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An interesting trend seems to have taken E3 by storm this year. Does its arrival signify the coming of an enlightened era of gaming full of diversity and equality, or does it miss the point entirely? What is this trend? Well, if this article’s title doesn’t give it away, maybe the list of games below will.

  1. Adr1ft
  2. Abzu
  3. Alone With You
  4. Cosmic Star Heroin
  5. Death Tales
  6. Heart Forth Alicia
  7. Horizon Zero Dawn
  8. Lara Croft Go
  9. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
  10. Monster High New Ghoul At School
  11. Nier
  12. Recore
  13. Rise Of The Tomb Raider
  14. Ronin
  15. Senran Kagura 2
  16. Skullgirls Second Encore
  17. The Walking Dead: Michone
  18. Xenoblade Chronicles

Hmm … what do all these have in common? I’m sure you can guess, but I’ll tell you anyway. These are all games that were shown at E3 and featured exclusively female lead characters! At least, to the best of my knowledge. Details concerning some of these titles is scant and still forthcoming.

Does that seem like a lot? I can tell you right now that the amount of games mentioned at E3 that feature exclusively male lead-characters is not nearly as much. Not that I’m complaining. It’s just an interesting observation, and an indication that a recent push from certain female gamers and their supporters is definitely being noticed by the industry.

If the above list wasn’t enough to convince you that something is going on, maybe this next list will.

  1. FIFA 16
  2. Halo 5: Guardians
  3. Dishonored 2
  4. Call Of Duty Black Ops 3

These are series which shall soon include a female playable option in their single player play-modes, but have never (to the best of my knowledge) launched with them before. I mean really, we’ve gone through 20+ FIFAs, but somehow this magical FIFA 16 is the one where we get female characters. Does that seem like coincidence? No, this is definitely an industry attempting to respond to feminist concerns. How’s that working out? Is it effective? Will it attract more girls to core gaming? Well, we’ll get into that a little later, but first let’s take a look at some of the more interesting factors concerning the transition of these series.

First on my list to discuss, we have Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which is getting a female playable character in the form of Evie Frye.  She definitely appears to be much more than an afterthought, unlike Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’s DLC character Aveline. It’s my guess that’s she’s going to share an equal portion of the spotlight with the male protagonist.

Evie Frye in all her glory.

Evie Frye in all her glory.

What possibly makes this addition a little more surprising is how officials at Ubisoft had previously lamented the extreme cost and difficulty of adding female animations to Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

Apparently the animation budget is no longer a concern.

Then we have Halo 5. Some people and publications are guessing this title will have a female protagonist. Honestly, based on the E3 footage I’ve seen, I’d say they’re right. This seems like a pretty big deal, because I don’t think you could ever play as a female in Halo before, or at least not as a main character.

Finally, it’s probably worth mentioning that even Gears of War 4 will have a female main character. I didn’t put it on the list because in Gears 3 players could play as Anya during some levels, if they were playing co-op. It seems like in this upcoming title, the female lead character, Kait, will have a much more important role.

So … there you have it, enough females to cast a harem anime series. But you see, therein lies the biggest problem. Here we have the industry scurrying to include female characters in their games. Presumably in the name of equality and diversity! But really, how diverse is this cast?

What gamers are getting is an array of similarly aged, similarly beautiful female characters. Every one seems to be tailored to the liking of the straight male gamer. Now, personally, I don’t think there is a huge problem with that, but if one is going for diversity, it’s probably best to actually be diverse. I mean, really, even straight male gamers are certainly going to be attracted to a wider range of girls than what was provided at E3.

This photo of some of our favorite Mortal Kombat women, I will use as an example. Notice how they all basically have the same body?

This photo of some of our favorite Mortal Kombat women I will use as an example. Notice how they all basically have the same body?

I think it’s great that the industry is interested in offering more playable options to players, but I’m not sure this is progress. Male characters come in a very wide array of shapes and sizes in video games. Sure there are a few stereotypes that are overused, but almost every type of guy imaginable is playable. Old guys, frail guys, chubby guys, muscle guys, and just plain ugly guys, to name a few. Female playable characters simply do not come in such variety. While it’s certainly debatable whether this should be considered offensive, I don’t think it’s debatable that it’s simply less interesting.

