Do you know the quickest, surest (though not 100% foolproof) way to make me want to play a game? I’m sure you can guess, it’s not hard really… And I’m wanting to play a Call of Duty game for the first time since 4 .
Yeah, that’s right – you can make me interested in videogames that don’t heavily feature the colour pink by giving me the option to play as a woman in at least a part of the game. It’s why I treasured Pokémon Crystal over Silver , it’s why I will spend hours on something like the Mass Effect series or Elder Scrolls .
Because when I finally, finally, started playing videogames, when Pokémon Blue was released, my first few years were spent playing as guys in videogames. I might be a tomboy, but I wanted to be able to play as a female character in the games I was playing (a lot of the Final Fantasy series post VI and pre- Pokémon Crystal ) because the idea of playing as a non-girly girl, like myself, in the kinds of games I was playing would have enabled me to experience a character closer to my own personality. Sure, I’ll happily play as a male character in a game, just it’s nice to fill the shoes of a woman who takes no crap from anyone once and a while.
Anyway, back to Call of Duty: Ghosts and its multiplayer announcement from Activision and Infinity Ward this week. Have to admit – I wasn’t expecting this. As you can see from the trailer, you’ll be able to skin up characters in multiplayer so that they look female. It’s like what happened with NHL 12 , only the multiplayer will probably have servers available for a lot longer unlike what tends to happen with EA’s sports servers.
But I don’t want to play Ghosts that much. I’m not a huge multiplayer fan and the sub-culture that’s grown-up around Call of Duty multiplayer since the the first Modern Warfare isn’t exactly something I’d want to tangle with. The idea that I could substitute human players for AI feels like it’s avoiding the aforementioned subculture issues.
Then… you don’t appear to have the chance to play as a female character in the main story of game. In NHL 12 you could play as female character in the equivalent of its main story – the career mode. A videogame about ice hockey has potentially a more sophisticated gender placement situation than the ever changing world of Call of Duty . And let’s not forget that the Ghosts’ world is a piece of speculative fiction – a world with a severely weakened United States that has rag-tag bunches of service personnel trying to protect what remains of America. In a world like that – having women in the frontline would probably be a necessity.
Of course there’s still time… a playable female character for the main story could be announced. However – watch as I don’t hold my breath.
Though I’ll probably still end-up owning it for the Wii U, for entirely different reasons (someone needs to buy games for it).