Thursday, July 17, 2014

Character Genders in New Smash Bros

A quick breakdown of character genders in the upcoming Smash Bros.,* which has been doing a really good job of being unusually inclusive of women for a video game.
  • Male: 24
  • Female: 10
  • Neither/Unknown: 3
So just to be clear on the situation we're talking about, the fighting game doing unusually well at including women has them as just over 1/4 of the characters.


*Counting characters of unknown gender (e.g., Pok√©mon) as neither, characters where you can choose the gender as both, and alternate versions of characters that the game treats as separate characters (e.g. Link and Toon Link, Samus and Zero Suit Samus) as two separate characters. Also it's kind of the whole point of Sheik that he has a masculine gender presentation (with some ambiguity as to whether the transformation alters him physiologically or cosmetically, but either way, it's masculine presentation), so I'm counting him as male.

ETA: Corrected a math error. 10/37 is a bit over 1/4, not a bit over 1/3.

8 comments:

  1. The Robin reveal made for a nice jab at Ubisoft. "Oh, you claim having a female version of the main character would be too difficult? That's cute."

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    1. Yes, especially given how much Robin's outfit looks like an Assassin's Creed character.

      I mean, I doubt they included her specifically as a jab at Ubisoft (there just wasn't enough time), but it works well as one.

      Delete
  2. I share your disgruntle... ment? dness? Disgruntility? I'm mad too!

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  3. Interesting science fact! Scientists showed people various crowd scenes and asked them what the gender ratio was. They consistently overestimated the proportion of women; and 2:1 is the ratio at which subjects consistently reported parity (they thought the ratio was 1:1).

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    1. I have heard this, and it sounds extremely likely to be true, but I'm a little iffy just because nobody ever seems to have a link to the actual study, and I've never been able to find it.

      Delete
    2. Googling the subject I find a lot of references to an interview with Geena Davis, of http://www.seejane.org/about/index.php

      However, the wording suggests that the study in question wasn't performed by Davis' institute ("we heard a study") and the number there is 17% for perceived parity by men.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, the Geena Davis thing is as far back as I've ever been able to trace it, and she's talking about representation on screen, not proportions in crowds. Since she doesn't actually name the study, I'm not sure where she's pulling it from or if she's interpreting it correctly or anything.

      Delete
  4. Also, in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors (the Dynasty Warriors/Zelda crossover-hybrid-thingy), 6 out of the 7 currently-confirmed playable characters (every character apart from Link) is female. That's 83.333%.

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