Infamous: First Light in the Right Direction

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

Why the narrative and voices we are exposed to in games matter.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

There was a point in time where I thought I was immune to the gender of a protagonist in a game or movie. The majority of games I played, unless an RPG that allowed you to build a character, presented a male as the quintessential hero. I didn’t mind. I was young and accepted it.

But a spark ignited when I first saw that Samus, from the Metriod series, was a female. Precipitously, this character meant so much more. For the first time, the vulnerabilities I often felt about being a girl were shed. 

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Cultural Implications: The Defense of Jodie Holmes

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

2013 has been a year of progression in terms of tangible female protagonists in games—but does that matter if the media ignores them?

(Article published on Gameranx.)

When Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls released in October of 2013, it was met with mixed criticism that often questioned its validity as a video game.  Throwing incessant invectives at the overuse of quick time events and the minimalistic use of game mechanics, reviews often failed to bring into question what the definition of a video game actually is. IGN’s review was titled “Look, Don’t Touch.” Kotaku emphasized that you would like the game if “you don’t mind a game that’s basically a movie” and if “you’re down with the idea of playing as a teenage girl.” I’m not going to say Beyond was the perfect game; it’s based on a genre that isn’t necessarily for everyone. However, if we look closely at how some games are widely reviewed in media, we can witness the cultural implications they carry. Media, after all, helps to establish the standardization of the industry.

Growing Pains: Lara Croft’s Heroic Revival

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio, Uncategorized

Much like  Becky Chambers, who wrote an amazing article on the new Tomb Raider for “The Mary Sue,” I too had conflicting views with Lady Lara Croft. I was seven years old when I came across my first female role model (my mother aside), Lara Croft. Given my age, I didn’t really understand the plot of the original Tomb Raider. But what I did know was that I was playing a strong female lead for the first time. From Link, Mario, and Cloud I was always a man rescuing a woman or saving the world… or both. The concept of video games providing predominantly male protagonists never really hit home until I played as Lady Croft for the first time. She made me realize that woman can have a place in the gaming world, and that women were just as capable of saving the world as men were.