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#219831 - 10/22/07 10:45 AM Games with women characters - recommendations?
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
I'm new to the GameBoomers community, so I'm unfamiliar with the ages and genders, etc., here, but it seems that there are a fair number of women. I'm in my 50s, and have long been a feminist even when that was a worse word than it is today. I love adventure games. I love adventure games with women protagonists, and I equally love adventure games with men protagonists. I only ask that they're realistic and interesting characters. But -- it's the "realistic" that I'm having more and more of a hard time with.

Is there anyone else out there who is sick and tired of seeing Barbie-Borg women "heroes" with large chests accentuated by whatever clothing the men game designers give them? Clothing that is A) tighter than the men's, and B) made up of 50% less fabric? Women who are given the personalities of teenagers? When was the last time you found a woman hero in a game who actually had an adult personality? For that matter, when was the last time you actually saw a woman in a game who was older than 25?

If you know of any games without overtly sexist childlike portrayals of women, would you please post recommendations here?

Maybe it was the fact that I was really looking forward to Culpa Innata... and then I watched the trailer. Just now. For pete's sake, at the end of it the "hero" is sitting in bed in her bikini underwear, after swaying her hips constantly as she walked throughout the game in her skin-tight (or was it just painted on?) clothing accentuated by the scoop-pattern around her breasts. I fully expected to see her chest bounce when she ran, but I guess they couldn't even go that far. I realize that men make most of these games, and believe me, I'm not thrilled with that, and I keep hoping that game developers are going to realize that women make up a hefty % of adventure game players. But, that doesn't seem to happen. I understand reality - I'm simply really, reallllllly tired of it.

And, kudos to Jonathan Boakes, who deliberately created a real woman in The Lost Crown, in what appeared to be a small protest against Barbie-Borg characters. At least, that's what it sounded like from what he said on his website.

So -- any recommendations out there? Anyone else sick and tired of it, too?

Thank you,
Rebecca

currently playing: Barrow Hill; Time Stands Still. Queued: Murder on the Orient Express; AnaCapri; East Side Story; BS:Sleeping Dragon; Post Mortem; Traitor's Gate.
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"Reality is leaking again." Diana Trent, Waiting for God

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#219838 - 10/22/07 10:59 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
acornia Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 3805
Loc: Kentucky, USA
See you found the broken sword games. Have you tried Syberia and Journey to the Center of the Earth? Still life is another. Also one of the Egypt games.
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#219848 - 10/22/07 11:26 AM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: acornia]
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
Hi Acornia,

Thank you -- yes, liked Syberia, very much, both of them. Didn't like Still Life so much because she grated on me, a lot. Unduly snarky, and at the point I tried it I was a little sick of snark everywhere, lol. It's as if a woman has to be either a petulant teenager or snide and snarky in order for her to be a hero -- I guess because she's less threatening (less likeable), or something? I dunno, and I can't say I care why smile .

We did play Egyptian Prophesy, if that's the one you're thinking of, which had a woman as hero, and liked it very much - the household here is kind of Egyptology-nuts. It was fun to play as a woman who had to use brains and creativity to save the civilization, and who had to earn the respect of her elders.

I've not heard of Journey to the Center of the Earth. I will definitely look into it. Thank you!
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#219868 - 10/22/07 12:05 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
old lady Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 582
Loc: cornwall england
Why not try Return to Mysterious Island? I think you will find her quite a fisty women. luck

I was going to recommend East Side Story but see you are already playing it. I'm about half way through and loving every minute.
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#219871 - 10/22/07 12:11 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35352
Loc: southeast USA
Egypt 2: The Heliopolis Prophecy featured Tifet, who is one of the best female protagonists. The Egyptian Prophecy is the 3rd Egypt game in the series. Although the protagonist was a nice character, judging from the way she dressed (see ***here***, I wonder if it was Heliopolis Prophecy that you were thinking of rather than Egyptian Prophecy.

