Why Even the Most Sexist Gamers Should Welcome Feminist Criticism

Why Even the Most Sexist Gamers Should Welcome Feminist Criticism

This article is not about feminism, but about how the existence of feminist criticism serves as another criteria to elevate games as an art form.

Every media that is taken seriously as art is subject to literary criticism. That includes:

    • Moral Criticism
    • Freudian Criticism
    • Jungian Criticism
    • Mythological Criticism
    • Marxist Criticism
    • Semiotics
    • Reader Response Criticism
    • Post Structuralism
    • Gender/Queer Criticism
    • Feminist Criticism


Since the beginning of literature and art, people have been criticizing all art and literature from different perspectives. It’s that academia, that serious study by people with credentials, that lends art credibility and makes it more than just popular culture.

Video Games as Art

For decades, video game enthusiasts have been trying to get that same academic crowd to respect games as a true art form. Gamers have fought attempts at censorship by crusaders like Jack Thompson, knowing that, like with censorship in comics, a form cannot thrive artistically while being forced to comply to unreasonable standards of censorship. But here’s the thing, literary criticism isn’t political, because it doesn’t strive to pass legislation or elect representatives. It’s just criticism.

The Bottom Line

So this post is not asking you to agree with my views on rape culture or representation. It’s not asking you to even personally analyze your favorite games for violations of feminist ideals. It doesn’t suggest that ANYONE should enforce feminist standards in the video game industry. It just asks you to accept that the presence of feminist criticism, whether you agree with its views or not, lends academic credibility to video games as art.

Can we at least start there?