Now think of how many of those female characters and protagonists are oversexed, created for the male gaze, or put in an inactive damsel role for the plot of the game. Representation matters. A Study last year proved that exposure to tv shows increased the self esteem of young white boys and markedly decreased the confidence and self esteem of girls across the board (and we haven’t even started on the representation of characters of color and the effect it has on children’s self perception).
Video games are a different media, and even more concerning if representation metrics are changing how our kids think of themselves. Especially knowing that 67% of American Households have video game consoles and 91% of Children play video games regularly, how do you think the portrayal (and lack of portrayals) of women and girls in these games is affecting little girls – or influencing how little boys view their importance and/or influence over them?
— Comics. Movies. Lit. Pop Culture. The Smash Survey is an upcoming podcast project that will critically explore the representation of race, gender, and queer identity in media and pop culture in a fun and engaging format.
While the figures above specifically address video game figures, I have used video game figures before to address gender disparity in the past.
The smashsurvey podcast will also address other pop culture and gaming platforms, not just video games. Hopefully, this project will reach audiences across the world, from every walk of life, including those making the decisions at places like Games Workshop and help everyone see that gender equality in gaming(in all its forms) is extremely important.
Warhammer 40K is just one game where we see under representation for women. Gaming is just one symptom of the larger gender inequality issue. Gender inequality is just one part of the massive injustices that plague the world. Every little thing that we can do, not matter how small is important. It is all worth it.