Online gaming study: Women play harder

A study of gender differences in gamers out of University of Southern California reports that “women play more intensely than the guys.”
But the women also consistently under-report how much they play, and when playing with male partners the women “toned down the violence” while the men played “more aggressively.”
Any gamers out there want to weigh in?
On a related note, can someone tell me why when I searched for images of “girl video games” or “girl playing video games” a whole bunch of girls in their underwear, or naked covered in various games?

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  • Verstehen

    20-year gamer here and this report was no surprise. Women still carry stigma for gaming that men don’t, despite the way perceptions have begun to change over the years (clerks in game stores no longer assume I’m looking for a gift for my boyfriend, for one). Gaming is still a heavily male-dominated industry, particularly on the production/advertising side, so we have a long way to go.

  • geek_girl

    formerly geeky_girl here… typeKey doesn’t work right, sigh.
    They’ll call you a bitch if you don’t tone yourself down online. Most online gamers are jerks when they get to be anonymous. Hell, most online people are jerks when they get to be anonymous. Your moderation experience likely tells you as much.
    I only play online with friends, in the rare event that I play with others. I definitely don’t like to play for less than 3 hours at a time, but then I don’t play so many shooters. (Current queue: Dragon Age, Assassin’s Creed 2, Mini Ninjas, Batman: Arkham Asylum). So yeah, I guess that’s more intense :)

  • Jerrod

    20 year gamer here as well. Games have always been made by men for men and boys. Some strong female characters have been introduced into gaming in the last decade but not without disproportionate bodies and wearing lingerie. Check out all the Soul Calibur games for numerous examples. I’ve played with some great and intense female gamers over the years and it still surprises me that this is an area where women are not more visible. I attribute it to the fact that when games are targeted for women it is crap like Nintendogs. There are very few games where women can identify with the protagonist that isn’t a ridiculous caricature. The exception are some of the multiplayer role playing games that offer several strong female options, even though they are often wearing bikinis too. Male characters are often overblown and ridiculous stereotypes but not all. There definitely seems to be more of a range for male-identified gamers to pick up a game and become immersed in the story based on characters they can identify with and relate to. I’m tired of playing tired, played-out plots where the main male character saves the princess. It’s better than it was when I started, but it still has far to go.

  • pmsrhino

    Dunno if it seems like such a great study. Sounds like they just looked at MMOs. Those are quite a different beast than say playing on xbox live or such. Less competitive, more cooperative in MMOs. Plus, MMOs kinda require you to play with others to do anything, so the thing about playing with other people is kinda bs, IMO. Maybe if gamer culture starting treating women as one of the group and not a prize to be won or just eye candy then maybe we wouldn’t have to have these studies that love to throw women into a single category. Or speak in generalities. The bit about gamer girls being more fit than average? Really? Can’t just say the fat nerd myth is just a myth, gamers come in all sizes? Nope, instead someone’s gotta once again make me feel ugly because I’m not super cute and hawt like the other gamer chicks. And on top of that I’m apparently an odd one out to boot because all that majority of girl gamers can be fit in their stationary hobby, why can’t you? I wish this article had gone much more into the why instead of just saying “Hey, look! Some stereotypes are true and some are false!” and walking away.
    I was gonna say more about this but since it’s about MMOs, which I don’t play that much, I don’t have much to say. Have tons of comments on stuff like xbox live and playing versus games with my dude friends and with my bf at home, but it just doesn’t seem like all that great a study to me. *shrug*

  • afterthought

    I disagree completely. I think the problem though is in how they define ‘online game’. This was focused on role playing games, but I know MANY dudes who’ve lost their jobs and relationships because they just wanted to play Madden or NBA Live all day every day. I’ve got to question the study and wonder if it woulda been different had they used different games.

  • Nerdette

    Not really surprised at all, either. My personal experience is that women gamers tend to invest more into a game, be able to empathize with other players more, and recognize that it is a person they are playing with, not just pixels.

