Labour Party MP Chi Onwurah an opposition spokesperson for Culture & the Digital Economy wants the UK Government to identify games that have sexist demeaning representations of women. This follows the fact that France is looking to take similar steps by French secretary Axelle Lemaire. Lemaire wants to take advertising and tax privileges away from games that government bureaucrats find to be problematic.
Chi Onwurah MP told Newsweek
I think it’s absolutely right that the government should be doing more to promote more women into the gaming industry, and that includes helping to identify when videogames don’t have sexist and demeaning representation for women. So I’d like to be working with industry bodies so that we can celebrate the good examples and identify the bad ones.
She would also like to see sexism included in the age rating system, which for Europe is PEGI. Part of PEGI’s rating system includes sexual content, so how sexism would be identified, weighted and rated is unknown.
When calling on examples of sexism in gaming, fellow Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, for Hampstead and Kilburn in London explained to Newsweek
The most famous video game franchise in history, Super Mario Bros. , frequently sees a helpless Princess Daisy in need of rescue by Mario and Luigi. Why in the Lara Croft series, focusing on an ostensibly more positive role model, is she still depicted through such sexualized imagery?
As examples they might raise a grin, but it should be possible for the videogames industry to embrace women as positive role models without resorting to sexism and stereotypes that we wouldn’t allow to fester in other creative industries.
So would Super Mario Bros get an 18 certificate if it were rated under these proposed guidelines? Some argue that Lara Croft is sexualized and it is difficult to argue otherwise. However the newer releases of the franchises have made her more relatable.