The BBC News service made an interesting report today. Amongst the footage of people using clever vehicles to get over the snow and endless commentary on an Irish political hoo-hah, a reporter mentioned that sales of contraception are up as people spend the long cold nights at home. (No jokes about trying to keep warm here, no sir!) So that might explain why the gaming intelligenci is -again- discussing various sex/gender related issues across the internet.
Michael Thomsen over at the Escapist has an article provactively titled 'Vaginophobia: Fear of Women in Gaming' in which he explores the male 'fear of the feminine' and contrarily obsession with masculinity with an emphasis on games. It is a fairly rough overview of the subject but has intelligent quotes on the subject.
As far as GTA4 goes, which Thomsen considers 'contains misogynistic experiences', I am playing through it at the moment myself and so far it seems to be ridiculing the "pussy" obsessed male characters' insecurities with the female secretary the only sane person around. As for the more general point that many males are insecure around women, hell, I accept I am never going to be a classical Man but I am still insecure around everyone!
Meanwhile the superlative Leigh Alexander writes about Bayonetta as an experience which empowers women through their sexuality over at GamePro. (OK, this isn't a PC game but you do not need to be familiar with the game to appreciate the argument). Just do yourself a favour and avoid the comments - they are particularly depressing.
While we're on the subject, Alex Raymond has a great many smart and insightful things to say about games and feminism over at White !Finished.