Female Protagonists in Games - What's the Problem Here?

GP: "Just last week an opinion piece went up about the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V and why it might benefit from having a female protagonist. Soon after the content was live on N4G (an aggregate game blog site) there was instantly a fair amount of backlash. N4G isn't typically the best barometer of commenters on the web, but they brought up many points that would probably be right at home on Destructoid or other large gaming sites. After spending some time viewing them I realized I had a lot I wanted to say about these points. Unfortunately, commenting to each and every person would be a long and ultimately fruitless project so instead I'm writing my own opinion piece.

It's not so much a response to the initial article as it is to the kind of responses it received. But then, almost all the comments I have seen are always brought up when someone mentions female protagonists in games. So really, this piece could be transplanted as a response to a great deal of editorials that have come out over the years as the responses never seem to change. With all that said, let's go over some of the most popular points one by one as I offer my opinion and analysis on each."

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MultiConsoleGamer2255d ago

I would NEVER play a GTA game with a female protagonist. In fact I would give up on the entire franchise if they made a GTA game with a female lead.

As men, the male characters we play are an extension of ourselves. That's the whole point.

Son_Lee2255d ago

So what are the women who play GTA supposed to do? Way to be sexist.

MultiConsoleGamer2255d ago

Play Saint's Row and make a female character.

Also, when a man says he wants to play games with male characters, because they are an extension of ourselves, suddenly he's "sexist." But when a woman does the exact same thing suddenly she's some noble feminist crusader fighting for the cause. Give me a break.

You see kids, we live in a world full of unjust double standards. And sadly most women are hypocrites.

farhad2k82255d ago (Edited 2255d ago )

Women playing GTA get a chance to be a MAN.
They can even secretly make their voice deep, while everyones out of the house..
And yell at their cat: "Go make me a Sammich!".

You see, Male protagonists help all! :D

PhantomTommy2255d ago

Some healthy shit going on in here!....They're just games, get over yourself and stop being sexist.

TheBlackMask2255d ago (Edited 2255d ago )

How is he being sexist....

No offence but games have always been targeted towards guys, thats why theres so many male leads in video games so don't give us that sexist, equality BS.

At the start when video games started to become big there were only a handful of female video game fans......hell maybe only small percentage.

It's only in 2006 with the Nintendo Wii making video games more mainstream and casual we've gotten more female gamers, plus the whole Geek crowd thing which has developed from something un cool to this "Oh I'm a geek because I like films, TV shows and games"... thus leading females to do all three on these things to fit in to their social crowds, I have a lot of female friends who do this. For example, one who bought Skyrim, goes along with the crowd. then completed the main quest straight away just so she can talk about it, yet didn't do anything else in the game.....¬¬

Honestly if you women like video games as much as you say you do then you will play on what what comes out and what we play on. How can you like something where you want to change everything about it for what it is

Anyway can you really imagine a funny, wisecracking, tough female lead..........nope. The only female leads you get are the stright faced serious/sensible ones. Unless it's a secondary character like Elena Fisher.

ChocolateGiddyUp2254d ago

"I want to play a game with a male character," is pretty much the same thing as saying, "I want to play every game."

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2254d ago
Bimkoblerutso2255d ago

Haha, that's ridiculous. Both of you in fact, Son_Lee included. To suggest that you cannot thoroughly enjoy a narrative that is not an "extension" of yourself is absolutely ridiculous. You are ALREADY living vicariously through a character you have nothing in common with. I think we can all agree that we are as much murderous criminals as we are members of the opposite sex.

ReservoirDog3162254d ago

Yeah I'm sure a GTA game with a female character would be good. Extension of ourselves? Yeah I don't really agree much but I get you.

The thing so many people don't understand is it's about 10x harder to write a believable female in anything. Too weak and people call you sexist even though a lot of females are weak. Too strong and you run the risk of writing a woman like you would a man even though a lot of women are strong. It's a difficult middleground to find which is why female characters are usually all side characters since side characters can be one-note and no one will cry foul. Applaud a writer who can write a good female lead in anything.

And GTA has ridiculously well written and believable characters. John Marston and Niko are meticulously developed. Which is hard to do. Try it with a female and it's so much harder.

Darkfiber2255d ago (Edited 2255d ago )

Due to the horny nerdiness of most gamers, female characters are often overly sexualized to the point where they can't be taken seriously and therefore do a poor job of comprising a strong narrative.

Venjense2254d ago (Edited 2254d ago )

What is the most sexist is a person not taking a woman seriously because she's sexy.

My university has an abundance of super sexy women with perfect bodies (in clothes at least) that are also incredibly intelligent.

If a guy or girl couldn't take them seriously because they were too attractive then they'd be completely sexist.

dcortz20272255d ago

Male,female,animal,creature? I don't care as long as the game is good.

ZombieAssassin2255d ago (Edited 2255d ago )

I'm all for being able to play as a woman, it'd be nice if other studios would go the Mass Effect 2 route and let you play as either and have decent voice acting for both but I'd imagine not all games would work as well.

As far as GTA games go I say do it

Venjense2254d ago

I don't care what gender, race or sexuality the character is in a game as long as there's not a mismatch between the story/gameplay and the character.

Even when I feel the most immersed in a game, I never feel like I'm that game character, I feel like i'm just in their environment with them.

Maybe because I'm just a regular black guy and every character is either white or if black, gangster-ish. But nah, even in ME when I created my guy, I still never felt like I was him so I doubt appearance has anything to do with it.

I could be a panda bear and still feel no more, or less immersion.

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