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Video games are likely to follow Pentagon's lead on women in combat

Women will likely have more video game characters in games like ‘Call to Duty,' ‘Battlefield' and ‘Medal of Honor' now that American women are scheduled to enter more combat roles in real life.
By DERRIK J. LANG Published: February 2, 2013

“I can't see anything negative about having more choices in a game,” Romero said. “Everyone likes having more choices. There's never been a backlash when ‘World of Warcraft' added a new race, so I can't imagine there would be one if a shooter added a new gender. Franchises that come out with a new version every year like ‘Call of Duty' strive to be topical, so I imagine they would address it.”

Obviously, until now, game makers could always rely on the fact that women weren't allowed on the front lines in real life, either.

In recent years, though, long-running shooter institutions like “Halo” and “Gears of War” have introduced female characters in both their single-player campaigns and multiplayer modes, but those are futuristic sci-fi shooters set worlds away from military games that strive for either historic or contemporary authenticity, such as the “Call of Duty,” “Battlefield,” “Medal of Honor” and “SOCOM” franchises.

With just a few international exceptions (French resistance fighter Manon Batiste in 2000's “Medal of Honor: Underground,” Russian soldier Tanya Pavelovna in 2004's “Call of Duty: Finest Hour” and South Korean operative Park “Forty-Five” Yoon-Hee in 2011's “SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs”) playable female characters are usually absent from military shooters, even with more female gamers playing them.