Is Gaming a Boy's Club?: Women, Video Games and Sexism

Gender & Sexism
Unboxing Nintendo 3DS XL
Anita Sarkeesian, Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0) license
Grade Level:
High School
Common Core Standards:
Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Statistics and Probability
Gender & Sexism

Marketed primarily to boys and men, video games do not have a good track record when it comes to positively including girls and women. Female characters are rarely in the games and, when they are, they are often portrayed in negative, stereotypical and one-dimensional ways. The lack of female characters, the over-sexualization of them and the violence directed against women are just a few of the problems. Women media critics have called attention to the sexism and misogyny within the gaming world and, in resulting backlash, several of them have become victims of violent threats themselves.

This advanced high school lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the world of video games, understand how sexism and misogyny are perpetuated in gaming and express their own thoughts about the issue.

NOTE: This Current Events Classroom lesson is intended to reflect relevant timely issues in the news, in this case manifestations of sexism and misogyny in the computer gaming world. The activities included are designed to solicit input from students and to generate discussion in the classroom. Teachers are always encouraged to supplement the curriculum with additional material offering a wide range of perspectives.

More from this Section