Game Changer: Call of Duty Includes Women
Game Changer: Call of Duty Includes Women
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The folks over at Activision unveiled the multiplayer for their upcoming game, Call of Duty: Ghosts today, with a big and important announcement:

There are now playable female characters.

What this means:

The most obvious statement to make here is that Call of Duty is no longer just DudeMurder. It’s no longer so exclusive to Dudes.

This is big. This is an industry changer.

Women have been playable characters in games in general for a very long time, and they aren’t even new to FPS games. Metroid set the stage years ago, Halo and Gears of War both beat Call of Duty to the punch, and with games like Mirror’s Edge, Last of Us, and Remember Me dropping in recent years, female protagonists aren’t a strange sight to see. However, games such as Lollipop Chainsaw, Wet, and Bloodrayne didn’t exactly help, and playable female characters have never been included in the multi-player of Call of Duty.

Let me stress this further: Female characters have never been playable in the most popular mode of one of the most popular franchises on some of the most popular consoles in recent years.

Now, there are a number of problems with the presentation thus far. The women characters shown in the reveal and posted around the internet sport some kind of eye-shadow. This isn’t a super bad thing, characters in Ghosts multi-player mode will be customizable, after all. However, it’s just interesting to me that even in virtual space, when eye-shadow should be the last thing these avatars should have thought to bring to a firefight, there it is, making those polygons look extra attractive on the big screen.

In addition, there is the little way that Activision is going about the reveal. This is a big, important moment. Female playable characters in Call of Duty! This is a moment where Activision and Infinity Ward could really stand out there in front of their fans and critics and say, “Look, we have listened to what you have to say! We agree! We should have done this years ago!” Instead, excuses are made.

“Our previous engine would not handle that. The way memory worked in the previous engine, it never would have been able to do that.” This is what Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin told Kotaku. He also mentioned that it’s important to the company that players have the options to customize their character the way that they want. Yes, that’s great. But that’s not really what this is about. The inclusion of female characters shouldn’t have been done simply so people could play as female characters. It should have been done because that’s the way it is.

The fact that there are women is as prevalent as the fact that there are men. It should be a standard, not a feature.

There are some concerns. This might make women more of a target when it comes to harassment online. Xx420juggalo420xX and all his friends aren’t going to be happy that there are women all up in their DudeMurdering. But I feel like it’s far more likely that the culture will change. It won’t be as much of a shock to hear a female voice over the headset.

By finally including this long desired option, Activision is sending out a ripple effect that is sure to influence the gaming industry as a whole. Other FPS games take mechanics from Call of Duty all the time. Now they are sure to take playable women and add them to games like crazy.

This is a good thing! This is a great thing! This shows that Activision is listening to its fan-base  it’s open to expanding said fan-base  and it’s not afraid of the backlash from its existing fan-base.

Video games shouldn’t be a boys’ club. Females as a playable option should be as common as males as a playable option, and at this point, it’s 2013. There can’t be any more technological excuses.

This is a great move for Activision, for gaming, for gender equality.

I look forward to the future.

geoffGeoff Girardin is a freelance writer from Connecticut who just got married to the most gorgeous woman ever and is currently stockpiling Star Wars baby clothes for his future kids. You can follow him on Twitter @geoffgirardin and read more from him at geoffgirardin.com.

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10 Comments

  1. Hanoff
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Are you retarded or something? We have series like Tomb Raider, No One Lives Forever, Golden Axe, some of Resident Evil and Silent Hill, where you can play a fully developed female character. Most of actions/RPGs with customisation will allow you to play as female, even plot-centered like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. BUT A FPS FOR COMPLETE SHITHEADS? INDUSTRY BREAKER!

  2. Gofuckyourself
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Stfu man, just stfu.

  3. Kilbert
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Wait, are you seriously criticizing them for acknowledging the fact that they were running shoddy software that couldn’t handle different character models? That’s not sexism, it’s having shoddy software.

  4. Guy
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    It literally makes no difference.

    Other games have done it before and it doesn’t change anything.

    What is Halo: Reach? Blacklight: Retribution? etc.

    Being able to play as a female makes no impact on the gameplay.

  5. Thomas
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    You do realize that Call of Duty 1 had a Russian female sniper in it? Played a pretty big role in the campaign…

  6. mihkel
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    How is adding a female model to the game an industry changer? The gameplay is the same as is the engine, how does a cosmetic addon change the industry? There’s no progress on technology- or gameplaywise.

  7. Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    “This is big.” “This is an industry changer!”

    I’m so sure. Because the gaming industry has NEVER seen playable women before. Are you being paid to hype this garbage up, or are you just that much of a tool all on your own?

    Please don’t take my comment as misogynist or against women. I have no problems with the inclusion of a female soldier you can kick-ass with all over the online worlds of Call of Duty. Women should have had the option all along. But this is not even REMOTELY CLOSE to the self-dscripted ‘industry changer.’ Don’t even try. Just don’t. It’s fucking emarrassingl

  8. anonymous
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    So actually it isn’t changing the *game* at all. Except that effort that went into this feature wasn’t used to actually make the game better.

  9. dick fagballs
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    i bet your bitch made you put that in your footer.

  10. urafgt
    Posted August 28, 2013 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Goldeneye had them, unreal tournament had them. Why is this so important? Because a modern popular male dominated fps game has them as opposed to an older one?

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