[This is a re-post of Sunday’s article because I accidentally deleted it…]
Hello dear readers and welcome to this special post here on Shoot the Rookie written to celebrate International Women’s Day. I’ve chosen not to take the subject too seriously and therefore today I’m looking at the cool jobs and roles that some of my favourite women and girls in video games have, so why not join me!
There has been much discussion over the years about the representation of women in video games. To be honest, I think the subject has been done to death. One thing that bothers me in some mainstream discussions is the qualification of the argument that women are under-represented by suggesting that Lara Croft is the only woman who has ever appeared in any video game. Whilst I am not denying that women may be under-represented, I think to have a proper discussion of the subject you have to look beyond the obvious names, and when you do that the discussion becomes richer and more complex.
Therefore, the list below is my attempt to celebrate the diverse roles that women play in video games. One thing I hope the list shows is that video games are not afraid of casting women outside of old-fashioned gender roles. You will see that the roles are diverse, creative and sometimes just plain weird. For me the list demonstrates that just like in real life, women not only play essential roles that should be recognized and celebrated, but also that they can achieve anything and everything they want to.
There are of course millions of examples I could have used, but for the sake of brevity I’ve picked 25 of my favourites to share with you here. So let’s take a look at what I’ve come up with!
Role: Army Medic
Example: Sharla (Xenoblade Chronicles)
Both strong and caring, Sharla is a crack shot with an ether rifle and will fix you up in a flash.
Role: Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System
Example: GlaDOS (Portal series)
Sarcastic, vindictive and deadly. Also a great singer.
Example: Jill (Jill of the Jungle series)
Swings through the trees saving princes and such. Occasionally turns into a frog.
Role: Governor of the Tri-Island Area
Example: Elaine Marley (Monkey Island series)
No nonsense governor of a bunch of islands in the Caribbean. Owns scary dogs and has questionable taste in men.
Example: Rita Mordio (Tales of Vesperia)
Brilliant if short tempered researcher who likes blastia more than people. Not a fan of dogs.
Example: Futaba Sakura (Persona 5)
From shut-in to phantom thief – this girl can hack into anything! Just don’t touch her figurine collection…
Role: Leader of the army
Example: Morag Ladair (Xenoblade Chronicles 2)
Wielding the empire’s most powerful weapon, Morag is fierce and loyal but may have a softer side underneath.
Role: FBI Agent
Example: Agent Angela Ray (Thimbleweed Park)
Straight talking agent who takes no nonsense, especially from small town sheriff-a-renos.
Role: Entertainment Industry Leader/Model/Alcoholic
Example: Maiko Shimazaki (Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE)
Fun, frolic-y and occasionally inappropriate, Maiko certainly knows how to get the best out of her Idols.
Example: Jill Valentine (Resident Evil series)
The master of unlocking can destroy zombies in no time. Just don’t mention sandwiches.
Example: Peach (Super Mario series)
She may be pretty in pink but this fairy tale princess has a few secret weapons up her sleeve – mostly in the shape of toads and parasols.
Role: Miner/Treasure Hunter
Example: Toadette (Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker)
A headlamp and an axe are all this girl needs to fulfil her dreams. No evil giant birds or incompetent Captains are going to stop her getting her hands on those crystals.
Example: Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)
Focussed, determined and hard as nails, Lightning isn’t really interested in small talk, she just wants to protect her sister.
Example: Bayonetta (Bayonetta series)
A sharp talker who can kill you in a variety of ways, including with her hair
Example: Lin Lee Koo (Xenoblade Chronicles X)
Vivacious teen who can fix up a broken Skell in a flash. Favourite Food: Nopon.
Role: Archaeologist/Reforestation Researcher
Example: Julia Chang (Tekken series)
She may be an academic but she also has a pretty serious punch which may or may not have been bestowed upon her by the ‘spirits’.
Example: Ada Wong (Resident Evil series)
Super sassy and equally elusive, you wouldn’t necessarily count on her in a pinch but she certainly knows how to make a dramatic entrance.
Example: Morrigan Aensland (Darkstalkers series)
Watch out! This one bites! And she REALLY enjoys it. Or at least she enjoys it more than she enjoys clothes.
Role: Spirit Medium
Example: Mayoi Ayasato (Ace Attorney series)
A miso-ramen loving waterfall dweller who is liable to break things but will come in pretty useful when it comes to solving murders.
Role: News Reporter
Example: Ulala (Space Channel 5)
Multi-talented and easy to spot, Ulala is definitely the one to have around if you just need to dance. Much more exciting than the actual news.
Role: Bounty Hunter
Example: Samus Aran (Metroid series)
She can use an array of equipment and weaponry to great effect and can even turn into a ball. Outside her day job, she also won High Score Haute Couture *winks*.
Example: Aty (Summon Night series)
Kind and gentle but she would definitely kill you if you threaten her students.
Role: Art Gallery Owner
Example: Diane Ames (Deadly Premonition)
Flirtatious, and knowledgeable about all things art, she may be good company but might need warning about the dangers of living in a backwater town.
Role: Opera Singer
Example: Helena Douglas (Dead or Alive series)
She may sing sweetly but off stage she can beat you to a pulp – in an elegant and refined way of course.
Role: Head of the Equipment Division
Example: Chizuru Urashima (Project X Zone 2)
Remarkable multi-tasking abilities and knows how to turn a tidy profit.
So there we have it! What do you think? Any of these roles or characters particularly stand out for you? Know of any other women with wacky jobs in video games? Let’s chat women in video games in comments – can’t wait to see what other examples you come up with!
Thanks for reading,