C.A.T.S: Text Seminar Reflection

Digital games and gender

Authors: Jo Bryce, Jason Rutter and Cath Sullivan

Chapter 11

This chapter discusses the dynamics of gender in the gaming industry and the supposed minorety of female participation of playing video games. That it is wrong for video games to be considered a masculine leisure activity because there are a females that also participate on a regular basis. That the gender elements of PC gaming are consistent with more extensive societal conceptualizations and portrayals of manliness and gentility. That sexual orientation elements ought to be comprehended with regards to the spaces in which games are experienced and given importance.


“There is a prevailing understanding that such representations make digital games unattractive to many potential female gamers. However, one little addressed issue is the way in which gender representation within games, gameplay and gaming contexts is separated in analysis rather than examining their interation.”

This is the piece of text that I found most interesting amongst the whole chapter of this text seminar and this is because they don’t take males into the account of this. In video games females have exagerated preportions and are sometimes over sexuallized to attract male gamers but in this same instance there are plenty of video game characters that are overly masculinized and are given exagerated muscle sizes that look ridiculous, and they always have the personality of an roid raged bull but this isn’t just to attract females it is to also attract males because these characters are considered cool. For example take a look at the early designs of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, she was given an exagerated female body and she is considered the most badass character in gaming and this is because looks don’t entirely matter in a video game as long as the character himself/herself is cool in some sort of way. But there are some instances where video game characters can be oversexualized  that I would think anyone should agree on and one of these games that go too far is Leisure Suit Larry and this is because the main objective of the game is to sleep with women so the video game developers oversexualized the female characters to a point where i’m surprised it wasn’t banned. But luckily the times that we are in now are not like that and have a more gender friendly way of looking at things, with female video game characters being more realistic to their oversexualized counterparts and male video game characters being more realistic to their overmasculinized counterparts.


From reading this text it has provided me some insight to how gender is represented because this mainly focuses on the women gender dynamics but it also seems to disregard the male gender dynamics that is represented in video games. I would also consider it usefull for people that are interested in gender dynamics but to not just read this on its own as it seems a little bias.




Jo Bryce, Jason Rutter

(2006), Understanding Digital Games, Sage Publications Ltd, London


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