Sexism in Modern RPG Games: The View of the Russian Audience

The 10th Digital Games Research Association Conference, 3-6 July 2017, Melbourne, Australia

Posted: 25 Apr 2017

See all articles by Mariia Rubtcova

Mariia Rubtcova

St. Petersburg University of Cinema and Television

Oleg Pavenkov

St. Petersburg University of Cinema and Television

Vladimir Pavenkov

St. Petersburg University of Cinema and Television

Date Written: April 25, 2017

Abstract

Russia is a country where feminism is criticized by society and its propaganda is not approved. Therefore, it was expected that such a topic as sexism in RPG games is not interested in the Russian audience. However, our study showed that this is not entirely true. We conducted a focus group with gamers of popular RPG game "Skyrim" (20 people, 10 of them men and 10 women, 20-22 years old) and asked them to describe several scenes in which they see a manifestation of sexism. Men have suggested the two scenes, where there may be manifestations of sectism. However, women found 45 manifestations of sexism. The men saw sexism as a degradation of the managerial role of women, where women heroes are shown as bad managers. The women informants saw a decline in the managerial role of women in five cases. In addition, women placed an emphasis on the domestic manifestation of sexism in the household, sexism in clothing and dialogues with a claim to sexist humor. As a result, we found that the manifestations of sexism are assessed differently by Russian men and women informants. The men think that feminism is a struggle for the power of women and accordingly look for scenes where women with power are shown negatively. However, women understand feminism as a fight against discrimination in all spheres of society. Therefore, they believe that sexism is contained in the patriarchal distribution of roles in the family, in "men's humor," in women's dialogues about the love of housekeeping and the upbringing of children, in depicting women as stupid and emotional. Therefore, in our research female informants found 22 times more manifestations of sexism than men.

Suggested Citation

Rubtcova, Mariia and Pavenkov, Oleg and Pavenkov, Vladimir, Sexism in Modern RPG Games: The View of the Russian Audience (April 25, 2017). The 10th Digital Games Research Association Conference, 3-6 July 2017, Melbourne, Australia. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2958109

Mariia Rubtcova (Contact Author)

St. Petersburg University of Cinema and Television ( email )

13, ul.Pravda
St.Petersburg, 191119
Russia

Oleg Pavenkov

St. Petersburg University of Cinema and Television ( email )

13, ul.Pravda
St.Petersburg, 191119
Russia

Vladimir Pavenkov

St. Petersburg University of Cinema and Television ( email )

13, ul.Pravda
St.Petersburg, 191119
Russia

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