Two men sit on a beach with all the power to pick whichever women they want by throwing gold chains at them and turning them into “trophies.” This is the premise of “I Won” the video game, and since its release on Future’s website last night, it has been described as “sexist,” “terrible” and “horrifying” by a number of outlets for its blatant objectification of women.
However, this game is problematic for far more reasons than just those on the surface. And, particularly for guys, it brings up a whole host of issues around what’s expected of a “real man.”
Here are five reasons that this game should piss guys off, too:
+ Being ‘That Guy’ Staring at Women
Maybe you’ve heard about “male gaze,” which refers to the use of women’s bodies (in the case of Ye and Future’s video game — the half-naked women walking past on-screen) as a spectacle on display for men. The fact that the two men sit back on gold-plated thrones and literally turn women into prizes to be envied by others suggests a power dynamic in which men are aggressive and creepy. We know you’d actually prefer to go up and talk to a girl rather than just staring at her. Your mom definitely taught you better than that.
+ Throwing Things at Girls
We pretty much all can say with confidence why throwing things at anyone is wildly uncool — but it takes on a different level of gravity when a video game shows two men throwing heavy, gold chains at women, knocking them to the ground and turning them into inanimate objects. Not something I’m thinking most guys — or anyone — would be proud to admit they’ve done.
+ Objectification of Women
Players earn a somewhat random number of points for each woman they hit. Once the women in the game do get hit by a flying gold chain, they’re now — with no spoken consent or mutual desire — the property of the man. Literally, they become an object in the guys’ possession. Cars and bling are one thing, but owning women? Nope. Not cool, man.
+ The ‘Gold Digger’ Stereotype
What Drake did with ‘YOLO,’ Kanye did with “Gold Digger.” The video game tells guys that if “you throw expensive s*** at women, they can be yours” In other words, forget about having a personality or anything substantive, all you need is cash. However, in reality, two-thirds of women are the breadwinners of their families — so the gold digger stereotype should prob stay back in 2005, when Ye released his mega-hit.
At the end of the 60 seconds in which players fling gold chains at women, they’re given a score on how many trophies they earned — a virtual pat on the back for getting so much action. But let’s be honest, IRL, women don’t necessarily always go for the ultra-macho, hyper-masculine guy. For example, Drake seems to be doing all right in the relationship department (Hello, Rihanna!) without being an over-the-top macho dude like the guys in this game.