Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Institution

Murray State University

KY House District #

5

KY Senate District #

1

Department

English & Philosophy Department

Abstract

“Greatness from Small Beginnings: Amy Hennig and the Women of the Uncharted series,” Rachel Wood, Faculty Mentor Andy Black, English & Philosophy Department

Amy Hennig, creative director and writer for the Uncharted video game series, has had a great impact on the world of interactive storytelling, namely with her portrayal of female characters in the action-adventure genre. During her time at Sony-owned developer Naughty Dog, Hennig encouraged gamers and developers alike to redefine the genre through in-depth storytelling and well-rounded characters. This paper explored how these female characters, while unique in their backgrounds and roles within the games’ plots, represent well-developed and unique character archetypes within the realm of video games, a rare trait for female characters the action genre before the first game’s release in 2007. These characters are also an example of how video games can be approached and critiqued from a more literary standpoint. Hennig’s writing style and literary background enable an analysis of her characters as mirrors, foils, and antagonists, all while still forming characters that have personal motivations other than to service the series’ rugged protagonist. Likewise, this paper, through use of feminist criticism, analyzed the ways in which Hennig’s growth as a female game writer mirrors the plight of the nineteenth century female novelist, especially in relation to writing for a particular audience. No longer filled with oversexualized action heroines or merely damsels in distress, the Uncharted universe brings the action-adventure genre strong women, directed by a woman, yet applauded by gamers and critics alike.

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Greatness from Small Beginnings: Amy Hennig and the Women of the Uncharted Series

“Greatness from Small Beginnings: Amy Hennig and the Women of the Uncharted series,” Rachel Wood, Faculty Mentor Andy Black, English & Philosophy Department

Amy Hennig, creative director and writer for the Uncharted video game series, has had a great impact on the world of interactive storytelling, namely with her portrayal of female characters in the action-adventure genre. During her time at Sony-owned developer Naughty Dog, Hennig encouraged gamers and developers alike to redefine the genre through in-depth storytelling and well-rounded characters. This paper explored how these female characters, while unique in their backgrounds and roles within the games’ plots, represent well-developed and unique character archetypes within the realm of video games, a rare trait for female characters the action genre before the first game’s release in 2007. These characters are also an example of how video games can be approached and critiqued from a more literary standpoint. Hennig’s writing style and literary background enable an analysis of her characters as mirrors, foils, and antagonists, all while still forming characters that have personal motivations other than to service the series’ rugged protagonist. Likewise, this paper, through use of feminist criticism, analyzed the ways in which Hennig’s growth as a female game writer mirrors the plight of the nineteenth century female novelist, especially in relation to writing for a particular audience. No longer filled with oversexualized action heroines or merely damsels in distress, the Uncharted universe brings the action-adventure genre strong women, directed by a woman, yet applauded by gamers and critics alike.