Monday, February 29, 2016

Women as Background Decorations Part 2

This week I decided to watch "Women as a Background Decoration" Part 2 and was hit with the reality of some of my favorite games. The second half of this video really focused on the character development of characters through the mistreatment of women and it really opened my eyes to what I see every day within video games. This character development occurs for both protagonists and antagonists and is used to create the illusion of choice and morals for the player.
When it comes to the bad guys development, the player usually has to deal with the abuse of female background characters as a chance to feel heroic and as though their choice will make them a better male. An example that was used was in the 2010 game "Red Dead Redemption" the player has the choice of buying a prostitute in order to save her or letting her get abused and if you buy her, she gets killed anyway. This choice allows the player to feel anger towards her pimp and allows the player to feel more justified in killing the pimp later. The same goes for games such as "Grand Theft Auto" and "Bioshock," the abuse and torment of women exist to justify murder and crime against their assailants.
And for the good guys, there's a question of morals when it comes to the senseless violence against females. The best example from the video came from "God of War" when the protagonist has to use a woman's body to hold open a door, ultimately killing her in order to reach his goal. And in other games such as "Bioshock" and "Dishonored" those same kind of choices exist only to put some sort of moral compass on the players state of mind. However, even with a moral compass, to some players, it's still just a game so they can be as evil as they want, leading to senseless violence against women in the form of obtaining goals for the game.
As a player of video games, I've obviously seen a lot of these games and usually I'll do anything to make sure everyone is safe. But sometimes games don't even allow for your choices to help females in the end. I played games where you make a choice to save someone and they end up dying anyway, which is just annoying. Unfortunately games continuously use these women as background decorations in order to push the player to make choices. And that sucks because most of the games I love are completely choice based like "Mass Effect," "Fallout," "Dragon Age," etc."

(My laptop busted so I can't get any of my screenshots off of it unfortunately sorry!)
Taylor O'Neill

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