Industrygamers.com: 51% of games this gen feature playable female

#1 Posted by Darkpen (73 posts) -

As an industry, we still clearly have a bias towards males characters, with 90% of all video games released in the U.S. and Europe on seventh generation consoles having playable male characters. However, that 51% of games this generation have playable female characters is an incredible accomplishment for our industry and reinforces our progress towards serving ever widening demographics. Even when core (Action, Shooter, RPG, etc.) and casual genres are separated, the percentage of core games with playable female characters remain at a respectable level, while the male/female ratio in casual games reaches parity.     

 
http://www.industrygamers.com/news/the-divnich-debrief-game-sales-unaffected-by-gender-of-main-character/
   
 
 The article goes into detail on how the quality of reviews for games that feature a female playable character are not impaired or different from other games. It also mentions how top 10 NPD titles can't really reflect this as the top-selling games tend to be either of an iconic nature (sports, mario) or war and combat, where women are traditionally not at the frontlines. 
 
I'm glad that someone went and made the statistical analysis of this nature to show how far games have progressed in the current generation of systems. 

#2 Posted by MrCellophane (524 posts) -

I'm more concerned about how sexualized the women are depicted than how many of them there are. Does the article cover that?

#3 Posted by TwoLines (2788 posts) -
@MrCellophane said:
" I'm more concerned about how sexualized the women are depicted than how many of them there are. Does the article cover that? "
Men in games aren't wimpy geeks either.
Online
#4 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -
@MrCellophane: Yeah... because girls NEVER wear anything flaunty in RL either.... 
  
I'm glad to see something like this because I'm tired of hearing from other females about how the video game industry doesn't cater to us and our interests.  WTF?  EVERYONE has different interests.  They can't cater to every single one.  That's why there's a wide assortment of games and genres out there.
#5 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Featuring females as protagonists=/=catering to female gamer wants. Because they're still largely the kind of females that appeal to males as oppose to the kind of female a woman would want to play.  MMOs and party-based games (RPGs) are responsible for those numbers being as they are. You notice how they phrased the term, very clever. How are the numbers for games that allow you to play a female lead character? Probably not great. How about games that only allow you to play a female lead. Probably pretty embarrassing.

#6 Posted by MrCellophane (524 posts) -
@TwoLines said:
" @MrCellophane said:
" I'm more concerned about how sexualized the women are depicted than how many of them there are. Does the article cover that? "
Men in games aren't wimpy geeks either. "
@melcene said:
" @MrCellophane: Yeah... because girls NEVER wear anything flaunty in RL either....  "
Erhm... I think you may have misunderstood me. I just asked how many of those 51% femprots are oversexualized Lara Croft clones, and how many are actually depicted in a more "natural" way.
#7 Posted by Arbie (1449 posts) -

I don't mind if I'm playing a male or female character in a game. I don't care if the main character in a book is male or female so I don't see why I'd care with a game! I do however think @MrCellophane:  has a point. Especially when games such as Bayonetta come to mind. =p

#8 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -
@MrCellophane said:
Erhm... I think you may have misunderstood me. I just asked how many of those 51% femprots are oversexualized Lara Croft clones, and how many are actually depicted in a more "natural" way. "
Didn't you hear, Lara Croft is a believable character now.
#9 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -
@MrCellophane: Nope, I understood - you believe that many femprots are oversexualized.  I believe that women in RL are oversexualized too, and much of it is by their own doing.  And again, how often do girls in RL wear revealing clothing?  Hell, just go look at some facebook or myspace profile pics.  Women in RL are just as sexualized (of their own doing!) as women in games, so it bothers me when people act offended on behalf of women. 
  
Also, @ryanwho: What exactly, then, is it that a "female gamer wants?"  And how do you know that female protagonists in games are not "the kind of female a woman would want to play?"  Are you a woman?  Do you have a wife or girlfriend who plays video games who expresses her complete dislike to you for character such as Lara Croft, Joanna Dark, female Shepard?  
#10 Posted by TwoLines (2788 posts) -
@MrCellophane said:
" @TwoLines said:
" @MrCellophane said:
" I'm more concerned about how sexualized the women are depicted than how many of them there are. Does the article cover that? "
Men in games aren't wimpy geeks either. "
@melcene said:
" @MrCellophane: Yeah... because girls NEVER wear anything flaunty in RL either....  "
Erhm... I think you may have misunderstood me. I just asked how many of those 51% femprots are oversexualized Lara Croft clones, and how many are actually depicted in a more "natural" way. "
I understood you. Just sayin' that men in video games are also pretty damn ridiculous. Most of them have arms the sice of my entire body.
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#11 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Men and women are both depicted as cartoonish ideals from male perspectives. Except, like, a handful of male characters in Japan that are basically made with females in mind.

