How quickly such simple truths fall under withering fire. How quickly young, impressionable males rush to submit their alternative visions: Skinny waists, 'booby armour,' lesser gameplay attributes, misogynistic titles, dismissal of the entire form as a superfluous development undertaking, worse. The NS2 community has been recognised as one of the most mature, inclusive and progressive player communities in gaming. If so many of them took up the banner of the cave-man, how many of your players harbour such attitudes?
The answer is many. Many of our players - 'our' being those players of all games - actually believe it when they say a woman's place is off the battlefield, in the kitchen; that their genitalia gives them an unassailable right to disparage the physical and cognitive ability of their fellow creatures. This is not an exaggeration, as any female who has dared to turn on their microphone during a game of Call of Duty will attest, or Anita Sarkeesian will be happy to explain.
This is not acceptable and we have the power to do something about it. You can start with the simplest actions: Stand up to demands to sexualise female characters. Question the requirement that a protagonist be male. Analyse dialogue for signs of the 1920s. Young men and women will play your games - And if your game is as successful as you hope, huge numbers of them will be influenced by it.
We all have a duty to wield that influence with honour and integrity. Discharging that duty is not difficult, it is within the bounds of our development skillset. To do so is to make art - in a truer sense than even the most photo-real graphics and immersive soundscapes can achieve. In creating that art, in fostering discussion, dissent and discourse, we will have done something right. In the past, we might have acquiesced to ‘pick up that can’, but we won't walk away without working to ensure those that follow will not have to.