International Women’s Day is celebrated today, March 8. Celebrations vary from country-to-country, but there’s one thing all countries should be able to agree on; women in video games have progressively become less and less like objects or sexualized symbols to draw men to the eye candy and more about drawing actual women into action games with an avatar for themselves. So what are the top five women in gaming?
1. “Tomb Raider” - Lara Croft is one of the oldest female protagonists from video games, but she has come a long way in her years. From a ridiculously top-heavy sex pot icon, Lara has grown into her own with the newest “Tomb Raider” release on March 5. She is still a beautiful character, but with a more edgy, realistic appeal that can only be achieved by shedding her iconic outfit and gaining more size appropriate breasts.
2. “Mass Effect” - RPGs have, for a very long time, allowed the player to choose the character’s sex, but very few make any differentiations between the story or dialogue, save swapping out some pronouns. The “Mass Effect” trilogy, by Bioware, features fem!Shep, who due to general badassery and fan support - from both men and women alike - got her own trailers for advertising the game. Voice acting makes fem!Shep into a completely different character from her male counterpart even if most of the lines are the same
3. “Star Wars: The Old Republic” - This MMO, also by Bioware, allows the player to choose the sex of his/her character just like most other MMOs. Unlike most MMOs though, voice acting really gives these women personalities, making them more than just a stand-in with breasts, but living, breathing women whose personalities you can further fine tune with the dialogue wheel choices presented throughout the game.
4. “Resident Evil” - Jill Valentine was designed to be the soft, frail alternative to Chris Redfield. But the dramatically different play style and Jill’s lock picking ability made her popular with fans for more than just eye candy.
5. “Street Fighter” - Chun Li was the first female to ever appear in a fighting arcade game and though she was the only female in the line up at that time, she kicked the men’s faces off and won a place in players’ hearts. She paved the way for future female characters to be introduced to fighting games as well and her own popularity has seen her placed in every “Street Fighter” title since her debut.