Playing as a female protagonist

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#1 Posted by NegativeCero (3013 posts) -

I just listened to last week's Weekend Confirmed podcast (second to the Bombcast) where they brought up an interesting possibility for a GTA game. What if you played as a female protagonist? It's such a simple, yet potentially amazing idea, especially coming from Rockstar.

One thing that was brought up was what other company, if not Rockstar, pushes boundaries for what we're okay with in gaming. If you look at games protagonists you will get generic ripped bald white guy "x", while Rockstar has given you C.J., Niko, and Gay Tony, all minorities. So I think they can do something amazing in giving us the female perspective in the messed up worlds they create in the GTA series.

With the popularity of the series maybe it could make it more universally acceptable to have a more variability in protagonists, as ridiculous as it is, for publishers/developers (whoever make the decisions on what is okay in protagonists) who seem to think that all we want is space marine "x" by proving them wrong and showing that in sales. I mean if people seriously would refuse to buy a game because of what the main character looks like instead of say the quality of the game, then this whole industry has big problems.

I'm curious at what you all think.

#2 Posted by Elerigo (101 posts) -

Fuck yes!

#3 Edited by haffy (673 posts) -

I'd like to see them try. But since there isn't really any games similar to GTA that have a female lead, it might be difficult to pull off cleanly.

#4 Posted by VierasTalo (856 posts) -

It'd be cool. I'd feel all 100 Bullets-ish.

#5 Posted by biospank (660 posts) -

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

#6 Posted by ABritishNerd (318 posts) -

@biospank said:

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

I was going to post something deep and meaningful about how women are portrayed in games and how Rockstar could be the studio to pull it off, but screw it lesbian sex!

#7 Edited by HatKing (6025 posts) -

The main characters in GTA games have never been the draw for me. It's always the supporting cast, including the city itself. It's everything that surrounds the player that makes those games so interesting. Same reason why all those other open world games fall flat, they put too little thought into the world itself.

Do I think RockStar could do this? Yes, of course. Should they? Sure, I'm sort of sick of 'grizzled white guy voiced by Nolan North'. Do I think it would turn out to be a fantastic character that would finally break down the walls of social discrimination and garner mainstream, female interest in video games? Probably not so much.

#8 Posted by Jadeskye (4367 posts) -

I would like to see it but i seem to recall reading that a lot of people (read: men) are put off the idea of a female protagonist in video games.

I don't know if thats still true but it wouldn't surprise me.

#9 Posted by SpartanAmbrose (834 posts) -

@Elerigo said:

Fuck yes!

That was my reaction as well. Go for it, Rockstar!

#10 Posted by Nightriff (5156 posts) -

@biospank said:

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

All that matters

#11 Edited by DeeGee (2141 posts) -

I always pick a female character in Saints Row, so the 'oh my gosh' factor of this idea is pretty much lost on me. Been there, done that.

#12 Posted by NegativeCero (3013 posts) -

@Jadeskye said:

I would like to see it but i seem to recall reading that a lot of people (read: men) are put off the idea of a female protagonist in video games.

I don't know if thats still true but it wouldn't surprise me.

But that's why I think Rockstar could do it. They have a huge following who, at least I hope, trust that whatever creative decisions are made are for the best. Or at the very least, trust that the game would be good regardless of the character they're playing.

#13 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

#14 Posted by huntad (1955 posts) -

Depends on how the other characters interact with her, and how she reacts accordingly. Usually when women are portrayed in situations like war or physical struggle, it ends up feeling kind of fake to me. It's something about the characters and their reactions that always get me.

I do hope they can pull it off though - if they even try,

#15 Posted by NegativeCero (3013 posts) -

@DeeGee: But I don't mean a create a character with a story that would work around regardless of what you create. I mean a fully fleshed story that has a female protagonist.

#16 Posted by mosespippy (4286 posts) -

I don't see it happening. They sell too many copies to 13 year olds who wouldn't want to play as a girl.

