woman; The Last of Us, a game I love, opens by introducing us to Joel's. Many studies say men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues than women - why reinforce that as correct? Ni No Kuni and Brothers are both recent games about children whose mothers have recently died. A man's wife dies. Men in video games are frequently defined by their fridge maidens.
We need, for some reason, to see that she can be vulnerable. The Last of Us, Joel's daughter Sarah's mother is absent; she just left, somehow. These days we often discuss our recent year or so of dads in games, as, we assume, the majority-male game developers mature from young men who'd like to attain and impress a woman to older adults with kids of their own, and a vulnerable girl. Infamous: First Light, another game with a ponytailed heroine shown at E3 2014 last night. The intro is gut-punching. Until then, the well-intentioned therapy sessions in games will keep making my skin crawl. All people exist in an ecosystem and are defined by their experiences and affected by the people in their lives. Also a woman first. Our lead characters have to be hard, and while we accept a male hero with a five o'clock shadow and a bad attitude generally unquestioned, a woman seems to need a reason to be hard. Or his girlfriend, or his daughter or mother, and he is shattered, out for retribution.
Well-intentioned men sometimes chastise one another about sexism: "She could be your wife. The question is never who is she, but what did they do to her. Perhaps if we uncoupled the weird cause-and-effect relationship games seem to have between suffering women and men, we'd have more nuanced male characters, too. Think about if someone did this to your girlfriend or your mom." How about just "she's a human being"? Female characters get to be Strong." Further, we seem to have problematic ideas of how women become Strong - men break them, we assume. It seems that when you want to make a woman into a hero, you hurt her first. This isn't to say that videogames' square-jawed, square-shouldered guy heroes always have a good infrastructure to answer those questions (nor always need one).
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GeTitle: Wie als frau flirten falligkeit tatigkeit schlussel
Rise of the Tomb Raider - we see the action heroine talking with her therapist about post-traumatic stress. Each instance taken separately isn't inherently wrong, and nobody is trying to erase. People keep doing it because it works. But when we want to know why our favorite male leads are the way they are, we don't just think about the women who happened to them or the trauma they endured: We think about their beliefs, their thoughts and feelings, their goals and desires. But the picture of how we understand heroism in games is bizarrely unbalanced at a distance - to some extent the games industry can clearly tell its audience is exhausted of the grizzled warrior staring sadly down at the torn photo of a dead girl. I'm far from the first person to criticize the focus on "strong" when it comes to female protagonists.
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Arguably they should, as video games are nothing if not an elaborate way for us to self-manage, self-soothe. "A girl your age should be exploring new horizons Lara's doctor tells her as she taps her foot anxiously. And every time we have conversations about the traumatized protagonist, there's an understandable retort: "why can't games deal with trauma and wie als frau flirten falligkeit tatigkeit schlussel
disorder?" Of course they can. This, we are made to understand, is how you become a heroine, a tomb raider. But in all these Dad Games, where are their mothers? "I can't help you unless you open up someone croons to Infamous: First Light 's squirming Fetch Walker. Why don't we see more men who get to be broken, for example? Mothers are rarely heroic in games, but are literally peripheral spectres, distant and often frightening. We like to peek through the windows and behind the shower curtains and into the doctor's appointments of our fragile heroines and voyeuristically thrill at their damage, looking forward to their moments of revelation and revenge. "I'd like to know you're taking care of yourself." Right. The mother of BioShock Infinite 's Elizabeth is shown at one point to be an actual evil ghost. Abstracted ideas about post-traumatic stress disorder or the catch-all "mental health issues" are common in games - apparently the logic is if we're trying to advance narratives in action games, we need to find nuanced rationales for why we're killing so many people with aplomb. But here's the unfortunate thing: We've really only got this one mode of approach. Something had to have been done to her. Now, they're giving us women who stare sadly down at their own trembling hands. One can't abolish classic structural tropes. Tell me what they did to you, we croon, pupils dilating. Clementine's mother in The Walking Dead is a distant figure, later revealed to've gone undead. There are still few roles for them other than catalyst for male revelation or victim defined by male abuse. That's an understandable reflection of the experience of those creators. I don't think it's farfetched to theorize that video games are still largely populated by men who feel unsure about how to write and build nuanced women. It's all part of a bigger problem, in that media, especially geek media, still too often only understands women in terms of their relationship to men. There is still little exploration of how heroic qualities - not necessarily "strength but relatability, motivation, complexity - in women can exist independently. In this personal essay, Rhea Monique shares why it's important to her to see women who don't have to apologize for showing their wounds, and that perspective matters: No one is wrong for what they relate.
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