After “Fifa”, the game series “NBA 2K” has its first female cover star. The basketball player Candace Parker is not to be seen everywhere.
Candace Parker may not be a household name in this country, but in the USA and especially among basketball fans she is a superstar. The 35-year-old is one of the best players of her generation, has twice won the prestigious MVP title as best player in the WNBA women’s league and has won two Olympic gold medals. Now there is a new record.
Parker is the first woman to appear on the cover of the video game “NBA 2K22”. This is an overdue and important decision on the part of the Electronic Arts game studio. After all, women not only have a difficult time in the big sports such as football or basketball, but also in video games – if they are not playing the main role.
“The cover of ‘NBA 2K’ is such an important platform for inspiring young ballers, and I wanted future WNBA stars to know that they too could be cover athletes, “Parker said in a statement. “Representation is important, so this is a special moment of progress for the sport and the series. Being part of this historic cover is a testament to the growth and popularity of women’s sports. “
There have only been female basketball players in “NBA 2K” for two years
In fact, women’s teams in sports games have always had a hard time getting into the game at all. Only in the last few years has there been any movement in terms of equality – and equality. In the soccer series “Fifa”, for example, women’s teams were only introduced in 2015, in “Fifa 16” the American Alex Morgan was the first cover star. For “Fifa 19” there was also a free add-on for the women’s world championship. One year later Female players also appeared for the first time in “NBA 2K”.
Nevertheless there is criticism. It is said that women are still underrepresented in the games because no national teams, but usually only national teams are included. Players who might like to play their favorite women’s club will go away empty-handed. Obviously, it is not worthwhile for the developers to spend money on the rights of women’s teams and their animation, because it is assumed that only a few gamers will ultimately play these teams. This may be a financially understandable decision, but it promotes the structural inequalities between men’s and women’s sports.
In the case of “NBA 2K22” too, Candace Parker tends to play a supporting role. Your cover is only available as a special edition and only in the USA. The title of the standard version features two-time NBA star Luka Dončić.
Parker himself is nevertheless satisfied. “I think it’s a benchmark for women’s basketball for sure, ”she says. “Above all, it speaks for the visibility and for this, how important the WNBA is. Not only for little girls, but also little boys and young men.“