As some of you may know, I started a new blog a while ago, Bechdel Gamer. From now on I’m going to give a quick cross-post and/or summery I’ve what I did on that blog here each Thursday, starting with this post about what my other blog is about and what I’ve done so far. The basic premise of that blog is taking the famous Bechdel Test (1. It has two women 2. Who talk to each other 3. About something other than a man) and appalling it to video games. To that end, I modified the test slightly, by creating four subtypes to account for the presence of interactivity in games.
Type 1: A scene meeting these criteria is a unavoidable part of the game. It is impossible to beat the game without having a scene the passes the test, regardless of any choice you make as a gamer.
Type 2: A scene meting the above criteria is an unavoidable part of the game if you play as a female character in a game where you can select your characters gender
Type 3: A scene meeting these is an optional part of the game regardless of your characters gender; this includes side quests, optional scenes and dialogue, DLCs etc. (Games with fixed characters with optional scenes meeting the test would fall here)
Type 4: A scene meeting these is an optional part of the game if your character is female in a game where you can select your characters gender; this includes side quest, optional scenes, dialogue, DLCs etc.
You can read more about those four subtypes as well as the slight modifications I made to the test in my opening post of the blog. Also I don’t intend to limit it to just gender issues, I’ll discus queer issue/racial issues and so on in games.
Here are the games I’ve rated so far (each post goes in to a bit of depth and contain links to other articles, so do click if you’re interested.)
Portal: Passing. Type 1, “A scene meeting these criteria is a unavoidable part of the game.”
Mirrors Edge: Passing type 1 “A scene meeting these criteria is an unavoidable part of the game”
Perfect Dark: Passing Type 1 “A scene meeting these criteria is an unavoidable part of the game”
Half-Life: Fail “The game does not meet any of the Bechdel Test criteria” (PC version) “The game has two women but they don’t communicate with each other” (PS2 version)
Half-Life 2: Passing type 1 “A scene meeting these criteria is an unavoidable part of the same”
You can also see all the games I’ve put to the test so far in my Master List page
If you want to submit a game, I created a Submission form you can fill out for that purpose.
Hope you gamer and/or gender studies types enjoy my other blog!