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Creating Female Game Characters

Happy Saturday! Here’s a treat for the gamers among us:

I recently watched this Escapist video: True Female Characters. It’s basically a quick overview of ideas on how to create realistic female characters for video games. I’ll throw it to the community for comments, but there were two points that I liked.

The first was that there is a dearth of games oriented on women’s stories and lives. They mention that many aspects of life that are culturally coded ‘female’ (I’m paraphrasing. They aren’t quite that nuanced) such as motherhood could make for really compelling games stories, but they have yet to be done. In passing they make the point that this could be fixed in part by having more female game designers.

I think that this can be read two ways. The first is unflattering. Why should games about women be about motherhood? We should be able to tell stories about women without relying on our physical selves for the entirety of the concept. Additionally, this kind of story doesn’t move us away from game characters being assumed to be cis-gendered. The second reading is a bit better. We have no stories like this. Not mainstream, big-box games anyway. Also, if something this far divorced from the cultural male stories was done well it could well pave the way for more stories centering on women’s lives as a whole.

The second was the point that you have to be careful about your assumptions. They ...

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