Evaluation of the essay and semester 2

I wrote this essay the best I could and I learnt new information so overall it wasn’t waist of time at all.

Semester 2 was interesting in sense of changing lecturers and automatically changing style of learning which I really enjoyed. I learnt quite a lot of new things that will help me in my future studies.


Before I started to write anything, I had to do research to find out more information and supporting material for this essay.
I typed into Google ‘Lara Croft’ and it came up with a lot of different websites, I went through a lot of them but there were only a few that I used information from. The best website was www.tomb-raider.wikia.com . It gave me a lot of information and I also took quote from it.

I needed to find out why this game had a big selling rise to explain it in the essay and sites that helped me to understand why were this ones –
www.usgamer.net  and www.joystiq.com .

Research about feminism, patriarchy and capitalism

Research about patriarchy – www.dictionary.reference.com and www.londonfeministnetwork.org.uk

Research about feminism – www.everydayfeminism.com and www.merriam-webster.com

Research about capitalism – www.capitalism.org and www.worldsocialism.org

Critical Perspective Analysis – explanation of the task

For this task I’ve chosen to answer question “How can Lara Croft be understood from a feminist perspective taking into consideration patriarchy and capitalism?”

Bullet points:

Intro –

  • What is my task
  • What I’m going to write about

Main body –

  • Explain who is Lara Croft
  • Her characteristics – quote supporting my arguments
  • Get into feminism (explain what it is)
  • Leading into patriarchy (explain what it is) – ‘male gaze’
  • Capitalism (explain what it is) – quote supporting my arguments
  • Conclusion
  • Add pictures of Lara Croft – old version and new version of her


The final version of the essay/problem I had

I fixed all mistakes and added all information needed so I am 100% happy with it now.

However, the only problem I had was word limit as it was only 2000 words and I had to miss out so many information I wanted to include in the essay because of it. I am not quite happy about it because I could write more supporting material for my arguments and make the essay more interesting. But as I said above, overall I am happy how this essay turned out to be at the end.

First draft

I wrote my first draft of the essay, handed it in and feedback I got was quite good. I had to make only a few changes to the essay so I started to work on it.

These changes were:

  • introduction – explain critical frameworks, practitioner and theorists that I will use to underpin my document
  • use pictures
  • use quotes to help support arguments
  • fix grammatical errors
  • add more supporting material to the conclusion as it is full of personal opinions


Research for comparison essay

Before I started to write essay, I had to do a research. I focused on one topic at the time and I started with Amazon.

First of all, I needed to know definition of Amazon, who is CEO, what are their business values, when it was founded and basically basic information. So I typed into ‘Google’ word Amazon and it came up with so many different websites, some of them trying to sell me things etc. However, I found very valuable information on actual Amazon’s website. Another bigger source I used was video that we watched in semester 1 called ‘Virtual revolution’ on BBC. It gave you so many valuable information about how the company works, what are their techniques to persuade/influence people buy things online (psychoanalysis), interview with CEO of Amazon shared information with people. It was very interesting to watch. And also, I used a lot of notes from lectures and knowledge I gained in semester 1. Another video that I watched was called The Century of Self: Happiness Machines’. It was about how psychoanalysis works and how they use it to find out what people want and what to use to make them do what they want them to do. The ebook I found online was very interesting. It was called ‘A Comparative Analysis of eBay and Amazon’ which basically told me how these two companies work and how they com petite between each other. It was very interesting reading.  Shelley Turkle’s and  Jane McGonigail’s TED talks were very big inspiration and I found all information that were said very useful that is why I supported my essay with information from it.

When Amazon was all done, I did research about Facebook. I followed the same process but found different information. I did presentation about Facebook in semester 1 so I already did quite big research about it. I used that research to help me with this essay. I started with basic information found on internet and supported all arguments with ebooks I downloaded online. I also used information from ‘Virtual revolution’ BBC video, notes from lectures and knowledge I gained in semester 1, the video called The Century of Self: Happiness Machines’,  Shelley Turkle’s and  Jane McGonigail’s TED talks as it was all relevant to both subjects I decided to write about. I pulled out quotes and picture from the Turkley speech.

