Angry in Pink: Representation of Women in Video Games in the Infamous Franchise (2009-2014)

Agata Waszkiewicz

Abstract


It is still common for video games to be classified as a predominantly male pastime. Five years after GamerGate, women and non-binary people still meet with the harassment, sexism, and aggressive behavior (Fox and Tang 2017). On the other hand those games that target women specifically — sometimes called “pink games” — mostly include stereotypes, concentrating their themes around chores, cooking, and fashion. Furthermore, in mainstream games, the male representation of the main characters still overshadows the number of female playable characters. While the non-binary and transgender characters are hardly ever present, women characters are often pigeonholed as a narrative tool, mostly as a trope of “damsel in distress”, victim whose death is to be avenged, or the heterosexual love interest (Ivory 2006, Beck at al. 2012, Huntemann 2014). The parallels can be drawn between the over-sexualization of the playable action protagonists in digital games (Behm-Morawitz and Mastro 2009) and the disagreement to overt expressions of female masculinity in the society (Halberstam 1998). Drawing on Halberstam’s work and I will offer an analysis of Fetch, a protagonist of Infamous First Light (2014) — the standalone additional content to a series of video games developed by Sucker Punch Productions.


Keywords


Infamous First Light, female masculinity, representation, gender stereotypes, video game representation

Full Text:

PDF

References


Banks, Jaime, and Nicholas David Bowman. “Avatars Are (Sometimes) People Too: Linguistic Indicators of Parasocial and Social Ties in Player–Avatar Relationships.” New Media & Society 18, no. 7 (August 1, 2016): 1257–76

.

Beck, Victoria Simpson, Stephanie Boys, Christopher Rose, and Eric

Beck. “Violence Against Women in Video Games: A Prequel or Sequel to Rape Myth Acceptance?” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 27, no. 15 (October 1, 2012): 3016–31.

Behm-Morawitz, Elizabeth, and Dana Mastro. “The Effects of the Sexualization of Female Video Game Characters on Gender Stereotyping and Female Self-Concept.” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 61, no. 11–12 (2009): 808–23.

Bell, Kristina. “Of Headshots and Hugs: Challenging Hypermasculinity through The Walking Dead Play.” Ada A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, no. 7 (April 1, 2015).

Bell, K., Kampe, C., & Taylor, N. (2015) Of Headshots and Hugs: Challenging Hypermasculinity through The Walking Dead Play. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.7.

Chess, Shira. Ready Player Two: Women Gamers and Designed Identity. 1 edition. Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Chess, Shira, and Adrienne Shaw. “A Conspiracy of Fishes, or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying About #GamerGate and Embrace Hegemonic Masculinity.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 59, no. 1 (January 2, 2015): 208–20.

Cover, Rob. “‘Not to Be Toyed With’: Drug Addiction, Bullying and Self-Empowerment in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Continuum 19, no. 1 (March 1, 2005): 85–101.

Dietz, Tracy L. “An Examination of Violence and Gender Role Portrayals in Video Games: Implications for Gender Socialization and Aggressive Behavior.” Sex Roles 38, no. 5 (March 1, 1998): 425–42.

Dole, Carol M. “The Return of Pink. Legally Blonde, Third-Wave Feminism, and Having It All.” In Chick Flicks: Contemporary Women at the Movies, edited by Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young, 1 edition., 58–78. New York: Routledge, 2007.

“Female Masculinity.” Duke University Press. Accessed January 28, 2019. www.dukeupress.edu/female-masculinity.

Fox, Jesse, and Wai Yen Tang. “Women’s Experiences with General and Sexual Harassment in Online Video Games: Rumination, Organizational Responsiveness, Withdrawal, and Coping Strategies.” New Media & Society 19, no. 8 (August 1, 2017): 1290–1307.

Frazier, Kathryn E, and Rachel Joffe Falmagne. “Empowered Victims? Women’s Contradictory Positions in the Discourse of Violence Prevention.” Feminism & Psychology 24, no. 4 (November 1, 2014): 479–99.

