Today we at Geeks World Wide are celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting the female video game characters or women in the video game industry that, in our minds, stand above the rest. Be sure to tells us who comes to your mind!
JEDI, PIRATE, ASSASSIN: Mara Jade (Star Wars)
Written By: Ben Suri
To celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to throw some love towards Mara Jade of Star Wars Expanded Universe fame. Growing up I really enjoyed the Jedi Knight games. Mysterious of the Sith featured Mara Jade in the 1998 expansion pack to the original Jedi Knight game.
Mara as a character is pretty cool and her journey of balancing her new found life in the New Republic with her past of being an assassin for the Emperor made for a great game. She also use to be a shady pirate too. Mara is a character with depth and individuality. She also rocked the purple lightsaber way before Mace Windu.
The Gradual Exposure to Female Characters
Written By: Leon Field
Growing up the girls I knew who played games and I agreed on one thing, games had way too many male leads and not enough opportunity for choice. RPG games where a big hit in that friendship group mostly for the choice and I think it was playing Pokemon that the choice first came up for me. I also played my fair share of tomb raider on the PS1 and always thought that Lara was one of the most badass characters in any shooter.
She had more personality then the majority of male protagonists in video games at the time that I had encountered. Now are starting to see more variety, though there could always be more and customization has become so integral to video games that gender choice is frequent.
The Tomb Raider: LARA CROFT
Written By: Jeff Gordon
I think it’s nearly impossible to discuss females in video games without Lara Croft coming to mind. I think more than veteran characters like Princess Peach or Zelda, Lara Croft is the embodiment of what so many of us want any female character, let alone just in video games, to be. She’s a relentless fighter, a character of great depth, a loyal friend, and yes, she’s absolutely beautiful.
Although, she wasn’t always given this proper treatment. For a long time Lara Croft was mostly reduced to a video game sex symbol. I can vividly remember a friend of mine in 6th grade bringing a “swimsuit issue” of some video game magazine to school and the main billing was Lara Croft.
I loved Tomb Raider games, but even in as a young teenager, I was more engaged with the puzzle solving, combat, and visuals that I swore couldn’t get any better. The thought of Lara Croft being a sex symbol was the furthest from my mind. That was until it was constantly forced on me. Close up shots of her butt and breasts. Portions of gameplay in which Lara would fight of enemies while wearing a bikini.
Things got a little ridiculous.
But since the series was rebooted in 2013, Lara Croft is clearly the representative for what a female character can be in a video game. I stated in my latest review of Rise of the Tomb Raider that because Lara is such a great character, I felt as though I was fighting for her. I didn’t want her to die. If I allowed that to happen, I’d have felt like I let her down. And believe me, I let her down a lot. But it made me more determined to fight for her.
That may sound odd, but I think it represents the great connection a gamer can have with the character they are controlling. The fact that that character is a female shows the great deal of progress that has been made in the gaming industry. That achievement is worth celebrating.