Skip to main content

Yes, you should be able to play as women in Call of Duty: WWII

Despite an increased focus on historical accuracy, the game will have playable female characters in multiplayer. And that's a good thing.

Preorder on the Xbox Store (opens in new tab)

Women in the military during World War II

of course we should be able to play as women

Image source: Pinterest

Before we address arguments for and against playable females in this Call of Duty title, let's establish why the issue is up for debate: Very few women served in combat roles during World War II. It was a different time, with women in Allied countries like the U.S. not having fully attained some of the rights they have today. In fact, it wasn't until 2016 that all U.S. military combat jobs opened up to women.

That's not to say that women didn't serve in the army during World War II, though. According to History.com, more than 350,000 women joined the military during the second World War. Although their jobs did not involve combat during that time period, female military members still served in roles like ferrying planes and transporting cargo. Still, several hundred military women were killed during the war, 16 of them by enemy fire, according to Wikipedia.

Other women served in the resistances of Poland, Italy and France. Women performed combat roles in the Soviet Union, perhaps making up the largest percentage of female military during that time. And even in Germany, women served in both combat and non-combat roles. So women did fight in World War II, albeit a limited number.

Arguments for women in multiplayer

Call of Duty WWII Tweet

Activision and developer Sledgehammer haven't revealed what role women will play in Call of Duty: World War II's campaign, if any. Because Call of Duty campaigns typically involve multiple playable characters, there's a chance that you might play as a female resistance member or even a civilian at some point. But we do know that both male and female soldiers will be playable in multiplayer mode, which is separate from the story-based campaign.

Playable females have several advantages. For starters, female character models add visual variety to multiplayer games. Considering how many hours a typical Call of Duty enthusiast spends in the game's competitive modes, a little visual variety goes a long way. The days of two teams of identical character models facing off against each other are long gone.

Speaking of changing standards, female soldiers have been playable in Call of Duty multiplayer since 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts – the first entry for the current generation of consoles. Not the most popular Call of Duty, but it did establish a multiplayer standard for nearly every sequel to follow. With three games already including women soldiers (Infinite Warfare inexplicably lacks them), it would be a step back to exclude them from Call of Duty: WWII for the sake of realism.

Indeed, millions of gamers have come to expect playable females in Call of Duty – and many of those players happen to be female. People are naturally drawn to characters they identify with, often of the same gender, skin color, or body type.

White men don't have to worry about character appearance so much, because white male protagonists are still the default – the most common form of playable character. We white dudes (or even just dudes in general) don't face the limited selection of characters that look like us that female gamers endure. Muster some empathy, and you'll see that women being able to enjoy Call of Duty multiplayer in the same way you do is a good thing.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

Playable female soldier in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

The presence of female players in online Call of Duty games actually benefits non-female gamers, too. More lady players means more ladies to game with. Playing online with female gamers is a cool chance to enjoy their company for a little while ... and maybe practice social interaction, if you need to.

No, that doesn't mean you should come on to girl players or harass them. They want to be treated the same way you do, or maybe even more politely than you expect people to treat you. And while I've geared this point towards men who are attracted to women, it also applies to people who aren't. Whatever you're into, interacting with different kinds of people is good for you. The more things we have in common – such as games – the better.

Finally, playable females have one obvious benefit for Activision, the company that publishes Call of Duty: increased sales. Corporations aren't generally altruistic in nature. Most of the decisions they make are based on profitability rather than a desire to do good (with some exceptions). The increasing level of diversity in videogames, much as in movies and television, is driven by financial realities.

The more women that can be played in games, the more those games will sell to women. Excluding playable female soldiers from Call of Duty: WWII's multiplayer just to increase historical realism would be leaving money on the table. Playable women means that Activision will sell more copies of the game.

Arguments against women in multiplayer

Call of Duty WWII Zombies

There are really only two arguments against allowing gamers to play as women in Call of Duty: WWII's multiplayer. The big one that pops up in practically every online discussion is that of historical accuracy. As we've established, very few women saw combat during World War II, especially as infantry. So, yes, players running around as lady soldiers in multiplayer is different from what actually happened.

But who cares? We play the Call of Duty campaign for realism, not multiplayer. The goal in competitive battles in this series isn't to recreate actual events, it's to have fun. Should Axis players automatically lose a battle because that's what really happened more than 70 years ago? Nobody would want to play that game.

I haven't even mentioned the countless other concessions to reality that Call of Duty: WWII must make, such as allowing players to survive severe wounds without loss of limbs or life simply by using health packs. Call of Duty is not a simulation game, so the developers take numerous liberties in the name of fun.

Besides, the biggest argument against limiting Call of Duty games to historically accurate scenarios is actually one of the series's most popular modes: Zombies! The cooperative Zombies mode first appeared in Call of Duty: World at War, an installment based on World War II. Call of Duty: WWII will continue the tradition by including its own new take on Zombies mode.

If players can handle the presence of a historically inaccurate mode in which allied soldiers battle against Nazi zombies, surely the presence of playable women in the competitive multiplayer mode won't cause a stir. Or are women scarier than zombies to some gamers?

That's the only other possible argument against playable female soldiers in Call of Duty: WWII – women have cooties. Nobody literally thinks that, but an unfortunate vocal minority of gamers just doesn't want women around. Whether it's sexually harassing female players, or uglier actions like threatening and doxing female developers and critics, the gaming industry is no stranger to the ugliness of chauvinism, misogyny, and sociopathy.

Let them play games

Frankly, we can't do anything to convince people who just won't want women around (or think of them as less than full people) that attracting a female audience to Call of Duty: WWII (or any game) is a good idea. Their attitudes come from antipathy and xenophobia, not a place of logic and reason. Most people, thankfully, have some measure of empathy and some tolerance for people who are different from them

In any case – like it or not – female soldiers will be playable in Call of Duty: WWII. With so many strong reasons for them to be in the game, we all need to make peace with that. Historical accuracy is a fine thing, and the story-based campaign mode will certainly strive to achieve it. Multiplayer, as ever, will focus on competition and fun instead.

