Welcome to the Dead Women’s Club of Video Games – Destructoid

Video game wives are shot, kidnapped, terminally ill, thrown in the backs of cars, and presented to dead gamers upon arrival. The memory of their briefly sexy existence permeates the psyche of their white husbands like a stain of bleach or a hot, imperfect and permanent splash of oil, giving the protagonist a cast personality trait that could double as his only trait. of personality. Once the woman is dead, that’s how we know the real the game starts ; his death often motivates the plot, the characters and acts as the main stream of emotional depth in the story.

You may be familiar with the deceased brides in their larger category “women in refrigerators,” a familiar trope. You can find these women crammed all over art throughout history and form, like the movie Up, the book The Wuthering Heights, or the song “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” by Eminem. The term was coined by comic book writer Gail Simone for his 1999 website which aimed to catalog “the superheroes who have been stripped, raped or chopped up and stuck in the refrigerator,” but has since expanded to refer to female characters in general who are injured for the plot.

[Spoilers for Resident Evil Village — and God of War and Silent Hill 2 — below.]

All manner of women have been tossed in the fridge, perhaps with less bravado over the years, and male writers allegedly raise their bar of social awareness, but the deceased woman, for some reason, remains limp behind the carrots in the vegetable drawer.

In Resident Evil Village, while people online fantasize About their undead wife, Lady Dimitrescu, Mia Winters is presumed dead (again), imprisoned (again), only to find herself with a dead protagonist husband (presumably). In the most recent God of the war, the only goal of Faye, the deceased wife of the protagonist Kratos, is to be dead. And, like, prophesy.

Before that, in the original God of the war, Kratos murders his first wife, Lysandra, and his only daughter, Calliope, in a fucking burning house because, well, he just couldn’t help it. In Silent Hill 2, Mary Shepherd-Sunderland is suffocated with a pillow because her protagonist husband James thinks she is so ugly.

You know all this. Like I said, it’s familiar. Women get hurt in real life and women get hurt in art, it’s something that should change but it isn’t, it’s no secret. But in video games, when you play as Ethan, or Kratos, or James – searching filthy forests, leaning over cryptic letters, preparing the body for cremation on their behalf – you start to feel like their deceased wife is kind of your deceased wife, too. Other art forms allow a certain degree of separation between you and the plot device. You can recognize the deceased woman for what she often is: a lazy way of building a protagonist’s story and working into a female character without creating it in a thoughtful way, or, worse yet, hiring more people. female writers.

But video games make you, as a gamer, feel directly benefited by the death of a woman. Suddenly, you are the brooding shooter with the mottled skin, the avenger or the god. Yeah, it sucks your wife is dead and all, but if she wasn’t then you wouldn’t have Pyramid Head or Dante’s Hell. It’s not so bad to murder female characters for the plot when you experience it from a cool distance, especially when so few protagonists of the game are female, which makes their role limited anyway.

I would love to see more studios and players actively tackle this. Video games are places of fantasy, diversity and crazy ideas. These are new worlds born from a seamless blend of art and technology, places where anything seems possible. Why does this ethic not apply to the women who compose it? We can do more than die.

Ashley bardhan

Ashley Bardhan is a writer from New York who covers culture, sex, and other things people love. His journalism can be found in Pitchfork, Mel Magazine, and Bitch, among others. She thinks a lot about Bloodborne. [url]https://msha.ke/ashleybardhan/[/url]

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