Female Game Protagonists: Engendering Empowerment through Assemblages

1 Response

  1. Terry Peterman says:


    I have a quick question about point number three where you say, “3) If girls are more easily able to identify with Lara because she is shown as not having always been strong, it is far more problematic to force her to face multiple rape situations. We identify with her, and thus we face our own defilement along with her.”

    Can you explain what you mean when you say “We face our own defilement with her” in a bit more detail? I would like to hear a little more to help me tease out your conclusions in the text. Obviously, I understand that you are saying that women are forced to confront rape which results in what Jonathan Haidt would term questions of purity and thus your allusions to defilement, which could be problematic in a number of ways in and of itself, but I think you might be conceptualizing it in a way that is something more than that, and which I may not be getting.

    Also, I had a question about why it is problematic for a female character to be portrayed as a weak person who gains strength through the course of the game? I assume you mean because the strength gained is predicated on overcoming rape? Which we can all agree is extremely fucked up. However, I wanted to make sure you did not have some underlying larger point about the relative strength of female characters versus their male counterparts. For example, women characters are usually endowed with less powers from the beginning than their male counterparts which leads them to take longer to level up, accomplish goals, etc. Or that the leveling up is in someway feminized (i.e. overcoming rape) which leads to larger problems, as well. That is not to mention the larger issue of simply portraying women as less, right? That in and of itself would be a huge issue to tackle.

    As always, great work. I love reading your stuff. You have great ideas and are really, really excellent at communicating complex ideas in ways that are easy to understand. I look forward to reading your response.