Question 3. How does critically looking at videogame(s) highlight flaws in our current society?
Videogames often reflect real life values and morals in order to connect with its players. Unfortunately the majority of designers create games targeted for the stereotypical game consumer. The white, middle class, heterosexual male which we know statistically, does not actually make up the majority of videogame players anymore. However these stereotypical games continue to be made because we continue to buy them. The supporting argument for these sexist, racist and heteronormative games is frequently “it’s only a game, why do you have to analyze it?”.
Well it may “just be a game” but designers are portraying real life situations and real life injustices in a desensitizing way. Players become desensitized to the brutal and unjust treatment of women and minorities in games because it is currently a common theme across games. It is a common theme in games because it is a common reality in our society. Games like “Grand Theft Auto”, “God of War” and “Fallout” have further pushed the polar opposite characteristics of genders in gaming. Commonly creating player one as the dominant white male, who has power and control over the female and minority characters. But wait that sounds familiar… We live in a society majority ruled by white males, who have power and control over female and minority citizens… But “it’s only a game”.
Values and morals that reflect our current society are often hidden in games, appearing to be just another part of the game. But the designers had to purposefully include those aspects; like racism and sexism, they did not just appear in the game on their own. Designers create games that they think will sell, and when racist and sexist games continue to sell year after year, that tells us something about game consumers.
Not only are games designed to include sexist and racist themes, those beliefs carry over to the some of the real life players as well. The majority of game designers are male, and many think they have power over the culture of gaming. That the culture of gaming is theirs to design, theirs to control, and theirs to play. Female gamers are constantly scrutinized, disrespected and sexually objectified in the gaming world…. But wait, doesn’t that sound like the real world as well? The sexist and racist society we live in, is what gave white males the idea in the first place that they could monopolize an ever growing entertainment outlet like gaming. White male supremacy in the gaming world will not stop until it is stopped in our reality.