10/29/2012

My Favorite Women in Video Games: American McGee’s Alice






Games she appeared in:  American McGee’s Alice, Alice: Madness Returns


Is she being rescued/saved as a key plot point: Alice is traveling back into Wonderland in order to save herself.

For our video game BFF date, we would: I’m not sure I would want to go anywhere Alice likes to, she tends to run with a creepy crowd.

In honor of Halloween and all things scary, this week we are going to take a look at one of the most famous horror heroines of gaming. First appearing in the namesake game American McGee’s Alice, the familiar storybook character returns as a woman institutionalized as her understanding of reality and fantasy fade. She must return to Wonderland, a now dark and twisted landscape run by the evil Queen of Hearts, and fight for her sanity against the delusions. These delusions created by her own psyche take the form of familiar characters like the Chesire Cat or the Mad Hatter in darker and creeper incarnations. This is not a fantasy land of a child’s mind but that of a woman who has experienced loss and death.

While the gameplay and storyline is surprisingly straightforward, Alice has remained a beloved character with used versions of the PC game still selling as a collector’s item. But just as the literary character impacted our cultural landscape, as a video game character, Alice is unique with her unique role as her own savior. The only way for Alice to survive and find her sanity is to defeat a landscape of her inner demons. This darkness in contrast with childhood memories of Alice in Wonderland is particularly impactful as you even start to recognize more of the creepiness of the source material and animated film. This Halloween, if you aren’t busy playing the new Resident Evil or Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem on your old GameCube, consider grabbing a copy of the original game or the sequel Alice: Madness Returns and joining Alice on her quest through Wonderland.

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