Skip to main content

Sound Off: Along With Excellent E3 Showings, Backwards Gender Norms

Photo Credit: Julie Ershadi - Nintendo chose not to have a female playable character in the new Zelda game, then presented that game with female company reps dressed in tiny tunics.
While this year’s E3 conference hosted impressive game announcements, an unpleasant undertone accompanied some of them. Despite the fact that recent studies have shown that women comprise nearly half of all gamers and video game aficionados, the developers behind big titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Final Fantasy XV have come out saying they willingly eschewed the opportunity to include female characters in their games.

Many people had speculated that the new Zelda title would include a female version of Link, the traditional protagonist in this series. Those same people were surprised to see that, in fact, Link was still Link, and not Linkle, when his newest adventure debuted at E3 this week. Producer Eiji Aonuma told Kotaku that having a female lead would impinge the traditional balance of the Triforce. Another possibility was to have Zelda as the protagonist with Link in need of rescuing, but Aonuma said his team decided that, well, that just wouldn’t work either, somehow. This false reasoning ignores the fact that Zelda did quite a bit of ass-kicking in Ocarina of Time as Sheik and, in fact, is kind of absurd.

Similarly, Final Fantasy XV has no female playable characters in the party. Game director Hajime Tabata condescendingly assured gamers that an all-male party would help them understand the true nature of bromance. The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren’t around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper. That’s kind of the idea behind it,” he told GameSpot. Square Enix’s FFXV presentation on Tuesday at E3 had attendees drooling over battle mechanics and open-world design, but as for the role of females in the game? Big-boobied NPCs are all they’ll get.

A ray of hope for women in gaming came in the form of Horizon: Zero Dawn, which debuted at Sony’s press conference on Monday night. The game follows a female protagonist named Aloy through a world in which animals have been replaced by machinoid creatures and human society has devolved to a prehistoric state. During the demo, gameplay opened with Aloy rushing toward the scene of a tragedy, saving a fleeing man’s life, and whaling on a group of hostile robot creatures, then looting their bodies for electrical materials.

The promotional spotlight on HZD offers a look at a game with a refreshingly badass female lead, but other amazing titles at E3 clearly missed opportunities to better engage half of their would-be playerbase. That said, the fact that this issue is even being discussed may bode well for future releases. Developers may or may not be creatures of habit, but at some point they’ve got to change with the times.


About the Author

Julie Ershadi is a journalist based in Los Angeles. She has covered culture, lifestyle, Congressional politics and Iran-U.S. relations for a variety of publications. She can be reached at julie.ershadi@gmail.com and on Twitter as @jershadi.

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.

EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

CAM4 To Sponsor The Ms. EXXXOTICA 2017 Competition

EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest event dedicated to love and sex, just announced that webcam portal CAM4 has signed on as a show sponsor for 2017. CAM4 will be sponsoring and presenting one of the expo’s most popular events, as well as one of its newest initiatives for EXXXOTICA Chicago in June and EXXXOTICA New Jersey in November.
Developed as a community with a focus on social networking, CAM4 is much more than a traditional webcam site, and they are now the presenting sponsor of SW!TCH, EXXXOTICA’s LGBT showcase. SW!TCH made its debut at EXXXOTICA New Jersey in 2016 as the show continued its efforts to be completely inclusive. SW!TCH was created as a means for LGBT vendors, talent, and performers to become part of the EXXXOTICA family. SW!TCH will continue to grow in 2017, and with CAM4 as the presenting sponsor, their booth will be the anchor of the showcase that will feature seminars, events, vendors, talent, and broadcasters catering to LGBT attendees.
“CAM4 is extremely excited…

EXXXOTICA 2-17 Hits Chicago June 23rd

EXXXOTICA Chicago, the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex, opens its doors for the seventh straight year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this weekend and thousands of attendees will be treated to a virtual playground for adults, with over 150 adult stars, a convention floor packed with over 100 exhibitors, and over 20 hours of entertainment on the main stage and in the seminar rooms scheduled.

EXXXOTICA, presented by MyFreeCams, will feature the biggest names in the adult world. Legends, stars on the rise and the hottest cam girls will be appearing. Superstars such as Ron Jeremy, Lisa Ann, Tori Black, Katie Morgan, Alexis Texas, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Tanya Tate, Evan Stone, Adriana Chechik, Phoenix Marie, Joanna Angel, Rubberdoll, Briana Banks, Teagan Presley, Alexis Monroe, Adria Rae, Mr. Marcus, Misty Stone, Stoya, Kendra Sunderland, Vicki Chase, Mia Malkova, Jillian Janson, Darcie Dolce, Eva Lovia, Harley Dean, Dani Jensen, Natalia Starr, …

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."

SUMMER FABRIC "INGREDIENTS"

DENIM
COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Exxxotica Los Angeles 2011 - Day 2 Gallery

DISCLAIMER: THESE IMAGES ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK (NSFW)

Exxxotica, "the largest event in the U.S.A. dedicated to love and sex," took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 26th-28th drawing hundreds of fans of all various ages. From middle aged men to college kids, fans got to meet their favorite adult stars, attend seminars, watch go go dancers on stripper poles and ask their favorite stars questions during the on stage panel. Even, Youtube sensation, the "Sexy Sax Man" made a cameo. If you missed out on the event, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our photo gallery.

If you're wondering how Exxxotica measures up to Adultcon, let's just say that this event was like the E3 of adult expos, with an emphasis on females, relationships and love. Let's not forget that bigger celebrities were in attendance here including the legendary Ron Jeremy, Rockstar Phil Varone and Wicked Pictures stars Stormy Daniels, Kirsten Price, Jessica Drake, Alekt…