I’m left wondering exactly what some developers are thinking here. Are they just trying to fill a tick-box on a long list of features that have been focus-grouped into existence for the sake of maximum profitability, or are they really trying to offer some diversity? Hell, it could be both. What do you readers think?

A small, maybe greedy part of me is just a little annoyed that I won’t have as many male options to play — guys I might be able to identify with. Another part of me is just kinda bored with the stereotypically perfect bodied video game girl. Besides, I’ve been a gamer for nearly 30 years! I have grey in my beard now. If I were inclined to be checking out all these chicks, it’d feel kind of gross when games tried to market nubile 18 year old girls to my sexual desires.

In the end, it’s hard to imagine that these overtures are going to ease the opinions of feminist factions. It’s also extremely questionable as to whether all these female characters are actually going to attract more women to the hobby. I’m not just worried about women though. Will this new laser focus on females begin to alienate male gamers? For my part, I do see this as an industry completely missing the point of the controversies going on this year. I think they’re trying to appease feminine interests, and what they see as their core audience at the same time. I don’t see these efforts really making either groups happy. Hopefully we’ll find out if such a shift effects sales and attitudes as the year progresses and these games hit shelves.

What are your predictions? Does this annoy you, or do you think it’s great? Do you think consumers will even take notice? Please let us know in the comments below.

lara croft bye felicia


Benjamin Jeanotte

Hi, I'm Ben. I am a 35 year old gaming veteran. My first console was a Mattel Intellivision(released 1981, purchased 1983) and I have owned at least one major console from every generation since. With thousands of titles behind me, I am a harsh and critical gamer who enjoys hating on games as much as loving them. — I am not just a writer for Techraptor, but a huge fan of it as well. You will probably see my comments on many articles, not just on MY articles, but others too. I look forward to having some glorious discussions and debates with you all.



  • Uranus

    I don’t think there is any problem. Some of the ideological concerns may or may not be valid, what I know is this was one of the best E3s in memory, and it had pronounced female presence. I don’t mind it. It doesn’t feel like they are trying to appease ideologues. It genuinely felt like they do it for the gamers.

    None of the games they showed felt… feminist. We all know playing as male or female comes down to personal preference, and players don’t necessarily have to identify with the player character to enjoy a game.

    Except for EA in particular – the most progressive games company right now – devs don’t seem to care much about feminism and ideology. They just want to make games that are good, and this E3 showed to us that they have woken up and are going to make games for gamers. And that is great.

  • Brian Boru

    Actually we’ve had more than 15 FIFAs since it’s existed since the 90’s and the name corresponds to the year.

  • GEhotpants101 .

    It seems pander-y to me with the established franchises. It’s alright as long as the games and characters are pretty good, but for the most part, the appearance of female characters has a tacked on feeling. Well, in Dishonored 2, Corvo actually feels more tacked on to me, but the principal is the same. Someone was tacked on there just because they wanted to cater to someone’s taste somewhere rather than actually make a character that’s organic with the story. Emily was a cool and natural addition. I feel like Corvo is just around because they thought people would get pissed if he wasn’t. (Although, I haven’t expected anything good out of the bloated corpse that is Assassin’s Creed in a while, so maybe that’s just my cynicism on that particular character.)

    I don’t really care about the character’s gender on a new IP. Most of them seem like they’re a good match to the game, so eh. I figure most people feel about the same way. As long as the character seems right for the role, and it’s not just changed to pander, who cares? The game will either be good, or it won’t. I can’t see female characters alienating a lot of male players, just like male characters doesn’t *actually* alienate female gamers.

  • Patrick Toworfe

    I won’t comment on your opinions per se, but several corrections:

    1. Halo 5’s leads are Spartan Locke and Master Chief. They team up with 3 other characters, 2 of which are female on both teams. Halo has let you pick a female option in multiplayer since Halo 3.
    2. COD has had playable female characters in multiplayer in both Ghosts and Advanced Warfare. Campaign-wise, a playable female character was in Call of Duty 2, and briefly in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Black Ops III lets you pick a custom character for campaign, so either male or female.

