E3 2015 showed a promising increase in female characters headlining major video games. Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn and Emily Kaldwin from Dishonored 2, among other heroines, offered hope for an industry that largely caters to male players. Feminist Frequency has run the actual numbers to determine female representation in games featured at E3 in 2015 and every year since. Five years into its data collection, the statistics are very disappointing. Female representation in video games is not improving as it should.

Statistics from Feminist Frequency, charted by Wired.

The percentage of games that allow you to play as multiple genders continues to increase. But the percentage of games that outright star a female character is the second lowest since 2015. That might be attributed to fluctuation caused by a small data set, but it clearly illustrates that female representation isn’t improving.
Video game developers and fans both bear responsibility. Protagonists like Aloy and Celeste are some of the most popular video game characters from recent years. Despite that, publishers continue to be skittish over making games starring women. At the same time, data shows that most video game players still prefer to play as men. Melissanthi Mahut’s performance as Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was lauded by critics, but two-thirds of gamers still played as her male counterpart.

Statistics from Feminist Frequency, charted by Wired.

The video game industry as a whole needs to be better. I can’t think of a better way to empathize with others than to walk in their shoes. Video games let you do that. You can play as individuals of a different gender, or race, or sexual orientation through interactive media. So why isn’t representation improving? Video games hold so much potential to help us understand others. Let’s hope they reach it.


  1. This may be what the nerd boys want.
    I heard an NPR report today that “fans” (trolls) are creating their own cuts of recent Marvel and Star Wars movies, removing or minimizing the female and minority characters. Brie Larson doesn’t appear at all in the “fan” edit of Avengers: Endgame.

  2. Despite more affirmative action programs for women …female enrollment in hard STEM fields that require a lot of math has not risen.
    Must be sexism. Or those creepy autistic nerds sexually harassing them that keeps them out.
    NPR is the Fox News of of liberal media. It’s so blatantly left-wing it can not be cited as a impartial.
    Just like the BBC, and the Guardian it is a news outlet funded by very wealthy people who happen to be overwhelmingly liberal. Google doesn’t pay taxes but thank r Gia that it believes in 50 genders.
    No impartial news-source would draw attention to a small numBer–an isignificant number of people making a cut of movies for their own amusement. This is the problem with progressives. They think a tiny minority of the population equals 30% of the population. This on par for the course for manipulating their zealots towards hysteria–and violence.
    On the other hand, they have a harder time proving that women and (non-asian) minorities are just as capable AND interested in STEM as their white male counterparts.
    The idea that interests and aptitudes are not evenly distributed among gender and races is something they fiercely deny.

  3. ,”go back to reading “Mein Kampf” and leave the rest of us alone ”
    I’ll learn to read as soon as you stop wearing assless chaps in public.

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