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NBA Live 18 proving representation matters

Last week it was announced that NBA Live 18 would include a mode to play as WNBA players. For female gamers, it is arguably a great step forward in representation.

Courtesy of Brad Hilderbrand

Get ready to play as your favorite WNBA players, because when NBA Live 18 is released before year’s end, you’ll be able to do just that.

EA Sports announced that players will be able to play as any of the 12 WNBA teams once the game is released.

While it is no doubt a cool feature, it’s a great move for representation. The bottom line is that women play video games. And per ESPN, EA Sports is recognizing those statistics.

"We've found that through research of a lot of different games in different genres that [both] men and women like playing as women," executive producer Sean O'Brien told ESPNW.

This was not lost on WNBA players themselves. The Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart tweeted that she played video games herself growing up, and was understandably excited for the news:

Kayla McBride of the San Antonio Stars posted a similar message on her Instagram page, saying that she too is a gamer:

this is actually pretty dope. i'm a gamer so it's lit. ☝ mama we made it. #canigetagoodratingtho?????

A post shared by Kayla McBride (@kaymac_21) on

Yes, video games are fun. And fans of both gaming and the WNBA will no doubt be eagerly anticipating the game’s release. But ultimately, this game could mean something more in the real world.

For girl gamers, especially those that are younger, it allows them to see women being successful in athletics, even if they have never tuned into a WNBA game before.

In the years to come, this decision may even bring more fans to the game. Maybe when young fans can dunk like Brittney Griner, it will make them want to see the real Griner in action.

It may even make some pick up a basketball in real life. Because if they can play the WNBA in a video game, why shouldn’t they dream about playing in the WNBA themselves down the line?

NBA Live 18 will be fun and games, but exposing more fans to all that the WNBA has to offer? That has the potential to make some serious strides down the road.