i have been a fan of video games for a long time. probably since the womb, actually. the industry is filled with good strong male characters, and bad guys who will kick your ass and give 50 of their biker friends your name. so what am i going to dish about then today? riddle me this: where the FUCK is a strong female character?
i think this all started because i am trying to play drake uncharted before i get too into the second one. it’s an amazing game, graphically. the controls are smooth, as is the camera. even the plot seems to be sort of original. worst thing? the thing that ruins it for me? nathan drake is a sexist jackass. he gets to drive the stupid skidoo. he has to help the woman ALWAYS, even though she demonstrates a clear ability to handle herself. he has to run ahead and clear shit out. he even takes weapons from her – and she’s ok with it!
the second one, uncharted 2: among thieves, is apparently not much different. i can’t personally vouch for this, [as i can’t seem to get off the train in the first level], but gamasutra points out in a well-written article about sexual politics that there’s an obvious double standard, albeit cloaked in a good story.
even lego does it. i’ve got both lego indiana jones and lego indiana jones 2: the adventure continues. i’ve got lego star wars, and even lego batman. lego doesn’t even hide it, saying that ‘ladies are more nimble’ and can ‘jump higher than other characters’. WTF. again, the guy characters do EVERYTHING – the shooting, the saving, the driving, you name it.
on and on it goes, women getting shafted in the digital world. please don’t toss up lara croft, little miss tomb raider skank queen. the chick in bayonetta? a total slut. i was so distracted by how awful the demo was that i spent about 20 minutes trying to find creative ways to kill her. i was so limited and opted to let various enemies beat the ever-loving shit out of her. the irony was that they were often men.
look, i’m not one of those ‘oh, women are better than men at everything’ girls. i love all of my boyfriends. i don’t burn my bra, or shout rude names for a cerain part of the female anatomy to people at protests. i just want equality between the sexes. apparently, about 40% of gamers are women. so where are the awesome female characters? i want strong female characters, girls dress nicely when they go out to get the job done, but at the same time can be admired for the way they do it. you know, characters you can like playing. is that so much to ask? it’s 2010, bitches. E-Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y.