Editor's Note

Editor's Note
Girl Power

Julianne Capps | 1 Nov 2005 11:00
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Dragon Warrior was one of my favorite games as a child. This was a classic roleplaying game; it was high fantasy with dragons, "dosts" and "thous," and slimes of the red, blue and metal varieties. It probably would have been my favorite, but for one minor part: Gwaelin.

You see, Gwaelin was the princess of the land which had lately been harassed by the Dragonlord. Gwaelin had also been captured by aforementioned evil villain. One of the first tasks I was to take on as Belle, the self-named hero of the game, was to save young Gwaelin from this evil-doer.

OK. I could handle that. Several levels and dead slimes later, Gwaelin was back, safe and sound, at the castle with her father. There was much rejoicing and thanking me for saving the princess.

And then it happens. I make the mistake of talking to Gwaelin on my way out of the castle to continue on my adventures.

"Dost thou love me, BELLE?"
>Yes
>No

Huh? Oh, see ... I ... uh
>No (Well, I didn't want to lie.)

"But thou must!"
"Dost thou love me, BELLE?"
>Yes
>No

Um. Wow.
No (Gwaelin, dear, I'm just ... not interested.)

"But thou must!"
"Dost thou love me, BELLE?"
>Yes
>No

At this point, it becomes abundantly clear that I will be stuck in this little loop of questioning until I compromise my personal identity as a female who likes males and answer, "Yes." So, after reasoning this away by saying to myself, "Sure, she is my Royal Princess and everyone 'loves' their royal rulers. And you know, it could be a sisterly, philos love sort of thing, right?"

>Yes

And then came the music. The happy little "All Is Now Right with the World" ditty. Gag. Princess Gwaelin is sooo happy. And in her mind, you are quite certain, she is naming the future children of Princess Gwaelin and ... Princess Belle.

Now, I realize that videogames have been traditionally created for males. That has been the bread and butter demographic for games. But, with instances like the above, isn't it a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Yes, girls like romance and love and all that gooey stuff, but can't there be a "Female Hero" button? Where you rescue Prince Gunther?

This week's issue of The Escapist focuses on women in games and gaming. We have gathered several authors to discuss different issues facing women in the industry and the industry when dealing with women. Chris Crawford looks at games and women through the lens of evolutionary psychology. Bonnie Ruberg discusses the most powerful manifestation of the female in games. Pat Miller talks with a customer service rep from GameStop about her experiences and thoughts in the retail channel. Find these articles and more in this week's issue of The Escapist.

Cheers,

Julianne Greer

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