What Women Want (In Female Video Game Protagonists)

The Mary Sue | October 6, 2012 - 11:30 am

The Escapist’s Shamus Young recently penned a thoughtful article about Anita Sarkeesian’sTropes vs. Women in Video Games series, and how he believes the lack of female protagonists in games is a more pressing concern than the portrayal of secondary characters. There are plenty of points there worthy of discussion, but what particularly caught my eye was a series of open questions posed to the “average power-fantasy-seeking female player”:

So what should a proper female lead look like? Where do you draw the line between “attractive” and “cheap pandering cheesecake”? Which female leads resonate with women? Which ones repel them? Is it better to have a variable gender protagonist like in Fable II where you can choose a gender that basically doesn’t matter, or is it better to have a protagonist with a specifically crafted character? What genres of action-type badassery are most attractive to females, and would make a good starting point for a developer looking to court a female audience?

I hardly speak for every woman gamer, but these are valid questions that don’t get addressed often enough. Very well then. Challenge accepted. Read more…