Gender Differences in Video Game Characters’ Roles, Appearances, and Attire as Portrayed in Video Game Magazines
Video game characters have the potential to shape players’ perceptions of gender roles. Through social comparison processes, players learn societal expectations of appearances, behaviors and roles. Forty-nine articles were coded from current U.S. gaming magazines, resulting in 115 coded characters. This content analysis of video game magazine articles investigated how characters are portrayed, focusing on gender differences. Males were more likely to be heroes and main characters, use more weapons, have more abilities, and were more muscular and powerful. Females were more often supplemental characters, more attractive, sexy, and innocent, and also wore more revealing clothing. Understanding these video game messages is an important first step in understanding the effects games and magazines may have on behavior and attitudes.