BINGO! Here's a a kind of tongue-in-cheek, kind of serious bingo chart made by AVB that lists silly and real reasons alike that some developers list when asked why their game doesn't include female protagonists or characters. You may recognise a rather recent excuse in here.


    Howabout the excuse 'it's my creative vision, I can do what I want, if you don't like it, vote with your wallet'.

    Wait a minute, that's a bit too level headed for an article like this.

      There are also a couple of "excuses" here that are legitimate reasons. The two prominent ones for me are "It doesn't fit the storyline." and "There were no prominent women in that time period".

      Just because I'm voting with my wallet doesn't mean I can't also speak politely as a consumer to ask why I'm not being considered. With the industry as it has been (though I believe it is improving) "voting with my wallet" would have meant just not playing many video games at all which as a gamer, frankly, sucks.
      Video games are not purely art subject only to an artistic vision and I am not sure why people put this argument forth so much.
      They are also a product, and people often speak up when a product excludes them.

        It's fine to speak out saying 'I don't like product x because it doesn't cater to me', but you don't have _any_ right to demand someone change their artistic vision to pander to your wants.

    EDIT: Found this when trying to understand the author's POV:

    I'm just going to delete my comment. There's nothing constructive to come of this.

    Last edited 13/09/13 12:25 am

      yeah, I can see why about half those reasons would be valid, especially when a lot of them can co-exist with each other, granted a lot of them are pretty bullshit, but still.

      there are reasons why you wouldn't have female characters in a game, most of them just happen to be very situational and depend on what type of game you're making.

    ha, I get it. Seems a bit on the nose though.

    Just a point on one of the bingo squares:

    "We have women on our staff and they are fine with the cast we have."

    If I worked in video games, in such a turbulent time with extreme competition and constant closures, they could make a rip-off of CoD with a stoic bowl of jelly as the hero and it's romance option being a sassy jar of peanut butter and I would look at my pay-check and somewhat secure job and say
    "Yep, I'm happy with that. Do we want wobble physics for the jelly?"

    "Our target demographic doesn't identify female lead characters"

    That's pretty legitimate, if they are marketing a game towards young girls (say a Barbie or Bratz game) You wouldn't have a grizzled old special agent with a drinking problem as the main protagonist.

    "We're not trying to be political or pander to the PC crowd"

    Also legitimate, game developers shouldn't have to include the option to play as characters of all genders and sexual orientations and people of all ages and all races and cultural backgrounds, simply to appease everyone that could possibly play the game. Doing that would undermine the creativity of the project.

    Those are the ones that stood out, but there are a couple of other ones that are perfectly acceptable. Most of the other ones though are pretty ridiculous and sound like clutching at straws type excuses, if they were in fact actually said by a real person and not made up simply to troll. Because complaining about make up stuff is just stupid.

      No, nobody should have to do anything.
      And personally while I am for seeing more great stories and well-done characters in games, and certainly more females I would never advocate that anybody be forced to add anything to their game.
      I'm just a consumer putting my hand up and making it clear what I want.
      I don't see why this gets interpreted as trying to censor anyone, or force people to be PC, or remove choice from developers.
      In fact I have never personally seen anyone advocate that game designers be forced to do anything.
      Also it seems a little bit fallacious to imply that asking a game to be inclusive to females which are a comparatively large part of the world's population should mean that they then have to be inclusive of absolutely every person from every walk of life that is possible therefore ruining their stories by making them overly PC.

      As for the Barbie or Bratz analogy another thing I am personally doing as a consumer is showing that I am also part of the target market of people who love shooters or MOBAs. It's not just guys who love these games.

      Last edited 13/09/13 2:14 pm

        Have you seriously not seen the boycotts etc for games that aren't pandering to a minority?

    'if they are marketing a game towards young girls (say a Barbie or Bratz game) You wouldn't have a grizzled old special agent with a drinking problem as the main protagonist.'

    That's so awesome. I would TOTALLY buy that for my daughter.

    In other news, Hernandez articles are flypaper for overweight white male redditors with angrily vibrating fedoras.

    Excuses, or reasons? There's a difference, and it's an important one. Accusing someone of the former when they're doing the latter makes you a bit of a dick.

    All of the people posting as to why these are legitimate reasons seems to be coming from the point of view that all things being equal, there shouldn't be any pressure.

    Thing is, all things aren't equal. The vast majority of representation in video gaming is white, straight, males. Once we no longer have a default of white, straight men as protagonists, the arguments begin to hold far more weight. At the moment it's a fight to have anything else, meaning it's completely legitimate to scrutinise the reasons for these decisions.

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