  • Zoe

    Personally, I don’t think that I’m less likely to quit because I’m a woman. That’s really my fault, I tend to give up when I’m fighting a really tough boss man and then I don’t play the game for two years. Hah.

  • A female Marine

    Makes sense to me. In my family all three of us, two girls one boy, played video games for awhile and the boy wasn’t the stand-out in any way: we were all about the same time-playing/aggressiveness/skill-wise. But eventually me and my sister both stopped playing (me because I realized I didn’t want to spend all my time playing games) and my brother’s skills have now surpassed ours.
    Now I wish I had continued playing at least a little bit because my skills are WAY behind all the guys I play and I would have been just as good had I not quit.

  • SterlingSHA

    I think it’s interesting that women “toned down the violence” when playing with men. I don’t play video games on my own too much. My husband and I play together a lot and let me tell you, nothing is toned down.
    Also, I am not surprised at all that the only images you could find of women playing video games were women in their underware. It’s this strange fantasy that some men have. It’s right up there with a girl in a skin tight, ass revealing referee uniform, holding a six pack and a large pizza. They want a girl, half naked playing video games. It’s totally lame and I honestly think more men should stand up and say “Hey, we aren’t all like this. Not all of us subscribe to this idea of women!” Instead of just sitting back and letting their wives, mothers, and sisters be objectified in such a way.

  • loudlyquiet

    Also not surprised. When I played wow the most hardcore teams would be the all female small groups who’d go in and slaughter. The most evil sneaky bad ass groups I ever PVP (that is when you try to kill the other players) with were all women and it would be win after win after win and then men would come into our Vent (way of talking together) channel and the whole thing would shift, it was always subtle but clear, no matter who the guy was. The screaming about ripping the guts of the enemy would tone down and the tactics talk would shift just enough. But once the shift happened it wouldn’t matter if the guys left you couldn’t get that same feel back again in that go round.
    (Most of my most hardcore play was in WoW though I’ve dabbled in others.)

  • Wildhoney

    I can’t chime in as to why women play more intensely than guys, but I can talk about the second paragraph, given some personal experience there. I play a lot of Team Fortress 2, an online multiplayer first person shooter, on PC, and actually am an admin on a server. 99% of TF2 players are either guys or girls who don’t announce their gender by using mics. When a girl shows up on a server, she basically becomes the center of attention, as guys try to play really well to show off. How good you are at games is a sign of superiority or inferiority among gamers, so they’re trying to show who has the greatest plume of peacock feathers, so to speak. It’s honestly rather annoying, I imagine more so for the girl. I think a lot of it ties in to the stereotype of girls not liking video games, so when guys who are attracted to females encounter a “girl gamer” they flip shit.
    Maybe girls in situations like that are afraid to stick out too much in a situation where a lot of guys are vying for their attention, maybe out of a sense of discomfort or a triggering of traditional gender role behaviour?
    As for the girls covered in video game parts… I have no idea WHY people find that attractive. Probably connected to the OMG GIRL GAMERS thing.

  • Vail

    I have to say in my guild (we play Aion) the women are the more bloodthirsty. We will hunt peeps DOWN that killed us or our guildies if it takes chasing them across the zone. I’m proud of my gaming. I do remember being told I was a “hobby gamer” from a former GM even though I had leveled my own toon while he had someone else do the hard work for him. My biggest wish is that they start showing WOMEN stars playing games like WoW (though I love the commercials with Ozzie).

  • Lorriet

    Interesting. I’ve been gaming for years now, and yeah, there is definitely sexism going on out there in the cyberspace of online gaming.
    I played an MMORPG a few years ago (not WoW), and there were a lot of gender divides that I experienced that you wouldn’t think would be applicable in this arena. Things like women were more likely to play “support” characters, rather than offensive characters (healers vs. warriors, etc.). If there was a fighter-type that was a female character, it was mostly assumed that it was a “mangina” (a man playing a female character).
    I played a hybrid character that could provide support, or be offensive, and I took a lot of crap for playing an offensive role.
    Currently, I play a console platform, and one of my favorite games to play online is a racing game. The last time I played, I was in a race with four other guys (we have mics, so can hear voices). One of the guys started out flirting with me, then, after I beat him, badly, a few times, he started calling me names and talking a lot of smack. Fortunately, I was hosting, so booted him, and reported his conduct.
    I’m still not sure how to combat these things, but it is frustrating.

