The State of Female Characters in AAA Games

Header Art by Zakurarain.

This time last year I was ecstatic over all the amazing 2016 games showcasing female protagonists. It seemed like things were starting to look up for those who’ve been demanding more diversity from the mainstream, AAA video games. Unfortunately, I realised after this year’s E3 and looking at the Fall to early 2017 lineup I was being a little too optimistic. Not only is there a lack of women, but big games and publishers are actively avoiding putting women in their games. In an industry where more than half of those who play games are women, it’s frustrating that sexism and misogyny keep pushing women to the sides or entirely exclude them from AAA games. From the typical oversexualized portrayal to a more subtle misrepresentation to outright exclusion, there are different ways in which the AAA games in this article (and many others we couldn’t get into here) are a disservice to the potential of video games and the players who love them. Continue reading →

2016: The Year of the Heroine

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that men and women are equally likely to report playing video games. With just as many women playing games as men there should be just as many male leads as women in our games. So I went to my local EBGames and scoured the shelves, finding that there are barely any games with female leads. Of those that are available there are even fewer where the character in question is a developed, meaningful representation of women. Thankfully in the past couple years women are starting to be used in games as the compelling and relatable characters they need to be. 2015 games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, Cibele, Life Is Strange and Undertale all promoted substantial, realistic women. Continue reading →