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Mirror’s Edge: Faith as a Revolutionary Character.

I wrote this to try to start blogging again. Feel free to scrutinize it as I would love to debate about it. :) I will try write one every week. Next week will be about Batman and why he is one of the best superheroes ever (yes, I will try to add reasoning to this thesis).

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Mirror’s Edge: Faith as a Revolutionary Character.

In the past, console video games were scrutinized as being a male-only kind of activity, with game characters like Lara Croft in the “Tomb Raider” series and Ivy from the “Soul Calibur” series representing what game developers thought of their gaming consumer audience: mostly male players. The existing male-only stereotype and the overly enticing and exotic female character design models produced a cycle that pushed and discouraged many women gamers into a minority population among the gamer population. Like overly muscle-developed men, really enticing women characters became a norm in video games. However, the introduction of Faith Connors, the main player/protagonist of the video game Mirror’s Edge, challenges this norm. Faith is a revolutionary female character in the video game world and this can be attributed to her appeal as a strong willed and independent character, her more realistic body curvature, and growing new social trends that dignify women more.

The character of Faith in Mirror’s Edge is described in the instruction manual as “Tough and self-reliant.” She is an individual, one who cherishes independence and despises total control. Faith scorns the city she lives and works in, as it is a totalitarian state. Faith describes the state as a “mirror” because of its apparent gloss, which is further emphasized in the numerous polished skyscrapers seen in the game. Faith works as a runner, a person who delivers classified goods to rebel groups and clients deemed enemies of the state. Faith describes this work as “running along the edge of the mirror,” as she accesses the less polished and grittier portions of the city in order to avoid the watchful eye of the police forces. The game “Mirror’s Edge” derives its name from the work that Faith does, and also describes Faith’s character as a free-thinking, unconventional, and radical individual. Faith is a very complex character, and although one could say that this is due to her lifestyle as a runner, much of her complexity attributes itself mostly to her past and current family situations. She dealt with the loss of her parents to a protest that turned violent and has to take care of her twin sister, Kate, who works as a police officer for the city Faith despises the most. Faith’s ties are very strained, as she must fight against the city and relieve it from its totalitarian control but look after the only family that she has, her twin sister Kate. Faith’s conflict in the storyline of “Mirror’s Edge” is the fact that she must juggle her life, her sister’s life, and her values through a city that seems to want all three of these needs to disappear. Unlike characters like Ivy and Lara Croft, who seek to find something glorious or powerful, Faith’s needs are more simplistic and achieving these needs require less glory and power and more underdog-like qualities. These simplistic, but overly complex (due to the controls of the state) desires make Faith a more ordinary character. Faith is revolutionary female character because the audience can identify with her more than Lara Croft or Ivy.

Let’s face it: Faith is not the archetypal big chested, hourglass shaped, and extremely proportioned model found in most video games with female character leads. However, this “setback” (for lack of better terms) actually fits Faith perfectly. Faith’s body structure as depicted in the game is more realistic for her talent: running. Faith’s body shape is a revolutionary leap in video gaming because her form fits her function. Her body type is perfect for her ability to run, leap, crawl, roll, and claw her way out of potentially hairy and risky situations. Unlike her counterparts Lara Croft and Ivy, Faith’s model type does not make gamers ask themselves, “How can she perform these kinds of actions with her bust size?” Faith was not made to be sexy. In fact, the game’s producer Tom Farrer verified this by saying that they “wanted her to be attractive, but [they] didn’t want her to be a supermodel. [They] wanted her to be approachable and far more real.” By editing her body type, they did in fact make her more approachable and more attractive. Unlike other characters that do almost the same kind of physical work, Faith’s body structure is more believable and approachable than the others. Lara Croft, for example, does a lot of the same things that Faith does, but it is difficult to eliminate any kind of erotic thoughts of her due to the fact that she has a big bust size and hour-glass figure. These thoughts eliminate any kind of “dignified” thoughts of her because Lara Croft would be (and is) hailed as a sex symbol. Ivy from Soul Calibur also faces this issue due to her classic costume. Her classic costume, along with her model-like body makes her look like a dominatrix. Faith is not like Lara or Ivy mainly because of her body structure. She is more approachable because of her body structure. Although people dignify and ogle at Sex symbols such as Lara Croft or Ivy, many people who look like those sex symbols are actually quite nervous and almost scared of meeting people who are about as attractive as Lara Croft or Ivy because sex symbols like Lara Croft or Ivy are placed on a pedestal. Faith is different. Faith’s body was not used as a marketing ploy to attract more customers.

