Let's go beyond the standard female protagonist discussion for a minute.
I have no problem with them and I never have. Do I believe it's wrong to force a certain gender into a game simply for the sake of political correctness, despite the fact that it doesn't fit with the theme or narrative at all? Nope. See, I actually support equality, not any of this illogical, hypocritical affirmative action garbage.
But I've never shied away from games with strong female characters. In fact, in all forms of entertainment, female characters tend to be my favorites; hell, my top 3 literary characters are all female. And I loved the revamped Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot. Lo and behold, a real female and not a Barbie Doll! And the more we see realistic characters – both male and female – in gaming, the happier I'll be. All fiction can use caricatures and exaggerations for the purpose of satire or flat-out comedy, but we should have a balance.
That all being said, I'm wondering if guys actually play their adventures differently if they're assuming the role of a female. I've heard some say they're more careful; i.e., they aren't as aggressive and they don't take as many rash chances. Is it the instinctual male protective gene kicking in? Perhaps. To take that to another level, what if the woman we're playing as wasn't physically attractive? Does our protective instinct wane a bit? And are we even noticing how we're approaching the gameplay when we play as a female?
When playing Tomb Raider , I can honestly say I don't think I approach it any differently than if I was playing Uncharted with Nathan Drake. And it's because that once I get started, I almost completely ignore the sex of the character. I'm focused on other things, after all. I'll notice the gender during story scenes, of course, but in the midst of a firefight, I really don't acknowledge the difference at all. If I think I can charge someone and take 'em out, I'll do it; doesn't matter if I'm using Lara or Nathan. For me, it's just a respect issue: If you're out there in this mess, I expect you to be capable of dealing with it, regardless of sex. If you can do it, fine. If not, you can't be out there. Simple.
Hence, if Lara is out there battling away, she should be able to handle it and so, I push her as I'd push any dude. What about you?