“#Gamergate Supporters Attack Digital Games Research Association.” Accessed January 28, 2019.

Harvey, Alison, and Stephanie Fisher. “‘Everyone Can Make Games!’: The Post-Feminist Context of Women in Digital Game Production.” Feminist Media Studies 15, no. 4 (July 4, 2015): 576–92.

Huntemann, Nina. “No More Excuses: Using Twitter to Challenge The Symbolic Annihilation of Women in Games.” Feminist Media Studies 15, no. 1 (January 2, 2015): 164–67.

Inness, Sherrie A., ed. Action Chicks New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2004. //www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781403964038.

———. “‘It’s Girl Thing’: Tough Female Action FIgures in the Toy Store.” In Action Chicks — New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture | S. Inness | Palgrave Macmillan, edited by Sherrie A. Inness, 75–94. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2004. //www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781403964038.

Ivory, James D. “Still a Man’s Game: Gender Representation in Online Reviews of Video Games.” Mass Communication and Society 9, no. 1 (February 2006): 103–14.

Jagodzinski, Jan. Youth Fantasies: The Perverse Landscape of the Media. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Jansz, Jeroen, and Raynel G. Martis. “The Lara Phenomenon: Powerful

Female Characters in Video Games.” Sex Roles 56, no. 3 (February 1, 2007): 141–48.

Juul, Jesper. A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Players. 1st Ed. edition. Cambridge, Mass.; London: The MIT Press, 2012.

Leonard, David J. “Not a Hater, Just Keepin’ It Real: The Importance of Race- and Gender-Based Game Studies.” Games and Culture 1, no. 1 (January 1, 2006): 83–88.

Mortensen, Torill Elvira. “Anger, Fear, and Games: The Long Event of #GamerGate.” Games and Culture 13, no. 8 (December 1, 2018): 787–806.

Shaw, Adrienne. “Do You Identify as a Gamer? Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Gamer Identity.” New Media & Society 14, no. 1 (February 1, 2012): 28–44.

Summers, Alicia, and Monica K. Miller. “From Damsels in Distress to Sexy Superheroes.” Feminist Media Studies 14, no. 6 (November 2, 2014): 1028–40.

Todd, Cherie. “COMMENTARY: GamerGate and Resistance to The.” Women’s Studies Journal 29, no. 1 (2015): 64–67.

Yee, Nick. “Beyond 50/50: Breaking Down The Percentage of Female Gamers By Genre.” Quantic Foundry (blog), January 19, 2017.

Yuval-Davis, Nira. “Women, Ethnicity and Empowerment.” Feminism & Psychology 4, no. 1 (February 1, 1994): 179–97.

Borderlands 2. 2012. Frisco: Gearbox Software. PlayStation 3.

Grand Theft Auto. 1997. Edinburgh: Rockstar Studios. PlayStation.

Infamous: Festival of Blood. 2011. Bellevue: Sucker Punch Productions. PlayStation

Infamous. 2009. Bellevue: Sucker Punch Productions. PlayStation 3.

Infamous 2. 2011. Bellevue: Sucker Punch Productions. PlayStation 3.

Infamous First Light. 2014. Bellevue: Sucker Punch Productions. PlayStation 4.

Infamous Second Son. 2014. Bellevue: Sucker Punch Productions. PlayStation 4

Mario Brothers. 1983. Kyoto: Nintendo. Nintendo Entertainment System.

Mass Effect. 2007-2012. Edmonton: BioWare. PC.

Metroid. 1986. Kyoto: Nintendo. Nintendo Entertainment System.

The Legend of Zelda. 1986. Kyoto: Nintendo. Nintendo Entertainment System.

Tomb Raider. 1996. Tokyo: Square Enix Co. PlayStation.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. 2017. Santa Monica: Naughty Dog. PlayStation 4.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/nh.2019.4.173-184
Data publikacji: 2019-09-13 22:32:51
Data złożenia artykułu: 2019-02-04 07:29:27

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Agata Waszkiewicz

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.