Sometimes the representation of women in gaming makes me despair. It was only recently that the Game Awards were roundly criticised for the gender imbalance on their judging panel that was frankly so incredible it would have been an achievement unlocked moment in any game. It’s not even just in the industry itself, either. Despite reportedly making up over 50% of the gaming community, women are rarely presented as the archetypal gamer, rarely the focus of gaming advertising, and when they are there, they’re rarely without a male player by their side to ensure ‘balance.’ You could almost (almost) be forgiven for thinking fewer women gamed than actually do because it’s rare that you’ll see them depicted as gamers.
That’s why it’s so refreshing to see Amazon’s depiction of the archetypal gamer in their Deals for the Gamer promotion. It’s a tiny step, but it’s still something. The promotion description reads: “Video games aren’t just for kids anymore! She’s a responsible citizen with a full-time job! Although, come to think of it, didn’t she take a day or two off around the time Battlefront came out? Suspicious sick days notwithstanding, if you’re looking for video games and video game-related gifts, look no further; these deals will make your favorite gamer the envy of the message boards—and you don’t even have to know her screen name!”
They’ve made the archetypal gamer a woman, featured her alone, and they’ve not sexualised her. Clap it out, Amazon, you did good today.