I’ve spent my entire life playing and buying games. As an adult I’ve also reported on games as a games journalist, and even worked on tabletop games as a writer and editor. I want this to be a hobby where people feel welcome, and that means honest discussion of where we’ve gone wrong—and where we get it right.
I'm not saying that violence should never be shown or described. We need our movies and TV shows and games and books to address issues of the violence in our culture, and violence against women is included in that. But some of these examples just play into the same old misogyny—without asking anything more of the audience—which is a shame and a missed opportunity.
From the village bobby on his bicycle to elaborate games of cops and robbers in mid-20th century America, detective fiction often harks back to the past. From a feminist perspective, this is a can of worms.
I don't play many video or computer games (unlike, say, the amazingly knowledgeable Ouyang Dan) but I was recently thrilled when Swag Bucks, a search engine with which users earn free items, introduced their panel of games. Get store credit and entertain myself? Yes, please!
Sadly, the gift cards take some time to earn, while two of the new games' fat-shaming is immediate. Most of the simple, PopCap-esque staples one might expect are there, though nothing similar to my favorite game, Feeding Frenzy... and the programs that do involve eating kill my gaming appetite.
If you are a service member on deployment or stationed overseas you may find yourself limited in the ways that you are able to spend your free time. You could spend your time doing PT (physical training), studying for exams, doing PT, maybe doing college work online, doing PT, or, if you are a gamer, spending some quality time with your console or computer and your choice of n00bs to pwn. But that can be difficult when the higher brass decides to limit what games you can purchase.
Kaos' Homefront starts with a very real line of succession, Kim Jong-Un, the actual named successor to DPRK's current dictator. Dave Votypka from Kaos describes the two Koreas as the fourth largest military power in the world and one of the most technologically advanced countries in existence, explaining that this is the foundation of the future history that they have engineered. While I love the idea of a First-Person Shooter that doesn't have the U.S. attacking some ambiguous foreign power overseas, I am wary of using real-time events to create another panic based on Korean mistrust.
I often have trouble discussing my observations of social justice themes in various entertainment media with people. Usually I find that people take issue with my wanting to look further into a topic that they are enjoying, and if I criticize or attempt to dissect it, I must be attacking their hobby or even them personally for enjoying something because I find fault in that particular movie, TV show, or game. But why would I spend so much time criticizing something that I myself don't enjoy?
Despite the fact that, according to the ESA, gamers are about 40% women and girls (to be really general), it doesn't seem that the world of developers and marketers has caught on terribly to these stats. Or to many things, actually.