#12 Posted by IBurningStar (2160 posts) -

51%, you say? Didn't know they made that many kitchen based games...

#13 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -
@ryanwho:  That's something I've always though about. How, outside of Metroid, there really aren't many strong, female leads. Who know when we'll see the first African American female lead character?  
 
Also, one thing I though was interesting was a point made by someone on the Bombcast a while ago, in regards to Metroid: Other M. They noted how it can be difficult to make a female lead because if you make her an image of sexuality, you pander to men and objectify her; but if you give her stereotypical "male" qualities, you reduce her to "just" a man. Pretty interesting. 
#14 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

More!
 
I would not have loved certain games as much if I couldn't be my own gender!
It makes the experience, as it should! It's an interactive story we experience! Not a book we read with set in stone characters, which has it charms but not always!

#15 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

People draw arbitrary lines about what they're comfortable roleplaying as. Basically if you're a white guy, those are the only traits that matter in the transfer. Not your acne, your eye problem, your weight problem, your giant prison bitch lips, none of that. But he must be white and he must be a man, cus that's me! So silly.

#16 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -
@HarlequinRiot said:
" @ryanwho:  That's something I've always though about. How, outside of Metroid, there really aren't many strong, female leads. Who know when we'll see the first African American female lead character?   Also, one thing I though was interesting was a point made by someone on the Bombcast a while ago, in regards to Metroid: Other M. They noted how it can be difficult to make a female lead because if you make her an image of sexuality, you pander to men and objectify her; but if you give her stereotypical "male" qualities, you reduce her to "just" a man. Pretty interesting.  "
That's the problem is that the game industry is going to have a very tough time making everyone happy. 
 
@TaliciaDragonsong: Agreed.  It disappoints me so much when playing an FPS or RPG and I don't have an option to make my character female.  I don't care if she's fugly or overly sexualized.  I just want the ability to play a chick.
#17 Posted by eroticfishcake (7782 posts) -

Considering how 51% of the human population is female that's an interesting figure to go along by. All in all, I think that's a great thing.

#18 Posted by MrCellophane (524 posts) -
@melcene said:
" [...]  Women in RL are just as sexualized (of their own doing!) as women in games. 
"
 I think we may disagree on that. Don't let the media trick you into believing that "all" women are like that. I still suspect that the percentage of oversexualized femprots is way bigger than the percentage of RL women who cultivate an image THAT sexualized. We just never see "the ugly ones" so to speak. 
 
My favourite example of a non-sexualized woman is Alyx from HL2. Sure, she's a pretty girl (though not unusually  so), but there's absolutely "OMG BEWBZ" about her. I'd really like to see more characters like her, or Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, where developers try to use personality instead of good looks to get you interested in the character.
 
Also, the term "what female gamers want" is pretty stupid. Compare it to "what male gamers want". What do "male gamers" want? EVERYTHING! We span from wanting Metroid to Dragon Age, from Harvest Moon to Fallout, from racing games to city builders. Why the fuck would female gamers be any different? 
What I'm trying to say is that everyone has different tastes so boxing them together with stuff like "what female gamers want" makes no sense.
#19 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -
@MrCellophane: Fully agree on both overall points (though I still think that many women these days use sexuality to their advantage, and thus why should femprots be exempt from doing the same?).  Personally my favorite femprot is the original Joanna Dark.  She wasn't made out like a sex object.  She was just badass.  She was the female version of James Bond.  What wasn't to like about her?
#20 Posted by MrCellophane (524 posts) -
@melcene said:
" @MrCellophane:[...]I still think that many women these days use sexuality to their advantage, and thus why should femprots be exempt from doing the same?[...]   "
Of course there should be oversexualized female protagonists - my problem is just that they are vastly over-represented. I'd like to see some more down-to-earth, "normal" female protagonists.

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