This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Sorry, Mario, but Our Better Representations of Women are in Another Video Game: A Qualitative Study on Women’s Perspective of Women Video Game Characters


The representations of women characters in video games have always been scrutinized for their stereotyped and sexualized appearance by scholars and gamers. Yet these arguments have not focused enough on the players that these representations effect the most, women players. It has been concluded that mostly men work in the video game industry due to the “cycle” of men creating male biased games that appeal to other men more so than women, creating in turn a larger masculine gaming culture which leads to more men wanting to work in the gaming industry and a lack of women in the field (Engelberg, 2019). This situation causes a hegemony of play where men recreate their stereotypical opinions of women in their productions via women characters. This study focuses on the perspectives of women players concerning these misrepresentations. The focus groups gave the participants an opportunity to voice their opinions pertaining to women character representations. This study found that many women are unhappy with the past and present representations but are optimistic about future representations becoming better.