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Gingers? In video games? Who allowed this?

It's a mutation. It's a very groovy mutation. The Best Games Ever Show Episode 52

Welcome to the Best Games Ever show Episode 52: the best game with a ginger protagonist.

Cal Kestis of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is just the latest in a long line of Gaming Redheads, an esteemed group that includes such celebrated characters as Official Femshep, Joanna Dark, and what's-her-face out of Heavenly Sword. And it makes me swell with pride to see this proud tradition continuing.

Listen. I'm not even a proper ginger, but my beard has the reddish hue of muddled European stock, and I look a bit auburn with edge lighting, so I think that basically makes me part of the ginger community. Therefore I can confidently say that growing up ginger, especially in the UK, is a mixed bag. As prejudices go, it's a fairly innocuous one to be at the receiving end of: mostly just daft banter, nothing particularly harrowing or sinister. But you are relentlessly considered fair game. Barely a day goes by where you don't hear a joke about gingers on the TV. It's a feature of your genetics that marks you out for endless ribbing, but it so rarely tips over into anything worse that it feels almost petty to complain about it. It's not remotely like living as part of a minority that experiences real prejudice, racism, or persecution. And so, the Ginger Experience is sort of like living with a permanently stuck sneeze: a source of perennial bother that you can't really do anything about.

Where we are endowed with enormous privilege, though, is in representation in the media. Loads of the coolest people alive are gingers. Bryce Dallas Howard, Conan O'Brien, Shirley Manson, Michael friggin' Fassbender? The list is endless. Nicole Kidman, there's another one. Damien Lewis. Ed Sheeran. Um. Ignore that one, we're not claiming him. The point is, gingers do pretty well in the media, and enjoy much more positive representation than most other minority groups. This holds doubly true for the world of video games, where you can't swing a sporran without smacking a dozen ginger protagonists. There are more ginger video game characters than there are people in Wales. Probably. I haven't done the numbers. For a group that makes up less than two percent of the global population, we do extraordinarily well at getting ourselves on screen. But which is the best game with a Ginger protagonist? Our panellists, as we've discussed, have a bounty of options for this one. Which redheads stand above the rest? And how exactly is everyone interpreting the word "ginger"?

Who, out of Kelsey, Connor, and Tom, is going to be this week's biggest smart-arse?

In order to find out, you need to watch or listen to this podcast here. Handily, we have an absurd number of ways of doing so below.

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You could also simply read the summary below, if you're the sort of person who skips to the last page of a book (a wrongun, a reprobate, a Bad Seed).

Tom

Tom picked Football Manager on the basis that you can, if you want, role-play as a ginger person. It's not an argument that went particularly well for him.

Connor

As games which are entirely the product of rubbish puns go, Ninjabread Man doesn't rank as one of the worst, but that's only because the Leisure Suit Larry games exist. Which is about the kindest thing you can say about it: it's not as loathsome as Leisure Suit Larry.

Kelsey

Stray features quite possibly the most ginger protagonist imaginable: a cat. Not only is it ginger all over but, as cats are liable to do, it proceeds gingerly through world, always with one eye on the nearest escape route, never quite trusting its surroundings. We have to be careful here because we've gotten into a lot of trouble covering this game before, but rest assured, at least three of us at VG247 are bonafide cat lovers, and do not endorse the views of one Siobhán Casey.

“What is the Best Games Ever Show?” you ask? Well, it is essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (Jim Trinca and associates) decide on the best game in a specific category. That's it. It's good. Listen to it.

Come back in a week for another exciting instalment of the Best Games Ever Show.


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