Note: For the purpose of clarity, I am presenting the links to the videos discussed in this post here.
XBox Girls Get Revenge — http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6258778/xbox-girls-get-revenge
Geek and Gamer Girls — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eJmYKN_1QE
After viewing and analyzing the video Geek and Gamer Girls on Break.com for the just-in-time assignment, I thought it would be good to examine a similar video on CollegeHumor.com. Because both of these websites are humor websites, it is interesting to compare and contrast their methods of portraying gender roles, masculinity, and femininity.
As discussed in my just-in-time assignment, Break.com is a website that is aimed at a young, male audience. Because of this, the video Geek and Gamer Girls was created in a way that would appeal to this audience. The CEO of Break.com has even stated in an interview with ADWEEK, “We have a male audience that likes two things: attractive women and demolition.” Putting aside the demolition aspect of this quote, the website does not shy away from making it known that they cater to a male audience. Unfortunately, this means that women are typically portrayed as highly sexual and very passive whereas men are portrayed as domineering and in control. By doing this, each male viewer is able to put himself in the roles of the male characters on this site. This can clearly be seen in the video Geek and Gamer Girls. Personally, as a female who enjoys gaming, this video (as well as the comments) were fairly offensive and completely inaccurate.
A similar video, Xbox Girls Get Revenge on CollegeHumor.com attempts to portray the same concept – girls are gamers too. The differences in the two videos are strikingly obvious. In the CollegeHumor.com video, the female characters are dressed in average clothes, are not overly dressed up (or down for that matter), and they use offensive language in the same way that male gamers are known to use it. In my opinion, the girls portrayed here look and act very similar to a lot of females I know (especially when it comes to gaming). It’s also important to note that there is a definite gender role shift in this video. As men were shown as more powerful in the Break.com video, in this video, the female characters are more in control. In fact, they have so much more power in this video that eventually the male character becomes submissive even and ends up crying. The humor of this video is the way that the gender roles are constructed. This is because most people usually do not picture woman or men looking and behaving in this way.
As a personal fan of CollegeHumor.com, I appreciate the humor of this video much more than that of Break.com. As I said in my assignment, I am fairly certain that the video on Break.com would have portrayed the genders differently if the a majority of their other videos were not created by men for men. CollegeHumor.com, although created by two males, has quite a few women on their staff (one writer who is now even writing for the popular show Saturday Night Live) and caters to a more diverse audience. More specifically, their content is aimed toward “the deviant minds of high schoolers, college kids and bored office workers alike.” This is not necessarily true of all the content on CollegeHumor.com as they do have post like Cute College Girl of the Day and Hottest College Girl (without male equivalents). For the most part, though, the website is fairly equal as it is humor that both young men and women can enjoy.
Perhaps the CollegeHumor.com video is a good example of what Break.com’s video would have been like if the audience were different.