So it was recently confirmed that the Capcom Playstation 4 exclusive tentatively titled Deep Down would only feature men as playable avatars. Think what you want, say or write whatever you want about this, ultimately it’s up to Capcom and the development team behind the game as to what they put and don’t put in the game.
I could stop here with a witty finishing statement like “however, that doesn’t exclude them from criticism,” but I digress. I will elaborate on a completely psychotic reaction to this little bit of news by Brenna Hillier over at VG24/7.
Have you got your popcorn ready? Alright, strap yourselves in because this one is a doozy.
So Brenna starts out with a pretty reasonable approach to the situation, pointing out the obvious fact that Capcom decided to omit women from the role of a playable avatar. She then starts to make lame comparisons saying that because the game has a fantastical story filled with loads of science fiction, fantasy, and so on, that it’s totally ridiculous for Capcom to just omit the other gender from being playable. She then goes to mention male characters using swords the size of their own bodies for hours on end, and that some man wearing a jockstrap will argue that women fighting isn’t realistic.
The only credible piece of information that is in Brenna’s write up is the fact that Capcom did mention that the lack of a playable female character was for story purposes. Here’s the thing, we literally have NO idea what the story of Deep Down really entails outside of the mechanics already described for time traveling and combat. We know about it’s rather risquè styled female artificial intelligence named Odette (I can’t wait for this to get more publicly known, the reactions will be glorious), but knowing the actual plot, characters, etc? Nope, we have no idea.
For all we know, Deep Down could be a similar story to Assassin’s Creed, by all means the game is already sporting several parallels in time traveling, science fiction tropes, and so on. While the combat is more akin to Demon’s/Dark Souls, overall the game instantly gave me an Assassin’s Creed vibe the moment it was detailed more in full. There’s a very possible explanation behind the lack of a playable female character that Capcom just hasn’t unveiled yet, and I think it’s going to be the fact that the main character is just a male main character.
We know that you’re able to customize your avatar, and that there are loads of games that have customizable avatars in both genders. Some of these games were even developed in the past by Capcom themselves but perhaps, this just isn’t one of them? You could also very well chalk it up to the reasoning the Brink developers gave Brenna years ago, that it just costs more to make double the assets in game for a second playable gender. Coming from this point, she reveals her true intentions (and agenda) and says that she is simply fed up with developers not including women in every game ever made.
According to Brenna, it alienates them, regardless of whatever target audience the developer or publisher was going for. She asks the question “why on earth are we still hearing excuses for their absence (playable females) in 2014?” She immediately shuts down any opposing opinion or facts by simply saying: “If you feel that gaming is the one thing remaining to men and girls should stop spoiling it with political correctness, then please go boil your head because I see no point in debating with people incapable of basic logic and lacking humanity.” She even says that it’s better to have one dimensional men in skirts then no women at all, and that it’s better to have women who lumber about with the same animations as men than no women at all. Really?
While I agree with her point of adding playable female characters to a game not taking anything away from a developer or publisher’s existing market, it simply doesn’t make sense for a game whose story revolves around a playable male character. Sure, there can be work arounds like having two player co-op include a playable female character, but I’m not sure if this will escape the fires of her rage. According to Brenna, making playable female characters is as easy as “slapping a pair of tits and a bow on” grunt #6, after copying and pasting him into a new file of course.
The best part of her piece is the completely insane, one-sided and downright shameless mock up of a conversation between a developer, a publisher, and a random female that just so happens to suggest ideas on adding playable women to a game. It’s a pretty hilarious read, somewhat of a roller coaster that actually includes the words “the patriarchy” in a singular, declarative statement. Did I mention that she alienates a huge number of men, calling them worms, and saying that she’ll drink a “tasty cup of your male tears?” Right.
Look, I’m not saying that games shouldn’t have both genders as playable characters, I’m just saying that some games simply don’t have that option. Think of a game that has a story completely revolving around a male character or a female character, that just isn’t a swap in and out type of experience. There are games that feature robust stories for both genders, but they are far and few in between unfortunately.
Maybe it was the developer’s choice, or the publisher’s choice, or even the fan’s choice through polls or something – there is a multitude of media between gaming, movies, comics, anime, and books that feature men as the protagonists, playable or not. Surely there are options out there that encompass all genders, and or all races, but ultimately an artistic creation is at the whim of its creator(s) during its inception.
While the contents of that editorial were definitely not sensible, practical, and non-controversial, I hope you found mine a pleasing read. Oh and by the way, the comments are open, as we always encourage discussion here at Niche Gamer.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.