Female Video Game Protagonists

Every so often, I see posts on big websites talking about how we're finally getting representation for women in video games. Not simply in the sense of positive, less sexual representation but empowering ones; representations that take the form of female protagonists.

Female protagonists practically dominate the year 2017. I've played Tales of Berseria, Nier: Automata, Horizon Zero Dawn and most recently, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. All of those games feature female protagonists and they're all extremely fun and satisfying titles. They're all packaged together with great writing, music, direction, gameplay and a strong narrative. Of course, some are better than others but I would highly recommend playing all of them.

Female representation is excellent as I do agree that they do not always receive the good end of the stick. Featuring a female protagonist allows a game to explore the narrative from a different direction; it allows the player to approach familiar territory while keeping things relatively fresh. Sure, most things stay neutral as gender differences hardly affect a game's narrative (unless that is the focus to begin with) but there are instances every now and again to remind you that hey, you're not actually a male.

By the way, representation and sexualisation are not co-dependant

Now, I have an argument that can be made with regards to my opinion on this. SJWs will probably attack me to no end because reason need not apply to them so let me put it simply. Basically, I'm more supportive of the idea that developers choose a female protagonist because they wanted one as opposed to choosing one to appeal to a wider audience.

An example would be the creator of Nier: Automata. When he was attacked because 2B was too sexualised, he literally just said it was so because he liked women. In other words, because he wanted it so. That's the best kind of mindset in my opinion. What's the point of being an artist if people dictate how you choose to express yourself? As long as you're not harming anyone, it's fine. Another example would be Blizzard, where they changed one of Tracer's victory pose because people complained about showing too much butt. Sure, it makes more money for them in the long run by appealing to everyone but it really irks me. It irks my artistic side that random people can dictate how you should do something.

Recently, I read an article about Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and the writer claims that it moved her when Chloe casually mentioned that it was fun hanging out with another girl for a change. The writer then goes out to discuss how everything actually ties in with women and their lack of representation. It ties in socially and politically regarding every issue women face in this day and age. I'm not a professional writer or developer but even I can tell you that they threw that line in because it was suitable, not because they wanted to be the pioneers of change.

Everyone seems to be viewing these games through a lens that, for the most part, is acceptable. Obviously this is a topic that needs to be talked about. But, in some cases, it just goes beyond the point. Actually, it just makes the point itself by making these games the launching pad. If someone asked me how 2017 went, I'd just tell them I played some great games. But now, it seems I have to follow that up with because they had female protagonists....at least according to some people. I know most people don't actually think that way so it's really just a little bit of annoyance on my part.

Basically, in terms of this topic, don't make the lead a specific way JUST to cater to the lack of representation. Make the lead a specific way BECAUSE you'd like the idea of tackling the issue from this perspective due to their lack of representation or, that you simply just WANT to do it this way. That's the argument I'm trying to make.


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