The Last of Us
, Joystiq's very favorite game of 2013
, is a mean game about mean people finding reasons to survive when the world's gone to hell. Joel and Ellie, the heroes of The Last of Us
, dole out the harshness regularly to all sorts of bad people that are a lot meaner than them. Strange thing about the "hunters" in the game's post-apocalyptic world; they're all men. Plenty of female zombies, but no hunters. Pretty weird that the only people willing to kill other people for food and supplies are men. Women have to eat too.
Stranger still is the fact that lady hunters were apparently supposed to be in The Last of Us
. Naughty Dog's artists designed them, as seen in the art book
, but they never made it into the game. Then again, maybe it's not so strange. In a world of video games about fighting, shooting, surviving, and killing, female enemies are out there, as in BioShock Infinite
, but they aren't common. Tomb Raider
, another entry in our Best of 2013
list, also pits you against hordes of human enemies, the sinister Scavengers, and every single one of them carries around a Y chromosome. No women shipwrecked on Yamatai have killer fighting skills, only Lara?
Our question for you: is this a problem? Does it bother you that women are as under-represented as enemies as they are heroes in video games? We ask these questions and more below. We also invite you to elaborate on your answers in the comments section.
Do you feel uncomfortable killing women in video games?
If you identify as a woman: is killing a man in a video game different than killing a woman?
If you identify as a man: is killing a man in a video game different than killing a woman?
Should there be as many female enemies in games as there are male enemies?
Is there a difference between killing humans (a female bandit in Skyrim) and non-humans (a succubus in Castlevania)?