‘We want more female heroes and fewer sex objects,’ say teenage boys

Opposite of me in high school

Recommended Videos

[Update 2: Some people have questioned the methods of the survey to which this response has been given by the surveyors: 

Wiseman reached out through Twitter and Facebook because that’s where her colleagues in the educational field most easily interact with her. Burch, Kuhn and Wiseman reached out on Twitter to inform and encourage participation. It was a risk we took and we understood that people could look at this and dismiss the results. However, the majority of our responses came from schools and were verified by teachers and principals who told us when they were administering the survey to their students.”

The entirety of the statement can be read here.]

[Update: Rosalind Wiseman and Ashly Burch gave a speech about this very survey at GDC this year which you can see here.]

1,400 middle and high school students were surveyed about gender representation in games (amongst other topics) by Rosalind Wiseman, Charlie Kuhn, and Ashly Burch — co-star of Hey Ash Whatcha Playin’?, the show that got its start right here on Dtoid and is now being funded on Patreon. The group calls the survey exploratory and not a thorough evaluation, but believes it is an important area to study. 

The survey suggests that boys believe female characters are treated too often as sex objects, with high school boys believing that statement more so than their middle school counterparts. 55% of boys who identified as gamers believed there should be more female heroes in games, while 57% felt females were treated too often as sex objects.

Both boys and girls aren’t more likely to play a game based on the gender of the protagonist, though girls care more about playing as a female character as they age and boys care less about playing as a male one. Perhaps this is why we hear about diversity and representation from the press so much; we all grow tired of the same old characters eventually and start to yearn for something different. 

Everything You Know About Boys and Video Games Is Wrong [Time]

About The Author
Jed Whitaker
More Stories by Jed Whitaker