Rockstar's Dan Houser briefly explains why GTA 5 has no female protagonists

Grand Theft Auto V Screenshot - 1126703

One word can be used to describe why Grand Theft Auto 5 doesn't have a playable female protagonist: Masculinity.

Speaking to The Guardian, Rockstar Games' co-founder and vice president of creativity Dan Houser offered a very brief quote on the issue (which isn't really an issue, but more of a general question given the game has three playable characters, all male). Granted, Rockstar is free to tell whatever story they want with whatever gender characters they want, but given the rise of, for lack of a better phrase, female awareness in video games, this sort of subject is often a topic of debate.

Over the past year-or-so, the issue of sexism in the video game industry has been a heated debate, sexism being the key word thrown around. Female characters are too "slutty." Why don't we have more lead female protagonists? Why is it that the male leads are saving female characters? All fair questions, so when asked by The Guardian why none of the three characters in GTA 5 are female, Houser offered the following quote:

"The concept of being masculine was so key to this story."

Honestly, this seems like a weak answer to me. Is he implying that females can't possess masculinity? I wasn't there for the interview so I won't put words into his mouth, but if this is all he really said on the issue then I think he has some explaining to do because I know plenty of masculine females. What makes this even worse is that Rockstar seemingly has no problem throwing women in their games for use as sex tools. Are women not capable of robbing a bank? Can they not deal drugs? How do any of those things really relate to being masculine?

If a female character didn't fit into the game for story purposes that's fine, but for "masculinity" to be the sole reason no lead characters in GTA 5 are female, then that's just a weak excuse. I'm personally not upset with the issue -- I believe developers should be free to do whatever they want -- but I'd imagine such a line (possibly taken out of full context) could offend plenty of gamers.


Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley, and his wife.
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Games: Grand Theft Auto V


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