You can learn a lot from playing video games, especially since modern triple-A titles tend to have a lot of narrative heft to back up their core gameplay mechanics.
While gaming has traditionally been a male-dominated pastime, a fact reflected in the kinds of characters featured in mainstream titles, this is changing as the gender balance is redressed. Here is a quick look at some of the most inspirational female characters from video games old and new, to prove just how far the industry has come.
Image Source: Pixabay
It pays to take risks
You will never get anywhere in life if you are completely risk-averse, and this is a theme that lots of female characters have explored in video games over the decades.
Noteworthy exponents of dicing with death and choosing to gamble rather than playing it safe include Lara Croft, the tomb-raiding heroine of one of the best selling action-adventure franchises of all time. Croft's privileged upbringing does not prevent her from putting herself in harm's way to achieve her ambitions. Whether it's taking leaps of faith across bottomless pits or sneaking through the foliage to ambush armed mercenaries while totally outnumbered, Lara never lets an intimidating challenge get in the way of doing what she wants.
Humour is a great coping mechanism
While male characters can get the lion's share of the wise-cracks and comedic roles in video games, as well as movies, there are some quick-witted, quirky and generally upbeat females featured in even the most violent franchises, using their humour to lighten the mood when the time is right.
Both Jill Valentine and Claire Redfield fit this description here, demonstrating competence in combat situations and also chucking in spirit-lifting gags when the time is right during their various appearances in Resident Evil games.
Of course playing through this tense and often terrifying series might be too much for some gamers to cope with, in which case trying out zombie-themed slots at this Canadian online casino will be a less hair-raising alternative.
Your personality is shaped by your experiences
Too many video game characters, and fictional characters in general, do not undergo any significant shifts in their personalities over the course of time; they stay the same no matter what trials they face. This is why those characters which do have a satisfying, realistic story arc are worth celebrating.
Clementine from The Walking Dead is a well-wrought example of this. Players first meet her as a child in the initial episodic chapters of the game, then eventually get to play as her as she enters her teenage years in later instalments. They see her growing from an intelligent yet sensitive youngster to a surly yet still hopeful adolescent, with her views and personality clearly impacted by the things she has seen and done.
Stubbornness is a strength
Standing up for what you believe in and sticking to your guns in spite of efforts to quash your attempts to assert yourself is important in any context, but sometimes you need to see role models with similar personality traits to reinforce the idea that it's okay to ask for things in life, rather than just rolling over and accepting your lot.
There are a whole host of female video game characters who are stubborn, in a good way. This means that they are dogged in the pursuit of their aims, fiercely loyal to their friends and a persistent thorn in the side of their foes. Jade, the protagonist of cult classic Beyond Good And Evil, ticks all the boxes in this respect. She has an unflappable moral compass, is a naturally adept and committed photographer and does everything she can to stick it to the alien invaders who threaten her home planet.
A similar yet different approach to this trait can be found in Horizon: Zero Dawn. Here lead character Aloy is an outsider, a sceptic and a resolute supporter of the use of technologies which are feared by the backwards-looking community she inhabits. With all this in mind it is no surprise that the game achieved critical acclaim both for its gameplay and its story.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist