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WiG 2007 The Big Game - Eva Mueller Zettelman
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WiG 2007 The Big Game - Eva Mueller Zettelman

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Eva Mueller-Zettelman & David Skreiner …

Eva Mueller-Zettelman & David Skreiner
“Add Women and Stir”: Digital Games and Gender Trouble
Vienna University & Funatics


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  • 1. „ Add Women and Stir“: Digital Games and the Female Image Eva Mueller-Zettelmann, Vienna David Skreiner, Funatics, Oberhausen
  • 2. Introduction: Coming of Age
    • an industry‘s adolescence: pimples and testosterone
    • designers and customers: dads and granddads
    • a saturated market: facing the Unknown
  • 3. Ingratiating the Female Gamer: A Fictional Account
    • detailed market research
    • revision and partial reinvention of the genre
    • games specifically catering to women gamers’ tastes
    • sharp increase in the number of female gamers
    • feminist content shapes public perception
  • 4. The Status Quo
    • no risk – no female game
    • curious discrepancy between the demands of the market and the industry‘s half-hearted response
    • hypothesis: not economic but cultural issues at stake  power, selfhood, sexual identity
  • 5. Two Examples: Metroid (1986) & The Settlers II (1996/2006)
    • Metroid : taking a first positive step towards a genuine feminisation of the digital game ?
    • for the male gamer: visual-sexual stimulation and female objectification
    • for the female gamer: self-objectification and self-effacement
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8. Two Examples: Metroid (1986 & The Settlers II (1996/2006)
    • Metroid : Taking a first positive step towards a genuine feminisation of the digital game ?
    • for the male gamer: visual-sexual stimulation and female objectification
    • for the female gamer: self-objectification and self-effacement
  • 9. The Settlers („ Die Siedler“ )
    • fans asked for inclusion of women in the 2006 remake of The Settlers II (1996)
    • designers responded with ludic rendering of Elisabeth Bronfen’s concept of “absent presence” (Bronfen 1992 )
  • 10. The Settlers ( Die Siedler )
    • Fans asked for inclusion of women in the 2006 remake of „ The Settlers II“
    • Designers responded with ludic rendering of Elisabeth Bronfen’s concept of “absent presence” (Bronfen xxx )
    The Settlers II – The Next Generation (2006)
  • 11. The Settlers ( Die Siedler )
    • fans asked for inclusion of women in the 2006 remake of The Settlers II
    • designers responded with ludic rendering of Elisabeth Bronfen’s concept of “absent presence” (Bronfen 1992 )
  • 12. The Female Image in Psychoanalist Theory
    • absence, re-presentation, and possession
    • woman as feared/desired object
    • woman signifying lack/fullness
    • objectification, scopophilia and the hegemony of the male gaze
    • woman as fetish, woman as spectacle
  • 13. Patriarchy and the Female Image
    • Examples
    Princess Peach (Nintendo, 2006) Princess Peach guest stars in „Mario Gold Advance Tour“ (Nintendo)
  • 14. Patriarchy and the Female Image
    • Examples
    Diablo II (Blizzard)
  • 15. Patriarchy and the Female Image
    • Examples
    Tomb Raider series (Eidos)
  • 16. Patriarchy and the Female Image
    • Examples
    Dreamfall (Funcom, 2006) Tekken Series (Namco) Final Fantasy Series (Square Enix)
  • 17. Patriarchy and the Female Image
    • Examples
    No One Lives Forever II (Vivendi) World of Warcraft (Blizzard) World Racing II (Synetic)
  • 18. Patriarchy and the Female Image
    • Examples
    Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball (Team Ninja) Dead or Alive Series (Team Ninja)
  • 19. The Female Gamer: A Cultural Non-Entity
    • no cultural stereotypes available
    • gaming takes an active, creative, openly self-indulgent subject
    • gaming as a non-pragmatic, non-profitable pursuit
    • the game as a potentially transgressive, revolutionary site
  • 20. Conclusion: Irritating Avatars, Pioneering Female Gamers
    • dominance of the cultural superstructure over the economic base when questions of male identity and supremacy are at stake
    • Women gamers through their ‚unfeminine‘ behaviour subvert and expand the common conception of the female

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