There is a point to including playable female characters in games. I’m aware that most of the people likely to comment on this article (go ahead and bleat about misandry, you worms; I’ll enjoy a tasty cup of your male tears) don’t see that, but I’m also aware that the vast majority of people who read this article do see it, and won’t bother to leave a comment because what I’m saying in this editorial seems sensible, practical, and non-controversial. Such is the way of the Internet. So I’m not going to bother writing out a lengthy justification of why we genuinely need female characters in video games for the good of the industry financially and artistically; if you honestly can’t understand it, go forth and educate yourself. If you feel that gaming is the one thing remaining to men and girls should stop spoiling it with political correctness, then please go boil your head because I see no point in debating with people incapable of basic logic and lacking humanity.I am a game designer. I am designing and producing a game that does not, and will not, have a single female character in it. This is not because I am misogynistic. This is not because I do not women to play the game. This is because putting women in the game makes no sense, violates the principle of the suspension of disbelief, and will not make the game any better as a game.
Having taken it as fact that there is a point to including female characters in video games, why on earth are we still hearing excuses for their absence in 2014? Because it is an excuse. There is no reason not to do it. You won’t alienate your existing market by acknowledging the existence of women. You won’t take anything away from your existing market.
I am the lead designer of First Sword, a combat management game. The game has orcs and men, elves and dwarves. It has goblins and trolls. But it has no women.
Why not? Because the game is a gladiator game. Women cannot credibly fight as gladiators. We don't put women in the game for the same reason we don't put bunny rabbits or children in the game. Putting women in the game would be an act of brutal sadism, an act of barbarism even by pagan Roman standards. While the Romans did occasionally put female gladiators in the arena, they were there as a comedic act. They were occasionally matched against midgets, which the Romans apparently found hilarious.
We could, of course, throw out historical verisimilitude. But we're not going to. Because we value that verisimilitude far more than we value the opinion of a few whiny women who don't play the sort of games we make anyhow. And when we design a game with a particular female market in mind, we don't worry about hurting the feelings of men who we know have no interest in that sort of game.
But the woman is right. There is no point in debating. We're not interested in debating her. We're not interested in listening to her. As it happens, we couldn't possibly care less what she thinks one way or the other.