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#219888 - 10/22/07 12:31 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Jenny100]
GuybrushThreepwood Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 3298
Loc: Lincoln, NE
third person games:
Kings Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
Kings Quest VII: The Princeless Bride

first person games:
The Syndney Mystery
Carol Reed Mysteries
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Adventure: Redemption Cemetary: Bitter Frost
Darkside: Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft

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#219900 - 10/22/07 12:47 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: GuybrushThreepwood]
Renee Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 962
Loc: Northern California
I recommend the Gabriel Knight series - Gracie is a smart, strong, no nonsense woman who keeps Gabe in his place! wink I think you'll like her.

wave
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#219907 - 10/22/07 01:05 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Jenny100]
rebecca53 Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 09/19/07
Posts: 19
Loc: Bay Area CA
Old Lady -- Thank you for the rec. Did try Return to Mysterious Island, and yes, liked the character smile and the game as a whole! Unfortunately, hit a dead end late in the game, because we had used a banana (I think it was a banana) in solving a puzzle earlier than we should have, and needed said banana to get past something and no longer had it. Was mighty peeved smile . Really glad to hear East Side Story is good! I should have made mention of the MDNA games - there's not only a woman protagonist who on the whole isn't stupid, but the other women characters are, to state the obvious, real women smile , and there's more than one in each game! Different types of women, too! Wow, what a concept wink . I also love the pierced tattoo guy smile .

###########

Jenny -- Thank you for the rec for Egypt II, the Heliopsis Prophesy. Strangely enough, I have the game, unwrapped, and never played it because Egypt (I) was pretty much hated from the get go. Had to pixel hunt in this loooong corridor for something I can't remember now and the hunting was tedious and felt rather pointless. We had just finished Riddle of the Sphinx which was such a great game, that this one felt like a bad knockoff, lol. Probably not a fair comparison smile . To your point -- yes, I know that the woman in Egyptian Prophesy was sexed up in clothing and, yes, boo on that. But, A) that was somewhat appropriate for the time period, and B) I don't remember seeing her in the game (?), and C) we liked her personality and her story arc. But D) -- I didn't realize that Egypt, Egypt II, and Egyptian Prophesy were related. Huh. I'll see if Egypt II can be played in this machine - it's original and I think only runs up to WinME. Nice to know it's good!! Thank you!

###########

Guybrush -- Thank you for the recs to Kings Quest IV & VII smile and The Sydney Mystery. I'm not familiar with any of them, so will definitely check them out! Thank you smile

###########

Renee wave -- Thank you for the rec for Gabriel Knight! I forgot that Beast Within is also in the Queue, because I just bought it from a Boomer. I understand the third one has more of Gracie as an actual character that you can play, right? I'm hoping that Jane Jensen's new game -- name is forgotten -- will also have a positive woman characterization in there somewhere smile . Thank you!


Edited by rebecca53 (10/22/07 01:12 PM)
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"Reality is leaking again." Diana Trent, Waiting for God

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#219915 - 10/22/07 01:18 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: rebecca53]
UpToo Late Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/17/04
Posts: 503
Loc: NY, USA
If you haven't already done so, you MUST play The Longest Journey! That is my ABSOLUTE favorite game, and the main character is a wonderful, smart woman!

I haven't played the follow-up game to it, and in fact can't even remember what it's called at the moment, but apparently it's rather different from TLJ, and the main character is a different person, so I don't know if it would suit what you like. But DEFINITELY play The Longest Journey!

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#219941 - 10/22/07 01:56 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: UpToo Late]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Rebecca,
Well said! I feel *just* the same way - I'm sick of the fact that women protagonists are always barbie like, and for some more modern games, maybe not barbie-like, but definitelly attractive, vivid, young. (only these days they might have some "manly" attributes - how wild is that!)
We all know that many explorers/adventurers out there (men and women) aren't necessarily beautiful (in modern society's eyes) and fit.
Don't get me wrong - I think the longest journey, Syberia, Gabriel knight - all of these - are brilliant, beautiful games, but they all rely on what Rebbeca described. The women there are always fit and attractive (well kinda).
Is it just me, or are there more "over-weight" people out there in the US than we see in these games.
It's about time games should start be realistic, and I couldn't agree more-
Same annoying phenomena of commercials with skinny models that are so proportionated I'm not sure their body could carry it (and it probably doesn't).
This is the main cause for anorexia, eating problems, and depression that's connected with it.

And there are a lot of researchs that prove that.

So, Rebbeca, Thumbs up.
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#219942 - 10/22/07 01:57 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
Tomer Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 793
Loc: Tel Aviv, Israel.
Oh, and as for a recommendation:
Myst smile
You are what you are.
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There's definitely definitely definitely no logic to human behaviour.

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#220000 - 10/22/07 03:16 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
Darleen03 Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 12/13/03
Posts: 14760
Loc: Northeast NJ
I really have no recommendations for a game.
As I am very happy with the way games are made..

I never payed much attention on whether a character is Fat,Skinny,Bald,No Teeth,Female or Male.

