Talk:Gender representation in video games

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Thank you for your comments on my page, i found them very helpful. Your project seems to be coming along nicely. I think you could use a few more references, and some more "wikification". all of your chapters are good, and just need some expansion. I feel like you are headed in the right direction, and with some tweaking, you will have a very solid wiki entry. happyfriend77

Hey article looks good so far. I realized you only had three citation so I did a quick search and found an article about gender representation in online reviews of video games. I am not sure if this is something you would want to discuss on your page but here is the link if you are interested in giving it a look. Keep up the good work (Abulak (talk) 13:35, 23 April 2012 (UTC))

Merging with the Portrayal of women in video games article[edit]

There's a proposal to merge this article with the article Portrayal of women in video games at Talk:Portrayal of women in video games#Merge proposal, you're invited to join the discussion. Diego (talk) 20:31, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Neutrality Disputed[edit]

My previous edits to the section "Objectification and sexualization", were undone per WP:CLAIM. Although the sources in that section may be cited, and regarding the article as a whole, what constitutes objectification and sexualization varies to an extent (especially by culture); this is even evident in the article on Sexual objectification. Is it possible to reword the article so that it's clear that it's representing the arbitrary views as to what and where sexualization or objectification is, etc. of those who are making the arguments and/or the sources cited, and not in a way that can be confused with presenting said views as those of Wikipedia? In other words, more or less like how it's done in the Sexual objectification article. Shrewmania (talk) 09:01, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

It may be achieved, but it should be done in a subtler way than merely stating "claimed" in front of each sentence. If there are several views, WP:NPOV requires us to identify them and present them in the article. So the way to change the article is to introduce new references that provide the alternate point of view, and summarize the parts that apply to the topic at hand (video game characters). Diego (talk) 14:57, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in the reply, but I also must ask why we're using Kotaku as a source. They're notorious for being an unreliable source. Shrewmania (talk) 23:26, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

I've undone an addition of a {{POV}} tag that was added because "There are 5 sub-sections about Portrayal of women, and only 1 section about Portrayal of men, and that section is smaller than any of the sub-sections". That, however, does not mean that the article promotes a particular point of view (which one?) It simply reflects that the portrayal of women in games has found more attention in research than that of men. Or perhaps that there is equivalent research about men, but it hasn't been added yet. Even in this case, the correct response would not be to add a POV tag, but to indicate what specifically should be done to improve the article.  Sandstein  08:25, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Re-added POV tag, Mainly due to article being start class for a high-importance and controversial subject. However, as more balanced material is added (mainly for male representation and perhaps a LGBT mention) the tag will be removed. Please keep in mind that this is about gender representation and not sexism (though that is a factor) BallroomBlitzkriegBebop (talk) 19:23, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
I've removed the tag again because what you say is not a matter of neutrality: I'm not sure what the conflicting points of view here would be. It's a matter of the article lacking content in some important areas. For this, the "POV" tag is not appropriate. I've also changed the "start" assessment, as it does not reflect the range of content there is already.  Sandstein  22:21, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
It implies that woman are generally portrayed very poorly in video games and that men are portrayed with little difference as to real life. Also, the effects of gender representation in games sub section features a lot of weasel wording, and even talking about violence in games which is out of place in the article. I should clarify, I think this article needs a cleanup, as not to become a dumping ground of questionable information. References 28-29 come from the viewpoint of one person for example, but is used in this article as an example of a viewpoint of many. Theres also the problem of this article being the only "Gender representation of X media" on the english wiki, but thats something to worry about in the future. BallroomBlitzkriegBebop (talk) 00:48, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, there's probably just more research and publications on women's portrayal, and the article reflects this, but I agree that we need more content about men's portrayal. Though what there is does indicate that men are portrayed in a somewhat distorted fashion, too. As to sources, most sources are written by one person, but what matters is whether they are reliable sources as described in WP:RS.  Sandstein  10:49, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I need some help. How do I add the "section expansion needed" template? We both agree that the portrayal of men requires an expansion (or at least an indication of expansion), so lets add it! BallroomBlitzkriegBebop (talk) 16:27, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
There is stuff at {{expand}}, but I personally don't like these ugly templates for purely editorial deficiencies. What I recommend is ascertaining first whether there are appropriate reliable sources on which to base an expansion of that section. If there are, I'll help you write it.  Sandstein  21:26, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
I put the tag there so as to attract more people (many hands make light work), though I fear this will only make the article feel even more like an editorial as we could get flooded with unreliable "studies". BallroomBlitzkriegBebop (talk) 21:59, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Category:Video games featuring female protagonists[edit]

