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Dear Amy,

I'm a 14 year old gamer girl, and I'm very proud of that. Ever since I got my Nintendo as a little girl, I've been trying to prove that fact that video games aren't just a boy thing. I hadn't thought much of it for a while, but then I recently saw a program on TV that opened my eyes at how girls are portrayed in most games. Girls are either helpless and need men to rescue them, or they are running around half naked. Try as I might I can't accept this. I've talked to all my friends, and they said they all feel the same way, but it's pointless to try and change it. I've done research for school projects on this subject, and the more I look the more I hate what I see.

In Dead or Alive Volleyball, you control a ton of beautiful, thin women in thongs and make them jump up high and...I think you get the picture. My little sister came in my room crying to me when she was playing Dead or Alive 1 saying the girl did a high kick and you could see up her skirt, and there was nothing underneath of it. I looked at a copy of BMX XXX and the back wrote "Create your own hard bodied hunnies and make them as jiggly as you want." That's word for word.

I just want to know, is it right for me to be this frustrated? It's really making me, well, hate men. And I know there are thin beautiful women out there and there's nothing wrong with that, I'm just sick of the image of that is all we are. I'm just so angry that all this has been going on and nobody had put a stop to it. Can you please tell me if there's any hope in the ending of this sexual stereotype women are getting in games? Or can you tell me if there are any sites out there or people with a similar view who I can refer to?

Thank You,




Dear Jessie,

I think that your anger and frustration is entirely justified. Plus, I know that many people feel exactly like you do. And, as you said, it's not that one image that is wrong, it's just that there is no range of images, whereas there is a range of women. The problem with video games is that when people have attempted to create a response to these videogames -- they so by coloring them pink or making them "fun." When in reality what attracts most girls to video games is the action -- and coloring it pink tends to take away from the real intention of the games. I use to love Pacman and then they create Ms. Pacman as a
"girls" alternative, but I still loved Pacman -- not Ms.Pacman -- though those were better, since they weren't real figures they couldn't be as
sexist in their portrayal.

I don't think that "men" are necessarily the problem or rather individual men are the problem, not men as a whole. But women's magazines -- which are created by women -- actually fall into the same trap -- selling sex -- so it's not just a man's problem, sadly. I think that an important thing to is to let the video game creator know that you are equally one of their customers and you don't appreciate their tactics. I think that they can only respect you for this -- and I'm certain that they will value your feedback as representative of others. They might do anything to change their ways, but at least they will know that their marketing isn't appealing to all -- and thus hopefully change. I would encourage you to get your sister and others who share your opinon to write, too. Also, check out JC Herz, who is also a gamer girl and has written on this topic.

Take care,



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