‘Assassin’s Creed​’ Reimagined: A Woman’s Role in the Order

Assassin's Creed

[PART 1] [PART 2]

My first order of business in reimagining Ezio as a woman was to learn everything I could about him and the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I had five main questions that I sought to answer:

  1. Who is Ezio?
  2. What is important about his costume?
  3. What did the game designers want to say about Ezio through his costume?
  4. How are women dressed in the game?
  5. How anachronistic is the costuming?

I went back to the source and replayed A​ssassin’s Creed II ​on my sad laptop that, in all honesty, should not be used for gaming. It had been a few years since I had last played the game, and my perspective on gender and social issues had changed drastically since then. This was going to be fun. What I got within the first thirty minutes of playing was that this game was definitely not made with someone like me in mind. It’s literally a textbook example of a straight white guy power fantasy. Ezio is suave, flirtatious, and deadly. Oh yeah, and the book version—Assassin’s Creed Renaissance by Oliver Bowden—is even worse. Claudia, Ezio’s sister, doesn’t even keep his books for him. She ends up joining a convent just outside of Monteriggioni.

What information I couldn’t get from playing the game or reading the book I got from the Assassin’s Creed Wiki. I’m pretty sure I drained my university of printer paper as I printed out every single Wiki article I thought would be even remotely relevant to my project. Trust me, it was a lot.

Continue reading “‘Assassin’s Creed​’ Reimagined: A Woman’s Role in the Order”

‘A​ssassin’s Creed’ & Gender: How I Spent My Junior Year of College With Ezia

Assassin's Creed

[PART 1] [PART 2]

Back in June 2014, I settled with my laptop in my dorm at Central Washington University and watched the new A​ssassin’s Creed: Unity t​railer. It seemed promising at the start—wide shot of a rioting Paris, Lorde playing in the background. The history nerd in me was getting super excited. Assassins in revolutionary France! That is, until the camera focused in on the four assassins appearing out of the smoke. The four guy​ assassins. I threw a pillow at my window. No, really. I picked up my fuzzy lime green pillow and slammed it at the window just past the end of my bed. I felt like something or someone had failed me. I was used to getting at least one lady character to play as in a multiplayer game. It just stung to see my gender completely erased from a franchise I enjoyed so much.

One particularly snippy Facebook post and a cup of coffee later, I still had a bitter feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was so bothered by this lack of representation that I had to do something about it, and I couldn’t just blow off steam with more Facebook posts and rants with my friends. I had to do something productive. But what?

I had been planning on creating a Lolita style cosplay of Ezio’s Brotherhood costume. My Lolita Link cosplay had been such a success before that I thought riding along that wave with another video game design was a great idea. Now, it felt hollow, but it also felt like the perfect opportunity. Instead of creating a hyper­feminine fashion piece based on Ezio’s aesthetic, I switched to a completely new concept: what if Ezio was a woman? It was a great thought experiment that I immediately wanted to dig into. How would her life have been different? What would she have worn? How would her relationships change?

Continue reading “‘A​ssassin’s Creed’ & Gender: How I Spent My Junior Year of College With Ezia”

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