This article was originally for Giga: Geek Magazine, a website in which I am Editor-in-Chief, but I wanted to at least post a piece of it here:
When I was a hardcore Battlefield 3 addict (now a hardcore Battlefield 4 addict) and needed a good laugh, I would peruse the Battlefield forum. One day, I came across a female player complaining about the lack of female soldiers in multiplayer. I felt bad, not because I too wanted to play as a kick-ass female soldier, but because it never crossed my mind. I tried to justify my lack of feminism by thinking, “Well, [at that time] female soldiers are not allowed to serve in combat, so it would only make sense to not have a female soldier in multiplayer.” Yes, it is just a game, but DICE does pride itself on how realistic Battlefield is compared to other FPS’s. Besides, you can’t even see your character while playing.
Then it happened again. I stumbled upon an article about how Rockstar missed out on the opportunity to cast a female lead in GTA V. After reading the article, I again thought to myself, “Hmm, I didn’t even think about that.” Even though the author (a guy) is right—it would have been interesting to have a female main character in GTA for once—it never crossed my mind and it didn’t bother me. Why? I’m starting to think I’m just a horrible representative for female gamers. No I’m not taking scantily clad “geek” pictures or recording my boobs on twitch and flirting for a donation, but I still feel ashamed, guilty. I should be standing on a mountain top shouting, “We need more women in games!” but I’m not. I’m quietly enjoying these games as is, as long as they don’t reinforce any negative (“You should be in the kitchen blah, blah, blah”) stereotypes, I’m good.
Read the rest of my article on Giga: Geek Magazine.