A Hero Among Us

January 2, 2010

Throughout the history of gaming, heroes and heroines have stepped to the front of the battles and taken gamers right along with them. From Batman to Lara Croft, characters take down hordes of zombies and battle armies of robots without even breaking a sweat. Male and female gamers are represented by an array of characters to choose from in today’s gaming world. Bayonetta is a highly anticipated game bringing a female lead character into the spotlight to kick whatever butt is thrown her way. But as we all know, it wasn’t always this way.

Way back in 1980, Namco came up with the first video game hero. The round, yellow, munching on power pellets and ghost icon: PACMAN. PACMAN was everywhere in the 80’s, on t-shirts, cereal boxes, and even his own cartoon. The world had it’s first taste of a hero in gaming and

they welcomed him with open arms. Later on, Nintendo shot back with Mario, Mega Man, Link, and many others. But unknown to the rest of the world one game that was very popular would introduce us to our first female heroine in the gaming genre. Metroid was a fantastic game in the 80’s that earned rave reviews from gaming analyst. However, the one thing no one knew until they beat the game was that the hero of that game, Samus Aran, was really a female. Yes the badass Bounty Hunter in Metroid was indeed a girl. Small victory for female gamers but not the last.

Samus Aran led to many modern day female heroines in gaming, such as Lara Croft, Jill Valentine, Bayonetta, Ivy, Cammy, and Sonya Blade. In a genre dominated in the early days by all male characters, female characters are making their own marks on gaming and they are doing so with a vengeance. The days are here where a female gamer can turn on her favorite game and choose her favorite playable character, be it male or female.

Now in the 21st Century, characters have taken on an whole new level of being bad. We have characters from the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series to allow gamers to become some of the best trained warriors today’s and yesterday’s military can offer. We have Batman from Arkham Asylum, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, and even Mickey Mouse himself is set to wage all out war in an upcoming game. Modern day female warriors have taken over as well, such as Sheva Alomar, Bayonetta, and Ivy from Soul Calibur. We have Apocalyptic warriors from Borderlands, male and female. Todays games are becoming more and more equal in the butt kicking be it male or female.

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So gamers, prepare for even more heroes and heroines in 2010 and beyond that will take your breath away. We seem to meet new ones every month. DualShockers wants to know what character you would create. Would they be male or female? What special skills or powers would they possess? And what would their name be? Be creative and explain your reasons.

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Josh Wright

Josh resides in VA and enjoys spending time with his wife Lena, two wonderful kids Peyton and Bailey, and their puppy Marley. He moonlights as an Xbox Ambassador and someday hopes to rule the galaxy. Favorite Games: Mega Man, Tecmo Bowl, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare

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