Resident Evil Creator Doesn't Want 'Submissive' Women In His Games

Resident Evil Creator Doesn't Want 'Submissive' Women In His Games

The man behind the Resident Evil series and The Evil Within doesn't cater to the common horror trope of the helpless screaming female. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Shinji Mikami talks about writing strong, independent women, and why he didn't want RE's Rebecca Chambers in his game.

Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield -- the Resident Evil series proper is a haven for strong female characters overcoming situations that would turn a normal human being into a quivering mound of jelly. They're prime examples of Mikami's mandate to only write strong, independent women.

"I don't know if I've put more emphasis on women characters, but when I do introduce them, it is never as objects. "In some games, they will be peripheral characters with ridiculous breast physics. I avoid that sort of obvious eroticism. I also don't like female characters who are submissive to male characters, or to the situation they're in. I won't portray women in that way. I write women characters who discover their interdependence as the game progresses, or who already know they are independent but have that tested against a series of challenges."

While later games in the series overseen by directors other than Mikami attempt to maintain the strong female hero trend, games like Resident Evil: Revelations haven't shied away from flashing some skin.

There is one female character from the original Resident Evil that Mikami isn't happy with -- S.T.A.R.S. member Rebecca Chambers.

"If I had to name the woman character I most disliked in my games it would be Rebecca Chambers. She's submissive, she's not independent. I didn't want to include her but the staff wanted that kind of character in the game, for whatever reason. I'm sure it made sense to them. And in Japan, that character is pretty popular."

Chambers' popularity have carried her quite a long way. She scored a main protagonist role in Resident Evil Zero, and she's one of only four former S.T.A.R.S. members still alive, along with Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine and Barry Burton.

Shinji Mikami: the godfather of horror games [The Guardian via NeoGAF]

WATCH MORE: PC Gaming News


Comments

    Good to hear, absolutely sad that we need to congratulate something as "simple" as treating women as women and not objects of sex.

    Skin in Revelations? Eh?

    Edit: Oh wait, that girl that was already on the ship. Jessica I think?

    Last edited 22/10/14 9:22 am

      Mikami didn't make Revelations though

        Yes, the article says that.

        I just couldn't remember what they were talking about at first, only remembered Jill being pretty well covered for the whole thing. Albeit in quite fitted clothing :P

      Jessica's character design was pretty ridiculous but in a way it made sense for her personality and how she tied into the story.

      Edit: Jessica as in BSAA agent Jessica. There was also Rachael who was already on the ship however that whole situation got twisted very quickly for her.

      I feel the same way about Rebecca. Her character design and personality were completely understandable because she was the rookie of her squad and was pretty shaken up by the events leading up to Resident Evil 1. She followed a superior officer in her role as part of an elite law enforcement unit. Does that make her a submissive character or does that just simply make sense? I feel it's the latter in her case.

      Last edited 22/10/14 11:07 am

        Oh wait it was Rachel I was thinking of :P But yes, Jessica's diving suit was silly too.

    Let's hope more game devs follow Mikami's lead.

    Resident evil creator has never had any believable realistic non-hollywood cliche characters in his games, that don't spout the worst one liners written by a 5 year old. Maybe he should be focusing on these issues with his games, rather than trying to jump on the white knight bandwagon.

    Last edited 22/10/14 10:14 am

      Couldn't resist, huh?

        Why would I resist? Because I'd be worried about people downvoting my opinion?

          Because you need to drag your gross manosphere bullshit into every single comment section that mentions women.

            Oh look at you, jumping on the bandwagon, way to think for yourself guy. I comment on a crap ton of articles. It's funny that you can say that when you're commenting in these 2 articles as well, it's almost as if it's hypocritical or something.

            Last edited 23/10/14 7:38 pm

              How am I being a hypocrite? How am I jumping on a bandwagon?

              Everytime there's an article mentioning a woman having an opinion and being within 50 feet of a game, you come in and say some shit that belongs on an MRA forum.

