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  1. Daniel Burke
    Daniel Burke March 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm | | Reply

    “Video Game” is a very large paradigm these days, and I find it interesting that when people bring this argument up (which needs to happen as there are days I lament at the stagnation of certain elements within the genre). What grabs is that the people who play console games invariably wind up back that the Tomb Raider/Mario schism. Your strong female character is either boobs or rescuing boobs. Its worth noting that the new Tomb Raider title has apparently dealt away with the torpedo boobs and is actually treating Lara Croft like a real human being with emotional depth…something for me to look into.

    I am much more a fan of PC games and have been for a long time. It is not an arena free of sin (I’m looking at you Leisuresuit Larry) but when the consoles were dealing with ‘Save the Princess’ and ‘Boobs’ we were seeing things like Colonel’s Bequest (the player plays the character of young detective lady, smart, non sexual, non fetishized) and Heroes Quest where the main antognists were non sexualized smart female characters.

    PC games of course branched out into about a bazillion genres, mostly dominated by the male demographic…until a very curious thing happened and MMO’s (massively multiplayer online) began to proliferate. Suddenly there were girls, LOTS of girls, and they wanted their time. Ultima Online, the first large scale MMO to hit big in the US in the 90’s had this interesting concept…a woman in plate armor looked like a tank with a sword…kinda like a man in plate armor. No titty-tank tops there!

    World of Warcraft has by and large become the industry standard. It has its Boris Vallejo moments but it also has no issues with putting out some great female characters who are more than willing to throw down and take an axe to the head of the people who irk them.

    I suppose I’m drifting away from the point of the original question, but I find its pretense a little too focused on an example of a trope that existed long before electronic entertainment and was carried over into a very specific cluster of games, in particular the ones with extremely linnear gameplay and often no plot. Or to put it simply, no one was playing Super Mario or Donkey Kong for the scintillating dialogue with a mushroom about how your princess was in another castle.

    So there were a lot of Peaches and Zeldas, but even they’ve been getting re-tooled over the years. The surreal Super Mario 2 put Peach in the action, and Smash Brothers turned her in a melee machine.

    Another thing to consider, though it may not be totally pertinent – Note where the games are designed and who is on the design teams.

    1. Daniel Burke
      Daniel Burke March 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm | | Reply

      Oh and to actually bring up the other point – I am a rabid gamer, was involved in the industry for a time and presently date a lovely person who does not play video games at all đŸ™‚

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