The Rise of the Female Video Game Character

Nintendo Girls

The year is 1998. You wake up on an early Christmas morning, run down the stairs in your pajamas, and excitedly wait for your parents to figure out how to use their new video camera so that they can film you while you open the presents underneath the tree. You open all of the usual gifts: Legos, Hot Wheels, and action figures for the boys, and Barbie’s, baby dolls, and an assortment of stuffed animals for the girls.

And then your dad pulls out the secret gift from the closet. In years past, this would be the part where you get a new bike, but this is 1998. You eagerly open the present that, unbeknownst to you, will consume the next decade of your life: Pokémon. Pokémon Red for you, and Pokémon Blue for your sister.

You jam that thing into your Game Boy Color with a fresh pair of environment-killing AA batteries, and start up the game with your sister. After the professor talks to you for a bit, you are able to choose your character’s name.

There is just one problem: There is no female Pokémon trainer for your sister to play as.

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The Objective Christian – “Saya no Uta”

Saya 5

I am often annoyed by self-righteous Christians who refuse to experience something new on the basis that they are a “Christian”, and therefore cannot experience it. For example, if there was a film that contained gratuitous violence, they would refuse to see it due to the violence, or if there was a book with sexual content, they would refuse to read it due to the sex.

Sometimes I feel that certain Christians, in an attempt to live according to their ideals, become so obsessively conservative that they eventually lose the ability to view something objectively. I see this as a significant problem, as it discourages countless individuals from experiencing new and exciting works of art, music, film, and literature.

However, I recently read a visual novel that has made me question my own objectivity. Rather, I have begun to question when objectivity crosses the line and devolves into detachment. Detachment is much worse than desensitization, as it implies a person has honed his or her ability to suppress subjectivity to such a degree, that they have in essence separated themselves from the work. If you are completely separate from the work, emotional connection does not occur. This also means that anything, no matter how horrible, suddenly becomes acceptable.

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“Analogue – A Hate Story”

A Hate Story 4

“Analogue” is an interactive visual novel created by Christine Love in 2012. The story concerns a ship launched by Earth into deep space with the goal of establishing the first interstellar colony. This colony dropped out of contact and disappeared, never reaching its destination. Thousands of years later, it has finally been found. You must read through the dead crew’s logs, letters, diaries, and more in order to uncover the mystery of what happened to this lost colony.

I have read a decent amount of visual novels, and time and time again, the same problems become evident. The story is too linear, defeating the purpose of making the novel interactive, the female characters are all empty, lifeless, husks who only serve to be visual stimulation, the writing is of poor quality in comparison to a good book, etc. However, every once in a while, a visual novel comes along that breaks tradition. “Analogue” is one of those visual novels.

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“Judith”

Judith

Download the game: Click here

Many years ago, during high school, I accidentally stumbled upon a video game whilst traversing the vast landscape of the Internet. This game was called “Judith”, created by indie game designer Terry Cavanagh. I meekly opened up the game, not exactly sure what to expect. My initial reaction upon seeing the graphical style of the game was “this is the worst DOOM clone I’ve ever seen!”

Judith, at least for me, is a very important game. It was one of the first games I played that opened my eyes to what the medium of video games is truly capable of. I grew up playing Nintendo, and then moved on to MMO’s and FPS’s like everyone else. But after playing Judith, I realized what I had been missing.

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Symphony of the Goddesses

Zelda Symphony 1

I pre-ordered tickets to the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert months in advanced, so I was really excited when I finally got to attend this event.

The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game franchises in video game history. That may sound blunt, but it is the truth. The music, composed by master composer Koji Kondo, is hugely inspirational to me. To an extent, it somewhat defines my own musical style, mixed with a few other things of course.

I arrived at the Wang Theater an hour early on accident (bad time management) and the line was already outside. The moment people were let in, they flocked to the merchandise. It is a good thing I came early. I did not know there would be merchandise. I got a poster!

Then we all found our seats and waited in anticipation for the show. My seat was incredible. It was really close and almost dead center. You can not get much better than that.

After the extremely talented Rhode Island Orchestra members took their seats, the conductor walked up to the podium, and alas, it was a woman. I heard a girl near me in the audience say, “A female conductor?” Indeed.

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