Sunday, November 10, 2019

Gender and Video Games Essay

The current development in the literature concerning videogames and gender constitutes the formulation of perceptions of how not only game developers but also players establish their individual and collective identity in this process. Their relationship then corresponds to creating specific norms and principles that seek to identify specific ideas concerning their representation of reality and also their ability to capitalize on existing genres for cultivating game play and the issues related to acceptance of existing norms. Due to this, to better understand the relationship circumventing around video games and gender, fair amount of analysis must be made not only in its ability to represent the gaming public but also in the impact it creates towards taking the issue into a bigger picture as it relates to the construction of social norms and roles. Assessing Video Games and Gender Indeed looking at previous literature studies, it can be seen that misrepresentation remains apparent especially among the representation of gender in video games. Here, common patterns of male masculine figures and characters continue to dominate different platforms and games. Such idea remains to be seen particularly, during the earlier times wherein there is a corresponding depiction of players that are relatively male and ultimately dominate both the primary and secondary characters. Here, Williams, Martins, Consalvo and Ivory (2009) study highlights these apparent trends by arguing that â€Å"the most popular games are less representative than the typical game produced by developers, indicating that players also play a role in the cycle of creation and consumption† (p. 828). Similarly, such actions then establish the formation of implications relating towards both businesses and gamers alike. Given the constant marketing and exploration of new strategies to expand the level of gamers within a specific platform, there are indeed restrictions that this gender bias and formulation of games create. It necessitates not only hindering the potential appeal of these games towards consumers but also induce common means for limited appreciation and also shortage in sales. These dynamics in turn necessitate a constricted response to the ever growing number of patrons of video games as it encompasses the majority of participants and involve other actors who also place emphasis in their capacity for media to exhibit their common associations and relationship within the platform (Williams, Martins, Consalvo, Ivory, 2009). Opening up Patterns for Diversity and Change Assessing the validity of how video games embrace diversity, careful analysis needs to be made in the manner that video games seek to portray and outline the views concerning the gaming culture. Since social symbols often connote this process to be a male/masculine endeavor, earlier platforms somehow inhibit female participation in such activity and more often than not associated with male roles and tendencies (Williams, Martin, Consalvo and Ivory, 2009). However, this started to change as new designs and models have been introduced to cater to the changing perceptions of gender roles related to video games and adherence to the objectives to transcend over common representations that platform has over male and female responsiveness. Recognizing the current needs for embedding gender equality within the video game platforms, many game developers now seek to apply these strategies in the formulation of new titles that seek to connote better ability for people to utilize their perception of themselves within a particular game. This brought about significant changes as designers brought into consideration diversity and equal representation of male and female roles in the process. This dynamics then consolidated better means for outlining not only significant areas related to the overall game play but also in the appeal it gives towards different individuals regardless of their racial and gender associations (Brandtzaeg and Heim, 2009). Seeing this, the study by Jansz and Vosmeer indeed offer a good analysis of how the game ‘Sims 2’ address these changing trends and outline the evolution of gaming from a masculine and male dominated genre to a more lax and diverse area that induces common connections between masculinity and femininity. By using this game as an example, the study was able to highlight significant changes in these perceptions and was able to ascertain common ideals shaping and furthering opportunities accounting to how diversity serves as an instrument in merging the idea of gender and video games together. To complement this process, it takes into account creating video games that are not only responsive to the needs of gamers but also reach out towards their ability to utilize connections over the roles specific characters play. Here, Jansz and Vosmeer (2010) argues, â€Å"developing gender and games theory requires more detailed insight into the mutual shaping of game content, game play, and gender identities† (p. 247). By collaborating on these three aspects accordingly, the ability of growth of video games have indeed showcased a reality that is more conducive and responsive to the needs of individuals by offering a variety of platforms wherein interaction and associations remain possible. Videogames, Violence, and Gender Roles Another precept shaping the understanding concerning the idea of videogames and gender is