Diamond Lobby, a video game entertainment website, recently showcased a number of video game characters that they redesigned as female in order to “promote diversity in gaming.”
The redesigns were imagined by Brittney Lin and created by artist Hossein Kalantari. They include Captain Price from Call of Duty, Michael De Santa from Grand Theft Auto V, Alex Hunter from FIFA 17, Master Chief from Halo, Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin’s Creed, Sergeant Marcus Michael Fenix from Gears of War, and Johnny Silverhand from Cyberpunk 2077.
Lin specifically noted she came up with the redesigns to address what she sees as a problem between the amount of male and female characters as protagonists despite citing data that states 23% of main characters within games were male and 18% were female as of 2020.
She writes, “Despite the disparity between men and women in gaming decreasing, it’s clear that male characters still get preferential treatment. When you look to the world’s biggest games, female characters are often ‘one of the gang’ rather than getting the leading role — the protagonist.”
Lin also wanted the designs not to simply be eye-candy because she believes, “Whilst male characters in games can often look rough and rugged, female characters are almost exclusively used as eye candy to please a predominantly male audience.”
“We wanted to show that female characters can look great without being hyper-sexualized, and this is demonstrated no better than with our Master Chief redesign — that we dubbed ‘Madam Chief’ — who looks almost identical to her male counterpart,” Lin added.
The founder of Diamond Lobby, Luke Roberts, also stated, “Whilst this content is relatively lighthearted and easy to digest, it also highlights deep-rooted issues within gaming (and tech in general) and aims to encourage greater diversity both directly and subconsciously as the industry moves forward in the future.”
Along with the redesigns Lin gave each of the new female characters their own backstory.
Lin describes Price, “Captain Price is the main protagonist in the Modern Warfare line of Call of Duty games.”
She adds, “She’s a special forces sniper from Britain and held the rank of Captain, leading her SAS Bravo Team squad across Russia and Azerbaijan (and back again).”
Michelle De Santa
Next is Michelle De Santa. Here’s how Lin describes her, “Michelle is a career criminal that moved to Los Santos to retire in peace in GTA V.
She adds, “Sadly, she soon returned to her old ways, haunted by the demons of her past and memories of the times that she made questionable moral mistakes.”
Lin describes Hunter, “Alex made her debut back in FIFA 17 and last featured in FIFA 20, with FIFA 21 dropping The Journey game mode a couple of years back. Despite this, she’s still one of the most instantly-recognizable faces from FIFA’s single player modes — which is exceptional considering it’s a fictional character in a world of real, celebrity superstar players.”
“A mainstay in Halo’s FPS games, Madam Chief is the mascot for the entire Halo brand — and even the Xbox brand, too. She’s a Spartan super-soldier that’s entrusted with safeguarding Cortana (their ship’s artificial intelligence) and wears just a slightly more petit bodysuit than her male counterpart,” writes Lin.
She adds, “Not able to see the difference between Master Chief and Madam Chief? What do you want us to do, stick a bikini on her? Everyone looks very similar inside full body armor.”
Eva da Firenze
Lin describes Eva, “A Florentine noblewoman during the Reinaissance, Eva Auditore da Firenze was a Master Assassin throughout the Assassin’s Creed franchise.”
“She liberated Rome, prevented the rise of power of the Cult of Hermes, and even helped ensure the future travels of Christopher Columbus,” she concluded.
Lin writes, “Sergeant Fenix is a legendary war heroine, earning the COG’s highest military award for her actions during the Battle of Aspho Fields. She’s also a convicted coward for her actions in a different battle, but we’ll forget all about that one.”
“She features as a protagonist in every edition of the Gears of War franchise,” she adds.
Lin says, “Born as Bobbie Linder, Jennifer Silverhand is a military veteran and an influential rocker. She was the most prominent figure fighting against the corrupt government and corporations, but has been known for her manipulative and impulsive behavior.”
“She is a protagonist in the Cyberpunk series,” she concludes.
What do you make of these redesigns?