Oct 24, 2014
I downloaded Forza Horizon 2 on my xbox one the other day, and naturally my first new video game in months got me thinking about it through the lens of the work of people targeted by gamergate.
The default character is a guy, whose voice dominates the game as the all-powerful ruler/director of what you do next, and you can't change it to a female character (incidentally, you are never shown on screen). There is a female character that runs the garage for modding cars, and that's an interesting (and probably new-ish) choice, but she's stick thin and looks like a supermodel. There are women in the crowds after events, but they’re just cheering and don’t appear to be other drivers and they all look like supermodels.
Now, it's just a car game where you rarely see any other drivers as humans, but would it kill the game studio to do a female (optional) main god character and voiceover? And maybe to have a mix of people in crowds after races, possibly showing women as drivers too instead of treating women as little more than eye candy in the game?
Also, it would in no way diminish the game if these additions were in place -- you could still have dudes around controlling the gameplay, it's just that the other 50% of your potential game playing audience would also get to see themselves in the game, and isn't that the point of games in the first place? To have fun and put yourself in a fantasy world? And wouldn’t the game get better if gameplay was inclusive of men and women?