The number of women protagonists in E3 games still in single digits

Feminist Frequency released its annual breakdown of gender roles in E3 games today. Despite high-profile showings fromThe Last of Us Part 2, Wolfenstein YoungbloodandBattlefield 5, the share of games at the show featuring women in leading roles is at eight percent, consistent with the average over the past few years.

By contrast, Feminist Frequency counted 24 percent of games with a clear male lead. Half of games at the show allow players to choose gender. A further five percent are gender ambiguous.

Feminist Frequency offers analysis and commentary on video games, especially in how games approach gender.

“The percentage of games shown at E3 that focus on women has hovered around the 7-9% range for the past few years,” stated today’s report. “This year shows no improvement, with 9 games, or roughly 8% of games shown, featuring female protagonists.”

Given that so many games offer a choice of gender, Feminist Frequency addressed the issue of why the continuing lack of woman and girls in written, leading roles is still a problem in gaming.

Gender breakdown of games at E3 2018
Feminist Frequency

“When a game features a set female protagonist, every player who enters those worlds must experience them through the lens of whoever the female protagonist might be. These games work to normalize the notion that male players should be able to project themselves onto and identify with female protagonists just as female players have always projected ourselves onto and identified with male protagonists.”

You can read the report here, which also points out the low number of women presenters during E3 live events, demonstrating the continued domination of men working in senior roles in the game industry.

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