Call of Duty: WWII arrives on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows on November 3, and it will cost $59.99.

Preorder on the Xbox Store (opens in new tab)

Lead image source: Brick's History

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

148 Comments
  • Not according to Nutella you shouldn't....and also don't ask for a raise if you are a woman.
  • Come on. Yes, he made one comment. He apologized for it and rightfully so. And I believe he actually recognizes his error too, so this isn't really necessary. I mean, I feel like you have an actual deep seated hatred for this guy. Like, if you saw him in the public, I don't know if I'd trust that he'd be safe with you around.
  • Ok. Answer me this. If you or me made that same comment through our workplace, would we be given a chance to apologize or be fired? We would be fired. So I will accept the apology when he is fired.
  • It really depends on the workplace and the person involved too. I'm not super important. He arguably is. His apology and later actions probably did more good than the bad that his comment made. He's in a position of power to actually make a difference and people listen to him. That's how it is with powerful people. Their apologies make a difference. Ours don't.
  • Cool. So if I become more important and/or famous, I can become racists and/or sexists and just apologize for everything? I'm going for it. As soon as I move up I guess I can start singing racial slurs at him and then just apologize.
  • Omg someone made a mistake get over it. I get it was wrong its over now. Let it go for real.
  • Ok. Get ready for my mistake....and remember , whatever racists thing I say, it's a mistake and can be corrected with an apology.
  • No, it has to be followed by an apology with a statement showing a thorough understanding of whats wrong and the many ways you will help the industry improve in that area.
  • No, it's not a mistake. A mistake is "oops, I spilt the milk", or "crap, I cut this piece of wood two inches to short". Not "Woman shouldn't ask for raises in the work force". That's not a mistake. That is what he thinks deep down...apology or not, that is what he believes. Even with the apology it is known that this is his mind set now.
  • "That's not a mistake. That is what he thinks deep down" OK, maybe you are right......... and what now? Should he kill himself or what do you want? Should he lie in front of people just to be accepted? Should he be fired and than what? Will he change his mind? NO so whats your point? You are just an angry feminist and btw: my opinion this is the exact reason why feminism is bad. You are full with toxic negativiy. Its scary and sad at the same time
  • Ok, he's just anti Nadella, not a feminist. He probably could care less about women. But your comment about feminism is also off point. If all it takes is a bad example to discredit and entire idea, no ideas would hold water anymore, including American patriotism.
  • I'm not a feminist. I'm for equality. And Nutella has made it known he isn't. Keep defending him though. It's comical.
  • No. He doesn't have to kill himself. He should have resigned. And the fact he didn't shows you he also meant what he said and that he has ZERO integrity. So, from here out, he is own giant POS to me.
  • You know it wasn't blatant sexism. The fact that it happened probably shed more light on the issue and furthered the cause more than you ever will. And you know that's not what I even implied. You're just stretching it to an absurd conclusion that doesn't logically follow. I'm sure you've probably said worse at some point anyway.
  • Ok...so anyone that makes racists comments should just say "hey, I shed some light on the subject...give me a break"? Come on. This is what is wrong with this world. People in higher positions are let off the hook far to easy. Screw that. He should have been canned immediately.
  • I was waiting for your mistake.....
  • I haven't moved up yet...
  • Yes, you too can be like Trump
  • I think a lot of people misinterpreted what he was trying to say. He said, "Woman should trust the system" or something like that. But what he meant was "Woman should trust the system, just like men should" . I doubt that he actually meant that woman can't ask for a raise. Either way people are blowing this way out proportion.
  • loool what a fuuny world, you insult to a person family name then try to defend women right, try to correct yourself first then judge other people statement / you concern about women in microsoft ? look at microsft latest confrence and see how many women presentrs come and speeak then compare it with other tech companies 
  • Nope. When you act like a sexist pig, and are god awful at your job, you lose the right to be addressed as you want. But hey. If it makes you feel better, I apologize for calling him Nutella. Now all is well and I should be forgiven.
  • Ah yes, missionsparta being a level 0 troll. Must be a day that ends in y.
  • in the court judge call you with your correct first and last name and also call you with mr/mrs title , even if the defendant killed 3 person and .... / "god awful at your job " you know that microsoft in satya nadella time gain the highest stock in the microsoft history 
  • on one side.. you want to be equal which means FREEDOM but freedom is not just about positive things! You can not accept people who are not supporting equality. You are ignorant against them. So.. my question is: why do you think that YOU and people like YOU should reform the future? Basically women want to be the one who kick ass... no kindness, no heart, no positive emotions just the exact same sheet as its happening now just the gender changes. Its pure BS. The whole campaign is a big social experiment which will result in non working male = female relationships in the future. People will be either single or gay... not to mention gender X which will lead us to the end Why am I writing this to an article about COD? :-D Just look at this game, Activision is losing money so what now? Guess what? Lets put a female character in the game and enjoy the free HYPE around the game. The game itself could be as bad as the last one but nobody will care because it has a strong, female character...  
  • You wont get much love around these parts.
    I mean, look who is the president of the United States?
  • Get a grip
  • Dude, you have some serious issues.
  • Dude is off the rails.
  • Someone looking for attention I see, smh drama queen.
  • i can't belive how peple think
    he said i didn't ever ask for a raise and that's a suggestion he would make to anyone male or female not to ask for a raise
    but i guess women being so used to being treated diffrently just can't take it when some one simply doesn't care if they're male or female and feel the need to make something out of it
  • Can I buy a comma or period?
  • they'll be available as DLC in a further update!
  • Just to put this insane rant in context, here's the actual quote : “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along,”
  • This is a minefield. If one doesn't implement them they will be attacked for sexism, if they do implemnt them they will be attacked for misandry.   Please don't infest this tech site with this SJW ****.
  • Mmm...propaganda. So delicious.
