When I (Finally) Grow Up, I Want To Be…
Okay. So I’m not exactly “un” grown up. In fact, the past month of my life has seen the most drastic adult decisions of my life. The last time you met me I was sitting back and taking stock of my first day of unemployment. As the vast chasm of “oh shit, what now?” unfolded in front of me, I had time to contemplate WHO it was I wanted to be. Or so I thought. Within a week of writing that article, I’d been offered the job of a lifetime, had found, paid the deposit for, and moved into a flat on my own and gone from living with my parents to living alone.
I’ve lived my whole life in a capital city where the hustle and bustle was overwhelming and working in a job where I would literally have rather pulled my fingernails out each morning than walk through the front door, only to move to a quiet cottage pretty much in the middle of a field, where my closest supermarket is a fifteen minute drive and the local bus stop is a hedge. Looking at it, I’m actually impressed with all that I have gained in the last month. At 22 years of age I have two separate degrees under my belt, my own house and a job that was worth risking my life’s savings for.
Unfortunately I’ve lost someone really special along the way, and it was during one of my many in-depth pep talks to myself about this where I decided to approach the whole situation pro-actively; I can take the best of me, and try to make her better. My life right now is a slab of alabaster just waiting to be carved. With attention to detail, and a lot of hard work, I can truly make this into something stunning.
There is a point in every gamer’s life where they will look at a gaming character and say “Gosh, I wish I could be like them”. I’m sure many of us have played a game and thought “woah, wouldn’t the power to throw bees at people be cool?” or “I wish I could possess someone and make them shoot their own team mates before exploding them from the inside out” [just me?]. But have you ever looked at someone and thought “I really admire them for their character”. For me, in particular, there are two women that I would aspire to be like.
One of my key character flaws, or so I’m told, is that I’m ‘too nice’. I go out of my way for anyone but myself, because I like to make other people happy, and it’s something I’ve wanted to address for a long time. So from now on, I will be turning to a few female characters in the gaming world that possess a quality I would, in part, like to master. The first time I encountered Moxxi, I really didn’t like her. My initial impressions were archaic ones of “what a bitch” and I couldn’t understand the appeal behind such a character. She ‘got her jollies’ bringing pain and suffering to others, and the Underdome Riot levels are really frustratingly difficult on your own. But on my second encounter with her – when I REALLY watched her introduction – I realised that my initial impression that she was a shallow, poorly written character with no real character other than breasts and a reputation was wholly wrong.
I looked at her character again and discovered a woman who, despite everything- the breakdowns of marriages and the losses – had carried on and maintained a sense of strength and, to an extent, dignity. Sure, she gets pleasure causing others vast amount of pain, but it’s at your own risk. She doesn’t take anyone’s bullshit, and she doesn’t take any hostages; and I wish I had her… well… moxy!
GLaDOS, again, is a highly misunderstood character. On my initial play through of Portal I was raging at GLaDOS. I threw my controller down, and didn’t return to it. I was [somehow] coaxed into playing Portal 2, and it now remains one of my all time favourite played games. Ever. And mainly because of the progression of GLaDOS’s character. Granted, I don’t think I want to be a potato, but when I think of GLaDOS, I think of someone who I wouldn’t want to mess with. She calls the shots, she keeps the show running and she displays a wit and intelligence that’s unparalleled. Despite all the venom and the anger, there really is a hurt woman who keeps struggling as best she can. Just listen to the songs that complete the games. You’ve tried killing her, you’ve tried beating her, but at the end of it all – no matter what you throw at her – she’s still alive.
Of course, both characters take this strength and no-nonesense attitude to excess, but it is the initial concept that really makes me look up to them. Anyone who says that there aren’t any strong female role models in gaming should think again. I still have so much to learn in life, and there are many people that are going to come and go and possibly break my heart in the process. And when I’m having a dark day, and I really don’t think that I can make it through on my own, I just have to remind myself that it’s my underdome with my rules and, above all else… there is always science to be done, so I have to keep on trying until there is no more cake.
Last five articles by Jo
- I Am Runner Five
- Best of 2013: The Not-So Gamescom Diary
- The Not-So Gamescom Diary
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates To Infinity - Review
- Don't Take My Word For It (Part One)