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Jana Lisa Welte

Digital Sheroes. About the depiction of female characters in video games and the influence on the identity of players

Lecturer: Mag.a Margarita Köhl, MAS 

This bachelor’s thesis focuses on the depiction of female characters throughout the history of video games. The goal is to examine how these characters appear in games, how their appearance has changed in the wake of contemporary change within the gaming world, who and what kind of circumstances lie behind the development/creation of these characters, and in which way the depiction of female video game characters influences the self-image and identity of (female) players.Contemporary video game titles will be used for the observation of female characters within games, as a representative group of qualitative research. This thesis will also describe the development process behind a video game concept which the author designed as a proposal for a possible approach towards designing complex female video game characters.Lastly, this thesis will document the results of qualitative interviews which were conducted with persons matching the potential target group for the author’s video game concept, to observe the effectiveness of and room for improvement within the game concept.