Weekend Discussion: Importance Of Diverse Heroes In Gaming


This weekend’s discussion centers around something hinted at in an advertisement for Pikmin 3.  In the second bullet point, of the pic above, it states that Pikmin 3’s Brittany is “one of the many playable female characters in upcoming Wii U games”.  Now, we have seen many female protagonists in the past, such as Samus, Lara Croft, Ms. PacMan, Peach, Zelda, etc…  But, for Nintendo to make an announcement saying that there are more to come, could that mean we will see more games with female leads?   Or, is it just referencing games such as Smash Bros. and Mario Kart that already have multiple playable female characters in the games?  Personally, I am all for a non-CDi Zelda game with the Princess as a lead character, or a new Metroid, but I guess we shall see.  Whatever is to come, I welcome the diversity among protagonists.

Is it important to have a selection of diverse heroes in video games?  Why not just insert a cookie cutter hero, and let the story do the rest?  As important as the story is to a great game, the hero might be even more important.  He/She is the face of the game.  He/She is the one that you think of when the title is mentioned, the one that you “become” while playing the game.  Think of Call of Duty: Ghosts (Officially confirmed to come to the Wii U, with full gamepad support as well as WiiMote), what if the main character for the Wii U version was Mario, Link, or even Lara Croft?  Of the three, Lara would fit in the best, and might even look somewhat natural in the environment, but in the back of our mind, it would still be out of place.  However, if Call of Duty: Ghosts allowed us to choose between a male, or female protagonist, it would not feel out of place at all.  So why don’t more games allow for a male/female character selection?  What about female Antagonists?  Sure, we have Mother Brain, Queen Brahn, Sniper Wolf, and Wendy O. Koopa, to name a few, but if we have more female protagonists, should we have more antagonists, or would that be frowned upon by making girls look evil in games?  What if the game had a female antagonists and protagonist (Metroid?) would you still play it?

What do you feel about the statement?  Do you think that Nintendo is referencing Smash Bros. and Mario Kart?  Do you think it might hint at a new, or existing IP with a strong female lead?  Is it possible by announcing more female characters, they are trying to draw more girls into playing the games?  Does it even matter?  We have a lot of female leads out there as it is, guys and girls still play the games regardless of the lead hero (a few examples for me are Metroid, Lollipop Chainsaw, Tomb Raider), and focus on the story and gameplay before caring about the hero’s gender.  Share your thoughts, and besides female leads, is there anything else that you would like to see more of in a video game, that has not made a huge impact already?


Essel Pratt has spent his life exploring his imagination and dreams. As a Husband and a Father, he doesn't have as much time to write as he would like. However, his mind is always plotting out his next story. Someday he hopes to quit the 9-5 grind and focus on writing full time. Currently, Essel has three published short stories and is working on a handful of novels. Essel focuses his writings on mostly Horror/Sci-Fi, however is known to add a dash of other genres into his writings as well. In his spare time, he can be found playing one of the 40+ video game consoles in his collection, especially his Wii U (NNID: EsselPratt). Click the links below to follow Essel's exploits in the writing world, and be sure to follow his blog at http://esselpratt.blogspot.com/ as well as his articles on Nerdzy.com.