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Video Games vs Gender

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Lizeth Gonzalez, Business Manager

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Female characters in video games are nothing new, but it is not as common as one would think. Video games have always been “guy territory”, but many girls play video games too. What video games always lacks for these ‘gamer girls’ is the option of a girl character in the main story mode. Of course there are many video games where a female character is present, but they are not always the main focus or even an interactive character. For some video games, female characters are the lesser option and tend to be used just as a last minute addition, just in-case a girl does play the game. For big gaming companies like Rockstar and Activision, female characters were not the main focus for the story mode of their video games, like “Grand Theft Auto” and “Black Ops”.

According to callofduty.com, “Black Ops”, created by Activision and Treyarch, did not include an interactive female character until the release of “Black Ops 3” in 2015. With “Grand Theft Auto”, Rockstar did not have a female character throughout the series, until the “Grand Theft Auto 5” online added female characters on their online servers. For many video games, the choice of a female character is available with extra packages that require a purchase, or are only available online and not in the main story mode of the game. For combat and racing games, the world is dominated by male characters, so its time for girl characters to be incorporated into story modes and not just online or be available by purchase.

Nintendo is the exception of the anti-female story mode. “Metroid”, a Nintendo Entertainment System game released on Aug. 6, 1986, was the first game to have the protagonist as a female character, according to www.howtogeek.com’s survey. Samus Aran, the main character, was portrayed as a powerful protagonist that would stop the crime on the planet Zebes. At the end of the video game, the powerful character, which was equipped with full body armor from head to toe throughout the game, was revealed to be a female character. The creator of “Metroid”,Yoshio Sakamoto, spoke about the female character decision in an International Gaming Network (IGN) interview, “‘Why don’t we make Samus Aran a female character to surprise the player?’ Back then I thought it was a nice idea, but I couldn’t foresee what a huge impact this would have on the future of the franchise.” Back then, the female character was definitely a surprise, but because of “Metroid”, more video games started to include female protagonist.

If Yoshio Sakamoto and his design team could bring in a female character back in the ‘80s when girl gaming was not as popular as it is now, then more female character protagonists should be available in the future for more video games coming out for PS4, XBOX ONE, and Nintendo Wii U games. So the next time you see a girl character in “Black Ops” or “Grand Theft Auto”, it might just be a regular girl gamer.

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Video Games vs Gender