Target: Jean-Maxime Moris, co-founder of Dontnod video game studio
Goal: Commend video game studio Dontnod for featuring a mixed-race female protagonist in its newest game.
Traditional video game protagonists tend to share two characteristics: they are male, and they are white. Paris game studio Dontnod has rejected this convention, however, as the protagonist of its upcoming game Remember Me is a mixed-race woman. This game marks an exciting step forward in a male-dominated medium. Tell Dontnod that you appreciate its forward-thinking approach to gaming and commend the company for embracing diversity by creating a character that will appeal to players with “non-traditional” gaming backgrounds.
In a recent interview with ComputerAndVideoGames.com, studio co-founder Jean-Maxime Moris explained that the studio not only wanted its protagonist, Nilin, to “stand out” but that it refused to be sucked into a counterproductive feedback loop: “I think these sort of issues become self-fulfilling prophecies; people [say] that only white males sell so then everyone only does white males.” Moris went on to criticize this aspect of the gaming industry, calling it a “racist and misogynistic way of thinking about lead characters.”
Given the last few years’ controversies regarding the roles of women in the gaming community, Remember Me‘s use of a female protagonist is a timely and refreshing change of pace. And while Nilin is not the first female video game protagonist, the excitement over her being both a woman and of mixed-race descent speaks to a growing diversity within the gaming community.
Sign the petition and applaud Dontnod for recognizing and embracing “non-traditional” gamers.
Dear Mr. Moris,
Over the past several years, numerous news articles and blog posts have grappled with the situations female gamers face in a medium dominated by both male characters and male gamers. This is why Nilin, the protagonist of Remember Me, is such a refreshing change of pace. Games featuring female protagonists help normalize the idea of women taking an interest in video games, an important step for an industry and community often accused of misogyny and gender-based harassment.
On that note, I would like to thank you for choosing to eschew the standard white male protagonist in favor of a mixed-race woman. While it’s true that Nilin is far from the first female video game protagonist, she constitutes another important step forward for both female gamers and for the gaming industry in general.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Major Nelson via Flickr