Naughty Dog Dev Responds to New York Times’ Criticism of The Last of Us’ Ellie in Guest Editorial
Granted, the game and its review in the New York Times were both released close to six months ago, however this latest response – a part of the Times’ Game Theory year-end series – is one of the more interesting pieces I have read concerning gaming this year.
In the piece, Alexandra Neonakis, a User Interface Designer at Naughty Dog responds to the presumptuousness of Chris Sullentrop’s review of The Last of Us, in which he dismissed the characterization of Ellie as a product of, “another video game by men, for men and about men.” The editorial itself provides some unique insight on the characterization of Ellie.
“Ellie’s power comes from her bravery, ingenuity and determination throughout the game. It was also shown in her ability during the game’s final moment to accept Joel for all of his flaws and forgive him, because she understood that he needed her more than she needed him. She was ultimately the hero of this story,” Ms. Neonakis explains, “Her journey from a damsel in distress to a fully capable and complex character is made clear through the relationship she develops with Joel. Likewise, Joel’s growth could not have happened without Ellie. This was not a game “about men.” It was about a mutual relationship and about how people need one another.”
Ellie will be the main character in The Last of Us‘ upcoming inaugural single-player downloadable content, entitled “Left Behind,” set to be released next year. You can read Ms. Neonakis’ entire editorial via the link below.