Yes, I might not have been very happy about the recent gender workshop at art school, but this has more to do with me getting fed up with the usual “let’s-integrate-everyone-just-some-people-more-than-others” that it implies. It is not exactly something that is exclusive to the gender discussion, but can be seen in the LGBT camp as well.
I have, however, nothing against strong female figures in gaming.
Shaylyn Hamm wrote a thorough thesis about the topic, which is published on Game Career Guide.
Throughout the diaspora of modern games, female characters are not rare. There are many games with females as main playable characters as well as supporting roles, yet it is not uncommon for female audiences to find these characters unlikable and difficult to relate to. They are often hyper-sexualized, with generic, young faces and outfits that are more revealing of their bodies than a personality. These female characters are stark contrasts to the aesthetic goals of the male characters which encompass a much larger range of body types, costumes, and facial features.
After comparing existing female heroines, and concluding that they are most of the time rather bland and uninteresting, with the notable exception of Alyx from Half Life 2, she goes so far as to redesign the Medic and the Heavy of Team Fortress 2 as female characters – with a lot of success. The new models are distinct and well executed.
Yes – we definitely need more of those characters, please.