#FridayFeeling: Reading List for Feminist Gamers

Fallout 4

We haven’t run one of these in a while! If you’re not all caught up on what’s been happening here, let the FemHype community curate your recommended reading list. These are the articles we’ve seen talked about the most this past week, and by sharing the incredible work of our contributors again, we hope that this will continue much-needed discussions about the gaming industry. Always remember to boost the voices of your favorite writers! It helps immensely in supporting their work and encouraging others to get involved.

A Heteronormative Beginning: My Issue With ‘Fallout 4’

[BY MELISSA]

“Folks who aren’t too bothered by this aspect of the plot often point out that since the Fallout version of the future is heavily influenced by the 1950s aesthetic, the presence of LGBTQIA+ people just wouldn’t fit in. I’ve even seen someone write that there weren’t any LGBTQIA+ folks back then (!?!?!?), as opposed to that population having to pretend to be straight and cis so they wouldn’t get targeted. Some simply posit that it wouldn’t mesh with the morals of the 1950s, which the Fallout pre-apocalypse world mostly held on to. However, it turns out that there’s a lesbian couple right there in the trailer. They’re holding each other lovingly on their front lawn where all of their neighbors can see. So even that’s not a worthy excuse, since apparently everyone’s cool with it.”

Pick Your Poison: Character Creation & The Gender Binary

[BY TEDDIE]

Unfortunately, there are very few games that support a canonically trans protagonist (and no mainstream RPGs at all), despite how maddeningly easy it would be to give trans players the chance to validate their own gender. Just give me the option to say “Me too!” to Krem, Bioware! (Or even just an option that’s not horribly transphobic and ignorant. Please.) But the fact that some games have trans-friendly character creation goes a long way.

I dont need sweeping plotlines about my OCs gender—Im happy with just some basic representation. A game that doesnt assume my character fits neatly into the gender binary, a character creation screen that gives me the option not to buy into that. If I want to conform to the gender binary, let it be on my own terms. I realize itd take some jiggery pokery to get that all to work on a technical level, and narrow-minded cis gamers would definitely be up in arms over the whole thing. But they already are every time even the possibility is mentioned, so I assume they’d get over themselves eventually.”

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‘TowerFall Ascension’ Nails Diverse Character Design

TowerFall Ascension

I finally bought TowerFall Ascension for my PC even though I only have one actual game controller, and thus, wouldn’t be able to play against my roommates. Let’s be real—the multiplayer is the actual reason to play this game. But even in just single-player mode, I’ve been having a blast. The game’s fast-paced, fun, and very cleverly designed. It could easily stand on gameplay alone. But oh, what’s this? It has a diverse cast as well!

Let me be specific about what I mean by diverse in this case. With the “Dark World” expansion DLC installed, there are thirteen unique playable characters in TowerFall: nine main archers and four alternates that can be swapped in for specific archers.

In this cast of thirteen, there are six women, six men, and one canonically androgynous archer who uses they/them/their pronouns. Four of the archers are white, and a further four wear white face paint or have pure white skin, but there’s also three characters of color (and two undead characters of ambiguous race). There’s a disabled character. There are elderly characters. There are men wearing pink and women wearing bulky armor. There isn’t a single skimpy or sexualized outfit to be seen.

It’s absolutely fantastic.

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Beyond Development Hell: Why ‘Beyond Good & Evil 2’ Needs to Be Made

Beyond Good & Evil

Have you ever played Beyond Good & Evil? Drop whatever you’re doing and go play it. It’s just ten bucks on Steam, and I promise it’s worth every penny. I can just tell that you’re longing for a game about government conspiracies and investigative journalism, full of interesting characters and funny dialogue, set on an alien planet with a complex, non-sexualized, utterly kickass woman protagonist of ambiguous race. Oh, and there’s an ongoing side quest where you go around taking photos of alien wildlife for cash. Seriously, just go play it right now. This post can wait.