    As for the rest of this article, no comment. Though I will say I’m not all that happy with some of your points, but I’m past giving people grief over their opinions.

  • moose

    it depends why they are doing it:
    developers including women of their own free will to create the story they want – no problem
    developers including women to appease feminists who have no interest in buying the games and will just move on to the next part of an industry which caters to its mostly male audience – problem
    the two arguments I see from feminists attacking the gaming industry is that having few women as characters causes sexism (which scientific studies has proved it doesn’t), and that women make up half of gamers so should be catered too.
    the latter argument only tells half the story. most women play on mobile games like candy crush, which they are catered to because it makes business sense to do so. most men play console games like call of duty and gran theft auto, which previously they were catered to because again, it makes business sense to do so. whilst you wont hear a feminist complaining about men being under represented in the mobile market, in true feminist double standards they will happily attack a specific section of the gaming industry where they only make up 1 in 7 gamers (assuming the feminist complaining is actually a gamer), for not being catered to just as much as men. the arguments have been disproven and its high time the industry and its actual consumers realise that this isn’t about “giving women representation”, because they already have it. its about the feminist agenda to completely eradicate areas of our society, culture and arts which cater to men under narratives such as privilege and toxic masculinity.

  • Kyle Francoeur

    As long as the games are good, I really couldn’t care less.

  • Sculptor

    personal opinion is that journo’s on mainstream gaming sites are backing down because they know they fucked up (which makes it look like this is a thing, when it’s not)

    https://medium.com/@adrianchm/the-truth-about-e3-2015-and-female-protagonists-b006094e44b1

    I think games devs and artists should make what they want to make. The market will dictate what changes are necessary.

  • As long as the games and their choice of characters are good, there’s no issue. The more options the better, after all. The only time I have a problem with it is when it’s done as something like “GIRL POWER LOOK AT HOW AWESOME I AM AS A GIRL DID I MENTION I’M A GIRL, LOL SUCK IT DUDEBROS, P.S MY GENDER TOTALLY ISN’T MY ENTIRE CHARACTER DEPTH”. All you have to do to create a character people loves the crap out of is, well, make a good character. Just look at Samus. Her gender isn’t important (just like it isn’t with Mario and Link and pretty much every well-designed character), she’s just a badass people loved playing as, and everyone complained when she was nowhere to be seen in the new Metroid game that just got announced. So much for dudebro gamers wanting only male leads.

    It’s nonsensical to claim people don’t want to play as female leads because “EW GIRLS” or some trite like that. What people are complaining about is the deliberate approach to try and “look” diverse, rather than make the game as good as it can be. If they have a great idea for a female lead? Go for it! Just remember that the difference between Samus and another typical “GIRL POWER” protagonist is the emphasis put on the character’s gender. If you have to highlight the character’s gender constantly, rather than highlight how badass she is or what kind of person she is, chances are that she isn’t a very well-designed character to begin with, and is probably going to bomb among gamers, to the ire of certain gaming media sites who will probably write outrage pieces about how “dudebro gamers just won’t accept the increased representation of women”.
    No, we don’t accept rubbish. That’s how the free market works. Sorry.

  • Halo has had female main characters in the story since Halo 2 and an option to make your Spartans and Elite female in Multiplayer since Halo 3 I believe. Halo 1 if you count Foehammer and/or Cortana.

    That main character you’re referring to is Spartan Locke, a black guy. There are female protagonists on both fireteams, but they’re not main characters and only playable in co-op.

  • Ben

    I think you hit the nail on the head with what the next complaint will be from the sjw, even if the games are flooded with more women playable, they will simply shift to complaining about bodytype, there is no winning with these people. As long as the game plays good I give no fucks what I’m playing as.

  • XT6Wagon

    yes, its a problem. Tokenism never is a good thing. Does putting a single black character in a TV show or Movie really help if they are just there to be black? Not to be an actual person, with character and character development?

