Life is Strange is one of the stand-out games of the last few years. What makes it work so well, though? And what’s going on under the surface? Is there a difference between raising issues under-represented in gaming and actually dealing with those issues? We take a look at the subtext, the mechanics, the characters and the games it sits alongside.
In which our heroes discuss the way parents are represented in recent games . . . or not represented most of the time, if they’re mums. Questions on our minds were: how do divorce rates and single-parent families affect representation in games? Does the in-game patriarchy reappropriate ‘female suffering’? Daughters, hot or not? Do daughters sit in judgement on the decline of patriarchy, or inherit the power-baton from dear ol’ Dad? What’s progressive about these games and what might they be saying about the role of women in hyper-masculinised landscapes?
Spoilers for the games: Last of Us, Witcher 3, Bioshock Infinite, Walking Dead 1 & 2, Dishonored.
The relationship episode, which doesn’t contain any sex. We discuss how relationship building in games affects our sense of character, and how our characters affect relationships. Do predefined characters, such as Geralt in the Witcher games, encourage more meaningful relationships than ‘blank canvas’ characters? And is ‘blank canvas’ character an expression of our wish fulfilment?
Spoilers ahead for The Witcher 3, Dragon Age Inquisition, Life Is Strange and the Mass Effect series.