Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.
Marianne is a spirit medium who helps troubled souls trapped within the spirit world find their final respite. She was mysteriously orphaned in her youth, leaving her moving from home to home until her foster father, Jack, took her in. She struggled with understanding her power as a child and spent most of her life feeling like she didn’t belong. At the beginning of The Medium, Marianne is mourning Jack’s loss when she receives a mysterious call from a man named Thomas who claims to know about her. He also knows about Marianne’s reoccurring dream; a girl running through the woods to a pier before being shot.
Marianne travels to the abandoned employee resort Niwa to meet with Thomas; however, she is left exploring on her own with the help of a young spirit trapped within the spirited world named Sadness. As she pieces together the clues left behind in with the world of the living and the spirit world, she learns of Niwa’s terrifying past and comes face to face with the malevolent creature known as the Maw, who needs her body to survive. She soon uncovers that Niwa’s terrifying history is intertwined with her own. The mysterious Thomas is her birth father who sent her away to protect her from her sister Lily who brought the Maw into this world.
The Medium comes to a close as Marianne comes face to face with her past. Her sister, another strong medium, has been putting these dreams into her head as a way to draw Marianne to her. Her only wish is for Marianne to put an end to her misery and banish the Maw from this world. Marianne is left with two choices. She can end her sister’s life and banish the Maw, or she can take her own and let him rot until he finally disappears. Marianne’s fate is left up to the player to decide as the screen goes black before the gunshot goes off.
The Real Deal:
Marianne is the real deal. She is fearless, strong-willed and full of compassion. She uses her gift to help those around her in the world of the living and the spirit world find closure. Even as a child, she would share little messages from the spirit realm with fellow foster children and school mates. Even though others found her weird, she embraced her differences and continued to use them to help others. This took her to places that were filled with traumatizing memories that we only ever see in nightmares. But she never shied away from her duty. Even at Niwa, she could have left when she met the Maw. She could have saved herself, but instead, she stuck it out. She came face to face with demons that would scare grown men and she stood her ground.
Why She Matters:
So why does Marianne matter? While the video game industry has expanded past the idea that only male protagonists can be strong and fearless, females tend to still fall into a specific set of categories. They can be strong, but they are harsh and unlikeable most of the time. If they are compassionate, it comes as a flaw. The Medium throws those stereotypes out the window when creating Marianne. We watch as she mourns the loss of her foster father and helps his spirit pass on. She is fearless and tough in the face of supernatural horrors but still holds onto her compassion. Throughout the game, she searches out clues to help those trapped at Niwa finally find peace.
So be like Marianne. Be fearless, strong and compassionate. Use your gifts to help those in need and stand your ground in tough situations.