First we looked at some of the women who make our favorite games, now it’s time we look at the women who star in our favorite games. While many female characters are used for specific purposes that aren’t always so redeemable, there are characters that exemplify what it means to be a woman. Not in a preachy, “you ought to be more feminist” type of way but in a subtle manner that makes them just as important as any male character. In my gaming experience, these are the women in gaming that best represent that ideal:
Ellie – The Last of Us
The near universal favorite game of 2013, The Last of Us was highly praised for its characterization. My favorite part of playing The Last of Us is that the game was so well-done that it didn’t feel exciting or amazing. Every part of the game was of such high-quality that it made it feel that it was just normal, which is the highest praise I can conjure. Naughty Dog crafted an amazing game and one of the highlights was Ellie. Probably one of the best companions in gaming, Ellie’s journey from frightened young girl to hardened survivor is one of the best stories I’ve experienced in a long time. I didn’t see Ellie as an inferior fighter or a inadequate partner, in fact there were times that I was intimidated by her! Naughty Dog’s dedication to the character is evident in how they crafted a great story that had nothing to do with her gender. In fact, when pressured to move Ellie to the back of the box cover in favor of a male-dominated figure, Naughty Dog flat-out refused. It is a small victory but it is extremely satisfying to know that developers can view the integrity of the story as the bottom-line, not the sales figures. I am very hopeful and strongly believe that if they were to continue Ellie’s story in a Last of Us sequel, it will be a game with Ellie as the main playable character. When fans fall in love with a character, they don’t care if they are male or female. They care about the growth and development of that character and see them bashin’ Clickers in the face.