Remember when you could play a video game and not worry if there was going to be a male or female main character(MC), or what race they were going to be? It could have been a damn little green alien as the MC for all you knew and it would have been easily game of the year for you. You got a game that looked cool based off magazine or online reviews and the art cover, but did you ever really think to yourself “Oh boy if this game has a woman in it, I’m not buying it”. Hell I’d say it was the opposite effect in some cases, for example “Tomb Raider” for the PlayStation 1 was a major hit and it was the 6th highest selling title for the system. Nobody cared that a woman was the protagonist. You could argue and say that Lara Croft was over “sexualized” and that’s why it did so well. It was one of the first video games to have a emphasis on female breasts but I call that bullshit. The game holds a 91 Metascore and 8.5 User Score respectively. I’m not much for game review scores determining if a game is good or not, but it gives you the general idea overall how well the game did in most cases, so how could a pair of breasts achieve such a positive score alone? It may have helped, but a pair of breasts did not inspire amazing games such as the Uncharted series, to use the Tomb Raider formula within it’s own games. (Ironically, Tomb Raider now tries to be like Uncharted)
So it is clear that in the past, regardless if the main character was a male or female, it really wasn’t a big deal or at least not a hot controversy issue as it is today. Sure there wasn’t social media and the revolutionary internet we have today to help spark off debates, but gamers still socialized and interacted during the early internet days.
A quote back from 2012:
“The more women we have playing games, the more we will be able to have a balance between women and men in the games,” said Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft.”
Why do we need more females playing video games?
Why can’t more females just play video games because they like video games? Why is it an issue if females don’t play video games as much as guys in first place? It sounds like it’s more of a problem for video game companies than an issue for the general public. Having more females buy video games on top of the usual male audience sounds like a nice bonus for any company. Plus, it’s not like females aren’t being represented at all, there has been a lot of progress towards having more female involvement. Overwatch, Final Fantasy 13, League of Legends, Tomb Raider, Child of Light, Horizon Dawn, etc. are just a few titles with female main characters or strong female characters in general.
Females SHOULD be represented in video games and there is nothing wrong with pushing for this. However, it shouldn’t be done by force. It shouldn’t be “Hey lets make a game that involves more females”, it should be “Hey lets make a new game, I got a great idea for a Nordic Princess that’s been frozen for years and when she gets unfrozen she comes back and finds everybody dead, and avenges her village, etc.”. It should be about making a great game for people to enjoy, it shouldn’t have to inject a certain demographic into the game just because it would include more female or certain races’ involvement.
Games such as God of War should not be criticized for it’s lack of female representation. The game’s intended audience was meant for males, so why should the game be forced to add more of a female balance? You don’t play a Barbie video game and then write a huge article on how Ken doesn’t realistically represent men or that he doesn’t have enough voice lines. BECAUSE IT’S A GAME MEANT FOR GIRLS. The hypocrisy that has plagued politics since the beginning of time has invaded the hobby that we once knew as video gaming.
Unfortunately, I think the political agenda plague has already taken over the video game industry and there is no turning back. The video game industry was never free of political agendas but most of the time it got blown off. Besides small instances like for example Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas adding a African-American as the main character, which did show some “pushback” from fans, but ultimately was ignored once the game was out and everyone realized it was an amazing game. You see the difference here? Rockstar wasn’t trying to just inject a demographic appeal towards African-Americans. The game was well made, you could clearly tell it was well thought out, it had an excellent story, it was very in-depth with what you could do in the game and it was not just a cheap cash-in for Rockstar to take advantage of, even if they did make an insane amount of money off the game, it was made for gamers to enjoy.
There came a time where video games stopped being about us gamers, and it’s just become another bullshit media take over. Games are more about presenting an image and a stance than they are about actually being played and providing a great experience for the person playing them. How the fuck else do you explain the popularity of Twitch? You’re telling me those viewer counts aren’t higher than the amount of people actually playing the game?
Why did Blizzard have to make Solider 76 gay? I honestly don’t care who likes who, or what someone decides to do, as long as they don’t hurt anybody else in the process, but Overwatch has been out since May 24, 2016, so why would this type of information matter? Why not leave it up to the player’s imagination? This is just one of the examples you see where video game companies try to take advantage of consumers. It’s quite sickening if you think about it. There are people out there apart of the LGBT community and they’re being misrepresented with corporate media bullshit and pushed agendas, at least in my opinion.
There is a lot I’d love to say further, but I will end this as PART 1 of the political agenda take over of video games article.