The Lara Croft phenomenon: The Portrayal of Female Characters in Video Games

Demeter, Alexandra (2022) The Lara Croft phenomenon: The Portrayal of Female Characters in Video Games. BA/BSc thesis, BCE Kommunikáció és Szociológia Intézet, Kommunikáció- és Médiatudomány Tanszék.

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The paper's topic is the portrayal of female characters in video games. Women often experience sexualization, marginalization and exclusion in games, both as players and characters; therefore, it is important to research and understand the reasons and causes of this issue in order to find a solution. The goal of the thesis was to gain information regarding the portrayal of women in contemporary games as well as games from 10 to 20 years ago. Furthermore, to draw a comparison based on the data obtained and make conclusions accordingly to the results. The literature analysis included the research of gaming history by Almeida J. (2018) and Harveston K. (2017), the examination of female representation and feminism by Jennifer J. (2015) and Kishonna L. G. (2018) and the effects of character portrayal on players by Monica K. M. (2007) and Dmitri W. (2009). Additionally, three theories were applied and expanded upon: Henry Tajfel's social identity theory, George Gerbner's cultivation theory and the male gaze feminist theory. The methodology consisted of a 13-question online survey and a content analysis of the top 10 most popular video games. The results indicated that sexualization and misrepresentation of female characters are not as frequent as previously; however, they are still underrepresented compared to the total number of characters. Furthermore, the appearance and roles of the characters proved to be affecting the self-perception and self-esteem of the players as well as their expectations towards other genders. Video games not only emphasize and give an incentive to unrealistic portrayals and stereotypes but also reflect the norms and ideals constructed by society. New games are being constantly published, including countless new characters, and the players change with time as well; therefore, this topic should be continuously researched and observed.

Item Type:BA/BSc thesis
Subjects:Information economy
ID Code:15283
Specialisation:Communication and Media Science
Deposited On:25 Jan 2023 12:52
Last Modified:25 Jan 2023 12:52

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