January 11, 2006

Powerful women?

A short piece on the way women are portrayed as 'powerful' in most videogames. Third of a series, evidently, though I havent' read the rest before.

Over and over again, the ads and the games they sell build up women of strength – both physical and mental – only to ascribe that power to a facet of their sexuality. It turns their power into something pornographic. Into something that will titillate the assumedly male players in order to give them the thrill of controlling a powerful woman and the aspect of a woman that supposedly makes her powerful: her sexuality.

The second part is rather interesting, as it focusses on the way women are portrayed in World of Warcraft. Interestingly, while there is no functional difference between male and female characters in City of Heroes, and certainly the culture of the game is vastly more female-friendly than WOW (at least by reputation), there are still certain respects in which things are lacking.

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