So a few threads have been discussing this topic today. But before I start, I'm not intending for this to become another Anita Sarkeesian thread or whatever, so let's just leave her at the door, all right?
Are we good? Good.
OK, so strong women as a video game concept. I understand that this is a somewhat absurd proposal because, hell, I wrote a lot of the existing article and have, on occasion, had to weed out the occasional bit of obvious subjectivity that worked its way in at one point or another. But here's the problem. "Strong Women" is a misnomer. Strength comes in a variety of forms. When some people think strong women, they think, say, Jade from Beyond Good & Evil; inquisitive, intelligent, fairly athletic, etc. Others think of muscular, ball-busting Amazons. Still others don't go to that extreme, but none the less, if the woman in question isn't a no-nonsense, entirely self-sustaining heroic ass-kicker and displays any emotional weakness whatsoever, then she isn't, by definition, "strong."
Here's the key point, and it's something thatbrought up earlier today. The concept of a "strong woman" (or a "strong man" for that matter) is a fallacy. There are well-written characters, men and women, with personalities and characterizations that extend beyond a basic two dimensions, but these characters aren't necessarily "strong." Kratos is a "strong" man, but he is a terribly written, two-dimensional, or even one-dimensional character. The same goes for the pre-reboot Lara Croft. Physically strong and an ass-kicker that can gun down dinosaurs, but her personality, despite some rather weak attempts at fleshing it out, was never particularly her strong point. Ironically, as Crystal Dynamics has been working on the reboot and redefining Lara's character, potentially giving her more depth and personality, people have cried foul because she's not "strong" anymore because she's not a dual-wielding, dino-murdering badass and is instead a college student who begins her adventure justifiably scared shitless.
I hope you all see where I'm going with this.
The problem is that the definition of a strong woman is rather flimsy. People flipped their shit when Samus was given a personality that made her something other than an emotionless destroyer of worlds. I, and others, did not, because while you say what you will about the quality of the writing and localization, a well-trained, experienced bounty hunter that agrees to follow a military officer's orders, needs help on occasion, and has emotional hang-ups based on past traumatic experiences, is not an inherently weak character, whether that person be male or female. I'd argue that a character such as Samus is "stronger" than others because, while she may have weaknesses, she's a more human character than a hardcore, emotionless murder machine. Whether you like the direction they took her character or not, they still gave her a level of depth that exceeds a lot of protagonists on both sides of the gender fence. Other M's writing is poor, but the intent behind the characterization is, in my estimation, a strongpoint.
So we have this concept on Giant Bomb, the Strong Women concept, which is either horribly named, or horribly named and in need of clarity of definition. Or, perhaps, in need of simply deleted outright, because why does there need to be a concept for multi-dimensional, complex characters, which are quite frankly a rarity among male video game characters, as well? Where is the line that defines who is versus who isn't? Do you include the female versions of gender-choice characters like Commander Shepard, or do you leave them out, based on the notion that they are more template and cypher than character?
Now, if it were up to me, I'd be in favor of either page deletion, as I don't see a happy medium truly possible here. If someone else can make a better argument for that, then I'd be willing to listen, but all the same, I'll formally suggest that this page might need to go.