Swedish Trade Organization Funds Fight Against Sexism in Video Games

by Samantha Albala

As gaming enthusiasts can attest, the video game industry hasn’t been very welcoming for women, and the way women are often depicted in games can be problematic. The Boston Globe reports on the atmosphere for women in gaming stating, “The billion dollar video game industry is growing quickly with the explosion of mobile gaming, but… Female game characters are hyper sexualized, and female workers are frequently subjected to unequal treatment, harassment, and hostile atmospheres.” This is not acceptable, and although there are organizations trying to fight the ratio, labeling games guilty of exclusion is a great idea! 

Thanks to the Bechdel Test, the best kind of inspiration, a Swedish video game trade organization named Dataspelsbranschen has received a grant from the Swedish government innovation agency amounting to about $36,672 (or 272,000 Kroner)! Let’s all cheer for a huge step in the right direction of objectifying the graphically enhanced ladies! 


The question is now what the organization will be allowed to do with the money. Project manager Ahten Albiin isn’t quite sure. He told the English Sweden news source, The Local, that it isn’t clear if the objective is to label all Sweden-produced games or if new games produced will be labeled. Either way, any label on the overwhelmingly sexist and exclusionary industry is beneficial, and supports the effort to create a safer environment for women. 

Dataspelsbranschen will also be working with game developers to identify and analyze the portrayal of female characters in video games along with gender issues that may lie within games old and new. Surely, the blatant objectification of the female body through both impractical design and costuming will become a key element of an eventual overhaul, as well as the labeling practice.

So, industry giants, prepare to get labeled for your sexist views, and held responsible in the future. It’s most definitely time for a change. 


Images c/o The Boston Globe and Feminist Frequency

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