This year at E3 during the Xbox panel during a scripted “trash talk” bit someone made a scripted rape joke (male gamer to girl gamer who sucks at a game: “just wait, it’ll all be over soon.”) and then they acted like it wasn’t a big deal and then they released an expensive, anti-consumer (DRM on physical games) piece of hardware. And then Sony just released the PS4 which is just the PS3 but better graphics and $100 cheaper than the Xbox. So THAT happened.
But then Nintendo just quietly released a bunch of great looking sequels for all of it’s major franchises (Mario, Pikmin, Donkey Kong, and Smash Bros.) and every single one of those games interestingly features playable female characters who haven’t been seen in decades like Dixie Kong and Princess Peach - and Pikmin now has a new female hero.
One of my favorite things about Peach in the new Mario game is that one of the power ups is a literal “cat suit” and Peach’s “cat suit” doesn’t sexualize her at ALL. You can’t even see her boobs. She just looks like she’s wearing over-sized footie pajamas it’s so cute. Also they added a pink letter to the Mario logo just to accommodate Peach’s re-inclusion into the franchise as a character with actual agency!
So at the end of the presentation they tell you to go to the Smash Bros website to find out about new characters. And then they announced this character, Wii Fit Trainer, on the site. And in an interview the director said he gets thousands of requests for almost every video game character under the sun and he’s gotten absolutely zero requests for this character and he put her in the game to be funny and defy fan expectation. This character is literally “hey fuck you we’re the ones making the games around here, and we’ll be goofy and funny if we want to and also check it out another female character in Smash.”
Also the inclusion of the Animal Crossing villager is interesting because Animal Crossing is VERY popular with girls and even though the villager is male I’m 100% certain his alternate costumes will include the girl default villager character. So that’s neat. The three Smash characters they announced were two girl(ish) characters from two girl(ish) games and then Mega Man.
Also in the new Animal Crossing game boys are allowed to cross dress and all of the animals are explicitly genderqueer in the dialog. Characters say stuff like “Boys can ware make up if they want to, I mean, it’s 2013, who cares?” and just today a jock rhino was looking deeply into my eyes and asking me to hike a football and I asked him if he loved me (which was one of the option out of other options about sports) and he was like “Oh I guess a lot can happen when you look into someone else’s eyes like that, huh?” He didn’t even care that we’re both guys. Also in the new Pokemon game you can be black.
Basically what I’m saying is Nintendo is quietly and systematically making their games more socially progressive and Microsoft made a rape joke and then said “what? it was a joke.”