Genshin Impact needs to write their female characters better

Hu Tao, Yoimiya and Dehya spend time under the fireworks.

Picture: Ho Yoverse / Kotaku

Genshin’s strike she is not the worst offender when it comes to portraying women in video games. The sexualization of the female cast is limited to stranger hip windows. Their personalities are harmless and cute. But as I watch each major update bring personal growth and new lore to the male characters, I can’t help but wonder: when will it be the women’s turn? GenshinThe women of the`s don’t get the same layers of narrative depth, rarely experience a boost in new content updates, and are assigned to just a few narrow, shallow personality types. It’s frustrating because these issues don’t affect male characters. It’s just women who are constantly pushed to the sidelines Genshingreat story.

Spoiler warning.

The latest Genshin update featured a main storyline about the lost civilization of Khanri’ah. Some ancient royal guard he meets the mysterious knight Kaeya for the first time, and the two talk briefly about his heritage. Kaeya the fans were revelry on discovering that their favorite boy is a descendant of the founder of the Order of the Abyss, one of the main antagonistic factions in the game. Fans created a lot fanart AND speculation about his real motives. I can’t help but wish his boss Jean had a fraction of that kind of attention. But I understand why. Despite coming from one of the main clans of the Mondstadt region, the game hardly gives her any interesting storylines to build on. She’s the leader of the Mondstadt Hero faction, but I’ve forgotten about her. I haven’t forgotten about Kaeya.

Listen, I’m happy for Kaeya. I really am. This is the story that Genshin has been growing since the game launched in 2020. Who am I to tell his fans to wait another year for food? But I can’t remember the last time a female character revealed so much history. The main quest was about Yelan’s ancestor during last year’s “A dangerous trailwhich was nice because all I knew beforehand was that she was some sort of government agent. But anyone who has played the quest will probably agree that the story was primarily about resolving the guilt of a male character surviving a centuries-old Archon War.

As I said, the immortal demon slayer Xiao is one of my favorite characters. I’m glad he’s not suicidal anymore. But the character development he gave contrasts sharply with what was afforded to his niece Ganyu, a female character who also fought in the cataclysmic War of the Archons. Where he gets depth and trauma, she doesn’t even gain recognition among those around her as a warrior, despite her military service. The only thing we know about Ganyu is that the monster tried to eat her during the war and she choked to death with her waist. Come on, it was a world-changing war that shaped the modern world of Teyvat! And all HoYoverse had to say about it was that Ganyu gained weight.

Ganyu, Yanfei and Shenhe stand under the moon.

Picture: Ho Yoverse / Kotaku

And it’s not like the all-female cast doesn’t have enough opportunities to get involved in fine-tuning Genshinvast amounts of world knowledge. The the lost civilization of Enkanomiya is an explorable region and contains shocking knowledge of the origins of the current rulers. I was excited when Genshin built all time limited event around the Land of the White Night. Surely the rebel priestess Kokomi will eventually acquire some interesting knowledge, I thought. It was a fair assumption. Sangonomiya Kokomi is descended from the nobles of Enkanomiya, and the entrance to the region is locked behind her family shrine. Also, Kokomi’s role in the main story was heavily criticized for lacking depth. I was ready for my best girlfriend to come back.

i would be disappointed. Kokomi didn’t even appear for most of the event, and I didn’t learn anything about how her past connected to Teyvat’s present. Mind, Genshin gives her possibilities appear at other events. And I love watching him interact with the other cast members. But as a rebel leader who led the main faction in the Inazuma Civil War, she deserves to play a major role in Genshincontinuation of the story. Where’s the intrigue? Where is the knowledge drop that makes me anxious to see it in future updates?

I reserve the review of the Sumer region as it was only added last August and still has a long way to go. But I want to see more female characters who have a significant impact on the plot. Genshin fans were hoping for the villainous Fatui Harbinger Signora, who has been a constant threat to players since she was first introduced. But then she was lost during the main quest. oops. So we’re now back to zero bad women, which is a huge blow to anyone who likes nuanced world-building.

Which also frustrates me GenshinThe female cast is such that they seem to be inscribed in limiting, pre-existing forms. For example, all seven of the current “baby” characters are women, as if cuteness is a trait unique to young girls. And being a man Genshin characters may be responsible, it is female characters that hold up the sky. About half of the female cast are very responsible, while only about a third of the men are similarly interested in keeping things tidy. While a divine puppet Wanderer he has a prickly and uncooperative personality, even women who are not overly responsible are at least cheerful or cooperative. Men can be goofy, selfish or evil. In contrast, GenshinThe appeal of female characters comes from putting themselves second.

Amber, Eula, Jean and Barbara celebrate Thanksgiving.

Picture: Ho Yoverse / Kotaku

Gacha is a game format that uses character appeal to sell microtransactions. Highlighting certain features in the lineup shows what features the designers think will appeal to the largest percentage of players. So far, I’m not thrilled with the insinuation that the ideal woman doesn’t have selfish or morally ambiguous goals of her own. Well-mannered women rarely make history, and certainly not Teyvat history.

About this time you may notice that I was praising the god of thunder Raiden Ei for having a sublime character backstory and fascinating worldview. But she is the exception that proves the rule. Ei is one of the seven main gods, and each main god in this game is intricately related A tragedy from 500 years ago. If the standard for a “moving and interesting character arc” is “divine”, that’s not particularly fair to the women in this game. Of the 13 premium male characters in Genshin, 11 of them have an emotionally heavy arc related to the death of a loved one or an attempt to overthrow power. Ei is the only female character who seems to have such an impact on her fate.

The imbalance seems especially glaring when female characters outnumber male characters by a 2:1 ratio. And I can see why. Most gacha games have a predominantly female cast, as heterosexual men are the most willing to spend. But consider that other popular gachas have some of the most compelling female characters in video games. Most of the female characters in Fate/Grand Order take the fate of an entire nation or an alternate universe. Knightsthe villain is a morally ambiguous rebel leader whose worldview has been skewed by the rampant discrimination she has seen around her. The other characters in the game are similarly textured and compelling. And both of these games make much less money than Genshinwhich prints $2 billion a year.

The creators tried to make his world more realistic giving important story roles to NPCs. It is high time that important roles were also given to women.

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