The gaming sector has joined hands with the rest of the world in acknowledging the need to be gender neutral. Because of that, some of the parts of the sector have witnessed a sort of rethink because it is no longer fashionable to create games where one gender, especially the male gender, dominates the other.
Games like CSGO have been a notoriously male-dominated audience…until now. These days there are plenty of professional female CSGO players competing at the highest level. Julia “Juliano” Kiran earnt herself more than $30,000 in 2019, according to a report by www.csgobook.com; the amount of females in professional sports, along with their earnings, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but upwards.
This call for gender neutrality is one that has witnessed a very favorable response from designers and developers. Because of that, there are lots of gender neutral titles out there. The gaming industry has seen a solid start in this, even though more work needs to be done.
Leading the Way
Titles like Fortnite received a lot of accolades as the title that pioneers gender neutral gaming. People have noted one very memorable part of the game, and that is the fact that when players start playing the game, they are not given the opportunity to choose the gender of their avatar. The industry can revel in this huge step, and we also have reasons to believe that the request by some players to be able to change the gender of their avatars have been rejected by the designers.
As the game progresses, players will discover an above-average balance between the female and male characters. Up to a third of the characters in the game are female. So, while many will acknowledge that there are still rooms for more to be done, the number of female characters in Fortnite dwarfs what you can get in other games out there. In the game, there are also a lot of body shapes and sizes, so the stereotype about acceptable body size and shape is also hugely challenged here too.
On The Cards
Another sector of the gaming industry, where the disparity between male and female gender representation is being challenged is the entertainment complexes. While many people do not regard this as a part of gaming, it is one of the factors that boost the overall revenue of the industry. This area also requires a lot of work, and because we are in the digital era, a lot is being done to take care of that, as internet-based gaming keeps offering a less gendered and more neutral experience.
Whether you are looking for online casino games or RPGs, a whole lot of such titles are scattered out there for you. Meanwhile, even though the creators of these games try as much as they can to instill features that will differentiate their titles from the rest and make them outstanding, they still go back to the known subjects in order to lure in more people. Now, it is good to note that apart from authentic play, another thing that attracts players to games is nostalgia. That is why most of the characters in these games are either fictional figures from popular movies or historically popular human beings.
Now, when games are designed for franchises that already exist or after real people, they inspire discussions that are beyond the corridors of the gaming sector. At this point, the discussions will now be focused on who and what the developers decided to adopt in the game. There may be some sort of male dominance on the silver screen, but one truth we also cannot negate is the fact that Lara Croft exists for every Indiana Jones in the industry. Also, while most of the classic games may have the character of Zeus as a dominant figure, it is comfortably matched to a sizable balance by the number of games that have the character of Cleopatra.
Can you actually assign a particular gender to the characters of Pokémon Go? In some instances, the answer would be yes, as no confusion arises in assigning genders to Misty and Brock. But with some others, things may not be very clear. For instance, who has actually identified the gender of Pikachu, the major character?
If you have succeeded in this aspect, then you should also let us know, because many of the people I know do not have an answer to this. Also, who can identify the genders of other characters like Solgaleo, Mimikyu, and Absol? The fact remains that no one can define their characters. The game is synonymous with Ash’s companion; however, no one would deny the gender neutrality of Pikachu. No one will argue this because it is an apparent issue, only that it is mostly taken for granted, as no one cares to know about Pikachu’s gender, and that in itself is something good.
Pokémon Go became the most downloaded game within the first 30 days of its release, breaking the previous record and setting a new one. It went ahead to become the most successful of all mobile games ever made. The arrival of the game in 2016 answered a lot of questions for parents. One of the highest criticisms of gaming is that it could be an antisocial and solitary affair that confines the players to an environment and takes them away from the real world. Still, this game succeeded in pushing inactive children out to the open in their quest to find their favorite characters. The game is laden with lots of positive features, and the gender neutrality angle is another big benefit to its name.
Work In Progress
While we acknowledge that a lot of work has been done on this subject in many places, a lot still needs to be done. The truth is that it will still take a little more time before the sexist nature of games will disappear completely. The dominance of the male audience on classic ‘shoot them up’ titles will not go away in the near future. Developers will not be making significant changes to the characters of such games any time soon because of the audience, which is dominated by male players.
However, respite comes from titles like the Fortnite and Pokémon Go, as they make huge impacts in addressing the gender imbalance in games.