I’d like to thank The Entertainment Software Association for what we already know. Women make up close to half of the entire video gaming population—45 percent. And hey, guess what? It’s not really news at all.
That’s not to say that all’s well in the console world. After reading up on this new statistic, I scrunched my eyebrows and had to revert back to last week, where I was curiously watching the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)—the biggest video-gaming conference of the year. Basically, if you’re not familiar with the event, it’s Microsoft’s big reveal for its most anticipated video games, much to the happiness of fellow followers already waiting for Black Friday.
The entire thing was intense. For a non-gamer, I felt compelled to go out and get me a copy of Dead Rising just so I could get a taste of zombie-slaying warfare. However, what stood out to me wasn’t the incredibly illustrious preview for Halo 5 (I’m not even remotely familiar with that franchise but I already know it’s epic). It was of course, that fact that a) there were a total of two female presenters at the entire expo, and b) there were no female protagonists in any of the featured game previews.
I’m not a gamer. The closest I ever come to being aggressive with my brother’s gadgets is when I’m either looking for The Babysitter’s Club on Netflix or pathetically giving up on a game of Little Big Planet (yes, I know, haha I suck at Little Big Planet). However, even as a non-gamer, I felt my sucked into a world of virtual fun and then quite rapidly felt myself pulled out. I’m not a gamer, but I sure as hell am disappointed with the gaming industry—a world run rampant with misogyny and OK-ed sexism.
Don’t believe me? Check out the video below of a rape joke being told to one of the expo’s two female presenters during one of the segments. It’s enough to pull anyone out of a virtual world fantasy.
I’ll be looking forward to some of this year’s upcoming releases and still be holding out for my kick-ass, sword-wielding Latina hero. Who knows? With women comprising 46 percent of the most frequent video game purchasers, I think I have enough power to get one, no?