By Ray L Martin
Editor at Large
8th August 2012, 18:43 GMT
In continuation of the article countdown, we’re now onto our 4th Feminist Video Game Character, bearing in mind:
There are very few female characters out there that are both empowered and feminist. So I decided to do some searching in order to find a least five feminist game characters.
So, I’ve established this criteria:
- Fights for a Noble Cause: The character would have to fight for a cause that is just and noble, which is a rather broad term and ultimately, if the character’s role is to destroy evil, then virtually every female character’s cause is noble. But for a character’s motives to be considered feminist, certain “self-serving” interests would not apply. This means that one who fights for money, fame or power over others could never be considered a feminist game character, as this is more in keeping with historically male philosophies.
- Own Philosophy of Life: It is important for a woman to have her own mission and purpose in life; that men and in general patriarchy do not define these foundations for her. The same is true with a female character. When the female lead plots her course for the game, it’s done by her will.
The lead should have complete control over her actions and her actions should never be defined by the state, an agency or any other type of patriarchal institution.
She should have sole discretion over her decisions as well as be able to manifest her own destiny.
- Sexy yet Dignified: Once it is established that the lead is both fighting for a just cause and is in complete control over her decisions, the lead should appear strong and dignified; in other words, no form of sexual objectification is allowed for this character. While this is not exactly a dominant requirement for all waves of feminists, in a video game world filled with huge breasted women with tight skirts and bikinis, it helps that a strong female lead is also the least exposed and visually exploited.
Now that we have established the criteria, the number 4 game is as follows:
There have been many female main characters in the Resident Evil series, but Claire Redfield is different in that she is the only one motivated by a selfless cause. In Claire’s storyline, she’s committed to locating and saving her brother, Chris Redfield (the character from the first Resident Evil game). The search for her brother spans two epic games – Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica. In Resident Evil 2, Claire arrives in the games fictional town Raccoon City to visit her brother – only to be greeted by zombies and other biological horrors. Almost all of the characters in the series simply want to get out of harms way (including the men), but Claire is determined to find her brother and won’t leave until she does. Additionally, Claire periodically watches after a young girl named Sherry Birkin, who is extremely vulnerable to the hostile biological threat. But alas, she fails to locate Chris.
Claire continues her pursuit for her brother in Resident Evil: Code Veronica in a remote European facility that is the source of the biological terror. Claire stands above both her male and female counterparts in her tenacity to find her family. Where most literary tropes have men rescuing women, or brother’s protecting vulnerable sisters – Claire debunks myths with her intelligence and bravery.
She is an engaging character, with a full story-line and admirable courage.
Stay tuned for the number 3 Feminist!