From the helpless damsel in distress to the typical gangbanger – gaming has always had stereotypes in place. So let’s take a look at some of the more popular examples shall we?
Stereotypes in RPGs
And what better place to start at than the titular (hehe) hero? Cloud Strife and Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia are but two examples. and it’s almost par for the course that this stereotypical character shall look out from a high point at some point in the game (perhaps wondering why they’re the world’s saviour yet can’t even get with the female supporting character).
Speaking of female supporting character, it’s always a physically weak spellcaster/medic. What, so all little girls go to a school where chemistry is the only subject and with no Phys. Ed whatsoever? The school must have a helluva first aid training course too. This wasn’t only an RPG convention, as Resident Evil has shown us right from the start – with Jill Valentine and Rebecca Chambers being the weak ones, yet having a greater proficiency with herbs.
New hardware breeding new stereotypes?
Then of course, you get the current gen staple – the gruff-voiced space marine. Having eaten probably a lot of chalk as kids, these guys make Barry White sound like Urkel on helium. Of course, the (not so) wise-cracks flow unabated as the kill count rises. These guys are most often seen inâ€¦ Jislaaikâ€¦ every Epic game from Unreal Tournament to Gears. It almost seems that using these hard guys was a far more calculated decision than what meets the eye – playing to Americans’ fixation with guns and fighting a â€˜good’ war (ha!). Of course, there are exceptions to the gung-ho, whooping and hollering stereotype such as Sam Fisher and Solid Snake.
A very popular stereotypeâ€¦
The next example on our list isn’t a man at allâ€¦ we think (ha, see what I did there?). With racy one-liners and impossibly-proportioned features, developers hit a jackpot in the 1990s thanks to women in gaming. These days, jiggle isn’t enough to sell most gamers on a game. That’s not to say that the stereotype is dead, as evident by Tecmo’s inclusion of Sixaxis-initiated boob-jiggle in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. Despite this, developers have proven that it is possible to have the best of both worlds, as proven by the revitalised Tomb Raider series, featuring both Lara Croft and excellent gameplay. But this is one stereotype that will remain with us for quite some time if sales are any indication.
Last Updated: December 8, 2009