In an industry worth just under $3bn in Australia alone, more than 70% of Australians play video games and just under half of players are women. Yet games remain – in narrative terms at least – very much a man’s world. With men traditionally dominating industry positions as writers, artists and creators, female lead characters have been few and far between.
“Traditionally, women have been sidekicks, sexual objects or the prize that you win at the end,” states Katryna Starks, an associate lecturer in serious games at the University of the Sunshine Coast. “I would advocate for games that star women as having their own story where they are actually doing something – solving a mystery, going out in space.”