This year (2012) alone, approximately over 1/3 of all video games released on PS3 and Xbox 360 were shooters*.
Of all of the games released this year, only three featured notable female protagonists, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed Liberation and Resident Evil 6. In Mass Effect 3, 20% of those who played the game played as a female character, Assassin’s Creed Liberation was released exclusively for PS Vita and the latter only let you play as a female protagonist after you’d completed the game as all three male characters.
Even more worryingly are the statistics for games with LGBT characters, where just one character identified as queer. Once again, that game was Mass Effect 3, while all of the other console titles failed to be that inclusive.
I don’t have the statistics on hand for how many people of colour were playable in games this year but you can guess that games were lacking there as well.
Having a shooting component in a game is fine, leaving out characters who represent the population you’re trying to sell your games to isn’t.
That’s why I’m relaunching J Station X.
For all of the games that are forward thinking, that are doing something different and are making sure not to leave millions of gamers out for the sake of marketing, that’s what J Station X will talk about. Whether it’s a game that includes original gameplay (yes, even shooters will be featured on the site if they are original enough!) or a game that tells the story of an underrepresented group of people, we’ll feature it to give them a showcase over the games that are helping to make the statistics above a regular occurrence.
Forward Thinking Games, Straight-Talking Gamers. – J Station X
– Jasmine Henry, Head Editor of J Station X
*statistics gathered from 96 titles released on Xbox 360 and PS3 this year and include games that include shooting gameplay, games that have Q4 2012 release dates but have yet to go on sale.