Gender and games

Female protagonists are created by mostly male developers to suit the needs of men, so they typically embody stereotypes in games like Leisure Suit Larry to the original tomb raider to dead or alive. Females are usually portrayed around their sexuality and shown by their looks. The time period of the 80s and 90s games were made to attract men to put in quarters at arcades or to buy a game for their Atari to their PlayStation. Women were portrayed in a way that men would ideally like, so the games would sell. Women in AAA titles occasionally get a little more attention. It depends on the women though in the new tomb raider Laura Croft is no longer a woman with an unrealistic body however she is still portrayed with many masculine features she can use guns to take out large amounts of opponents. Games generally are improving due to a larger female player base and females in the development process. Female heroin characters are more commonplace however they still display more masculine attributes in most games which over time may change. It may just be hard for developers to create a game with a female lead which doesn’t put them in a masculine role which can also be fun with a lot of playability. It may, however, come in the form of a strong story-based game. Some games like BioShock Infinite to the last of us portray little girls in a more feminine role however the main character must protect them.

Yet another Oregon Trail

Oregon trail is a narrative based game based around the travel westward in a wagon where you have to manage food the people and resources along the journey. Terrible things tended to happen to different people. The version of the game that I played was the deluxe edition with many graphical upgrades from the original. The trail is displayed and traveling is shown as a moving wagon on a graphical display. You have a hud which can toggle different resource windows in towns/forts you can trade, talk with others and buy from merchants.

The narrative of the game is essentially the story of trying to travel west and make it to the final destination. It has a semi-accurate portrayal of issues involving diseases/sickness, food, natural elements. It is told through a display of your wagon traveling that you control. The game doesn’t really address people of color or women often other than that fact that they have prescripted lines of text that can appear when talking in town.  In the game, you control the wagon and are responsible for making it to the destination. You ideally would be the protagonist of the story and the trail and trip would be the antagonist of the game.

The game gives some good ideas but also lacks depth as to how things are treated like diseases or snake bites you just use the rest feature to see if things get better sometimes people get better other times they die. You don’t really have a huge control of that. You can hunt to make sure you have food for your party. You can control how much food they go and the speed of your wagon but random events can affect your game. The narrative is mainly set and not a lot of room to change how the game works. You either make it to the end or don’t. If you fail to make it to the end you try again with a different set of starting resources.