Sweden looking to add 'sexist' video game rating to country's products

PS3 controller and games

Videogames produced in Sweden could carry labels rating them on their 'sexist' content.

A government-funded videogame trade group from Sweden is looking into creating special labels for videogames, which show consumers whether they deem that particular title to involve sexist content.

The Local reports that trade organisation Dataspelsbranchen has been given a 272,000 kronor ($36,672) grant by Vinnova, the country's government-funded innovation agency. This grant is to be used by Dataspelsbranchen to look at how Swedish videogames portray gender issues and female characters.

The idea was inspired by the Bechdel test, which looks at fictional movies or books to see if they adhere to three rules; 1, it has to have at least two women in it; 2, who talk to each other; and 3, about something besides a man.

"I do not know of any other project in the world asking this question and of course we want Sweden to be a beacon in this area," said project manager Anton Albiin. He also said that it's unclear at the moment whether all games produced in Sweden would receive a label, or only companies promoting equality would be given a certificate to use in their own marketing.

"Of course games can be about fantasy but they can be so much more than this. They can also be a form of cultural expression - reflecting society or the society we are hoping for. Games can help us to create more diverse workplaces and can even change the way we think about things".

Currently only 16 percent of people working in the gaming industry in Sweden are female, according to Dataspelsbranchen. The industry there grew nearly 80 percent in 2013 to take almost $935 million.

Thanks, Time.

Related articles:

Feminist Frequency looks further into tropes vs women in video games



Register for HITC Gaming Digest