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A New Generation of Women in Gaming and Film

Wonder Woman’s success at the box office is a sign that the portrayal of women in the media is improving. This film showed the world that female superhero films can be on par with any other blockbuster within the genre. And it’s not just in terms of revenue, but also on audience impact. Like Soliyra shared in a previous RWOG post, she was floored when she realized Diana is the same as her gamer persona – a long-time “tank” player who would rush into battle and absorb all the damage. It’s a far cry from a decade ago when women were stereotyped as either damsel in distress or nurturing lovers.

18673115_1499705770082033_9026401747109957452_o(image credit: Injustice Facebook Page)

Usually, superhero movie releases are accompanied by big-budget video games featuring the same hero. Unfortunately, the gaming community is still waiting for a Wonder Woman-centered video game but fans can at least enjoy playing Diana Prince in other big titles like Injustice 2. There are also projects from non-AAA game developers who have been inspired by the character. For instance, the global player base of Slingo has access to a mobile-friendly Wonder Woman slot game that has borrowed elements from Lynda Carter’s version the character. All of this goes to show how the Amazon princess remains relevant even decades after her first appearance in comic books and TV.

But Patty Jenkins and the new Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot, are just two of the women who are making waves on the big screen today. Charlize Theron, for instance, showed that she still has what it takes to be an action star in the spy thriller Atomic Blonde. She played a top-level MI6 operative on the hunt for double-agents in this flick, so there were heavily stylized and well-choreographed fight scenes.

Theron has long been an advocate of women’s rights, and she’s vocal in her support for women in the industry. She’s actually friends with Jenkins due to their collaboration in Monster and the latter expressed on ComicBook how much she looks forward to working with Theron again.

On the other hand, Warner Bros.’ trailer for the upcoming Tomb Raider film shows Alicia Vikander portraying a different Lara Croft, in the sense that the character is not yet the badass explorer like Angelina Jolie’s version. It’s necessary so as to stay true to the ‘origin story’ angle. But still, Vikander’s Lara is fierce and willing to go beyond her limits.


(video credit: Warner Bros.)

The video game industry meanwhile, has already gone far in portraying strong female characters. We have Samus Aran (Metroid), and Max Caulfield (Life is Strange), to name a few. But like Wonder Woman, new female leads are generating a lot of buzz this year.

13247836_1195894880443571_5935357477196211488_o(image credit: Guerrilla Games Facebook Page)

Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn piqued many players’ interests back in 2015 when its first trailer featured the female protagonist, Aloy, battling a gigantic machine with a bow. CBR noted how the character played a big role in becoming a system seller. Since Horizon: Zero Dawn is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, it became a selling point for Sony. The decision to promote a female-led original game clearly worked because the game already sold 2.6 million units just two weeks following its release earlier this year. Some gamers even went as far as to buy the console just to play the action RPG title.

Blizzard’s popular online multiplayer game Overwatch also surprised fans when it announced that one of its characters, namely Tracer, is a lesbian. Tracer is a fan favorite, so it was a huge statement for Blizzard to present her as having an unorthodox sexuality. The move drew ire from some players, but the majority praised the studio’s initiative to diversify the world of gaming.

All things considered, onscreen female characters are now becoming more layered and varied. While there are still a lot of improvements to be made regarding our portrayal, it’s safe to say that the world openly welcomes this new generation of women in gaming and film.

About the Author: Alexa Henderson is a freelance writer and avid fan of RPGs. Her favorite game of all time is Squaresoft’s Chrono Cross.

Influential Female Characters: Lara Croft

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Lara Croft. It only seems fitting for me to start off this first blog post of Influential Female video game characters with Lara. I have spoken about how she is one of my favorite characters. I like her for a lot of reasons; she is smart, sexy and she gets to raid tombs. Basically Lara is everything I wanted to be as a kid. She has come a long way and I am excited to explore some of her story with you, my dear readers. So grab your gear and let’s dive in.

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So I have to be honest with you. My first encounter with Lara Croft was the movie, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider from 2001, so that is where we are going to start. I was in high school watching it with two of my best friends and we loved it. One of them played the games and she was the one who had got us together to watch the movie. We watched that movie a lot. We quoted it a lot. I loved how smart Lara was. I loved her lust for adventure. I loved that she was so unapologetic about being herself.