    Its even worse for games, as to make a female character you need to apply many more assets to get the animations correct. People laugh about boob physics, but unless she wears power armor all day long, perhaps they shouldn’t look like they are made of concrete. I mean even men look dumb when they look like a head stuck on a robot body because nothing moves outside of the joints acting like a hinge.

    Is more female representation good? Its too easy to say yes. Prepare yourself for a plague of poorly written, poorly designed, and poorly animated women. I guess an upside is it will naturally cut down on the poorly written male characters.

  • Games reflect the market. Ultimately the wallets decide, not some idiot journalist under the delusion that they’re noble heroes fighting for women’s rights. If publishers are catering to journalists instead of consumers, they’re in for quite a shock, and we’re in for some massive flops that have women on the covers yet no female perspectives on the development team.

    We’ll have to wait and see, it depends on the franchise and the intentions of the publishers. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate looks great upon first glance. Did anyone give a lemming’s fart about the nondescript blander than cheeseless crackers male protagonists from the previous games? Nothing lost there.

  • Typical

    Here’s the funny thing to me: they can make whatever they want, but I’m only buying games I like, so I guess they better figure out a way to balance the 2 if they want my money.

  • peori

    Adrian Chmielarz just knocking it out of the park as usual.

    This crap is just self evident to anyone who has been a gamer for more than a few years. We’ve always had a lot of great female characters including protagonists in games and to say otherwise means you either don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about and/or you’re being a dishonest sack of shit.
    Apparently some of the the SJW crowd were even trying to spread a rumour that you couldn’t play as a female in Fallout 4, that’s how agenda driven they are. It’s insane given Bethesda’s track record of character creation in their RPGs – you could make a male or female in Elder Scrolls Arena (1994… feels like it’s older than that) and every ES game since.
    I think they’re just trying to make it look as if they “won” or some shit when in reality there was never even a fight to be had over this issue IMO.

  • Screech Screecher

    If a games main selling point is a female protagonist I, as a gamer, will give it the proper attention it deserves. Seems like most of it is used as a shield to keep from having to develop something compelling.
    Can’t blame an industry for going for the low hanging fruit. Also it will allow those game developers that are more concerned with developing something new a chance to really shine as the lone city on the hill.

  • Father Agnostus

    My opinion on the matter is: great!…-ish.
    What I am scared of is that game publishers will feel obliged to include a female (or male) option in a game where that’s not a good thing. I like to be able to customize my characters in RPG’s like Skyrim, Fallout or Pillars of Eternity. But some games e.g. Metro, Spec Ops: The Line, Bioshock would be damaged if you could choose your gender, ethnicity, etc.
    That’s because games come in two different varieties: those that are about freedom and those that are about lack of it. A lot of RPG’s are freedom games; you customize your character and you change create the story through choices you make; in other words: you can play as yourself, or anyone else you want to play as. Then there is the more story driven games where you do get limited freedom, but very little. In the examples I gave you get to decide how you fight your battles, what you buy and even which ending you get (from a very limited set of endings), but you are not free. There is a story that has to be told and there is character development that has to happen and it’s the devs who are doing the storytelling, not you. The freedom you get only serves to challenge your FPS abilities.
    For multiplayer games or games with no character development, sure go ahead and make any options you like available to players. (I generally play as female, so I sure don’t mind)
    But please don’t do it in a game where it will hurt the story because you feel you have to pander to feminists.

    Another thing I’m scared of is that publishers will publish lessss story driven games in favour of “freedom games”. Which may have the knock-on effect that devs will feel pressured to offer a gender option and say let’s leave the protagonist blank. I don’t need to identify with the protagonist, I want an interesting character and an interesting story. (And no, Polygon, “interesting” is not = rank on the progressive stack.)

    Male protagonists come in variety? Sure, more variety than female protagonists. But I don’t know any game (with character development) that has an old or fat protagonist … Most men in my games are either the type that could turn you gay, plain handsome or of the type you don’t want to fuck with. When a male protagonist deviates from that it’s generally for humour.
    I’m not complaining. If I’m gonna play a game (or watch a movie ftm) I don’t want to have to look at ugly people, I’ve got real life for that … and a mirror in the bathroom.

