Pushing For Parity: Can Gaming Do Its Part In Empowering Women?

Strong female video game heroines are a welcomed change in the industry.

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In line with a majority of all social categories, women and gaming have been misconstrued as two contrasting brackets for as long as this particular entertainment category has existed.

The portrayal of two sexes in games has been widely discussed – just as it’s been the case with other forms of the entertainment industry – and researched through various gender studies which would often go on to conclude that members of the fair sex are still very much prejudiced and stereotyped with gaming illustrated as predominantly male activity.

A Shift on the Horizon?

As of the 2010s, there’s been a shift of perception with women now making about half of all game players. Yet in terms of women portrayal – all in light of recent upsurge in movements against sexual harassment and assault still running strong under #MeToo – a look at how gaming, and especially online, could help reshape the prejudicial views towards women is in order.

Game developers are doing their fair share in lending a helping hand by involving more and more female characters into their new releases.

A huge trend is pushing forward through the video gaming scene with more titles allowing you to play as a woman which – let’s face it – was not entirely possible until recently. The ladies will say a huge thank you to their banner woman Lara Croft which to this day remains one of the most popular heroines in games.

And with the Shadow of the Tomb Raider set for its grand debut later in 2018, Lara is back on the pedestal alongside a couple of new characters such as Jesse Faden from Control. Much to the lady gamers’ pride, there are several other titles in store – The Last of Us Part 2 and Gears of War 5 – which focus around female heroes leading the way through new adventures.

Embracing the Changes

There is another gaming category which is slowly enhancing its efforts to help with the gender parity, however. The most popular form of online casino games – slots – is beginning to gravitate towards women characters which occupy the main theme of an increasing number of titles from top developers.

Take NextGen Gaming’s Renegades for instance – based on five different lady heroes from different eras and worlds – which glorifies the combative nature of the fairer sex. But if Freya (Valkyrie of Valhalla), Valda (Dragonslayer), Harriet (Hellstorm), Raffaela (Blaze) and Ivy (Sabreclaw) are not your cup of tea, there’s always a more sophisticated heroine from Quickspin’s Sakura Fortune game which can be found here on Best Casinos.

This Asian-themed piece is a stark contrast to the NextGen Gaming’s jewel and offers a more subtle approach towards women power, albeit still mainly a physical one.

There is a strong case in debating that such a lady-oriented approach is a move in the right direction and a guideline for other members of the industry to take a firmer stand in the promotion of the male-female balance.

Prejudicial stance is not exclusively related to gender, for that matter, as gaming still remains a predominantly white canvas. In addition to being male, a large majority of the characters remain white which is another issue in its own merit.

To conclude, the gaming industry is still some way off from reaching true diversity and achieving parity. Yet, developers, promoters, and players themselves should be applauded for constant efforts to make steps in the right direction.

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