Gender in Video Games: There are already strong female characters

Being a feminist isn't like invading Poland, but we have to realize the strides made by gaming developers.

The portrayal of women in video games is....not so bad really. Yeah, I get the point of aggressive feminist female gamers, I’m a feminist in some aspects of life like equality in the workforce. Just because someone is a feminist doesn’t make them a “femiNAZI” (which is a terrible term).

I like to emphasize gender equality, not just women’s rights. Yes the gaming industry is biased towards men, that is not a big surprise since that is where they’ve gotten most of their revenue over the past couple decades. I’ve recently seen more developers cater to their feminine audience, which is great, but gaming feminists are still complaining.

One small thing that people forget: a game is trying to tell a story. This is through scripts and development, a process much like what is used for movies and tv. You are playing a story that someone has taken time to write and develop with interesting characters, whether they be male or female. The portrayal of these characters are usually for the story. Keep that in mind.

I get the argument about costumes, and the negative body standards that women are put to, but women aren’t the only ones. Men are also exposed to extremely high body standards as well, most knowing that they are unrealistic. Female bodies tend to cater to sexual fantasies and male bodies to power fantasies. They’ve come to terms with it. Am I saying that women should just deal with these fantasized versions of themselves? Well, yeah. For now. It’s time to put our own egos aside and see these characters as an extension of ourselves, no matter what they look like.

Can we focus on how many badass female characters there are? From Samus Aran to Lara Croft to Sarah Kerrigan to Alyx Vance and Commander Shepard, developers have some great female characters to look to for inspiration. One of my favorite examples of this are the women in the Borderlands series. There are some characters who can kick ass, some who are sexually open and don’t care and others who just don’t care, all wanting to fight for the same cause. This is the direction more games should be trying to go. But, to say that women are underrepresented in the gaming industry is a little naive; you just need to look around a little more.

Of course there is always more to talk about in this great debate, but I’d like to hear what you think on the topic.

Featured Contributor

Better dead than a damsel. I'm a Magazine Journalism student at the University of Georgia. I enjoy shooting bullymongs in the head while I'm not cuddling my cat.

Published Jun. 14th 2013
  • Andre Bartley
    They are strong female characters in gaming. Commander Shepard(Fem shep), Mirada Lawson(Not kidding, she is the only love interest in the game that never need rescuing in any way. Even the male LI became damsels in distress on way or another). The new version of Lara Croft.

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