The players are angry: ARMA 3 female characters are non-existent.
Another big argument over gaming and gender? Looks like it! Strap yourself in and head over on the ARMA 3 alpha feedback forums, where hell is being raised over the fact that there are no female character models in ARMA 3. The debate is raging on there and through Reddit and everyone seems to have a whole hell of a lot to say. Should there be female character models in ARMA 3? It all started when one player suggested that there should be some front line ARMA 3 female characters. At the moment it appears that there will be women as passive NPCs but no playable women as active combatants on the front lines of the action.
Equal Opportunity Ass-Kicking
The posts on both the forum and Reddit are long and filled with bile on both sides of the argument. Some players are offended that women are not even being considered as soldiers. There are plenty of people arguing every side and facet of the ARMA 3 gender issue and lots of different points raised all around. With the new Tomb Raider showing us that there can be strong fighting female characters in games, there is a new fervor for getting female soldiers on the virtual front lines. The players advocating the ARMA 3 female characters side is summed up in these following points:
- ARMA 3 female characters can be just as effective killers as male characters.
- If the game is to be as realistic as possible there should be the option.
- The game takes place in the future and following current trends, there will be many more females in the military by then.
- There was a mod for female character models in ARMA 2.
- ARMA 3 is still Alpha, maybe this feature just isn’t added yet.
- But seriously, why not?
Others are defending the all male cast of ARMA 3, claiming that there should not be women fighting on the frontlines in the game. These opposition commentators appear to all be male and argue the following points:
- Some male players don’t want to shoot females.
- Posters seem to think women are not as effective frontline soldiers as opposed to men.
- Women in the military are not typically on the frontline.
- ArmA 3 developers should put their energy into a quality game not equal character models.
- Perverted players will abuse female character models.
- Why does it matter in the first place?
More Harm Than Good?
Some gamers seem to think that having female character models in ARMA 3 will only do more harm than good. Players are worried that trolls and griefers will abuse the character models and parade around the battlefield in underwear. One poster makes the point that the game would have “tens of thousands of morons [getting] the chance to ruin every Wasteland etc, game by trying to RP a prostitute.”
Of course, it isn’t like there aren’t MMOs out there with female character models. Just look at WoW, or Guild Wars 2, or the Star Wars: The Old Republic, for examples. There are plenty of male players that play female characters without a hitch. Only a small minority abuses access to female character models in a perverted way. What makes ARMA 3 players so special? Is there something in the psyche of these FPS players that make them more perverted?
At the moment, women and video gaming is a bit of a hot button topic. We’ve just recently had Feminist Frequency and her new “Damsel in Distress: Tropes vs Women” and activists condemning the current state of portrayals of women in gaming. These sorts of activist gestures tend to invoke a large and passionate backlash from gamers, especially male gamers, for a variety of reasons. Feminist Frequency has been heavily criticized for slanting her argument and the general backlash was so great that she shut down the comment section for the video. On the other hand we have evidence of positive portrayals of women in gaming from games like the recent Tomb Raider reboot, which many gamers and activists alike praise for getting things right.
Of course, this is not exactly a new topic. Female gamers and game characters has always been a complex issue and the butt of many jokes. Remember way back when Rooster Teeth added Tex to Red vs Blue and gave Donut pink armor? I doubt this issue will be resolved anytime soon. Another important thing to remember is that ARMA 3 is still in alpha testing – there might be female character models in the future. Alpha is alpha after all.
We want to know what you think! Why aren’t there female characters in ArmA 3? Should there be? Is this just another classic battle of male chauvinists vs. militant feminists? Or, are we just feeding the trolls? Leave us comments below and tell us your thoughts about the debate.