The Top Eight Sexist Games

December 13, 2010

One of the ongoing criticisms about video games is that they are sexist. All women are presented as sex objects in chainmail bikinis, princesses to be rescued, or impossible objects of desire. There's some truth to the ladies not being well represented, and sometimes, they really get the short end of the stick in games.  Sometimes, though, you'll wish you'd chosen a female character.  Here are ten games that put one gender over, sometimes way over, the other.

Photo: Victor Interactive Software

8. Harvest Moon 3

So, yeah, if you played as a woman, the game got cut short.
What happened?  Were you stuffed in a fridge?  Were you killed by farm animals?  Did a drifter with “love” and “hate” tattooed on his knuckles come through and throw in the lake with your model-T Ford?
Nope.  You got married.  Yep, apparently, life ends at marriage in “Harvest Moon 3”.  You stop farming and stick your husband with all the work while having zero independence or control of your life!  Everybody...wins?  Except not?

7. Warhammer Online

Photo: Mythic Entertainment

Warhammer is, of course, the classic wargame, and Warhammer Online is…er…well, kind of self-explanatory.  The Warhammer setting has never been noted for its subtlety, something that really comes across with the Witch Elf.
If you’re a one-on-one type of player, the Witch Elf is great.  You can develop your backstabbing dirtbag abilities in the Path of Treachery, level up excruciating poisons with the Path of Suffering, or just practice your bladed bitchslapping with the Path of Carnage.  All while wearing chainmail bikinis, because only female characters (Dark Elves, specifically) can become Witch Elves.
Why?  Uhhhhh…because?  We're sure there's a detailed explanation in the Warhammer backstory, but Warhammer has a few other spots that are one-gender-specific, like the Dwarves and their Slayer class, but apparently being a Witch Elf requires wearing a chainmail bikini or something.

6. Tenchu: Stealth Assassin

Photo: Activision

Tenchu was a PS One game that had two characters, Rikimaru, the man and Ayame, the girl.  One guess who wore the tighter pants. 
Anyway, the game consisted of hunting down and killing various corrupt dignitaries, who were inevitably bosses you had to fight, because God forbid a stealth game would let you sneak past a boss.  If you played as Rikimaru, though, you could avoid a boss fight as one of the corrupt officials mourns his lack of honor and asks you to help him commit seppuku, which you do, free pass to the next level, hail fellow well met.
Ayame?  She has to fight, because she’s a girl.  Gender parity?  What's that?

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5. The Wizardry Series

Around the sixth game, the Wizardry games introduced a new class: the Valkyrie.
On the face of it, the Valkyrie is a balanced character: her leveling isn’t as difficult as some characters, but she doesn’t hit as hard or have as many hit points.  Basically, a good middle-ground character for your first play through, especially if you liked to get your hands dirty.  At least until you looked at the loot.
Yes, Valkyries had access to exclusive (and awesome) gear that the guys couldn’t touch, as well as access to the exceptionally useful “Cheat Death” skill in the last game.  Yes, if you're a dude in “Wizardry”, the reaper comes and right early, but for the tougher ladies, he flips a coin.  Way to be a chauvinist, Death.

4. Final Fantasy Tactics

Photo: Square

Final Fantasy Tactics is, of course, the wildly popular spin-off series from the wildly popular franchise “Animal Crossing”.  It mixes Final Fantasy's story with real time strategy tactics, and on the face of it, it also seems to reflect the Japanese's famed attitude towards women that we're so familiar with from all those naughty tentacle clips you pretended were your roommate's.
Men have a stronger physical attack stat, and women have a stronger magical attack stat, so, at first, you really don't want any of Ivalice's nastier characters right in your lady's face.
On the other hand, the physical attack is easy to level up, while the magical one isn't.  So, if you start at a higher level, you don't have to worry about anything getting in your face because you'll reduce it and most of what it's standing on a pile of smouldering rubble much faster than the guys, who still have to whack their way through with swords.  Suckers!

3. Might and Magic Book One

Photo: New World Computing

We're going waaaaaay back with this one to “Might and Magic Book One”.  Yep, the game from 1987, when MMA didn't mean anything, “Star Trek” was still some bald guy and his bearded Number One, and cell phones were like bricks.  You'd think that, considering in the '80s it was still OK for Prince to throw his girlfriend in a dumpster, that women would get the shaft in gaming.
Not in the town of Portsmouth they won't.  Every time you hit an intersection in this town, your male characters lose half their hit points.  Want to turn at an intersection?  That'll be another half of your hit points.  We haven't run into something this punishing to health since the Deep Fried Double Double Down (it's when you glue two Double Downs together with melted cheese and batter fry them.  It's delicious, but your left arm hurts for a while after eating it).

2. Knights of the Old Republic

Photo: LucasArts

KOTOR would already be unique among Star Wars games for being an exceptionally deep role-playing game set in the SW universe, but it also has the interesting matter of...lesbians.
One of the great pleasure of the game was the dialogue, and if you wanted to talk, you had to be a woman: women got more complex dialogue trees and more dialogue options for different characters.  Also as a woman, you could get in the pants of Juhani (, who is, believe it or not, the first lesbian in Star Wars.  Yep, BioWare was handing us sweet lesbian action well before Mass Effect, although we really don't want to think about the sex lives of Star Wars characters; summarizing your sex life with  a “Star Wars” quote is as close as we want to come. (
On a side note...seriously, George?  BioWare establishes lesbians, and there are no lesbians in the prequels?  You never would have been outgrossed by “Spider Man” if “Episode II” had had lesbians.  Just saying.

1. Fallout 3

Photo: Zenimax Media

“Fallout 3” is, of course, an amazing game, but it also happens to be one of the biggest sausage fests in gaming.  This isn't particularly unusual; it's not like you've got a squad of ladies trying to take you out in most games.  What is unusual is the perk “Black Widow”, giving you +10% damage on opposite sex enemies.
Oh, sure, the men have the “Lady Killer” perk, but it's just not the same. (  The Black Widow gives you more options (and clothes, and apparently the ability to lead people to their deaths, which has some unfortunate implications).  Lady Killer mostly gives you a damage bonus against characters you almost never run into.
But with “New Vegas”, they make up for it with “Confirmed Bachelor” (, which gives men the damage perk against their own gender and equally...interesting dialogue options about “friendship”.

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