There has been a recent surge in discussions about women in video games or the lack thereof. I have read articles about #gamergate, and have watched Feminist Frequency, and enjoyed Anita Sarkeesian’s videos as well (Caution: some videos are very graphic!). Check out the links to get some background information about what I’m going to speak about below.
Mistreated Women in Video Games
After reading a post from Mel over at God and Gaming (which is funny, because she has the opposite domain name as mine) she mentioned various games (She did her homework!) that don’t show women in a positive light, but as the typical half-naked or overly sexual female. It’s nothing new, because we have seen women portrayed negatively in every form of media from books, movies, music, or the internet.
It shouldn’t be surprising that it happens in video games, right? Well, that depends. Unlike most forms of media where we just watch or listen, video games are played thus giving the user an experience into the world of the developer. You are taken into the world they created and can respond to them by either supporting the game financially or not. When you play their game, you are also being exposed to their beliefs. When something is created, a person’s beliefs and faith will be poured into it, even indiscreetly.
Most games are made by men, and whether you like it or not, lust (in men especially) sells. If you enjoy music, you would know that nowadays the videos with the most hits on YouTube are usually not safe to watch for minors. They are full of women shaking their stuff, almost naked and rubbing up against someone while many watch and say how “disgusted” they are, yet the video will have 50 million plus views. People want their lust to be satisfied, and that temptation leads to sin and sin leads us to death:
13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
No matter how many people stand up against the way women are portrayed in gaming, it’s going to happen because of the sinful nature in all man (men and women). Look at the Middle East, where women are treated horribly, beaten to submission, not allowed to dress the way they want, poorly educated if at all, and have no voice in society. Their impact is reduced to nothing because of their gender. This is not the verdict for every single person in the Middle East, but it is culturally accepted and allowed by their governments.
When an idea is thought to be OKAY by a culture or race, the only way to eliminate it is to present another idea that will convince the majority of the population. For now, the idea is that women can be shown however developers desire in games, but the rise of talking about the “elephant in the room” has had people really thinking. Has it been obvious this whole time? Yes. The problem was nobody made a platform large enough to talk about it, until recently (see above links).
The core of the problem isn’t video games, but man (humanity). No matter what we do, our sinful nature will always exist until we get to Heaven. Every culture degrades women. Men take advantage of the female nature or women will use their body to manipulate or attract attention. There will always be another group of people that will try to abuse women in some form or another.
If you’re a man reading this, then man up! We need to look at women as they are, God’s creation and made in His image. Man (male and female) were both created by God, not just the male (Adam). Women (Eve) share God’s image and likeness. Just because some parts are different, males and females make up humanity together. Honoring, respecting them, and yes, even protecting them should be common for men, but unfortunately it’s not.
27 So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
What’s the solution? God is the only solution. Receiving forgiveness from Jesus Christ is the way to change people’s ways of thinking. Men and women both need to repent of their sins, and men need to ask God to renew their minds of how they see women. Lust and sin is at the root of this whole discussion being brought up by these feminist who are angry at game developers and players.
Women are amazing, talented, leaders, entrepreneurs, and are able to do anything a man can do. They might not be as physically strong in most cases, but muscles aren’t needed to change the world or impact someone’s life. I am blessed and proud to be married to a woman, and do pray that the gaming industry will continue to change its way of reflecting women in their products.