70% of women admit to having found sexism in video games. This is stated by the graduate in Fine Arts Nira Santana and reflected in the study presented yesterday at the Rectorate of the ULPGC, which she published with the title of 'Gnero, gamers and video games'. The expert concludes that the solution needs the awareness of both the Administration and the manufacturing companies, through the teaching staff and the family itself.
"Video games are one more producer of a patriarchal society and, as in the cinema or in the theater, machismo is persistent." It is one of the statements made by the graduate in Fine Arts and Master in Feminist Studies, Nira Santana Rodríguez, during the presentation of the publication that includes the study Genre, gamers and video games. An approach from the gender perspective to the consumption of video games and the situation of the players in the sector and that took place yesterday at the Rectorship of the ULPGC .
Santana made these statements in an act that was attended by the rector of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Rafael Robaina; the director of Telefónica España in the Canary Islands, Juan Flores, and the vice-rector for Research, Innovation and Transfer, José Pablo Suárez Rivero. The expert, who is also the author of a study on gender perspective in contemporary art, has analyzed the relationship established by women with video games and the sector, collecting the impression of the players about the existence of clear manifestations against their dignity or , in general, discriminatory towards their gender, both in content and in online multiplayer games, whether in the context of leisure or professional or competition. The work can be downloaded on the University website.
"The videogames sector grows exponentially and creates an industry and jobs, but what puts us on alert are problems such as the wage gap, harassment and discrimination of players in online games, the lack of opportunities for the women who create video games, and in the sexist presence in the contents, "he says.
Nira Santana stresses that there is "a masculinization of consumption, but the number of women has grown to the point that it almost approaches the man, but they do not usually see players together, but surrounded by men." There are also no female references since the games are sexist and discriminatory. "If you have a product in front that discriminates you as a woman, and if they also have content that offends you, that will take you further away from the game," he adds.
Santana remembers that "I am an expert in videogame design, and I do not demonize the sector because if we live in a patriarchal society in the world of videogames there will be sexism and the videogame is not born isolated from a human being that develops it."
In the opinion of the expert, "we have to ensure that the people who create video games and the administrations that subsidize them, have to start from the gender perspective in their work", so "you have to see what products we have in front of and what they impact those who play. " The designer says that the result has to be a video game free of machismo so that there is an identification of the result facing the player herself since "more than 70% of the women interviewed acknowledged having found sexism," he adds.
As for the interviewees in general, 50% recognized that women were sexualized and that clothing and sounds were not adequate since there was a clear objectification. A group of 30%, however, claimed that "there was explicit violence against women with issues such as prostitution, submission, torture, rape, murder, abuse and slavery." Then, in a more residual way, 10% stressed the absence of women. And 3% talked about a game with "that dependent woman, which must be saved, and that is lacking in resources to solve her problems."
The expert gives the example of the best selling GTA ( Grand Theft Auto) violent and the company that develops it in 2017 was investigated because in the United Kingdom they suspected that women were paid less for the same work as men. "They were paying 64% less," he recalls. "Therefore, when an object is sexist, it is because there is sexism in its authors." The designer, as a proposal for change, points out that, in the first place, awareness is very important to those who run videogame companies and to the teams that work "to do so from a gender perspective." Next, the public administrations that subsidize these companies should be trained. And finally, we should also train teachers and family to inform themselves before consuming a video game.