  • meeneecat

    Also been playing games for 20+ years, and no I’m not surprised because I get pretty darn into my games when I’m playing. I’m also extremely GOOD at video games if I might say so myself ;)
    I’d be interesting to read the study though, because I wondered what they meant by the word “intensely” And I hope that they stay away from the tired sexist cliche that women are just “more emotional” (I wondered if this is what they meant by “intensely”) I’ll make a point to read the report when I have some more time.

  • meeneecat

    Also been playing games for 20+ years, and no I’m not surprised that women would “play hard” because I get pretty darn into my games when I’m playing. I’m also GOOD at video games if I might say so myself ;)
    But I don’t like how right after concluding that women “play hard” this the study seems to also simultaneously point out a bunch of gender tropes as well, and the article says that study basically concludes that the playing “styles” of men and women fit into traditional gender roles of men being the aggressors and women being the nurturers (huh?)
    “the study also affirmed many gender tropes. For example, women…played less aggressively, while men tended to focus more on achievement. Those styles played into traditional gender roles of the nurturing female and the heroic male.”
    I don’t know how a study can appear to prove certain gender biases without being biased in and of itself. I’m sorry, but when I play video games, isn’t the point to beat the game? Don’t women want to achieve just as much as men? And how pray tell is there a less aggressive way of chopping heads of zombies when everyone knows the only way to kill a zombie is to blow off it’s head? Is there a “womanly nurturing way” to kill video game creeps? Because that’s what I and a lot of the women I know do when faced with in game enemies, oh yeah, and after that we, you know, like to beat the boss, get all the bonuses and cool weapons and hopefully go on to beating the game…you know achieving victory…we also wish we could play a character that looks like us once and a while, I believe the word is heroine
    Did they seriously just conclude that women seem to have less interest in achieving and playing heroine than men??!!
    Again, I really don’t know how a study reaches certain biases without being biased in and of itself? It’s be interesting to be able to read the actual study and how it was done.

  • Phenicks

    On the subject of playing with your male partner, I personally don’t tone down in the least bit and when the rare occassion I find myself matched with another woman on COD4 MW2 (Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 2) she doesn’t seem to downplay anything at all.

  • greenegret

    I’m not going to say anything to the study – I tend to play solo games on my pc, because I’m a big dork like that – but I can give you an assist on finding stories about women and video games.
    Check out Lesbian Gamers: http://www.lesbiangamers.com/
    Lots of stories and reviews about games with a lot less discussion about underwear.
    I do wonder how they decided who was female in the games – how many women play male characters, after all? Lots! And vice versa, too.

  • starcraft

    The other comments on here match my own experience across diverse types of games (counter-strike, starcraft, and World of Warcraft).
    In Counter-Strike, each server has less than 32 players and the administrators (usually the gamers paying for the server) have a great deal of control over who can play on the server and the type of behavior that is acceptable. Female-friendly servers where people interact in a polite and respectful manner without the OMG A GIRL comments are rare, but they do exist. In general, it seems women prefer to conceal their gender on unmoderated public servers.
    In World of Warcraft, I only created Female characters and presented myself as female because of the subtle sexism by other players. As a Female, other players treated me in a way that was advantageous to me. They were much more likely to offer assistance and accept trade deals that they would never offer a male character.
    In Starcraft, gender is much more hidden due to more abstract player names, no voice chat, and no avatars. Starcraft players seem to exhibit better manners than gamers in general, mainly due to the influence of South Korean professional gaming.

