Blog Post #5
Reflecting back on what we discussed and observed during week 6, the Wonder Woman film made me think how using the comics as a medium to subtly shine light on social issues. Similar from the 99 Heros comics from week 5, comics can send powerful messages to the youth, elders, and everyone between. As said in the movie, comics allow to escape reality for a brief moment and allows us to fulfill our fantasies as playing our heros. Comics, and the superheros within them, usually make up as our role models. They are what we want to strive to be. In the Wonder Woman film, it was long portrayed as woman couldn’t be a “hero”. Wonder Woman changed everything. Wonder Woman showed that women are capable of saving the world, that they can defend themselves, and is just as important and powerful as anyone else. She allowed women to take pride in what they do regardless of these “gender roles”, and men aren’t the only one who can do the heavy lifting.
Around 47% of comic readers are female (Schenker), and about 45% of gamers are female as well (Frum). However, just like in comics, women portrayed in video games are sexualized as well, and often worse than men. For a long time, women in video games were often downplayed as someone not important, or just someone to flirt with. “Many of these speak of the eagerness of the male characters to simply forgo foreplay and get right to the sexual act without concern for the females’ names or desires. Some of the jokes are, of course, not that bold in nature but instead are laced with heavy sexual innuendo and are utterly inappropriate.” (Miller). With that said, I do find it interesting that women game despite these gender inequality issues, but it no social issue has stopped women from doing anything, so it makes sense. Video games have been attacking this issue lately, with options to choose your character as a male or female, or just having a female as a main characters, “ Other strong female characters, like Elizabeth in “BioShock Infinite” or Ellie in “The Last of Us,” show the range developers are willing to put in their games to attract a wider audience and provide a different experience from games in the past.
Upcoming games like “Beyond: Two Souls” and a new “Mirror’s Edge” appear that they’ll continue to put women in the forefront of gaming action and narrative” (Frum). This is probably is what keep the female gamers gaming. Slowly, but surely the stigma of males dominating gaming is fading away.
What also makes video games so popular? It can give a first person perspective, giving you an emotional attachment to your character, therefore sympathizing any hardships your character goes through. As the NY Times article said it best, “Perhaps the medium’s interactive nature gives players a greater feeling of possession over it, or maybe its relative invisibility in the wider culture has given some players the wrongheaded impression that it’s their private preserve.” (Suellentrop)
Frum, Larry. “Nearly Half Of All Video-Gamers Are Women – CNN.Com”. CNN. N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
Miller, Samantha. “Gender Bias In American Video Gaming”. Em-journal.com. N.p., 2013. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
Schenker, Brett. “Market Research Says 46.67% Of Comic Fans Are Female”. The Beat. N.p., 2016. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
Suellentrop, Chris. “The Disheartening Gamergate Campaign”. Nytimes.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.