Monstrosity in Video Games

Curator's Note

Sexy female characters? Check. Brutal violence? Check. Characters changing into monsters?

Check. Are you thinking of an action movie? Wrong. Video games, however, showcase all of these aspects. The game Mortal Kombat has been an ongoing franchise since 1922. Games like these have the iconic characters of Kitana, Mileena, and Cassie Cage. These powerful female characters show their "big boobs'' and "revealing skin" while fighting against other characters. What more can you want? In an era where others are trying to stop objectifying women, these monstrous representations are what is portrayed in our media today.

 Monstrosity is “something that is outrageously or offensively wrong” (paras 1). According to Stang (2018), “These representations are all tied to problematic assumptions about normative masculine and feminine bodies, including the connections between fatness, disability, madness and monstrosity” (p. 2 ). Most of the females who are shown in Mortal Kombat are showcased as “sexy monsters with crazy fighting abilities” These depictions can be highly damaging to the female self-concept. For instance, the character Mileena flaunts her figure, while she wears revealing fuschia colored garments. She also wears a mask that covers her “monstrous features,” which she reveals toward the end of a match right before she eats the losing opponent.

 In these types of video games, a majority of these female characters are created by males. According to Kho (2020), These female characters are written by men that highlight masculine values rather than focusing on what makes female characters strong. (paras 11). This can negatively affect women emotionally and behaviorally, due to the fact that they are not accurately represented in the media.

 As mentioned above, portraying women in this light can damage their self-image, as they may compare themselves to a being that is not human. With that being said, game developers need to take this into consideration and realize it may be individuals who identify as female.

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