  • Ok, **** then. Better? Take the statement that more women will buy the game if they can play as women. Is that statement actually based on any statistics? Does the author really think that women are that shallow?   And if female characters were just implemented without any articles like this one, do you rea think that anyone would care?
  • So much better. Thank you. Mmm...asterisks.
  • Trolling your own readers. Typical.
  • :P
  • I always find it funny that the people that tend to cry about SJWs are usually just as big of snowflakes as they are.  "Oh no WindowsCentral are discussing the historical accuracies of women in wars, I better try to censor them because I'm triggered by the mere mention of social issues in the world" get over it snowflake.  
  • And the people complaining about sexism are allways the most sexist. Look at the author of this piece for example that thinks women need female characters to be able to play a game. I guess my sister, and my female friends must be infected by that terrible internalized misogyny I've been hearing so much about these last years.
  • Wow you're really clutching at straws there. That's a pathetic attempt at pushing point that was never made just to try and validate your own position. The article is about providing options. And before you go off on a rant along the lines of 'pandering to women is sexist as it fails to acknowledge they can discern whether a game is worth playing regardless of the gender of the characters.' This is not that argument. This is an argument based on years of actual marketing research that states people form stronger bonds with characters they can relate to. How people relate is a broad sodding spectrum, but the easiest one is 'hey that person looks/acts/talks/dresses similar to me or someone I know/aspire to be like/admire.' Which then makes it easier to associate with/trust the story/product/statement.
    To be honest it's not rocket science.
  • I hate the fact that people basically saying 'hey let's try and not act like horrible human beings and see where that gets us' are labelled Social Justice Warriors as though that is somehow derogatory. The article makes some pretty clear points:
    1.People enjoy playing video games.
    2.People enjoy options in character creation, especially in multiplayer.
    3.People tend to create characters they can associate with as their online avatars.
    4.Women are people.
    5.Oh and with regards to the realism thing, you're playing a videogame.
  • Thanks for the excellent comment. The term SJW is simply But at least a way to dehumanize people who ask that we treat others with greater humanity/empathy. But at least when you see it used unironically, it tells you where people sit on that side of the fence.
  • It really is a helpful way to determine whether someone is worth your time.
  • It's the holier than thou attitude that probably bothers people more.  The SJW nose's are so far up in the air I can see how empty their head is.
  • I was about to like the comment until I read point 5... WHY aren't games allowed to be realistic? I'm so fed up with stupid things being excused with "It's a game / movie / etc". Fiction doesn't necessarily have to be some surreal nonsense. It can and should be allowed to be realistic. Mafia 1 and Witcher 1 had some very realistic mechanics (And I loved them for it) that were significantly dumbed down in sequels for some misguided reasons. The best way to solve this whole issue is to remove females from Campaign, while allowing them in Multiplayer. Add anything to Multiplayer, including space guns for all I care.
  • The games you mentioned also have many non-realistic elements as well. Especially The Witcher - come on, now. Every game is a push and pull between realism and fun. Simulations are expected to learn towards realism, but even they often make concessions in the name of being playable and enjoyable to the masses.
  • Everything should be realistic (even fantasy) unless specifically pointed out and explained why it is different from the real world. Just because you can cast fireballs or whatever, doesn't mean that you get to just throw physics out the window entirely. Take Witcher for example. In Witcher one you could only carry as much stuff as you could physically (and visually) fit on the character. It was: 2 weapons on the back, two on hips, herbs and ingredients in your leather herb bag, and several potions literally stashed in holes in your herb bag's belt, one trophy hook on your leg and ONE Outfit. It was realistic and I loved it for it. Then in Witcher 2 they dumbed it down to elder scrolls-like weight. Now I'm not so much upset about the change, as I am for the lack of in-game-lore explanation for such change. They could have said that he has some enchanted bag that is bigger on the inside and is weightless... but no, they ignored it, meaning that the bag is not magical and he just carries tons of huge stuff shove up his butt... It breaks my immersion. If you wish to have an unrealistic aspect, flag it and explain it otherwise it is unrealistic without justification. Mass Effect has been significantly better in this regard. ME1 had "infinite" ammo and there was a big voiced codex entry explaining that. In ME2 they switched to silly "ammo" to appeal to shooter player more, but ONCE AGAIN there was a pretty decent codex entry explaining such a major change in firearm development. That is how realism vs fantasy should be handled in games AND movies. So unless COD adds some campy time-travel-alternate-dimension-plot, there should not be women soldiers in WW2, at least not in campaign. Modern-day COD... by all means, have women and LGBT and whoever else that actually exists in modern military.
  • I see it this way. They introducing ladies in this game so that all the wives and girlfriends develop some interest in it and either join their partners, or at least let them play and not throw their devices away like they show in those YouTube videos. XD
  • Or the ones that don't have boyfriends/husbands/partners that play the game and just simply legit want to play. I know you were making a joke, but I think some people do actually overlook that scenario.
  • the whole logic behind this is stupid men are playing with female characters since a very long time. A woman wont play a game just because the character is a woman too and I dont think that COD is a game (in general) for women. My GF prefers story based games/strategies/city building and hates anything fast paced
  • This is a great article Paul. I'm glad my wife played COD and my girls play it too. As for archaic they should stay in the kitchen types, if you managed to find a signifigant other... she'll be playing while your at work and finding a real partner. 
  • In a thong bikini and I'm in!
  • That'll be in legendary supply drops... buy your cryptokeys now!
  • Windows Central must be running out of Windows Mobile news to report on. They've started scraping the very bottom of the barrel. This is a non-story and I'd like to think that neither male nor females actually care if a digital avatar in a game has the appearance of a M or F. Why stop at that ridiculousness? Why not create transgender characters? I saw a guy on Tosh.0 this week that thinks he's a merman. What about him? Those groups need to be represented too, right?
  • I'm actually crowdsourcing a new Merman game. VR and Oculus ready.