Category:Video games featuring female protagonists, which is within the scope of this WikiProject, has been nominated for possible deletion, merging, or renaming. If you would like to participate in the discussion, you are invited to add your comments at the category's entry on the Categories for discussion page. Thank you. Liz Read! Talk! 11:39, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

How does the 'video games featuring female protagonists' list gather information? It appears to be generated automatically? I've noticed a few exclusions, even with a 'null edit' update. For example, I see Silent Hill 3 missing from the female protagonists list and instead included on the female antagonists list.Ashesnbones (talk) 19:43, 8 November 2014 (UTC)


The studies sub-section under Depiction of violence against Woman really pales in comparison to the rest of the article. featuring things that go against the manual of style (hypothesizing, vague,) overall making this article sound like an editorial. It's not exactly the way it's written though but mainly because the source is inconclusive, vague and overall unreliable. The section doesn't really need it anyway as it already features more solid examples rather then frankly bizarre social experiments. I'm going to delete it tomorrow if nobody objects. BallroomBlitzkriegBebop (talk) 00:44, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

On the "Impact on adults" section[edit]

The links point to pages that yield an "Internal Server Error" message. How prevelant are the reported effects? Are there other studies that yielded different results? Shrewmania (talk) 19:32, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Inclusion of "Tropes Vs Women in Video Games"[edit]

Due to the large impact it had I was thinking of adding some of the things mentioned in Anita Sarkeesian's "Tropes Vs Women in Video Games" series. more specifically the "Miss Male Trope" characters who are just feminized versions of an existing male character.Shadeturret (talk) 22:05, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

I think that the Miss Male could deserve to be included, if it has enough references. Just a reference from Sarkeesian seems very weak (that's just a short point in a video, isn't it?) and what you have written is not really detailed. Jelt (talk) 21:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Expanding "Portrayal of men" section and other issues[edit]

Since the section on women is too small to split into a separate article according to the rules of thumb noted here, we should focus primary efforts on finding ways of expanding the mentioned section. Obviously, this is a tall order: female stereotyping in games has been more focused upon than male, yet male characters are very frequently subjected to similar treatment. Can anyone help find references for such instances, or people commenting on such instances, whether they be books or online references? Also, the way the article is structured seems a little imbalanced. Any suggestions on that? I have my own ideas, but I would rather not act on them at once as this is an article dealing with an important and potentially-sensitive topic. --ProtoDrake (talk) 14:17, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

One issue I find is that analysis of male stereotyping is often based on the discussion of female stereotyping - stuff such as the "he-man" criticism feels less than authentic, as portraying a male as strong and independent in a game about strength is a different situation than portraying a woman as sexy and seductive in a game not about either.

As for balance... well, I don't view it as unbalanced. We don't see discussion of the "portrayal of men" in video games nearly as often for several reasons:

  1. The issue became an issue only really recently, and thus doesn't have nearly as many or as high of quality sources which cover it;
  2. The issue is overblown by a vocal minority.

Of course, this is partially a non-neutral POV, but that's how I read it - the sources don 't exist because the problem isn't really a problem. We see the issue with female characters because female characters are, more often than not, heavily-flawed and usually feature significant problems common in the industry, such as excessive sexualization (Ivy Valentine), weakening (Samus Aran), relative uselessness (Princess Peach), "token girl" (Chun-Li, at first), etc. We do not see this same level of sexualization in male characters, and the act of retroactively making a male character weak is not entirely common. While Tomb Raider was not as bad as people expected in that area, it still was an origin story about how Lara Croft suffered and toiled to become the hero that she was. This is a rare thing in established video game character canon - Nathan Drake, Mario, Cloud Strife, Sonic the Hedgehog, Gordon Freeman, Master Chief - we don't see these things happening for these characters. But I'm getting off-topic - the meat of the matter is that certain things are discussed more than other things. The section which covers the portrayal of men should not by default be the same size or even similar size to the portrayal of females section if the sources do not exist in the first place. - New Age Retro Hippie (talk) (contributions) 16:25, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

