So, with today's rumor that America may join much of the rest of the world in allowing women to fulfill combat roles in the military, I started wondering if this would finally change the makeup of a lot of modern shooters? I understand that a certain element of why they're absent from these games is due to some unsettling societal pressure where treating a polygonal computer model representing a female like a bullet-meatbag the way disposable male comrades are in these games is off-putting (and would probably used against gaming by ignorant opponents of gaming). I also, however, suspect much of that would have to change if they were engaged in this same activity in real life. Right?
Granted, I don't enjoy the idea of going around in a more realistic environment (more realistic than, say, Halo or something where you have more frequent female representation, that is) and blowing women away with a shotgun any more than I do a male. It might even be uncomfortable, in some games. Even despite the ridiculousness of the action and poor animations and character models of the current generation of games. I wonder, though, if it would bring with it a new world of story potential? It might be interesting to play through Warfighter as a mother who is off in horrible situations and constantly thinking about getting back home to her husband and children and the rest of her family. And perhaps it'd offer a chance for new perspective on the activities and plots of these games which players may be less receptive to were these moments through the eyes of a guy who is "rough and gruff paramilitary dude". Where "aw, he's having a sensitive silent type moment" would be put down by the cynical among us (like myself). If nothing else, it seems it's always good to give more options for feeling represented in a game - whether that's having fat and skinny or black and white and asian and other character models or having girl models for all the girl gamers out there shooting dudes in the face online, these days.
I feel the need to approach this tenderly, such that it won't turn into another round of rhetorical male and female crap or the sexist way some people are or aren't played in games, so perhaps the only way I can avoid that is to define the question more acutely: Do you think a change in official policy would drive a change in these modern shooters? Do you welcome that? What other benefits besides those mentioned above do you imagine could come from this? Or do you think it'll just open us up to more damage from politicians and the lot looking for more scapegoats and shooting chicks in the face is probably a great one?
Personally, I will buy the hell out of MW4 (there's somethign I never thought I'd say) if I can be a bad ass woman (not a "sexy soldier chick" -- just a regular woman that many GBers in the military serve alongside already) with speed and agility perks running around knifing dudes. And the first game that tries to give a serious try and the "Soldier away from home" story from the female perspective is a pre-order, for me. I think there is real potential in not just making a female character "another model you can select at the start screen", but bring meaningful differences and options to players. This isn't to say the female character can only serve the role of viewpoint or stereotypical sensitive stuff -- only that it could offer up the potential for things that might not play, otherwise. Maybe the COD franchise wouldn't be the most mature place to roll something like that out, but you get the idea.