Thursday, April 14, 2011

In which I am female and talk about videogames.

I have something to admit.
I have tits.
I like videogames.

You may now gasp in awe.
That is, if you're 12 years old or still act like you are.
In which case you're probably a gamer.

But, this shouldn't be a problem. Why the heck would it be? I've played games my entire life. I'm a girl. Why is this odd? These days, it shouldn't be. When I was a kid and the game boy color was out, I'd hang out with all the boys on the playground and we'd trade pokemon or I'd play the Mario cartridge I stole from my sister. When I got home, I'd play Sonic or Harvest Moon. As I got older, I'd bring my GBA to school and, again, play pokemon during recess. With....the boys.

I had one female friend who played videogames, but she never brought her games to school, and when we'd play 'pretend', and she always had to be a pokemon because it was 'cuter'. I was always Ash Ketchum or Sonic The Hedgehog, and I loved it. Ash was cool. He was the guy on the TV and on my game system. Sonic would race through levels on my genesis and gamecube with attitude and he freaking bled coolness.

When I got older I was frequently teased for wanting to be male characters and looking up to them. Titus from FFX. Jak from Jak and Daxter. Link. Still, Ash and Sonic. Kid's would call me "gay", or "butch" (they hadn't learned "lesbo" yet), or just plain "weird". And why? Because I was a girl, and I liked videogames. They were 'boy' things that boys played. And worse yet, there wasn't a single female character in a game I could look up to, one that I could point out and say "I want to be like her. Girls can be cool, too. Girls can be in videogames." Hell, there wasn't even a female character I could play as, except maybe for the one boring girl in Pokemon.

Zelda and Peach were damsels in distress, Yuna was dainty and feminine, and while she could summon big monsters to rain pain down upon the enemy, she needed like five other people to help her. Not to mention the fact that in Harvest Moon your objective was to marry women.
And dear god don't get me started on Amy Rose. I hated that bitch and her stupid little pink hammer. I think I liked the big fat purple cat better than her. At least he was kind of fluffy.

At the time, I thought nothing of it. I ignored people and their comments, and I kept on playing. I never stopped. But you know what? After a while, I got embarrassed to go into EB Games. I felt embarrassed to buy a "boy" game, but at the same time I felt embarrassed buying "Nintendogs". I still have this problem that when I enter a game store I feel the need to prove myself somehow of being 'worthy', of proving that I am, in fact, a gamer, even when the employees have changed from the elitist guy who can like, feel the presence of a female in his shop and immedietly shun them with his expression to employees that treat me like a human being.

The nice part is that these days the industry is changing around. Its like everyone's taken that little bitty step towards growing up and they're just ever so slightly past that awkward puberty stage and past the point where they're like "OH GOD GIRLS OH GOD" to "Oh hey, a girl." We have a few strong female characters like Elika from the current gen PoP game, and Chie and Rise from Persona4. We've got characters like the new females in Truama Team, and Chell from Portal. We've always had characters like Samus, and we've had Jade from Beyond Good and Evil for a while. You can even choose to be a female in Fallout 3 which made me happier than it probably should have. Heck, they're even redoing Lara Croft and making her...well...not Indiana Jones with boobs.

But theeeenn, we've got this:

Yeah. I know, I know, Ivy is a bad example. But seriously, stare at that for a second, stare at that and tell yourself that's not weird. Its the equivalent of having a male wearing some strips of fabric and a glorified jock strap.

But then I say to myself, hey. At least some people are striving to make females stronger in videogames, right? Like, for instance Hideo Kojima games tend to have strong female characters, right? Like Big Boss, or Naomi, or Eva, or Meryl! Even characters from Policenauts or Snatcher were pretty cool, right?

....Yeaaah. Nevermind. That was a pretty stupid thing to say. And I'm not even scraping the surface here. In many of his games there are several ways to do things like jiggle some of the female characters boobs for no apparent reason. The weird thing is that usually he does write some pretty strong female characters, and I still stand by my statement that Big Boss, Meryl and Naomi are, for the most part, pretty strong characters. (At least after MGS1). The problem is that they get sexualized so much, and even if that tends to be campy sometimes, it gets old, and it gets degrading.

So I say, where are our female characters? Where are the characters that save the men, or that can just simply be portrayed as characters without the need to state or over exaggerate the fact they are female? To be equal to the male characters without being a sex object. Because, I don't know about anyone else, I don't think I'll feel accepted as a female gamer without female characters in games that are actually, really strong characters.

Oh, and without guys looking at me like I just came down from mars, abducted a few dozen cows, and unleashed a super intelligent race of mutant cow beings upon the earth when I go on about videogames that aren't "Barbiez Poniez Party".
I like videogames, too. Get over it.

That is all.

In which I have another blog

Heya there,

I bet you noticed I had another blog. Yep. I decided to make a blog just for talking about random, uninteresting things that only my mother and like, four of my friends will read. I'm really very interesting, honest!
I thought I'd keep my ranting blog and my book review blog separate, so please check the other one out (that I hardly ever post on) if you like YA novels.