#17 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

#18 Posted by biospank (660 posts) -
@Nightriff: dude, you know that the main chick needs to look like a doa chick.
#19 Posted by Jimbo (9869 posts) -

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

Male protagonists sell.

#20 Posted by GlenTennis (3145 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

I don't see it happening. They sell too many copies to 13 year olds who wouldn't want to play as a girl.

I don't remember who it was, but I remember seeing a long article interviewing a game developer about this point exactly. You have to remember first and foremost they want a game that sells, then maybe a game that innovates. While the audience of gamers is growing both in gender equality and age, there is a huge audience of people out there who have the mentality that they don't want to play as a girl, whether it be that the majority of males who play games can see themselves as the protagonist better, or straight up sexism. I would love to see it, but I don't think it will happen with a game this major any time soon, though I hope I'm wrong.

#21 Posted by JeanLuc (3591 posts) -

I would love it! Rockstar could do lots of interesting stuff with the story that otherwise wouldn't be possible.

#22 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3066 posts) -

I prefer to play as a male character.

#23 Posted by Chop (1999 posts) -

I`d be down with that. Most of the games with female protagonists are games that allow you to create a character. I woudln`t mind seeing a story focused game built specifically around a female lead for a change.

#24 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

Male protagonists sell.

Rockstar games will sell because

  1. It will have the rockstar logo
  2. It will say Grand Theft Auto

aanything besides that is superfluous and gender becoming an issue for selling games need to go away and I think rockstar is the only studio that can do that right.

#25 Edited by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

The audience that is not us would not like it. Even tho GTA is a mature game, it is the #1 game of kids under 17. The are not mature and would think it is "gay".
#26 Posted by onarum (2151 posts) -

I ain't got a problem with that, especially if you can still date girls, HOT!

#27 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@kingzetta said:

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

The audience that is not us would not like it. Even tho GTA is a mature game, it is the #1 game of kids under 17. The are not mature and would think it is "gay".

If they see a woman headlining a GTA and they compulsively start having a hissy fit then they can either 'mature' or just not get GTA when everyone else is.

#28 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

i would love to see it but i don't think rockstar will do it

#29 Posted by Gabriel (4067 posts) -

What's one of the sidemissions, getting Gangbanged in? Especially since they're pushing for a more realistic direction I have a tough time seeing how this would work.

#30 Posted by Jimbo (9869 posts) -

@Dany said:

@Jimbo said:

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

Male protagonists sell.

Rockstar games will sell because

  1. It will have the rockstar logo
  2. It will say Grand Theft Auto

aanything besides that is superfluous and gender becoming an issue for selling games need to go away and I think rockstar is the only studio that can do that right.

Well, you're wrong, obviously... but I don't know why you think Rockstar would be the studio to get this right. Their handling of the gay character in GTA 4 was absolutely awful, if not outright offensive.

#31 Posted by Animasta (14713 posts) -

if they did I might buy the next GTA :P

#32 Posted by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

I seriously doubt this will happen, except in the case of an ensemble cast of some sort.

#33 Posted by oatz (1103 posts) -

@ShadowConqueror said:

I prefer to play as a male character.

Me too. It's not a game breaker, though.

#34 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

The audience that is not us would not like it. Even tho GTA is a mature game, it is the #1 game of kids under 17. The are not mature and would think it is "gay".

If they see a woman headlining a GTA and they compulsively start having a hissy fit then they can either 'mature' or just not get GTA when everyone else is.

Well Rockstar would like to avoid the people not getting it part and you really can't just tell 15 year olds to mature, because they are morons.
#35 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@kingzetta: Then rockstar should ignore them because they are morons.

@Jimbo said:

@Dany said:

@Jimbo said:

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

Male protagonists sell.

Rockstar games will sell because

  1. It will have the rockstar logo
  2. It will say Grand Theft Auto

aanything besides that is superfluous and gender becoming an issue for selling games need to go away and I think rockstar is the only studio that can do that right.