  • Father Agnostus

    If the publishers are up for it. The publishers may very well have a look and tell the devs “hey, you didn’t include a female protagonist, we don’t want a female backlash, include one or we aren’t interested”
    I don’t really think that’s gonna happen any time soon, but I’d certainly keep it in mind. Luckily there’s more and more ways for devs to publish their game themselves if they want to keep to their vision.

  • Matthew Yoder

    IIRC Reach introduced the ability to play as a female Spartan, (not Elite though, I don’t even know what a female Elite would look like) and it carried over into the single player mode as well, just like all the character customizations in that game.

    That said, Noble Six was a silent protagonist, so it might not count to some people.

  • bdp

    Game journalists full of shit once again? Well color me surprised.

  • They weren’t named characters in 3, and I think they looked the same as male Elites, but there was a setting to have a female voice for your multiplayer character in 3. I’m not 100% sure if you could be an Elite in 3 in all games like you could in 2, they all kind of blend together now that the Master Chief Collection is a thing.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Sorry, honestly I’ve never played FIFA, but that just kinda proves the point more, if there were even more games before they added a girl. Thanks for the detail.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    What do you mean?

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Thanks, I played through to Halo Reach, but I couldn’t remember any girls available. It was just kinda to the best of my knowledge, but I appreciate the additional facts. It can be hard to know everything about every game listed here.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Ah thanks for the insight… I was mostly talking about female player options in the main campaign. Are you sure about black ops. There is also this article that states this is the first one with a female main character. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/call-of-duty-gets-first-playable-female-lead-with-/1100-6426927/

    Sorry if you didn’t like the opinion, you are free to discuss it though. That’s what we’re here for.

  • Inquiring

    The only thing I found clear and obvious pandering about these female characters were how they were presented.

    Take the Dishonored 2 presentation, how it kept cutting from first to third person, teasing with glimpses then to finally confirm, “Yes, that is a woman!” Then the action scenes with Emily in that teaser, third person to show off how strong and “cool” she is; there is even a “psh, nothing personnel, kid,” bit when she jumps down the sets the mine and waits with her back turned for the robot to walk into it.

    Take the Fallout 4 presentation, and how Todd Howard specifically said, “And yes, you can play as a female.” Yeah, that was partly towards the twitter/forum storm where people were saying it was male only, but the words used and the tone was too purposeful. He could have said, “As usual you can customize your characters appearance and sex/gender.” Just some statement that casually throw it out there making it sound like everyone throwing a fit is an idiot, instead of pointing it out like it is a big deal.

    And so on, and so forth. It was the way the presentations were done. It reeked of a “Please don’t hurt us, we have female characters!” In past E3s if a game had a female lead or main it was not presented with any emphasis; it just was. Now it seems like everyone is trying to highlight for the perpetually offended that games are (still) as diverse as the feminist/SJW hordes want.

    I can understand why they did it, but personally, I would have preferred they had taken a mocking approach instead of a pandering one, by pointing out all the great female leads and diversity they have been putting into games since the beginning.

  • Arbitrary

    Bullshit.

    Loving Samus Aran for the character’s “personality” is like loving the original “Doom”-protagonist for his “personality”.

    They have none. They’re just floating guns controlled by a player.

  • Arbitrary

    “And so on, and so forth. It was the way the presentations were done. It reeked of a “Please don’t hurt us, we have female characters!” In past E3s if a game had a female lead or main it was not presented with any emphasis; it just was. Now it seems like everyone is trying to highlight for the perpetually offended that games are (still) as diverse as the feminist/SJW hordes want.”

    Exactly. If this isn’t an SJW-victory, I don’t know what is.

  • ThatGuy

    Depends on how much of a Metroid fan you are. Samus actually has a very well established background and personality type. Hell, if anything, she’s the only silent protagonist whose silence is explained in a genuine fashion. She’s a Byronic hero, and a DEEPLY disturbed one at that. Other M took it a bit too far perhaps, but even before that video game, it had been established that she suffers from PTSD, chronic anxiety, and that she lapses into long periods of ennui and lethargy when she’s between missions.

