There’s a new game out on Xbox called Fable and it looked really cool. They were talking about it on Queen of Wands and it sounded like fun to play, so I looked at it at EB Games and Game Stop and Circuit City. Each time I fell short of buying it, even though it looked so cool. The package said that decisions that I make with my character would affect the story and how my character develops. Even though it was a fantasy game, it looked so cool.
I didn’t buy it, though. Shannon in Queen of Wands said that she had to make her character marry the girl that she had been courting. When I looked at the box, all of the characters shown were male. It was looking like I would have to be a boy if I played that game. I didn’t want that. If I’m going to play a fantasy game where I have to be one character, she sure as hell better be a girl. I decided I needed to research more.
As it turned out, Mike did the research for me. Be a girl? No way. The character can be gay. He can marry a man. He can marry women. He can marry and divorce as often as you want him to. He can wear women’s clothing, but he can’t be a woman.
I find this incredibly disturbing that they would forget that one feature. ZAP! There goes half the world. Half of your audience is suddenly alienated. If I want to play your game, I’ll just have to play with the wrong gender.
Poor Mike tried to defend the game programmers and I bit his head off and spit it out at CompUSA. How dare he defend these companies? They cut out half the population of the world with their design skills! Mike tried to tell me that it was through incompetence, and I agree, but it seems like a pathetic way to run a company.
Sims was a fluke. Sims was a mistake. They accidentally made a game that appealed to women and the best they can do to keep up with it is to make more Sims games. Instead of creating focus groups, they just churn out interesting clothes for the Sims to wear and the ability to change their appearance.
Here’s a tip, video game developers… include us. Don’t put women in your game to start the race (Need for Speed). Let us drive the damn cars. Don’t put women in your game to be courted (Fable). Let us live the life of a hero (or slacker as the case may be). Don’t put women in your game to take over when Harry Potter faints (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Let us be Hermoine and let us relive her adventure. Don’t even get me started talking about Lara Croft.
I’m just glad I didn’t spend the fifty bucks on that game. You think I’m mad now? I would have hunted down the programming fools who didn’t even think about adding a female character and kicked them square in the balls. How’s that for a decision that I make that affects the story and how my character develops?