Women and Games. Strong female character in a video game (Topic)

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Women and Games. Strong female character in a video game


Continuing our series of articles on female characters in games. We have come to the conclusion that the best female character to be called strong is simply a well-made character. His gender should play absolutely no role in being considered strong or weak. Today we see that gamers quite often still focus on which character is strong and which is not, depending on his gender. Many even burn when they find a woman. For this reason, we decided to figure out how to make a strong female character in the game.

What is the strength, sister?

Talking about good female characters in games, apart from just good characters, is very contradictory and manipulative, and we will not do that. This is just wrong with the characters themselves. In order to understand which character is strong or not, let's turn to design and scenario techniques. If we compare many characteristics of characters in games, then the criteria for a strong character look something like this: versatile, charismatic, believable, special in design, has dreams, goals and backstory. On the other hand, it is not enough to call a character pleasant or strong, if he is just a disposing person whom we sympathize with. Such a description may exist, but it must be the main one.


Why are men better?

Before moving on, let's look at one more point. It is hard to deny the fact that there are many more male characters in games as main characters than female ones. In a 2012 study from EEDAR, out of 669 games selected, 300 were selectable gender. In the rest of the projects, female characters as GG met only 24 times. I am sure today this figure would be higher, but not by much.

Even though there are many more male characters in the games, how many are strong? After all, the fact that the character is male doesn't make him that way. For example, take Duke Nyukem - he is the absolute personification of muscularity, a testosterone generator, which is certainly physically strong, and with big guns mows off crowds of aliens. But is he a strong character? I don't think so, since he practically does not have any traits that make him not physically strong. He is not versatile, not believable and at times generally behaves like an idiot who is amused by the possibility of throwing shit. On the contrary, it is disgusting.


On the other hand, if you oppose Altair, the situation is completely different. And if Altair is replaced by gender, then we will have the same good and strong character, only a woman. I am leading once again to ensure that you understand exactly when discussing a strong female character, we are talking about a good hero in general, but in the context of the fact that he is a woman.



Going back to our pillars of being a good hero described above, let's take a look at the Vault-Tec video tutorials for what all these criteria mean that make a good character.

A versatile character literally has more than one side to it. If the hero reveals himself throughout the story and becomes what you did not consider him at the beginning of the plot, then this point is fulfilled. Again, remember Altair, who throughout the game rethinks himself and his credo, realizing that there are more than two sides of the same coin in the world. This gives it depth, and it makes us as gamers go through the game with interest, despite the rather monotonous story arcs.

A charismatic character should be different from some passer-by who stays at work for half a day, and then goes to a bar every evening and eats himself unconscious until he is kicked out of there.

Special character design is not about attractiveness, but rather something that simply sets him apart from other similar characters.

Plausible can be both an evil and a good hero, the main thing is that he has a disposition, letting us understand why he became the way he is. Why does he do this, where did he get these beliefs, and how do they fit into the overall lore of the game. Here and his goal, dreams and motives, which are triggers to action. And in order for these goals to be justified, the hero needs a background, thanks to which we will not ask: “why does this one want to destroy everything?”.


"This is all because you are fat"

Let's take an example. As for me, Glados from the Portal series fully meets these parameters. Glados is a strong female character on all fronts. From the very beginning, we understand that Glados is omnipotent - she completely controls the laboratory and makes us pass from day to day tests at the will of her whim. The developers constantly emphasize her cold prudence, cunning, wit and sarcasticity. Adding all these features, she becomes charismatic and disposed to herself. As a result, we sympathize with her, even though she is our antagonist. Just look at her phrase when resurrecting, addressed to Chel and you will understand what I mean:

"Oh, it's you ... Haven't seen each other for a long time ... How are you? I was so busy while I was dead. Well ... after you killed me. Okay. Look, we both said a lot that you'll regret. But for now we must forget about our differences. For science. You are a monster. "


But this is where we need to stop thinking superficially, because we will be able to see the depth of the almighty Glados only when we deprive her of all this power. That is, we can draw a line between a strong and a good character. And that's exactly what the writers do, turning it into a potato with which we will run half the game. The moment Whitla's module connects to the control system of the Aperture complex, Glados suffers a physical defeat, and when her mind is in a potato - also a moral one. But she still remains herself.


Knowing these points, let's go through our "SPECIAL" criteria

Glados is definitely a versatile character, as a result of the story she turns out to be not who we saw her in the entire first part and a quarter of the second. After all [if you're afraid of spoilers, skip to the next paragraph] she was an ordinary person whose mind was locked in the body of a machine without her will. For our strong and sarcastic nature, we can find a piece of humanity and pity, primarily for the woman named Carroll, which she once was.

Glados is undeniably charismatic with all her jokes and behavior, and especially with the damn cake story. She has a catchy design that sets her apart from other similar robot bosses or artificial intelligence in games. You will definitely recognize her from a thousand.


She is certainly believable in that she has a backstory, goals and motives, which we are shown throughout the game. And yes, although such a machine cannot exist in life, if the situation had developed exactly as shown in the entire universe of Portal and Half Life, then the appearance of Glados would really be possible. We are given a cause and effect of her behavior that fits perfectly into the setting.

And that's why I think Glados is a really strong and good female character. She always grabs attention when she or her voice is on the screen. Over time, it will not be difficult for us to understand why she behaves this way. And on her example, you can yourself remember which other female or male characters have similar qualities. In addition, we just described as many as 7 examples of such female characters in our previous material.

Now you know the criteria for a tough female character in games and a tough character as such. And if they are not, then I do not know how else to describe them.

The Topic of Article: Women and Games. Strong female character in a video game.
Author: Jake Pinkman