Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gender in Gaming, Female Protagonists

Games with Female Protagonists

So the link above is an article about how games with female protagonists are not as prevalent and do not sell as well as games with male protagonists. Some shocking or not so shocking statistics to take away from the article:

Of a sample of 669 games, only 300 had an option of male and/or female protagonists.

Of that same sample, only 24 had only a female protagonist.

Games with only a male protagonist sell 25 percent better than a male/female option game.

Games with only a male protagonist sell 75% better than games with only a female protagonist.

Games with female protagonists recieve 40% less marketing money.

So that last statistic may explain why they don't sell as well, but the lack of prevelance of female leads is also intriguing. Back in the day, before our days, Metroid shocked the masses when it was revealed that Samus Aran (the lead) was a female bounty hunter. Why so shocking? Are we conditioned to think that a bounty hunter, gun wielding robo-human has to be male? But more importantly, I think it is a little unfair that game companies may have to scrap a female lead because they are afraid their profits will fall.

But when I think of female leads I think of big-name games like Metroid franchise, Lara Croft Franchise, and even the Portal games had a female character. Personally, I don't care about the gender of my character. As long as the gameplay and story is good, it really shouldnt matter.


  1. I agree. I love finding hardcore female characters that are playable, not just saveable. Faith Connors from Mirror's Edge, Lara Croft as mentioned, Alice from American McGee's Alice, and, of course, Ada Wong from Resident Evil.
    here's a list i found on a cursory websearch of female characters in videogames. of course, this is just wikipedia and it is by no means comprehensive, but looking at this list, it is really interesting how many a) female protagonists are in under-the-rug games, b) how many females are just PC characters, and c) how many females are the antagonists of the games.

  2. I think you should check out this website:


    This woman is beginning a project exploring females in video games, particularly commonly utilized tropes and how they are harmful to women.