My name is Varun Raj, I am 18 years old - I have been an avid gamer for years now, heres my say. I've come across your little article about signs of gender discrimination in gaming, I'll have to inform to you that video gaming in India at the moment is a male dominant industry so do expect some hitches when it comes to "female leads/characters". Not that there are no games comprising a decent female lead/character, they do exist, here are a few - Alyx Vance from the famous Half-Life Series - Alyx Vance is an adventure freak, she is pretty much like out partner through out Half Life 2, episode 1 and episode 2. The game provides decent time to connect with the character and mind you, don't expect her to have a revealing personality.
Jade from the Beyond Good and Evil Series - Jade was a determined and adventurous person, she played the role of a journalist in the Beyond Good and Evil Series, her goal was to save/rescue orphans and expose the government's corruption.Faith from the Mirror's Edge Series - Faith is somewhat similar to Jade, basically she is a messenger - The game is pretty much like Prince of Persia in a modern day setting with a first person perspective - something which was never attempted until this game.
Most Role Playing Games (both Japanese and Western) - give the character a chance to take the place of a female lead with a gripping story line and great gameplay.Developers behind the famous "Mass Effect" series even claimed that 4 out of 5 gamers play "Mass Effect" the wrong way i.e. many gamers chose the male lead(Commander Shepherd) rather than the far better female lead. Video Games will feature better and a more decent female lead if the developers take notice of the growing female gamer population - there is no need for you/anyone else to jump to conclusions regarding female discrimination in gaming yet.