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Sexist gaming sadly continues into the next generation

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Today is a new dawn for gaming - with the launch of the PS4 today now all of the major console manufacturers have transitioned to the next generation. Sadly though, it seems that Microsoft and possibly Sony just can't help continuing the tired tradition of sexism with it.

You've might have seen Microsoft's slip-up already - they thought it was a good idea to let users generate a letter to send to one's partner, extolling the virtues of the Xbox One. Unfortunately, whoever wanted to set the defaults decided that rather than embrace the fact that 45% of gamers are women, decided to include every stereotype possible. Hey - I know microcomputing is based on binary, guys, but not the gender binary!


Unsurprisingly Microsoft have since apologised and backtracked.

Meanwhile to advertise today's UK PS4 launch Sony have bought an advert in today's Sun newspaper. I can't quite work out the gender politics of this - but it certainly seems dodgy. Sony have replaced Page 3, famous for it's topless photos of women, with this advert:


"Apologies to Rosie, 22, from Middlesex... Today's Page 3 is for the Players", it says. Which, umm, sounds progressive - yet isn't "Players" a loaded term?

"A male who is skilled at manipulating ("playing") others, and especially at seducing women by pretending to care about them, when in reality they are only interested in sex. Possibly derived from the phrases "play him for a fool", or "play him like a violin". The term was popularized by hip-hop culture, but was commonly recognized among urban American blacks by the 1970s. "

Are Sony implicitly making a gendered assumption about the PS4's audience? Or am I searching too hard to find offence in this? I'd love to think they just meant gamers and give them benefit of the doubt... but it's not like the games industry has a spotless track record in this area.

Apparently things aren't much better in France earlier. According to this website, Sony France tweeted this out:


Which translates to "Kiss your girlfriend one last time #YeahYeahLoveyou #IllCallYou #GetsOutOnNov29" - because women don't like games, right? Haha?

Let's hope things get a bit better from here.

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  • Anonimouse

    The average gamer is a 30-something year old male. People like you tend to forget this statistic, as do the people lamenting violent video games.

  • alex

    this is terrible yellow journalism. If the author had bothered to do even the bare minimum research he should have known about Sony FR's other tweet "(translated) Ladies, ladies players, also have a message for you before you take the handle #PS4 ;-) "

  • figgycal

    I feel like you're the one making assumptions about the Sony ad and the word "players". There is no hidden agenda behind using that type of language until you squeeze one out of it. You're the only one equating the word "player" to men. Sony's tagline for the PS4 has been "For the Players" since the PS4 was announced back in February. If you had done the slightest bit of research before writing the article - you'd have realized what a tool you were. Here's one commercial from earlier this month (though, like I said - this has been PS4's tagline since its reveal):

    And furthermore about the French ad- it's clearly directed at men. What is the issue in doing that? If a yogurt commercial is allowed to target a female audience - is that sexist as well? Do men not enjoy eating yogurt also? Are women the only ones that need to lose weight? Are all men either suave or overweight idiots? Just what are yogurt companies trying to say? This is an outrage and I'll write an article about it on pronto! Seriously - have you considered that women might've not been the target of that advertisement despite the fact that they too consume video games? There is nothing sexist about it towards women. The ad could've been reversed and it still would've had the same message. The ad could've left gender out and still have the same message - they just decided to target this particular one to men. There is nothing wrong with that.

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