Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Silicone Weapons of Mass Distraction in Cyberspace"

I was wondering, does the gender of the protagonist in a video game make a difference when it comes to sales? Do you think some people actually pass by a game because the lead is a woman versus a man and vice versa? Would more people have played Bayonetta if she was a he, and on the flip side to that, did the people who play the game do so because she was a she?

For example, I was playing Bullet Witch last night (which by the way is really not all that bad of a game, especially when you can pick it up for like $5) and I noticed something that brought me to this thought. I wanted to see if there was any DLC for this game and to my surprise there was, but not the kind of DLC I was expecting, like levels and/or weapons, but more so in the form of sleazy outfits. I couldn't believe how many different ways you could dress her up, I was appalled, then I bought the school girl outfit. Anyway, back to my original point, obviously this game was called Bullet Witch with the hopes of moving units (pardon the pun), because they knew Bullet Bastard wouldn't have sold anything.

If Uncharted 2 had Lara Croft at the helm, would it have done worse, just as good or possibly even better than it did with Nathan Drake?

Is sexism still alive and well in the video game world? Would games like Mirror’s Edge, WET and Heavenly Sword have been more successful if the protagonist was male instead of female?

What if a developer has a some what decent title in the works, but ultimately knows it could most likely not stand on its own merits. Would the addition of a sexy female lead potentially boost sales in the end or hurt the bottom line, like in Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad...we all know any copies of that game that sold wasn't because of the gameplay?

We all know sex sells, which is very obvious when you see the depiction of women in gaming, and most any other form of entertainment medium for that matter. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be seeing any female leads that look like Roseanne or Sandra Bernhard any time soon. Honestly, I can’t think of any games that have a less than attractive female at the helm, is there any that you can think of?

Some of the more recent examples of this would be Lollipop Chainsaw and Catherine.

Now of course I'm not saying this happens all the time, sometimes the theme and/or overall feel of the game requires the lead to be a female...but there are cases of boobs being thrown in with the hopes of bucks being brought in too.


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