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Foolish Games: Breaking My Heart

Date: March 18, 2011 | Posted By:
"Power," "glory," and "women" are all objects to seize in R2Games' "Ceasary."
“Power,” “glory,” and “women” are all objects to seize in R2Games’ “Ceasary.”

I mean a woman gamer, of course.

I grew up playing video games. Zelda for the SNES is one of my happiest childhood memories. I always have my eye open for new ways to while away my downtime.

But what was this I saw, while reading an article on the Super Mario Wiki (this is a real thing) about Bob-ombs?

Did my eyes deceive me?

“Power.Glory.Women. Seize what’s yours.”

In six words (and one picture in case you can’t read), R2Games has managed to convey so many things. The worst part is, this is a literalization of something which is often implicit in advertising. Let’s break it down.

Women are akin to power and glory. Indeed, the picture behind the text is not of “power” or “glory,” but of a scantily clad woman. All of these things you may “seize” because they are “yours;” so, power, glory, and women are property.

But not the property of people like me, for I am a woman. I am the property.  R2Games is telling those who view its advertising that women are property.  But clearly, I am not the target audience here: men are.  So R2Games is telling men that women are property.

Gross.

And lest you think this is an isolated incident, check out the new trailer for Trenched which ends with the exhortation to “Turn a no man’s land into a real man’s land.” Presumably via signs that say “No girls allowed.”

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Many companies seem to make at least some effort to include and encourage women in gaming. Game Designers Forum just announced it’s 2011 Women In Gaming Award Winners, and Kinect and Wii are known for targeting women with their marketing. I mean, who doesn’t wish that 50% more people would purchase their products?

But a picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes, six words can cause so much harm.

Is it any wonder that women only make up 10% of the gaming industry?

A tip to the boys: if you want more women to participate, why not treat us like people instead of property?

Heidi

Is it just me, or is it actually getting harder to be a gamer nowadays?




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