Mass Effect and other games where you can physically customize your character present additional problems for men in the heroic profession. When you're allowed the choice of gender, as well as specific tailoring of every feature from brow to bust, we are hearing more and more about the ladies getting the thumbs up for the job. Mass Effect 3 is a case and point, with such an outcry during the development that more of the spotlight be given to the female Shepard that BioWare created a big to-do about voting for the generic appearance of the character and put her on the Collector's Edition box cover. Of course it all makes sense—when playing a visually realistic game with a forty-plus hour campaign, deep character plotlines, and the ability for intimate same-sex relationships, why wouldn't guys shape their dream girl, stare at her curvy figure running around the galaxy, and find a hot, alien babe with an open mind?
However, the situation is not as dire as you may think. Although I generalized the largest gaming audience, everyone has their own preference, and I'm sure there are many of you reading this that look for more than naughty girls in your games. Plus, most games are still developed with a basis other than flaunting curves to snatch away your money. But those designers certainly shouldn't looks at games like Lollipop Chainsaw as a template or as the direction the gaming world should be headed in.
It is an inevitability that male protagonists don't have the staying power they once did. With customization becoming a key component in many genres, especially role-playing games, and modern graphics allowing less to be left to the imagination, women have successfully proven that they have all the qualities of the opposite sex, and a few that men just can't compete with. The transition is still gradual, but it will be interesting to see in four or five years how much these bad girls have permeated our digital world, and how many men will be virtually unemployed because of it.
Date: June 26, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*