I also don't think that the sections need to be the same size. They should reflect the degree of discourse about the respective topics in reliable sources. My impression is that the portrayal of women in video games has been discussed much more in reliable sources because it is perceived as much more problematic, for the reasons discussed in the article, than the portrayal of men. It's natural for our article to reflect this. That said, if there is more material about the portrayal of men, it should of course be included.  Sandstein  18:30, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
The article's various sections should have depth according to the weight they are given in reliable sources. If men's representation is significantly less covered in real life, it should be significantly less covered here too. I don't mind seeing any of the sections expand however. I do think that LGBT representation should be renamed to cover the T part specifically. - hahnchen 20:22, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the women part will always be a lot longer than the men part, because there are so many more sources. However, the men part lack any statistics on how many are the main characters (from EEDAR for example), or the villain. At the moment, it focuses only on the sexual object or idealized appearance of men in video games. I'm quite sure some people have complained about Kratos from God of War, because he was a parody of the "super manly" character, and maybe there were some for characters like Duke Nukem too. Jelt (talk) 22:19, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Did what I could to clean up the article. "Deep" articles like this tend to stagnate without someone watching them. New editors, anons, and fanboys come along and add all kinds of poorly sourced, POV junk, and I've done my best to remove it. I hope that helps if some significant expansion is planned. PraetorianFury (talk) 18:49, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I have the impression you removed some parts only because the links were dead or the studies weren't freely available. There's a template for dead links and not freely available references are perfectly valid (there's also a template "must be checked" or something like this if you had doubts about what the references were really saying). Jelt (talk) 16:46, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
The fanboyish style of the material combined with a pattern of unreliability and fallacious citations has lead me to be extremely skeptical, so yes, I deleted many things that could not be independently verified. Feel free to restore things you can verify. PraetorianFury (talk) 21:30, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Ars Technica posted an article this week about this very topic - see [1]. It should be used to expand the section. Diego (talk) 17:33, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

PS: Another related article from ars technica: [2]. Diego (talk) 21:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  • The RFC is not stated with the traditional expectations of an RFC, what you are doing is soliciting third party commentary rather than requesting the resolution to an editor conflict. Damotclese (talk) 20:39, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Marketing Portrayal[edit]

I'm interested in mentioning how female player characters appear in marketing as opposed to their male counterparts.Shadeturret (talk) 03:54, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

A good way to do this would obviously be to cover booth babes and hired cosplayers. There's also this: [3] - New Age Retro Hippie (talk) (contributions) 08:13, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

"X characters in video games" categories[edit]

The article is labeled with the Male, Female and LGBT categories not because it describes a particular character, but because it describes the concept of those characters. It therefore is working as the main article "which describes the subject of that category" for these categories, which don't have stand-alone articles on their own for their specific concepts (all those articles were merged here). I've reinstated the categories for this reason. Diego (talk) 11:44, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Changing the redirect page "Sexism in video gaming"[edit]

This article doesn't deal with sexism in video gaming, but deals with the portrayal of genders in video games. I think that an article directly dealing with this topic could be made from the sexual harassment in video gaming article, as it goes beyond the scope of sexual harassment. I already did it on the French wikipedia, but here, the page "Sexism in video gaming" is used as a redirect. Is that okay with you? Jelt (talk) 21:27, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Needs heavy revision[edit]

Here are a few concerns:

1. The 48% women statistic in the lede is disputed and has some nuance. As such, it shouldn't be in the lede, but have its own section. I'll move this to its own subsection so it can be better addressed.

2. The paragraph on Tomb Raider and sexual violence makes claims that are disputed. They should therefore not be stated as fact. I've fixed this.

3. Too many of the contentious claims are supported by only one source, which source is treated as fact. This needs to be fixed. I'll work on it.

4. Generally, the article needs cleaning up and better organisation.

Willhesucceed (talk) 20:01, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not really disputing the rest, but as to 1, disputed by whom, and what do you mean by nuance? Thanks,  Sandstein  20:21, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Firstly, that statistic is for America; it will differ from country to country. Secondly, there's a difference between "hardcore" and "casual" gamers; for example, the Wii U's demographic is 90+% male, whereas mobile games are predominantly female. I'll dig up the sources and put that in its own section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Willhesucceed (talkcontribs) 20:43, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
We can discuss whether this belongs in the lead, but I doubt that the proportion is materially different in other countries (although the nation to which the data applies should be mentioned). The division between "hardcore" and "casual" games is one of many relatively arbitrary divisions in gaming (such as by platform, genre, etc.), and while it may be interesting to have gender balance data for any of these categories, it does not change the gender balance across all categories of games, which is what the scope of this article is.  Sandstein  08:04, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
The fact that only one source exists for something does not justify its removal, and you have often removed large quantities of reliably-sourced material based upon nothing more than your bald assertion that it is unreliable. I find that unacceptable, and have reverted most of your removals. Please discuss these issues here. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 18:58, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure I post this at the right intersection, but I'm a bit irritated about the mentioning of Ada Wong as a Sidekick. In the first Resident Evil were two playable main-characters, one of them Jill Valentine. Yes, in RE4 there was no playable female, but in most of the other RE-Games you could play a female main-char. So why focusing on a sidekick if there are female main-chars available. Wouldn't this make Ada Wong a bad choice for supporting chars?

