It’s often seen as a little bit odd when a man chooses to play a female character in a game. It can be met with looks of disgust and disbelief, coupled with a wave of mockery from other men. I see this happening all the time, but I’ve never once understood it. When presented with a cast of characters to choose from, surely you shouldn’t be confined to only picking ones that match your gender. If that’s the case, why not push further? Why not only pick characters with the same skin colour as you too, and maybe the same hair colour? Height? Weight? Perhaps a player that also shares your favourite foods?... No? I didn’t think so! If you believed that these terms must be met before you could make your choice, then you’d quite simply never get to play. Yet, for some reason a male player choosing to spend his in game time as a female tends to be frowned upon.
Over my years of gaming, I’ve often found myself gravitating towards the ladies on offer instead of the men. There was something there that just seemed to be more appealing than playing as yet another muscular bonehead. I’ve spent a fair share of my time playing as meaty men like Chris Redfield, Marcus Fenix, and Zangief; squashing my victims like pimples and bathing in their blood. I’m a huge fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger and enjoy the concept of being so large that you could lob a 1980’s phone box across a shopping mall with my bare hands. This overwhelming show of strenght and brutality has always been fun, and will continue to be for the rest of forever; but I don’t want it all of the time. Sometimes, I like the idea of being smaller, more nimble, and even more dangerous. There a lot of times when this can only be achieved by playing as female characters, and I love it. Femme fatales who know more about the art of combat than humongous men could ever fit into their puny man-brains add an extra layer to playing. Rubi Malone and Decapre, for example, are perpetual killing machines. These assassins are absolutely lethal, and could lay waste to to an entire room of people in a matter of seconds. They are who they are, and they’re more than happy about that. Rubi fights for money, and will decapitate anyone if the price on their head is worth her time. Decapre is fueled on pure rage and uses this to her advantange, unleashing it in violent waves to annihilate her foes.
While the planet argues over whether or not Luigi deserves more screen time in the Super Mario franchise, following his sudden boost in popularity after the infamous Death Stare meme, I’m unashamedly a Princess Peach fan. Why? What’s so great about a disfunctional royal who consistantly manages to get herself kipnapped by a giant heavy metal turtle and is forever forced to play the damsel in distress role? She’s fucking adorable, that’s what! Peach is one of those characters that would make the strong female leads like Lara Croft and Samus Aran sick. She’s a walking, talking steroetype. Let’s look at the feminine facts here- she’s a princess, she wears a long flowing pink dress, she’s got a tiny vocabulary that pretty much only consists of the words “Help” and “Mario”, she exsists for other reason than to make a male character important by giving him a goal to achieve. She’s exactly the type of person that gives Anita Sarkessian fuel for her fire. However, I fucking love her. For all the reasons that make her a bad role model for young women, I seem to enjoy. I see her as nothing more than a cute, harmless and chamingly fun little character, and that’s why she is my favourite Nintendo heavy hitter. I’ll play as her whenever possible, and she’ll make me smile. In Mario Kart she is my player of choice, in Smash Bros. I’ll knock the living shite out of you which her umbrella. The most captured human in video game history is a bundle of fun to play as. It bugs the shit out of me that she’s not playable in more games, just as it does that her own fantastically fun platforming title, Super Princess Peach, didn’t get a sequel.
Truth be told, I just enjoy playing as female chatacters. It’s something that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with. From the quick, vicious bitches like Mortal Kombat’s Kitana and Mileena to the more reserved quiet types like Portal’s Shell and Samus Aran. From positive role models like Beyond Good and Evil’s Jade and Mirror’s Edge’s Faith Connors to complete piss takes like Reloaded’s Sister Magpie. I’m proud to pick the ladies, even though it often leads to getting laughed at by family or friends for my choices. Those tears of laughter soon get washed away by tears of digust when I use my girl to absolutely fucking thrash them. These characters are not to be taken lightly. They’re just as powerful, determined, and dangerous as their male counterparts. Hell, in a lot of cases, even more so. They are not badly written flower sniffing houswife stereotypes, designed to take a back seat in the action like a sidekick as the men do all the hard work. No, these women are the main fucking event adding an element of style and class to gaming that men simply can not.