the corresponding perceptions and roles it provides participants. Since this element is one part of media, it is through this that representations about culture and gender roles are provided among individuals regardless of age, race, or cultural affiliations. These dynamics in turn necessitate both positive and negative responses in terms of the establishment of identity and formulation of specific patterns of behavior innate within the characterization of primary and secondary characters in a particular game. In essence, there continues to be a relationship in the way individuals ascertain their preferences in games with their innate social behavior and ability to denote a particular response to each theme of a video game played (Brandtzaeg and Heim, 2009). Seeing these diverse variations concerning the ability to extract experiences and ideas from video games, it then presents the formation of specific behavior and inputs depending on the themes provided. Such actions then result in current diversity of games available in the market today. As Brandtzaeg and Heim (2009) argue, â€Å"the new electronic gaming landscape is complex, and consists of a vast array of choices in different game content genres tailored towards a range of user profiles in regards to highly different interests and content preferences† (p. 71). These in turn result in the formulation of specific behavior that equally shapes an individual’s personality and the manner that each one seeks to equate this in the formulation of their identity and role within social institutions. Associated with the formulation of gender roles, there are also instances of video games promoting violence as themes in its platforms. Such dynamics then necessitate impact on individual behavior as they try to ascertain specific tendencies towards the acceptance of violence to be a social norm and apparent in different scenarios and environment. Though research and literature may argue differently concerning this stance, it also goes to show the impact that video games can provide towards the inducement of violent and aggressive tendencies among gamers. Here, it is what Kim refers to as desensitization of violence within video games genre and points out its impact not only in the formulation of gender roles but also the acceptance of its role within the development of a player’s identity (Kim, n. d. ). Under this process, there continues to be new developments happening in video game technology that aides the desensitization of violence among consoles. These in turn contributes to further exposure and creates a real-life scenarios wherein players experience an almost-real setup where violence as a theme is depicted. Here, Kim (n. d. ) argues that â€Å"as video games become more sophisticated, there is a wide range of input devices at various levels of realism – from pushing keys on a keyboard to a turning wheel to drive or actually shooting a gun† (p. 5). Such realities then brings about the question of how such games provide the means to explore means to correspond the manner to ascertain violence, videogames and gender. It does take into account the value of how these themes permeate within choices and ability to partake in the gaming experience of individuals. By establishing these relationships, it can help analyze the formulation of behavior as well as how it corresponds to the nature of furthering opportunities to extract behavioral responsiveness on the part of individuals who partake in such endeavor. (Jansz, and Vosmeer, 2010). To conclude, the idea of gender and video games have undergone an expansion of literature that takes into account its development from a more conservative and masculine-oriented dimension towards the creation of games that seeks to highlight and induce elements of diversity. By taking account of these areas, it was able to consolidate better means to reach out towards different gamers and allow better means for access among people. Though there may still be corresponding bias views concerning gender, it was able to construct a new playing field wherein new games are able to cater towards the dynamic needs among gamers. Alongside this development, there is also the corresponding perspective of shaping new means to carry out effective means to extract gender roles among players. These elements manifest in the themes and perceptions utilized by individuals who participate in such endeavor. One element that can be seen in these areas is the corresponding violence that video game creates. Though there are contrasting views in the impact on human behavior, it plays a crucial role in establishing analysis in its association with the interplay of social norms and roles through the spectrum of perceptions and choices of video game genres. References Brandtzaeg, P. B. and Heim, J. (2009) Children’s Electronic Gaming Content Preferences and Psychosocial Factors: Is there a connection? Nordicom Review. 30 (2), pp. 69-86 Jansz, J. , Avis, C. and Vosmeer, M. (2010) Playing The Sims 2: An exploration of gender differences in players’ motivations and patterns of play. New media and Society. 12 (2), pp. 235-251 Kim, O. T. Effects of Violent Video Games on Desensitization: The Role of Gender, Previous Exposure, and Input Device. Williams, D. , Martins, N. , Consalvo, M. and Ivory, J. (2009) The virtual census: representations of gender, race, and age in video games. New media and society. 11 (5), pp. 815-834

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