Women in Games: Are We Doing it Wrong?

This idea of how women are handled in video games is interesting. As the minority demographic in mainstream advertising for games, you can see what effect it has in protagonist choice. Is the industry simply approaching their characters wrong?

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Heavenly King2322d ago

who gives a fuck as long as the game is fun to play. If you like it, play it; and if dont, then not. It is as simple as that.

vortis2322d ago

This's the thing that I've come to notice:

I don't think women gamers KNOW what they want out of female characters.

I'm not saying this to be mean but I'm just being honest here.

Guys play a lot of violent games to release tension, to blast people down, to live that "power fantasy". But the thing is, do women really like blasting open skulls? Decapitating enemies and mowing down hundreds of thousands of baddies to fulfill that fantasy on as regular a basis as guys?

Also, let's not get the numbers skewed here. There are ALOT of games for female gamers, they just aren't mainstream. Female gamers contribute a lot to the puzzle, hidden puzzle, brain teaser and casual genres. They are, in fact, the larger demographic of those markets. There are also a ton of adventure titles featuring female leads over male leads, and most point and click games are geared toward female gamers (most of Sierra, Lexis Numerique and Pendulo Studio titles, anyway).

The thing is, most of the protest seem to be about the portrayal of women in games for guys. Of course women will be over-sexualized in DOA, Skull Girls or Mortal Kombat. But the question is, are equal amounts of women playing these games for the same reasons that guys play them? Because if they aren't, just like the article states, they aren't driving sales for the game and in turn aren't really supporting the very thing they're protesting for.

Added to this...the indie scene is no-holds-barred. Anyone, of any gender, of any age, of any orientation can make an indie game that can sell well if it reaches an audience. If female designers really have a character to showcase that they feel needs representation, take it to the indie scene and we'll all support it as gamers...if the game is good.

Shadowstar2322d ago (Edited 2322d ago )

Um. I like to live a power fantasy. (Well, to be fair, I like to sneak around, stealthily taking people down, a la MGS or SC. I think it's unlikely I'll ever get to actually play as the Boss, or Samantha Fisher...)

vortis2321d ago

Please don't pay attention to Metacritic....that is just one of the worst places ever for a gamer to judge a game.

Some games get high marks and are pure horse trash, other games get low scores and are brilliant.

In today's age of ad-paid reviewers, it's best to find non-fanboy user reviews that accurately describe what you get and what you don't.

Shadowstar2321d ago

True enough. Well, you and Rusted Man seemed to like it, so I'll look at getting it. :) If it sucks, I'll never trust either of you again ;)

:D Thanks for the rec!

OhMyGandhi2322d ago

Before the ten year olds bombarded Halo 2, there were a ton of female gamers online, same thing goes for both Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory.
To a lesser extent: Crimson Skies.

vortis2322d ago

That's not really the point, though, because they added female Spartan models to Halo in the multiplayer.

And no one ever seems to bring up Velvet Assassin despite the fact that it was Splinter Cell with a female protagonist.

The thing is, is that a lot of the complaints seem to be levied at games aimed at a certain demographic. I mean, how many guys complain that Nancy Drew doesn't properly represent males in the adventure genre?

The thing is, a lot of people are aiming misdirected anger at the gaming industry for not catering to a larger demographic when in reality, mainstream gaming is just being pelted overall for how it caters its content to specific markets.

Shadowstar2322d ago (Edited 2322d ago )

Splinter Cell with a female protagonist, you say? Never heard of it, ooh, new game to play!

*looks it up*

Metacritic: 56.

With that score, I somehow doubt it is Splinter Cell with a female protagonist. Darn. I am disappoint.

OhMyGandhi2321d ago

I've played and beaten Velvet Assassin, and while the game's atmosphere and presentation are fantastic, I didn't care about the end result like I did with Splinter Cell.
Still, not a bad game to check out for a weekend romp, but nothing more.

ninjabake2322d ago

I don't think the issue is how they are dressed represented, but rather (as the writer pointed out) the character's flaws and failure to actually have the gamer get attached to them while they are in a leading role.

I do believe that uncharted did a great job of having you get a sense of how well you know the female characters and the character development was astounding. However I believe the major issue with female characters is that female gamers most likely don't care enough about the characters to even expect anything more or less.

That being said I play what I enjoy, if its a female lead protagonist or a male lead protagonist it makes no difference as long as its an enjoyable game. I don't play videogames to live out fantasies, I play them to be entertained (that's no slight on others who do play to live out fantasies). I like to appreciate the sheer artwork and creativity of developers but at the end of the day its all about how much fun I'm having and all of that factors in.

Hicken2322d ago

If it's this big of a deal- and I don't think it's as big as some people want to make it out to be- then maybe it'd just be better to not have females in games at all. I mean, hell, there'll be criticism regardless of what developers do, so why not eliminate the headache once and for all by getting rid of all female characters?

Surely that'll work, right? I mean, I won't game in such a landscape, but at least all the bitching will be gone, right?