The social atmosphere of the United States has changed significantly in the past decade. The perfect body is being redefined in the social scene. Plus-sized models are starting to appear more on television. More and more people are becoming more aware of the shallowness of just wanting a hot woman. Sophisticated and strong women are becoming more and more idolized as the new “hot.” Faith embodies this growing acceptance. Video game industries also know that men are not just the majority of the consumers in the market now. A growing number of women gamers have more publicly entered the fray. Video game producers of Mirror’s Edge probably wanted to appeal to that growing crowd by creating the strong character known as Faith. Ivy and Lara Croft were often target examples for women who took offense to video game. Faith redefines the image of the attractive woman by adding less physicality and more character.

Faith is a rebel. Faith defies the controlling state she lives under by running and transporting precious cargo to her clients. Faith is also a rebel to our society as well. Her character is attempting to redefine the “attractive video game woman.” The makers of Mirror’s Edge have made Faith as revolutionary as the video game that she is the protagonist in. This revolution has opened more women into gaming and has told the world that the hottest women do not have to have the most perfect body. Faith’s rebellion against both her society and ours will earn her a place as one of the most influential female video game characters in the beginning of this century.

References:
“Faith’s Bio” <wiki.on-mirrors-edge.com/index…>
“Faith’s character design”<kotaku.com/5099050/faith-is-no…><Photo 1>
This is a essay I wrote analyzing the character of Faith from the Video Game "Mirror's Edge." This essay delves into how Faith is a revolutionary female video game character in the video game world. Feel free to critique and comment on it, as this essay, and more to follow, was created to start a debate.

Photo: Faith Connors from Critically Acclaimed Video Game "Mirror's Edge," courtesy of bigmac996 from DeviantArt
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:icongracefuldemon:
gracefuldemon Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Student Writer
You should do an essay about Jennifer Tate and how her ability to transform into a demon actually makes her ugly and truly demon-like instead of a half naked and attractive woman.

This was very well written. I personally love Faith and it saddens me to know that not many people know about her. :(
I wonder why everyone turns to Lara when one mentions "female video game character"; it is annoying!

Thank you for sharing this. :lol:
Reply
:icondevilsadvocate222289:
devilsadvocate222289 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Part of me actually wants to do an essay on the re-vamped Tomb Raider, but I feel that might be a great idea too. :)

Thank you for reading!
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:icongracefuldemon:
gracefuldemon Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Student Writer
You're welcome. :aww:

Hmm, with the writer being who it is, I have a feeling this "new" Lara will be much more human and realistic.
Maybe you should do an essay about her as well.
Hell, do both! :XD:
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:iconfire-warrioress:
Fire-Warrioress Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010  Student Writer
Looks like a very detailed essay, though I wouldn't be able to tell if this was for school, work or for enjoyment or practise. I recognised some of the references you supported before seeing the bibliography.

Whether I'd be super-good at essay writing or the opposite, I'd give you an A+. Well done! :clap:
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:icondevilsadvocate222289:
devilsadvocate222289 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
thanks! I actually wrote it for enjoyment/practice, since I'm kinda tired of seeing unrealistic feminine body types that obviously were made to appeal to the basest human desires in order to get profit. Faith's character is one of the first (but definitely not the last) female characters that are starting to become more realistic in appearance in video games.

When they finally start fleshing out true female character personalities and not archetypes/stereotypes, then I'll write about that too. I've seen a few really well fleshed out characters in more modern video games, and I can't wait to play the games they're in to really see how well developed they are!

Thanks for commenting! :)
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:iconfire-warrioress:
Fire-Warrioress Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Student Writer
Games are becoming more movie-like each year, if you can put it that way. :-)

You're welcome! :D
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