When reading through gaming news on Monday afternoon, I read that the whole setlist of the tracks in the upcoming Band Hero game had been released. I went to take a look to see what songs had made the cut, and was pleasantly surprised to see names of female singers or bands with female vocalists over and over throughout the list.
About one third of the songs in the game are sung by women, and they represent a variety of musical styles. Corinne Bailey Rae is there, as are Janet Jackson, No Doubt, Pat Benatar, and Taylor Swift, among others. While I enjoy playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band, most of the default songs in the game have always been from bands with male vocalists. But in the past few years, these titles have been at the forefront of social gaming, and found fans among both genders. Yet it wasn’t until now that there was a respectable number of songs there from female vocalists. Before, it felt a bit like tokenism. Perhaps seven or eight tracks out of fifty or sixty would feature women. It made it more difficult to find something in one’s vocal range if singing that round.
Maybe they realized the game appeals across gender lines. Maybe it was developers realizing that adding more songs by women wouldn’t alienate or weird out the male players. Maybe licensing came more easily this time around. Whatever the reason, I consider it progress and look forward to playing the game.