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Submitted by MattG-PTB 973d ago | opinion piece

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)? (Bayonetta 2, Beyond: Two Souls, E3, Mirror's Edge 2, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)

jc48573  +   973d 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.
CrossingEden  +   973d 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
jiggyteddy  +   973d ago
Some would argue that as art.

Me? I just play games. A great game is a great game.
SeraphimBlade  +   973d 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)
jc48573  +   973d ago
I guess you hate anime and cartoons huh?
CrossingEden  +   973d ago
@jc48573 no i don't hate cartoons, i can't stand anime anymore but i definitely don't hate cartoons
dumahim  +   973d 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.
Gh05t  +   973d 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.
Kevlar009  +   973d 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
IcicleTrepan  +   973d 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.
#2.1 (Edited 973d ago ) | Agree(13) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Mutant-Spud  +   972d 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.
MEsoJD  +   973d 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.
ShaunCameron  +   973d ago
Too bad that's way over the average feminazi's/white knight's head. LOL
Rob_From_GopRant  +   973d ago
Does he want every game to have a woman lead?
Gh05t  +   973d ago
Its clearly a female author since the word "we" is used when talking about females.
Rob_From_GopRant  +   973d ago
Sorry about that - let me rephrase.

Does she want every game to have a woman lead?
AlienFodder  +   973d 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.
MEsoJD  +   973d 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.
#4.1 (Edited 973d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
AlienFodder  +   972d 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. :)
jiggyteddy  +   973d 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.
Gh05t  +   973d 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.
Hadoukameha  +   973d ago
Yeah, it should not matter. Everyone just wants to bitch

Spontogical  +   973d ago
Most mature individuals couldn't give a flying fuck if the protagonist is female.

Yuna from FFX-2
Jodie Holmes from BTS
Lara Croft

Most developers create a main character as someone who they can relate to. All depending on the story they're trying to depict.

As for gamers not being comfortable playing with female characters that is BS..

Elena Fisher is the second most used character online in Uncharted 2 and 3. Almost everyone would choose her over that dodgy British dude.. whatever his name is. :p
featurepreacher  +   973d ago
And here we have another person not really interested in video games as much as they're interested in trying to find a victim. I wonder how many times this trick is going to be used to get some clicks.
Gh05t  +   973d ago
People say games are art but want to control what the artist creates...

You know what bothers me... People. like you. complaining about not seeing enough women, LGBT, Black, Hispanic, Indian, or any other character type.

Why do people insist developers cater to them when maybe it doesn't fit into the story THEY want to make.

Hence If I come up with an idea and it requires a male lead because that's how I want the story to be... Why should I not make the story how I see it rather than brute force other peoples ideas about diversity into my game.

I mean it sucks if you really want to play as a female lead your characters are few and far between and even then they are probably designed by men who are so out of touch with a female it comes off looking like a Baywatch character.

I get that.

What if they token gave you a game with a female lead and it turned out horrible... You wouldn't be happy because it was ONLY made to cater to the people who whined about it and it would have no depth since the developer would be forced into creating others ideas for the sake of YOUR satisfaction not their creative needs.

Wait for someone to naturally build a strong female lead or build one yourself. There are a ton of development tools out there for Indie developers. If you think you can make a game that will sell the pants off with a female lead DO IT.

We always need more games and since in your article you claim this huge market than FILL THAT MARKET.

But don't be mad because other people (publishers) don't want to fork out their own money to take that chance. Hence why we have an Indie outbreak right now. People with great ideas that publishers don't want to fund. With creative freedom FROM people like you who want to add token characters.

You also lose all credibility by siding with the rape joke crowd in the Killer Instinct demo. You want to find problems and you will find problems or you can call it banter which is what it was.
Hadoukameha  +   973d ago
You, sir, said what I was too lazy to. I thank you.
Hadoukameha  +   973d ago
Get this feminazi crap out of my face. Sick of this moaning. You want female protagonists? Then go make games. This is a business, there's fewer games starring women because this is a male dominated market, and frankly it's stupid to see tough women outside of fantasy titles.
ShaunCameron  +   973d ago
Who cares?
Gh05t  +   973d ago
Feminists who have an agenda to shove everyone over and let themselves be heard regardless of logic, facts, and business practices.
ShaunCameron  +   973d ago
Pretty much. And the white knights and simps all too eager to do anything to score brownie points with them.

Feminism never was about equality. It was always about getting a free ride through life at someone else's expense just because of who they are and what they supposedly have been through.
BuffMordecai  +   972d ago

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