Breaking Balls: Gender Politics In Media Episode 01 – Women Portrayal in Video Games

In the first episode of the new format of Breaking Balls, Paul and Nathan sit down with half of Game On Girl, Dr. Regina McMenomy, to discuss some thoughts, memories and opinions of how women have been and are portrayed in video games based on a couple examples.

We took a public poll on twitter to ask what some favorite women characters in video games are. The following are some of the answers!

 Who is your  favorite FEMALE GAME CHARACTER? Give at least ONE REASON WHY

  • Sniper Wolf (Metal Gear Solid)
    • @Pan1cKnife: Because she was self loathing, brutal, cruel, but with a human side She wasn’t treated just like another chick character, she was formidable and had a purpose other than damsel.
  • Clementine (Telltale’s The Walking Dead)
    • ?@_Kereska: She’s smart, can make heart race and you can’t help but love her. She is brilliance.
    • @Wafflecakez_: I’ve yet to see find a someone who doesn’t care what happens to her!
  • Female Shepard (Mass Effect)
    • @Wafflecakez_: Badass & so much better voice acting IMO
    • @UziSuzuki: because she was exactly like her male counterpart.
    • @BigCleves: [She’s] like Male Shepard with tits
  • Presea Combatir (Tales of Symphonia)
    • @deathe88: I like the development of the character and the backstory she’s given.
  • Tali’Zorah (Mass Effect)
    • @AlexTribble:  [She] can kick ass, independent, and she’s a mechanical genius
  • Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
    • @JediPrincessJo: she’s hot and a great action hero!
  • The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
    • ?@_JamesRamirez_: She’s the very picture of a hero. She’s perfect in every way. She’s a hero without the flaws, yet somehow she never comes off as inhuman or even fictional.
    • @AiConnect_: that woman not only was the best soldier alive but she ruined her life, and name, forever, for peace.
  • Liara T’soni (Mass Effect)
    • @godoflemmings: One of the broadest and best evolutions of a character across a trilogy that I’ve ever known.
    • @JHalestormN7: She went from a shy researcher to one of the most powerful people in the galaxy
  • Alyx Vance (Half-Life)
    • @Septicor: Because intelligence is sexy.
  • Claire Redfield (Resident Evil)
    • ?@PS3GG_Maxxamus: she is attractive, strong, and knows how to handle herself.
  • Felicia (Darkstalkers)
    • @Thrashballer: I like nuns.
  • Kairi (Kingdom Hearts)
    • ?@lastsecondhero: despite the fact that she’s a young girl, and the world around her is literally falling apart. She really isn’t worried about anything but her friends safety.
  • Ayane (Dead or Alive)
    • @JDA81: because cute+boobs. Shallow, I know. But hell my fav dude is prob Doomguy who has even less personality.e
  • Elika (Prince of Persia)
    • @Kyledk05: because she and the Prince have great banter. Also, hot.
  • Samus Aran (Metroid)
    • @doclizz: Groundbreaking female character that took everyone by surprise. Gotta love that. 🙂
  • Rise Kujikawa (Persona 4)
    • @SmashTaper: She’s a pop-star but doesn’t fit into the ‘air-head’ kind of stereotype! Plus her Shadow was cool.

Paul Fleck

Paul has been writing since high school and specifically about media since 2006. In that time, he has done work for numerous sites as a freelance writer and as an editor for Game Guiders.

2 thoughts on “Breaking Balls: Gender Politics In Media Episode 01 – Women Portrayal in Video Games

  • September 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Interesting podcast…I was surprised that little response was made at the discussion of Felicia as I have seen her vilified as an Atypical man {sic: boy] fantasy character


    [oddly she is my favourite female comp game character…I had great fun playing her in the arcades..if It is ok to admit to it, by no means do I think she is a positive female gaming character, and I would frown upon a new game introducing such a type…I think gaming has moved on so far…there will always be a marked for that kind of thing but in a big mainstream game?]

    …surely a quick google image trawl would have netted a substantial talking point…with regards to her and other characters mentioned…Beat em Ups are almost blatant boy toy material…

    The portrayal of female characters as mentioned is obviously very different in Japan but does that remove it from the argument as most Japanese games do travel…

    This will run and run…

    • September 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Quite honestly, I really don’t know a whole lot about Felicia’s backstory, origins, even gameplay. All I know is what she looks like (and that’s because of Marvel vs. Capcom) so I had little to work with specifically with her. From what I remember when we recorded, this was also the case for Regina and Nathan as well.

      I will look more into her character.


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