It is a sad reality of video games. While most other areas of human activity and existence has moved on to a more equal playing ground and equal treatment between sexes, in the world of video games, it is still all about testosterone. In fact, the only time many games are and genres see female characters is when they function as eye candy to the overwhelmingly male players of these games. Call it what you will but game makers often feel that since mostly men play their games, they have to cater to their clientele. You can’t really blame them for thinking like businessmen but when it comes to equal rights and getting with the times, old habits have to give way to new realities. That is why it is quite refreshing to see Call of Duty move a solid step closer to greater gender equality in its digital realm.
Previously, COD female characters were just eye candy. Mere props. There was one playable character in the past but she wasn’t really central to the story.
With Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the series moves boldly forward by letting players play two playable female characters, featuring lots of female characters, and the president is also female. This installment of the COD series represents a massive leap forward into a heavy female presence for the game. And we’re not talking about skimpy-clad eye candy either. We’re talking women at the same level and stature as the men. This inclusion of females also marks a big step over the barrier that previously kept females out of combat-heavy game titles-realism. Realism has previously been used as a mantra to explain away the dearth of female characters. Treyarch finally got over that hurdle and we are treated to a game with a lot of female presence.
This is all a good start. However, the fact remains that fps titles like COD are played primarily for multiplayer. Unless Treyarch devices create a class functionality to boost that part of the game’s female head count, the increased female presence will be purely a single player only phenomenon. Treyarch has been asked about this but as of this writing, they have been non-committal or would not reveal details. Still, we can only hope for a full integration of COD in the future. Maybe, Activision will have a surprise for us as we get closer to the holiday shopping period.