It’s no big secret that strong female leads are hard to come by in the gaming world. It seems obvious that gaming is dominated by a male demographic, both in market and design. It’s natural for the lack of strong female leads to come from a lack of creativity, with male designers latching on to male characters first. But, it appears as if there may be a bigger, and far more depressing, reason for the absence of a strong female presence in gaming.
Epic Game’s art director, Chris Perna, talks about female character stereotypes in an upcoming issue of OXM. Perna says that he is proud of Gears of War’s more progressive, more believable female characters. However, while it’s one thing to create a butch, military female as a supporting character, it’s another to put her in the leading role. According to Perna, games with a strong female lead just don’t sell well, making it hard to justify actually putting a female in the starring role.
So somehow we, as gamers, are more comfortable seeing sweaty, burly, military men kill people than women. How immature and sexist is that? Seriously, male gamers, why are you so afraid of the opposite sex? They aren’t going to bite you.