Remember that game where you're a female cop who's washed out after some bad luck, bad choices and lost her family? You know the game right - where your primary goal is to chaperone and subsequently protect a wealthy heir, yes a male one?
No? Hmmm ok how about this. That one game that came out where you can choose between a male or female character and there's a scene in a nightclub where you have to rendezvous with a contact who happens to be seated in front of a completely nude male dancer on a stage?
Damn I don't know where the mix up is coming from. Perhaps...perhaps it's because these games don't exist, at least not this way, they certainly do exist when all roles are reversed.
I was playing Max Payne 3 recently and thoroughly enjoying it, finding the writing and voice acting (mainly of Max) to be quite entertaining and well done. Max was plagued with memories of having lost his wife and daughter and throughout the game things go from bad to worse as you have to rescue several members of one family, most of the time a lady. Max Payne 3 seems to pull of this endeavor quite well and in a seemingly non sexist manner. Max himself does not come across as masochistic or arrogant. Yet it got me pondering, where is the female version of this game?
Also got me pondering why on earth you'd want such a tacky gun
The noir games like Max Payne are quite enjoyable, especially from a style and narrative point of view, but I find it ridiculous that there are no real female protagonists in this genre, especially AAA games. I've been writing a trilogy series for the past few years (and if it ever gets published I'll eat my own ass) about a female detective, set in a noir-esque corrupt city. The very prospect of that as a full blown game is extremely exciting, what would be even more pants-wetting would be if such a game was in development. But while we can talk and talk about more female lead roles that aren't objectifying or causing a massive gender barrier, I got thinking about general female characters in games, the nameless ones - I'm here to speak up on behalf of the NPC's.
Anita Sarkeesian as we all probably know focused her Damsel in Distress series on primary characters or secondary one that have a voice or plot point of some sort. But a lot of games are littered with NPC's and nameless extras that have no role in a game, but still because or their design, nudity or degradation get a lot of youtube videos and stares, while the action goes on in the background.
While I'm not using the above image as proof of sexism in the game, it's more just a showcase of that slum area and culture, it still got me slightly annoyed. Hitman Absolution was doing quite well until there were a bunch of naked strippers everywhere (yeah it was a strip bar essentially but there's more in the adult entertainment industry than just women in no clothes, especially these days).
Duke Nukem Forever is basically the story (which I use loosely) of a roided up Guile cosplayer trying to stop an alien invasion and salvage a handful of abused, stripped female NPC's en route.
Yes she has been held captive&possibly impregnated, but we must show them titties at all times
I'm not even saying that we should have images of dead naked male prostitutes on our screen - but it still begs the questions why do games feature females ones so often, if you want to be 'real' then male or transgendered characters are also able to fall foul of violent scenes. Are there so few humans and scenarios that exist that we need to bulk up gaming level backgrounds with degraded images of females or images of females doing a profession that isn't necessarily negative if they enjoy it but still rinsed and repeated too often?
Just because they're NPC's doesn't mean that it doesn't have an effect and it's not as irritating as creating submissive, incapable sex dolls out of primary female characters.
Saints Row 2, Mafia 2, The Saboteur, Duke Nukem, GTA, God of War - to name a few are games that feature female NPC's that seem to be catering towards the overindulged young males. And that's just games that featured specifically stripper scenes.
In fact having so many female NPC's litter the backdrops of games screams to me an added layer of sexism, that we either have to scramble to list female protagonists who are straight up heroines with no flaws that are predestined by their anatomical parts or we get the genuine offerings of having naked, dancing, slapped around, raped by pigcop lifeless blow up dolls. Not the best compromise eh.
NPC characters shouldn't be treated as fodder for what's between someones legs, they shouldn't be thrown in as eye candy so damn often. And if you want to showcase a seedy world, what one do you live in where men aren't treated like sexual tools and submitted to debauched acts as well. If the fear is that consumers are predominantly male in the gaming market and you don't want to upset or scare them...grow a pair, because that's not a good enough excuse. If you're old enough and mature enough to pick up an adult rated game featuring adult content then you should be able to handled the facts and find the whole affair of NPC bashing to be pretty pathetic and should be weeded out.