  • Steven

    If you change your search moderation from none to strict you will get less pics of naked female gamers. Instead you will get them in bikinis.
    There are even a couple of pics of girls and women playing video games fully clothed.

  • Spiffy McBang

    I’ve gamed with a lot of girls over the years, and I’m about as certain as a non-scientific person can be that this is similar to a lot of things in life- when a certain group is a noticeable minority in an activity, they’re often more into it on average because the people who might casually enjoy it often don’t feel there’s a place for them, or don’t even consider the activity because it’s not a strong enough draw. There’s nothing particularly unique about the way girls in general game; if it was treated as an equal-opportunity hobby, we wouldn’t see this difference.

  • Brittany

    I’m a hardcore PC and console gamer, and I’m a very intense player. I sometimes yell at the screen and there’s nothing more satisfying than chopping a zombie down with an axe. But men on the internet are a big problem for me, as on Xbox Live. I have a mic to speak over the Xbox and PC, and half the time I speak I get the same reaction “Woah, are you a girl?” And then the friend requests pour in, and even some sexual talk or asking for me to be their girlfriends, which puts me in a very uncomfortable situation. I then become very nervous once they make my being a female a big deal, afraid that if I screw up in the game that they’ll think it’s because I’m a girl, and sometimes they do. Sometimes I also get “Get back in the kitchen”, no joke. I hate the whole stigma attached to female gamers, like they’re so much better than every other girl, and there’s something more sexual about a girl with a controller in her hand.
    I also play World of Warcraft, and in that game the sexism is the worst in any game. If you’re a female character, guys will come to your aid even if you’re just fine fighting the monster that you’re fighting, and then ask, as usual, to be your boyfriend or “ASL”. Males create female characters to strip down and dance in town square or on mailboxes, and there’s frequent talk in chat about how women should be making sandwiches and staying away from WoW. Any time that feminism is brought up in the game in a conversation, it’s always “lol are you a feminazi” or “so you’re a lesbian then” I also hear the frequent “Women have more rights than we do, so feminazis just want to be better than men.”
    The whole situation makes me sick, frankly, and I haven’t spoken on the mic lately because of that treatment, and I’ve changed all my characters on WoW to males.

  • Brittany

    I’m a WoW player myself, and I main a hunter (archer type, offensive) and an offensive warrior. I got alot of crap as well, since it was expected that all girls play elf priestesses or other supporters. I had to change my characters to males, and needless to say all of the comments stopped. My warrior character had short hair, and I can count at least four “so you lez?” comments.
    And that achievement study is bullshit. I’m an achievement collector, and I have more achievements than most men on WoW or Xbox Live.

  • William

    I think it started with an ad Sega did when they were trying (and failing) to make the Saturn the most popular game console. The system was too complex for its time and made with off the shelf parts that didn’t mesh the way they would have if they were custom made for each other. Another thing they did was make false claims about one of their best games (NiGHTS into Dreams). “You can’t do that on ‘that other system.’ It has only one processor. [shows ps1 falling out a window]. Fly, baby, fly.” (The game could have been done on any system of the time, and was primarily an artistic achievement rather than a technical one). The naked girl ad was one of their last attempts to save the Saturn. They lesson a little too late. The next Sega, the Dreamcast, was a brilliant system that could stand on its own quality, but their conduct with the Saturn had cost them too much, and the company had to give up on the hardware market.
    I found the old ad with the search terms
    “girl covered in video games sega saturn ad”
    and safe search off, if anyone’s curious/glutton-for-punishment.
    Oh, and their old opponent Sony is making the same mistakes now (to compete with Xbox), including ads that hurt the female portion of their customers. (http://www.gamesradar.com/f/top-7-blatantly-sexist-game-advertisements/a-20091125155758818051)

