Found Feminism: Mass Effect 3 Pre-order Box
Spotted by our very own eagle-eyed gaming addict Steve, in a shop. We’ve always loved Mass Effect for the fact that you can play Commander Shepard as either male or female and that they are just as badass.
It’s not unusual to display female avatars on boxes of computer games. What is unusual here, and what wins the Found Feminism for Mass Effect 3, is that the avatar is a fully clothed human who is not posing provocatively.
Isn’t she amazing? I want to be her…
… hey, advertising works!
But more importantly, someone in the marketing department decided that this would work. They looked at some genuine facts about who plays games, and why, and decided to use this image rather than, say, an exotic blue alien lady – and yes, I know there’s an entire species of exotic blue alien ladies in the gameworld, but they aren’t selling the game on that fact. They are selling the game on the fact that you can play as this woman.
This remarkably serious and capable-looking woman.
Which rather shoots a laser in the ass of half-baked theories about women and gaming. Such as “women don’t play computer games” – we do, and some of us are really serious about it. Yes, that means we buy the stuff, we are half the target market, and we’d like games that allow us to explore the full range of our imaginations.
The world of computer games is by no means a perfect gender equality paradise. The vast majority of female avatars are still beautiful and often have implausible breasts, even allowing for zero-G environments. But Found Feminism is about hi-fiving the positive, and this shows that the gaming universe is slowly, slowly starting to change its attitudes.
For an added bonus, here’s a chirpy list of ten good female avatars (including Shepard herself).
Got a Found Feminism hi-five you’d like us to shout about? Drop Sarah C a line via [email protected].