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  • Writer's pictureAVIROOP ROY

Women In Video Games

I have done a lot of research and reading in the topic of women in games. Please do read through the concept and ideas that encompass the game as well as the research backing it.

Narrative Design

The narrative design of the game is very linear and below I have explained 7 Lives’ plot, background story, character design and flow chart.

It is very important to keep in mind the fact that 7 lives is the telling of multiple stories all intertwined to make the player come to know of the happenings of a small town with a climatic ending. So, the flowcharts and plot will be focused around only a few of the lives in the 7 lives game.

The game also has dark undertones of murder, rape and accessory to murder

Background Story

The story revolves around the life of Rose Armani, married to the mayor of the town Nolan Armani, she had all the luxury she could ask for but she is barred from having one thing, that is freedom. The mayor, a sturdy man and a war veteran was an exemplary man in the workplace but at home, he was something else. Day in and day out Rose suffered through domestic violence and sexual at the hands of Nolan. Rose had tried multiple times to ask for help, but fearing Nolans position, no one came forward to help her.

She had thought of ending her life multiple times but she would always hope for things to get better but they only got worse. Rose would try to end her life by cutting her wrist, to escape from this hell but would get caught by Nolan. Proceeding the heated exchange, Nolan would directly resort to violence. To protect herself, Rose would defend herself using the only thing she had on hand, a knife.


Rose having stabbed Nolan in the heart could just stand in front of his limp body only to break out of her daze and frantically run over to the diner on the opposite side of the road, still with blood on her hands. Though she was panicking, there was an abnormally cold chill around the air of the townspeople who witnessed her ordeal. They were abnormally quiet and went about their business as if nothing had happened. The people who ignored her, the people who feared prosecution under the mayor finally started moving. But how can everyday townspeople help cover the murder of a mayor? How can they protect a girl who has only been dealt injustice? By going to the authorities? Or by just doing their jobs.

This is where the story of the game starts. A story of seven people, who are guilty of ignoring Rose’s torments from fear of gaining the mayors ill will. They had been mustering up to courage to face him, but they just needed a push. Though unethical, they moved into a sort of trance where they just felt like this was the right thing to do. Leaving Rose all alone again to deal with the consequences set up by her unfortunate surroundings was too evil.

Seven people, the Garbage Collector, the Gardener, the Cook, the lady at the diner, the maid, the neighbour and the sheriff. Will these seven people be able to protect her when they failed to defend her? You will play through each of these people’s stories and their memories of how they did not help when she needed their help. And how they redeem themselves, though unethical.

7 Lives

The name is in cohesion with the main premise of the game which is talking about seven lives in a small town. The details of which will be explained further later.

Content Warning

Use of words and Synonyms of:

- Murder

- Torture

- Sexual assault

- Accessory to Murder

One-liner Description

- In this 3D narrative driven adventure, you experience a day in the life of 7 different individuals going about their daily activities. Play through their stories and find out about a dark secret they all become a part of in their longing for forgiveness.


- Is there ever a good reason to kill?


- in 7 lives, you play as 7 different people going about their lives in a small town. You play through their stories to uncover how they become accessories to a crime out of their own free will to protect a girl suffering through sexual assault and domestic violence. As these 7 different people, you carry out tasks in link with their profession, and indirectly help make a virtual alibi for the girl, Rose Armani. As a domestic abuse victim, Rose makes a few impulse decisions to ensure her survival. But her act of self-defence was sloppy and not well thought out. Given the influence her husband had, she would definitely face the penalty for committing murder. Unless the Maid, the waitress across the street, the refuse collector, the paperboy, the neighbour and the Sheriff helped Rose get away with murder. Playing through their activities provides the player with world building and much needed insight into the life of Rose from different perspectives.

Play through their lives and uncover the truth behind Rose’s decision and why so many different people from different works of life, came together to help her. Did they seek vengeance on behalf of Rose? Or did they seek redemption? Either way, does it make murder right?

Conceptual Background

- Though games are the centre of my world, they have created this paradigm, where people can go live on a parallel image reality where libidinal desires can co-exist with civil society without any kind of external intervention. And if called out, it is repressed under the tag of hindering creativity. I specifically want to make this game because there are a lot of game with sexual violence, but very few centred around sexual violence. And since I have not faced any sort of sexual violence myself, I cannot claim to make an outright game putting myself forth as the advocate for sexual violence victims. I have therefore taken such a roundabout method of telling a story through the eyes of people who ignore.

Why a game?

One of the most important reasons that this story needs to be a game is for the type of community games have become a home to. Home to the most toxic individuals, children and young adults, makes this the most required section of society to be exposed to such games. People need to understand that deviant behaviour is not to be accepted anywhere, whether it be games or real life. The biggest crimes games commit today, are to desensitise players to drugs, alcohol, sexual assault, murder and violence. We need to reform our games to fit the norms of civil – society. And also, games are the centre of my world… have I said that before?

