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Manly Women and Ideal Men in Video Games : A critical discourse analysis on game reviews and their representation of male and female protagonists

By Joanna Rodriguez


The gaming industry is a multimillion-dollar industry that is male dominated. The games contain mostly male protagonists and the few female protagonists that makes it to the shelves are met with criticism from the players. I have taken an interest in how the protagonists are portrayed by reviewers. For example, when it comes to age and use of name, if there is any difference between genders and if there is any kind of discrimination like sexualizing in the text. In this study, I use critical discourse analysis to study game review articles of six different games, three with female protagonists and three with male protagonists. The reviews are from two different gaming magazines. The results are that the protagonists are rarely represented as the stereotypical hero to the readers and there is not a big difference between genders. An observation is that the male protagonists are described and depicted as ideal men that are supposed to be aggressive, violent and dominant. The female protagonists are described with similar traits as the male protagonists. The conclusion is that the female protagonists are fitted into the stereotypical main character role. This role is built up by hard traits where softer traits like passive, pacifistic and submissive, which are more considered stereotypically female, is absent from main protagonists.

Topics: Discourse analysis, video games, gender, intersectional feminism, protagonist, sexism, diskursanalys, videospel, kön, social konstruktion, protagonist, sexism, Humanities and the Arts, Humaniora och konst, Gender Studies, Genusstudier
Publisher: Södertörns högskola, Svenska
Year: 2018
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