Socialization: Is the process whereby we internalize our culture’s values, beliefs, and norms. Through this experience, we become functioning members of society.
Gender: Is the socially and culturally constructed differences between males and females that are found in the meanings, beliefs, and practices associated with masculinity and feminity.
Video Games and the Damsel in Distress
Video games have been around for decades now; many remember Pong, Donkey Kong, or Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., etc. when you mention to word video games to an older generation. But this recently re-established mass media form has an identity crisis that has plagued it for about the same amount of time video games have been around. This dilemma is the struggle against not only strong female characters that fight the stereotype that woman are helpless and are always being kidnapped, needing the help of a strong male lead character. Video games have had more than their fair share of drama through out the recent years due to mass shootings such as Columbine and the Virginia Tech shootings to name just a very small amount. But video games have still triumphed over these accusations that the games caused the people to murder. But you would think that a mass media such as this could have solved this dilemma long ago, but to a hobby dominated mostly by Mid-aged white males, it’s a little difficult getting them to play as a woman who doesn’t bare it all, or who isn’t ditzy, or just eye candy and nothing more. I would like to use Super Mario Brothers (1985), The Legend of Zelda (1986), and Donkey Kong (1981) all as an example since they all share the same story structure even though they are set in different worlds. An enemy boss kidnaps a female (often a princess) and the player must rescue the damsel in distress. The player does so by overcoming obstacles, and challenges that are set in front of him to prove he has what it takes to defeat the main bad guy to rescue the woman. The stereotypes for the most part implied are that a female is almost always helpless and needs saving by a male character, and that the female is incapable of figuring out a means of escape. Video games blur the line between traditional and non-traditional ways, depending on what games you play; for the most part with games involving a male counterpart rescuing a woman, the male is often traditional. Most male heroes stories are seen as a David vs. Goliath story where the male is an underdog who becomes a powerful warrior. Often the women are seen more as the prize at the end, than as an actual counterpart. A lot of games have moved away from this scenario all together, but they still have a male lead that goes against all odds to it something or…