    Wait, did he not work on RE4? Ashley is basically a pinup girl for helpless women in video games. She's even dressed in something that resembles a school uniform.

    Last edited 22/10/14 10:20 am

    Poor Rebecca :( She's a gentle soul.

    Capcom in general have been pretty good with their female characters (outside of the street fighter franchise which I am not sure needs to be included in the argument) the ace attorney series for one, breath of fire, dino crisis, res evil as stated.

    also inb4 gg shitstorm
    (which I don't want to see but bringing up women in games lately has a bad track record)

    Not all women are strong, not all women are independent. Similarly not all men are strong independent men. Write the character to suit the story. Give me variety, that's how people are.

    Having said that, I approve of this – right now, for the most part variety is not what we have.

    Video games have a long way to go before they’re at the stage of TV and screen where no other female characters exist but the one dimensional strong/independent type.

    Last edited 22/10/14 10:44 am

      I completely agree, not every character is strong or finds strength, but there is definitely a bias towards making women the weak ones. As most game devs can't/wont make games with deep stories about the meek, regardless of gender, having characters as strong is a get of jail free card.

      The Tomb Raider reboot/remake/prequel handled this well, having a strong woman as the lead, some weaker men and women, and some stronger ones too. Still not perfect but we are making progress.

    http://youtu.be/QhOh1kowwZE

    Just going to put this up here...

    While later games in the series overseen by directors other than Mikami attempt to maintain the strong female hero trend, games like Resident Evil: Revelations haven’t shied away from flashing some skin.I'd have thought Sheva's tribal costume would have been a more "fitting" example.

    Submissive women can also be powerful, interesting, complex. Just because theyve been poorly written in the past doesnt mean you have to write them poorly. Women come in all shapes and sizes and assertive women arent by default the best women. Passive or submissive women deserve a voice in art. Its sexist to think there is one idealised way for women or men to act and art should show the shades of grey in both sexes. I want my characters across a wide range of behavior gender and sexual identification.

      Submissive women in gamin tend to coincide with powerful men in a way that suggests very strongly that they are both created as male empowerment fantasies.

      If characters are written in any way that serves the piece, then no problem... but we don't often get that. We get women as damsels because it's cool for the hero guy to save them and win their affection.

      Last edited 22/10/14 7:01 pm

        And what's wrong with that? Historically these are some steriotypical gender roles that have taken place a lot and in the minds of the male demographic which most video games are aimed at, this likely instills certain feelings etc. It's not like the woman are nessecarily seen as "sex objects" to be "acquired", I think thats a very cinical, narrow minded view that some very hardcore feminists would come to, but in reality it is not the case. Video games with male main characters sell better to a male demographic, hence why tomb raider likely had such abysmal sales (and its less a game, more a flow of quick button events).

        Sure, there should there be some variety in leads/roles of genders in games, but I don't think telling creators/writers they HAVE TO DO IT, or else they are being SEXIST, is the right way to go about it. I don't want stories that are gender neutural and lacking of a variety of emotions that trigger in the target demographic.

          I'm convinced you are the kind of guy who reads PUA books and stuff so I think I'm finished talking at you.

            Yeah, way to try to classify me into some extreme to justify your own extremist view.

            I'm the kind of guy who doesn't think art should change for the sake of pandering.

            Last edited 23/10/14 7:41 pm

              Extremist... ok, sure. Your stupidity kept me in the conversation for a comment longer.

              How the fuck is what I wrote extremist? Putting aside the fact that what I wrote isn't even related to your little tantrum further up in the thread, my post here was an observation, not an attack on your precious video games which definitely need defending from bad men like me who say words about them.

      In female targeted movies, the guys are usually cast into some sexist tropes too.

    I never really thought of Rebecca Chambers as submissive. It just seemed like she was trying to remain focused but was starting to break down after all the stuff she saw before Chris gets there.
    This seemed especially enforced after playing through Zero.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now