I’ve unintentionally just come off a run of games with female protagonists: Gravity Rush and Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation on the PS Vita, and Remember Me, Tomb Raider and Portal 2 on the PS3. A wealth of lady gaming!
Which, as a lady, is something I do like to see. Make me more lady games, game world! It’s a nice change of pace from all the manly dudes.
I mean, I like a manly dude as much as the next lady–who else will properly appreciate my skimpy armor and fetching bonnet?–but there are an awful lot of them.
And as an aside, I will note that most of the time their armor isn’t nearly skimpy enough.
The five titles I’ve recently finished are all quite different games, and the actual significance of the protagonist’s gender to the story ranges widely, from almost none in Portal 2 (possibly some of GLaDOS’ weight-related taunts wouldn’t have seemed as pointed if addressed to male character?) to quite a lot in Tomb Raider (Butch and I have much debated whether a Larry Croft would or would not be presented the way Lara Croft is at various points, and how that would affect the narrative).
We might say that some stories are ABOUT characters who are women, and these stories would be much different if they were about men, while some stories are ABOUT quests or puzzles or something, and feature characters who are women but might conceivably also have been men or robots or talking bears without substantially altering the narrative.
I completely approve of both kinds of story, in a good game. Games focused on a specific character, if the character is interesting and someone you don’t mind spending a lot of time with, are great. Games focused more on some non-character feature like puzzles or levels or any role-playing game where you can make your own character and then play her (or him) as a featureless lump are also great, if the non-character features are interesting and you don’t mind spending a lot of time with them.
In sum: good games are good, more female main characters, and skimpier armor on male main characters, please.
Thank you, and good night.