Though games with female protagonists are not as commonplace as their male counterparts, there still are many fantastic female games characters.
Gaming, of course, is often viewed as being highly sexist. Most of the times in games, women are viewed as sex objects, which is a sad fact and has been the case for many years but is gradually changing.
Over the years, we’ve seen games with female protagonists like Juliet Starling from Chainsaw Lollipop, Candy Suxxx from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury 2 and Eve from Soul Calibur present women as nothing more than sex objects, which, naturally, is not good enough.
Thankfully, we’ve also seen some extremely strong and well represented female games character. Of the games with female protagonists who present women realistically and in a positive way, some of the best include Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (she has been seen as a sex object but she is also very strong female character), Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite and Chun Li from the Street Fighter series.
Now that more and more women are playing games, we’re beginning to see better and better representation of women in video games. This has led to the creation of numerous excellent games with female protagonists.
The Longest Journey’s April Ryan is a positive role model for female gamers
You could be forgiven for getting the wrong first impression of April Ryan. She is first seen in The Longest Journey in her pants, which naturally makes you wonder if she’s going to be another sex object. Fear no, however, as she soon becomes one of gaming’s best female protagonists.
An art student, April Ryan accidentally finds herself in a fantasy world called Arcadia. Despite being a typical point n click adventure game, April Ryan makes The Longest Journey epic thanks to her wit and intelligence. April Ryan is a strong and honourable female protagonist who has captured the heart of many female gamers.
The only problem with April Ryan is that in The Longest Journey’s sequel, Dreamfall, she becomes moody and sullen, losing her character and even renaming herself (urgggh. .. ) Raven. . . . sigh.
Anyway, The Longest Journey is an excellent point and click adventure game April Ryan a very realistic and strong female protagonist.
Hildegard Von Krone from Soul Calibur is one of those all too rare characters that show that female protagonists don’t need to be highly sexualised in order to work.
Hildegard Von Krone: the 9th best female protagonist
Soul Calibur has been blames of been sexist (little surprise given the inflated breasts of Eve on the Soul Calibur 5 cover). One female character Soul Calibur gets right, however, is Hildegard Von Krone, a strong, noble and brave character whose life cause is to uphold her family name.
Unlike most female characters, Hildegard Von Krone wears a sensible outfit (and alternative outfit) that looks elegant and noble. Though her story is (in my opinion) not the most original or inspiring, she is a strong role model for young female gamers.
Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft: Sexy AND A Role Model
Lara Croft is one of those truly exceptional games characters who manages to be both sexy and a positive representation of women.
There was a time when Lara Croft was definitely just a sexy object, a time when Tomb Raider profited off of the size of her breasts. That time, however, is passed.
With the new Lara Croft Tomb Raider reboot, we see a much more realistic and more positive representation of Lara Croft. The Tomb Raider reboot shows Lara’s more compassionate side (where she struggles to come to terms with her first kill) as well as her bravery and kindness (in helping other characters in the game).
If Lara Croft was once a sex object, she is now a genuine role model; smart, sexy, compassionate and kind, Lara Croft deserves her spot at number 8.