According to the Entertainment Software Association, 40 percent of all gamers are female. Others put the figure at somewhere between 50 and 70 percent. That is probably the reason that Epic Games, creator of Gears of War, added three playable female characters to the not-yet-released next installment in the testosterone-fueled, supremely popular, first-person shooter (FPS) game.
Scheduled for release on September 20, 2011, Games of War 3 has four new characters in total: A new male character named Jace Stratton and three female characters, Samantha Byrne, Anya Stroud, and Bernadette Mataki. Female fans of fps games can now play using a character they can identify with. But girls aren't the only ones who have been clamoring for playable female characters.
Charity Lopez, a senior at FIU and a self-proclaimed female gamer says, "Considering it's the third installment, it's overdue. Especially since the game has had female characters, just unplayable ones. Also, people don't really know, but it's just not girls who like to play with female characters. Guys do too. They like to play with a girl character because it gives them something pretty to look at while they're playing."
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Since the release of Halo in 2001, shooter games have dominated the gaming market. When a new installment of Call of Duty or Gears of War is released, it is more than a new product being introduced to the market - it is an event. People order the game months in advance, fans camp out at GameStop and other stores, and gamers throw play parties. The developers of these games, although traditionally marketing their games towards fanboys, are now starting to tap into the unrealized potential of the female gaming demographic.
Adds Charity, "It's about time."
The moral of the story? Chicks like to get their kill on too.