By now we’ve all read the many opinions pertaining to the lack of female playable characters in video games, especially those like Assassin’s Creed: Unity which seems to have triggered the massive outcry.
Whether it’s pointing out reasons why Ubisoft isn’t making sense or voice actress Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us) exclaiming “Give me a f***ing break! It’s 2014!” when asked what she thought about the issue, the fact of the matter is we won’t see playable female characters in these games. According to Ubisoft, it is simply a “reality of production” and as upsetting as it may be, there is a different side to the argument.
REQUIRING women in games might be just as harmful.
Johnson’s costar Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Bioshock) spoke out about the issue as well. Although it seems to upset him, he makes the good point that many haven’t seemed to make yet: adding a female to a game simply for the sake of having a woman is just as bad as leaving them out.
What I don’t want to see happen is have the obligatory female character in there because that’s what marketing says we need to have. I think that’s almost even more disrespectful than not having women in the game.
Imagine playing a game and being able to play as a female character that is a completely half-assed design. You know that the only reason they included her was to avoid the backlash that may come of it due to people actively seeking out these issues. You will play as her, but you won’t be happy and that will cause a whole new string of anger and disappointment.
I agree that it would be really nice to see more strong female characters that aren’t overly sexualized (Like Lara Croft) or damsels (Like Princess Peach), but it seems like developers are heading into a lose-lose situation regardless of what they do.
Where are developers going to find the balance?