There’s been a lot of noise lately about the representation of women in videogames. There was some serious ugliness coming from E3 – a Tomb Raider executive producer made seriously disturbing comments about an attempted rape scene in the upcoming reboot, and the fallout from that has continued through July. More recently – last weekend, a Destructoid writer was fired for making nasty comments on Twitter towards geek goddess Felicia Day. There’s been a great deal of positive discussion as well, and outlets are starting to report on sexism and misogyny – and issues of representation – with much more seriousness.
Amongst all of the chaos, one little game came out that has perhaps one of the best female characters in recent history.
Resonance is a decidedly old-school looking point and click adventure game (much like the LucasArts and Sierra adventures of the mid 1990s), but it’s writing, storyline and characters are all a good deal more sophisticated and modern than its stylized visuals. In the game, you play as four different characters with intertwining storylines, one of whom is Anna, a woman of color and a doctor.
You can practically count the number of women of color with starring roles in games on one hand (and we’re talking about narrative games, with characters written as such – not characters created by the player, for example). Anna is a badass – she had a troubled past (evidenced by sequences where you play through her childhood nightmares), but she is never treated like a weak, victimized person. She is a Mexican-American woman, and a doctor, able to explore areas of the hospital scenes that the men cannot. Overall, she’s smart, tough, and complex – a positive, non-stereotyped, and likeable portrait.
It’s incredibly refreshing to play as someone like Anna. XII Games deserves a public high five for creating a lady character that we can all get behind.