I've noticed that several game bloggers have seemed despondent due to the notion that the game industry is backsliding on its portrayal of women. I don't think they're wrong that this backsliding is happening, but I don't think they understand why it is happening. Because they are supremely confident in the righteousness of their cause, a lot of these bloggers seem have written off the other side as unrepentant misogynists, and have not taken the time to understand why the game companies are acting as they are.
In my view, people are basically rational. They have underlying reasons that drive the way they act. Sometimes the reasons are illogical or not the best reasons, but they are reasons none the less. So what is the reasoning of many current game companies?
Let me illustrate what I think the underlying reason behind much of the backsliding through an example. Here is Trion's poster child, Crucia, for their upcoming RIFT expansion, Storm Legion:
Crucia is front and center on all the expansion materials. Her depiction is obviously going to upset or annoy most feminist gamers. Trion has to know this. So why did they go this route?
Here's a question for you. If a game company publicly says that they are looking to expand into the female market, to attract more female players, which of the following is more likely:
- The game will become easier.
- The game will become harder.
- Pet-collecting will be added to the game.
- Player vs. Player combat will be added to the game.