I showed my mom Anita Sarkeesian’s Ted Talk and it reminded me to do this little comic I have been meaning to finish for weeks.
When I reached the Wheatley/GLaDoS switch in Portal 2, I was really hit with a lot of weird emotion, because I realized that it was really the first time Chell was talked about in third person, and the first time I’d really heard the game refer to her (and by extension, me) with lady pronouns (aside from the curiosity core’s brief “oh! you’re the lady from the test!”)
And I really felt the full effect of playing a non-sexualized game without any inherently gendered roles, costumes, or traits where, even though I wasn’t playing a character designed for cishet dudes to look at and enjoy, I still got to be a girl by default. I didn’t have to specify. I didn’t have to select any sort of gender box or a (very rare) playable girl character. I just got to be a girl. I wasn’t an outsider in this game, a rebel playing something meant for boys. I was playing something meant for me. I had a goddamn unisex jumpsuit and got to bounce around on abandoned science experiments, facing down an evil lady robot who was not a super sexy!fem!bot, and later teaming up with her to take down a common dude threat.
GLaDoS called me “she.” And it was awesome.