Games with female protagonists

"An unfiltered list of games featuring a leading lady, because such a list should exist."

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  1. Interesting list but some games have female characters for the amusement of male players. Bayonetta is an example. Reminds me of that article about why some male players chose a female character as an avatar.
    Just to keep in mind. wink

  2. No matter the gender of the main protagonist, the majority of video games lack a genuine female voice and perspective. Propagandized violence and aggression are still the structural focus of most games even when the semi-nude female hero is the playable character.

  3. I'm probably not qualified to wade into the deep water of what qualifies as a 'genuine female voice and perspective'; but it is worth noting that some(not all; but some) of the structural focus of games is determined by available technology.

    Even games that are largely not aimed at guns 'n explosions gamer bros (like the notably zillions-selling The Sims series) fall very, very, heavily into the fact that it's strikingly difficult to get a computer to emit something that isn't word salad, much less pass the turing test with sufficiently high marks to be an even vaguely interesting character. In the case of The Sims, basically all social interactions, needs, and relationships get boiled down to integers that can be bumped up and down (pretty much exactly what you do with hit points and battle axes in an RPG) because nobody has anything that can do convincing characters and interactions without having humans write, voice-act, and substantially animate(even in games that have partially automated mook-diversifiers, characters you are supposed to care about are generally handled by the art team). RPGs are the ones that most commonly do this in loving detail, games from other genres sometimes do as well.

    Things that can be boiled down to numbers, and handled with adequate verisimilitude by much simpler models(doesn't have to be violent, city-building, puzzle games, etc. all qualify; but violence certainly comes under this heading) are easier and cheaper to make games from, and easier to make games with replay value because the entire world doesn't have to be manually scripted.

    Even in games that are violencetastic power fantasies (Black & White, say) tend to stumble badly if they try to break the mold. Throwing fireballs? Worked fine. 'Training' a creature? New definition of pain and suffering. Interacting with your worshipers? Wildly simplified and still largely sucked. Other examples would be the 'stealth' and 'stealth/FPS' hybrid games: Making guards that respond even vaguely plausibly to noises, line of sight, discovery of comrade's bodies, missing patrols that they should know about, missing patrols that they have no reason to, etc. has been a very, very, difficult area of work. Even in generally highly rated games in the genre(Thief, Dishonored), it's still pretty primitive.

    In RTSes, 'fog of war' is another such example. The real-world breakdown of situational awareness, information transmission, etc. that occurs is very hard to model, so most games go with 'unexplored', 'explored, no line of sight' and 'visible' and call it a day.

    None of this pretends to explain the distribution of game themes(which are, in large part, pitched and marketed much like summer action movies); but it is the case that some topics are genuinely far harder than others, and a realistic conversation is much harder(unless scripted) than a realistic shot to the head.

  4. Oh bull poop. Women play everything. We just often choose not to announce it in multiplayer situations so as to avoid having stupid crap said to us. Which, by the way, happens just as often in those "casual" games that are supposedly the realm of teh laydeez. I'm playing a word game on my phone right now and 7/10 of my opponents are men. I've had 4 or 5 dick pics sent to me via that game. Yay.

    I do agree with you that the list is incomplete, however.

  5. I think sexism does enter the equation, in that it's a vicious circle in a way. For example, if I don't like Call of Duty, it's because "girls don't like shooters". If my husband also doesn't like Call of Duty, it's because he's "not an FPS guy" or he's "a strategy gamer". My gaming preferences get defined by my gender. His get defined by his actual preferences. So if less women play X, it's because they're women. If less men play X, it's because it's ... not a very good game?

    Funny story. I play Guild Wars 2. A few months ago, they finished up their Living Story Season 1 plotline. 7 of the 9 major NPCs, including the main villain, were female. There were complaints on the forum that there were "not enough guys" in the story. I had to laugh. The ratio is reversed all the time and no one (well almost no one) seems to notice.

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