Recently there was a bit of kerfuffle on social media about the exclusion of Rey from the new Star Wars Monopoly game.
Many people were understandably upset that Hasbro would somehow have allowed the game to be produced without any female characters, especially without Rey, who is the central character of the film.
So OK. We should all be upset by this, and we should all be outraged that the omission of female characters, regardless of the reasons, is still common in the toy and game industry.
But here’s the thing: they’re not.
Not entirely, at least.
Let me first say that I love me some Star Wars, and I will almost always try to get my hands on games set in the Star Wars universe.
I was therefore first in line in 1987, when West End Games released the first Role-Playing game in 1987 (like Dungeons & Dragons, but set in the Star Wars universe).
I loved this game, and I still remember looking through the game and its supplements and seeing all of options for playing female characters – most that I hadn’t even considered.
So, in 1987 West End Games was encouraging me to play female characters from the Star Wars Universe.
The thing that’s doubly confusing to me is that the Star Wars games I currently play don’t just have representation of female characters, they have an abundance of female characters who are diverse, strong in different ways, and, overall, heroic.
It is absolutely expected now that images, descriptions, and examples in the games that I play provide players a wide and diverse range character types to imagine and play.