I want to make it clear that I’m not saying we should be virtually massacring helpless women and children, I just wonder why it’s such a big deal when it very occasionally happens in video games.
I talked about my murder fatigue last week after killing lots of faceless men in Uncharted 3. But that’s just it, they were all dudes.
I understand children being absent from the mindless murdering; that’s too politically incorrect, and little girls are at their most terrifying in freaky twin form (thanks, The Shining). But why are there never mindless clones of women to shoot in the face repetitively?
The lack of female protagonists -- without tig bitties -- has been a contentious topic for years, but is slowly changing. There’s an ever growing list of female heroes, even if they’re in the sidekick role, that are as realistic as women as someone like Nathan Drake or Max Payne is as a man. But that’s been done to death. I want to know why they aren’t on the other side of the fence.
There mightn’t be that many female leads in video games, but on the contrary, there are none to slaughter either, and every protagonist is a serial killer nowadays.
Whenever there’s a female antagonist she’s always the mastermind or second in command. Katherine Marlowe, for example, while we’re still talking Uncharted 3. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a big deal that she’s a woman, and she’s high up the ranks.
In any video game it’s surprising to face off against a female, even when you’re playing as one. When it happens, she is always an imposing boss or crucial to the story, never just a faceless goon.
I finally started Max Payne 3 last night, and in the first hour of play, it’s exactly the same. I’ve already killed a few hundred cabana shirt-wearing dudes, and Max has saved the damsel in distress countless times. The burly drones confirm to their stereotyped rolls and likewise, apparently the bad guys never hire women to do their bidding.
Maybe it’s just a reflection of the real world. With limited women in war zones, perhaps it makes sense to have absolutely none to kill in Call of Duty. Although, is that really modern warfare? It won’t be long until we get to play at least part of a COD game as a female lead (other fresh ideas must be running dry), but will it be matched by female opponents?
It’s not a big deal, more of an interesting observation. There mightn’t be that many female leads in video games, but on the contrary, there are none to slaughter either, and every protagonist is a serial killer nowadays.
If I were a megalomaniac recruiting a team of mindless goons, I’d totally hire a bunch of faceless chicks instead of lookalike dudes. Nobody would ever suspect that.
By Ben Salter - Bio