The news that the upcoming FIFA 16 will feature a fully-functional Women's Team mode seems to be the only saving grace for the world football governing body this week. As you may already know, the football fraternity received a major blow after nine Fifa officials were charged with corruption.
EA Sports' FIFA series is easily one of the majorly popular gaming franchises in the industry, but the inclusion of a separate women's mode will surely add glamour to both the new game and the developer.
With the new changes in place, we are set to welcome as many as 12 international women's teams, including Canada, England, Brazil, Spain and Germany. If the inclusion of the Canadian national team confuses you, remember the country is set to host the upcoming Women's World Cup that starts next month.
If you follow the game regularly, season after season, you should also be familiar with the kind of stick women have to go through during the game. For instance, take the ever-popular Barclay's Premier League, where Chelsea doctor and medic Eva Carnerio is often greeted with cruel jibes from travelling supporters.
Most of these jibes aren't even related to the game or for that matter, "she represents my rival team". On the contrary, most of the jeers come due to two reasons: "She's a woman, let's pick on her", and "This is a man's game and you have no role in it".
In the last 100 years, even though we have achieved so much in almost every field and said to have "evolved" as better human beings, our minds are still stuck to a sort of medieval era when women were burnt on charges of being a witch or a voodoo priestess.
If the Eva Carnerio issue isn't a big deal for you, let us remind you about the ghastly incident several weeks ago when Canada City News reporter Shauna Hunt took matters in her own hands after being harassed on Live TV, when a group of supporters shouted "f**k her right in the p****" down the camera while she was previewing a Toronto FC match outside the stadium.
However, Shauna showed her steadfast nature during the entire ordeal and got back at the men in a beffiting manner. Following this, the video (see below) went viral and the guy, who was caught saying "You're lucky you don't get a vibrator in your ear", was sacked from his job.
But sadly, not all women are as bold as Shauna and have to bear the brunt of the male-dominated society, day in and day out. That's just modern day football for you.
In fact, the problem of rampant sexual harassment is more widespread and ugly than you think; such instances are more pronounced towards online female gamers.
According to a survey conducted by Emily Matthew over on the Pricecharting blog, as recorded via VG247, it was found that 80% of the 874 respondents believed sexism was rampant in the gaming community, while 35% have been at the receiving end of sexual harassment while playing online.
Matthew's study found that women were harassed four times more than men, and 63% of women even reported being called a "c*nt, bitch, slut, and whore." Others said they were threatened with sexual assault, or asked for sexual favours, apart from all the stereotypical comments regarding female gender roles in the society.
It was also assumed that most of these comments included (but were not limited to) stuff like: "go make me a sandwich" or "get back in the kitchen and make me some pie." Absolutely disgraceful!
"Women were also much more likely to quit playing a game because of sex-based harassment than were men," the report stated. "35.8% of women reported having quit playing temporarily because of sexism, and 9.6% reported that they quit playing a certain game permanently because of harassment," the survey found.
Following up on all those reports, the addition of a Women's Team mode in the upcoming FIFA will surely be a welcome gesture to restore women's honour in the gaming fraternity. There are a number of female players online (I know a few, personally) who actually play it better than their male counterparts.
FIFA 16's Women's Team mode is almost perfect, and we feel they should include a mode where a women's team gets to play and fight against its "more dominant" male counterparts, although that may not happen anytime soon.
The mode may not do much in terms of restoring women's honour in the gaming world, since there were and always will be morons who think a woman's role should only be limited to the kitchen. But it's a start and will surely make a few of them sit up and take notice.