Ellie (from Borderlands 2): Why She Kicks Ass
Meet Ellie. She doesn’t have a family name you doughnut — she’s a videogame character. Specifically, she’s one of the main (yet unfortunately non-playable) characters in the recently-released Borderlands 2, and this is why she kicks ass.
- As an overweight female character, she’s pretty much the only positive representation of a woman in a videogame who isn’t subject to the narrow ideals of femininity we see in all types of media, but especially the male-dominated world of gaming. It’s important to note that she’s also not a comic character, but one who is confident, could (and does) *literally* kick ass, and owns her body shape and sexuality. Notably, she left her mother’s strip joint after she was repeatedly told by said mother to slim down in order to attract men.
- It could also be argued that she isn’t necessarily heterosexual, as regardless of which gender you are playing as, she still states that she finds your character attractive. And although this just could be the writers belief that most players would be male showing through, with her short hair and dungarees she’s definitely making space for more queer readings of female characters in videogames.
- Ellie is also a mechanic, fulfilling one of, if not *the* most masculine jobs around. She’s responsible for building your car, as well as crushing the odd bandit. (The first time you see her in-game, she kills a bandit who says “I shoulda killed your fat ass when I had the chance!”) She also wields a (possibly-Freudian) gigantic wrench, so if her technical abilities don’t command your respect, that definitely should.
- So although Ellie comes from the designers that came up with the unofficial nickname “girlfriend mode” for the easier character, overall she’s challenging a lot of really awful stereotypes in the gaming community, which is definitely what we need in a space where if a woman doesn’t hide her gender or mute her teammates, she is immediately game for disgusting verbal abuse and threats.