  • Brittany

    I love Dragon Age, which is a very story-based and long-winded RPG. I’m currently obsessed with it, because even in the beginning it states that men and women are viewed as equals and represented equally in the army and other forces. You can play a female main character and fall in love with a man or woman, or nobody at all. You can be blunt, proudly sexual/perverted, sweet, or even cruel. You have so many choices, and it even has a story behind why women are equals.
    (Lore, don’t read if you are easily bored.)
    In the game, there was a female knight. She was abandoned for being a woman as a baby, and raised by a couple that taught her precise fighting styles and she knew them with deadly accuracy, and bested all men that she came across. Back then, women weren’t allowed to compete in tournaments, but she disguised herself as a man and won a great slew of them. However, she came across a man that was very prideful and that she bested, and after he was defeated (twice), he knocked her to the ground and pulled off her helmet to reveal that she was a woman, for he had had spies check on her to learn her secrets. He then shouted that every previous tournament was invalid, for she was a female, but the crowd cheered for her anyway. He was enraged, shoving her to her knees and commanding “Bow before me, woman!” Upon the prince seeing that, he realized that women had been treated unjustly, when they had the same capabilities as men. When he became king, he deemed that every woman had the ability to march alongside men with the same battle prowess, and so women were freed.
    (Lore over~)
    It’s long-winded, but the game itself is amazing and I enjoy it very much. You can be a dwarf in that game, a short, stout woman, and the men will still flirt and love you just as much. However, my main problem with the game is that Morrigan, a fierce and intelligent main character has virtually no shirt, her breasts showing except for a strip of cloth down the center of each one just enough to cover her nipples. If you pick a human or elf, your breasts will be large and you will have curves and there’s no way to change that. However, the sexism besides the nudity is surprisingly scarce in that game, and the main male character treats your character with kindness and respect, since you are the leader. Bioware did an amazing job at appealing to both male and female gamers, since we girls get eye-candy of both the male and female variety that we can persue a relationship with.

  • SamLL

    I’m stereotyping, but I’m guessing that you’re on a non-RP server, maybe PvP?
    On my server, when I join a random group of strangers that is using Ventrilo (a speech-over-IP service), there are distinguishably female voices present more often than not and I’ve never heard any other player remark on it, nor that sort of horrible misogyny in general chat.
    I think maybe the ‘RP’ signifier helps to keep out the idiots; even though few players really act in character, the designation serves as a filter.
    I’m sorry your experiences have been so sickening. I guess it shows that there are a variety of subcultures in the broader gaming culture that are more or less welcoming. I hope that you can find a better chunk of Azeroth to adventure in!

  • Citizen Lane

    Bioware (despite having a mixed record) should gets points for trying, and they need more encouragement to make games that are targeted at a bit more mature (in a good way) audience. I’m definitely looking forward to their new offerings.

  • Citizen Lane

    Male gamer here, but I play with a WoW guild that has a significant female population. I’ve found that our female players are quite literally no different than the male ones: skilled, dedicated, funny and a blast to be around (virtually). Not that I expected any different. Of course, my guild has strict rules about what is an is not acceptable behavior, and sexism is rightfully forbidden. Most of us are also married/parents/in long-term relationships, so maybe we’re slightly more mature (in some ways) than most players, but online gaming communities are often like offline communities: look for like-minded people, and you’ll find them.
    As far as my experience goes, gaming is still seen as a traditionally “male” hobby and most games are marketed toward “men,” though I’m yet to meet a female that doesn’t enjoy blowing up aliens or zombies or goblins as much as the next person. So while you have a disproportionately large number of men in gaming, I don’t think the community as a whole is necessarily any more sexist than the population at large, especially since gaming is not really a “geeks only” hobby any more. The sad part is just that this means the population as a whole is lot more sexist than they let on without the anonymity of a video game as cover.

