Since their onset forty years ago, video games have become an integrated and ubiquitous part of American and other cultures. While it is known, and well-supported, that video games are a male-dominated media, this may be changing. Perhaps in future games, the playable and supporting characters will more accurately represent the gender distribution, though I am not sure the masculine and feminine ideals of muscularity and an hourglass figure will be changing anytime soon. There is no current consensus on the negative effects of violent video games, but studies are expanding their focus to look at the effects of the blatant sexual representations, as well as the positive side, such as the effects on cognitive and social abilities. Men and women certainly have different preferences and motivations for playing video games, but video games themselves represent personal and different meanings to men, women, children, and adults. Video games also present a new arena of gender representation, where gamers may both consciously and unconsciously represent a particular or a mixing of genders.

The studies referred to this paper certainly are not comprehensive in the realm of video games and gender, and the area is constantly changing and evolving along with human society. One of the limitations of this paper is that it does not encompass all the differences, similarities, and effects that video games have when dealing with gender because of the broad range of video game genres and platforms themselves. Indeed, each genre or platform could provide multiple aspects to be studied. Another limitation may be that not all studies were performed among the American culture, but these other cultural sources do demonstrate the ubiquity and universal appeal and affect of video games. What may not have been explicitly stated, save for in the early parts of this paper, is that the highly interactive nature of video games presents a challenge that traditional media do not. This interactivity may also be part of what makes video games appealing to so many people. It is certainly one of the reasons I love to game.

While each area focused on in this paper presents numerous opportunities for future study, I would like to explore the gender representation of players themselves. My heavy investment in gaming from a young age has certainly helped shape who I am, and will continue to have an influence on future evolution. One thing for certain is that I will continue to game, embodying the idea of femininity while practicing the attitudes and actions of masculinity.