Are any other Pittsburg gamers annoyed by this? There are plenty of shooters that have female playable characters, but how many have females as the main character? A few Metroid games and… well, that’s all I can think of. Most people can’t seem to agree if Metroid is an FPS or FPA, so who knows if that one even counts? Left 4 Dead and Borderlands are possibilities, but I’m hesitant to call Zoey or Lilith protagonists since they are both one of four playable characters in each game. What the gaming industry seems to lack is any type of shooter where a woman is a playable character, while at the same time driving the story of the game.
The question here, of course, is why does something like this not exist? Is it unrealistic? Do developers not want to risk alienating their largely male audience by making them play as a girl? Not enough opportunities for topless/shower scenes?
Addressing the question of realism, it is becoming more unrealistic not to have female characters in the FPS, especially military shooters. Anyone paying attention to the news recently might have seen a story about the first female officers being allowed to serve on U.S. submarines. This was one of the last major barriers for women in our military. According to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, as of 2010, women made up 14.5% of service members on active duty. Not a staggering number, but it’s still a lot.
Would it take gamers as long as the military to adjust to women within their ranks? If you can get beyond all of the sexist comments and kitchen jokes on internet forums discussing the matter, it is easy to see that introducing playable female characters would be a welcomed change for the genre. Now is the time that developers need to consider what can make their game stand out from all the cookie-cutter shooters on the market, and a female protagonist would certainly separate that game from the rest.
It’s important to point out that any female protagonist should be a respectable one. A woman could be made into the main character of any FPS, but if she’s fighting in nothing but a thong and bikini top, that wouldn’t leave much for the way of progress. Save that for the fighting games and RPGs, where a large, partially exposed chest is the only protection you need.