Advertisement

From Sirens to Cyborgs: The Media Politics of the Female Voice in Games and Game Cultures

  • Milena Droumeva
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Games in Context book series (PAGCON)

Abstract

A critical account of the ‘public voice of women’ provides a historical starting point to understanding the myriad of both tangible and symbolic ways in which women’s voices are policed and silenced. This chapter asks, how are the power dynamics of voice, including ‘silencing’ and ‘speaking out’ reflective of and constituted by the actual media representations of women’s voices, ‘feminized’ sound effects, and soundscapes that are part of game texts and the gaming experience? This chapter provides a unique methodological paradigm and model for drawing connections between the ways in which women’s voices have been historically positioned, translated, and policed across different media, and the way women’s ‘symbolic’ voices are received, silenced, and policed in the arena of online mass communication.

Keywords

Gender Video games Voice Sound studies Feminism Representation Embodiment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I’d like to acknowledge the generous support of the ReFiG SSHRC partnership grant, as well as Maggie MacAuley’s vital contribution to the theoretical background review.

Bibliography

  1. Barthes, Roland. 1991. The Grain of the Voice: Interviews 1962–1980. Translated by L. Coverdale. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beard, Mary. 2014. The Public Voice of Women. London Review of Books 36 (6): 11–14.Google Scholar
  3. Bonenfant, Yvon. 2014. On Sound and Pleasure: Mediations on the Human Voice. Sounding Out! Accessed June 1, 2016. https://soundstudiesblog.com/2014/06/30/on-sound-and-pleasure-meditations-on-the-human-voice/.
  4. Bosma, Hannah. 2003. Bodies of Evidence, Singing Cyborgs and Other Gender Issues in Electrovocal Music. Organised Sound 8 (1): 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brophy, Philip. 2013. Evaporate Music 1: Revoicing and Gendered Vocalization. In Electrified Voices: Medial, Socio-historical and Cultural Aspects of Voice Transfer, ed. Dmitri Zakharine and Nils Meise, 93–105. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.Google Scholar
  6. Butkus, Clarice. 2012. Sound Warrior: Voice, Music and Power in Dark Angel. Science Fiction Film & Television 5 (2): 179–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caputi, J. 2004. Goddesses and Monsters: Women, Myth, Power, and Popular Culture. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  8. Carson, Anne. 1995. Glass, Irony, and God. London: New Directions.Google Scholar
  9. Clément, Constance. 1988. Opera or the Undoing of Women. Translated by B. Wing. Minnesota: University of Minneapolis Press.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2000. Through Voices, History. In Siren Songs: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera, ed. Mary Ann Smart, 17–28. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Consalvo, Mia. 2012. Confronting Toxic Gamer Culture: A Challenge for Feminist Game Studies Scholars. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology 1. Accessed May 12, 2014. http://adanewmedia.org/2012/11/issue1-consalvo/.
  12. Corbett, John, and Terri Kapsalis. 1996. Aural Sex: The Female Orgasm in Popular Sound. TDR 40 (3): 102–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Creed, Barbara. 1993. The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Doane, Mary Anne. 1985. The Voice in the Cinema: The Articulation of Body and Space. In Film Sound: Theory and Practice, ed. Elizabeth Weis and John Belton, 162–176. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Douglas, Susan. 1999. Listening In: Radio and the American Imaginatio. New York: Times Books.Google Scholar
  16. Droumeva, Milena. 2011. An Acoustic Communication Framework for Game Sound: Fidelty, Verisimilitude, Ecology. In Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction: Concepts and Developments, ed. Mark Grimshaw, 131–152. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dyson, Frances. 1996. When Is the Ear Pierced? The Clashes of Sound, Technology, and Cyberculture. In Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments, ed. Mary Ann Moser, 73–101. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Ehrick, Catherine. 2015. Vocal Gender and the Gendered Soundscape. Sounding Out! Accessed June 14, 2016. https://soundstudiesblog.com/2015/02/02/vocal-gender-and-the-gendered-soundscape-at-the-intersection-of-gender-studies-and-sound-studies/.