    She’s also basically an angel of vengeance, one fashioned by an ancient alien race to be their champion, and even they end up saddened and distraught by what they see in her. Though she shares the living weapon concept of so many silent male protagonists, the effects on her, and the observations of those who made her, are far more announced and thought out.

    She’s got more character than basically every silent male protagonist combined. You just have to know where to look.

  • bdp

    Just some sarcasm.

  • ThatGuy

    I like what you’ve written, but I have to say that the knock on Halo is surprising. I know some others have tossed the “women in multiplayer” thing out there, but the actual story and single player of the last two major Halo releases has lead up to this. Halo: Reach gave us Noble 2, who was a female spartan who specialized in information warfare. She hacked, she dealt with electronics, was a very daring… even reckless… strategist, and complimented Noble 1 and 3 in terms of being the more cool headed members of the team. Throw in the fact that your character, Noble 6, could be female, and you have a pair of solid female Spartan protagonists for Reach.

    Halo 4 introduced the Spartan-IVs, next gen, volunteer (very critical element here) Spartan soldiers who basically signed up for life and subjected themselves to a regiment that kills most applicants. The most pronounced of these next gen Spartans was Commander Sarah Palmer, the main Spartan-IV of the single player campaign as well as the Spartan CO in the multi-player campaign. She likewise has a depth to her. One of her key features is a contempt for non-Spartan soldiers. She very much believes in the utter superiority of her battle group, and is ever ready to step up where the UNSC’s marines have failed.

    Halo 5 having female Spartans as playable campaign options isn’t surprising. Quite the opposite in fact.

  • Zanard Bell

    Holy darn, there’s really a second Skullgirlz. So excited for that.

    Truth be told, I don’t care if I play as a female or a male. I’ve played more females in RPGs than I could care to count, so this bell-ringing in E3 doesn’t really affect me in any way. In fact, the only thing I’m really disappointed is that a few of these female-protagonist games aren’t making their way to the PC.

  • Patrick Toworfe

    I am sure yes; the playable lead in Black Ops 3 is just a character you can pick the look and gender of. In Black Ops II, you briefly played as Karma in a Strikeforce mission called ‘Second Chance’. Sure that’s not much of a mission, but you did control her for a short while. And there is definitely a woman you play as in Call of Duty 2. So none of these characters were leads, but they were playable. That’s what I was getting at.

    As for my thoughts, there’s no need to share them. I don’t want to come off as dismissive, but I rarely see a point in giving my opinion anymore

  • dsadsada

    I’ve honestly never understood how people couldn’t related to characters who aren’t physically like them. I’ve never had a problem relating to white characters despite being Asian and I have a tendency to prefer playing as female characters despite having a penis.

    Actually, I just can’t understand why there should be a need to relate to a character at all. Is it really so hard to be able to sympathize with a character if the two of you don’t share similar traits or circumstances? I’ve never had loved ones eaten by dragons but I could probably still sympathize with a character who would if the writing’s good.

  • Smoky_the_Bear

    Personally I thought that the Ass Creed female character seemed like an afterthought. Given that those games take about 3 years to make, it seems to me like last year they got a lot of crap for lack of female characters in Unity’s co-op. Their response was to invent a twin sister for the protagonist in their next game in order to prevent bad press. I could be wrong but thats how I saw it anyway.

  • Smoky_the_Bear

    This is exactly my issue. If you are doing it because you genuinely wrote a good female character that the writer wanted to write, that’s one thing. When you are doing it purely to pander to people, what is the point, it doesn’t help the issue of representation when it’s nothing more than, as you say, tokenism.

    One thing we know though, is SJWs are never happy and love to find fault and whinge about things on the internet. These devs will realise the failure of their token pandering when they get something slightly wrong about their female representation and get crucified for doing it by the same people who were nigh on demanding they change their approach in the first place.