  • Thanks for making my coffee go out my nose Dan. 
  • Windows Central doesn't only report on mobile news. So you're off to a very bad start. Second, this isn't a non-story. It actually is making ripples in various circles in the industry. People have taken sides even. Which completely throes out your poorly founded argument that people shouldn't care. They clearly do, and that's ok. Gaming is about escape sometimes. It's harder to identify with a character when it's not enough like you that you can pretend to be that person. Sometimes you can when the scenario doesn't revolve around that. But what about a romantic hook in a game? It's nice to see such an enormous population get recognized by the gaming community. Your slippery slope is ridiculous. Most games allow for full customization to allow creation of a character that many people can identify with physically, since that is all this concerns. If your merman had actual fins, you'd have a point. Instead, you're just complaining and whining that the world isn't catering to you exclusively. It's hard when you're no longer the center of the universe, no?
  • I'm originally from Liverpool, England, where people are known as 'scousers'. Let me just say I am absolutely appalled that they didn't include scousers in this game when it is well known they fought in WW2. Made the game completely unplayable for me now. In fact, come to think of it, there are no playable scousers in any games. It's like there's a conspiracy against us. Call it non-scouse privilege. What hurts the most is the writer of this article wrote, "white men don't have to worry about character appearance so much". Don't know why he generalised all white men like this, maybe he is racist and sexist, I don't know. I just know I worry about it every day!
  • To be fair a scouser would either have to be a non-speaking role, or be subtitled ;)
  • Did you just imply that male and female are the only two genders!? You must be a racist, xenophobic misogynist. There are actually 76, or maybe even more genders.
  • Wow! Someone had made a very relevant first comment and was deleted very quick, Freespeech only works when is someone opinion that you like...enough of this PC nonsense...
  • There is no free speech on a private website. People here are bound by our TOS; break those and we are free to moderate. Everyone here agreed to it. So, this is more about "read the fine print" rather than "freespeech".
  • Authors calling readers sexist must not be in the TOS either...
  • The TOS is whatever Daniel pretends it is so he can continue his abuse campaigns and sock puppet accounts.
  • If you don't like being called sexist, just don't behave in a sexist manner. It's simple.
  • How am I being sexist?  Because I don't want to change the historical accuracy of a game?  Man, would think we would have much bigger problems to worry about like what happen to women in the middle east.  You are a fool and a tool just like the rest of the SJW.
  • LOL "PC nonsense"... On a site devoted to Windows... I see what you did there.... ;)
  • 😀 yes PC culture is ruining everything😂
  • Maybe you should be able to play as a German child soldier too. They played a big role in 1945. Sadly but true. Horrifying.
  • Polygon is actually attacking them for having a "divesity checklist". http://archive.is/xqNhu There is no point in trying to please these people. They will allways find a way to critizise you.    
  • Polygon/Vox Media is the worst thing on the internet. I was a long-time member, but simply broke last year and had to stop reading The Verge/Polygon... Thats when I found Windows Central!   Now if we can just keep this type of topic/post from becoming a regular occurance, we will all be fine.
  • Here's a crazy idea; how about game developers develop the games they want, how they want, and then people either choose to buy and play them or not? The identity politics in the United States which has infected the rest of the world like a rabid STD, has bred a culture of perpetual complainers and whiners. Whenever I see headlines like this one I roll my eyes. Doesn't matter if 1%, 50%, or even 99% of the soldiers in WW2 on all sides were women, you don't need to include them in a game for it to be fun and engaging. Can Windows Central please stick to tech and keep away from politics and SJW race and gender identity rubbish. There's enough of that everywhere else.
  • They really have no choice at this point. Your comment about "profitability rather than a desire to do good" is exactly right, and I would simply add "optics" to that. The women in games debate had been raging for far to long, and there is no good reason at this point to try and stand against it. It was most recently evident in Battlefield 1, when people starting screaming about lack of female characters in the game. I for one, was completely against having female infantry soldiers featured in any type of combat game where they were not actually historically involved in, but have since given up the crusade. You nailed it on the head with the simple fact that it is a video game. GI's in WW2 didn't (unfortunately) have the ability to re-spawn after being shot to pieces, we have that luxury in video games. We also have the luxury of not excluding or alienating potential members of the community by having both genders represented even when it may not be realistic or historically accurate. In my opinion, anyone who actually argues against this has a case.... I mean 16 Women were killed by enemy fire in WW2. It's a joke for anyone to act like they SHOULD be represented for historical accuracy. BUT is it really worth going to war (pun intended) over? Its a video game, and although I take my games very seriously... It's still a video game. Fiction can take liberties.
  • "there is no good reason at this point to try and stand against it" There's no good reason to sit and demand female characters at every turn, but it's still happening. I personally think there is a perfectly good reason to push back, and it's because they've gone from pro-equality to anti-male with this stuff. It's insanely overdone, forced, and gender biased. It's just that people think a bias against men is acceptable. I'm glad they didn't have females in Battlefield 1, but would have no issue with putting them into a modern shooter. Same thing here, and it's the same reason I wrote off For Honor when they started talking about being a black female Viking or Samurai. I agree there's no issue with taking liberties, but there should be justifiable reasoning behind it. I don't think "women are hurt when thtey have to be men" is a justifiable reason. It doesn't mean we all need to play as men all the time, but it does mean that I'll keep fighting this as long as it keeps getting thrown exceesively at me. When the author's basically saying dissenters have a mental disorder, darn right I'm going to get noisy over it.
