Video Games with Women of Colour as Main Protagonists

Updated: Mar 29

"Representation matters."


1. Left 4 Dead 2: ROCHELLE


Rochelle is one of the four playable Survivors in the sequel Left 4 Dead 2, a co-op first person shooter where you and 3 other characters fight off Zombies during a virus outbreak. She was employed as an associate producer on a television news station in which role she was sent on assignment to Savannah (the location of the first campaign) to cover The Infection's breaking story. Rochelle's facial features are based on Shanola Hampton and she is voiced by Black voice-actress, Rochelle Aytes. She is the only female character/playable female character.


2. The Walking Dead Season 2: CLEMENTINE


The Walking Dead series is, in my opinion, the best of Tell Tale's that I have experienced, and although The Walking Dead's first season only allows you to play Clementine a few rare times, and mostly only at the end of the game, she isn't the main playable protagonists of the game until season 2.

In Walking Dead's first season, Clementine is an 8 years old little girl who is left at home with her babysitter while her parents are away out of the city. She is found and saved by the male main protagonist, Lee, played by you, who then cares and watches over her throughout the game. By season 2, now 9 years old, Clementine has greatly changed. Hardened by the events of season 1, and by the past eighteen months living in a zombie apocalypse, Clementine isn't the easily scared and in need to be protected and sheltered little girl that we watched over in season 1. Now a capable fighter, she is a witty and intelligent girl that easily sees through the adults that constantly try to make decisions over her, and control her. Playing the game through the eye of a child who experiences terrifying and dangerous moment one after the other, while constantly fearing death either by the hand of walkers or the adults she encounters, Clementine is an amazing character to play as well as the most interesting one without a single doubt


3. Mirror's Edge: FAITH CONNORS


It was more than obvious that Mirror's Edge would make the list, considering who it's main character is, and how original and beautiful of a game it is.

The day that I learned of Mirror's Edge existence was a very special day. I was very late with this discovery, and although the game was and still is highly underrated and went under the radar of most people, I was particularly late. This is a game where not only you are given Faith, an intelligent, capable, courageous and determined woman who, when the game begins, attempts to uncover the many secrets of her seemingly "utopia" of a city as a respond to people trying to set her sister up as the murderer of a political figure. Daughter of two activists parents who passed away, a rebel herself, Faith not only is one of the very VERY few woman of colour in gaming, woman of colour as the main protagonist, but she is also a good person at heart and deeply loyal to her sister. The game is played through Faith's skills in parkour and gets extra points for: the ability to play the game without killing a single person, the absolutely beautiful environment, and the equally beautiful cut scenes and animations.


Mirror’s Edge is a game that deserves all the praise it can get and much, much more. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, the prequel, most definitely is on my to play list, and should be on yours as well.


4. Beyond Good and Evil: JADE


I have a confession. I have yet to play Beyond Good and Evil. But I knew before I even started making this list, that Jade would make the list, whether for the incredible game that Beyond Good and Evil apparently is, but also for the wonderful character everyone seems to agree that she is.


Jade is a photo-journalist who along with her friend Pey'j, takes care of the children of Hillys who were orphaned by the DomZ.


Although I have never experienced the game, Jade makes many lists of great female characters in video games, she is unforgettable, courageous, and an amazing fighter.



5. Remember Me: NILIN


Nilin Cartier-Wells is the main protagonist of the action-adventure video game Remember Me. Born as Nilin Cartier-Wells, she is an amnesiac freedom fighter recruited by a mysterious man named Edge to bring down Memorize, the corporation that created the memory-altering technology known as Sensen. During her mission, she must recover her stolen memories and expose the crimes committed by Memorize before finally setting out to bring them down. When Remember Me begins, Nilin awakes inside of  the Bastille Fortress with her memory entirely wiped out. She is helped out of the fortress and has to fight her way through her freedom, towards remembering her life, and herself.

Nilin is an incredibly strong willed woman, with amazing fighting skills and reflexes, which offers you a gameplay that I have absolutely enjoyed this far. I cannot wait to finish the game.


6. Broken Age: VELLA TARTINE


Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure video game developed and published by Double Fine Productions.


Broken Age began under the working title Double Fine Adventure as a Kickstarter crowdfunded project promoted by Double Fine and 2 Player Productions in February 2012. Broken Age is a two part story following two teenagers, Shay, and Vella. Vella, a young girl living in the Badlands, a land ravaged by monsters, is chosen to be one of the girls scarified to the monster Mog Chothra. Right before being eaten, Vella decides that if the monster can be killed, she and other girls would live, and therefor there would be no more needs for sacrifices. 


Vella Tartine is voiced by Black voice-actress Masasa Moyo.


7. The Walking Dead: Michonne: MICHONNE


The Walking Dead Michonne follows Michonne, as she leaves her group to get some things settled within herself. She joins a group of men largely composed of black men when they intercept the voice of a woman near their boat. There, Michonne goes at the wrong place at the wrong time and is stuck in a feud that isn't hers. Surprisingly, the game largely focused on Michonne's own guilt towards what happened to her children (we discover as she remembers), her relationships with other female characters, and her battle to retain her sanity and hope in life. Tell Tale sadly decided to make this game differently than all of its other games and instead of making it a 5 to 6 episodes of 4-5 hours each series, a 3 episodes mini-series, each episode being one hour long, which was a disappointment considering its potential and quality by the time I finished it.


8. OXENFREE: ALEX


In Oxenfree, players assume the role of teenage girl Alex on a weekend trip to the local island of Edward's Island with some friends of hers as well as a brand new brother through her parent's marriage. After seemingly supernatural events occur, Alex and her friends must unravel the secrets of the island. When the creators behind the game presented the game to a few people, men asked if you could play as a boy rather than Alex, Night School Studio simply replied that no, and that the story within Oxenfree belong to Alex, it was Alex's and only Alex's story. There, a lot of odd things happen and dear god make sure to play this wonderful game.

Now, Alex's ethnic background is never mentioned both in the game or by the creators of the game, but her skin is very much brown, making clear that she is very much not white. Her ethnic background has been debated a lot, some due tot he fact that her brother, Micheal, has light skin, but we are never told if they are 100% related or not. People have debated and wondered whether Alex was Black, Hispanic, Native etc, and it has yet to be mentioned, but for the purpose of this list, I personally do not consider Alex as a white woman due to the fact that she is dark skinned and is the only character that way.


9. The Pathless: [UNKNOWN NAME- MAIN CHARACTER]


Announced at the Game Awards 2018, The Pathless is a fantasy game with not much information (it has yet to be released as of January 2019), created by the same team that gave us the amazing ABZU and JOURNEY. Its trailer hints at an Young Asian girl as its main protagonist. The Pathless should launch sometime in 2019 on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC via the Epic Games store.


10. In The Valley of the Gods


In the Valley of Gods is a single-player first person video game set in Egypt in the 1920s. You play as an explorer and filmmaker who, along with your old partner, has travelled to the middle of the desert in the hopes of making a seemingly-impossible discovery and an incredible film. Also, here is a great article about the importance of natural hair and natural hair being properly animated in video games. [https://bit.ly/2DpsJcy]


Video Games are enjoyed by all sort of people all across the world, of all sexes and genders, yet, video games continue to be made by white men, about white men, with white men in mind as the audience, even though women make up more than half of gamers nowadays. Female main characters continue to be rare, and when they exist, they are sexualized and objectified solely for the pleasure and entertainment of men. Women of colour being the heroes of their own stories are even more rare, something that was made very clear as I simply tried to find stories where they are the ones in control. And this, is, incredibly shameful.









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