Along with the flourishing development of the game industry, more and more players are attracted to enter the game circle. Today, most games allow users in different parts of the world to interact and play games with others. It is originally a great way to entertain people, but the phenomenon of stereotypes in games are widespread, especially for gender and racial bias.
Although some research showed that the rate of female players has the nearly same rate of male players, there is still weird prejudice against true female gamers. It is always a widespread phenomenon that video games belong to men’s space and dominations, so it is not surprising that the image of female players is marginalized and twisted. (Fox, J., & Tang, W. Y. (2014)) In video games, female characters are often described as an inferior group who need to be protected by the other more powerful characters. Also, most women characters are showed to be sexualized, and beauty and these female characters are designed to have a thinner body with revealing clothing and some are even nearly naked, which exist too much sexually suggestive stimulations. (Bègue, Sarda, Gentile, Bry & Roché, 2017)
As I said before, games now allowed multi-players to interact together, and some offensive comments and sexist languages are easy to see. According to the journal “Sexism in online video games”, we can know that females received three times bad comments than male’s, and they also experience some sexual harassment and sexism in games. I also experienced some gender stereotypes when I was playing the game. For example, lots of male players think it is a shame to be defeated by female players in the game. Also, I often heard many gamers asked why girls play hardcore mode games? It is subconscious for most players to think games are men’s world, and they do not even notice this is a kind of prejudice. The settings of the game have been imperceptible influenced people to have stereotyped gender roles.
The characters of color in video games are made by some negative stereotypes which cause many players are often tagged in games. For example, the study found that African American characters are often portrayed with aggressive, malignant and threatening; and most Asian characters are designed to be weak and ignorant. (Carlisle, L. (2018)) However, many “privileged” people are not aware of their privileges, and they took it for granted. For example, in Nakamura’s article, it mentioned “Straight White Male”, when people question about their privileges, these white males are angry because they feel their legitimate rights have been violated. For some people who are in a state of discrimination, their game mode may become more difficult or limited. This kind of stereotype in video games reflects the reality that people will learn such prejudice against people of color in real life.
Due to the difference between people and people, it is tough to build a complete equality game, because people always examine and handle these stereotypes in light of their own experience. However, everyone has a different experience, and we often wear colored glasses to recognize particular groups. It is still common to see the prejudice in the game hub, but I think that the game makers are trying to reduce the stereotyping in games, such as more games have customization features for characters and filter functions to ban some trash posts. Additionally, I believe the game circle is an enjoyable environment but not the hostile communicative environment; we should realize our difference and hide stereotypes to make a better game circle.
- Bègue, L., Sarda, E., Gentile, D. A., Bry, C., & Roché, S. (2017). Video games exposure and sexism in a representative sample of adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(11), 466- 679.
- Carlisle, L. (2018). 26.1 stereotypes and racism in video games. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(10), S38.
- Fox, J., & Tang, W. Y. (2014). Sexism in online video games: The role of conformity to masculine norms and social dominance orientation. Computers in Human Behavior, 33, 314-320.