Thursday, October 24, 2013

GTAV, Men just as offended as women?

    I'm not the type to play video games nor be attracted to the newest game trends, for example, the most recent game, GTAV, "a sensational video game and a marvellous feat of technical engineering" (Hoggins, 2013). But this game in particular is has had a lot of people discussing its ways of degrading women. Since I am female and the majority of females are uncomfortable or unimpressed with the way the women in the game are portrayed, personally I think the men are portrayed just as badly. Men should be just as offended as women. "Women in the game are either bit-part players or set dressing: strippers to throw money at, prostitutes to pick up...There are three lead characters that players can control in the game: all male. The women characters are often leered at or cast as nags. One of the player characters daughters has “skank” tattooed across her back, one mission has you chaperoning a paparazzo as he tries to photograph an aging actress’s “low-hanging muff” (Hoggins, 2013). Nearly all the characters are being portrayed as awful people, "women are shallow and sidelined, and the men front-and-centre are heartless, psychotic, money-obsessed, philandering bastards" (Hoggins, 2013). Not only are the men in this game portrayed this way, but some men in real life have gotten so caught up in this virtual lifestyle that they act out in similar mannerisms. GameSpot’s Carolyn Petit called Grand Theft Auto V “politically muddled and profoundly misogynistic," and in return a male responder said, "no point in giving GTA to a woman to review. Their input is worthless" (Hoggins, 2013). It's a shame women are being treated this way and even more outrageous that men can't see how awful they're being made out to be. Games of this genre add to the distrust of some men, and why many women view men as players, and cold-hearted people who are blinded by the amount of money they have or want. In conclusion, I feel as though men should be just as offended as women when being rudely or incorrectly displayed in any and all content.


  1. Riley, interesting take on GTA V and its portrayal of men and women. As someone who hasn't played the game, and most likely never will, my only knowledge of the game is articles I have read or snippets I have watched as my husband plays. One of the articles I read about GTA V describes the game as making commentary on American culture, socially, economically and politically.

    Your comment "some men in real life have gotten so caught up in this virtual lifestyle that they act out in similar mannerisms" has made me think, I don't think one video game influences men to behave in such a way; rather, I think that these men are the men who are reflected in the video game. GTA V is really a comment on a society that still privileges men over women.

  2. Good stance Riley. It's a game by men, for men (I use this term loosely - perhaps boys would be more appropriate), and although I was initially shocked by the person who implied that women should not be reviewing the game, I completely understand where he is coming from. Perhaps men should be offended at being portrayed in such a negative light, but even the most emotionally intelligent of players is probably not analyzing the game at this level. I do worry about the desensitization that occurs while playing:

    Me: "Why did you shoot that stripper?"
    My husband: "She was in the way of the guy I'm trying to kill."
    Me: "Do you hear yourself right now?"
    My husband: "Uh... (bang bang). Not really. It's just part of the game."

    This game is essentially pornography. I like neither, but have to respect the fact that there is an audience for it and therefore it will not be going away any time soon. As long as we keep having these conversations I think that it helps to remind men that they HAVE to be better than the characters they play.

  3. I used to disagree with most women when they spoke about the portrayal of women in games because to me, it usually sounded as whiny women who have nothing to do with their lives but complain about a silly game, but you raised many great points. I never realized how the way people are portrayed as in video games can affect the way people see them in real life.

  4. Video game developers know there audience, Ubisofts Assassins Creed has only lasted this long because they know that they have an audience for such things. Rockstar is only just knowing their audience and what they like, even if it involves being derogatory.

  5. I agree, GTA is a very offensive game to both sexes, nobody lives this life style of killing eachother, stealing cars, robbing money, going to strip clubs, flying helicopters all at the same time of beating levels. This is a waste of time and is educating our youth the improper way.