Game on for equal­ity

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Near You -

IN­CLUD­ING fe­male soc­cer play­ers in one of the world’s 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).

Video game de­vel­oper EA Sports re­cently an­nounced the Matil­das, cur­rently in Canada for the Women’s World Cup, were one of the 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 more than 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 Sa­man­tha 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.

Matil­das vice-cap­tain Kyah Simon said the team was ex­cited to be fea­tured in the game.

“I am a huge fan of the FIFA video game fran­chise and think this move will have such a pos­i­tive im­pact on the sport,” she said.

Katrina Gorry, Kyah Simon and Stephanie Cat­ley.

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