Monday, December 30, 2013

Female-centric Last of Us

Back when The Last of Us was released, the NY Times wrote a piece about how the game builds up a feminist standpoint and then falls flat, favoring the male characters when the end of the world arrives. In many ways, the writer enjoyed the game and found it thoughtful, intelligent, and wonderfully crafted, but felt that the pre-disposed need to put women in danger, and to take away the little power they held (damsel in the fridge trope anyway?), hurts the game instead of enhancing it.

Naughty Dog fired back. In a response piece by Alexandria Neonakis, the user interface designer for the game, explains that the opposite is taking place. If anything, Ellie IS the main character of the game, even if you rarely get a chance to control her character. The power she holds is consistent, and in the end, the entire dynamic of the game flips on it's head when you realize that Joel needed Ellie to move forward, and it was never the other way around. Ellie is a girl that you could imagine being able to hold her own in the zombie hoard. Would there have been more downs then ups? Sure. But she never relied on others in the way that Joel needed her around to have a sense of purpose (i.e. to protect her).

If you have a few minutes today, or haven't used up your freebe daily NY Times allowance, check out the response article.


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