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Where Are All The Women?, Or, How E3 2013 Has Bothered Me

This was my first E3 experience. Two years ago, I watched a bit of the press conferences, but it was nothing like I did this year. It was an interesting experience to watch unfold over the past few days. However, I did notice something amiss, and I wonder if you did, too.

Out of the countless video games unveiled this year, I saw only three games with female protagonists - Beyond: Two Souls, Bayonetta 2, and the new Mirror's Edge. Three games total. That's a pretty poor showing.

I'm not completely surprised, of course, as this has been happening for a very long time. However, we supposedly live in an enlightened age, and more women have become a part of the process, as far as design of games goes. So, how come all we have to show this year are: a militaristic game with a supernatural element (Beyond: Two Souls), a witch who has some impressive combat skills but wears extraordinarily revealing clothing - that appears to literally peel away bit by bit (Bayonetta 2), and a rebooted franchise that leaves our heroine a blank slate (Mirror's Edge)?

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jc485731054d ago

Remember Me did come out before E3. you gotta admit that you should feel lucky to see at least 3 female protagonists and that seems a lot to some who rarely gets the chance to play as a woman in SP. ANother one that kind comes in mind is REvelations, but yea, Jill didn't appear at E3.

CrossingEden1054d ago

well take into account that bayonetta is a terrible female character thought up by someone with the mindset of an 14 year old otaku who watches too much hentai

jiggyteddy1054d ago

Some would argue that as art.

Me? I just play games. A great game is a great game.

SeraphimBlade1054d ago

Have you actually played Bayonetta? I'm curious. I'd argue she had much better characterization than your average action game hero, regardless of gender. Or is a woman having a dominant personality automatically some kind of fetish thing?

(Yes, her powers all involved showing more skin, but the entire game is so bonkers I'm willing to believe that's how her world works. that doesn't make her poorly written as a character)

jc485731054d ago

I guess you hate anime and cartoons huh?

CrossingEden1054d ago

@jc48573 no i don't hate cartoons, i can't stand anime anymore but i definitely don't hate cartoons

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dumahim1054d ago

Speaking of Nilin, I'm pretty sure there were articles about the fact that the lead character being a female would lead to lower sales, but the developer did what it took to make the game they wanted to make. Also, I think there was an article concerning Bioshock Infinite not including Elizabeth on the cover as it again would reduce sales. I never read the articles, but I think stats were provided.

Gh05t1054d ago

I remember an article about "The Last of Us" putting the female on the front when the Marketing people wanted her moved to the back for fear of lost sales.

But again this proves the point.... Its not about what YOU want its about what the DEVELOPER wants to create and what SELLS. In this case the developer insisted and overwrote the marketing team. WHY? because they felt the female was an integral part of the story and wanted to showcase that.

But since shes not the lead were all sexist I guess.

Kevlar0091054d ago

The industry is afraid of prominent female protagonists and don't believe they sell games

I belive BF4 will have female soldiers as an option

Tbh having 3 games is an achievement

IcicleTrepan1054d ago (Edited 1054d ago )

Come off it. They aren't afraid of crap. They make what sells. Most gamers are still male, most males prefer to be male characters in games. They cater to that market. It's not fear, it's called knowing your market.

If more females played games, the games featuring female leads would be there. The market needs to be there before large publishers are willing to take risks.

Mutant-Spud1054d ago

It's the same reason why they don't use male models to sell skin cream and Victorias Secret or female models to sell chainsaws and fishing tackle.
When they're advertising car tyres and roofing services they show a competent, clean cut looking man in a polo shirt or overalls, if the product is food or related to the family's health they show a competent looking, clean cut woman.
It's called marketing, the fishing shows where they take hot girls out to catch Marlin are just as tacky and stupid as the token males on The View.
There's also a difference between the games that men and women like to play and the games most popular with women, like WOW, Farmville, Sims etc all feature female characters.

MEsoJD1054d ago

I'd rather have the artist have creative freedom. The best solution for you is to either not buy the game or make your own.

ShaunCameron1054d ago

Too bad that's way over the average feminazi's/white knight's head. LOL

Rob_From_GopRant1054d ago

Does he want every game to have a woman lead?

Gh05t1054d ago

Its clearly a female author since the word "we" is used when talking about females.

Rob_From_GopRant1054d ago

Sorry about that - let me rephrase.

Does she want every game to have a woman lead?

AlienFodder1054d ago

The bottom line is that there's still a lot of male gamers who are simply uncomfortable with the idea of playing a game with a female as the lead protagonist. The exception to this is probably Tomb Raider.

MEsoJD1054d ago (Edited 1054d ago )

Maybe, but males are the target audience that continually buys software. Also most game devs are male so it shouldn't be a surprise that their games they make cater to male taste. Of course there are exceptions, but people are so quick to use the sexism card in situations where it has no place.
If I was game creator I would like to make whatever I envision. Whether it's good or not is up to sales.

AlienFodder1053d ago

I absolutely wasn't referring to sexism in any way. I was merely stating a fact objectively and I agree with everything you just said. :)

jiggyteddy1054d ago

No offense, but I could care less if a game featured a female lead.

As long as the game is solid, I probably wouldn't think twice about the gender of the lead.

Gh05t1054d ago

Right but the game needs to use a female lead naturally... Not forced in under an agenda of getting more female token leads.

There is nothing wrong with making a game with a female lead.

I think a strong game with a female lead would do really well. Maybe the problem is there hasn't been a strong enough idea yet to make one financially viable.

Hadoukameha1054d ago

Yeah, it should not matter. Everyone just wants to bitch

WHERES MY GAY ALBINO QUADRIPALEGIC AFRICAN AMERICAN REPUBLICAN ATHEIST VELOCIRAPTOR PROTAGONIST?! I DEMAND REPRESENTATION!

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