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Cross Gendered Leisure Activity

Project:
Videogames –
XBOX360 Gears of War

By:
April Joyce Balagot
Historical Perspective
-Males have always been targeted in the videogame industry knowing they
are most likely to be addicted to them as opposed to women.
“Men are more rewarded by video games than women on a
neural level, which explains why they're more likely to become
addicted to them, researchers at Stanford University claim.. In a
brain-imaging study by Stanford's school of medicine,
researchers discovered that, when playing video games, the part
of the brain that generates feelings of reward is more stimulated
in men than in women. That helps explain why they're more
likely to get hooked, the study's authors say.” (CBC News)
- Producers recognize this fact and decide to make videogames in the
genres of adventure, violence, and sports; those that interest males.
- “Indeed, there can be no doubt that the overwhelming majority of video
and computer games on the market are tailored to boys.” (Crossroads)
- The market understands that since guys are more addicted, they’ll
continue to purchase thus increasing total revenue.
Traditional Ideals
- Traditionally, leisure was for men.
- Men also made more money than women, so they had more
money to spend on leisure activities and that’s one reason why
video game developers target men more so than women to
increase profits.
- “Leisure has been largely an androcentric concept just as society
has been largely patriarchal. “ (Quiz A)
- Historically, everything revolved around the men as they were
seen as the dominant figure, and therefore majority of the leisure
activities were for mainly for men.
- Society was also based off the tradition that women were only
allowed to do household chores and family related things and
were secluded from enjoying themselves.
Historical Changes
- Men worked more and received a higher pay thus had the ability to
purchase and engage in more leisure entertainment as opposed to women.
- “For example, when the average American woman makes about $0.71 for
every dollar the average American man earns, the discretionary income
available for her to use is limited, and thus, recreation choices may be
limited. “ (Quiz A)
- However, there have been slow yet great improvements with women’s pay
rate as well as leisure activities available.
- ““Gradually this nineteenth century Victorian ideology surrounding
women's place and the definition of femininity began to be less restrictive.” “
(Quiz A)
- Now, “the percentage of women playing games has steadily increased
over the past decade. “ (PBS.org)
Current Perspective
- Today, females participate in videogames much more rather than
before.
- 40% of US gamers are females and 60% are male (2008) but in
2006, 64% of females were online gamers and more than half of the
nations total gamers play online
(1UP.com)

- Current issues related to videogames include damaged vision,


hearing problems, violence and the impact it’ll have on children, and
so forth.
- These are general issues associated with videogames and have
been stated to have harmful affects thus, parents do wish to prevent
their kids from playing such games and censor them permanently.
Relating with class materials
- I’m a woman and women around the world are constantly being
secluded from male activities; seeing as women aren’t mentally,
physically, nor emotionally fit to take on such “rough” activities.
- Women are constantly mocked and laughed at for wanting to even
just try something new, thus resulting in females being insecure
about themselves due to the criticism.
- Women are seen as being weak, as being too delicate to be
engaging in such things so guys think they’re doing us a favor by
isolating us from what should be equal opportunities.
- ““For example, Bax (1913) believed that women should not pursue
leisure experiences that were physical because women were
physiologically less well- organized and less well-developed than
men and were mentally inferior.”” (Quiz B)
My Experience
- My activity chosen was to play Gears of War on the XBOX 360; a first person
shooting game.
- I’ve never really participated in playing videogames because I always assumed I
wasn’t good enough.
- When I did want to participate, I was highly discouraged.
- When I invited my guy friends to play with me for this activity, they said “You’re
going to lose so why bother” just because I’m a girl.

- When I’d begin to lose, they’d automatically take the controller and play for me
(when doing the co-op?). I was insecure about my skills and capabilities, so I never
really took the risk to try out this activity more so.
- I normally would just sit and watch the guys play rather than engage in it.
- “When she delivered a talk on women and games that year, "they said, 'Why are we
even bothering to listen to you? Girls don't play games.'" “ (CNET)
Pictures!
Pictures part 2!
Pictures part 3!
Challenges
- It was very emotionally and mentally challenging for me.
- I lack good aiming and shooting skills, therefore I wasn’t doing an
acceptable job in taking out the enemy.
- Throughout the entire game night, I felt nervous and scared
- Eventually, I gave up with all the discouragements, and my insecurities.
- Majority of the games my guy friends brought were first shooter games,
and some were VERY explicit and violent which grossed me out to a point
which made me reconsider playing till they changed the game.
- “Generally girls aren't interested in the violent "first person shooter" games
favoured by boys, and many of the girl-specific games promote stereotypical
interests such as cooking and babysitting.” (Media Awareness)
Video clips!
Click on the video to begin!
Insights Gained
- For females, when we participate in male activities, we feel insecure about
our limitations and capabilities, and continue to doubt ourselves.
- We hesitate believing we’re not good enough and always consider
ourselves second to males.
- As for the guys, they love to be in complete control of everything and like
to dominate pretty much everything and anything.
- Especially in videogames, they’re highly competitive.
- When a female wins, the guys became “revengeful” and vow to redeem
their loss to a “girl”.
- Girls are more laidback and are more focused on into having a good time
as opposed to guys with their competitive streak.
-“"She doesn't care if she wins or not. It's different with this guy," he said,
pointing to his son. "They like to win." “(REUTERS.com)
Participate again?
- Despite my insecurities and lack of skills, I honestly
would still want to engage in videogames again.
When I’m faced with a challenge like this, I like to
overcome it because leaving it alone would bother me.
- In addition, it’s actually quite fun when I’m not being
ridiculed and I actually enjoyed that new experience so I
do plan to continue to play videogames again soon.
- “If girls are to become active users of technology, the
video-game industry must be encouraged to design
games for them that are engaging and fun. “ (Media
Awareness)
Works Cited Page
http://news.cnet.com/Video-games--a-girl-thing/2008-1043_3-5618256.html
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/05/science-games.html
http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3168926
http://www.acm.org/crossroads/xrds3-2/girlgame.html
http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE49202W20081003?sp=true
http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/parents/video_games/issues_girls_videogames.cfm

Readings for Quiz A & Quiz B