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'Women pave their way': MLB video game to feature women for the first time with storyline about 'breaking barriers'
Image via @MLB/X (screenshot)

'Women pave their way': MLB video game to feature women for the first time with storyline about 'breaking barriers'

Major League Baseball and Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that they will include female players in the upcoming video game MLB the Show 24.

"Everyone has Major League dreams. Now it's your time to unlock them," the MLB said on X, announcing the tagline of "women pave their way."

The game announced that for the first time ever, "you can create and play as a female ballplayer." When using the character in the game's story mode, the female players will get a "unique-to-women storyline following a lifelong friendship as it develops in professional baseball."

The developers, San Diego Studio, said they took input from Kelsie Whitmore, who is the first female player in an MLB Partner League. A partnered league is not an affiliate of a major league team (as minor league teams are), rather it is an independent league meant to "collaborate with MLB on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities."

"This feature was inspired by the stories of women in baseball. Throughout history, women have been making waves in the sport," said the game's narrative designer, Mollie Braley. "These include legends such as Toni Stone, who was one of the first women ever to play professional baseball."

Stone played in the Negro League in the 1950s.

"Our team wanted to create something where dreams become a reality, and we felt like adding this to Road to the Show was the perfect opportunity that gave our players the option to experience this," Braley added. She also noted that developers carved out a pathway to include another female character in the game aside from the user, creating a "'buddy' character" for the first time.

Whitmore stated that she hoped that the game would "educate others that women/girls do play baseball and that they are capable of competing in this game at every level."

Braley explained that players would enjoy an "immersive experience" as they "break barriers on your way to the top."

Other video games related to major sports feature female players in their own leagues, such as the EA Sports FC and NHL franchises and the NBA 2K games.

Unlike soccer, hockey, and basketball however, there exist no top-tier professional women's baseball leagues that are available to reflect in MLB the Show 24.

The NFL's licensed Madden NFL is one of the last remaining major sports video games to not have any female characters ... for now.

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