Female Gaming Should Be Strong
After talking with a female gaming friend of mine, it got me wondering why she’ll play Gears of War 3 online with me and says my love of MW3 Multiplayer is childish. The long and the short of it is MW3 Multiplayer is boys playing Army whereas Gears has a team goal and “I can be a girl.” So why, with the number of women gaming, are realistic playable female characters so hard to come by? Women in games tend to be sexed up creatures or completely helpless. These “characters” are often objects in a game to be admired or rescued. It’s no wonder that women don’t want to play so many of the video games out today.
Not to say that there aren’t strong women characters in video games. Portal’s, Chell and Half Life’s 2’s, Alyx Vance, are two of my favorite people in video games and not because they were hot. They were awesome additions to the story being told and added real meaning to the game.
Epic has done a better job with Gears of War 3 with how they portray women, as noted by Cliff Bleszinski, with the ability to play as Anya Stroud on the front lines.
2012 sets up to be a banner year for women in gaming, with two notable games, yeah only two. Tomb Raider updated Lara Croft; gone is the ridiculous proportions and in is the intense power of a woman on a mission of survival. The new Tomb Raider is a game I would be proud to buy my daughter, if I had one. Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite is bringing not only a partner, although non-playable, but morality to the floating city of Columbia, a first for gaming.
When looking at the number of games being released and the rise of female gamers, you would think that someone would get a clue, for no other reason than to cash in. Women are intense gamers and I look forward to the increased numbers of female game developers and the variety they will bring to gaming.
Coming from a male gamer it might seem odd to push for playable female characters that are strong, smart and believable; but the women I interact with don’t need rescuing. They have stories to tell, adventures they are pursuing, and goals they are striving for; all of which is done while not wearing a bikini.