|We've tackled physics and crab zombies, let's tackle social constructs next.|
My standards I discussed in April post introducing the idea can be found here. For this test I played the first five hours of the game and with the help of Mystic took the necessary notes for the review.
Gender Ratio of Main Characters (female to male)
The side characters did seem evenly dispersed, but when it came to main characters that affected the plot overall, it was heavily male. For every 3 main characters that are male, there's only one woman.
Sexualization of Characters (female to male)
There were no characters whatsoever that were sexualized in this game in the first five hours. Not even close. Considering the setting, it makes sense that no one is worried about that.
Gender Assumptive Dialogue
Although there was an old doctor hitting on Alyx that kind of gave me the creeps, there was never anything spoken that had to be qualified with gender. Getting hit on isn't a gender thing, even if it's creepy. Also would like to note that the two female main characters I met were possibly breaking a couple stereotypes by being scientist and engineers, meaning they're well educated and savvy with math. Not something that gets recognized a lot in the real world, let alone in fiction.
The Bechdel Test
Did Not Pass
Alyx speaks with Judith Morrison for 20 seconds about something other than a man. May I also add that they're bickering about something. Not only are there only women you see in the first 5 hours, they're not allowed to like each other.
I would rate this game above average for a video game. It's a step in the right direction to making women equal and not other. If more video games took this step we'd be on the right track to better representation. But there is still work to be done.
I said I wouldn't do a number rating because you can't necessarily put a quantitative conclusion with all the numbers we will be looking at. They just help show why the quality of a games gender quality is better or worse than average. For this spectrum of quality we'll be looking at, I would definitely put Half-Life 2 closer to true equality than not even though it could take wider strides to have women better represented.
I'm going to go through what I have in my gaming library first and then branching out to other games, we'll look at past and present games to see how things have changed and how they've stayed the same. Feel free to recommend a game or two. Remember, the analysis isn't to seek out what games are most women friendly per se, it's to see how the industry as a whole is in it's mindset toward women.