Recently I decided I was going to replay GTA V. I forgot how much I liked that game and wanted to give it another play through. I got my own PS3 a few months ago and so I didn't have any of the saved game data from my roommate's PS3. It's not a big deal for me to play it a second time (I do this with many games I enjoy) and something occured to me. I really love all three of the main characters. I would have to say I love Trevor the most, closely followed by Franklin, and Michael is kind of last (mostly cause to me he's boring but I still like him a lot). It comes to mind that old feminist complaint, that they can't enjoy video games because there are no "good female protagonists". Despite that not even being close to true, I have more problems with that complaint.
I play a ton of FPS games (that stands for First Person Shooter if people don't know). Those are my favorite types of games because when I look for a game I look for three things. Violence, Gore, Sexual content. I don't really have any games that aren't rated M for mature. If the game has all three of those things plus zombies, it's perfect. I'm more into survival horror shooters (like Resident Evil or Dead Island) than military or combat based games (like Halo or First Call) so I don't know too much about those. However, if a game has that basic content (and general good reviews or was recommended to me by someone) then I'll end up getting it.
The last few games I have played in the survival horror genre have also had more male protagonists than female. The Evil Within had Sebastian as main and there was his partner Joseph. There was another girl there but she wasn't exactly a prominant character (and I really didn't like her to be honest). Then there was Dead Rising II which, I just loved Chuck Greene. He's an older guy who is trying to take care of his young daughter during a zombie outbreak in "Fortune City" (AKA Las Vegas). What drew me to that game wasn't who I would be playing as but what the game content was (the ability to invent crazy ass weapons like a chainsaw on a stick was what sold me) and of course I was very happy with the main character anyway. Before any of those I played Resident Evil Five where the main character is a male (even if there is a female NPC as your partner). I've been a fan of Resident Evil since the very first one on the original playstaion. I also took time out to play James Bond Legends (where you play as James Bond, the Daniel Craig version) really only because I think Daniel is sexy (talk about "reverse sexism" right?) It's a great game but not exactly my type of FPS. The only survival horror game I've played as of late with a female protagonist is Alien Isolation and I actually have quite a few complaints about Ripley #2 but I won't get into them right now.
All in all, the games I've played where you don't get a choice in who you play as, I've never once thought to complain that "OMG HOW CAN I POSSIBLY IDENTIFY WITH THESE CHARACTERS?!" it seems like a stupid complaint to me. I think that with as many Grand Theft Autos as there have been, it would be neat if just once they made a female character as a main character, but I also really don't care enough to throw a fit. I think that the latest GTA is epic and I really never minded being a male in all the other versions when I played those.
In games where I do get a choice of gender or character customization I do play as a female. I like playing as a female if there's a choice. Though the funny thing is, I create my character to look exactly like some hot, sex toy, big titty bimbo. The exact opposite of what feminists even like in games. Whenever possible, I use the character creation area to customize the most sexy woman I can that the game will allow. Some games it's easier than others (like Saints Row vs Skyrim for PS3) but you get the point. I mean one of my characters ended up looking like this, and I even wrote down her customization numbers to transfer her from game to game:
She was one of my favorite creations and I used her repeatedly for Saints Row, along with another character who looked like this (Sorry for the clarity had to take a picture of my TV)
As you can see, as a female gamer myself, have absolutely no problem making my female characters sexy (by choice) and then dressing them in sexy outfits. However, the beauty of a game where you can customize characters, is you can make them look however you want. In Saints Row you could make your girl (or guy) fat as hell, way more skinny, big tits, little ones, huge dick, small one, you can even dress your men in typically female clothes (mini skirts/dresses) or you can put the females in male clothes. The choices are up to you, down to what their voice sounds like (to a point).
Even when I play as a female I like playing as a sexy female. I love women like Lara Croft of Bloodrayne. A very unknown character from a game called Deathtrap Dungeon (Red Lotus) has been my absolute favorite character of all time because she's AWESOME. Yes I get that it's impractical for a woman to run around in a leather teddy with a huge sword to fight in a medieval dungeon, but so what? It's a fantasy. It's not supposed to be 100% realistic.
If we were to put these characters in armor that could actually protect them, they wouldn't be able to move. Part of the appeal of video games is seeing what's going on. No one would want a 100% realistic shooter game because, lets face it, you take one or two bullets you are either dead or not getting up again to fight for a while. What's the point of realistic armor when the rest of the game isn't realistic anyway? In Skyrim you can have an arrow through your head or an ice spike through your torso and still keep running. It's hilarious but I think people would be very highly annoyed if either of those things were an instant kill. So why deck characters out in realistic armor?
I've never passed on a game according to what gender or race the protagonist was. I've played as many different genders and races when it's come to video games. Considering as a white woman I could never truly identify as a black male like Franklin from GTA V, all feminist logic should dictate that the game shouldn't ever appeal to me (for that and many other reasons) but I loved him. It's even hard for me to choose between Trevor and Franklin as a favorite they are both so close in my mind.
What it boils down to is feminists are either not actually playing games (most likely) and just finding shit to complain about, OR, they are so superficial and vapid that they can't possibly empathize with anyone who isn't exactly like them. Do you really want to let a movement that is this immature and vapid dictate what content to put in video games? They've started to quite literally judge games by their cover and yet companies are now listening to them on what to include and not to include when all evidence shows they aren't even trying to play games in the first place. Something tells me if they at least attempted it, they might find that a good story means far more than what gender character you can play as.