"Unless she had implants, she must be Chinese": A feminist analysis of players’ responses to representations of Chinese and Japanese female video game characters
This article examines the portrayals of Chinese and Japanese female video game characters in a purposive sample of video games and how users of online discussion forums understand these representations. The majority of game studies scholarship lacks an intersectional component regarding gender and race. As such, this analysis addresses this gap by focusing on the relation between gender and race in the construction of problematic stereotypes existing in gameplay and gaming communities. Drawing on a feminist theoretical framework, Iemploy the concept of “the gaze” to draw a connection between character image and interpretation and their relation to the intersections of gender and race. These intersections are analyzed in both visual and textual form in order to explore alternative methodological approaches and establish the relationship between a character’s image and dialogic interpretations of these images by players. The findings identify how video games and players support stereotypes, and conversely, how player dialogue that challenges oppressive concepts of gender and race may be a means by which to consider alternative approaches to gendered and racialized character design.