04 February 2013

Women in Military Video Games

With the Pentagon's recent announcement that all combat roles would be open to women, it has led to speculation as to whether or not military shooters like the popular Call of Duty series will now feature women more prominently.  The lack of female protagonists in such games has not gone unnoticed. 

In "Games need to address women in military combat," Caleb Hale describes this lack of female protagonists as an example of the game industry's "male-centric mindset" and urges developers to address gender equality in video games. Hale does point out that futuristic, sci-fi games do feature female protagonists, perhaps an indication of a more enlightened society.

Jared Newman in the article, "Women in Combat Roles:Who Knew Video Games Were So Progressive?" expresses the opposite viewpoint, praising the industry for the depiction of capable female warriors in several of these futuristic games.  The mechanics of the games give the same abilities to males and females, alike.

But will we see these female warriors in more realistic shooters?  In "Games likely to follow Pentagon on women in combat," Derrik J. Lang reports that game makers are already thinking of scenarios in which women would appear in combat roles.

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