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Women in Classical Video Games

Women in Classical Video Games

Despite the prevalence of video games set in or inspired by classical antiquity, the medium has to date remained markedly understudied in the disciplines of classics and ancient history, with the role of women in these video games especially neglected. Women in Classical Video Games seeks to address this imbalance as the first book-length work of scholarship to examine the depiction of women in video games set in classical antiquity.

The volume surveys the history of women in these games and the range of figures presented from the 1980s to the present, alongside discussion of issues such as historical accuracy, authenticity, gender, sexuality, monstrosity, hegemony, race and ethnicity, and the use of tropes. A wide range of games of different types and modes are discussed, including platformers, strategy games , roguelikes, MOBA, action RPGs, and story-driven romance mobile games. The detailed case studies presented here form a compelling case for the indispensability of the medium to both reception studies and gender studies, and offer nuanced answers to such questions as how and why women are portrayed in the ways that they are.


Part I: Commencing Classical Gaming

Chapter 1. Playable Girls in Ancient Worlds: Athena (1986) Opens the Door

Chapter 2. A Historical Analysis of Women in Video Games Based on Classical Antiquity

Chapter 3. Dangerous Defaults: Demographics and Identities within and without Video Games

Part II: Gods, Heroines and Monsters

Chapter 4. The Maiden, the Mother and the Monster: The Monstrous-Feminine in Classical Video Games

Chapter 5. Bringing Down the Divine Patriarchy Through Deicide in Apotheon (2015)

Chapter 6. Argonautic Women? Gender and Heroic Status in Rise of the Argonauts

Chapter 7. Good Riddance: Refiguring Eurydice in Supergiant’s Hades

Chapter 8. Reception and Representation of Graeco-Roman Goddesses in Smite: Battleground of the Gods

Chapter 9. Opening Pandora’s Box: Aphrodite as the Representation of Women’s Sexuality in God of War III

Part III: Queens and Commoners

Chapter 10. Women and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean Video Games

Chapter 11. Playing Cleopatra in Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Chapter 12. Playing Salammbô: Orientalism, Gender and Gaming with the Punic World

Chapter 13. Kassandra’s Odyssey

Chapter 14. ‘We do what we must to survive’: Female Sex Workers in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Chapter 15. ‘It’s the most freedom a woman can have’: Gender, Genre and Agency in Choices: A Courtesan of Rome

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