Well, you're wrong, obviously... but I don't know why you think Rockstar would be the studio to get this right. Their handling of the gay character in GTA 4 was absolutely awful, if not outright offensive.

Did you play Ballad of Gay Tony?

#36 Posted by Vorbis (2750 posts) -

I'm going to be playing Saints Row 3 as a female protagonist. And they will do it better than Rockstar because she won't be treated differently, just like Saints 2.

#37 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@Dany: 15-17 year olds that want GTA for their birthday or Christmas is like 50 or 60% of their market.
#38 Edited by Lotus (214 posts) -

Finally.

#39 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@kingzetta said:

@Dany: 15-17 year olds that want GTA for their birthday or Christmas is like 50 or 60% of their market.

I doubt that those under 17 take that much market share but still, I think the introduction of a female protagonist is not going to destroy or hurt Rockstars 'market of under 17' for a GTA title.

#40 Edited by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

I'd rather play as a dude, to be honest. So I guess I'm part of the "problem".

#41 Posted by thehexeditor (1404 posts) -

I'm gonna be that guy and say:

Nope.

#42 Posted by Jimbo (9869 posts) -

@Dany said:

@kingzetta: Then rockstar should ignore them because they are morons.

@Jimbo said:

@Dany said:

@Jimbo said:

@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

That would be a breath of fresh air, but rockstar does not have the balls to do that.

Are you serious? What is so ballsy that makes a female protagnist the most 'devisive' thing Rockstar can do?

Male protagonists sell.

Rockstar games will sell because

  1. It will have the rockstar logo
  2. It will say Grand Theft Auto

aanything besides that is superfluous and gender becoming an issue for selling games need to go away and I think rockstar is the only studio that can do that right.

Well, you're wrong, obviously... but I don't know why you think Rockstar would be the studio to get this right. Their handling of the gay character in GTA 4 was absolutely awful, if not outright offensive.

Did you play Ballad of Gay Tony?

Yes I did. It was an improvement (and by far my favourite piece of GTA 4 content to boot), but Tony was still the total loser getting bailed out by the manly straight protagonist. I'd love it if they gave GTA 5 a fem protagonist, I just think it's extremely unlikely, because they probably have market research which tells them they'd lose x million sales as a result. It's the same reason Bioware always puts Male Shepard and Male Hawke front and center in their advertising campaigns.

#43 Edited by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@Dany said:

@kingzetta said:

@Dany: 15-17 year olds that want GTA for their birthday or Christmas is like 50 or 60% of their market.

I doubt that those under 17 take that much market share but still, I think the introduction of a female protagonist is not going to destroy or hurt Rockstars 'market of under 17' for a GTA title.

I would bet they even take up more market than that. I was 15 when GTA3 came out ten years ago, and literally every male student in the school owned it too. 
It's the game that kids ask for.
#44 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

Rockstar could pull off a nice female protagonist. As long as it's not Catalina.

#45 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11306 posts) -

No.

I'm sexist.

Not really, but I much rather prefer playing as a dude. I like having a character I can relate with.

Moderator
#46 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11918 posts) -

It would be interesting, certainly. But I doubt it would happen, for plenty of reasons, one of which is that GTA is kind of by definition a male-oriented empowerment fantasy, and I have trouble seeing how a female protagonist would work in that context. It's not that I don't think Rockstar could create a game with a believable female protagonist, it's just that I can't see them creating a game with a believable female progagonist in which you can shoot random civilians and cops while slowly climbing your way up the criminal underworld.

#47 Posted by ajamafalous (12039 posts) -

I'd be fine with it as long as they don't try to make her all 'cool' and 'tough' like fucking Jack in ME2. Probably my least favorite character of this generation of video games.

#48 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

Yeah, I'd like to see them do something new. Seems like a fairly logical step for them to take next.

#49 Posted by kingzetta (4307 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: That's what saints row is for
#50 Posted by W0lfbl1tzers (1789 posts) -

@biospank said:

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

Almost as good as hitman.

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