A Content Analysis of Gender Representations in Independent Video Games
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Video games are an increasingly popular pastime, and their influence on society grows along with the gaming industry. Independent video games are also growing in popularity, though little research has been conducted on how indie games compare to mainstream Triple-A (AAA) games, particularly in in representations of gender. This content analysis investigates the representations of gender found in indie video games. Twelve popular indie games from 2010 through 2015 were selected for investigation. Characters appearing in these games were evaluated on a number of variables to determine adherence to gender norms exposed in previous research. Male characters were found to outnumber female characters, though by a smaller margin than expected. Female characters were sexualized in higher numbers than males, though less than found in AAA games. A significant number of characters were found to be gender non-conforming.