Playing as a female protagonist

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Avatar image for negativecero
#1 Posted by NegativeCero (3140 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.

Avatar image for elerigo
#2 Posted by Elerigo (116 posts) -

Fuck yes!

Avatar image for haffy
#3 Edited by haffy (681 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.

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#4 Posted by VierasTalo (1339 posts) -

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

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#5 Posted by biospank (700 posts) -

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

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#6 Posted by ABritishNerd (331 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!

Avatar image for hatking
#7 Edited by HatKing (7269 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.

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#8 Posted by Jadeskye (4392 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.

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#9 Posted by SpartanAmbrose (842 posts) -

@Elerigo said:

Fuck yes!

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

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#10 Posted by Nightriff (7112 posts) -

@biospank said:

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

All that matters

Online
Avatar image for deegee
#11 Edited by DeeGee (2192 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.

Avatar image for negativecero
#12 Posted by NegativeCero (3140 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.

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#13 Posted by kingzetta (4497 posts) -

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

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#14 Posted by huntad (2346 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,

Avatar image for negativecero
#15 Posted by NegativeCero (3140 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.

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#16 Posted by mosespippy (4751 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.

Avatar image for dany
#17 Posted by Dany (8018 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?

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#18 Posted by biospank (700 posts) -
@Nightriff: dude, you know that the main chick needs to look like a doa chick.
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#19 Posted by Jimbo (10472 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.

Avatar image for glentennis
#20 Posted by GlenTennis (3273 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.

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#21 Posted by JeanLuc (3882 posts) -

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

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#22 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3413 posts) -

I prefer to play as a male character.

Avatar image for chop
#23 Posted by Chop (2013 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.

Online
Avatar image for dany
#24 Posted by Dany (8018 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.

Avatar image for kingzetta
#25 Edited by kingzetta (4497 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".
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#26 Posted by onarum (2973 posts) -

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

Avatar image for dany
#27 Posted by Dany (8018 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.

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#28 Posted by SlightConfuse (3996 posts) -

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

Avatar image for gabriel
#29 Posted by Gabriel (4136 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.

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#30 Posted by Jimbo (10472 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.

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#31 Posted by Animasta (14903 posts) -

if they did I might buy the next GTA :P

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#32 Posted by Cornman89 (1600 posts) -

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

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#33 Posted by oatz (1108 posts) -

@ShadowConqueror said:

I prefer to play as a male character.

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

Avatar image for kingzetta
#34 Posted by kingzetta (4497 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.
Avatar image for dany
#35 Posted by Dany (8018 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?

Avatar image for vorbis
#36 Posted by Vorbis (2762 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.

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#37 Posted by kingzetta (4497 posts) -
@Dany: 15-17 year olds that want GTA for their birthday or Christmas is like 50 or 60% of their market.
Avatar image for lotus
#38 Edited by Lotus (221 posts) -
No Caption Provided

Finally.

Avatar image for dany
#39 Posted by Dany (8018 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.

Avatar image for peasantabuse
#40 Edited by PeasantAbuse (5098 posts) -

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

Avatar image for thehexeditor
#41 Posted by thehexeditor (1436 posts) -

I'm gonna be that guy and say:

Nope.

Avatar image for jimbo
#42 Posted by Jimbo (10472 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.

Avatar image for kingzetta
#43 Edited by kingzetta (4497 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.
Avatar image for valrog
#44 Posted by valrog (3741 posts) -

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

Avatar image for mooseymcman
#45 Posted by MooseyMcMan (12538 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.

Avatar image for arbitrarywater
#46 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14683 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.

Avatar image for ajamafalous
#47 Posted by ajamafalous (13397 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.

Avatar image for benjaebe
#48 Posted by benjaebe (2871 posts) -

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

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#49 Posted by kingzetta (4497 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: That's what saints row is for
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#50 Posted by W0lfbl1tzers (1790 posts) -

@biospank said:

as long as you can have lesbo sex with whores.

Almost as good as hitman.

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