With convention season in full swing, and our own visit to C2E2 coming up in a few weeks, I want to talk a little bit about bullying and harassment at conventions. These events attract a lot of people. In 2014, C2E2 alone boasted about 63,000 attendees. It’s only natural that a few bad eggs will show up in a batch that large. Just this year at MagFest, a cosplayer was harassed for dressing as Vivian James, a sort of mascot for The Fine Young Capitalists as well as the online consumer revolt against corrupt gaming journalists. This is just the most recent case of problems at conventions around the world. Taking this in perspective, conventions receive a great deal of scrutiny because they are supposed to be a place where people gather to share interests, fun, hobbies, and build a network. In reality, it is like a small city descending on an area, sometimes no bigger than a city block, policed by staff who really aren’t police. I’ve been going to conventions for years now, and despite the size, scope, and all the horror stories, they tend to be relatively safe, but that doesn’t mean we should take the atmosphere of a convention for granted.
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Tag Archives: freedom
Awhile ago, I asked on our Facebook page if there were any blog posts that our fans wanted to see. One fan mentioned the representation of female heroes in video games. Considering that I made that post months ago, I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. I’ve kept it in the back of my mind. You see, this one particular thing stuck out in my mind so well for a very specific reason; a reason I haven’t shared with our fans or followers until now. Well, now I’m sure you are very curious as to that reason, so I’ll tell you. I’m 8 months pregnant and I’m going to have a baby girl.
So, now I am sure you were going to go into this post with one mind set, but shift gears with me for a moment. I love video games, obviously. I have played games where the female character wanted to be a supermodel or an actress. She was the damsel in distress. She was raped at some point in her past. Funny thing is, I’ve never played a game where a male character wanted to be a supermodel, an actor, was in distress or raped in his past.
Now, to point out how I think about it. I want to share my love and passion for this amazing art form with my daughter, eventually. As does her father. Do I want her think that the only way she can become a hero is if she wants to be a supermodel or an actor? That she needs to play the damsel in distress to win? I can’t even think of the last part.
The reason why I love Fable III so much may be fairly obvious already. While I appreciate the comedic themes throughout the story and the allusions to the previous two Fable games, the thing I like the most about Fable III is the fact that you can choose to be a strong, independent woman. The female Hero can be dainty and elegant (a spell caster who prefers dresses, maybe) or strong and aggressive (a melee fighter who likes armor). Either way, she’s exactly the way you make her, which I think is a revolutionary concept. The level of customization in this game is absolutely superb.
While Microsoft Game Studios gives you an introductory story of a girl who’s under the control of her brother and almost forced into a hetero-normative relationship with Eliot, she has the chance to break away from the oppression and become a true Hero. She’s the leader that Albion has been waiting for; the Queen that can rule better and far more justly than her evil brother. So, after she comes to her senses, when her brother forces her to choose between Eliot’s life and the life of innocent townspeople, she escapes her own prison and sets out to overthrow King Logan.
While I know this is the same storyline for the male Hero, it is important that the female Hero’s storyline was not altered simply because she’s female. She’s a complete badass who is totally capable of overthrowing Logan and becoming the Hero of Albion. She has all the same choices as the male Hero and it totally fits. And the best part is that she’s not exactly the same as the male Hero, but with breasts. You see too much of the media trying to push the feminist ideal as women who act like men, when it’s not. The female Hero in Fable III can act like a man, sure, but that’s completely up to you, which is what feminism is really about. It’s okay to act really feminine. It’s okay to act masculine. It’s okay to act however you want to, as long as it’s your choice.
While I usually always choose to be with Eliot once I’m in the castle, I like the fact that you can choose to break that hetero-normative cycle. If I want my Hero to be a lesbian, she totally can be! I think it’s important to have that option. It teaches the people playing the game that this lifestyle is not a bad thing, and thus promotes love. I think it’s awesome that one of my best friends always plays as a gay man, every single time. Well… except for the one time that he had his character marry mine for the Xbox Live Achievement. He cheated on me with Eliot, though…
My point is that this video game doesn’t force you to play in one constrictive male-dominated storyline. Sure, we’re all completing the same tasks and dealing with a lot of the same people, but we’re all making different choices and ending up with different outcomes. While playing any other video game over and over may seem repetitive, I could play Fable III a million times and continue to be amused and delighted by it. Until I find another game with this much customization and freedom with my female character, I think it’s safe to say that Fable III is and will remain my favorite video game.
-Vanri the Rogue