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So last semester I had this project where i had to pick a topic that mattered a lot to me, and do a research paper on it, but not a normal research paper, it had to be unconventional. I created a blog that mattered a lot to me. My topic ended up being women in the gaming industry. At first the project was just going to include how many video games include women and why, however, it evolved into much more than that.

The first post I wrote was about women involved in the workplace of the gaming world. Did you know female developers only make up 22% of the entire industry, however, females make up 46% of the entire industry. Men dominate a vast majority of the industry and that is where the problem lies. Due to men being at the forefront of these positions and companies the majority of games are made“for men” and not for the women that play them as well. I wish this was the only problem but it’s not. 

We also see similar problems when looking at the second post I did. Due to the amount of men that are involved in the industry, and the way men feel games are exclusively for them, it is not uncommon to see harassment against women within the gaming world. This is a problem that is not just internal with the industry, it happens outside as well. Some women are so fearful that they have had to move out of their homes. I can not be the only person that has heard “are you this sexy in real life” or “girls can’t aim”, how about “get back in the kitchen bitch” or the worst of them all “i’d rape you”, no? I’m not the only one? Didn’t think so. The things that are said to women and the way they are portrayed in the games is absolutely terrible. The statistics are shocking. According to the website Bryter “33% of female gamers say they’ve been a victim of abuse from male gamers”. That is a terrifying statistic considering the fact that it is in reality it likely much higher.

Many women are too afraid to even report the harassment they face. It is not uncommon for a female player to actually hide the fact that they are female. Many change their usernames, have a voice modulator, or do something along those lines just to hide their gender identity from the other players. But why is the industry like this? Yes, part of it is that high positions in video game companies are held by men like I said above, but the biggest problem and cause I believe is the games in and of themselves. Females are hypersexualized in a vast majority of video games, which is actually the last blog post I wrote on my site. The biggest problem for me and the thing that bothers me a vast majority of the time when I play games is the outfits. Tell me why my female character who is fighting someone evil is wearing heels, a crop top and a pair of shorts that could pass as underwear? No idea? Yeah, I couldn’t tell you either. Don’t get me wrong, I love feeling sexy but do I really need to be wearing the shortest shorts I could find while scaling a building or fighting someone? Even the actual moments of the games are hypersexualized. Within my post I talked about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, wherein  the character in many cases was oversexualized by doing things like stripping her fishnets in the rain or showering inside a cage looking object while men watched her. These moments are completely pointless to the plot line of the story, and this is not the only game that does this. 

With all of this being said there are a lot of different things going on with women in the gaming industry and world. It’s time that we start standing up for ourselves, tell your stories show that yes, we are women and yes, we play games and we deserve to have games that we can relate to. If you wanna check out the full posts head over to my blog. I wanna invite you to share your story with me. Do so on the HerCampusKutztown Instagram, in the comments, or go over to my blog femharrasmentingaming I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Social Media Theory and Strategy Major with a dual minor in Studio Art focusing in photography, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. I heavily focus my writing on poems, as well as writing on topics realted to the study of video games.
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