Beyond Two Souls – Why women really can be the protagonist.

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Gaming, Gender Bias

I finished up playing Beyond Two Souls this weekend and while I was disappointed by how quickly the gameplay slipped by I was elated to play a game with such a solid story and a strong, immersive gaming experience.

I found it sucked me in quickly and kept my focus. I found myself caring about my decisions and the outcomes and wondering how things might have worked differently if I’d made other choices. I cared not just about the main character, but the interactions with the secondary characters as well.

Did I mention the main character happens to be female? I didn’t start with that because it actually doesn’t really matter to the storyline. She could have been male. None of the actions or story sequences focussed on her being raped or having a child killed or any of the other myriad tropes used in many gameplay situations to justify the use of a female character. The main character in this game could have been male but I’m not entirely sure people would have bought the emotional interactions and vulnerability that were brought to the role here – society doesn’t really seem to support those types of story lines for men unfortunately.

Don’t get me wrong – she was kick ass, defending herself and others in fights and the real world. She was in no way a victim in this story and that is probably why I enjoyed it so much. She was a woman I could relate to from childhood to adult.

Thank you David Cage for writing such a strong, beautiful and complex character. Thank you Quantic Dream for making the experience so seamless. And thank you Ellen Page for breathing life into her and giving a performance that would have been impressive for any movie, let alone a video game.

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