The fickle young male audience so many advertisers long for is usually too preoccupied with other distractions to watch TV — they’re hooked on computers and their iPods. More than anything, they’re playing video games, which leads television producers to simplistically conclude that their programs should emulate gaming — and its misogyny and violence.
“There’s an inseparable link now between the type of content you see in video games and what you’re starting to see in motion pictures and TV,” says Tim Winter, executive director of the Parents Television Council, a conservative U.S. watchdog group. In fact, video games aren’t just influencing narrative, they are the storyline. Last month, CSI: Miami and Killer Instinct portrayed amoral gamers going off-line and into the streets, scoring points by killing real people.
Television has been misogynistic since before the advent of video games. March herself points out that “[d]amsels in distress have always been a part of storytelling,” when she compares the past and present portrayal of women and violence on television from the past to this TV season.
I don’t currently watch much television, but I’m curious to track down the episodes she mentioned and see how the gamers are portrayed on those shows. Has anyone seen them that would like to comment?