Video Games have always had a murky history when it comes to female portrayals. From damsels in distress to side characters, women have not been scripted in the best light. Although, statistically males play video games more than their female counterparts, the industry is looking to expand its base to include the modern day female. In order to do this, an old school approach of the generic female character is not going to win over new customers.
In a 2009 study by Nicole Martins, professor of media at Indiana University, it was revealed that in “8,000 human characters across 150 game titles. Only 358 were female (less than 5% of the video game population).” Alarming indeed. But there is hope.
The wildly successful Overwatch franchise is being praised for its character evolution, and body diversity. No longer just focusing on slim female character types, Overwatch includes 9 female heroes and one without gender to go along with its 12 male hero counterparts. "Of the women, Zarya has the physique of a bodybuilder, Mei is larger and Ana has the body type of an old woman. The gender ratio isn’t 50/50, but 1/3 of the women deviate from female body norms in gaming. Overwatch is certainly getting there.“