Difference between revisions of "Playable female character"

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Games with a '''playable female character''' are noteworthy because, although women make up roughly 50% of the world's population, games which feature playable female characters make up far less. Those few games that do feature a playable female character often have her as a single female in an otherwise all-male cast, or change the character portrait and swap an "M" with an "F" in a status box. Since having a playable female character is a novel concept, I have made a category for it on my Wiki. Most gaming databases have lists for female protagonists, but my site expands the category to any playable female character, even if she's a side-kick or other minor playable character. Games which feature a playable female character often also have a [[strong female character]], though not always.
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[[Image:Lady Bug - ARC - Screenshot - Title.png|thumb|256x256px|''[[Lady Bug]]'' (1981) was one of the first popular games to feature a playable female character, even if you can't tell she's female.]]
  
The first game I ever remember playing where a playable female character was a notable experience for me was ''[[King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella]]'' around 1989. Although I had played games like ''[[Ms. Pac-Man]]'' before, the fact that she was female was totally irrelevant to the game, so I never really considered it to be important. At first, I didn't like the idea of having to play a princess in a game because I wanted to live out my boyish fantasies of being a strong heroic knight, however, as I matured and my tasted in fiction became more nuanced, I began to really appreciate games which feature playable female characters. I'm pleased to see that percentage has been increasing over the years, but there is still a long way to go before playable women appear in a tenth of the games being made, let alone half.
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Games with a '''playable female character''' are noteworthy because, although women make up roughly half of the world's population, only a fraction of games feature playable female characters. Those that do often have the woman as a single female in an otherwise all-male cast or simply swap out a male's portrait with a female portrait while leaving the rest of the game unaltered. Since having a playable female character is such a novel concept, I have made a category for it on my Wiki.
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Several substantial gaming databases have lists for female protagonists, for example, [[MobyGames]] has such a category. It being such a large database, it also depressingly shows that only around 2% of video games have a female protagonist. My site expands the category to all games that have a playable female character, even if she plays a minor role, and even if the only way you can tell she's female is because she has an "F" instead of an "M" in the status bar. Games which feature a playable female character often also have a [[strong female character]], though not always.
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I had played games like ''[[Ms. Pac-Man]]'' in the mid-1980s, but since her sex is totally irrelevant to the game, I thought nothing of it. The first game where I remember actively noticing a playable female character was around 1989 when I first saw ''[[King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella]]''. At the time, I didn't like the idea of having to play a princess in a game because I wanted to live out my boyish fantasies of being a heroic knight. However, as my taste in fiction matured, and my understanding of how women were oppressed was expanded, I began to really appreciate the few games which feature playable female characters. While I'm pleased to see the percentage of games which feature playable female characters has been increasing over the years, there is still a long way to go before playable women appear in even a tenth of the games being made, let alone half.
  
 
==Examples==
 
==Examples==
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! Title !! Released !! Notes
 
! Title !! Released !! Notes
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Borderlands]]'' || 2009-10-20 || One of the playable classes is Lilith the siren.
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| ''[[Borderlands]]'' || 2009-10-20 || One of the four classes, Lilith the siren.
 +
|-
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| ''[[Borderlands 2]]'' || 2012-09-18 || One of the four classes, Maya the siren.
 +
|-
 +
| ''[[Clue (board game)|Clue]] || 1949-??-?? || Half the playable characters are female, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, and Mrs. White.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Borderlands 2]]'' || 2012-09-18 || One of the playable classes is Maya the siren.
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| ''[[Diablo]]'' || 1996-12-31 || One of the three classes, the rogue.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Diablo]]'' || 1996-12-31 || The rogue class is female.
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| ''[[Diddy Kong Racing]]'' || 1997-11-21 || One of the eight racers, Pipsy.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Diddy Kong Racing]]'' || 1997-11-21 || Pipsy is the only female kart racer.
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| ''[[Final Fantasy VI]]'' || 1994-04-02 || Three of the 14 primary playable characters, Terra, Celes, and Relm. All playable minor characters are male.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Final Fantasy VI]]'' || 1994-04-02 || Playable female characters include Terra, Celes, and Relm.
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| ''[[Gauntlet (video game)|Gauntlet]]'' || 1985-??-?? || One of the four playable classes, the Valkyrie.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Gauntlet (video game)|Gauntlet]]'' || 1985-??-?? || The Valkyrie is female.
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| ''[[Golden Axe]]'' || 1989-05-?? || One of the three playable characters, Tyris Flare.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Golden Axe]]'' || 1989-05-?? || Tyris Flare.
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| ''[[Gone Home]]'' || 2013-08-15 || The protagonist, Katie.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Gone Home]]'' || 2013-08-15 || The game's protagonist Katie.
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| ''[[Her Story]]'' || 2015-06-23 || The protagonist is female.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Her Story]]'' || 2015-06-23 || The game's protagonist is female.
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| ''[[Ittle Dew]]'' || 2013-07-05 || The protagonist, Ittle Dew.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella]]'' || 1988-??-?? || The protagonist Rosella.
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| ''[[King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella]]'' || 1988-??-?? || The protagonist, Rosella.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Left 4 Dead]]'' || 2008-11-17 || One of the survivors is Zoey.
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| ''[[Left 4 Dead]]'' || 2008-11-17 || One of the four playable survivors, Zoey.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Left 4 Dead 2]]'' || 2009-11-17 || One of the survivors is Rochelle.
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| ''[[Left 4 Dead 2]]'' || 2009-11-17 || One of the four playable survivors, Rochelle.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Mario Kart 64]]'' || 1996-12-14 || Princess Peach is the only female kart racer.
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| ''[[Mario Kart 64]]'' || 1996-12-14 || One of the eight kart racers, Princess Peach.
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Metroid (universe)|''Metroid'' series]] || 1986-08-06 || The bounty hunter Samus Aran is a woman.
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| [[Metroid (universe)|''Metroid'' series]] || 1986-08-06 || The protagonist of all the games in the series, Samus Aran.
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Portal (universe)|''Portal'' series]] || 2007-10-10 || The protagonist Chell.
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| [[Portal (universe)|''Portal'' series]] || 2007-10-10 || The protagonist in both games, Chell.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Secret of Mana]]'' || 1993-08-06 || Primm.
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| ''[[Secret of Mana]]'' || 1993-08-06 || One of the three playable characters, Primm.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Super Mario Bros. 2]]'' || 1988-10-?? || Princess Peach.
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| ''[[Super Mario Bros. 2]]'' || 1988-10-?? || One of the four playable characters, Princess Peach.
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Ultima (universe)|''Ultima'' series]] || 1981-??-?? || Almost all of the ''Ultima'' titles allow you to play a female character, and later titles even alter the player's graphics.
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| [[Ultima (universe)|''Ultima'' series]] || 1981-??-?? || Almost all of the ''Ultima'' titles allow you to play a female character, early games just use a M/F in the stats. Later games add female graphics and change dialogue.
 