  • Synna

    Ive been playing WoW for more years than I care to remember. For most of that time my main was a female troll priest. I can’t recall a single instance of preferential treatment due to my avatar’s gender. Often in groups if I announced I was a girl, because they were calling me ‘him’ or ‘he’ they changed pronouns and it was no big deal.
    I have been in Vent (program which allows you to talk to each other with a headset and mic) with some girls who put on the ‘giggles, gimmie stuff im a girl, computer gamez are hardz’ type persona when certain male players were in vent.
    Maybe its because I have been in a hardcore raid guild for most of that time, run by people in their 20s 30s and beyond, in which that type of behaviour would not be tolerated at all.

  • Devonian

    “However, my main problem with the game is that Morrigan, a fierce and intelligent main character has virtually no shirt, her breasts showing except for a strip of cloth down the center of each one just enough to cover her nipples.”
    Which you can change, mind you. Most of the non-Morrigan-specific mage robes offer considerably more coverage…

  • CaptainFelt

    I hate the whole “Girl Gamer” thing. I mean i don’t hate girls who play video games i just think they don’t need to be given a special title, you don’t have Black Gamers or Queer Gamers. If a girl plays video games shes not a Girl Gamer, shes just a Gamer.

  • Launchpad

    I’m getting sick of the issue. I play video games, my Mom played video games, and even my grandma played video games. And there are so many girl gamers online who are ready to shout down this old stereotype that I really wonder how anyone can believe it anymore. But my husband mentions my hobby to his friends and they tell him he found “a unicorn.”
    In all honesty, I’ve never had much of a problem playing a dude or saving princesses. For example, the Zelda games are my all-time favorite because the puzzles are so fun and Link has so little demonstrable personality that the player can easily paste their own into the role. The only time I got nauseous from a character’s design was when I saw the female characters from the new Ninja Gaiden games.

  • daveNYC

    There’s a link to the study in the source article.

  • daveNYC

    From what the study itself said, when they say ‘intense’ they were refering to the number of hours spent playing. Intense isn’t the word I would have chosen.

  • Brittany

    Yes, I use Ventrilo. I remember many times where males would ask me to join them back on vent when everyone else has left and confront me with uncomfortable sexual questions.
    I think I’ll remake a character on a good RP server, because I use both a PvP and normal server. The PvP is much worse, however, because it seems to be 90%+ male. :[

  • Borea

    I can understand why women might be more “intense” gamers, at least when it comes to TIME PLAYED than men. I can only truly speak for myself, but I tend to play games to relax. When a round goes poorly on Team Fortress 2, I just shrug it off and try to do my best next round. My male friends seem to get more easily frustrated than I at a bad round of the MMO game of choice. (Though on the other hand I tend to get pretty frustrated at offline games, like RPGs, if I’m doing poorly.)
    Also, I personally prefer to play long stretches at a time, planning ahead to spend a whole afternoon killing zombies, dragons, etc. *shrugs* So maybe it’s just a difference in average playing styles for different genders?

  • Nerdette

    That sort of behavior from other women players drives me nuts. I was an officer in our raiding guild for over a year, and encountered the whole gambit of female gamers. The ones I couldn’t stand were those that tried to use their sex to get what they wanted. One tried to make me bend the rules for her, emoting things such as *bats eyelashes*, etc. and when I still refused to let her get her way, she said she would just ask one of the other (male) officers.

  • Rosie’s girl

    On the subject of women in games and aggressive playing, has anyone seen the web series, The Guild? In that, a guild has equal numbers of men and women, and on of the women in particular, Tinkerballa, is probably more concerned with killing and achievements than any of the men. (There’s also another woman, Clara, who demonstrates the exact opposite of “maternal instinct”.) It’s a parody of the gaming culture so it can get pretty stereotypical, but it does a good job of dispelling the misconceptions of “girl gamers”.
    Also, my SO plays WoW pretty seriously, both raiding and PvP, and his guild has a number of women who are some of the best offensive warriors in the group. His best friend, who plays even more than him, only uses female avatars because he likes the weapons they get better.

