Strongest Female Characters In Modern Gaming
Okay, yes, I’m a dude with a protruding organ coming out of his pelvis region, but that does make my opinion completely invalid about strong female characters in games. If anything, I’m a full on supporter of females receiving good recognition within the gaming industry. I’m all about equality and to have strong female characters in my games is something that I yearn for because I’m also sick of the doll faced, big boobed women in games that solely exist to show off bouncing physics. I’m not going to go all Anita on everyone here and break out into feminist theory, but I will give recognition to the ladies that stand out in our games.
Before you don’t find your favourite in the list and call me a horrible writer, the reason why the title has “modern” thrown in there is because I’ll be mainly focused on games from the past few years or so. There are probably a lot of female characters in classic games that also deserve recognition, but that is from a long time ago and I feel it’s not relevant anymore. So before you flip a table because Samus isn’t on here, just keep in mind what I just said. By all means, give me your favourites in the comments and explain how they are strong female characters. Maybe I’ll notice some that I haven’t seen before.
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Let’s get this rolling, shall we?
Juliet Starling – Lollipop Chainsaw
Whoa, on the controversial train already are we? Juliet is a weird case, to say the least. While she is initially portrayed in quite an objectifying manner with her skimpy cheerleader costume, make-up and long blonde hair, there is a lot more to her. Yes, she has all the stereotypes, but this is one powerful woman. She is always in control of the situation and things go her way or the highway. She beats up men like they are nothing and her boyfriend, Nick, isn’t going to be her “prince that saves the day, but is rather the one that is being saved by Juliet.
Juliet knows what she wants and she is determined to get it and isn’t going to be stopped by anything or anyone. To me that sounds like female empowerment. While she appears to be a blonde dolly with not much to say for herself, she is actually an extremely powerful woman. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.
Female Commander Shepard – Mass Effect
I did a female playthrough on all of the Mass Effect games and it was a really enjoyable experience. Not only can I embrace Thane because I have a man-crush on the husky voiced amphibian, but also because the female version of Commander Shepard is one kick-ass lady. She is exactly like the male version in the sense that they both take no prisoners and are very empowered individuals. She takes what she wants and doesn’t even care that she’s a woman. She will beat the crap out of any man in a heartbeat and will look awesome doing it.
Because of the whole choice aspect of Mass Effect, you can still mold your lady Shepard into whatever you want, but she is never objectified or downplayed in any way. It was certainly a fun experience to play with her and see how a woman can be so powerful.
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider Reboot
Early incarnations of Lara were the first time we saw an indication of an empowered woman in gaming. While her shorts might have been a little too tight, she was still a positive female rollmodel. But there was always a little objectifying aspect to her. She was marketed as an object of lust rather than how she was portrayed in the games. With the reboot, she started evolving from this object of lust to an empowered woman. She was a girl that evolved past her innocence into full-on womanhood.
While she may have been horrendously abused throughout the game, particularly in the graphic death scenes, you could still see that this was an empowered woman. I don’t know how you could call the game sexist when the female character sets a bunch of men on fire with arrows and kicks their ass like nothing.
Elizabeth – BioShock Infinite
Elizabeth is a particular favourite of mine when it comes to female characters in gaming. She’s smart, can think for herself and is mostly in control of the situation. She’s never really portrayed as an object of lust like many other games do, but rather just as a strong individual. Hell, by the end of the game she definitely becomes empowered to the point of insanity. She’s relatable, powerful and intelligent. In Burial at Sea Part 2, she takes the reigns and she evolved way past her initial backstory of a captive girl that doesn’t really understand the outside world.
I didn’t really see Elizabeth as a strong female character, but rather just a strong character. Her gender was never really an issue throughout the game and that indicates equality, which is sorely missed in the industry.
Ellie – The Last of Us
Ellie is probably the strongest female character I have had the pleasure of playing with. With her being born in the apocalypse, none of the conventional attitudes towards women were there. There’s a particular scene in the game where she reads the diary of a teenage girl and laughs at the mundane things they had to worry about when society wasn’t a popcornface infested nightmare. She’s only a teenage girl, but she still evolved to an empowered female character throughout the game. She takes no prisoners and does not accept any condescension she may receive because of her age. She swears like me on a good day as well, which is something distinctly “unladylike” in popular society.
Ellie really takes the gold when it comes to female characters, not that it was a competition in the first place though. She didn’t come under the same scrutiny that women have to go through in our age and she is rather portrayed as a strong character. Which is fucking awesome, as she would say.
It’s a shame that I have to list strong female characters because it’s supposed to be the norm by now. You certainly won’t see a list called “most empowered male characters” because that list would extend to the reaches of space. I know feminism is a touchy subject and I probably pissed off at least a few people, but I want to see more positive female representation in games. I’m sick of the cookie cutter Caucasian man-beef gym addicts that I usually play with and would love to see some variation. Game characters need to be equal, like it’s supposed to be and not absolutely dominated by hunky boys. And please stop with the jiggle physics, game industry, you’re impressing no-one except 12 year old boys with holes in their pockets.