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National Video Game Day: Strong Female Characters Who Break Stereotypes In Gaming – SheThePeople

Over the years the gaming industry has seen a stark change in the treatment of female characters in video games.Women characters in video games often had to suffer bad writing and over-sexualisation since the targeted users were men and boys. However, the gaming industry has finally acknowledged that female gamers do exist and that sexualisation of female characters in games reinforced problematic stereotypes, and thus has stopped exclusively pandering to the male gaze.

From female Vikings leading a village raid to cynical zoomorphic crocodiles dealing with having to put food on the table, there are several well-developed female characters in video games across genres now.

July 8 marks National Video Game Day, a day dedicated to celebrating video games and the gaming industry. To mark the occasion, we have compiled a list of some of the best female characters in video games that played major roles in their games.

5 Female Characters In Video Games that we love:

Eivor – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set in 873 CE in Norway, a Viking clan led by Eivor, also known as Wolf-Kissed, and her brother Sigurd decide to travel across to Anglo-Saxon England and settle new lands. Eivor leads the clan as it tries to expand across Europe and built alliances with the various kingdoms.

The Viking manages to be gentle and kind while also being a leader who travels across England and lead her Viking clan into battle and raids.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla allows the player to choose whether they play a male version of the character or a female one. While the gender of the character is customisable, it is confirmed that female Eivor is the canonical main character.

Eivor has two voices depending on how the player choses to customise the character. Notably, the male Eivor’s voice is gentle and soothing while the female Eivor’s voice is coarse and rough, flipping the expectations of the players.

Bea Santello – Night In The Woods

Night in the Woods is an exploration game set in the small town of Possum Springs, which is populated by zoomorphic animals. While the main character is Mae Borowski, her old friend Beatrice Santello, also known as Bea, grabbed the attention of the critics and players.

The goth crocodile is cynical after the death of her mother that also led to economic hardships and Bea had to begin working rather than going to college.

Bea and Mae’s tumultuous friendship stems from their opposing world views. While Bea grew tired and frustrated with the stagnancy in her life, she still makes time to help her friends despite being overwhelmed with her own issues.

Chell – Portal

Chell is the silent protagonist of the Portal series.  She is forced to undergo a series of tests within a science laboratory as an antagonistic artificial intelligence, GLaDOS attempts to sabotage her while also fat-shaming and bullying her.

Female Characters In Video Games

Chell in Portal

Despite being a silent protagonist and not having any lines, Chell has been praised by players for having the appearance of a generic woman rather than being dressed in skimpy clothes.

Chell’s refusal to respond to the GLaDOS even as the artificial intelligence makes antagonising comments towards her serves as a comic factor in the game, especially to women players, who can totally identify with her (non)response.

Reyna – Valorant

The cooperative first-person shooter game Valorant has no storyline and allows the players to choose from a large number of characters. Even though the tactical shooting game has no storyline, fans are still intrigued by the lore and the characters. The characterisation of Reyna in particular has fans raving.

The lore about the characters and setting of the game along with the character voice lines give us a glimpse into Reyna’s dark past. She is characterised as someone with a cynical view of the world but still fights to save it from the forces of evil.

It’s hard to get players invested in characters without using a storyline and only using a few voice lines, but the character of Reyna manages to keep us cheering on for her.

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

Lara Croft first appeared in the 1996 video game Tomb Raider and quickly became an icon and was considered a sex symbol. The archaeologist ventures into tombs and ruins around the world in search of lost artefacts. Over the course of the series, the character design and backstory for Lara have changed significantly.

In 2010, a reboot was announced and it focused on the origin story of the character. Lara’s appearance was also modified and her wardrobe was changed to be more functional and practical.

Lara Croft’s original character design of being scantily clad and having large breasts seemed to embody the male fantasy and aimed to attract the male audience. However, her debut is often cited as the catalyst for more female lead characters in video games.

Despite being designed for the male gaze, Croft garnered a female audience for Tomb Raider.

Suggested Reading: Celebrate National Video Games Day With Five Best Games With Strong Female Leads


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