Sunday, December 17, 2006

She Aint Lara Croft

The New York Times recently covered the travails of a Muslim female recruit in training to be a military translator in "From Head Scarf to Army Cap, Making a New Life." I was reminded of how different things were for "Samia Faris" the fictional female Arabic-speaking sidekick in the military-funded videogame Tactical Iraqi. Samia's cultural hybridity, as a "Chaldean Christian," and the college-educated social mobility in her back-story present a shart contrast to the struggles of real-life Middle Eastern women preparing to be bilingual translators in the field.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is with your seeming obsession to pan the Tactical Iraqi course?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Liz Losh said...

Given the game developers' objectives to design more realistic AI, I thought that this very compelling real-life back-story from the New York Times shows how high the bar may have to be set for a better approximation of authenticity. It's a challenge to design realistic characters in a military videogame, and I sympathize with the team's objectives.

Speaking as a rhetorician, I also think that your use of the term "obsession" to attempt to pathologize a legitimate scholarly area of specialized critique (military-funded videogames) indicates that this comment may be "anonymous" for a reason.

6:13 PM  

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