Girls care more about playing as girls than boys do about playing as girls

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I think studies like this are important. While the findings, and by extension the headline, might seem painfully obvious it reinforces the idea that games need more diversity in characters and the kind of stories that are told as a result.

Personally I don’t specifically look at gender or other attributes in main characters to judge if I want to play a game or not. If it’s a good game then that’s all I need, but I think that might be precisely the point. I’m in some way in the majority so my attitude is blasé about any varied representation when it comes to gender. I have no idea what women’s expectations are when it comes to games.

Ashly Burch and her various family who help make the HAWP Youtube channel are hilarious.

I recommend everyone check it out.


It’s a national survey, which I take to mean done with only U.S. test subjects. (No transcript apparent, so I don’t know what the talk said.) That makes it hard to control for societal conditioning from day one.


Yeah, I think that is precisely the point. I actually think this points to a rather obvious fact that people seem to have trouble getting their heads around in conversations about representation: white men actually don’t get it (not aimed at you - I certainly don’t know you).

That’s not a “durr hurr what a bunch of morons” comment, it’s just that it seems that groups that are used to representation don’t value representation. If someone says, “Well, imagine you didn’t see anyone who looked like you in games?” the 100% honest response is “Why would I care?”

To quote David Thomas Broughton, “It’s easy to forget where you came from if there’s no question of your return.” Part of the challenge of representation is getting people who have never experienced the lack of it to know (if not understand) that the lack of it bothers other people.

These days I wouldn’t play an RPG if I couldn’t choose a female character. I wouldn’t worry about it for something like a platformer.



We make up half the world dammit, let me play as a lady!


I get that if it’s a Batman game that you play as Batman, but I also still don’t have all the achievements in Skyrim and I hardly have time to play games anyway, so I don’t need to buy a Batman game. Though I sure wish it was Elder Scrolls VI instead of Fallout IV coming out this fall (ducks).


I just want to play as the dog in Fallout IV!
Why can’t that be the whole game!

Also, can we make the voice actors for female character … just better?
Often they’re just… not good. :confused:

No shame in wishing for a new Skyrim instead of a Fallout. Just as legit.

There is shame in wishing for a new Destiny expansion instead of Fallout.

averts eyes

I don’t think there is shame in wishing for Elder Scrolls over Fallout. I think saying you’d prefer one in an internet forum is a lot like declaring war. Fortunately in this BBS the odds of starting a vicious, to-the-death Fallout vs. Elder Scrolls argument is probably on the low end.


"These days I wouldn’t play an RPG if I couldn’t choose a female character. "

Well, I can’t say I’ve played all of them, but I can’t think of a major RPG that does not allow you to choose gender.

But, really? Even if it was the most amazing game in the world with incredible gameplay never seen before? You would not play it unless your avatar had secondary sexual characteristics that matched your own?

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Easily fixed with the great mod support Bethesda has had with their Fallout titles. You could probably even play as a sentient cactus if you so wished.

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I support the games that realize I exist. I don’t support the games (or movies, or books, etc.) that act as if I don’t exist, or that I’m window dressing, or that my only motivation is “love”.

That you don’t get this, actually makes me sad.

If these are so unimportant to game play, why not make some for everyone?


You are right. I don’t get it. I don’t care what my avatar looks like. I broke my teeth on Nethack looking at ASCII characters decades ago (@<- that’s me!). I’ve seen myself represented as bright squares, munching circles, 8-bit spaceships, monsters, and gobs of goo. I played a female blood elf (named “Sharleena”) in WoW for years. Gameplay is why I play, not to see myself represented.

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A war that never changes.


I’ve seen myself represented as all those things too, but we’re not talking about asexual representations, we’re talking about male and female representations. Apples and oranges. You don’t need to pull geek cred with me, no one asked to see your CV.

Good for you, glad you had the choice to do so.
Thats all we want too, the ability to choose.


Just think of all the conditions needed for this to be true. You’ll then have “parted the veil” as it were and exited the world of privilege.


Like I said, in a batman game you play as batman. I thought you had to play as a male in the Witcher 3 but I just googled it and I think I was wrong about that.

Well, I mentioned that I don’t have a lot of time to play games these days thanks to two small children, and that I don’t mind milking another hundred hours of play out of a 4-year-old Elder Scrolls title, so it doesn’t matter much to me if I miss some new title. This isn’t the #1 most important thing to me in a game, but as long as I’m being picky, I might as well be picky. I’m not exactly declaring a boycott.

It does matter to me, though.


It really seems like a pretty silly thing to get worked up about. The actual quality of a game has nothing to do with any of this.