At the end of the just-released multiplayer trailer for the upcoming mega-marketing triumph, Call of Duty: Ghosts, we get a single, lingering glimpse of something that people have been wanting to see for a while.
A playable female character.
Of course, it’s presented as quite the dramatic reveal, when really it should have been part of the game long before Activision and Infinity Ward started touting how great their dog-based motion capture is. But, it’s here now, so at least that’s something, right?
Well, wrong, because apparently just the sight of a woman in a Call of Duty is enough to bring the socially-challenged screaming out of their dingy little holes on the internet.
The comments on the YouTube page for the video, while intermixed with praise/hate for Eminem (who provides music for the trailer) and pointless BF vs CoD arguments, features gems like the following:
Hahah everybody is going to tea bag the female characters
the question is can we make the girl character go naked a play?
OMG A GIRL!!!!11!
Biggie Smalls 1
call of rehash: dog vaginas 5
And of course we get a little bit of casual homophobia. Bless.
Battlefield is Gayer than Aids... Obviously you play that game because your skill set is sub par.
Nice one, dude-bros.
On twitter, one user, the so-called @CODGhostNews, even came up with this gem:
Get it? It’s a pic of a kitchen?!? Where women belong, LOL!!!
Now, in previous tweets this account was calling out that fact that the game now has female playable characters as a positive, which is something. And whoever runs the account has certainly copped quite backlash for their joke. Which is almost certainly what was intended – a mere joke, no harm, no foul.
The problem is, for your average female gamer, this is not a joke, even if that's all you mean it to be. This is the crap they put up with whenever they speak on Xbox LIVE, and the mouthbreathers leap on the chance to heap abuse on a real, live woman. It’s the casual misogyny any woman feels when they choose a female model in a game and get treated like crap, and so choose to play as a male. It’s the fact that rape and abuse is pitched by many male gamers as a positive thing.
Even the response as to why female models couldn’t be in the game until now, as given to Polygon, is total bullshit.
Rubin said the reason why women haven't been an option in multiplayer was technical. "We couldn't do women soldiers until we did character customization," he said. But thanks to new engine technology coming in the current-gen and next-gen versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts, gender diversity is now possible.
So, all those other games that have female options - HEY, THEY’RE TOTALLY ALL NEXT GEN, GUYS!
The fact is there’s nothing stopping any game maker from including female characters.
But there is a reason that women still feel gaming to be a confronting, unfriendly space. It’s something that every male gamer can work toward stopping, too. We can stop using terms like rape to describe victory. We can stop ‘just joking’ about getting back in the kitchen.
We can take on board that women are allowed to like games – just like we do.