Earlier this year I wrote an article debating about the inclusion of female character models in videogames. The conclusion I reached was that:
At the end of the day, all of this isn’t really an issue to me because mostly I just want to kill things. However, both genders have equal rights now and that means that women have the right to be shot in the face if they so choose. If we wish our society to be truly progressive and accepting, traditional gender roles need to be discarded everywhere including the virtual world and there should be more female soldiers included in games.
Now, the new Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer trailer reveals that, aside from having an awesome German Shepard dog, you will also be able to play as a woman.
What are our feels on this matter?
Firstly let’s look at why Infinity Ward, the game’s publisher, decided to include women soldiers in the upcoming title. Kotaku.com interviewed executive producer Mark Rubin about the (non)issue and he told them the following:
"We really want players to feel more connected and engaged with who they are as a player...We felt that that was something that casual players, who are a huge portion of our fan base, would benefit the most from.”
"Our fan base is huge. We cover such a dramatic range of people who play our game that we wanted to be as inclusive as we possibly could with character customization. And that's where the idea came from. Why wouldn't we have a female [option] then?"
Why did it take so long for Infinity Ward to introduce this “female option” into the game?
"A lot of it was the engine. Our previous engine would not handle that. The way memory worked in the previous engine, it never would have been able to do that."
So no great leaps and bounds in progressive pro-feminist thinking then.
I suppose that one thing that sort-of, very loosely indicates some sort of quasi gender equality is that the new graphics will not allow any changes in body shape that will give vageen an advantage over peen and vice versa. Basically, this means that your female model will be the same size and shape as your male model – so if you were thinking of being devious and using a thinner, shorter female character as a trickier target, think again because it’s not going to happen.
Having analysed the pertinent facts, we now need to decide whether the inclusion of these playable female models is a ‘good thing’ or a ‘bad thing’. Opinions on the internet are somewhat divided (notable is the lack of kitchen jokes, indicating that perhaps we have grown as people).
Opinions from Gamepolitics.com read as follows:
Some opinions on the matter from Kotaku.com:
Here’s what I think:
I will say that it is nice to see a game being released that presents women as “she-hulks” and not as sexualised, tig-bittied airheads; so GG for that one, but let’s not forget that Ghosts is not the first game to do this.
There’s nothing ideological about this move on the part of Infinity Ward and to laud them for doing as such would be a complete betrayal of my love for Mass Effect, a videogame in which I have been playing as a kick-ass woman since the very beginning.
Being party to the information that there was no sort of noble principle involved in the creation and inclusion of these female character models, I don’t really see why anyone should really give a crap. Although perhaps by “not giving a crap” we are advancing in our ways to create a society where we don’t assign value to things like gender. Who knows?
Regardless, I'm just pumped I get to have a dog and shoot more things.
I’d be very interested to know what you folks think about the topic.
Inclusion of female models in Call of Duty: “Meh” or “Aweh”?
Call of Duty: Ghosts is set for release on the 5th November this year for Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U. An official release date for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is still to be announced.
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