Heroes, Damsels, and Morality

The roles of females in our culture, specifically in video games, has long been discussed and debated. There’s no denying the fact that Princess Peach sat up in a tower on her lonesome much like Helen of Troy, passing the time until a certain plumber would come to make a daring rescue.

I could count the numerous feminine characters who’ve been portrayed to be helpless, weak, merely a hazy silhouette stewing in the shadows of a shining male protagonist, though this article isn’t a rant about feminism more than it is an exposition, just some ramblings upon a subject others might rather push aside instead of pick apart. Strong women resonate deeply within gaming’s picturesque lineage, that’s not the point – where does this desire to save a victim stem from? Sure, it’s nice to parade around slicing and dicing as the ravishing Lara Croft…. the problem lies in the fact that this doesn’t always compare to the full-bodied thrill of unchaining your companion and exhuming him or her out of a dingy prison cell.

Oh, Peach...When will you learn?

Oh, Peach…When will you learn?

And what about the lovely painted and decorated men who save these women? I think I can vouch for the collective whole of our society when I say how much people adore not only heroic characters, but drool over the idea of a superhero. Good looks, amazing abilities, indisputable vitality and stamina, these are the fictional gods that conduct our universe. What’s curious is how, even if we step back in history, maybe to Ancient Greece or Rome, the notion of heroes and damsels still conjured much affection in the populous, mere mortals in awe of Hercules, Persues, and, but of course, Achilles.

Is there something biological that draws us to this complex, a carnal chromosome woven into our DNA, or do we just enjoy watching a normal human suddenly find themselves shoulders-deep in power and immortality? It’s a very interesting theme, one clearly visible in some of the most popular IPs of the generation.

Bioshock gave us the remarkable opportunity to explore Rapture and the possibilities of either becoming a hero or a villain through various plot-driven choices; Infamous put us in the shoes of Cole MacGrath, a man who valiantly saved Empire City in some playthroughs, while in others, did not; finally, we come to Corvo Attano, a bodyguard turned juggernaut caught between a lethal or stealth-driven journey through Dunwall. Although each of these entries are different in a number of ways, they all meander back to one common thread: morality. Do I take the life of this Little Sister to make myself stronger? Do I forgo the shadows to massacre everyone in my path?

Heroes, damsels, and morality are like scalding tea, tar, and feathers from revolutionary times; even if you have one, it’s just not the same without the other two.

I implore you to post any comments, concerns, thoughts, and questions down below in the comment section. Mostly importantly, have an oh-so-Happy Easter!


About The Author


Rebecca "jobe352" 
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Born in the flames of the darkest and deepest pit, Rebecca, otherwise known through the alias of Jobe352, writes for AlterGamer and is an avid gamer herself. She hopes that everyone enjoys whatever she may post there, but, just in case, she wanted to ask you a simple, little question: "Would you kindly?"

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