Female action heroes and breast physics[edit]

Here's a bunch of high-quality sources about female depiction, let's see if we can work them in Depiction of women. Diego (talk) 08:24, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Two Three references[edit]

Here's a couple of references expanding on the topics of this article. Ars Technica says how studios are still wary of publishing games with a female protagonist, and Totalxbox has an interview with Gears of War's designers who explain the efforts they took (facing both technical and cultural problems) to design female characters that don't fall into the stereotype of sexy woman. Diego (talk) 10:05, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

An encouraging tale about representation of gender issues and human relations in games. " Isn’t it odd how it’s taken so long to reach this stage in games – the stage at which human conversations and relationships feel real?" [4] Diego (talk) 17:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Sources on Gamer demographics[edit]

The studies linked are rather... questionable in my opinion. There has to be better links saying basically the same thing but without the GOAL of showing women as 50% of the market.

1:st source is 404ed (here's their new link if someone wants to fix since I'm not certain how to do it: It does indeed show women comprise 48% of people playing games, but the study uses anyone who's ever touched a video game as gamers. The whole part of the study that mentions gender just seems to be made to get the result that women make up around 50% of the gamers. Their definition of what a game player is, is so broad that it could almost be considered a study in how many women there are compared to men in the richer parts of the world. This part pretty much screams bias: Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (36%) than boys age 18 or younger (17%)"

Here's a study (used in other articles on wikipedia as well) that shows similar results but doesn't make statements like that:

Sadly, this one also has a very broad definition of what a gamer is (used a game once the last 12 months = gamer) and won't compare time spent gaming to gender even though it has the information (it's capable of checking what games the different genders play AND the time gamers spend on average).

2:nd source has no sources or studies itself and is basically a blogpost from what I understand. However, google translate might mess with some of the things. Source states the % with no reference to any study done. Written on wiki as fact even though there's not even a study behind it. There must be a better source for this.

3:rd source says that women make up x% of the gaming market in different categories, but the study is made by looking at game PURCHASES and not actual gaming. People who buy games are not the same as the people who play them.

9:th "critics have more control over sales than we think" "Games that allow you to choose your gender are reviewed better than games that offer male-only heroes, but the games with male only heroes sold better." "Female-led games do find an easier path to get covered" "Games with only female heroes are given half the marketing budget as games with male heroes. That’s an enormous handicap that cripples their ability to sell well. “Games with a female only protagonist, got half the spending of female optional, and only 40 percent of the marketing budget of male-led games. Less than that, actually”" "Games with exclusively male heroes sold around 75 percent better than games with only female heroes." Conclusion? "Games with exclusively female heroes don’t sell (because publishers don’t support them)" Feels dishonest to fraise everything like this and it's so full of fuzzy stats that it's impossible to know what's the results are... Some of the statements even contradict others. Basically female-only games get more cover, same reviews and get a higher budget on marketing compared to their sales. They state that critics/reviews control sales yet say that female-only games have no chance. The part in wikipedia about it is pretty much subjective statements from the article except for the part that there's few female heroes.

10:th not availible on the internet. Traesket (talk) 15:11, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Preservation of Female Characters' Youth In Tekken 3[edit]

I noticed you needed to know which version of the fighting game Tekken either keeps the female characters youthful despite a 20 year passage of time, or replaces them with their daughters. That happened in Tekken 3. Nina and Anna Williams were frozen, while Julia Chang is the 18 year old daughter of Michelle Chang with the exact same moves. Possible references could be the character descriptions of these fighters from Tekkenpedia:

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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Suggested Addition[edit]

Hello everyone. I came across some information that I believe would be well suited for section 2.4.1: Prevalence.

My proposed addition is as follows: According to an analysis conducted by Downs and Smith, playable and plot relevant characters in the 60 best selling video games of 2003 were predominantly male. Females who were depicted were frequently sexualized. The female characters analyzed were depicted partially naked or with unrealistic proportions more often than the male characters were.[1]

I believe the most appropriate place for the addition would be before the sentence "A study of 225 video game covers found that both male and female character's physiques were over-exaggerated, but women were more "physically altered" (especially in the bust) than their male counterparts, and even more so if the female was the main character of the game."

If anyone has any thoughts about this, I would appreciate the feedback. Thank you. NothingAboutFlowers (talk) 03:27, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Downs, Edward; Smith, Stacy L. (2 September 2009). "Keeping Abreast of Hypersexuality: A Video Game Character Content Analysis". Sex Roles. 62 (11-12): 721–733. doi:10.1007/s11199-009-9637-1. ISSN 0360-0025.