I read a Financial Times article this morning that got me thinking. There are not enough female protagonists in video games. It is something I have believed since I was a little girl playing my NES and then as I went through my Super Nintendo and my PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and on my PC. There are not enough strong female characters.
We are represented as weak, stupid, and with perfect figures that jiggle unrealistically. This not only makes us as women feel like we are inferior, but it also makes boys grow up thinking women are like that. I understand having these characters, as some people are like that. However, when you come across every single one of them being helpless, sexy, and stupid it paints the rest of us in a bad light.
More Women Game Now Than Ever Before
Over half of gamers are females. We are undervalued. Though I saw a bright light when Horizon Zero Dawn came out. It was a female protagonist that was not sexy, was not stupid, and was not helpless. I think our daughters deserve to grow up in a world where women are seen as strong and not sex objects. Our daughter should have role models in gaming that are not just sex symbols.
Honestly, I don’t mind the ones that are there, but what I do mind is that it is almost all we have. I have daughters and they are gamers. They love playing video games. I don’t want them to have to suffer through only male protagonists in games to get a good story. Our daughters also shouldn’t feel like they need to be ditzy, sex addicts, that are helpless for men to like them.
Games Are Like Books or Movies
I love games like Red Dead Redemption and I love a great story. Does not matter if it is male or female in these roles to me. To me playing a video game is like reading a book or watching a movie. It is a time for me to enjoy a good story, even better when it is like a choose your own adventure book. Regardless, I like diversity in my books and movies and I would love it in my video games too.
The industry has been shown to be sexist, and it is ridiculous. Their employees being sexually harassed and not given equal pay all because they are female. This backs up my whole stance on why we need to diversify protagonists. Women have been sexualized so much. See them as less, because in these video games growing up they were just sex symbols, stupid, and/or helpless.
I Want More For My Daughter’s And Yours
Women are not helpless. We are so incredibly strong and something I want my daughters to embrace. Females deserve to be treated the same. We need more kickass women in video games, if only for our daughters. Even the sexist assholes that objectify females in the industry, wouldn’t want that for their daughters.
Female protagonists are necessary and should be more prevalent. I don’t want my daughters thinking they are less because of video games. They should feel empowered by video games. Even feeling moved or enjoy a good story.
Our daughters should not have to dress or put on makeup at such a young age and sexualize themselves because they don’t feel good enough because of the things they play, read or watch. We as parents need to take a stand we need to start demanding more from video game developers. Don’t let your son think video games are like life. Don’t let your daughter’s think they have to be a certain way to be liked.
Video Games Have A High Impact
You don’t think something as simple as a video game can have such an impact on your child. It is no different than the advertisements they see, the movies they watch, the music they listen to, or books they read. These are things that can change the mindset based on values they see over and over again.
The industry should be held to a higher standard. I love video games and my family does too. However, I am tired of always having to play a man to get a good story. I am tired of most of the female protagonists just being sex symbols. I am so happy over the years to see more strong female protagonists in one way or another. It just is not as high a priority for these developers as it should be.