June 28th, 2007

Can’t get enough of gender roles in Odin Sphere? I know, my neither! My Joystiq column on topic was a (hopefully) good introduction–though a friendly reader did point out there’s a flaw in that whole “getting tired while fighting as a feminine trait” thing, namely that all the playable characters, both male and female, get tired when they fight. In fact, Ozwald gets the tired-est. Go figure. Although, you could make the argument that the entire game/gameplay is “feminine,” so the fatigue feature is gendered female whether it’s applied to a girl or a boy.

Anyways, even with that out of the way, there are still a couple points about gender roles in Odin Sphere that I didn’t get to in the column. Here’s the list that comes to mind (in no particular order or semblance of correct English). Feel free to add more!

-Playing as a little girl (by extension, since she is “reading” the story) forces players into the female role throughout.

-Even on “easy,” Odin Sphere gets hard. This may be a “feminine” game, but it’s certainly not dumbed-down or “girly” (in the stereotypical sense, but also the “girl games” sense).

-Can we read a gender implication in the circular nature of levels? Could we call this circularity (vs. linearity) “feminine” in some way?

-The inclusion of traditionally female tasks: cooking, planting, etc. The cross-over of these tasks into traditionally male tasks: alchemy, etc.

-The effeminate portrayal of certain male characters.

-Seemingly gendered monsters, like the “protector of the forest” with a man’s face.

Tags: avatars, gender, sex/gender imagery, Thanks reader!

7 Responses to “More on Gender in Odin Sphere”

  1. darkpen Says:

    I find the point about the inclusion of female tasks and cross-over into male tasks to be the most interesting, though there isn’t much to discuss beyond that point.

    From reading your posts about Odin Sphere, I’m finding the game more and more interesting to perceive than I once did.

  2. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    I’m glad! It’s interesting, because the game itself is highly playable, not just think-about-able :).

  3. nectarine Says:

    I think the gender implication of circular levels, is a stretch.
    Otherwise all very valid. I acquired the game partly because of your joystiq article.

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Yeah, I kind of agree :). There’s something there though, gender-related or otherwise, I just don’t know what…

    Also, awesome!  I influenced purchasing power!  How are you liking the game?

  5. odinsphere Says:

    is odin sphere for boys or girls?

  6. Jade Reporting » Sunday, July 1 Says:

    […] More on Gender in Odin Sphere […]

  7. Johnny Says:

    What’s with the gender fascist attitude? I find it a good thing that they don’t stick to the “gender rules” of Western society.

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