10 Extremely Popular Video Games That Fuel The Sexism Debate

Is it too much to ask for a little gender equality in the most popular gaming franchises?

Video games, by and large, are sexist. Most don't mean to be, but that doesn't stop them. This isn't news to anyone, especially now the male/female gamer divide isn't quite so gaping and anyone with an opinion can readily share it on the internet in any number of ways. However, just because you have an opinion, doesn't mean people want to hear it. Just like when someone offers a measured argument against the notion that video games cause violence, whilst someone else tries to discuss the sexism inherent in gaming they can get a boatload of vitriol sent their way by a disturbingly great number of people. It's a sensitive issue. Many gamers might not want to examine their unchecked prejudices and just enjoy their entertainment for 'what it is', but there are plenty of unflattering and downright insidious stereotypes about men and women in video games that really could do with upturning. Here are 10 examples of games that millions have played without necessarily considering what they're being told to think about gender and why a little discussion about their attitudes might go a long way...

10. Bioshock Infinite

Last year's biggest, arguably most narratively ambitious and groundbreaking game also relied on a trope as old as the first fairy tales: the princess trapped in a tower, in need of rescue by a gruff, put-upon man. Anyone who's actually played the game through to the end will know that's a somewhat misleading reduction of the game to its basic premise, which is distorted and subverted in various ways as the story unfolds and 'damsel' Elizabeth is revealed to be a character of much more strength and nuance than you might be led to believe. That said, she's still an extraordinarily pretty and occasionally infantilised character that comes uncomfortably across like a fantasy for men who like to take women half their age in their arms and teach them about the ways of the world... not to mention that she's one of many recent games in which the older lead male character takes on father-like responsibility of a much younger female (The Last Of Us and Telltale's The Walking Dead are but two perfect examples).

Film history obsessive, New Hollywood fetishist and comics evangelist.