Women in games & Audience

When I mentioned women in games I wanted to focus on the players not withstanding all the people involved with games in its making, broadcast and distribution.

According to newzoo, an internet site/platform that makes a speciality of sport markets perception and records amassing and analysis, basing their studies on over 32 countries/markets (newzoo, s.d.), as of the 7th of November 2019, “46% of all game enthusiasts are girls” (Weustink, 2019), and the numbers are rising, for the reason that identical internet site said that during 2021 “round 1/2 of all game enthusiasts are girls” (Brune, 2021). These numbers are sponsored up with the aid of using numerous different sources, along with Business Matters, that amassed researches made with the aid of using each newzoo and Statista at the United States of America`s, in which an expected 41% of gamers are girls, and Asia`s video games market, in which a increase of 19% (withinside the wide variety of woman gamers) became registered in 2019 alone (Business Matters, 2020), or with the aid of using the Statista Research Department which in 2014 carried out a studies that “found out that girls accounted for 52% of the gaming target market withinside the United Kingdom” (Ghost Gamer Broadband, 2020), a cost that could have fluctuated over the past years however is though correct and a great consultant of the style variety a few of the gamers. 6 With the ones numbers in mind, it's far secure to mention that the concept that videogames are focused at younger men/ (male) teens is, nowadays, absolutely incorrect and outdated, according to Mitchell Denton (Denton, 2020).

The problem of objectification and using women as gender role stereotyped objects to fuel the male protagonist forward. Creates issues with games, portraying them negatively and making them inherently repulsive to the general female player. This negative portrayal of women has subdued their presence in online games, as people come back at them with extremely repulsive dialogue, thinking they are untouchable.

Given the way women are portrayed in games, it has become a medium where women don’t look to for redemption or for representation. Now all of this combined, runs the world today. And it has become extremely hard to talk about them in games, hence the lack of examples. Given the negative light games have been portrayed in. People don’t seek this platform out for progressive representation.

Female Gaming Research

Gaming research has centred on male game enthusiasts, throughout distinct age companies. In the bulk of those research, the contributors were special guys with much less than 30% of ladies represented withinside the samples. A variety of subjects have currently been explored when it comes to the girl gaming revel in. These are especially associated with the revel in of girl game enthusiasts in online environments, as a minority developing population. Previous studies have highlighted the position of gaming in girl gamers' lives and the feasible boom in the hobby in online gaming for ladies as they play along with considerable adult males and own circle of relative’s members (Lewis and Griffiths 2011; McLean and Griffiths 2013).

Early studies withinside the place tested gender variations in online gaming social interactions (Taylor, 2003) and cautioned against gender variations in social motivations (Cole and Griffiths 2007; McLean and Griffiths 2013; Yee 2006). Researchers have argued that those gender variations can be associated with socialization factors, videogame design, and/or gender variations in phrases of skills (Cole and Griffiths 2007; Hartmann and Klimmt 2006; Möller and Krahé 2009; Lucas and Sherry 2004; Olson et al. 2009). In phrases of the improvement of social relationships, girl game enthusiasts have highlighted the peripheral verbal exchange going on outdoor of real gaming as being critical for them, for example, withinside the sharing of gaming reviews with considerable human beings of their lives and assembly like-minded human beings on dialogue forums (Lewis and Griffiths 2011; McLean and Griffiths 2013).

Women are normally perceived as a minority in online gaming spaces, and the studies have continuously cautioned that they frequently revel in well-known sexual harassment from different gamers (Ballard and Welch 2017; Chess and Shaw 2015; Fox and Tang 2014; Gray 2012; Salter and Blodgett 2012). The current survey of Fox and Yeng Tang (2017) on girls' revel in online video games observed this frequently caused rumination approximately the harassment, perceptions of organizational unresponsiveness to issues, and withdrawal from the game. Women said particular coping techniques to mitigate harassment, inclusive of hiding their identity, averting verbal exchange with different gamers, and searching for assistance or social assistance outside and inside the game.

Ballard and Welch (2017) said that girls and lower-appearing video game gamers have been the companies much more likely to revel in bad reactions from male gamers. Male game enthusiasts have been much more likely to perpetrate cyberbullying than ladies do. Furthermore, girl and LGBT contributors skilled substantially better charges of sexually associated cyber-victimization and said the behaviour took place regularly. The studies became performed with self-decided online game enthusiasts, with a small variety of girl game enthusiasts (a hundred and ten adult males, 36 ladies, and five transgenders/others). The maximum, not unusual place cause noted for accomplishing bad behaviour became associated with the rating of gaming achievements. Cote`s (Cote 2015) qualitative examination of girl game enthusiasts cautioned that they have been professional at coping with such bad interactions online however stated girl game enthusiasts hiding their contributions to gaming might also additionally initiate in addition harassment.

