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Do Video Games Misrepresent Women?

Do Video Games Misrepresent Women?

By Joel B.

1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments

Friends, enough can’t be said about women. In fact, many scriptures talk about the strength and feats of women. If the Bible seeks to accurately portray women, then I would suggest that our video games should do this as well. However, what we see nowadays is very much the opposite. Let’s take a closer look at this matter.

Proverbs 31 is the go to chapter for what many women try to tailor their life after. So, if women are going to this scripture to try and mold themselves, then maybe it can give us some clues as to how many women would like to be portrayed in video games. Here are some characteristics by verse:

  • She is virtuous and her price is beyond rubies (verse 10)
  • She is trustworthy (verse 11)
  • She tends to the needs of her family (verses 13-16)
  • She is strong and honorable (verses 17,25)
  • She works hard at home (verses 18-19)
  • She clothes her family (verses 21-22)
  • She works outside the home (verse 24)
  • She is wise and kind (verse 26)
  • Her children call her blessed and her husband praises her (verse 28)
  • She has favor with God (verse 30)

Let us also not forget the mighty prophetess Deborah who God raised up as a Judge. Judges were holy leaders of their day; anointed by God to carry forth the kingdom. A Judge would be the equivalent of a pastor leading an army, and this was done by a woman.

If we look at video games, we see quite the opposite in terms of representation. Women are typically seen as overly sexualized, incompetent, or the ever-so-popular damsel in distress. This doesn’t sound like the Proverbs 31 woman to me, but rather some unfortunate media stereotypes. Where are the strong, competent, and modestly adorned women in these games? Friends, they’re just not there.

Another recent controversy has fans screaming. A new Assassins Creed game is soon to be released, and the developer, Ubisoft, announced they will not be allowing gamers to pick a female character as their hero. They made this decision because they felt the time it would take for rendering a female character into the game would “double the work.”

Why is this significant? Well, there is just controversy with it. Some people don’t care whether there is a female hero or not and others feel women are being left out. Is this fair? I don’t really know. Personally, I don’t see a problem because there are games like Tomb Raider that have strictly a female protagonist, so I don’t see why a game can’t have heroes that are strictly male as long as it isn’t done to try to downplay women.

Friends, in closing I just want to say, choose your games carefully. It’s not just the portrayal of women that is causing problems with games these days. There’s certainly other problematic content as well. Please guard your eyes and your hearts. If you think a video game seeks questionable, then consider making another gaming choice. Thank you for reading and God bless.

About Joel Bauer

Joel M. Bauer is a 45-year-old U.S. Army Veteran from Dunn, NC, which is just outside of Raleigh. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he attended school at Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school, in Fort Wayne, IN, where he received his BS in social work and psychology. He has worked in such places as a homeless shelter, a community based treatment center for severe mental illnesses, a school for troubled students, and other social service agencies. His current endeavor is to build The Bottom Line website into a site that inspires both Christians and non-Christians alike, and brings glory to God.

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  1. Ahhh! Gotta love Joel! Pretty sure he puts these things on here so I will reply! 😀

    Before I start, let me say this; over the blessed years I have had on this earth, I have had many o jobs. In some of those I have had male bosses some in some of those I have had women bosses. You know what the difference was between the male and female bosses? Nothing! The good ones, male or female, taught you how to be better at your job. You either listened or you did’nt. Gender was not a factor. Never was never should be. (again, not getting into that ‘transgender’ crap)

    Not sure if a lot of people who read this site play games, but let me tell you this: There has been a whole lot of crap lately about women and gays in games.

    If you do play games and think back a bit, 17 to 30 year old males were your demographic. (probably still is) So when you make a game, what did you do? Make the hero a dude and stick some women in there for eye candy. That is not a bad thing! Women are beautiful! All of them. Curvy, skinny, blonde, red heads, brunettes and everything inbetween. Frankly, I don’t see what women see in guys!

    I digress…

    …the issue with women in games should be non existent. If it was the other way around would anyone say squat? Of course not! I would guess for the most part most gamers really do not give a tequila worm who the hero is. Would it matter to me that I play a woman on any given game? F no because it does not make one iota of a difference.

    For example: What if Tomb Raiders Lara Croft was a dude. Would that matter? No! Would still be the same basic story and gameplay. If you took Aiden from Watch Dogs and made him Aria, would that change anything? No! The gameplay would still be the same.

    People are just thin skinned wussies that just like to whine about anything and personally, Id love to see someone make a game with a box as the hero just to shut these whine babies up!


  2. Great article.
    You make some really good points. There are plenty of worldly labels for women – stay-at-home mom, power-hungry business woman, cougars, man-haters, prudes, whores… the list can go on.
    But we can find in the Bible (as we can with all things), God’s description of a VIRTUOUS woman.
    Unfortunately, virtue doesn’t appear to be desired anymore. Maybe in video games there are damsels but these days it seems like society is on a quest to emasculate men and make them irrelevant. God created men and women to compliment each other. Each made with specific strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes a woman IS as good or better at a traditionally male activity and vice versa – and there is nothing wrong with that. As Nxs has said, gender doesn’t necessarily play a part. But then again, many times it DOES and people try to deny it.
    Prevalent today is the objectification of both men and women – the only creatures created in the very image of God. Not just in video games but TV, movies, magazines – even in every day conversations. I’m sure everyone has heard the statement ‘She (or he) is hot.’ It reduces the person to an object to be lusted after. It may be perceived as a compliment, but is it really?
    Now, all that being said…. I believe we can sometimes over-think some things too (not in this case, just in general.)
    – And I STILL just see video games as a huge waste of time. 🙂

  3. Interesting article Joel. As someone who also plays video games I know exactly what you mean. Women are overly sexualized, scantily clad.. treated as incompetent.

    There are many arguments about this topic all over the internet. About whether the problem is that video games cater too much to boys. Or if they cater to boys more because more boys play video games.

    Either way, I would also like to see more respectful treatment of women in video games.

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