Changes of perspective are vital to representation in games

January 30, 2019
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Games, role-playing games in particular, have created this interesting conundrum in which most of the things you do will turn out to your advantage somehow. I advance through the world. I give people reason to like me or to fear me, whatever I enjoy best, and both options work out for my character equally well.

These games want to make you their hero. You’re supposed to have an empowering experience, punishing you for any action seems counterproductive. Having diverse heroes in such games is often especially great because people of certain backgrounds rarely see themselves depicted as heroes. It’s one of the reasons playing Kassandra from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey can feel so liberating – if you decide to play her as a lesbian, you don’t only get to control a powerful female warrior, you also get to act as someone who is unapologetic about her preferences and gets to have the odd fun romp instead of having to fear public opinion.

So being a hero is fun and games, literally, because even as the challenge increases, so does your power. I absolutely want more people to experience being powerful through representation, as there are many races, identities and body types entirely unrepresented in games as of yet. I want to believe we’re steadily getting there.

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