Ashley is unbearable, but the problem is bigger

Ashley Graham, Leon’s ally resident Evil 4he is one of the most unbearable and problematic characters games. Reduced to the role of a disabled girl, she has become a famous girl in the community, until the players deliberately let her be caught or killed. Ashley’s problem goes beyond being unbearable and hopefully the character will be reworked Resident Evil 4 remake.

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At one point in the development, he seems to want to be on the side of Ashley Leon, the helper who helps the protagonist on his journey. We meet at the church at the beginning of the game, and from then on he spends almost the entire trip by our side. However, the girl hardly collaborates with the player on the adventure. Unfortunately, it is more of a burden than anything else.

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Understandably, the 20-year-old daughter of the President of the United States has no tactical knowledge. Growing up in a reality of privileges and advantages, it’s only natural that you don’t know how to use weapons to defend yourself and find yourself immersed in a situation where an undercover organization wants to catch you at all costs.

The fact is that Ashley does not evolve throughout the narrative, being confined to any situation, completely disabled and in a state of despair. Always talking between sobbing and crying voices, the girl constantly asks for the player’s help, “Leon, help me!”.

And here’s the thing: I, as a player, spent the whole game trying to keep quiet. And I hated to see myself in this place.

Ashley’s way of programming also seems annoying. With disoriented moves, the ally constantly enters in front of the player, obstructing the move and putting him in dangerous situations. In the face of this, I created a habit of asking to stand still at the beginning of the room to eliminate the enemies around me and move on safely.

More than the first encounter with the dark Regenerator, the most uncomfortable situation for me in Resident Evil 4 happened in the sequence where you have to defend a house from a horde of zombies. When she meets Ashley, the first thing Luis Sera says is, “I see that the president has supplied her daughter with a lot of ballistics” – and at that moment, the camera goes down to focus on the girl’s breasts. Then I realized that, well, not only half of the actors (and monsters) want to be caught as someone who has the chance to sexualize Ashley.

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The archetypal girl with no defense is one of the most recurring in the games. By placing them in situations that need to be rescued, this type of representation abolishes female characters, limiting them from power to being heroes.

In “Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Gender Views,” Julia T. Wood examines the under-representation of women in the media as a first way to distort reality. According to the author, “constant distortions lead us to believe that there are actually more men than women, and that men are the main rule of culture.”

“Men are usually portrayed as active, adventurous, powerful, sexually aggressive, and not involved in human relationships,” the author notes. “It’s the same with cultural perspectives on gender to portray women as sexual objects, often young, thin, beautiful, passive, dependent, and often incompetent and dumb” – and it doesn’t make me feel that Ashley fits that description perfectly. wrong.surprise.

Sarah Projansky in her book Spetacular Girls: Media Fascination and Celebrity Culture highlights how the central representation of the media in society is that girls and women are able to become “wonderful and outrageous visual objects” on display. The impact of the representation of women like the one in Resident Evil 4 has the same effect, so it needs to be problematized.

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Projansky also warned that an unrepresented media delegation “serves to warn all women that failure is a constant opportunity, one that must be avoided through constant dedication.” In other words, distorted representations of women reiterate the need to respond to social expectations about women’s bodies and behaviors.

The impact and importance of representation on games and any other media is undeniable. Therefore, seeing hypersexualized characters, helpers, escorts, non-actors, and meek, like Ashley, should become a thing of the past.

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