Women in games
Every minute of every day we choose. Who we are, who we forgive, who we defend and protect. To choose a side or to walk the line, to play the middle or to straddle the fence between what is and what should be. When I began researching this article I came in search of something I did not believe existed, but I’ve stayed on in spite of myself, in spite of everything I’ve ever held to be true, among these new-found truths is the stark realisation that: Gaming is no longer man’s domain!
‘Gamergate’ is a deep seeded blemish on our cultures recent past. I’d like to congratulate the culprits that have fed this culture for decades. On succeeding where so many before you have failed. A bullet between the eyes would’ve been preferable to this charade, I’ve learned to pretend over the years. Pretend that my victories mattered only to realise that no one was keeping score. To realise that racists and bigots do not fear the truth, so long as there is enough fear of them in this world. That the devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil is a collaboration of men that are given unchecked authority, that fear losing that power, who are willing to go against their biological instincts in a vain attempt to keep that power, selling their souls to remain in control. What dark work goes on inside the impossible brains that have ruled the industry since its inception…
There is one thing that I take great comfort in, we are living in increasingly enlightened times. Rare are theories, notions and opinions considered with a race or gender attachment. we are embracing those whose minds differ from our own, and those who fail to embrace change, the passage of time imprisons us not in a cell of brick and mortar, but in one of regret for words and actions born of fear. only to discover that in facing the past you must face up to yourself. And exiting the prison of time doesn’t free you from the prison of your own character, one from which there is no escape.
We live in a darkness of our own making, we are blind to habitants of this world, all but unseen by us. A world of beings traveling through time and space with us, who are imaginable to us only as flights of fancy. Who are these beings we dare to imagine but through fear, dare not accept?
To quote my previous article “We create stories to entertain, to amaze and because we want to teach. we educate others because of our ability to empathise with them, we recognise anguish, suffering and joy in people. Regardless of skin colour, gender or religious and political beliefs. We mirror ourselves on others and we see ourselves in them or what they will become, it comes as a biological imperative to share, this allows us to evolve into something greater, making informed decisions based on knowledge not fear”
When we dismiss ideas based on gender or race, we are also limiting ourselves to the thoughts in our own heads, to our own viewpoints unable to share with the outside world, because they have not the benefit of perspective. Therefore, doing so diminishes our capacity for understanding, growth and learning. We can never be exposed to ideas and values that challenge our own, that force us to seek new things. Ideas that dare to defy the status quo and concepts that advocate change.
If I am a guilty man, my crime is in daring to believe, that storytelling will out and that racism and sexism cannot live forever. I still believe. Greater than lies the truth wants to be known. You will know it. It’ll come to you, as it’s come to me, faster than the golden chocobo. You may believe yourselves rid of your headache now, and maybe you are, but you’ve only done it by cutting off your own heads.
Women mostly have been used in gaming as comic relief, the damsel in destress or more over a curvy coding for lonely gamers to gawk over. Recently though game developers have unsheathed their shackled minds to the face the fact that according to a study by the Washington post, “57% of game players are female” admittedly this includes mobile gaming and social media gaming, but it’s still a huge number, with number of women in the so called ‘real’ gamers (that is console and P.C platforms) category, still at a respectable 38% and any game with a strong female lead, are out selling macho all male sausage fests by 3 to 1, recent success stories like mass effects optional female Shepard, horizons excellent Alloy or the magnificently re-imagined Lara Croft, have made enormous strides but they can only get to where they are today because of foundations set by the now regarded ‘Grandmothers’ of their ultra-real contemporaries.
The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
I apologise but I’m going try not to spoil too much on this first one, you will thank me later, because her story deserves to be experienced first-hand. Also known as ‘The Joy’, the main antagonist from snake eater possibly has the best, fully realised back history, that has ever graced our computer screens, fantastic voice acting and a great script, really flourish in arguably the best installment of this famed series.
The great Bill Finger said that “the hero is only as good as it villain” that sentiment has never been more apt. The final curtain for The Boss’ arc is heart-achingly beautiful and my thanks goes out to Hideo Kojima for in my humble opinion There has never been a better female villain.
Chun Li street fighter,
Chun Li has the honor of holding the title of the first playable female fighter. she is an expert martial artist and Interpol officer who restlessly seeks revenge for the death of her father at the hands of the nefarious M. Bison, her fame has led to her being included in pretty much every instalment of the franchise, even branching out in to the 2 rather less successful movies, neverless she is a very important character and is a trail blazer for all female fighters that came after her.
Samus Aran Metroid series
Samus Aran, is a six-foot-three, 14 stone amazon warrior who kicks ass as an intergalactic bounty hunter and the main protagonist of the Metroid series. Samus debuted shocked the gaming world in 1986’s Metroid, by revealing at the end of the game that contrary to the in-game literature Samus was in fact a woman, as revealed at the end of super Metroid, since then she has gone on from strength to strength claiming legendary status. Metroid’s single greatest contribution to gaming could be the concept of a self-contained, self-reliant, ever more powerful protagonist. Samus is explorer, weapon, and key all at once.