  • Smoky_the_Bear

    Exactly, like the Ass Creed trailer, where they have the brother doing a voiceover banging on and on about how much of a badass his sister is. As far as order of importance goes, gender of the protagonist is somewhere near the bottom for me, I really don’t give a crap if it’s a man, woman, dog, robot (apart from Claptrap), whatever. For SJWs though gender is the be all and end all of a game. It just shows how little these people actually care about video games that they place such importance on such an insignificant thing.

    The gaming press don’t help either, I have seen some writers so obsessed with it that it takes up half their review. I saw a review of Broken Age, the guys opening line was that he was disappointed that the protagonist was a white male, so these idiots are intentionally downranking games for having a male protagonist, it’s literally bonkers.

    More female characters is needed purely from a perspective of it allows a more diverse range of characters and writing and creates more interesting games because of it, I think we can all agree the gruff, chiseled marine type characters get boring after a while. This constant banging on about feeling underrepresented is nonsense. The fact that these people place so much focus on gender yet then have the nerve to call anyone disagreeing with them “sexist” just shows the hypocrisy they constantly operate with.

  • Smoky_the_Bear

    Well of course, they will create a narrative to “prove” themselves right either way. The game is successful and they are justified in everything they’ve said and female leads do work. The game is not successful because it’s a bad game and they twist it around as “evidence” that the game industry and it’s consumers are all a bunch of sexists and won’t accept women in gaming blah blah blah. When the truth is the game was probably as dull as dishwater because the devs spent too much effort pandering and quota filling and not enough effort making a good video game.

  • Smoky_the_Bear

    I think they might quickly realise that the SJWs clamoring for this stuff aren’t a very big demographic and it will not guarantee success by simply forcing a female character into a game. They will make much more profit by just making a good video game and selling it to the gamers who don’t give a crap what the gender of the main character is.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    I only ever played up to Halo Reach, I didn’t get the impression that I could be playing as female, but you could be right. Honestly, if I had to rewrite the article I might leave Halo out. Simply because of a couple assumptions I had that weren’t 100%. I honestly thought the picture in the featured image was probably of a new female protagonist. That spartan armor looked very female to me, but someone has pointed out that it is a dude. Jameson Locke! When I watched the E3 footage, you can see the female player on the right hand side with the pink spartan, I thought she was playing the character that was depicted in the featured image.

    So some of my observations about Halo 5 were probably misguided. Still I think the general vibe and point of the article is not invalidated by such details, and I hope you readers don’t hold some of my misunderstanding against me!

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Well, I think taking a roll in a game where you get to make many decisions, that being able to identify with those decisions is really immersive. It’s the difference between reading a story, and being an active player in it.

    Simply put, for most games, I enjoy playing through them as if I were the character depicted. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally enjoy riding through the life of someone else, but there are limits to that.

    For example, it can be difficult for me to play characters that are super selfish, evil, and immature. When I’m in a video game and I am forced to do things of those natures, I become annoyed. Which is a mindset I think a lot of people share with me, and is why being able to relate to your character is important to so many gamers.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Interesting theory, I look forward to seeing how the game pans out and if she seems like she was added at the last moment.

  • RandomDev

    I oppose feminism and all the damage it’s done to society so I boycott devs who pander to feminist complaints.

  • dsadsada

    Still can’t really say I understand it. If I tried self inserting myself into a story, I’d either make a bunch of stupid decisions that can only end badly because I know it’s just a story/videogame or I would end up making all the boring decisions because that’s normally how I am.

    Like being the guy who’d close the shutters during the apocalypse to get back to his game or to bitch online about how noisy and annoying the apocalypse is to other people. I’d never be the guy who goes out and combats the apocalypse himself because that just wouldn’t really be me.

    To each their own I guess.

  • chizwoz

    Xenoblade X shouldn’t be on the list. That has a character creator so the female lead you’ll have seen would’ve just been by accident.

    But gaming’s never really had a huge lack of female characters, as so many of them are proclaiming without providing a single bit of data. The only thing that’s changed slightly is that there are a few more female leads in AAA games this year.

