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They Didn’t Wear Pink In ‘Nam: Why FPS Doesn’t Need Female Characters

 

On my Facebook page, Elite Girl Gamers, I get people constantly asking my opinion on why there aren’t many female characters in games. I can tell you my opinion on this subject always surprises people when I say, “I couldn’t care less.”

I’m not a feminist. I understand there are differences between the sexes. “Men and women are equal!” No…no they are not.  “Equal” is the wrong term.  I cannot lift the same weight as you. I cannot shrug off a punch in the face from you. I cannot control when my hormones are surging and I feel like lashing out at you. When I can’t get the jar open, I hand it over and ask for help. Men are helpless in different ways. Like when it comes to properly folding laundry, completing the simplest household tasks, or having their sex organs and bodies turn into a portal of life. Men and women are not equal. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be fair. Fairness between the sexes, not equality…but now I’m just rambling.

People have said to me, “I would love FPS a lot more if more of the games had an option to play as a female.” To that, I say—You’re playing the wrong genre of game. Many RPGs have the option to create a female character, and that’s the direction you should be going if you feel the need to play as a lady. I have to say, though…when I first started playing Skyrim, I was actually genuinely surprised (and kind of happy) that I could make a character that closely resembled myself. It was a nice feeling to be able to play a game as a female for once. I mostly play shooters, so when I saw that, it felt good.

Shooters are different. For the longest time, FPS has been dominated by the males. I can’t tell you how many comments I get from women who say, “I don’t play FPS because it’s so violent and angry.” Hence, these companies don’t feel the need to cater to a female audience.  However, with the surfacing of more and more ladies like myself, who favor shooters, I feel like it can only be a matter of time before one (or all) of these companies start adding options to play as a woman.

I have to say, though, that I don’t really care what characters they offer. I’d most likely play with the standard-issue, male character. Why? Well, because I feel like it doesn’t really matter. At all. Why should it? Any online shooter like Battlefield and Call of Duty allows you an online username. You can make it whatever you want. If you feel the need to show the world you are a gamer chick, this is where you can do it.

Do we really need pig-tailed, blonde, perfect-bodied, big-tittied female avatars running rampant, anyway? I say no. It would be a welcome addition for most– I’m sure– but still…not really. I’m not ugly. I’m very pretty, actually. I usually don’t go out of my way to make myself look great every day, as I could care less. I’m married and secure.  I watch my son all day. I just find it hilarious that men say they want a woman who can game with them and share in things they enjoy, then they conjure up this image of a female character in their head. An image that does not reflect 95% of ACTUAL female gamers, or females in general…

These are a few of the reasons why I think it may be better to just leave female characters out of the shooter altogether. In real battle and war, women aren’t allowed on the front lines, anyway. Add a typical female character to shooters, and you’re opening up a whole new can of worms. People will be upset over the misrepresentation of women as a whole, and that’s something I’m sure developers don’t want to get into. But, like I said, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the female gaming population speaks up and makes it happen. I’m interested to see what the next generation of shooters will evolve into, now that it’s becoming more and more popular with us ladies.

By Dr. Nikki

Comments (5)

  • River

    I know that in vietnam there weren’t many female combatants, but as we near the future there will be more women on the battlefield, heck the terrorists already employ alot of women. For the sake of keeping with the times I think we need to include women. Also what about showing young girls strong role models in video games, we can’t let them just see the hookers in GTA.

  • Ludos

    That’s true. I’m a guy, but I would totally play as a female combatant. As far as GTA and hookers in there. Hey it’s game. It would be like not having hookers in a movie.

    Plus it’s not up to Developers to be role models. That’s a parent’s job. It’s a tough one, but such is life.

  • River

    I just think every other genre has a strong female presence, Fighting games have Chun-li, and Kitanas. MMORPG’s have their Sylvanas. Classic Arcade shooter have their Samus (Metroid), and lest we forget our Tomb Raiders I think FPS should have more strong females in them.

  • Ludos

    Hey, I’m the first to agree. I would totally Rock Running Around with Light Machine Gun in BF3… In fact, that would freakin cool.

  • yola

    There are options for female characters in FPS games. Both Borderlands and Unreal Tournament have a female choice, so if it’s something that is important to a person they do have options.

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