[Settle down, itís not what it sounds like. Seriously, Iím not even joking, if you came here with your anger, ready to rumble, relax, itís just a very dickish move on my part to try to draw in a readership that can look at what Iím about to write Ė also, worth noting that I brought lube this time, so the message can slide right into your knowledge holes...good and smooth]
Right, letís get down to business here: female avatars in Multiplayer modes. I know the Jimquisition tackled these issues quite a bit, but I want to approach it from the perfect world view:
Female avatars in Multiplayer shouldnít be an issue...and why is that, you ask, fists shaking in ever-growing anger to a possibly sexist answer? Well fear not, itís because, when it comes down to it...we should really just have those avatars in the games. Yeah.
Itís simple, right? In a perfect world weíd all be able to choose our genders in videogames, customise them to whatever degree we wanted, and make them our own. Assassinís Creed has been doing it for three games, so why is it so hard to do it for other games? The latest comes from Battlefield 4, where the developer mentioned that female characters wouldnít be available in the multiplayer mode, despite the fact that there are rumours of an alleged female character in the gripping (trying to keep a straight face) singeplayer mode. So why not just migrate it to MP, add voices, fiddle with the hitboxes (of which BF has had issues before) and ship the game?
Well I have an issue with this, mostly because people are calling it Ďunimportantí that in a first person setting, it doesnít matter who youíre shooting, gender-wise. Iíd have to disagree there. A little diversity goes a long way, and given EAís inability to actually garner any fan-love or favour over the last couple of years, the little things in a game this big would make for some interesting changes, even aesthetically. This is to the benefit of a series that needs, now more than ever, to differentiate itself from the pack of brow-gray, gritty and Ďrealisticí shooters on the market (since Iím not seeing a BF 2143 on the cards).
People have also put it down to discomfort with violence against women...eh no. Given the reaction to Tomb Raider, thatís not the issue. Besides, as Jim has covered, Blacklight: Retribution can offer gender swaps...theyíre not ideal, but they get the job done. Halo, since I believe 3, has offered the player the ability to swap genders, only really introducing model changes in Reach. In the AC series, all the models are virtually the same in terms of height, hitboxes and the like, so thereís no issue there.
The monetary value has also been raised against this...no. Just no. Right now, EA cannot afford not to gobble up the scraps of good will flaking down around them like the dandruff from an old manís unwashed, crusty ballsack, they need something, anything, to show that theyíre willing to play ball. (not my best explanation given where that sentence went) EA have no issue pouring money into pathetic attempts of games Ė Iím looking at you, TOR Ė and if anything, the simple fact remains...itís 2013, and weíre having a discussion over something that, by all right, should have been in the multiplayer from the getgo. So it requires a little more work, a bit of extra cash...itíd be worth it in the long-run...which is seemingly a term lost on publishers of this generation.
I guess what Iím getting at is: placing female avatars in a gameís MP mode like BF4 shouldnít be that big a deal, because it should have been done already. The situation in the industry is dire, and someone needs to take even the smallest steps forward into the puddle of female representation in order to begin the ripple that will lead to the big wave, breaking the banks of poor, anti-female ideologies that have pervaded an industry which has been paralyzed by a fear it wrought itself.
Iím by no means a feminist, I kinda have plenty of those influences, but people are starting to talk about these kinds of things with raised eyebrows and questioning tones Ė I think itís about time publishers step up and start representing for the female avatar, lord knows, weíre overdue getting back to the early 2000s.