DURHAM, NC—After surveying hundreds of dungeons and arenas across an array of digital realms, a new report released Wednesday by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business found that women only made up 2.7 percent of video game bosses last year. “Despite changing perceptions in society at large, we found that in 2016, only one in approximately 50 female supervillains reported holding a leadership position in which she got to guard important artifacts or power-ups,” read the report in part, adding that even the most colossal cybernetic alien huntresses were far more likely to serve as minibosses or just minions in a larger swarm of enemies than the final combatant in a quest, much less an entire game. “Additionally, heroes only reported getting 79 percent as many coins for beating female bosses as they did male ones. While there are certainly some prominent female bosses, such as Vicar Amelia, the mummified wolf-deer hybrid beast from Bloodborne, there still remain many institutional barriers blocking female monsters, zombies, and supernatural assassins from advancing in their respective levels.” The report ultimately concluded that while change was possible, it would not come quickly and, in fact, may take several console generations.
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