Some video games include characters that have become fictional cyborgs. Although only in some video games, women characters are in a prominent role within the storyline of the game, women characters are still in video games usually as supplementary non-player characters. Despite the fact that women characters in video games are not as popular, what is more distressing is that the women characters in video games are unrealistically portrayed. The shape of a fictional women body on some video games is very masculine, sexualized, and covered with metal; such as the cyborg.
In Kamala O. Norris’s article on “Gender Stereotypes, Aggression, and Computer Games: An Online Survey of Women” she expands on her survey where 33 most popular video games were examined. She found that “fully 33% had male characters but no female characters at all. In this sample, 15% of the games portrayed women as heroes or action characters. Of these, many portrayed women in stereotypical ways, such as wearing pink or revealing clothing….The women in the games were portrayed… frequently as sex objects or as evil.” (Norris 715) In a way, the video games portray women as innocent vulnerable beings. The male character in the games need to protect them, help them, or save them as though they are too weak and incapable of protecting themselves. Perhaps, our society’s is still stuck in the ancient thought that the male needs to protect and provide for the female.
Though, what’s odd is that now in these video games the women are armed, masculine, covered with clothing made out of metal, very similar to a cyborg. The metal is almost a metaphor to protection. Therefore, when women wear metal-made clothing not only do they look sexualized, but tough and strong; completely opposite from the usual sweet, vulnerable image of a women. Perhaps the metal is seen as an alternative way to protect a woman, plus giving her the feeling that she is capable of protecting herself while covered with it.
However, the metal women image can trigger the children playing to develop a new fascinating sense of a female. The males who play might become attracted to these masculine, sex object characters and believe that this is the way women should be. While female players might want to become tougher compared to these fighter women protected with metal, and conclude that this is the figure and image to follow.
Media – MOVIES
Movies and TV media had not seized to also explore the area of women and cyborgs. Remember the movie that premiered in 2004, which was based on the book The Stepford Wives? It adapted into a science fiction thriller that focused on gender conflict and the sterility of suburban living. The wives in the movie are being replaced by a form of robot, closer to an idealized Playboy Bunny. In the movie they emphasized how the males enjoy this form of women robots and are actually the ones that developed the process of making them robots.
This further stresses that males begin to worship the idea that women are robot dolls with the perfect cyber bodies, and perfect qualities and behaviors as housewives. This movie depicts women not only in terms of appearance but in behavior and judgment toward women’s accomplishments and opinions. In this movie, women’s opinions are not significant; the women have no option to have a career. Only the men have the career, further stressing that they are the only ones that are able to provide financial support and dominant over the house.
Another TV show is the show Small Wonder was an American sitcom that aired from 1985 to 1989. The show chronicled the family of a robotics engineer who, after he secretly creates a robot modeled after a real human girl, tries to pass it off as their daughter. This scary show shows how humans, can simply substitute a human being. Perhaps in the future real humans would not even need to be present and only robots can control this world, as the movie Wall-E observed.
Our media and technologies predict our future philosophies on women’s bodies and attitude towards them. Even though, the movement toward feminism started many years ago, it is far from being achieved with the “help” of our media and technology representing women’s bodies as cyborgs. Soon women’s bodies will reveal no skin, only metal; wires and buttons males can press on for their own sakes and pleasures. Real women will not be necessary. Perhaps males would not be either. Let these Robotic human surrogates simply take over our world, reproduce for us, think for us, and survive for us. We need to be aware of our own invention with media and technology because soon in our near future we might find ourselves destroying civilization and our earth.