  • I don't agree at all. I know these are games, but some semblance of historical accuracy matters to me. I don't thihnk everything needs to hit every diversity checkbox at every turn. People argue for things like this, wanting female options at every turn, it seems. Of course, no one minds if something is female-led without a male alternative. I don't think the solution to past sins is present or future ones, picking to support one gender over the other now because it was the other way around in the past. People complained Final Fantasy XV didn't have female playable characters, but didn't care that 3 games in the FF XIII string were female-led without a male alternative. It's all clearly a one-sided argument that I find incredibly boring and shallow nowadays. We really need to stop pretending that there's still a problem in games like this. How many new IPs have we seen in the past 2 years (since E3 2015) with something other than a white male at the forefront? Lots I can think of. How many came with a white male as the only option? Nioh is the only I can think of where it was new and only a white male. Plenty of minority- and female-inclusive things have come out since then, be it through new IP (Horizon: Zero Dawn, For Honor, The Division), supplementing previous male protagonists (Dishonored 2, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, Fallout 4), or continuing female-led franchises (Mirror's Edge, Tomb Raider). That we're still playing the "we need more women" card is ridiculous. It's been overcorrected hardcore in the last 2 years, to the point white males as new protagonists is a borderline minority (so many franchises have moved to make white males an option, rather than an actual lead--Halo, Assassin's Creed, Dishonored, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Call of Duty, FIFA, and I could probably pull 5 more if I thought it were worth it. Lastly, the tone of this article is junk (I say "junk" because of the overly strong filters in these comments). The name-calling, judgmental trash is as bad as anything you're arguing against. Oh, I'm a "xenophobe" for preferring the occasional douse of historical accuracy? Oh, "white dudes" need to get over their problems because they're a problem? This is getting incredibly tired and old hat. It's a very predictable stance thtat clearly is hypocrisy at its finest. I like when there is uniqueness in gaming experiences. I don't like when I'm preached at with my games (or the writing of it). It's compelte bull that wanting there to be a break in the gender politiciking nonsense makes you one of these politically correct shame terms that people throw out to try to shame dissention out of society. I can be impressed with Horizon: Zero Dawn and think it a great game while wanting to see some historical accuracy in For Honor and Call of Duty: WWII. If you think that makes me a sexist or xenophobe, that's officially a YOU problem. I wasn't going to get this game to begin with because Sledgehammer has yet to make a good game, and I'm not paying them to give me a bad product a third time. However, like For Honor, I would have lost my interest in the game once it became clear they were aiming to push an agenda with their games. It infuriates me to watch such things. I'll take the sexist tag if I have to, but I maintain that if you think there is something wrong with male characters that we need to supplement them to avoid hurt feelings, I'd argue THAT is the sexist party. I don't get offended when a game has a female lead, yet stupid stuff like this argues I should feel bad when a white male is that lead? Asinine. Asiten. Asileven. Yes, I expect plenty of downvotes and nasty, hateful responses. I don't mind. I'm beyond sick of this white/male shaming culture that I've had to get shoved in my face and will gladly take the hypocritical criticism that comes with occasoinally thinking some things should be different from each other.  
  • I wont downvote you. Most of what you say I agree with, my comment in this thread was strictly from the stance of "is it worth it any longer" to fight against this gender equality - "white males are evil" - video game agenda that has been a raging issue with the release of every game over the last 5 years. It is getting old and maybe I have given up, but they haven't "won me over" or anything... its more the fact that game makers would be stupid to exclude women chracters from their games at this point, because it puts a target on them and hurts their bottom line. So I might as well deal with it cause I am not going to stop buying/playing games that look fun to me. Even if I have to play as a chracter with lady parts to do it.
  • We seem to have a pretty similar mentality. Some of it, I think is totally fine. Making a game around a female character, there's nothing wrong with it. I am still interested in trying Horizon: Zero Dawn when it's at a lower price or they release the full game at $60, rather than selling paid story DLC after you spend $60. It still looked really good and had my attention early on. However, I also think it's perfectly reasonable to not have women in something. We're covering WW2, where female combatants simply weren't really a thing. Sticking to that historical accuracy isn't hateful or wrong, just as it wasn't a problem to put females into the last few iterations, which operated in a modern society. Same reason I see nothing wrong with the black lead on Crackdown, but find it bizarre Battlefield I had a black male on the cover--they just weren't really the main fighting force in WW1, so it comes off as trying to fit an agenda. That's where I go from not caring about the sex or race of the lead and become actively against it. Natural diversity is  not a problem, but this force-fed garbage absolutely is. It's become a crusade against white males, and it completely took me out of the market for Ubisoft games with For Honor. Our difference is that I will absolutely stop playing games when they get too pushy, just as I stopped watching many movie and TV franchises over it. I won't buy from Ubisoft for being so overt in their pandering. They're the only blanket boycott for me, though. This game had no chance of getting my money, so I can't say this is making me boycott it. I won't stop buying things for having female characters, but I'll stop when it becomes telling me what I am to accept or feel.
  • The funny thing is that it is pretty easy (at least in multiplayer) to make everyone happy by adding a simple toggle in the settings. If you get "triggered" by violence against women you can turn it on, and all the players will be displayed as men. If you are one of those rare women (I've never met one in my entire life) that are only able to play a game if they see women on the screen they can set it to only women, and if you don't care you can set it to show what the other players choose.  Campain is different because the characters there (should) actually have personality.
  • Im only commenting on the last part about white male shaming. Basically its your curse for what your ancestors did in the past. Not just for blacks and other minorities, but women in general. To this day old White male are still in majority in politics and having meetings on how to deal with female reproduction. None of these men have vaginas. Your privilege as a straight white male also comes with a curse that people like me recognizes what your kind has done globally. Colonizing, stealing lands, raping women, converting other religions. I could go on with all the barbaric **** white male of the past has done and all of u still have that mentality of "were better than you" because you're the majority. U can never put ourselves in any minorities shoe because you'll never understand how struggle. On the upside, more and more white people see this and are now turning the tides, empowering other cultures, and people of color thru their games. Stop shoving your white male privilege next time. We get it. Ur bothered that u have to play as a black guy in gta san Andreas or a woman in mirrors edge, but u can't escape your privilege. You'll be haunted by it for as long as you live now that people are more aware of it.
