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EA Sports NHL 2012 Will Add First Female Avatar

EA Sports NHL 2012 Will Add First Female Avatar

 

Thanks to Title IX, and the continued focus on the value of athletics globally, sports like ice hockey now have a loyal base of female fans and athletes. But if you played any of the video game versions of those sports you would never know women and girls played hockey, let alone video games. That’s because in-game avatars in games like the EA Sports NHL series, for example, are fully customizable so long as you don’t mind being represented by a man.

That’s about to change, thanks to a letter from 14-year-old Lexi Peters of Buffalo, New York. Lexi, a hockey fan and gamer, wanted to know why girl gamers couldn’t create avatars that actually looked like them. So she wrote a letter to EA Sports to find out.

In her letter Lexi pointed out that it is “unfair to women and girl hockey players around the world, many of them who play and enjoy your game. I have created a character of myself, except I have to be represented by a male and that’s not fun.”

EA responded and told Lexi it couldn’t add female avatars to the game because the National Hockey League has to approve all changes. But somewhere after that response Lexi’s letter made it all the way up the chain of command. Impressed with Lexi’s letter, and persuaded by her reasoning that it is just bad for business, a change was made and now EA Sports will add female avatars to NHL 12.

Not only will Lexi now have a female avatar to use as a character base, EA asked if it could use her likeness for the default female player.  NHL Lead Producer David Littman called the letter a “wake-up” call for the business who was completely ignoring a growing female gamer audience, let alone the growing number of female hockey players. According to Hockey Canada, roughly 5000 women in the country played the sport in 1990, compared to more than 100,000 today.

EA Sports NHL 12 comes out in North America on September 13 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Photo from BillBrine via flickr.

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22 comments

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8:10PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Would be nice if it was more super womanish

7:50AM PDT on Oct 3, 2011

good for her

7:49AM PDT on Oct 3, 2011

Hockey is not popular at all in my country, Greece. But I applaud Lexi for her achievement. Did she accept to "pose" for the first female avatar?

3:10PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Yay for you, Lexi!

8:02AM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

Good for you, Lexi!

10:15AM PDT on Sep 15, 2011

AWESOME! MY SONS PLAYED ICE HOCKEY IN HIGH SCHOOL. WE HAD ONE YOUNG GIRL ON OUR TEAM AND PLAYED A FEW THAT ALSO HAD SOME LADIES. IT'S ABOUT TIME!

5:42AM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

Thank you.

8:26PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

This is awesome. =)

6:21PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Good for you, Lexi! And she probably wouldn't wear a stupid shirt that says "Allergic to algebra", or "Too pretty to do homework"...

5:28PM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

Go Lexi! She must be some letter writer! She must have been so impassioned to point out the truth like that. I wish they would mix the sports up a little, I love world soccer, love it! Brazil, Argentina, Spain, but it's all played by men, with male officials and referees, all the players are male and I swear they can't kick the ball on target even though they earn 200 grand a week! And they cheat! They dive, pretend they were fouled, feign injury, lie and cheat!Half the game is in dead time! Then I watched the women's world cup soccer finals. It was great! They werent cheating, diving, arguing with the referees. It was great! The games flowed! After the games the referees said that they were exhausted because they had to run twice as much as in the male game because there were hardly any stoppages and less cheating. To me, that's how soccer is supposed to be. So nice one Lexi and I hope to see more mixed sports. I for one am sick of just looking at men posing. And I say that as a man who occasionally poses. Don't know if I made sense, but I like the article.

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