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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Paper Information

TitleAntagonists' Physical Characteristics in Video Games: Comparing Villains from 2006 and 2015
Presenter(s)Hannah Evers and Joshua Estill
SessionGame and Gameplay Analysis
TimeThursday, October 20, 11:00a-12:00p
LocationSuperior Room
FormatPaper Presentation
DescriptionVideo games of today's generation have many different types of characters involved in game play. One of the most important characters is the antagonist. Today's video games are full of stereotypes, although researchers have only recently begun looking at stereotypes relating to gender, race, and body-type in video games. Thus far, previous studies have examined representation of gender, body type, and race in antagonists from various forms of media such as television and film, which leaves out information from video game antagonists throughout the years. When comparing data from 2006 and 2015 it is clear that the certain characteristics of the antagonists has changed over the decade for these games. In both 2006 and 2015 as well, most of the human antagonists' races were white males. White antagonists have begun to appear more over the course of 10 years. Based off of previous research as well as our own, there appears to be a pattern when it comes to male antagonists in various forms of media, such as video games. We also found that body types of antagonists have become more varied in 2015 as compared to 2006.

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