It didn’t hurt that she got to look for valuable artifacts. I had wanted to be an archaeologist for as long as I could remember when I was growing up but had been beginning to believe I couldn’t be. Up to that point, I hadn’t really seen any kick ass female archaeologists. Lara made me feel like I could go after the later dream if I wanted. Guys like Indiana Jones no longer got to have all the fun. The movie, even with its flaws, fueled my need for a female role model and was my gateway into the Tomb Raider series.

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The first Tomb Raider game debuted in 1996. Its protagonist was, somewhat surprisingly, a female archaeologist. Lara has gone through many different games which has given us many different backstories for her. She has been an heiress who shunned her old life, a woman searching for answers about her parents through the unexplored and a woman who hungers for adventure no matter what the cost. Through all of it there is one theme that is the same; Lara is a survivor.

She loses her parents and survives. Lara makes it through some pretty crazy places in the games and survives.She fights of foes both natural and supernatural. Through every evolution though Lara is, well, Lara. She never loses her drive.She continues to evolve and become more herself. 

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Lara is influential because she is female. She is also a person. She is never not portrayed as a person. She has flaws and is very real for a lot of us. She has dimensions and layers. Lara wears what she wants. She goes after what she wants. She does not strive to be a man. She just lives her life the way she wants.

Lara Croft is smart, she is sassy, she is capable, flawed and female without the last being her only quality. That is why she is the first influential women I will write about. Because she is a women who gave me the courage to be a dreamer and a person despite how people see my gender.

This Month in Gaming History: October

This Month in Gaming History: October

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Here it is again, my favorite time of the year. October. A time to remember old traditions and a time for treats…or is it tricks? Which reminds me, we ought to take a moment to remember the games of old.

Here is are some games that have been released this month in history.

Sega Genesis

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Sega Genesis was released in October 1988 in Japan. This was Sega’s first console. The Genesis was later sold in America in 1989. The player would use a cartridge that would be inserted into the console to play the games. This gave the player access to many different games that they would purchase.

Monkey Island

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On October 1990 LucasArts released a game called Monkey Island. Monkey Island is a point-and-click adventure game. The player would assume the role of the young protagonist who dreams of becoming a pirate and gets to explore fictional islands while solving puzzles.

Tomb Raider

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Oh, Tomb Raider. I have to gush a bit here, readers. Lara has been something that many females, not even gamers, hold dear. Released in October of 1996 by Eidos, players were given a female protagonist who solved puzzles, fought and was sexy all at once. Lara Croft was a chance to play a fleshed out character who was as cool as Indiana Jones and also happened to be female. I think that is the reason why so many of us hold Lara so dear. That and the adventures are just fun to play. 

Grand Theft Auto

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Grand Theft Auto was first released by Rockstar Games in October 1997. The player would choose a playable character. Then the player is allowed to do almost whatever they would like with a limited amount of lives. The goal is to commit different crimes for respective syndicates.

Age of Empires

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Also released in October of 1997 was Age of Empires. Age of Empires was a series of computer games that focus on events of the past and the building of, well, empires. Multiple spin off games have been released in this highly successful series.

Call of Duty

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The first game of the Call of Duty series was released in October of 2003. It is a first person shooter game. Call of Duty had its start on Windows and then came to be on other gaming consoles. Call of Duty is a highly popular shooting series that has also been graced with many spin-off games.

There you have it, my frightful friends. Lots of treats and no tricks. Happy haunting and gaming this month from your favorite Bard.

Happy Halloween and always keep sparkling!

E3 for you and me

Crackdown 3

E3-2014Looks like awesomesauce! I was a huge fan of the first two. Well, the first one a bit more than the second, but that happens. I am really wondering what turn the storyline will take with this one. However, this game did give me achievement issues. As in, must have them ALL!

Halo Collection
Halo is the reason I got into Xbox in the first place. Well, that or Ghost Recon. I don’t remember that well. Anyway, I was excited to see that Halo was picked back up and beautifully done with Halo 4. I think I might have to pick this bundle up.

Halo 5: Guardians
SQUEE! Of course there is a beta with the purchase of the bundle. Damn it!

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