Online gamers

In this opportunity I’d like to write about something that really caught my attention while surfing in the 9gag website I was telling the other day.

I ran into this post called “the videogame entertainment curve” and it attempts to show the relation between the type of game (from casual games to role playing games according to the difficulty of the game) and the amount of time required to enjoy it. But I found something really curious and it’s that the game in the lowest scale (casual games such as angry birds) is represented by a chubby woman with some kind of dumb face while the rest of the gamers in this comic are represented by male figures.

Now I wonder why the creator of this post felt the need to represent this level of gamer with a female figure and on top of that a chubby female figure. One might get the impression that this kind of games are silly and therefore meant to be played by woman and the rest of the games that require a minimum of different skills are for true gamers, male gamers. I found this in a way a little bit offensive and I don’t even consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I know a lot of female gamers, and it’s true girls and women are less involved in video games than boys and men (you can verify this fact just by asking to your circle of friend which of them play online game, it would most likely be men), and when they do they usually prefer different type of games, but that doesn’t mean they are not there or that we can deny the increasing amount of girls/women that are getting more and more interested in online games.

Another issue I’d like to point out is how we can see once again the construction of Masculinity in this case. With the simple act of placing a woman in this comic one can easily get the impression that this kind of games are somehow girly or even weak and therefore not masculine at all, so if you are a men and enjoy playing these games you might be considered lest manly, less masculine.

So, what do you think? What comes to your mind when you first see this image? Do you think the author could have represented the level of “casual games” with a different figure or it was needed to be done this way to make the point?

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One Response to Online gamers

  1. apalmgre says:

    I like how you are critical and reflexive in the blog entry connecting it also to things we’ve discussed during the course. At first I reacted just as you did, then I started to think about recent statistics about the average online gamer. Two years ago the average gamer was a 43-year-old woman and if I remember correctly it is today a 47-year-old woman. But still, it is interesting how they have chosen the appearance of the women in the picture. And (again not having the research articles with me right now) the average player spend a lot of time during the day playing online games, so it may seem a bit strange that it is written “no time” in the picture of the woman.

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