Sneaking Women Into Video Games

Topless Robot hasan awesome post on video game characters whose genders started out ambiguous and were eventually revealed to be female. I have mixed feelings about this as a tactic generally: obviously it would be nice to assume that consumers in any media see a character’s specific traits in the foreground and their gender in the background (unless, of course their sex or gender performance is the most important thing about them). But if this is a way to force those traits to the foreground and deliberately sideline gender for a minute, or to set up a situation where gender expectations are subverted, then it seems like a worthwhile tactic at least some of the time. Eowyn’s gender reveal to the Witch King remains a gold standard in gender-subverting awesome, and if we can get joy and surprise along with the monster-conquering, so much the better.