  19. Gray, Kishonna L. 2012. Intersecting Oppressions and Online Communities: Examining the Experiences of Women of Color in Xbox Live. Information, Communication & Society 15 (3): 411–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Griggs, Brian. 2011. Why Computer Voices Are Mostly Female. CNN. Accessed May 20, 2015. www.cnn.com/2011/10/21/tech/innovation/female-computer-voices/.
  21. Hadlock, Heather. 2000. The Career of Cherubino, or the Trouser Role Grows Up. In Siren Songs: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera, ed. Mary Ann Smart, 67–92. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Halberstam, Jack. 1998. Female Masculinity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  23. James, Robin. 2015. Vocal Gender and the Gendered Soundscape: At the Intersection of Gender Studies and Sound Studies. Sounding Out! Accessed January 11, 2016. https://soundstudiesblog.com/2015/02/02/vocal-gender-and-the-gendered-soundscape-at-the-intersection-of-gender-studies-and-sound-studies/.
  24. Jenson, Jennifer, and Suzanne De Castell. 2013. Tipping Points: Marginality, Misogyny and Videogames. JCT (Online) 29 (2): 72.Google Scholar
  25. Jørgensen, Kristine. 2011. Time for New Terminology? Diegetic and Non-diegetic Sounds in Computer Games Revisited. In Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction: Concepts and Developments, ed. Mark Grimshaw, 78–97. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kerzner, Liana. 2015. Fighting Back Against the Fighting F**ktoy Trope. Metaleater. Accessed June 1, 2015. http://metaleater.com/video-games/feature/why-feminist-frequency-almost-made-me-quit-writing-about-video-games-part-4.
  27. Lacey, Kate. 2013. Speaking Up and Listening Out: Media Technologies and the Re-sounding of the Public Sphere. In Electrified Voices: Medial, Socio-Historical and Cultural Aspects of Voice Transfer, ed. Dimitri Zakharine and Nils Meise, 123–136. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.Google Scholar
  28. Loviglio, Jason. 2007. Sound Effects: Gender, Voice and the Cultural Work of NPR. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media 5 (2–3): 67–81.Google Scholar
  29. Penny, Laurie. 2014. Why We’re Winning: Social Justice Warriors and the New Culture War. Laurie Penny [Blog]. Accessed July 2, 2016. http://laurie-penny.com/why-were-winning-social-justice-warriors-and-the-new-culture-war/.
  30. Poizat, Michael. 1992. The Angel’s Cry: Beyond the Pleasure Principle in Opera. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Roberts, A.O. 2015. Echo and the Chorus of Female Machines. Sounding Out! Accessed June 20, 2016. https://soundstudiesblog.com/2015/03/02/echo-and-the-chorus-of-female-machines/.
  32. Silverman, Kaja. 1984. Dis-embodying the Female Voice. In Re-vision: Essays in Feminist Film Criticism, ed. Mary Anne Doane, Patricia Mellencamp, and Linda Williams, 131–149. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1988. The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Sullivan, Gordon. 2015. A Conversation with Themselves: On Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature. Sounding Out! Accessed June 20, 2015. https://soundstudiesblog.com/2015/10/22/a-conversation-with-themselves-on-clayton-cubitts-hysterical-literature/.
  35. Thawne, K. 2016. Top 10 Kickass Female Video Game Characters. Unpause Asia. Accessed June 20, 2016. http://unpauseasia.com/?p=3232.
  36. Thompson, Marie. 2016. Creaking, Growling: Feminine Noisiness and Vocal Fry in the Music of Joan La Barbara and Runhild Gammelsæter. Paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal 37: 5–11.Google Scholar
  37. WhitchMojo.com. 2016. Top 10 Most Helpful A.I Companions In Video Games. Accessed September 15, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxfOSb6_y6s.
  38. Williams, Linda. 1985. Hardcore: Power, Pleasure and the ‘Frenzy of the Visible’. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  39. Zakharine, Dimitri. 2013. Voice-e-voice-design-e-voice-community: Early Public Debates about the Emotional Quality of Radio and TV Announcers’ Voices in Germany, the Soviet Union and the USA. In Electrified Voices: Medial, Socio-historical and Cultural Aspects of Voice Transfer, ed. Dimitri Zakharine and Nils Meise, 201–231. Göttingen: V&R Unipress.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milena Droumeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

Personalised recommendations