I agree 102%. I remember thinking the same thing when reading that post. I had no idea there were studies like that, that's pretty awesome. I also like you point out we make this ridiculous scientific-seeming statements about ancient history as if we have as strong a data sample of it as we do modern history. I've always found that suspect thinking, however correct or incorrect to whatever extent it might turn out to be.
That's some pretty hardcore gender stereotyping right there. Why do action games lend themselves more naturally to males? The only reason you think that is because most action movies have historically had male leads. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Anyway, this is all off topic. Most video games require a masculine (not necessarily male) lead role as they are action. This lends itself naturally to males, but there are female leads (who act masculine, ie Tomb Raider, Perfect Dark).
It's like the common belief that women aren't as good at mathematics or spatial reasoning than men (backed up by evidence-free speculation on how our brains evolved during hunter-gatherer times, a period which we really know very little about). There was a study where they tested women's abilities at solving maths puzzles with two groups. Before the test, one group was told that women are naturally less suited to solving maths problems than men, and the women performed poorly. The second group was told that in fact there was no scientific evidence for this, that women and men can be assumed to have equal ability, and in that group the women's performance matched that of the men!
On the whole thing about self-fulfilling prophecies, going back to this video. What does it say when women designers design games that males find sexist? Could it be said that we are forcing an idea of sexism on them they don't agree with, or is it part of the self-fulfilling prophecy where the cultures they have been raised makes them create works that are sexist to a degree unconsciously? I think either possibility is a horrid thought, because both seem like "Poor woman, you can do no better right now." thinking. I have a suspicion that some of what we call sexist just gets caught up in the headlights and isn't really.
Two creators come to mind. Roberta Williams and Kinu Nishimura. I suppose you all know who Roberta Williams is. In King's Quest II and III, Rosella and Valanice are, as Anita would put it, "damseled" either during the entire game or at a certain point. If its so abhorrent to perpetuate this in the King's Quest games, I find it hard to imagine an intelligent woman like Roberta would do it. But she didn't do it to be accurate to traditional fairy tales either, obviously, because later on in the series Rosella and Valanice become main characters of their own games; Rosella even rescues a helpless prince twice! They both continue to be quite "girly" (which is to say, they don't machismo)characters without weak at all as well; girliness and weakness are obviously not on the same spectrum for Roberta. And obviously this is different from what we understand of how many women were portrayed in fairy tales. But in the same era these games came out, VI went back to a prince saving a helpless princess who can only send a letter or message to him from her balcony window. She even made the Laura Bow games, which had female protagonists. So what's the deal here?
Kinu Nishimura is a former female Capcom artist and designer who has recently, notably done the artwork for the Zero Escape series and Code of Princess. Code of Princess is interesting, because the main character looks like this:
It's been called ridiculously sexist many, many times. But it complicates matters that she was not commissioned to draw this. Code of Princess came about because the directors and designers of the game saw some of her pictures and settings of an original universe she had designed. Nishimura is responsible for the basic setting, storyline and characters of the game and the person who sparked its development. The MALE staff asked her if her Solange (the character above) was not going too far? Nishimura responded that she liked drawing sexy women characters; that this is what appealed to her. Not only is this seemingly sexist apparently the entirely the idea of a woman, but the game's basic universe is her creation too. The designers consulted Nishimura at every turn in the creation of the game to make sure it fit her vision. (By the way, its a great game that recalls Guardian Heroes, if you are at all interested in that, it comes recommended.) I don't think its unreasonable to say that Nishimura shouldn't be able to have a barbarian princess character in her designed games it is "not right." That seems more sexist than the alternative.