My Favorite Women in Video Games: Anya Stroud

Games she appeared in: The “Gears of War” series

Is she being rescued/saved as a key plot point: Anya tends to be the voice of reason getting you out of a sticky situation.

For our video game BFF date, we would: Go for target practice. In Anya's world, you have to be an awesome shot.

One of my secret shames of video games is that I get motion-sickness from first-person shooters. This has lead to many return visits to GameStop to try out a different game or requests from Tylenol from my husband who was ready for a video game date. He suggested that I try the “Gears of War” series, which despite the large over-muscled protagonists that initially turned me off, is a surprisingly emotional, well-acted, and fun game to play. Set during a war between human soldiers called Gears and alien races, Gears of War offers both multiplayer options and story campaigns that take you through the war from the point of view of two Gears, Dom and Marcus. By their side during the game is Anya Stroud, a fellow solider and source of strength for both.

The first two games do not feature the opportunity to play as Anya, but she plays a pivotal support role, guiding your characters through dangerous missions and providing emotional support. However in Gears of War 3, the player is finally able to play as Anya as she joins the soldiers on the battlefield as a Gear for the first time. But instead of a caricaturisation of a solider in a slightly skimpier outfit with slightly more makeup, Anya is as gritty and real as her male counterparts. Her voice is respected, her bravery is paramount, and she puts aside any fear that someone might have about her addition as playable to the game.

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