The release of Horizon Zero Dawn has raised high expectations. Not only for the graphics, the story line, the development of the heroine Aloy and the way you can influence that or the combination of the old- and new world (technique vs survival in nature), Horizon Zero Dawn has already been proclaimed a feminist game by The Guardian. So this is not merely a high anticipated new release action RPG, there’s much more to it.
The main reason The Guardian calls it feminist is that Aloy is not portrayed as a sex object, so big boobs, toned body, tight and very revealing outfit, nice ass and of course fuckable. As Guerrilla Games says in the interview:” “It’s really important that we didn’t look for a woman and that turned out to be Aloy. We had Aloy and one of her very many attributes is that she is a woman.”
Another big thing is, the world Aloy is living in, is a matriarchal one. The fact alone that Aloy is being banned for simply being motherless says enough about the importance of the role of women/mothers in Aloy’s world and the game. One can wonder if a woman or mother would ever outcast a child because she doesn’t have a mother, so this rule in the game makes women/mothers instantly heartless creatures, not the image we have on mothers, however, it does show that a matriarchal society is not for pussys.
Marking Zero Dawn as a feminist game is however interesting. I don’t know if Guerrilla Games meant to produce a feminist game, but once it’s marked as one, will the game only be bought by female gamers or male gamers too and how will Aloy’s character develop being played by either males or females. Especially so since it’s an emotional and confronting game as well.
Besides all this, there’s still the ongoing discussion of female gamers and how to get them accepted. As it turns out, it’s not a matter of girls not wanting to game, nor the games being too sexist (get over it) or violent (might even feel kind of good), but still a matter of online abuse. I came across the below text on Reddit, posted on jan. 30 2017:
“After the worst experience I’ve ever had in competitive Overwatch, the two guys who harassed me all game tracked me down on Reddit to send a sincere apology letter. This is just an excerpt. The whole thing was multiple paragraphs long. These guys were so awful to me. I’m normally very good at handling sexism in my games and I always use comms, but I’ve never once cried and had to leave team chat because because of people literally yelling at me and berating me constantly. I have extremely thick skin, but man that game got to me.”
A lot of girl gamers still hide their identity online and pretend to be male and shut up during the game. That’s a shame, because the more you get beaten by a girl, the less of a problem it becomes which will decrease the online aggression. On the other hand, it’s perfectly understandable girls hide online, being told they’ll come over to rape you after a game lost is not something you like to hear.
So Horizon Zero Dawn with a feminine hero that is not a superhot sexy and willing character, could just change the image of female game heroes and therefor La Femme in general and in addition girl gamers. This is great plus, since there’re a lot of really talented girl gamers out there who don’t only want to play all female tournaments, but mixed teams as well. Just make use of that. A girl might play different tactically, but that doesn’t mean she can’t play (otherwise you wouldn’t lose) and having a girl on board will therefor make for positive surprises a not mixed team cannot foresee.
All in all, feminist or not, Horizon Zero Dawn turns out to be a great new game during the previews and will undoubtedly be made into a movie as well. It’s in store on march 1 for the PS4.