I often get a little laugh every time I get someone spout off about video games. Mostly I hear the comments that video games are sexist or cause violence and fall over laughing now I just cry because despite all the evidence people take this crap seriously. I am a pastor and I have a confession to make – I love video games and have often used them to focus and even unwind so I don’t kill someone. If anything is find them to be a release of my violent tendency inside so I don’t let it come out in real life. In most cases this is what studies find with gamers.
The Factual Feminist makes most of my points for me but there area few off to the side issues that I wish to address. In the area of violence where people say kids develop violent tendency through playing violent video games I have heard a few people who are gun owners say this and I want to scratch my head. You do realize this is the same argument that anti-gum people make about your guns? You know that by owning them and shooting them all the time (which you should to be considered a responsible gun owner) you are making yourself more violent? Sorry the argument is one that is designed to deflect blame from the gun to the game but in essence both arguments blame the object and that is not the problem.
The other argument is that regarding obesity and I have to laugh at that too. The same people who say video games are what is making kids obese are the same people who sit in front of a television for four hours every day. Inactivity is found in multiple forms and not just video games. People worried about TV when I was a kid, now they worry about video games but people’s activity level depends on the will to get up and get active. Honestly at least the gamer is exercising his fingers and his mind is actively involved. Television is passive on both. Our real enemy here is we are lazy and what we may do while lazy is different but it still ahs the same result.
Now on to the feminists. The first thing that is easily disproven is that there are not a lot of strong female characters in video games. Another video for you:
Sorry gamers love female protagonists and there are A LOT OF THEM. Even hardcore gamers which are 7 males to every one female still gravitate toward games where you can make your own characters even female ones or female oriented protagonists. The fact is since video games started it is a male dominated market and that does not look like it is going to change soon. Yet, some of the most popular characters over the years have been female. Tomb Raider is probably the most notable for this but there are many others. Honestly the criticism that females are only portrayed as objects for reward in video games is ignoring the large breadth and width of the whole world of video games.
Now as for the women as trophies in video games. I ask you do girls like the idea of being the princess in the castle? Yes, they do. So why is it somehow bad for boys to picture themselves as the prince with the sword or the knight coming to the rescue. As old as the female fantasy is to be the beautiful princess who falls in love, the boy fantasy of being the brave knight that rescues the princess is just as old. Sorry ladies most of us men want to protect you as the male protective instinct is very much a part of who we are. When we see one of you abused or threatened most of us will automatically want to step in and solve the problem. These days those this good instinct is often decried as sexist. I say it is equally as sexist to decry men for being themselves and that is all men are being when they are in game-mode – themselves.
More confessions of a preacher and a gamer. I prefer to play female characters in my games. I like large RPG (Role Playing Games) such as Fallout 3 or Skyrim. It is a particularly heterosexual reason why for me too. I just feel odd staring at a male backside playing a game so I make a female character so it makes it easier for my heterosexual male side while I am playing. Also female characters often in such games have more options if the game is full of dialogue options. Sorry most game designers put in the female flirting thing as an option for female characters and it works better and is often easier than a male character who I find has to gravitate more toward violence to solve their problems. There is also something supremely sexy about a woman with a gun or sword. A fact I have demonstrated over and over with the Theology Pub.
I think though the greatest point that can be made about this whole issue is that while women cry about male dominated entertainment they do never seem to want to balance things out in female dominated areas like talk shows or magazines. No one yells about sexist crap there and for good reason. I believe that women should have their things and males should also be allowed to have their things. We are different and a good chunk of that is not society but biology.
So what about the death threats? In every demographic group there are psychopaths. What is often missed is that many male gamers who decried the feminist criticism were also the first ones to rush to the defense of these women (dammit, there is that knight to the rescue thing again) and decry the death threats. It should also be noted that there are a few psychopathic feminists out there who have leveled a few death threats of their own. Just proves that there are 1% of nut cases out there and you are going to get them to talk angrily if you insult something they believe in or like. If you are going to open your mouth and take on an issue, be prepared even if you’re doing it for a good cause. Some people have said the most innocent things and received death threats so welcome to the club. Just proof of human nature not gamer nature.