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Rage (the video game) and the Problem of Sarah - Elf M. Sternberg
Rage (the video game) and the Problem of Sarah
I've just finished the add-on adventure, Scorchers, for Id Software's game Rage, and I'm even more deeply annoyed by the unnecessary sexism in the add-on that Id somehow avoided in the original adventure.

It isn't just that Sarah is poorly dressed for combat. It's that she knows it. It's that she comments on it: "Well, it's not much for a firefight, but maybe it'll distract the bad guys a little." Immediately after this, Sarah is kidnapped by members of the Scorcher bandit clan.

As with any such game, it's a stupid firefight from then on. Kill the bad guys in one room, move on; kill the bad guys in the next room, move on. A silly puzzle, a boss battle. It's not much of a game, really. Eventually, you defeat the baddest boss and rescue Sarah, who takes you to...

The Trophy Room. I'm not kidding. Your "headquarters" is the town of Wellspring. Some of the doors there were locked, and now two have been opened with this additional content: the casino where this adventure began, and "The Trophy Room," a little place where all the various bits and pieces of memorabilia you've picked up along the way are collected in niches and bookshelves.

Including Sarah. Who delivers lines like, "Hey, come back and see me anytime." She's always in the Trophy Room. Later, when you revisit, she's lying on the bed and delivers lines like "When are you going to show me your BFG?"

Good grief. It's like the writers of the DLC said to themselves, "Hey, we somehow forgot to be sexist goddamn pigs in the original, let's make up for it! You know what this game needs? A woman the main character can claim as his own!"

I can't claim this is the most horrible example in all of video games. This is no God of War. But Id was doing so well up to this point, and there was no reason at all to sex it up now.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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