Considering that there were entire decades during which females in video games were treated as prizes to be won or poorly rendered spank material (or both), it doesn't seem like it'd be all that controversial to point out gaming has had a bit of a sexism problem. It's not just the obvious and superficial character stuff, like how they thought we couldn't root for Lara Croft unless she had huge pointy breasts; there are entire missions and storylines so cringe-worthy that it's hard to believe they didn't get vetoed at the idea stage. For example ...
5 The Witcher -- Collect Tacky Cards To Remember Your One-Night Stands
The Witcher 3 will go down as one of the greatest games that lets you have incredibly uncomfortable-looking sex on a wooden unicorn ever made. But while the latest incarnation and its predecessor have zero qualms about showing nudity on-screen, the original took an alternate approach to titillation.
There are over 20 sexual encounters in The Witcher, and in every one the camera discreetly pans away from the action while the sound of a voice actress half-heartedly pretending to enjoy sex plays. But don't despair, horny gamer! When the deed is done you're rewarded with a "romance card" emblazoned with a saucy image of the girl you were just with.
Or a nightmare-inducing image.
You can look at the cards whenever you want to remind yourself of the magical evening you had with memorable characters like Nurses, Half-Elf Woman, and Town Hall Clerk. It creates an insulting "Gotta Catch, Fuck, And Then Ignore 'Em All" attitude toward the game's women, because what chance does monogamy have in the face of a video game collectible?
This town has a very unusual form of bureaucracy.
To further embarrass fans into wondering if maybe they should have gone to their friend's party instead, you get to get it on with mystical creatures like a Wood Nymph and have a foursome with vampires, and not the sexy kind.
They're the nightmarish, gravity-defying kind.
They aren't sustained romances or even casual hook-ups at ye olde bar. Pickup artists have a less denigrating view of female sexuality than whoever designed these encounters -- multiple women will drop their old-timey trousers immediately after you rescue them, because nothing turns a girl on like surviving a rape attempt. Others will sleep with you in exchange for insultingly trivial gifts. One trades trysts for tulips, and you can use flowers from the dead body of her old lover that's lying on the side of the road. We're guessing a lot of the programmers' relationships didn't survive the long hours of development, and they found some weird ways to work through that.
"Who's having threesomes in front of horribly diseased men now, Susan?"
4 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- Take Time Off From Slaying Dragons To Do Some Slut-Shaming
Anyone who spent even a little time playing Skyrim has a story to tell of their epic deeds. Maybe they'll regale you with a tale of battling mighty frost trolls high in the mountains, or tell of how they forged a magical sword that's powered by the souls of their fallen enemies. They're less likely to brag about the time they slut-shamed a woman for sleeping with too many dudes.
In the city of Riften you meet an innkeeper named Haelga and her niece, Svana. Svana complains that Haelga has been sleeping with some of her customers in the name of Dibella, the goddess of love. She's unamused that her aunt's getting more action than she is, so she charges you to find proof that she's sleeping around and "rub her nose in it," because Svana is bad at phrasing. You immediately agree to help her out, because it's not like you have anything better to do in a world in the middle of a dragonocalypse.
That's right after she calls her "disgusting." You're kind of saying more about your own
hang-ups than anything else, Svana.
Haelga, being the sentimental sort, gives her partners a "mark of Dibella" to remember her by (they're basically commemorative sex tokens), and your job is to steal them. If you're stealthy enough, you can simply pickpocket the marks, because there's no better way to prove that a woman is a creep than by breaking into people's homes and stealing their possessions. If stealth isn't your style, you can charm or intimidate the men into admitting they enjoy having sex. All three immediately throw Haelga under the wagon by blaming her turbo-sluttiness for confounding their judgment, though their love letters beg to differ.
"Wonderful nights of mutual passion? Not in my Skyrim!"
You then show the marks to Haelga and tell this single business owner to stop having sex with whomever she chooses, or else the populace will learn about it and run her out of town in a puritanical outrage. Once this shameful harlot is put in her place, you can return to Svana and be rewarded for embarrassing her promiscuous aunt, and Riften can go back to being a city where sex is a grim duty. Another mighty quest completed by the hero of Skyrim, one the bards will sing of 'til the end of time!
"Press 'X' to call her 'Hoelga.'"