All right everyone, put the torches down; you can leave your pitchforks at home. We're all adults here, let's talk like them. Everyone's got an unpopular opinion. Some people think babies are beautiful and a miracle of nature. Others think they are the fugliest things they've ever laid eyes on. Some people love drinking craft beers from all over the country and even the world. Others are totally fine with sipping on Coors or Bud Light. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you are allowed to disagree with others.
With that in mind, let me voice one of my unpopular opinions. I don't believe that gender equality is entirely necessary in every single outlet of the video game play-a-verse. Sure, I think women should have more realistic armor in role-playing games. Frankly, I think a lot of people want that at this point. We all know that bikini is not preventing those wolves' teeth and claws from digging into pretty-McElf-face's boobs. On the flip side though, I don't think women need to be shoe-horned into every facet of video gaming simply because we can, or to fulfill some kind of diversity credit.
You're not getting tax credits by adding women into video games. You're not going to attract more female developers simply because you've added some estrogen-fueled characters into your game. You're certainly not going to get more women to play your games just because some of the characters have a vagina. There's one genre in particular that I think this applies to more than others and that's the “war” genre. I'm talking first-person shooters that are based on real military.
There's two recent examples that involved female soldiers being added into a military game. There is, of course, Call of Duty: World War II, which will include female soldiers into the multiplayer section of the game. To be fair, there were some female combat soldiers during World War II, but none of them were from the American Army. The French resistance included some women, there were some German female soldiers, and Russia used women as well. Thankfully Call of Duty: WWII will have the playable female characters as French resistance fighters. This is historically accurate and is frankly a pretty cool addition to the game. Not only do we get to see a different gender perspective, but we're also looking from the viewpoint of a resistance, and a country different than our own. This inclusion feels a little forced, but not by much.
The second instance of female soldiers in recent games that I want to point out is Battlefield 1. The upcoming DLC In the Name of the Tsar will include female Russian soldiers. There were 15 women's battalions fighting for Russian during World War I. This is another historically accurate representation of female soldiers. I am all for this. It's something that really happened, it's a perspective that we wouldn't normally be exposed to, and it broadens our worldview. So another case of women being included in a first-person shooter properly.
For me, my problem, my unpopular opinion kicks in when developers feel they need to include women just for he sake of including them. It's extremely unnecessary and in the end always feels forced. I don't want to play as a women in a fictional representation of a real event if they weren't there. It's just silly and quite honestly would take me out of the experience. I don't want to sit on my couch wondering if there really were women in combat positions during the Korean War, rather than enjoying my game.
What I'm getting at is this. I have nothing wrong with women being included in first-person shooters of a historical nature. I only implore developers to stick to realism and historical accuracy rather than giving in to diversity requests that simply will take away from the experience. Female soldiers are currently allowed in combat positions but they have to be able to physically meet the requirements to do so. When we get more women able to do so, then I will gladly be one of the first to say they should be included in modern Call of Duty or Battlefield games. Until then, we're really fine without it.