Video games catch a lot of grief about portraying women badly. But the independent game "Sword & Sworcery" did it so well that other developers should sit up and take notice.
When a woman is featured in a video game, often she's a sexual object, a mission objective, a sidekick, or background decoration.
"Sword & Sworcery" isn't playing that.
Its protagonist, the Scythian, manages to save her world without triggering a single eyeroll or exasperated "really!?" because the developers know what you and I know: Heroes are heroes regardless of gender.
Like them or not, video games are big money.
Video games have become a huge part of the way we tell our stories. But they haven't earned a reputation for telling everyone's stories. That's why "Sword & Sworcery" deserves a big shoutout.
Why is this game so special?
First and foremost, it's a good game as Anita Sarkeesian shows us. The retro 8-bit style is well-executed, the music is complex, the gameplay is slick, the puzzles are engaging and fun. But above all: The story is compelling and well-told.
The developers made a decision to make its hero, the Scythian, a woman. And they intentionally avoided the clichés that normally accompany games with female characters. She's not sexualized. She's not foofy or frilly. She's not a sidekick.