“Trembling in your schoolgirl uniform”

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Girl in the Machine has a good but depressing post about the different ways game producers treat female and male protagonists. Here are two excerpts:

… A Surivival Horror game that features a female protagonist tends to be slower-paced with more thriller-esque elements and environmental scares. The main character is typically young (teens to early twenties), poorly equipped for the task at hand, and very clearly exhibits her (rather realistic) fear in cutscenes and in her actions. All these factors intertwine to paint a portrait of helplessness and impart a sense of discomfort and vulnerability in the player.

Take Miku from our first example. Our intrepid hero must have rushed off to rescue her brother so quickly that she forgot to change out of her school uniform and didn’t pack anything besides that dinky little flashlight. I can’t fault her for excessively whimpering through every single cutscene because, frankly, who wouldn’t? And while her main weapon, the Camera Obscura, proves formidable in context, it doesn’t exactly ring the same bell as Leon’s magnum Handcannon in Resident Evil 4. …

… Male protagonists are a different story. You never see schoolboys or guys in short-shorts wandering timorously through haunted houses. Survival Horror games proffering male protagonists tend to feature more graphic violence, fast-paced gameplay, and incorporate elements of shooters. The character himself is probably older (late-twenties and up), buffer, and packing heat. He is usually a hardened stoic, utterly professional, and herein the vulnerability is absent, replaced with gun-blazing machismo. …

Read the whole post here. Via the f word.

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