Saints Row: Dealing With Gender Equality

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Some of the team members of Volition were not happy with the promotion of sexual desire for their Saints Row 2 game. Apparently it was THQ that insisted on it, and some of the devs weren’t impressed or comfortable with it. Why does this come up now? Well, because of the discussions going on about Saints Row IV of course.


Kate Nelson, Associate Producer of Saints Row IV, told Edge, “I did not always love how much THQ put an emphasis on porn stars. I think it’s important in marketing games to make sure that the essence of the game is what’s being marketed, and I think the porn star angle didn’t really fit in with what Saints Row is at heart, which is a parody. We like to poke fun.”

This is where I get confused. I thought the whole porn star thing was poking fun at the fact that porn stars were in the game? What’s wrong with poking fun at porn? The difference is, it got personal. I understand that, I just think the argument isn’t very solid. It’s especially strange to me when both Saints Row 3 and Saints Row IV go out of their way to highlight the use of giant dildo’s as weapons (my favorite weapon by the way). The freakin’ anal probe in SRIV is a pre-order bonus, yet promoting sexuality is somehow uncomfortable? She doesn’t say that exactly, but it is weird to me that there was an issue.

I do like that Saints Row 3 and 4 have allowed for an amazing amount of customization for you to make your character however you want, further enabling the option to make powerful or even realistic looking women as opposed to so many sexualized females in video games. I’m all for “woman power”, and I’m totally down with #girlwood (I love you Aisha!). Kate Nelson had this to say on the subject:

I think our game actually does represent women in a positive way, but the press will focus on, oh hey, there are strippers, or there’s a dildo bat – it’s unfortunate from my perspective that that doesn’t come through. Because I hear women talk on panels and they’re like ‘there are no people that look like me in games’. Well, actually in my game [the main character] can look like you as our customization system is so extensive. We don’t get that across in our marketing or in the press because it’s difficult – we only have 30 seconds to explain. Saints Row, in lots of ways, has empowered minorities and empowered women, which I think is important to get across.

saints row awesome

All in all, I like this woman and I love what her and the team at Volition have done to emphasize empowered women in video games. What about you? What are you thoughts on the matter.

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Jeremy Reich

Jeremy Reich

Staff Writer
I am 36 years old and extremely passionate about video games. I've been playing video games daily since I was 5. It’s rare for me not to enjoy a game in particular.