the developers of GTA are trying to make a game that simulates reality. But in a way where they augment it as well. So why augment the aspects that need fixing within our world? Why make a problem that’s already an issue, even more extreme? In GTA, a prostitute is already an NPC, a bland representation of a real human being. We also have to slap a sexist sticker onto it? Objectify it even more? What are we teaching young males all around the world? That these things are okay? That they’re just “part of our world”? One would argue that GTA allows you to do much worse things than objectify women, but the issue is that, the violent outbursts a player might engage in within the game world are almost NEVER translated into reality (even cases where people in real life go on violent criminal outbursts in the form shootings, GTA is not the reason why), but sexism does translate into reality, because it’s everywhere around us, it’s so integrated into society that it’s impossible to draw the line between the game world and the real world.
Violet as well makes a solid point about who deserves to “survive”, what does a successful survivor most likely look like.
Emi’s post on Bioshock was just as eye-opening and telling of exactly the points I made. It is within the subtle nature of sexism that we find the true problem and potential for positive progress. When these subtleties are changed to support a better world, maybe we’re able to influence more young males and change the way they think.