A mini reading list for International Women’s Day

Wanna observe International Women’s Day and find new perspectives on games? Try reading these critical writings about the representation of women in games.

I thought I’d put together a very quick list of readings on women in games, selected from the posts we’ve featured on the weekly roundups over the past year. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s a nice overview of the kind of things that can be found in our archives, ranging from discussions about how women are portrayed in particular titles, to stories about how women take have used gaming as a site of cultural resistance.

Have fun, and if you’d like a reading list on any topic connected with gaming, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Perhaps the game’s fluidity in its representations of the ways maternal thinking can be embodied blurs the boundaries between parenting roles and destabilizes the normative, binaristic ways we often conceive of motherhood and fatherhood. And perhaps this blurring, this fluidity, allows Ori and the Blind Forest to reimagine, reframe, and redefine family structures as well–because this fluidity results in the fact that family, in the game, is not simply based on biological ties but on unbounded love

Perhaps because of the audience’s inherent alliance with Emily, I noticed how morally ambiguous or dark the other female characters were in comparison. I love moral complexity, especially in women, who are often reviled for sins male characters are praised for, and this game was rife with it.

Meanwhile, women also face social pressure to distance themselves from sex work because Madonna and Whore are the only categories available to them. You’re either a Woman In Games or a Booth Babe, and that’s it! Rather than questioning the division, women just hurry to cast themselves in the Madonna category, which is a lot easier to do if you’re only surrounded by other Madonna types.