    Who knows what the reasoning is. I seriously doubt it’ll make more girls play games. I don’t really care either way. The lead character in AAA action games is always so generic as they need to appeal to everyone that the sex of the character doesn’t really mean that much.

  • Inquiring

    Don’t even remind me of the Ass Creed trailer, please. Sure, they have shown the assassins cutting through people before, but not anywhere near that trailer. It was like watching the Raid (if the main character also had god mode engaged) compared to the Bourne Identity, complete tonal shift.

  • Nope Naw

    I’ve never, ever, had a problem with female characters in games. Heck, in fighting games I almost exclusively play female characters (they’re generally faster and more agile characters, for one). As I’ve already said elsewhere, my standout favourite out of all of E3 this year was Horizon.

    If the character, gameplay and story is good, I don’t care what gender the character is. Deciding not to buy a game because that game had a character of a particular gender would be… well… kinda retarded. But that’s where you get with SJW’s. Retardation.

    Speaking of, as already have been surmised, the SJWs and Feminazis will invariably find another thing to be offended about. So it doesn’t really matter if this truly is pandering or not, because when they start to get offended at that, next time we’ll either get more males instead, or we’ll get studios and devs that decide to just do whatever the fuck they please (as they should) because they realize they can’t win with these fucks. That’s already starting to happen now.

  • ImJust1Joe .

    I’m more annoyed how journo are acting as if there were never female characters before this E3. It all come off as sensationalism.

  • Suzaku Kururugi

    No black females. Goddamned racists.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    One thing I find never spoken about is that older and out-of-shape individuals aren’t exactly the kind of person you would find running and fighting all over the world to stave off the apocalypse. Older individuals just don’t have the stamina, and even if an overweight person were to start saving the world, by the completion they wouldn’t be out-of-shape. The fact is certain stories (honestly, most likely the vast majority of stories) are intrinsically self-limited on who the protagonist can be if you are looking for any element of realism.

    Now, I will agree that the dependence on good-looking leading characters is a bit of a stretch, especially since anyone who has done any sort of real-world fight training knows those handsome mugs will quickly get scarred up after a few rounds. We could use a few more characters like, say, Marv from Sin City.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    I’m sorry, I mostly meant to start a discussion, not be sensational. It’s not that I was trying to say there were never female leads before, obviously, but it seems there are MORE now than ever. I thought it was interesting, and I wondered if other gamers saw the same things I did here, but it’s ok if they didn’t too. My opinion here isn’t my strongest, but something I wanted to leave open to other insights.

  • Ben Jeanotte

    Ah sorry, please note the part where I say “To the best of my knowledge” I watched several minutes of trailers on each of these titles, and read a bit about them too, but of course I knew that there was room for error there. I appreciate the insights, but I’m hesitant to heavily edit my list, simply because that might seem dishonest or sketchy.

    I was not aware that what appeared to be the female lead in Xenoblad X was character created, but I’m going to check that out right now! Again, thanks for the details.

  • ImJust1Joe .

    I actually wasn’t trying to call you out but was rather referring to other sites where they pine how progressive it is for a game to have a female protagonist. Sorry for the confusion.

  • chizwoz

    Yeah, the main female that appears in most of the vids is the kinda companion or 2nd party character (as in the 2nd character that joins you). The main character as far as I can tell is a kinda empty avatar. See here: http://www.theaveragegamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Xenoblade-Chronicles-X-Male-Avatar.jpg

  • I honestly don’t give a fuck that so many games feature female protagonists. The only question I have when it comes to a game is whether its any good or not… well ok 2, will it run higher than 30fps :). Since I don’t follow football and related games can someone tell me if the new Fifa will include the female league championship or whatever its called or will you just be able to make a female character while everyone else is male 🙂

  • ThatGuy

    In order to play as a woman in Reach’s campaign, you have to go into your character profile and select an option for what gender you want your Spartan to be. It’s right next to the option to select whether or not you want to play as a Spartan or Shangeli in multi-player death matches. In addition, you can unlock voice packs for multi-player mode in Reach that are the voices of Cortana and Keyes.