Power of video games

Video games are so attractive to students from 8 to 20+ years old. It makes what we cannot do in the reality to be real in the game world, such as killing and fighting. All these things are called the disadvantages of playing video games and that our parents keep trying to stay us away from video games. However, video games provide spaces for us to relax, release, and expand our ability of creativity in the virtual world. More and more experiments proof that video games improve creativity, speed of reaction, logical thinking, and consistency. Thus, as we play more video games, we will be used to things that are usually exist in games. The most famous computer online game in the world recently is the League of Legends (LOL). There are at least four versions of LOL in four different languages. The characters in LOL are the “things” that players usually see and use, which are the key elements to reflect what we think about the gender and race in the society should be. Except all those monster characters, most of the characters are male. In addition, we can also see the stereotypes of genders in this game. The characters play as tanks, which means tougher and more blood, two out of twelve are female characters. It reflects the thought that people think males should bigger, stronger, and tougher to protect females, and it shows the meaning of the term female masculinity. In contrast, after changing the filter to mage, more females show up. In the 29 mages, two are monsters, eleven are females, and sixteen are males. Due to the long lasting patriarchic society in the past, people deeply think that males always play the main role, but females take more positions of mage. Mage is weak in body health but strong in using spell, which means females are weaker than males in health but strong in using their mind.


Moreover, except for those with ridiculous colors of skin, green, blue, and purple, the characters are mostly white or yellow skinned.  There are no characters with black skin, excluding those monsters. What this phenomena shows is that we are used to use color as a reference of good or bad thing. When we see a table or a chair in black, we will purchase it only when we think that it will not affect the visual effect of the environment after a long time use and being dirty. In contrast, we will think bright colors such as white, red, and yellow are clean. We also think that bright color means positive and justice while dark colors are negative and bad in most of the circumstances.

Therefore, video games contain no black characters, except for those monsters, in order to attract people to play visually comfortably. It may also a business strategy to attract and keep customers in their businesses, the video games.  The reason why I use video games to show the stereotypes of gender and race, or the color of skin, is that the players of video games are mostly young adults. While playing video games, they will implicitly learn what visually look good and what is “normal”, even if it is not normal in the real world. If they absorb this knowledge when they are young, their thoughts and values will be distorted in the following 40 to 90 years, which is a structural change to their lives. 1It is hard to change a person’s mind after the person learns what is and is not supposed to be.This effect is not limited in a country or an area but all the children in the world. No matter whether your children play video games, they will learn all these “facts” from it, from their friends, and from the people surrounding the children, including the parents.



One thought on “Power of video games

  1. Interesting analysis of video game characters–especially in relation to race. You do a good job of alluding to the subtle and subconscious ways that individual’s views may be shaped by underlying messages about gender and race.

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