Strange beasts aren’t they, with their funny smells, crazy ways of dressing and odd ways of thinking about things. But enough about mad hermits in roleplaying games, how do we deal with the fairer sex? Well from a player point of view that’s easy isn’t it? Treat them like everyone else – what’s wrong with you you chauvinist pig! Female characters however are often neglected.
What stereotypes have you seen? I bet there’s frequently a beautiful yet deadly femme fatale. I bet there’s an attractive but bookish and clumsy pulp heroine. Perhaps there’s a man-hating radical. I’m kind of struggling to think now of any other female characters I’ve been presented with. Now certain games (notably pulpy adventures etc.) rely on archetypes and that’s fine. But the rest of you games out there… what are you playing at?
Would watching Loose Women give us an indication of some “normal” character types for female characters in games? I doubt it, and I’m certainly not risking watching on the off-chance. But come on people, where’s the diversity. Can we have a tough, wiry (dare I say Alpha-male?) marine, with missing eye or scarred face, haunted by previous bug hunts? Would it be a stretch too far to have geeky, greasy haired mechanic with spots? Its really not necessary for them to have a cigar, but a habit of pipe smoking would certainly be different. How about some lady characters who are just a bit plain looking and quietly spoken (which incidentally makes them perfect for spy-craft or intelligence work)? I’m looking forward to seeing a 50-something scientist who’s not much in the way of social skills, but can analyse the funk out of a hair sample – rather than a pretty technician who can take her glasses off and let her hair down to suddenly become devastatingly beautiful.
Variety is the spice of life my friends. Lets break some traditions and moulds. Show me some interesting *characters* and lets see what we can do with them.