|}
 
|}
  
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* [https://www.giantbomb.com/female-protagonists/3015-2287/games giantbomb.com/female-protagonists/3015-2287/games] - Giant Bomb.
 
* [https://www.giantbomb.com/female-protagonists/3015-2287/games giantbomb.com/female-protagonists/3015-2287/games] - Giant Bomb.
 
* [https://store.steampowered.com/tags/en/Female+Protagonist store.steampowered.com/tags/en/Female+Protagonist] - Steam.
 
* [https://store.steampowered.com/tags/en/Female+Protagonist store.steampowered.com/tags/en/Female+Protagonist] - Steam.
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[[Category: Game Mechanics]]

Latest revision as of 16:15, 24 September 2019

Lady Bug (1981) was one of the first popular games to feature a playable female character, even if you can't tell she's female.

Games with a playable female character are noteworthy because, although women make up roughly half of the world's population, only a fraction of games feature playable female characters. Those that do often have the woman as a single female in an otherwise all-male cast or simply swap out a male's portrait with a female portrait while leaving the rest of the game unaltered. Since having a playable female character is such a novel concept, I have made a category for it on my Wiki.

Several substantial gaming databases have lists for female protagonists, for example, MobyGames has such a category. It being such a large database, it also depressingly shows that only around 2% of video games have a female protagonist. My site expands the category to all games that have a playable female character, even if she plays a minor role, and even if the only way you can tell she's female is because she has an "F" instead of an "M" in the status bar. Games which feature a playable female character often also have a strong female character, though not always.

I had played games like Ms. Pac-Man in the mid-1980s, but since her sex is totally irrelevant to the game, I thought nothing of it. The first game where I remember actively noticing a playable female character was around 1989 when I first saw King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. At the time, I didn't like the idea of having to play a princess in a game because I wanted to live out my boyish fantasies of being a heroic knight. However, as my taste in fiction matured, and my understanding of how women were oppressed was expanded, I began to really appreciate the few games which feature playable female characters. While I'm pleased to see the percentage of games which feature playable female characters has been increasing over the years, there is still a long way to go before playable women appear in even a tenth of the games being made, let alone half.

Examples

These are games that are important to me which feature a playable female character. For all games, see the category.

Title Released Notes
Borderlands 2009-10-20 One of the four classes, Lilith the siren.
Borderlands 2 2012-09-18 One of the four classes, Maya the siren.
Clue 1949-??-?? Half the playable characters are female, Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, and Mrs. White.
Diablo 1996-12-31 One of the three classes, the rogue.
Diddy Kong Racing 1997-11-21 One of the eight racers, Pipsy.
Final Fantasy VI 1994-04-02 Three of the 14 primary playable characters, Terra, Celes, and Relm. All playable minor characters are male.
Gauntlet 1985-??-?? One of the four playable classes, the Valkyrie.
Golden Axe 1989-05-?? One of the three playable characters, Tyris Flare.
Gone Home 2013-08-15 The protagonist, Katie.
Her Story 2015-06-23 The protagonist is female.
Ittle Dew 2013-07-05 The protagonist, Ittle Dew.
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella 1988-??-?? The protagonist, Rosella.
Left 4 Dead 2008-11-17 One of the four playable survivors, Zoey.
Left 4 Dead 2 2009-11-17 One of the four playable survivors, Rochelle.
Mario Kart 64 1996-12-14 One of the eight kart racers, Princess Peach.
Metroid series 1986-08-06 The protagonist of all the games in the series, Samus Aran.
Portal series 2007-10-10 The protagonist in both games, Chell.
Secret of Mana 1993-08-06 One of the three playable characters, Primm.
Super Mario Bros. 2 1988-10-?? One of the four playable characters, Princess Peach.
Ultima series 1981-??-?? Almost all of the Ultima titles allow you to play a female character, early games just use a M/F in the stats. Later games add female graphics and change dialogue.

Links

Link-MobyGames.png  Link-Wikipedia.png