The partnership between Women in Games and Dove aims to highlight the necessity for improved representation of women within the gaming industry. They argue that the oversexualization of female characters and the lack of diversity in female representation in video games do not adequately reflect the diverse range of women who participate in gaming.
To further their cause, they collaborated with the Unreal Engine educational team to produce a video showcasing the story of Cinthia, a powerful warrior in a video game. The video emphasizes Cinthia’s discomfort with her overly sexualized portrayal, leading her to discard her armor and makeup to fight authentically as herself.
The driving force behind this campaign is research conducted by Dove in collaboration with Women in Games. The study reveals that 60% of girls and 62% of women feel underrepresented in video games.
Nothing wrong with a game with a diversity of body types, but the phrase "..takes a stand against overly sexualized women in video games" in a market now saturated with female characters like aloy, ellie, chloe, nadine, etc feels tone deaf and reeks of 2012. https://t.co/7PDd5z0gMt pic.twitter.com/2fowVvj7us
— Synnyster Fusion (@SynnFusion) May 18, 2023
Moreover, it shows that over a third of young women’s self-esteem is negatively affected by the current lack of diversity in the gaming industry. Interestingly, the study also reveals that 74% of women express a desire for a more inclusive representation of female characters in video games.
Upon its release on various social media platforms, the video attracted mixed reactions, dividing the gaming community. Some players expressed their disagreement with the message by criticizing the video and launching a backlash against the company.
The Controversy Surrounding the Video
While a segment of the gaming community concurs with the stance of Women in Games, emphasizing the need for representation in media and entertainment, they question Dove’s role in addressing this issue within the gaming industry.
Others argue that the gaming industry has become more inclusive, pointing to the evolving representation of female characters in video games. They cite characters such as Aloy from “Horizon Zero Dawn,” Ellie from “The Last of Us,” Chloe and Nadine from “Uncharted,” among others, to substantiate their viewpoint.
The community’s reaction, however, was far from unanimous. Some supporters of the video were met with opposition from those who took issue with Women in Games’ position. A faction of the gaming community even went as far as mocking the video, advising Dove to steer clear of the gaming industry altogether.
Why is the company that sells soap weighing in on female representation in video games? https://t.co/vYy5iSQACM
— GamesNosh (@GamesNosh) May 17, 2023
This incident demonstrates the polarizing nature of the dialogue surrounding diversity and inclusion in the gaming industry, a debate that will likely continue as the industry evolves and seeks to better cater to its diverse audience.
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