NHL 12 will allow players to customize their own female character, thanks to a 14 year old hockey player who is a huge fan of the major league sport.
14-year-old Lexi Peters of North Tonawanda, NY was frustrated at not being able to create a player with her own likeness within NHL 11's player editor, while her younger brother was able to, simply because there was no option to have a female player. “My younger brother got to create a character that looked just like him. I had never been able to experience that," she said.
Peters wrote to Electronic Arts expressing her frustration, telling them; "It is unfair to women and girl hockey players around the world, many of them who play and enjoy your game. I have created a character of myself, except I have to be represented by a male and that’s not fun.”NHL 12 lead producer David Littman was moved by her letter, saying “Lexi’s letter was a wake-up call... Here’s a growing audience playing our NHL game and we hadn’t done anything to capture them.” Her letter motivated the team to add the option to make female players, and even included Peters herself, though the virtual Lexi Peters was given pigtails the real Peters did not have.
The option was applauded by Manon Rhéaume, the only woman to ever play in the real-world NHL: “It’s a big change and it’s exciting to see, because so many girls pay hockey now."
NHL 12 was released this past Tuesday, September 13th, for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.