Women in Games: Gender Swap project
NGO Women in Games, which supports better gender diversity in the video games industry, wants to show the public and gaming studios how women are often portrayed in games with the #GenderSwap experience.
In 2022, one out of two gamers is a female gamer, which makes more than one and half billion female gamers across the globe. But, women only represent 22% of employees in gaming studios.
Consequence? A representation of female characters in video games that is too often oversexualized and cliché, when compared to male characters.
To illustrate this severe discrepancy and highlight these stereotypes, Women In Games introduces #GenderSwap, a video game experience that revisits gaming’s biggest properties by swapping male and female character animations. The project was created in partnership with ad agency BETC, France.
Morgane Falaize, Président of Women in Games France, comments: “Some of the scenes that we collected had already been shared online, but some others had not. But when all grouped together, it shows how large the issue is and we hope it will help realize how severe it is. Things are starting to change. Some exceptions to this representation exist; but for one Aloy in Horizon or Ellie in The Last of Us, there are dozens and dozens of female characters that are often way too cliché. Just like the film industry, television, and advertising, video games have a profound impact on people’s representation of the world that we live in and the interactions that we have with others.”
Created in 2017, Women in Games has the objective to double in ten years the number of women and non-binary individuals working in the industry. The organization pursues four different types of actions: improve visibility of women in the industry, raise awareness of the positive impact of diversity in the video games industry, support the professional development of female employees, and educate young girls about the jobs in the industry. All their resources are available on their website (Diversity & Inclusion guide made for companies from the video games industry, gender equality charter for video games schools, cyberbullying guide, articles about recruiting women in the industry …).
Harmonie Freyburger, Vice-President of Women in Games France, adds: “Things are starting to change and players are raising their voice. Some sexist scenes have been removed from some video games after public outrage. But we are not there yet. It is only by having more women working in studios that we will reach better gender representation with various and less stereotyped female characters. A diverse team brings better creative ideas and better products for the whole public.”