It makes me feel like a natural woman.
Gender critics tend to argue that there aren't enough female characters in games, and that the majority of female characters are merely sidekicks. So enters Perfect Woman
, an indie-developed camera-based game by Peter Lu and Lea Schönfelder, that has nary a man in sight. On the outset, the focus on female characters might seem like a terrible, exploitative gimmick, but having been nominated for IGF's Nuovo Award for innovation, it sends a bold and interesting statement about femininity and objectification.
pairs a simple concept with a simple gameplay mechanic. Mimicking the life stages of a regular woman, from fetus to a cranky grandma, you choose the direction of a woman's life from among four choices and then match the various poses on screen to determine how well she performs in that role. It's not far from Human Tetris on the Kinect, albeit with a humorous slant on a woman's life.
The difficult of each life segment will depending on your choice from among the four options presented at each age tier and how well you match the poses in previous segments. For instance, choosing to be the leader of a child street gang at age nine will make it more challenging to be an eager student, MIT professor, or a diplomat later on in life. On the flipside, it will make it easier to slide into a career in terrorism, a 60-year-old call girl, or a tribal matriarch down the road.
Of course, just because a path is on the hard or extreme difficulty level, where the poses you must mimic are ridiculous and switch at a higher rate, doesn't mean you should dismiss it. And that's part of the message Perfect Woman
attempts to communicate: that there are no particularly right or wrong decisions, and that all women, throughout all their lives, are worthy of posing for the camera. At least that's what I got in just two short playthroughs of the game.
is working with Microsoft to release on Xbox One this year and might be looking for a PS4 release as well due to its camera bar. Various PC builds have been shown at various festivals.