  • You can take this and jump in a lake. That is the most horriblyt stupid thing I have read on the Internet, or close to it. If you think for a second I am going to accept bearing the sins of someone I know nothing of and have no support for, you can expect me to hold you accountable for each and every bit of sin from your race and gender. You are saying the most hypocriotically racist, sexist thing humanly possible--that my race and gender condemn me as a criminal, and that I must atone for things that I have never done. I'm sure you have plenty of hate for Donald Trump, so know this: What you just said is preceisely the mentality that got him elected. It is the precise mentality that has me look at these things and say, "you know what? I'm fine being called a racist anad sexist if those labels are coming from such woefully ignorant people." What you say ends up having no weight or value to me becuase it is abundantly clear you are the exact type of racist you think you are fighting against. You essentially just admitted white men are a plague that need punished for their skin color and sex. It's imbecilic nonsense, and yet you're so insane you think it's a logical, intelligent response. Take a hike, you're a complete hypocrite. You are the cause of the backlash against all form of "progressive" thought. You are the living emobidment of everything that is hated about excessively liberal ideologies. You are the epitome of why race and gender realtions are a compelte joke in society. You are everything I am speaking out against, and I will take not an ounce of responsibility for things I never did, just because you're dumb enough to think I'm responsibile. I never played a second of San Andres you buffoon. You know why? In part, it's because I abhor the way they portray women through prostitution--as a toy that can be played with and put down at will. Yet, I'm sure you think it's a great game. I don't care the race of the cahracter I play, until it's clear the race is chosen for an agenda. I'm haunted by nothing but the complete idiocy of people like you who are an embarrassment to everything they stand for. You are your own worst enemy and will never make anything in society better when you project your hate onto others like that.
  • It's a damn video game. Get over it. If the developer wants to put in Female characters, so be it. Nobody is forcing you to play as one (although the VAST majority of female characters you will come across are actually nerd-boys in their basement. That is the way it is in EVERY other video game anyway.)
    If you want "realism" what they REALLY need to include is huge quantities of dead civilians you would come across, men, women, and children. Also, **** Death Camps, Prisons, and yes, child-soldiers, oh! and the 1 in 10 possibility you will be killed by "Friendly Fire" or not even make it overseas as you die in training, or drown on a transport that is sunken by a U-Boat (or your own aircraft.) Or the 30% chance you contract a terrible disease and either die in the combat zone or have to be transferred back home. How about losing a limb and being handicapped for the rest of your life? SO MUCH FUN!
    Is that what you want in a video game? That level of "realism"? No. I didn't think so.
    You "Rivet-Counters" totally destroyed the air-combat games with your insistence on "realism" to the point that it took 25 mins and a 100-point checklist to even start the engine on your aircraft, and the genre died out because of it.
    If they do something you don't like DON'T BUY THE GAME. The rest of us won't miss you.
  • "If you want "realism" what they REALLY need to include is huge quantities of dead civilians you would come across, men, women, and children." Note: I wouldn't be against this. I have no issue with using games to present the true magnitude of the topic being covered. I have no problem with deciding to do that in a war-based game, just as it would happen in a movie.
  • History and science no longer matters!! What a shame...
  • Lol at all of the people talking about history... 1. Its a video game 2. Its a video game that includes Aliens and Zombies. So i say we take out the Zombies mode along with the women and then also make you walk from each battle to the next in real time as i dont think real life had cut scenes and fast travel. Single player and Multiplayer you only get one life and then you cant ever play again, gun accuracy needs to be altered dramatically down and then i think were just about to the accuracy everyone seems so obsessed with all of the sudden. Or we can just all grow up and realize that its a video game and the inclusion of playable women will alter your gaming experience in absolutely ZERO ways, unless you really just hate women, in which case i suppose it might...
  • Personally I prefer games where I can play a female character, because it's easier to relate, and I'm more likely to buy them. When there are female characters I feel like the game is for me as much as it is for anyone else. Maybe a lot of guys don't realize how unwelcoming tech culture can be toward women. That's not even counting the special jerks who actively try to drive women away because they want gaming or Windows news forums or tech in general to be some kind of macho virtual haven for men only. I don't know, but I really appreciate this change and I appreciate this article.
  • My mother started in tech back in the 60's and in all the places I've worked, gender parity & camaraderie have never been an issue. You may find online misogynistic groups chase down articles like this but it's of no use because they'll always get more down votes against proving the world is slowly changing for the better. 
  • I've been reading Windows Central for years and the impression I always get from reading the comments is that it never occurs to most people that there might be women reading their posts, or even that there are women who might be interested in Windows.
  • Thanks! That's very good to hear. :)
  • Are you suggesting the tech culture is made up of a bunch of sexist, burly, alpha males? You do realize that most of the tech culture is made up of nerds and geeks - both male and female?
  • Females are still an extreme minority in the games industry, unless you're talking about PR.
  • What does that have to do with anything? My comments were in regard to the statement" Maybe a lot of guys don't realize how unwelcoming tech culture can be toward women."   To address the comment about females being a minority in the gaming industry, perhaps the reason is they just don't like this field as much as men. We can't make females as interested in gaming as males. Should we make it a law that all businesses need to hire an equal male:female ratio? Considering that females actually outnumber males in the world, it might leave more females unemployed than males Perhaps that law would then be sexist as it impacts females more than males.
