This is one experience that frustrates me with games: when I cannot choose a female character that I like and with whom I identify.
I know not all women are bothered by it, and I can get over it if the game is good enough, but I get cranky when I can’t choose what looks like a strong female character to play. In fact, in games where I build a party of characters, I inevitably gravitate toward putting as many women in the group as I can. Something about that just makes me happy, like, here is an example in storytelling where a group of women are making something great happen!
My advice to developers who want to make me, personally, be interested in their game:
- Include several female characters.
- Let at least one or two of them be “normal” in appearance, or as evidently interested in the goals of the game as the male characters, rather than primarily interested to bag a man at the earliest opportunity (yes, I’m saying, give me options with a higher neckline).
- Don’t make either rugged manliness or huge cleavage the largest focus of your main advertisements and cover art.
Personally, I don’t mind if there are a few more traditionally “sexy” characters, as long as they don’t make up the whole female cast.
I’m curious what other women gamers or game developers think, or if anyone with industry knowledge/experience thinks this is too impractical in some cases.