It all started with an angry letter.
Over a year ago, I was watching my boyfriend play an adventurous video game. I noticed that the protagonist was a middle-aged man, greying and wrinkled, and I thought it was interesting and neat that the developers made this decision of age when creating the character.
It got me thinking though… How many middle-aged women are protagonists in video games?
How many middle-aged women do we see adventuring, and showing what great capabilities they still have?
As I started researching, looking up lists of female protagonists in video games and talking with everyone I knew, I became more and more angry about the utter lack of representation of middle-aged and elderly women in video games. Especially in American culture, I see that women over child-bearing age are rarely seen in media (other than advertising anti-aging products). The only middle-aged/elderly women I see in video games are always pigeon-holed into nurturing grandma roles, which of course does exist and is a role that should be represented and honored.
But I feel that we as women have a lot more to offer than just those traditional roles.
I started writing an angry letter, addressing video companies as a whole, verbally trashing and attacking them about the lack of representation of women over child-bearing age.
Once I was done with the letter however, I also realized that an angry letter wouldn’t spark the kind of change that I wanted to see in the world.
The Big Picture
Over the next few months, the Wise Not Withered project slowly began to inhabit a bigger and bigger space in my mind, and I realized that I had an idea that could be huge and awesome and really connect people.
Instead of writing simply an angry letter, I thought… How great would it be to send an encouraging package to video game companies to invite them to diversify the ages of their female protagonists, but not just with words?
What if I could show them—through pictures, stories, and music—what was possible?
When I started seriously putting more and more thought and concerted effort into this project idea, I knew that I wanted to somehow involve the demographic of women that I am advocating for. If I was going to argue that women over child-bearing age have rich stories to tell, why not reach out to the wise not withered women in my life and listen to their stories?
Wise Not Withered: Phase 1 – The Podcast
On Friday, November 30, 2018, the first episode of the Wise Not Withered Podcast will be released. Season 1 will consist of 10 interviews that I have conducted with wise women in my life. Audio recordings will be available through this very website, soundcloud, iTunes, and wherever else I can figure out!
Phase 1 of the Wise Not Withered project includes interviews with women over child-bearing age (40+), to showcase a variety of inspiring life stories and lessons learned. This will be an ongoing phase, where people all over the world are invited to share their own stories, or talk with and share the stories of wise women in their lives. If you would like to participate in this phase of my project, the interviews, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I wanted to make an intro for the podcast that had simple but compelling instrumentation and inspirational words. Here it is!
We all have a story to tell.
The longer our lives, the richer our stories.
When I look at you, I see…
A woman of strength, integrity, character.
A woman who has seen hardships, struggles, pain, and loss.
A woman who has compassion, love, courage, and power.
A woman who has succeeded, failed, and learned.
A woman who will continue to persevere and thrive.
When I look at you, I see a woman who is WISE NOT WITHERED.
Season 1, Episode 1 Release Date: November 30, 2018! Stay tuned!!