Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor
Everyone says Female Shephard is better: My friends, the critics, even the casting director for the voice actors. Everybody agrees that Mass Effect as a series plays better with a woman in the lead. I wouldn’t know, however, as I’d never even considered the option of playing as a woman. And that troubles me.
It’s not that I have never played as a female character before. I’ve raided tombs as Lara Croft, decimated Nazis as Rayne, and acted as an otherwordly pop diva as Yuna. The point is that, unless forced to use a girl as a protagonist, I’d never sought out that adventure.
A part of my hesitation comes from the simple fact that, as a guy, I want to fully invest myself in the fantasy. When my character takes an arrow to the shoulder and grunts, I want to imagine that I am in that +4 armor of Dragonbone. If a feminine voice cries out, it breaks the illusion. Gaming, amongts its any uses, is a fantastic way to live out crazy dreams. I will never actually be a Special-Forces soldier, or a god, or a dragon-fighting barbarian. In games, I can be all these things and more. So why then wouldn’t I want to play as a female?
This is a question I ask my fellow gamers every year, and I pose it now to all of you. Do you male gamers prefer playing one way or another? Do you female gamers long for better protagonists?
Today, let’s take a look at some of the issues that, in my humble opinion, have hindered female leads in the past. HUGE NOTE: I am in no way qualified to discuss the psychological side of this argument, and won’t pretend to be an expert on the issue. This is all written under the banner of WTHDIK (What the Heck do I know?)