Pathetic Female Characters

I love this discussion of female characters in Borderlands by fellow Cascade Writer April Daniels. She nails how I feel about it with concrete examples and makes the point for games, which dovetails well with the recent post at The New Statesman on the same topic in movies by Sophia McDougall., author of the Romanitas books.

Sinister Elegance

I play Borderlands.

So do a lot of other women. The game is notable, in fact, for its large and vocal community of female fans. No matter what the dudebros down at Gamestop tell you, women play all sorts of games, even very violent shooters like Gears of War and Call of Duty. The fandom of Borderlands, however, is much more visibly gender mixed than many other mainstream games.

There are two main components to Borderlands’ success with female characters: variety and flaws.

Borderlands 2, like Borderlands 1, only has a single female character who is playable out of the box, despite having four playable characters included with the game. (There is a 3rd female character named Gaige who can be bought as a DLC.)  Taken by itself, this could be a troubling sign of tokenism, and in truth I do grumble about it endlessly to my friends.  And sadly…

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6 responses to “Pathetic Female Characters

  1. Right now we are playing, my boys and me, Rage, Dead Island 2 (way too many cuts seances) and we plan on playing Mass Effect and Fallout.

  2. OMG /Fallout/.

    …okay. Yes. Hi. Sorry. Fallout was my first CRPG (yes, ever), and Fallout: New Vegas is the best one I’ve ever played. It’s a signature of the Fallout-verse that you can actually talk NPCs ’round; what impresses me is that F:NV had a character talk /me/ ’round.

    Are either of you guys on Steam?

  3. Sorry, the bit where I make it clear that this is reblogged from writer I know, April Daniels somehow didn’t go through when I first reblogged it. Fixed now.

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