  • LaylaLenore

    As a gamer one thing I never think about is my gender. I’ve played and enjoyed video games since I was a child. At that age in school, think year 1994-2000, I knew of no other little girl who played Super Mario Bros. or Street Fighter II, save for one girl who was a friend of mine.
    But, traditionally I was discouraged from playing video games by my mother who thought it was more important to learn to cook and clean on the basis that I was female, than to immerse myself in something that actually made me think. At some point I was considered a tomboy, based on the fact I played video games, and hung out with my brother. However, I still enjoyed playing with dolls, playing dress up, and having tea parties.
    It doesn’t make a difference what gender one is. It’s almost as stupid as saying,”Can you be feminine and feminist?!!!”(we all know the answer to that lacking in sense question.) I still learned how to cook, and sew, but not for the prospect of being a merry “future housewife”, but for myself. I gave up dolls for the sake of “maturity”, but not video games nor the views I’ve today.
    As for the media involving advertisements and portrayal of women characters in video games, I’ve long known injustices. From the most distasteful ads objectifying, and degrading women writing them off as having brains the size of squirrels.(The one of the worst is a racing game ad comparing a woman to car, and involves stripping her down. Awful.) I’ve put up knowing the existence of the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden games, (glad I’ve never played them)and I am not surprised that those games were headed by a disrespectful misogynist and his team.
    Lastly, one of the sexist and disrespectful ads I’ve last seen(though probably not the first or last unfortunately) is the Wii vs. PS3, featuring a slim, cheeful woman representing the Wii, and calmer, plus size woman as the PS3. I don’t care for console wars as they are stupid, but the fact this is yet another negative act that is not solely objectification, and sexism, but stooping so low to exploit self-esteem, and body image issues for the sake of competition, prices, and the ignorant masses. There’s much more I could add to this, but I’m not expecting something intelligent to spring forth from general gaming industry these days.

  • PZ

    “Games have always been made by men for men and boys. Some strong female characters have been introduced into gaming in the last decade but not without disproportionate bodies and wearing lingerie. Check out all the Soul Calibur games for numerous examples.”
    Umm… Not entirely true. A fair portion of the characters in SC are female. Thats always good. But, I could name at least 4 of them that dont dress skimpy. Especially in the latest one(Soul Caliber 5).
    Cassandra: Not skimpy in this game and never really has been in others. Cant say for her sister though…
    I forgot the new knight girls name. But she has red hair and is in FULL ARMOR. Her chestplate donsen’t even have so much as a breast outline iirc.
    Xiangua: Not skimpy.
    Amy: Another newbie. She does wear a skirt, but its not wat anyone would call “revealing”. Especially to what one would usually see in video games nowadays.
    Talim: Not skimpy.
    The list goes on.
    So even though SC does have a few sexualized females. It tempers it with very good alternatives.

  • PZ

    “In all honesty, I’ve never had much of a problem playing a dude or saving princesses. For example, the Zelda games are my all-time favorite because the puzzles are so fun and Link has so little demonstrable personality that the player can easily paste their own into the role.”
    This is a point that I think that society in general needs to get jammed into its skul. Let this next sentence be written in stone:
    Just because the main character of a game is of the opposite sex to you, DOES NOT mean that you can or cannot relate to them.
    I’m a 19 year old male raised in northern CA. How the hell am I supposed to relate to the main char of Metal Gear Solid 4. Were both dudes yeah. But last time I noteced, im not a secret CIA agent who has aged at the speed of 30 years in the past 7 cuz im a clone and has been sent on a top secret mission to kill off my clone twin while contemplating whether or not my life with the CIA was a life worth living.
    So don’t no one tell me “you can relate to him cuz your a boy and I cant cuz im a girl”. Thats almost gender stereotyping.

  • Sky

    Having played a lot of Bioware’s RPGs as both a male and a female character, I can tell you why the games have such great options for female main characters: the game gives you the same options for male and female characters. Other than the romance options (since most of the “romance option” characters are straight), your dialogue and quests will all be the same. It might just be Bioware being lazy, but it makes for a much better game.