Computing and Gaming : Boys vs. Girls

In reading the article, Everyday Life in a Media Home by I found something exceptionally striking i n the statement regarding gender and computing or game play. The author states that most commonly computers or gaming consoles were placed in the rooms of boys versus girls. Over the years having many male friends, I found this trend to be absolutely true. More boys had gaming conoles and computers in their room as their parents did not see a need for such items in the living rooms or the entertainment areas of the homes.

I found this topic fascinating not only that boys seemed to log more game time than girls, but that more men seem to populate the information technology fields. Being a veteran of the IT industry working jobs from technical support to CIO of various corporations I found that more men did in fact dominate the field. While, I was an exception to this rule, I often found it much harder to gain the respect and equal playing ground as most men in my workplace, some times even having to prove my value.

I find that many game advertisements, game design, and advanced computing is often somewhat sexist and targets the male gender. I don’t believe one gender is more computer literate or knowledgeable in gaming than the other, but I do believe males are the focal point of many advertising in these industries. It is a common misconception that females do not enjoy playing video games or only like games geared toward their gender which is not at all true.

MIT Professor Henry Jenkins, discusses several myths that have been proven false in regard to videogames, one of which includes girls and or women’s involvemnet in games over the last decade.

“Historically, the video game market has been predominantly male. However, the percentage of women playing games has steadily increased over the past decade. Women now slightly outnumber men playing Web-based games. Spurred by the belief that games were an important gateway into other kinds of digital literacy, efforts were made in the mid-90s to build games that appealed to girls. More recent games such as The Sims were huge crossover successes that attracted many women who had never played games before. Given the historic imbalance in the game market (and among people working inside the game industry), the presence of sexist stereotyping in games is hardly surprising. Yet it’s also important to note that female game characters are often portrayed as powerful and independent. In his book Killing Monsters, Gerard Jones argues that young girls often build upon these representations of strong women warriors as a means of building up their self confidence in confronting challenges in their everyday lives.”  (Jenkins 1)

http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

I believe that the rise in female players, computer experts, and all other forms of new media will increase dramatically as such technologies become more and more integrated with out everyday lives.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry, Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Videogames Debunked, pp1. URL:http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

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