Because online gaming is especially primarily based totally on collaboration and verbal exchange, various of the latest research has tested the position of verbal exchange and the hyperlink to the identity of gender. Previous studies have indicated that girl game enthusiasts may be reluctant to talk to different game enthusiasts due to the fact it may result in bad interactions (McLean and Griffiths 2013). Kuznekoff and Rose (2013) showed this revel in an experiment, with girl voices much more likely to get hold of bad interest than male voices in gaming situations. The studies tested how game enthusiasts reacted to the girl as opposed to male voices in an internet game. Using statements designed to be impartial and inoffensive, girl voices have been observed to get hold of drastically greater bad reactions, ensuing in 3 instances greater bad remarks than male voices. Gray (2012) observed that linguistic profiling became not unusual to place in online gaming. Players said common derision and harassment, normally providing sexist, racist, nativist, and heterosexist language after they began speaking verbally with different gamers. Exploring the effect of gender in addition, Holz Ivory et al. (2014) observed in an experimental examination that girls in gaming who made tremendous utterances received greater compliance with pal requests than girls making bad utterances, while guys making bad utterances received greater compliance with pal requests than guys making tremendous utterances.

Researchers were inquisitive about why this stereotype (threat) can be so normal in online gaming, and its addition capacity effect on girl game enthusiasts. Holz Ivory et al. (2014) argued that intercourse position stereotyping through gamers in different online gaming environments might also additionally inspire a social surrounding that alienates girl gamers. The researchers recommend that individuals` interactions in first man or woman shooter (FPS) videogames are guided through a number of the identical stereotypes that still form the character of an individual`s non-mediated, regular interactions. In a digital discipline experiment (N = 520) the usage of an internet FPS videogame, they observed that during well-known, girls received greater compliance with pal requests than guys. The researchers argued that their findings indicated that even though girls are helped greater regularly than guys, they're nevertheless predicted to act consistently with the conventional expectancies related to their offline intercourse. This examination became primarily based totally on preliminary online interactions, in preference to ongoing interplay that broaden through the years via gaming.

Because videogames are popularly perceived and reiterated as a male space (Hartmann and Klimmt 2006; Salter and Blodgett 2012), it's been argued that male game enthusiasts are regularly afforded a better reputation and better-perceived competence than lady game enthusiasts (Kaye and Pennington 2016). Although ladies are regularly capable of staying hidden or nameless in gaming environments (Cote 2015; McLean and Griffiths 2013), it's miles in all likelihood that after ladies screen their sex, their legitimacy and competence are questioned. In addition, gamers document that much less skilled/decrease-rating gamers, ladies, and homosexual gamers regularly acquire an adversarial response from male game enthusiasts (Fletcher 2012; Kasumovic and Kuznekoff 2015; Salter and Blodgett 2012). Thus, rank—or reputation withinside the sport—is one issue that would expect poor interactions in addition to gender.

Recent studies have explored elements that can be related to this revel in video game sexism (Fox and Tang 2014). The findings indicated that social dominance orientation and conformity to a few forms of masculine norms (choice for electricity over ladies and the want for heterosexual self-presentation) anticipated better tiers of sexist beliefs. Vermeulen and Looy (2016) argued that stereotype danger undermines the gaming revel in of females. In a managed laboratory experiment, the researchers examined the outcomes of reinforcing stereotypical statistics suggesting that ladies are much less able gamers as opposed to the outcomes of countering this stereotype. They discovered that gamer identification, trait competitiveness, and gambling behaviour affect the revel in social identification danger. An observation through Kaye and Pennington (2016) similarly indicated the poor effect of stereotype danger on females` revel in gaming and discovered that it brought about females` underperformance at the gaming task, relative to adult males withinside the manipulated condition. Similar findings had been mentioned with effect on females` talent belief and well-being (Vermeulen et al. 2014), and overall performance (Vermeulen and Looy 2016).

McLean and Griffiths (2013) argued that lady game enthusiasts valued their identification as game enthusiasts, however, paradoxically, game enthusiasts regularly sense the want to cover their identification while gaming online, because of the behaviour of different male game enthusiasts (Cote 2015; Vermeulen et al. 2017). Kaye and Pennington (2016) cautioned that a couple of social identities might also additionally shield females` gameplay overall performance from stereotype danger. Females have additionally mentioned decreased gamer identification due to the fact they felt much less linked and discouraged from this identification through male poor behaviour online. This shows that lady game enthusiasts regularly exist outside the principal sports culture, ensuing in a low gamer identification profile (Vermeulen et al. 2017). The revel in discrimination against male gamers is consequently argued to deter ladies to label themselves as game enthusiasts. Based on the literature mentioned above, the prevailing qualitative observation became exploratory and had some aims. These have been to (i) discover the extent of social aid skilled through lady game enthusiasts all through gaming, (ii) perceive the effect of this revel in on lady game enthusiasts, and (iii) observe females` knowledge of the motive of social aid (or lack of) in online gaming, and (iv) discover techniques lady game enthusiasts use to increase social aid of their gaming.

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