Where are the women?

#1
Im writing an article on female representation in gaming and Im interested to know your views on why theres a lack of female lead characters in games. Do they make games less appealing? Is it hard to relate a female lead? Are you indifferent? etc....
 

oxyMORON

A Darker Knight
#2
I'm not really a gamer, but I do kind of notice the lack of female leads. I'm kind of surprised, since you know what they say. Sex sells. If anything, I think it'd make games MORE appealing.

The only female centered games I can think of off the top of my head are those Dead or Alive games and Lara Kroft.
 
#3
I totally agree with you, a female lead can make a game more interesting because its different to whats out there already. I think the problem really lies with the publishers... their not willing to take the risk with a female protagonist and therefore the games aren't available for the consumers. Its weird really, considering the success of tomb raider.
 

danielpalos

Registered Member
#4
Drakkan: At the Ancients Gates, is a pretty good game that has a female lead.

A lot of role-play games could have an option for which characters someone wants to play.
 
#5
im not so sure that gender should be interchangable. when its simply an aesthetic choice i dont think it creates a good storyline. femaleness in gameing should make a fundamental difference to the whole gameplay experience like it does in real life.
 
#6
Well, dating back to the classic games, the goal was usually to save a princess/love interest, so it sort of seems that the game industry is adhering to a "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" mentality, at least when it comes to adventure games.

When looking at First Person Shooters, it is simply a matter of intended audience. They are aiming for the 14-23 year old male, so they make the characters big, tough, manly men.

As for fighting games, where the target audience is generally the teenage males, they take a slightly different approach. They need a diversity in the available characters, so they throw in females. However, since they still want to appeal to the teenage male, so they make the females look like this:


It's pretty much a situation where developers think it's a better idea to target males than risk alienating them by portraying women as strong, independent people. Just look at the fact that Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball sells as many copies as it does.

It's sad really...
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
#8
I disagree with you. Metroid Prime, Perfect Dark, and Tomb Raider are all successful with a female lead character. I'm indifferent to if it's a female or male because all that matters is the game, and the story, and how they fit in.
 

oxyMORON

A Darker Knight
#9
Oh yeah. Metroid. I didn't find out she was actually a female until a few years ago. I don't think she really counts though. Unless you're a fan of the game or just plain game savvy, then you'd almost always assume anyone in a suit with a cool gun will be a man.
 

danielpalos

Registered Member
#10
im not so sure that gender should be interchangable. when its simply an aesthetic choice i dont think it creates a good storyline. femaleness in gameing should make a fundamental difference to the whole gameplay experience like it does in real life.
You make a good point for mere interchangeability. However, I was referring to changes in characters, in the manner of Dick, or Heinlien when writing from the perspective of each different character. Thieves' World would probably also make a good game where the story changes due to the character being presented.

It might make the games somewhat more bulky, but they could have more playability.