  • Waiting for the female jihadists to start demanding some screen time. Hey, at least their avatars could double as a guy in a burqa.
  • Idk about female characters but lots of games really lack a breadth of facial and hair options for black characters something i have 'struggled' with from time to time. I just want a fro man.
  • I dont really care about lady characters in multiplayer. Its not bad that there isnt female characters in the campaign. Women really didnt have a role in the front lines. They still have a very few front line roles. It makes sense why they wouldnt. This is not an issue
  • I dont care if women are in the game or not. I dont play it. I stopped because every other word was the F-word coming out of their mouth and when I have family and friends over I dont want to have to play a game with headphones on to limit that talk. But the fact of the matter is some people started playing CoD (the original) for the realism and historical accuracy. They have every right to complain about it changing. Its unfair to tell them what to think because to you its just about fun. And its unfair to lump them into the camp of the "sexually harassing female players, or uglier actions like threatening and doxing female developers and critics, the gaming industry is no stranger to the ugliness of chauvinism, misogyny, and sociopathy." "With so many strong reasons for them to be in the game, we all need to make peace with that." Again, no we dont. Its not a need. People dont have to make peace with it. Some people dont have to make peace with it because thats what they wanted. I actually dont mind women in the game nor do I mind the developers doing it. But to paint all the objectors into a corner and labelling them is not fair and not accurate.
  • When did Call of Duty EVER have realism or historical accuracy?
  • Historical accuracy has clearly been the focus since Infinite Warfare. ;)
  • I'm not going to address any comments already posted. I'm not going to opine directly. I'll just say I'm a feminist and I co-majored in 20th Century European history, although at this points it seems as though I wrote papers using chisel on stone. Computers then were things you fed punch cards in order to get them to spew out anything. Anyway, it doesn't make me an expert, but at least it does give me a basic understanding of what took place. I'll add a caution: women are traditionally under-recorded in history, glaringly so at times. Our efforts are too often downplayed, and even today films tend to show a man has to save us. No game is going to recreate things as they were in place, time, or circumstance. I doubt we can programme for desperation, for any extreme manifestation of emotion that one would experience in war. Lighten up and have fun playing the game. Have a drink for me.
  • Great comment. Cheers!
  • you're not going to treat the women politely though.  you're going to gun them down and teabag their virutal corpse...
  • That sort of thing doesn't happen in Souls games PvP. The slayer typically bows, preys or raises a pint. Classy players for a classy game.
  • Thanks for throwing in token 'arguments against' (that you then immediately discounted) just so you could pretend this was an even-handed piece.
  • LOL, teabag their corpse. Thanks for the idea.
  • Great to have Female char models, hope they look good & sexy! :p Cant wait to play this new COD: WW2
  • Pretty sure they're going to be decked out in military gear and look almost identical to the males.
  • Take your SJW bullshit to Buzzfeed/HuffPo/Whatever other Fakestream Media converged intersectionalised hellhole you came from.  
  • You should put a little more thought into your comments if you wish to continue commenting here.
  • Must be nice having that white male privilege.
  • .
  • Oh look, political correctness comes to gaming and Windows Central, what a surprise LOL
  • I'd think its more crucial to play as another nationality person who participated for so much longer in the war than either gender of Americans. Just like you do in BF1. Just saying.
  • But women are more frightening than zombies to many men. Just look at what happens after divorce.
  • Lol, why are people trying to force women into this stuff? Women and men like different things. Of course you'll have some women joining in but don't be frightened to learn that most won't care.
  • After hearing about this gynocentric crap that COD is doing, I will not be buying anymore COD games. Every time you purchase an item, you are casting a vote for that item. COD deserves no more votes and that goes for every company that is guilty of this. Enough is enough, I am absolutely tired of people thinking that it is alright to push their political agenda on me.
  • No one's pushing an agenda, and your comment is illogical. :-\
  • If the game is about realistic combat from WWII, then women should not be playable. If it's WWII meets Zombies, then do whatever you want.
  • Women didn't fight. So no they shouldn't be playable. At least if its trying to be accurate. If its a complete fantasy game then yeah put women in. I won't even play the game as its just another yearly boring military FPS. To be honest I don't care what race it sex characters are if its fantasy based. Historically accurate games or films though should have proper race/sex.
  • I really, but really, don't care.
  • "No, that doesn't mean you should come on to girl players or harass them. They want to be treated the same way you do, or maybe even more politely than you expect people to treat you. And while I've geared this point towards men who are attracted to women, it also applies to people who aren't. Whatever you're into, interacting with different kinds of people is good for you." I'm cringing. This reads like a turbo-neckbeard's Reddit ramblings, not a WC editor.
  • Rather than making baseless insults, perhaps you should question why the idea of interacting with women and not harassing them bothers you so much.
  • Someone has to make the tea..
  • So, agree with me, or you're a **** basically? That's pretty much the only thing in this article I disagree with, the intolerance to diversity of opinion. Not really cool.
  • You know that's a good point some others bring up regarding historical accuracy - a game like this pretty much glamourizes war. Wouldn't an accurate game try to capture the hopeless tragedy, the comraderie, the PTSD, disease, injury, piles of dead cilivians, and all that? It might not be a best seller, but then again, it might be highly rated.
  • this article reads like a huffington post article.... pathetic.... basically saying if you don't agree with me then you are a bigot..... so sad... multiplayer zombies i don't care do what you want but if they make a female lead character storming the beach of Normandy then this game can go to hell.....
  • Perhaps you should read the article more closely, as it says nothing of the sort.
  • forgive him. he's only a puppy. with a few grammatical issues too. aahhh. :)
  • Or maybe read the artice at all, which I very much doubt he did.
