Changing demographics are pushing the industry to new gender roles, says industry icon

The creator of Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda has spoken out on the 'damsel in distress' archetype he helped popularise in games.
Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto told Kotaku that the industry must be responsive to the increased demand for more playable female characters and be open to storylines that don't keep women locked in a castle.

"Even as far back as Mario Kart, we had females who wanted to be able to play as female characters and we obviously saw the addition of Princess Peach early on in that series," he said.
"And gradually, over time, we started to see the desire for other-balanced female characters."
The article noted that new games on the Wii U have more female characters for players to chose from, and Miyamoto said this means having women that aren't just the dainty sort portrayed by Princess Peach.