Then I moved onto analyzing and comparing Amazon and Facebook all supported by researched material, and finished it with conclusion where I had a space to tell my opinions about whole topic (however, everything was supported by research material).

Theories I decided to use

I decided to include psychoanalysis and marxism in this essay as it was very relevant to the topic I wrote about.

Seminar reflection

Last part of my task for seminar was to write 500 word seminar reflection. This will include points such as

  • short overview of the entire text
  • what were ideas and points made in discussion
  • do they help me to understand text better?
  • did I disagree with any points or find them irrelevant?
  • has my perspective changed having read this text?
  • did I consider it useful/interesting?

All of this helped me to write seminar reflection as it gave me a structure that I have to follow.

I read all notes taken in discussion, summary I wrote about this text and also I had to read the text again to find some valid points to back up my seminar reflection.

Recap of the discussion

Within our discussion we brought up a lot of topics that were explained and discussed in text.

  • preferences of games because of gender, social expectations from males and females
  • do they feel pressurized to play certain games because of gender
  • playing games while girls are school age and at university – stopping playing them when they move out and have families (not enough leisure time, responsibilities)
  • not equal leisure time between men and women at home (females doing more housework than males)
  • ‘a male gaze’ characters in games (does it unattract women?)
  • lack of women in game industry
  • women not designing men in sexual way while men do
  • being able to experience games as chosen character (man,woman, monster etc.


Questions for discussion

While reading the text, I prepared three questions that I want to ask at discussion.

These are:

  1. Do you think that changing view about female gamers and not thinking that they’re something ‘exotic’ and ‘unusual’ would attract them more as they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable to be a gamer?
  2. Making housework equal between men and women would increase number of female gamers?
  3. Changing stereotyping and sexism within games would attract more female players?


Digital games and gender – seminar text summary

This text was about how gender influence playing games and how it all developed.
Right in the beginning, it tells us that gaming is masculine activity. In first half of 20th century was male and female seen as very different and that is why they have to have different skills, interests and leisure activities. However, different studies showed that 88% girls between age 12-14 play computer games on daily basis at home and 40% of online gamers are female. But this is does not apply only for young girls as research in the UK showed that female undergraduate students play games. This shows us that gaming is activity not only for young females but also university students.

Later on, text tells us about how females tend to stop playing games and why. Female tend to stop playing games when they move out of parents’ house as they get more responsibilities and have to look after households while males still continue playing games. This is because researches showed that house works are not equally shared between men and women. Men still have an hour and half more leisure time (5.3hrs) than women (4hrs) that is why they have more time to play games. Studies showed that there are differences in classifying leisure time and space within a gender. Females see their leisure space more at home while males see it more like outdoor activity with friends (game rooms etc.). There are still quite a lot of female gamers out there but they are more likely to be seen as ‘not real gamers’, ‘something unusual’, ‘exotic’ and also as ‘support for boyfriend or husband’.

Also owning game consoles is automatically seen it belongs to males and they are not equally accessed by boys and girls in households (gendered asymmetry). There is mentioning of internet being more male orientated than female, again gendered asymmetry. All of these things make female gamers not interested in playing games.

Another study focused on representing gender within games. Results showed that a lot of games are made to attract more male audience than female because there is ‘a male gaze’ (portraying female in stereotypical way, displaying female characters with significant body exposure, female characters with large breasts, unusually small waists or very thin bodies etc.) This makes games unattractive to female gamers.
There are also male and female preferences and playing styles about games. Females are more interested in puzzle games, strategy and narrative games, mini games, a real world theme games etc. while males are more interested in combat-based games, competitive styled games, action destroying fantasy expansive games etc.

All of these factors discussed above make differences and influence choice of females if to play and not play games. There are still quite a lot of women in today’s society who play games and even decided to study games in higher education and do not care about anything discussed above. I personally think that it really depends on individuals if they want to play games or not even though there is still a big influence from gender point of view.