  • Does anyone care?  Really.  If it's historically accurate, sure.  If they change genders, or do it for the Civil War, absolutely not.  Not sure how many women were soldiers in 1860.  You're disguising ads for CoD WWII by trying to get the Ghostbusters remake haters.  You really don't get why people didn't like that, do you?  Ghostbusters 2016 was/is terrible because they did it ONLY based on gender.  They could have easily done the cartoon Ghostbusters, where it's a much more diverse crowd.  They could have also simply not done the misandrist jokes.  Ghostbusters I and II, even the actual video game with the original cast as voice actors, had women as actual humans.  The secretary kept them going, and was implied to be smart on the level of Egon.  People hated the remake because they put Thor as a moron because they felt they should.  No one cares about women in CoD WWII either way, so stop trying to make everything about gender, and get subliminal ads.
  • If you don't want women in your multiplayer, there are plenty of other games that don't have them. I'm glad to see COD include them.
  • what a fabulous idea. congratulations CoD.
  • I don't see what the fuss is about. While women weren't very active in WW2 on US or German side, they were extremely active on Soviet side. Some of the best snipers were women and majority of field medics were also women.
  • Probably a bad idea to have a conversation on this topic. People, in general, can't handle civil conversation anymore.
  • That doesn't mean you give up. A small but loud minority of hateful people don't represent humanity as a whole.
  • Paul why do you waste your time writing this for a website about. "windows"  is it okay anywhere?  If not it's click bate and asking for arguments. I didn't but the last two code women won't make me but this one!  Your not helping... Sell harder waste my money and come back to cod?
  • Let's take the premise of this article and explore it. I played the Tomb Raider series of games quite a lot. When I played as Lara Craft, did I feel like I wsh the character was a male so I could identfy better? Nope, I didn't give a rat's arse. I guess that makes me an insensitive, sexist, male shovinist pig? Was I suppose to identify personally with my character or just play the game? I am confused about when I should care about things and when it is not OK to care about things anymore.
  • As explained in the article, as a male, you have the opportunity to play as a character of the same gender in far, far more games than females. Nor does a game in which players do not select or customize characters really compare to one in which they do. Not to mention the fact, backed by empirical evidence, that female gamers prefer to play as female characters, also explained in the article. Empathy is awesome; I promise. ;)
  • As a father of three daughters, I assure you I can empathize with quite a bit of sh*t that I don't even fully understand. I do know that females prefer to play females. I don't even oppose having females into the game in some manner is OK. That being said why is it socially acceptable to infer that it is sexist to state a game about history needs to be historically accurate? I would argue the game might be made purpossfully historically inaccurate in order to advance a current timeline's social agenda. The only constant is facts. Social agendas change through generations. It will be diffferent in 10 years and again in 20, etc. The facts of what things were like in history won't. You might notice, noone has a problem with games in space, alternate, or fantasy universes having prodominate female characters. The only time is really is a sensitve topic is when historical facts are changed.
  • Did you read the editorial? I'm not arguing that we should be able to play as females in the campaign, although I can imagine scenarios in which that wouldn't clash with history. But multiplayer is divorced from the story, and it makes a lot more sense to play as females there. As for today's social agenda versus that of the 1940s, one is a lot better for your daughters than the others. I'll leave it to you to decide which. I certainly want my own daughter to have the opportunity to enjoy as many games as possible, regardless of the notion of historical accuracy (which, again, does not trump all other concerns).
  • I read the article. Did you read in my last reply where I stated I don't oppose having females in the game in some manner? It's true. I also understand the concern about bastardization of historical facts, too. I emphathize with that opinion, as well. That arguement has merit and should not be shoved aside with the inference of sexism. That is all I am saying.
  • 1. If you're getting tripped up over "historical accuracy" you shouldn't be playing call of duty. The game has a zombies mode and the chat is filled with kids who claim to have had relations with your mom. Historical accuracy is not what the game is for. Even more silly is that it actually is being historically accurate, women were involved in the war in various capacities.  2. Inclusion isn't that important to me but that's probably because as a straight white male I've had representation in nearly every piece of media that has come out ever. If people want to play as a female character, let them. It doesn't impact you at all. Well written article on something that shouldn't be controversial at all.
  • Character customization is always a good thing
  • Game developers should have added women playable characters in campaign and multiplayer loooong time ago. It makes zero business sense to not include them. That's not saying studios haven't made games with female protagonists i.e Perfect Dark by Rare is a well known classic but there aren't many compared to games with male protagonists.
  • Extremely well written article and I agree with all your points. Interesting that stuff like this causes such an uproar.
  • Cheers mate. Enjoyed it Paul. Always a good bloody read. I agree there should be a representation but at the same time it's another unnecessary equality flag. It's getting to the point where "it's cool" to have the gay couple or it's only added to garner better sales for the sake of sales. I agree that Zombies is way out of reality, but that gamemode is intended to be so. The campaign would feel unauthentic without a few women in some role. But the multiplayer would not benefit from such...I know...the Axis lost, but not every battle, in fact they battered the majority of Europe for many years before being pushed back. So that is not an argument I can justify. I feel this could be better solved by removing the customisability card here... instead have a percentage of the randomly generated character models be women...a low realistic percentage. Then if one pops up in your game it would feel factual and not forced. The argument that there are not enough female protagonists in games over the last 20 years is a valid one but simply consider that of the last 20 years... the vast majority of gamers have been men. When that is your audience you cater for it.
  • What a wonderfully written article Paul. Loved reading it. I really can't agree more with your points. Especially as it's just MP we are talking about. Let people, whoever they are, have fun!
  • If they added female characters in multiplayer to COD 2, COD 3, or World at War, it would be a non-issue. Adding them them back in those games it would have seemed genuine. Today, in 2017, it just seems like a cheap attempt to keep a few online social justice warrioriors off their back.