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).