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Ubisoft Narrative Director on the Need for More ‘Juicy and Real’ Female Characters

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Posted on October 25, 2013 AT 11:35am

Ubisoft Quebec director of narrative design Jill Murray would like to see more flawed, relatable female characters over forced attempts to portray women in a positive light, the writer told GamesIndustry International in a recent interview.

“‘Trying to feature positive female characters’ is probably a mistake,” Murray told GamesIndustry when asked about the biggest makes developers make in that regard. “When you demand that characters be paragons of positivity, that’s when you get the feeling of ‘trying’ and no one likes to play ‘trying.’ Players want to connect with characters that offer something juicy and real.

“I’m less interested in the ‘kick-ass woman who can do it all,’ than I am in the people whose flaws, interests, fears, and passions drive and pull them in conflicting directions. That includes the everywoman, the underachiever, the ordinary person moved to respond to tragedy, the woman who excels at one thing but the rest of her life is a mess, and so on. The messy stuff is what makes real people relatable and memorable, whether or not they’re good role models.”

Examples of “women and girls” in videogames who “felt real” to Murray include the main characters in Fullbright’s (very fantastic, wonderful, beautiful) Gone Home, characters in BioWare’s Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, and Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which Murray felt “let women be normal.”

Murray is responsible for penning last year’s Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, which is getting an HD port for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC early next year. She was also contributed to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, writing the PS3- and PS4-exclusive Aveline content, which picks up after the events of Liberation.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Chris Holzworth, News Editor
Chris Holzworth has wanted to write about games all his life. He first cut his teeth writing for enthusiast sites such as RPGFan, and after writing for just about every other enthusiast website he could came across, wound up as EGM's east coast news correspondent (read: editorial intern, a fancy phrase for "slave") before relocating to LA to serve as news editor. [Meet the rest of the crew]

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