Sadly, wonderful as it is, Beyond Good & Evil does have one major flaw: its developer, Ubisoft. No, I’m not talking about their self-declared incompetency when it comes to animating half the human population (though more on that later). I’m talking about how they gave us the first installment in a three-part story, halfheartedly made vague gestures of support towards the production of its sequel, and then wandered off to more exciting things like rendering beard stubble for the next twelve freaking years.

Beyond Good & Evil was released in 2003. It’s now 2015. (Half Life fans, I feel your pain.) Although rumors of the game’s continued development still surface from time to time, the signals are growing fainter with each passing no-show at E3. Is there still hope for Beyond Good & Evil 2? Or has it been lost forever in the mires of development hell?

Well, I’m an incurable optimist, and this is one of my favorite games ever made. So, once and for all, here is my rant list of reasons why Ubisoft needs to take a quick breather from trying to churn out a new Assassin’s Creed game every six months, and let creator/developer Michel Ancel finish what he started over a dozen years ago.

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Stealing With Style: Classy Stealth in ‘The Marvellous Miss Take’

The Marvellous Miss Take

I love heist movies. I also love video games. I have no earthly idea why it wasn’t until last week that I tried playing a heist video game. The Marvellous Miss Take had been on my wishlist for a while now, partly because it looked fun and partly because it appeared to be a video game starring a woman. The price was the only thing holding me back, but when it showed up in a Humble Bundle, I finally pounced on it. And, quite swiftly, fell in love with it.

The basic story of the game centers around a young woman named Sophia Take, whose late great-aunt’s fabulous art collection has ended up in the hands of vile billionaire Ralph Blackstock due to some dodgy business surrounding the will. What’s a girl to do? Well, steal it all back, naturally! Gallery by gallery, Sophia sets out to reclaim all of her great-aunt’s stolen art, and picks up a few sidekicks along the way: Harry, a painter turned gentleman art thief who has a few tricks to show her, and Daisy, a snarky teenage pickpocket who couldn’t give a toss about the law. (Did I mention they’re in London?)

The trio’s members only ever work solo, so there’s a lot of replaying the same levels as different characters, but their vastly different abilities and objectives remove any sense of repetitiveness. Yet despite this separation, the brief, humorous speech bubble dialogue between heists gave all of the characters a surprising amount of charm and depth. I quickly fell in love with this little family of friendly thieves.

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E3 2015 Hype Masterpost: The Games That Already Stole Our Hearts

Mass Effect: Andromeda

You totally saw this coming, didn’t you? While everyone is (rightfully) discussing the ladies who swept E3 this year, I asked both our writers and awesome community what games they’re most excited to actually play, and hell, did I receive an enthusiastic response. From a tiny, unraveling creature made of red yarn to a gigantic, feathered friend shaped much like a griffin, it was unsurprisingly Mass Effect: Andromeda that swept the board for our community as the most anticipated, popular pick following the conference. Here are just some of the enthusiastic responses you sent us when asked about your favorite games presented on the E3 2015 floor:

earfy said: UNRAVEL mass effect andromeda BUT UNRAVEL MY HEART

ophiuroidea answered: Mass Effect Andromeda (seriously I need a new Turian romance in my life XD) and The Last Guardian (finally!)

ianblackport answered: Horizon: Zero Dawn was totally unexpected but looks spectacular. Plus another look at Mirror’s Edge was welcome.

zombioro answered: mass effect andromedaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Ready for more waxing lyrical about new games on the horizon? Of course you are. I’ve rounded up all the responses from our lovely writing team here at FemHype along with a parade of gratuitous screencaps. Not all of us could attend the big E3 2015 event, but by our collective excitement, you would’ve thought we were that guy shouting “THANK YOU!” during the Kingdom Hearts 3 gameplay reveal. More power to you, friend. ✊ We feel that love, too.

Continue reading “E3 2015 Hype Masterpost: The Games That Already Stole Our Hearts”

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