I enjoy the games if its a good game..
All I can say is when woman developer's become prominent they can make a game anyway they want.

My opinion grin
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#220004 - 10/22/07 03:31 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
RayBres Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/30/06
Posts: 165
Loc: Des Plaines, Illinois
Rebecca, you bring up a subject that has caused me for a long time to be curious about what's going on in developers' minds when they're doing the women characters, so I've decided to enter a few thoughts about this.

Either the developers are operating under the illusion that men are the biggest percentage players of their games, or they know something we don't and it's not an illusion at all. Whatever. think shame

(By the way, I'm male and have four granddaughters, the youngest of whom is 18, so I have some idea as to what young women are up to these days.)

You wouldn't want to play either of the first two Dracula games. Recently I posted a comment about the upcoming Dracula 3 game that was so outrageously sexist that (I hoped) people would see that I was being sarcastic (well, MaG seemed to get it) about the first two. In these, Mina Harker is unrealistically buxom and her only function is to be unconscious so she can get carried around by Dracula and Jonathan Harker, with a good deal of emphasis on her anatomy. Dracula has three helpers (whom I referred to as "Dracula's girlfriends") who are, basically, naked. Totally unnecessary and completely exploitative.

Even in The Egyptian Prophecy, the character Maya may be dressed as they dressed then, but when she has a vision of what'll happen if she fails at her task, the top of her dress gets blown off! Why? shame

Consider what as intelligent a developer as Ragnar Tornquist did in The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. In TLJ, April Ryan has a couple of sequences in her underwear. Couldn't she have been wearing PJ's instead? In the latter of the two games, Zoe Castillo goes to Arcadia and is dressed in an OK costume, but when she goes in search of Faith or goes to the Storytime, she's also in her underwear! Why's that? If it's her "astral" body (or whatever that's called), why isn't she naked or, better, dressed the same as in Arcadia? Also, what exactly is going on with the depiction of the White Draic Kin? shame shame shame

So, are you really sure of your statement that women make up a large percentage of adventure game players? It's true that there are a lot of women who moderate and contribute to this and other forums of this type, but I don't know that that translates to their being a hefty percentage of players. think

However, I don't want you to think that I'm not on your side, as I hope my comments above have made clear. You're right! Complain to the developers at their game forums, which exist for most games currently released. They say that they want your feedback, so let them know.luck

I see that you're playing Murder on the Orient Express, and the lady protagonist in that one is realistic, I think.

I'll go through my long list of past games and see how many reasonable ones I can find. Stay tuned. smile
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#220032 - 10/22/07 04:20 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Tomer]
Karsten Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 1477
Loc: Denmark, Europe
I think I know what was going on in Ragnar's mind when he designed Zoë and April. Ragnar is a Norwegian, and many Norwegian and Scandinavian women do sleep in their underwear, not in a PJ. I have played the first part of TLJ and Dreamfall, and I do find that is is an important thing to the story that the female avatar in both games are in their underwear. Both will need to get something out of a closet, and both discovers something very valuable to the character, the story and the player smile

There's even a lesbian woman in TLJ who talks very freely about her sexual adventurers and who swears a lot. So, if you're easily offended by these sort of thing, then don't play TLJ. I'm not, especially as this adds to the story and to depiction of how April's girlfriend is characterized.

I don't tend to think about how women are portrayed in adventure games, but when you consider that April and Zoë both are meant to be smart, clever and to solve puzzles, and they do apparently smile then they can be smart and look good as well I think. Kate Walker in Syberia 1-2 and the female protagonist in Secret Files: Tunguska also know how to use their brains to progress in the game.

I fail to see the barbie-like dimensions in 16-year old April or Zoë, or the barbie-like dimensions in Kate Walker or the female detectives in Post Mortem and Still Life. The 16 or 20 year? old April is probably more concerned about her issues with her father than about how she looks in society's eyes, I think.

As I understand it, in Dreamfall when you need to fight, you play as the man, Kieran?. To me, this is more 'sexist' (to use that word) as this implies that women can't do well in a fist fight or that getting into a fistfight isn't very lady-lake, if yo get my drift here...

In RPGs you can usually choose a character to be male or female as well as choosing their age. Maybe this was an idea for adventure game makers to get some inspiration from when they make adventure games?

/Karsten



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#220034 - 10/22/07 04:28 PM Re: Games with women characters - recommendations? [Re: Karsten]
MaG Offline
Administrator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 12/28/99
Posts: 65862
April fights in Dreamfall also.

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