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Not all video games treat women like objects. This one does it right. Really really right.

Video games catch a lot of grief about portraying women badly. But the independent game "Sword & Sworcery" did it so well that other developers should sit up and take notice.

Not all video games treat women like objects. This one does it right. Really really right.

When a woman is featured in a video game, often she's a sexual object, a mission objective, a sidekick, or background decoration.

"Sword & Sworcery" isn't playing that.

Its protagonist, the Scythian, manages to save her world without triggering a single eyeroll or exasperated "really!?" because the developers know what you and I know: Heroes are heroes regardless of gender.


Like them or not, video games are big money.

That's right, we spent more buying video games than songs!

Video games have become a huge part of the way we tell our stories. But they haven't earned a reputation for telling everyone's stories. That's why "Sword & Sworcery" deserves a big shoutout.

Why is this game so special?

First and foremost, it's a good game as Anita Sarkeesian shows us. The retro 8-bit style is well-executed, the music is complex, the gameplay is slick, the puzzles are engaging and fun. But above all: The story is compelling and well-told.

The developers made a decision to make its hero, the Scythian, a woman. And they intentionally avoided the clichés that normally accompany games with female characters. She's not sexualized. She's not foofy or frilly. She's not a sidekick.


"Thankfully, the game doesn't resort to clear gendered signifiers like a pink outfit or a pretty bow in her hair, nor does it present her gender as some kind of surprise twist like we see in the original Metroid."
— Anita Sarkeesian

Is it important that the Scythian is female?


"When archetypal fantasy heroes in games are overwhelmingly portrayed as men, it reinforces the idea that men's experiences are universal and that women's experiences are gendered, that women should be able to empathize with male characters but that men needn't be able to identify with women's stories."
— Anita Sarkeesian

Because she is a person first. She is a person who decides to go on a quest to save a world she loves. That story is not unique to one gender. Anyone can work to preserve what they love.

"She didn't just exist in relation to another character — she wasn't just somebody's wife or sister or daughter — but rather, she existed as an individual, and as a hero."
— Anita Sarkeesian

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

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Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

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Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

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