Patrick and Carolyn Petit (in a response to Patrick on Twitter) both referred to websites discussing gender roles in The Last of Us, but both coming to an opposite conclusion.
Both articles are an interesting read and present valid points, but during my play through of The Last of Us I never really questioned the portrayal of the female (or male) characters. I was surprised by how strong all the female characters were portrayed (especially in a big budget videogame). Over the course of the game, Ellie turned into a much 'stronger' character than Joel for me. You could read the final rescue of Ellie as a way of setting up that 'male fantasy' of rescuing the girl but after completing that sequence having to feel really ambivalent about the rescue. You could argue that the game questions this selfish fantasy if you look at it from a feminist perspective. I also like the way the game handled the ending of the Winter section. The game sets up Joel as the knight in shining white armour to rescue 'helpless' Ellie, but Ellie has already taken care of the situation (and is the reason Joel is still alive).
Still, I wonder if I'm justifying certain stereotypical or in-equal representations because I love the game so much. It could have been cool if the character switch between Joel and Ellie was permanent for the final stretch of the game for instance. Or why is a harder for me to imagine a big budget game with an adult female character and a young boy.
I know I'm treading on thin ice here discussing feminist readings and stuff, but I wonder what the male and female readers of Giant Bomb experienced and think about this issue.
EDIT: I apologise for starting this topic and I don't want to start a flame war or anything. I was just fascinated by the way the NYT article framed The Last of Us in a different (and I think unfair) misogynist light.