Friday, October 18, 2013

Women and Video Games

For my final project, I would like to examine the role of women in video games. While this is a broad topic, I do have some specific things I’d like to focus on. For example, I’d like to analyze depictions of women in video games (splash art, character models, NPC mannerisms, etc). I also intend to look at the various attempts made by women to break into the lucrative, and growing, industry of professional video game playing (ESports), specifically within in Riot Games’ League of Legends and Blizzard/Activision’s Starcraft.

So far, I have been able to find ample material to examine. For instance, Pamela Horton, Playboy’s “Gamer Next Door” recently provided picture references for the newest character model in League of Legends, which could be analyzed in a number of different contexts (for example, within the context of appealing to male gamers). I would also like to look at the rise and (frighteningly meteoric) fall of Team Siren, an all female team that tried to break into the League of Legends scene recently. Their dissolution, and the community’s response to their marketing campaign, provide insight into the perception of women within the (supposedly) predominately male gaming community. Furthermore, I would like to examine the careers of successful female streamers and professional players, and contrast their experiences with those of male players.

Below are some urls. These are just a few of the things that I've watched or read about that inspired me to choose this topic. Click, as always, at your own risk.


  1. You could point out how some of the most popular female personalities in the League of Legends scene are former porn stars. There seems to be a strong correlation between popularity and a woman's willingness to flaunt her body. You could therefore argue that women in the video game scene are welcome only for their bodies to be objectified. Female streamers' popularity tend to scale with their "attractiveness" and subjecting themselves to be in front of a webcam. When compared to female streamers that doesn't reveal their face/body or doesn't use a webcam at all, the number of views they receive are considerably lower.

  2. one game you should look at is "The Last of Us" all though there is a noted journalist who claims the game still falls into gender tropes ( ) playing the game first hand, I believe the author couldn't be any more wrong.

    Below is an article rebutting the NYT article, and although it isn't from a publication as illustrious as the New York Times, I believe the writer (someone who actually is a gamer) hit the nail right on the head.

    Good Luck