Exploratory platformers and action RPGs would become deeper, friendlier, and more refined through the years, and most of them have evolved out of Metroid’s design. Nintendo stripped the whole thing down to its basics here, creating a framework for others to build on. So much about gaming begins right here, with the enigmatic Samus Aran
What can I say that already hasn’t been said about the “First Lady of gaming”
Lara Croft may be the most iconic female character in gaming, A dual pistol-wielding, tiger-kicking archaeologist. arguably the most famous female videogame character in history, is the “Amazonian” heroine of the Tomb Raider series of video games, movies, and graphic novels. Non-gamers probably know her from the two blockbuster films in which she is portrayed by the gorgeous Angelina Jolie. However, we still love her digital character more.
Thankfully, Lara Croft has gone from being overly sexualized eye candy to a young girl symbolizing power. In the Tomb Raider reboot, Lara’s growth from whimpering survivor to resourceful action hero is joyous to behold.
Princess Zelda has taken on many roles throughout the series, and sure, Link often has to rescue her. But she rarely falls directly into the role of the damsel—ever since Ocarina of Time, she’s either been fighting dark forces in disguise, rescuing Link as a swarthy lady-pirate, or just straight up three steps ahead of him, as in Skyward Sword. Even when she does need rescuing, she usually lends a hand with her archery skills and winds up saving Link in return. When are we going to get a game where we play as her?
Tifa Lockhart Final Fantasy 7
Tifa Lockhart isn’t main character in her game and as a result is often overlooked when it comes great female characters. But she has all the traits and rich history, to in all honesty carry her own game. She starts her story as a bar owner in worst part of a slum. So we know straight away she ain’t no push over.
Tifa isn’t royalty, she’s not from a rich family, and she isn’t chosen bestowed with some unrealistic supernatural abilities, what makes her not just a great female character but a great character full stop is she’s salty, independent, argumentative, but above all loyal to a fault. I would say she’s the most badass in my list, as unlike her female counter parts and in game friends she has no need for swords, guns and magic, she takes on possible the greatest villain in gaming, with nawt but her bare fucking hands. Now that’s a girl you don’t wanna mess with!
That’s my list, but I’d like to give special mentions to a couple of other female characters that didn’t quite make it into my personal list a but are well worth looking up and spending some of your free time with, firstly;
Jill valentine, arguably one of the most likable female videogame characters of the Resident Evil series, even though I will never forgive her for becoming a blondie in Resident Evil 5.
Nariko, heavenly sword is a proud woman who fights for her life and the lives of others she has the best hair in gaming history.
Lightning, I have to be honest and confess that I never was a big fan of the Final Fantasy XIII, just like I have never been a fan of Michael Schumacher but at the same time I can’t deny his greatness as a driver. Same goes with Lightning, also known as Claire Farron, an absolutely incredible main character
Shanoa, Dark, mysterious, and dangerous, she is the lead character of Castlevania where a group of characters attempts to kill Dracula. Shanoa is fearless, who won’t be intimidated, not even the Lord of Darkness, and for that alone I became instant fan from the first time we played Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
We call it the miracle of life, essence transforming into existence. An act without which mankind would not exist, and humanity cease to exist. An act of biology commandeered by modern science and technology. Godlike, we extract, implant, inseminate, But our ingenuity hasn’t rendered the miracle into a simple trick. with the artifice of replicating life can we become the creator? although some of us like to play god. The undeniable truth is, the only gateway to this plane of existence is through women, We come into this world unguarded, The journey ahead promising no more than the past reflected back upon itself, until at last we reach the end, facing this truth we can no longer deny.
And so it ends where everything always ends, in nothingness. We are born from nothingness and exit this world back into the oblivion. unlocked from time and distance. A soul unbound, untouched, on a course charted by some unseen hand.
Time passes in moments. Moments, which rushing past, define the path of a life, just as surely as they lead towards its end. How rarely do we stop the examine that? To see the reason why all things happen. To consider whether the path we take in life is our own making, or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed. But what if we could stop? Pause to take stock of each precious moment before it passes. Might we then see the endless forks in the road that have shaped a life, and seeing those choices choose another path.
The future of female led games and strong female characters is extremely bright, we must appreciate those that have come before, because that have built such a strong foundation.
we need appreciate that there are extraordinary men, and women, and extraordinary moments when history leaps forward on the backs of these individuals. That which can be imagined can be achieved. That you must dare to dream but that there is no substitute for perseverance and hard work and team work, because no one gets there alone. And while we commemorate the greatness of these characters and the individuals who realise them, we cannot forget the sacrifice of those who made these achievements and leaps possible.
Post by: Robert Beeley