Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Three S's

 It’s come down from on high that Capcom’s Deep Down, a F2P PS4 exclusive, is not allowing female characters to be created in the game. As the pronouncement was translated in an interview from Japanese to English, one has to take it with a grain of salt. Translation errors have accounted for more than a few embarrassments, so while things look grim on that front, there’s always hope. Whatever happens in the end though, it’s another stab in the gut for the industry. Video games are one of the only forms of entertainment that have a few good women fronting popular series. The reboot of Tomb Raider was quite good, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Last of Us, are all examples of strong female leads.

I grew up on the three S’s. Strong, smart, and sexy women were the backbone of shows like Buffy, La Femme Nikita, and movies like The Fifth Element. Truth be told though, those days are over. These days shows are marketed for boys and selling them toys. Apparently girls don’t buy toys in bulk like boys. It’s a shame really, I can’t imagine who my heroines would be if I was a kid these days. The rare well written heroine a la The Legend of Korra or Dejah Thoris from John Carter gets hidden in the middle of the haystack and left to wither and die.

It’s the trap we all fall into, the belief that the past always tells the future. Video games have been primarily dominated by male gamers making up the biggest piece of the pie of the revenue made from video games. As such, the idea that women might represent an untapped potential for growth is ignored; business runs on reality not possibilities. The industry has made huge strides in the last decade, but yesterday is yesterday, tomorrow is unwritten but imagine what a future it might hold.

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