The Power of a Non-Stereotyped Asian Character in Gaming

The early 1990s they were a nostalgic and unique time in the game. Like an 11-year-old strapless book and a hot pink jogging set that didn’t fit on the playground, my only comforts were my best friend Denise, our after-school episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation above Pringles, and the family desktop, in all its beige glory. While most of my classmates in elementary school were arguing about whether the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis were the top console, I turned my attention to the PC game, so just a thought later.

Most kids in my grade only used their family computers to boot Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing o Encarta to finish his book reports. Because my mom’s new friend was a computer repair person who often brought her work home, I grew up around piles of IDE cables and optical disk drives, excited about weekend trips to Fry’s Electronics to check it out. out of the big shiny cardboard boxes that hold the latest fun floppies and CDs.

This is where I was finally enchanted with a real gem: Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. And it was the first time I met Grace Nakimura, the first inspiring and realistic Asian character I discovered in the game. Over the years I’ve used my allowance to snatch something up with it the Sierra monolithic logo until I finally discovered, in that embarrassing phase of preadolescence, that Sierra had created games with mature, complex, adult themes.

At the beginning of the Gabriel Cavaliere trilogy, the protagonist is a scrupulous young man who owns the Rare Library of St. George in the French Quarter of New Orleans, writing horror novels at night. Intrigued by a spate of strange murders that rock the city (where the assassin leaves only a few ritual clues), the “Voodoo Murders” end up on the front page of the local newspaper every morning. Between reading his Aquarius horoscope of the day and drinking coffee for breakfast, Gabriel decides to investigate and find the killer for himself, while still having a sense of inspiration for his latest book. This is where the player finds Grace.

When we meet Grace for the first time, she doesn’t wear a silk dress that runs with cherry blossoms or shares the Confucian wisdom passed down from ancestors. He is not an accountant, scientist, or note taker for his competence in mathematics. He is an everyday person who works from home. I found it refreshing that she didn’t have an exotic story of the “Far East” and that there was no evidence to emphasize her as an alien.

In a nice pair of glasses and a coral blouse that might come fresh from the Gap, she looked almost exactly like my aunt, who worked at the front desk for a local shipping company. I was even more relieved to find that she didn’t have an exaggerated accent – on the contrary, Leah Remini, the vocal actress who played her, did an excellent job of making her sound a little bored and disheveled, giving zinging answers to Tim Curry version of Gabriel Knight, his charming boss.

Every day, Gabriel sits on the library bench and asks Grace if she can do some research on a bad, seductive husky, to help him approach a step of cracking the case. After spending most of the day launching calls from Gabriel’s ex-lover, she remains immune to his “charms”. Among questions, we learn more about who Grace is.

We found out that he lived in Japan until he was 3 years old, before his parents emigrated to the United States. Escaping the typical stereotype of “model minority,” she confesses that her parents are angry with her for not completing her doctorate – after getting her master’s in history and classics, she decided to take a break to finish. the school. Her passion for adventure (and old books) led her to take up work in St. George, where she does research to help Gabriel trace the culprits. Although she is inevitably kidnapped and saved by Gabriel, she changes dramatically in the other two games in the series.

Gabriel Knight 2: A Beast Inside has had an exciting art direction for the time: full-motion video, or FMV. Classic gamers fondly remember FMV as an optimistic hybrid between games and movies that was semi-common for a brief period in the 1990s as the industry tried to subdue the Venn diagram of gamers and movie lovers. FMV adventure games employ the latest technologies to use pre-recorded footage of real-world actors and movie sets instead of 2D, hand-drawn pixelated environments.

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