Why (as a Woman) Do I Favor the Male Characters in Video Games?

Am I sexist when it comes to video games? I don’t think so, but some people may think that so. I’ve been a gamer since I was 6 years old. (I’m 21 now). I’ve always played as male characters because most of the games I’ve played had male characters as the lead role. And honestly, I’ve always liked it that way. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for gender equality, I mean come on, I’m a woman. But when it comes to video games, I’d prefer to play with a male character rather than a woman any day. I know what you’re thinking. “How can you say that,” “Women characters are just as good men” and blah, blah, blah. That’s all good and stuff but I got my reasons.

Male characters are always portrayed as a powerful figure. They have these wonderful physiques, awesome weapons, and turn out to be all around badasses. For example, Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 5. He was the main character in this game. He pretty much took charge of everything. He took all the calls from his team, and gave all the orders. When it came to weapons, he handled them like a pro. With every gun he obtained, each shot was done in style. Now his sidekick, Sheva, is another story. She pretty much annoyed me throughout the whole game. When I needed help, she was nowhere to be found. She looked awkward with every gun she held. She also didn’t strike me as a strong female, just a weak partner. I never played as her. When I played two players, I always fought to play as Chris. I don’t know….I just felt that playing as Chris made everything easy and Sheva’s presence was unnecessary.

sonic

Even games like Sonic and picking certain characters mattered to me. I’m totally fine with picking characters like Sonic, Shadow, and Knuckles. But when it comes to characters like Amy and Rogue, that’s where I drew the line. The male characters also seem to have better attacks than the females. While the males are the heroes in the game, characters like Amy always seem to screw up or become the damsel in distress. They’re just annoying and they were never characters that I chose unless I needed to.

women

Art by BobbaCroft12345

I’m not bashing all female characters, there are plenty that I like. Ellie in the Last of Us was awesome. She is the definition of badass. Joel and Ellie were a wonderful team; they supported each other well and they both had their uses. Ellie was definitely a girl who didn’t need anyone’s help. Lara Croft is another example of a powerful woman. She kicked ass. I was a little skeptical about playing her character in games but when her character developed more and more, I learned to love her. I remember seeing her get stabbed in the leg, and she continued to walk. That was awesome!

aveline

I have nothing against female characters. I guess what affects my judgement is how they’re portrayed. If they have a strong male counterpart, then I’ll always choose the male. But if the woman is the main character, then that will change my perspective. When it comes to character customization in games, I ALWAYS make a man. I don’t know why exactly, but I feel male characters are more dominant than their female counterparts. This feeling does not affect my perspective on real world men and women roles, but when it comes to video games, I always choose a man. Not because of their roles per se, but because of how they are portrayed.

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  • Anissa Hanley

    Digital Artist

    Jane of all Trades, Master of ALL.

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  • MostStrange

    I always play as a woman if the option presents itself. And games like Beyond Good and Evil often show that games with leading women are forced to have better written leads due to the perception that men will prefer male characters and make up a greater player base (both these things are largely untrue). Games like Borderlands 2 show that even when there are a couple of options, make and female, the make characters don’t need to be written as dominant to be interesting (the female characters in those games are always better than the male characters). What we need is better writing in videogames, such that a character is so well realised that they draw you in, regardless of gender. I can’t fault your sexism (my own bias is the reverse of yours), but I really hope games in the future don’t reaffirm your current preferences.

  • Wade

    Ok, my main gripe is with your analysis of RE5, Chris is the main character, and yeah he’s a beast, but Sheva isn’t a pushover either, she’d been dealing with the infected since before the BSAA dispatched Chris, and the only reason she’s kind of useless is because of the terrible AI built around her role,not because she’s female,but because she’s meant to be played by another person, it’s supposed to be co-op, next you’re going to call Ashley from 4 a sexist role because the presidents sixteen years old daughter didn’t go Rambo and rescue herself,but then,hey, she’s running around with weskers son in 6. Stop reading so much into shit. They’re video games. If I want social commentary I’ll go read Cracked.

    • DarthSteed

      That wasn’t Ashley in RE6. It was Sherry Birkin from RE2.

  • Corburn mallin

    I agree with you I’m a guy and I prefer to play Male characters same as you I dont mind female but I want more option I’m all for equality but I like playing as men cause I like to imagine myself as the main character being Male myself your not sexist it’s just your preference and I think every game should have the option to choose gender not always custom characters but more like dishonered 2 with Emily and corvo

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