Monday Linkdump: Portal, Portal 2, Feminist Yay

It started with Portal:

Portal and the Bechdel Test

I don’t know many video games that pass the Bechdel test, even though a lot of big-budget mainstream video games are putting an increasing amount of their mainstream big budgets into dialog and scripted scenes.

The game I know that passes it best is Portal. The rest of this entry is full of spoilers about the game.

But it didn’t end there:

Gender, myth and capitalism: An academic view of Portal 2

Much of the early banter from the resurrected GLaDOS is aimed at Chell’s weight, a common theme in antagonistic mother/daughter relationships (Celia and Isabelle in the TV program Weeds, for example). Weight and body image issues are closely tied to self-esteem in our image-conscious culture, with biases so entrenched that overweight women face discrimination in the workplace in the form of difficulty being hired, lower pay and fewer promotions.

Portal 2 developer commentary

The thing that I love about this is not just that they’re making an effort to be inclusive, but also that they’re willing to admit that they got things wrong in the past. Admitting that you got something wrong is seldom easy and usually takes some degree of courage, so I always cheer a bit when I see things like this.