INCLUDING female soccer players in one of the worlds most successful video game franchises is a step towards the equal representation of women in games, according to the Australian Womensport and Recreation Association (AWRA).
At the turn of the month, video game developer EA Sports announced the Matildas – currently in Canada for the Women’s World Cup – were one of 12 women’s national teams to be included in the brand’s FIFA soccer game to be released in September.
It will be the first time female teams have been included in the annual release.
The current edition of the game, which hit stores in 2014, has sold well in excess of 10 million copies, meaning there is scope for a significant exposure boost for the female game.
While team line-ups have not been released yet, former Spearwood resident and current Australian co-captain Lisa De Vanna is likely to be in the game, along with Perth Glory players featuring at the World Cup.
That includes Samatha Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Mackenzie Arnold.
AWRA executive officer Leanne Evans said it showed there was growing demand for female athletes to be represented for their sporting abilities, especially coming off the back of the World Cup where player profiles “are set to balloon”.
“I think it’s a precursor to what is to come and weaves into the issue of gender equality in games with regard to female in-game characters and female game developers, as well as in sport,” she said.
“For me this is a step towards addressing the issue of female under-representation and a move towards female athletes getting full recognition for their efforts on the field.”