With the biggest expo in gaming concluding over the weekend, fans are still reeling over the announcements of the return of some of their favorite titles and new titles. I definitely had a fan girl moment when the remake of Final Fantasy VII was announced and the gameplay of Kingdom Hearts III was revealed. It was also great to see the pure joy and happiness in my husband’s eyes when he realized that The Last Guardian was finally happening.
Aside from the flashback to our teenage gaming years, what I was most looking forward to were the appearance of playable female characters. As reported by The Mary Sue, twenty-three, yes 23, games announced at E3 2015 feature female lead characters, as well as being ethnically diverse. Why yes, I most definitely want to play as Michonne. Givemenowthankyouplease. This is a great step towards better representations of diversity in the gaming world. Television, primetime shows, being the first form of media to move forward in trying to create better representations.
I will agree that the road still remains difficult, but step-by-step, we can see that one media industry has taking cue and is making effort towards inclusion. I believe that in order to begin to reconstruct views regarding gender, race, ethnicity, and so on, the representations in the media must change to reflect our society in an accurate manner and show its diversity.
Inclusion also means behind the scenes. It was noted that this years E3 had a big female attendance, proving once again that gaming is not just for the boys. Not to forget to mention the ever-growing number of women within the industry creating and producing titles. In the past, E3 had a reputation of not being the greatest place for women, but this year, more women were included onstage to present games. And guess what? We also saw less over sexualization of female characters. Instead, the focus was on how kick-ass these women are. Respect. Although, I can’t officially report to you about the expo show floor itself, as in the case of “booth babes.”
Again, there’s no question that diverse representation in the media still has a long way to go. It is important that we keep talking about these issues so that the people at the top – those who ultimately control the content in media – will feel the pressure and finally allow media to reflect its actual audience.
Finally, I ask, why should the lady geek community care? Do we care about how we are represented in games? How do we feel about how ethnicity is represented in games? Does it matter or affect your gaming experience if diversity is included and that there are accurate representations? This is the time to speak and to keep the discussion moving forward towards social change and justice.
Check out this great compilation made by Polygon: The Badass Women of E3 2015