ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Video Games: Equality for All

Updated on December 19, 2014
Journeying through new landscapes. Without knowing gender
Journeying through new landscapes. Without knowing gender
Unisex adventuring can be fun and equally represented
Unisex adventuring can be fun and equally represented
Thor, eat your heart out
Thor, eat your heart out
Spoilers: two of these characters can be both male and female. Another one represents a species that is also sexually ambiguous
Spoilers: two of these characters can be both male and female. Another one represents a species that is also sexually ambiguous
Spoilers: they live, but it ain't all sunshine and roses for them
Spoilers: they live, but it ain't all sunshine and roses for them

So as some people have noticed, the video game industry has been undergoing fire for misogynistic implications. By "implications" I of course mean threatening female commentators, voicing protests against criticisms about sexual portrayals, and poorly written gender roles. Change is a constant that is unavoidable and what people against increased equality in video games fail to see is that things are going to change, perceptions are going to change, and how people treat subject matter will change. Fortunately, some games are good examples of gender equality.

One thing about gender equality is that the idea that "quality has to be sacrificed for a fun time" is false. One game that comes to mind is Journey, a game from Thatgamecompany. In Journey the game takes a minimalistic approach to entertainment. As a mysterious robed entity players traverse a vast desert to reach a vague area on top of a mountain. While the objective is simple, reaching said objective can be lonesome. However, the main gimmick about Journey is that multiplayer is enabled via online connection. What this means in a gaming standpoint is that gender is a minimal aspect of the game and the issue of equality is rendered moot because the characters are completely ambiguous sexes.The main point was that Journey is an amazing game not because of who the character is or what it wants, but because the game presents an epic landscape that makes players want to enjoy company, no matter what the gender.

As a fellow gamer I am familiar with Ubisoft and its various franchises. One franchise that is quite fascinating is its rebbot of Rayman. In Rayman: Origins and Rayman: Legends you play as the character Ryman, or his buddies. What makes both games equal in gender is that some characters can either be both boys and girls or is specifically a girl. This girl, Barbara, from Rayman: Legends, is characterized as a female viking who carries an axe and uses the axe to cut her enemies into bubbly masses. What makes Barbara a good example for gender equality in gaming is that she still has her own agency and independence throughout the game and players are given the opportunity to play as her and only her throughout the entire game. Rayman: Origins had a similar idea with the Teensies. These tiny, long-nosed entities give the player the ability to change their gender between both boy and girl whenever certain requirements are met. Like Barbara, this alters nothing with the gameplay. So while both games feature a damsel-in-distress, it not only includes female rescuers, but male damsels.

While gender equality can be presented in whimsical, fanciful settings, this concept can be used in grim and gritty settings as well. The Last of Us is a game from Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment where an outbreak of cordyceps causes the zombie apocalypse. While this is an unrealistic event, the game presents the possibility as bleak and gloomy. In this game you play as either Joel, an elderly man who places survival as his primary goal, and Ellie, a teenager Joel is forced to look after for vague reasons. Later on in the game however, Ellie is forced to look after an injured Joel for awhile. What's interesting here is that Ellie's role as protector did not come instantly, but gradually. During gameplay viewers are able to see Ellie's growth as a survivor when she is forced to confront infected humans, giant mushroom zombies, and non-infected cannibals. Yeah, this game is not whimsical.

During the recent animated Batman cartoon Batman: the Brave and the Bold Batman proclaims, "The hammers of justice are unisex"! While corny and silly, this phrase best describes video games with equal gender equality. Girls can hit. Girls can take a punch. Girls can fight. And there is nothing wrong with letting them save people as well as letting them be saved.

Journey: Gender-Ambiguous

Rayman: Beat-Up Bosses As a Girl

Girl in the Apocalypse

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jake Peralta profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Michael Peralta 

      3 years ago from Indio, California

      Yeah, it sucks. My cousin used to play video games lot when she was younger. I think I was an influence there.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      I've heard that some women receive death threats and all manner of ugly words and threats from mentally immature misogynists. Why do men so often imagine they must control and oppress women in order to be real men? If that's what it takes to be a real man I think I'd prefer the faux man.

      Personally, I don't play video games and have no interest in them, sorry, but my daughter does as do many other women. I think if they want to participate they should be able to do so and everyone behave like the adult they want us to believe they are.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)