Games and Gender


Allsorts of games have existed in the world since the beginning of time.Video games may be a concept that was the realization ofcivilization, but they possess the most significant effect on today’sgeneration. Games were mostly coded for men since they showed thegreatest interest in the games. As Kane clearly points in his work,it is not until recently that video game publishers have extendedtheir market outlook (2009). The publishers seek to expand theirbusinesses and have a bigger chunk of the market share. That hasresulted in the shift from the status quo by making male games only.The battle front has shifted for these industries to include thefemale gender in their development and marketing strategies. Certaingames have, therefore, been developed to cater for the femalepopulation.

Onesuch game that has been made exclusively for women, or rather forgirls is the Hannah Montana game. The game was developed by the SonyCorporation in 2007. It was a design of the PlayStation console. Thegame is on the basis of popular Hannah Montana television show. Thegame can be said to be female-oriented since it revolves around thelife of a girl who has a secret pop career this is according to Kaneet al. (2009). The storyline is enough to judge that the gametargeted the ladies since every lady would like to be HannahMontanah. They would love to be in her shoes and since they can nottthey result to this simulation of her life. The game is in support ofthe change being witnessed in the gaming and the video arena,

Thevideo games have been known to be a domain for the male gender. It iswell in the documentation by a study carried out in Germany, whichshowed that around 53% of boys play video games. (Hattman &ampKlimmt,911). Publishers and businessmen in this trade are trying their levelbest to net the female population. That is working since femaleplayers now amount to about 40% of the overall gaming population. Astudy by a financial firm known as Wedbush Morgan, female players nowaccount for about 40% of the overall gaming market. That is animprovement compared with the IDC research whose estimates were ofless than 12% women participating in gaming in 2001. Wedbush alsocomputes that a 5% upward increase in female players could lead to asmuch as a whopping $1 billion in revenue annually.

Masculinityand Femininity in the games

Intrying to woo over the female society, the game publishers aregetting it all wrong. That is with respect to how they portray thecharacters in their games. A sharp contrast is visible between thetwo genders in almost all games. Sexism is an aspect that is profoundin games such as Hannah Montanah. The female character takesexaggerated feminine attributes such as body features that are ondisplay that is out of proportion such as the breasts. There has alsoexisted a problem of under representation of women as characters inthe games. Masculinity gets the upper hand as opposed to femininity.Women playas scantily dressed creatures that possess excessiveestrogen and therefore act in a queer and extensively femininemanner. The difference between masculinity and femininity portrayalmay be attributable to the market structure. That is that more boysplay the games as opposed to the girls. Researchers, who more oftenthan not have a background in Cultural Studies, observe that womenmay regard contemporary games as fields for female participation.That is a way of resistance to gender roles and conceptions offemininity and masculinity (Hartman &ampKlimmt, 911). The developerswould, therefore, want to maintain their grip on the male market. Oneneeds to analyze the game play and game designs that have been usedto develop Hannah Montanah. (Clements, 2014)

TheHannah Montanah game has two parts in its game play design. The firstpart is where the player spends time as Miley, who is seen wanderingaround Crowley corners and shopping. The second game play is Hannah’sperformances. It involves touring the places Montanah would perform.The developers of the game try to reinforce the stereotyping of womenas people who love life on the fast lane. They bring out a characterin Hannah as a person who loves shopping and the beautiful thingsthat life has to offer. All this efforts of creating a movie based onan idol whom many girls worship is a way of widening the market forthe game developers.

Howto widen the market for the games

So as to broaden the market for the female-targeted games, the gamepublishers will have to consider the option of involving women. Thatwould be through allowing women to take part in game formulation(Clements, 2014). The women would then be able to give their viewsrather than feeling that male generated ideologies are being imposedon them. Some are doing this such as Check Six Games. There arecertain aspects of game design that need to change. Character ratiowould need to change since most games today have about 80% charactersbeing men. The developers also need to draw a clear line betweenfemininity and feminism. The unrealistic body images and theprovocative sexual portrayal should be put to an end. Over sexualizeddepictions should be avoided in games (Kane, 852). The games may be agood way to keep the younger generation occupied, but it’s doingmore harm than good. Some effects of movies that are in the analysisare the aggressive tendencies among the gamers.

Effectsof violence in video games

Videogames for the longest time now have been pointed out to be acontributing factor to violence cases among the young people. Thedebate on this is always bound to come up anytime the effects ofvideo games are under discussion. A research that is well documentedby Paul in his work “The effect of video games on aggressivebehavior” shows that games influence behavior (259). The researchshows that games, especially those with violent scenes occur in theyoung generation being aggressive. The claim is not easilyquantifiable since it lacks concrete proof. An analysis was alsocarried out to try to see whether violent video games resulted inmore aggressive tendencies among the gamers. The conclusion was thatthe violent video games resulted in violent young people as opposedto nonviolent games (Paul, 260).

Gameswill always result in violent cultures among the gamers. The behaviormay be due to the gamers feeling the urge to practice what they seein the movies in real life. The constant exposure to the violentscenes also impacts on their social and mental capabilities.


Clements, R. (2009, April 13). Hannah Montana: The Movie Review -IGN. Retrieved October 25, 2014.

Dill, K., &amp Thill, K. (N.d.). “ Game Socialization of GenderRoles and characters: Young People`s Perceptions Mirror Sexist MediaDepictions,” 851-864.

Hartmann, T., &amp Klimmt, C. (N.d.). Gender and Computer Games:Exploring Females` Dislikes. “Journal of Computer-MediatedCommunication, 910-931.”

Kane, Y. (2009, October 13). Video Game Firms Make a Play for Women.Retrieved October 25, 2014.

Paul, A. (N.d.). The effect of the video game competition andviolence: That characteristic has the greatest influence?“Psychologyof Violence,”1, 259-274.

Vorderer, P., &amp Chan, E. (N.d.). Massively Multiplayer OnlineGames. In Playing video games: Motives, responses, andconsequences (pp. 77-86).