13 Video Games That Might Just Be A Little Sexist

It's not exactly inaccurate to say that video games have had, over the years, been perpetuating sexist stereotypes or generally marginalizing women as gamers and females as characters. It doesn't help that, in the early 2000s, women were forced out of gaming culture both on a consumer and a developmental level. While it's improving, video game sexism is alive and well.

Whether it's a popular sandbox game like Grand Theft Auto V or a classic RPG like Final Fantasy VII, it's just hard to ignore that gaming has had a problem with portraying women in a positive fashion, or at least in a fashion that is equal to men – or, frequently portraying women at all. While this list has examples of female characters being treated or portrayed horribly, what this list doesn't show is how many games women are effectively absent or background characters. 

This list discusses the most egregious offenders, but, unfortunately, it is only a fraction of the sexist titles out there. Without further ado, here are some examples – both recent and older – of video games that might just be a little sexist. 

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  • The entire series is laughable in how brazen it's become. Dead or Alive is known as an arcade-style fighting game, but there was one thing that makes the series truly notable: animated bouncing breasts.

    It was initially billed as a push toward realism, but everyone pretty much looked through the obvious fibbing for the real draw – which was obviously sexy ladies. The developers have even gone as far as to make a spin-off game for beach volleyball. There was very little volleyball actually played, but there sure were plenty of bikinis. 

  • Custer's Revenge
    Photo: Mystique

    Okay, this isn't just a little sexist; Custer's Revenge is arguably the most sexist game that's ever existed. Gamers play as General Custer, who somehow survived Little Bighorn and is now wandering the west completely naked. Custer trudges along with an 8-bit erection until he finds a tied up female American Indian, and then he has sex with her against her will. 

    Needless to say, people weren't all that thrilled about it. Yet in the early '80s, the Atari 2600 game managed to sell 80,000 copies. 

  • Duke Nukem Forever
    Photo: 2K Games

    Breasts on walls that players can slap; women forcibly impregnated with aliens; Olsen twins and fellatio references around every corner; this game took over a decade to make, and the reality is that it feels like a game that came out over a decade ago. 

  • Bayonetta
    Photo: Nintendo

    A game starring a lady couldn't be sexist, right? Well, it depends. On the one hand, you have Lara Croft, the sexy yet tough-as-nails badass who takes care of her friends. On the other hand, you have Bayonetta, a hypersexualized character who uses her hair has both her uniform and her weapon. (So, when it is being used as a weapon, guess what she's not wearing?)

    But, perhaps the most blatant example of sexism comes from the game's designer, Hideki Kamiya. When asked his favorite scene, he said it was when Bayonetta fought her impostor, which was his "way of expressing the feminine notion that, to one woman, all other women are enemies. Even women walking by each other will check out what the other is wearing, and might smolder a bit with antagonism. Women are scary."

  • Rockstar's best-selling Grand Theft Auto franchise isn't exactly known for its progressive thinking but the fifth entry really brings the sexism home. Not only is the game absent from any major female character, but the few secondary characters that do appear are all portrayed as vapid, shallow, screechy harpies who'll have sex with anything and then cheat for no reason.

  • Despite lead actress Ellen Page having a standing "no nude" policy in any portrayal, she did have a shower scene in the game. While the perspective of the scene itself didn't show anything, her entire body was rendered nude anyway, allowing people to dig into the source code of the game to access it.

    As a result, Page and her attorney have explored legal action against the developers.