If you’ve been inspired by the girls say hell yeah!
These are some of the pioneering female characters in iconic video games. Some are notable for their representation of women as engaging and capable characters, and those are the ones the latter may seemingly forget about. No, it’s not all about bewbs and button bashing, the girl vs boy argument is so outdated, the phrase ‘You play like a girl!” should be recognised as a compliment, the biggest and best compliment, a ‘gamer girl’ is not a slut, but someone you should have on your co-op team.
To this day, unfortunately the gaming world is still a sexualised battle, but let’s take a step back and admire the powerful women; Games with female protagonists are not the most common in the world of video games, but when a game does have a female lead, she’s sure to kick a lot of butt. The list is ever growing, but today, I’ve got a handful of my top favourites that have inspired me throughout memory.
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
You say ‘Lara Croft’, you remember the jitters you got when she chased down wolves, swam through the wild and virtually kicked ass that would give James Bond a run for his money. What started off, yes I admit, strangely big bosoms, Lara Croft has become a figure of empowerment, and sassy sexual desire.
Being taken from the old school Lara to the new school Lara is definitely a change we can all relate to, a bounce into maturity that the gaming world needed, kicking back the old habits and taking in a mastermind, mature, adventurer of Lara Croft. The journey has been an interesting one yes, but we’ve finally been blessed with an iconic heroine whose transformation has been grasped perfectly. Welcome home Lara!
Faith Connor – Mirror’s Edge
The main protagonist in Mirror’s Edge, we follow in her footsteps, jumping from roof to roof, dashing from the police and providing us with beautiful shots; it becomes apparent that characters these days are just slabs of meat and rage with no real depth behind their guns. Enter Faith, a realistic character of such who does more than mindlessly follow a voice in her ear and shoot her way to the top, a strong and defiantly independent woman who doesn’t think twice in her adrenaline filled emotion. Faith doesn’t need to rely on high tech explosives, machine guns or protect the army of hundreds. Give her a wall, a floor and open space and you’ll see her unleash hell on the streets with her unique wall-kicking, ball-busting moves; she’ll stand up to a corrupt system without batting an eyelid, she’ll put herself in danger to save her sister. Now that’s a power driven woman right here!
Elizabeth – Bioshock Infinite
From the epic series, Elizabeth makes her mark by being a partner to Booker Dewitt in the awesome game, Bioshock Infinite. Now, I’ve had my gripes with side characters, they either seem to vague, too lifeless or dull. Elizabeth and her puppy blue eyes are not a burden, but doesn’t fear in getting her hands dirty. As cheesy as this sounds, Elizabeth saved my life in Columbia, she was there when I needed her, not like sidekicks who would shoot aimlessly around and hope my character shows with one shot, no much more than that, Elizabeth guides you through the battle, she also had her own unique powers with “tears,” which are often just as important to a battle’s success as your shooting skills, she also throws me ammo, health and elixir. I may have a girl-crush on her maybe, but through the game, you take a shining to her, not only does her naive behaviour, sass and innocence win you over, but you find that she’s not just a tutorial moment, she’s your trusty companion.
Anya Stroud – Gears of War Noble and inspirational takes a new form with Anya Stroud, daughter of Major Helena Stroud, the daughter of a famous war hero, and longing to live up to her mother’s honourable reputation. desire is why she eventually transitioned from the CIC (Headquarters) to the battlefield – and once she did, she found she liked it and wished she’d made the move sooner. She has the most sensational artillery, such as my favourite, the lancer as well as holding up in the impeccable armour, Anya is definitely the most humble I find and her determination to succeed should be one to be recognised and followed.
Ada Wong – Resident Evil
The mysterious Madame of the Resident Evil franchise, rolling through like a boss and a secret agent-like quality, Ada is very proficient with knives and firearms, usually using lower calibre but high capacity pistols, the woman has skills, ruthlessness and like every protagonist, a main mission through a world of gore and monsters.
The Boss – Metal Gear Solid 3
With every heroine comes the enemy, and it would be an insult if the Boss wasn’t on the list too. Such an interesting written character, from our first moment neither a standard female trope, nor a rejecting-all-femininity trope. She’s the fine line in both masculinity and femininity; balancing her warrior stance and grounded persona. Very philosophical when it comes to teaching us and the surrounding character what it means to be a soldier, and unlike most plot points that scratch the surface of the female character, MGS3 latches her on board, in fact it would be a shame to stunt such a remarkable character as her, yep she even gives me chills with her stern power balanced by her mother-like figure; I could freely admit she is a Goddess.