German comedian Carolin Kebekus (42) ventured into the gaming industry in a segment on her ARD program Die Carolin Kebekus Show (DCKS) on Thursday, November 24. She criticized the representation and treatment of women in games such as Wow.
What was that show like? November 24 On an episode of The Carolin Kebekus Show hosted by Kebekus, the comedian devoted a segment to “the most beautiful thing in the world” – games.
But while Kebekus has come across as an avid gamer, there are a few things that bother her about her hobby: the comedian criticizes sexism and the lack of diversity in gaming.
Even though both women and men gamble, women are still portrayed as extremely sexist and have to put up with “bad shit,” says Kebekus.
“There’s just a damsel in distress and a sexy fighter”
How does Quebec see the role of women in games? Kebekus criticized that games usually have only 2 roles for female characters:
- a helpless lady in distress
- a “disproportionate” and sexualized action heroine
On the other hand, gender identities other than male and female would not even arise.
Kebekus highlighted her criticism with sketch-like scenes in the fictional video game World of Mencraft, a parody of MMORPGs like WoW. She received support from German Twitch streamer Lara “Lara Loft” Trautmann and Rocket Beans, among others.
As an example of a “damsel in distress”, Kebekus mentioned Princess Peach, whose role is usually to be kidnapped early in the game and rescued by the player.
To represent the sexualized action heroine, Kebekus cited archeologist Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider games. Although their physiques are now much more realistic, their clothing, according to Quebecois, is still not suitable for traveling in South America.
Women are reduced to supporting roles
So what roles are left for women? Compared to their male counterparts, who go into battle in heavy armor and armed to the teeth, female characters often play only supporting roles: healer, supporter, ranger.
Instead of cool weapons and cool armor, World of Mencraft’s character Kebekus only has a weak magic wand, and an arms dealer asks if she’d like to be a healer.
When Kebekus can’t do anything with her wand while searching together, she has to listen to her teammate so she would have been better off becoming a healer.
Kebekus admits that the presentation may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but in principle it would be true. And it’s a problem that’s not limited to games:
Of course, this image of women has a huge impact on how we see women and how women see themselves.
After all, representation has already improved in recent decades, according to Kebekaus. But this leads to their next point of criticism: negative reactions to what they see as positive change.
Progress faces tremendous resistance
Although some things are improving, there are still too few realistic representations of women in games, says Kebekus. Not to mention PoC, ie non-white and queer people. On the other hand, there would be too much excitement about a less sexualized portrayal of women.
Which representations seem to be successful for Quebec? Carolin Kebekus praises the portrayal of Aloy, the main character from the Horizon series of games. Specifically, this is the version of Aloy as seen in 2022. Horizon Forbidden West.
Aloy’s new look was heavily criticized by some players last year, who said that Aloy looked completely masculine.
Players argue over Horizon Forbidden West’s appearance of Aloy: She’s ‘not feminine enough’
There was even stronger reaction to the sequel…