Could such a change also affect the audience playing these games? If developers deploy female characters to digital front lines, would even more women be inspired to play male-dominated military shooters? Not necessarily. Timothy J. Welsh, a media professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, doesn't believe simply drafting new female characters into realistic shooters will inspire more women to enlist in these games.
"People who like to play games are going to play games, and people who don't, won't," said Welsh, who contributed to the book "Guns, Grenades, and Grunts: First-Person Shooter Games." ''Right now, more than twice the number of women over 18 play games than boys under 17. Obviously, having to play as Nathan Drake in every game hasn't deterred the women who make up 47 percent of the gaming population."
Brenda Romero, who recently worked on the Facebook strategy game "Ghost Recon Commander" — based on the Ubisoft Entertainment tactical shooter franchise "Ghost Recon," which has featured women characters — is hopeful that if military shooter developers do include a female combat soldier in future editions, the squad mate with double X chromosomes doesn't amount to just another video game vixen.
"The only way I could see this becoming controversial is if the character is over sexualized," said Romero. "I would hope that she's treated realistically, especially in how she's visualized. I think a female character in a combat role should have the physique of an Olympian — not a Playboy centerfold — and for the love of God, she better not be wearing a camouflage thong on the battlefield."
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.
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