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Topic Identification: Redo

This morning I finally deleted my original post on topic identification for the research assignment.  It was simply too broad and I was not as interested in it as I’d like to be.  I am highly unsure of what exactly I want to research but I think it will be within a cross-section of gender and the narratives, or lore, of video games.  Perhaps, the action of female characters in narratives as opposed to men.  Do the female characters often play intrinsic roles beyond simply the Mario-esque “Get in the room where the Princess is to save her”?  How prevalent are female characters in FPS games (i.e. Sarah Michelle Geller/Geler/I have no idea how to spell it in Zombies)?  Has the portrayal of female characters changed since the 1970’s?  My first hunch is that in FPS stories females are pretty much non-existent.  On a larger generalization my hunch is that female characters rarely have autonomy in the stories, their actions being limited to being saved or in danger. 

So, my new topic is going to focus on how gender, most likely female characters, are portrayed in the lore and narratives of video games.



One thought on “Topic Identification: Redo

  1. Probably the classic example of a female heroine is Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Some games allow you to choose a gender (e.g. Mass Effect, Skyrim) but I don’t think the choice affects game play (correct me someone if I am wrong). As a designer it’s probably a tough call either way: would you give female characters a different (though equivalent) set of abilities to a male character? There are certainly deeper questions here about what gender means. Another interesting avenue is the MMORPG games like World of Warcraft. Would it be surprising to you to learn that an attractive female avatar gets treated differently than other avatars by the other human players in the game?

    In any case, if you start search our library databases and Google Scholar for Lara Croft you’ll find some good material to start with.

    Posted by Alex Reid | June 18, 2013, 10:56 am

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