Effects of gender in storylines

Even in modern times gender is a big deal in many facets of society.  Videogames are one section of our culture where gender and sexuality is still being explored in terms of how it will effect gamers and how they view the game.  Several recent games have experimented with making the main protagonist in the game female.  Most of these games have been role playing games or RPGs, which give the player a choice of making their character male or female and have different interactions between characters in game depending on which gender they choose.  This gives each player the option to tailor their character how they want to and can lead to the female characters looking like how the player chooses to play them.

Take the game Dragon Age for example.  There is a wide range of appearance options for the character makes it possible to have a relatively average looking avatar but most male players pick a more extreme look to their female character.

On the flip side, when male gamers create male avatars they range in appearance from realistic looking characters to the extremes similar to the female avatars.

The use of female characters in videogames also affects the use of romance in the storyline.  Many story driven games incorporate at least one romance  into their storyline but it is usually from a male perspective.  With female characters the interaction with the players has to change as far as romances go and in this area Bioware has lead the way.  The way that their recent games have handled gender and sexuality has been something not seen in mainstream games before.