Before & After Transformation
This semester, many of Latinitas after-school clubs have been working on creating their own video games using a program called “Scratch.” This project is a component of Latinitas initiative to empower girls through the use of technology as a means of making their voice, and their art heard in a digital world. However, the other component of this activity rests on the shoulders of feminism, and the production of work, for women, by women, in the stereotypically male dominated field of video games.
Before the project was begun club leaders sat down with their girls to open up a dialogue about why they would be working on this project, and what it was that they hoped to create, and gain from it. I sat in on one such meeting, in which the girls expressed a desire to create because they don’t always like the same things boys do, and because they are more than the product of their sexuality.
In video games there are many scantily clad women who are key players. Men fantasize about them and can often put undue pressure on women to emulate these characters. For some women, this isn’t a problem. For others, it’s a point of frustration, a reason to boycott video games and lose touch with their self-esteem. Obviously this is not a desirable response within the female community, but what is there to be done.
For starters, there are the Latinitas who are looking to make the kind of video games that they would like to play, and to represent their gender the way they would like to be represented. For another, there are a growing number of artists who are taking into consideration the desires of women. Michael Lee Lunsford is one such artist who has taken a number of famous female superheroines and videogame character, and redrawn their attire. Instead of leaving them exposed, he has fully clothed them, keeping with the iconic parts of their look, but adding a level of coverage that he believes will not feed into girls’ body image problems.
Take a look at some of the sketches below. What do you think of the new look? What are your thoughts on female representation in video games?