Peach was depicted as having a pink dress and blonde hair.The princess was kidnapped and trapped in a castle by the evil villain character Bowser, who is depicted as a turtle.The portrayal of men and women in video games, as in other media, is a subject of research in gender studies and is discussed in the context of sexism in video gaming.Although women make up about half of video game players, they are significantly underrepresented as characters in mainstream games, despite the prominence of iconic heroines such as Samus Aran or Lara Croft.A study of these games found that although the leading female characters in these games were able to subvert predominant gender stereotypes, women were still limited by men in the narratives, in particular through benevolent sexism.In 2014 the developers' choice to omit playable women in the latest iterations of the top-tier gaming franchises Assassin's Creed and Far Cry became a focus of discussions in gaming media.Some of them, like Ada Wong of Resident Evil and Mona Sax of Max Payne, were turned into player characters in later instances of their series.Alyx Vance, a supporting protagonist of Half-Life 2, was praised for her "stinging personality" and intelligence, developing a close bond with the player without simply being "eye candy".
"In video games, the major stereotyped myths of women are typically the damsel in distress, hyper-sexualized villain (Sylvia Christel from No More Heroes) and the sexy/strong best friend (Tifa from Final Fantasy VII). In all of these instances, the female character is, more likely than not, in love with the male protagonist or trying desperately to bang him." A number of games feature a female character as an ally or sidekick to the male hero.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board reports that in 2010, 80% of female console gamers played on Wii, 11% on Xbox360 and 9% on PS3.
By comparison, 38% of male console gamers in the year 2014 played Xbox 360, 41% played Wii and 21% played PS3.
Studies of the prevalence of female characters in video games began to be conducted in sociological, educational, and cultural journals as early as the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1979, researchers publishing in Psychological Record (Vol.29, No.1. 43–48) concluded from the results of a 201-person survey that 90% of male subjects and 85% of female subjects perceived the computer as masculine (in gameplay versus the computer).
The study found that men make up 66 percent of MMO players, 66 percent of FPS players and 63 percent of digital console players.