If game designers opt for a male protagonist thinking it would make it easier to tap into the predominantly male gaming audience, then they're in for a nasty surprise.
A recent study conducted by Time (opens in new tab)has shown that most boys don't really care which gender the main character is, as well as that they're aware that women are underrepresented in video games.
The survey was conducted to examine issues of sexism in video games and asked over 1,400 students about their feelings surrounding how women are depicted in the medium. Here are the results: 70 per cent of girls surveyed said that the gender of a protagonist doesn't factor into them playing a game. The same thing was said by 78 per cent of boys.
And 58 per cent of boys who identified as gamers think there should be more female heroes in game such as Lara Croft from The Tomb Raider (see picture), or Bayonetta, even.
Also, 47 per cent of middle-school and 61 per cent of high-school-aged boys believe that female characters in video games are too often treated as sex objects.
It's interesting to add that “very few” of those questioned knew what Gamergate was.
“This all matters because gaming has become an important part of our culture, and it’s sending the wrong message onto our boys’ and girls’ screens,” Time writes in a report. “Our kids deserve better. And it’s what they want.”
The survey does a great job at dispelling the myth that all gamers are just horny boys.