As I revisit role playing games that were highly influential to me during my childhood, clear patterns emerge which make their impact on my understanding of romantic partnerships obvious. “Her Longing Eyes” is a study of a necessary requirement for female protagonists in Final Fantasy 6, Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 8, Valkyrie Profile, and Final Fantasy 10 (games that I love/loved). These characters are displayed looking directly at male characters with the most ridiculous glazed over eyes, or they are displayed this way in a context in which they are meant to be thinking about/missing a male character. Male characters are portrayed as heroic, safely holding female characters or looking over them.
“Her Longing Eyes” is an extension of my research project “Heroines with Baggage”- an ongoing project devoted to the study of the proliferation of subtle negative gender-based stereotypes throughout the video games that I grew up playing and how the presence of these stereotypes has impacted my growth- especially in my expectations of love, tragedy, and the roles I take on in my adult relationships.
Let’s not forget that female characters in rpgs exist only to give the male protagonists meaning. Without them constantly being in trouble and in need of protection - the male characters would be terribly bored and boring.
(Top: Final Fantasy 2 [USA]- snes, bottom: Final Fantasy X- ps2)