This week I watched a video titled Women As Background Decoration Part 1. To be honest, I really didn't know what to expect. I'm not one who plays or had played a lot of video games growing up; but from what little information I do know, it is very disturbing. This thirty minute video clip had me hooked from the second it started. As a Women Studies major, it still drives me insane how women are portrayed.
Okay, lets get down to business and talk about what this video was really about. The major concept that was discussed in this video was sexual objectification. Sexual objectification can be described as "the practice of treating or representing a human being as a thing or mere instrument to be used for another's sexual purpose," (Video). So basically women are valued primarily for their bodies and what their body parts bring to the table. I knew that women were portrayed this way in video games but I was not aware there was a term that went along with it. Women are just there to fulfill the background; or known as NPCs- "non player characters." Right off the back, women are being used as a decorative piece and being placed on display for the men in the game. With this, women have no individuality. They are not being treated as a person-they are being treated as a thing or object. Women are the eye candy for the other men. I noticed that the camera is always zooming in on women and their body parts-tying in the concept of sexual objectification again-women are only being valued for their body parts. I liked how Anita explained that sometimes men do not wish to have sex with the women BUT the women are still there in the background dressed "sexy" with hardly any clothes on. She explained this as the toaster affect if I remember correctly. Basically saying that a toaster is still a toaster whether or not you decide to toast bread with it-in regards to a women is still a women whether or not you decide to have sex with her. The point is, women are still there for their function of having sex with men.
The violence part of the video really turned my stomach especially because I have been in unsafe situations with a prior partner and my current internship is at a domestic violence agency. I can give some lee-way that women are always portrayed as being sexy or they are only good for sex (although that is not true nor do I agree with it), however, when violence is involved I really cannot tolerate it. Anita explains one game titled, Red Dead Redemption- in this particular game, the men do not want sex. Shocking, right? Instead they wish to capture the women, tie her up and they win the game by placing her on the train track and watching the train run over her. That is their pleasure.
Overall, the women in these games are being portrayed as objects. Men are sexual subjects while women are sexual objects; a huge difference there. There are regressive ideas about women-like I said, they don't have any individuality in these games or not even a story. No players are supposed to even like the women or care about them-they are just there as a sex object. There's no human empathy and its dehumanizing women SO much. I do not agree with the concept Anita mentioned and talked about in her video. No one should ever be used for sex or treated like an object-male or female. I'm not quite sure why women are always the target-an easy targets if I may add. I hope this eventually comes to an end and that eventually there will be a purpose to games everyone plays.