Yet even the sloppiest early-90s EGM is fascinating to me. It documents a long-gone era in its scattershot coverage, its reader-sent “What-if” jokes, and its envelope art galleries full of Mortal Kombat characters killing Barney or Beavis and Butthead. With time and maturity on our side, we can enjoy ancient EGM as an amusing window into a time when just about every game wanted to be Street Fighter or Sonic the Hedgehog and no one looked at things too deeply.
For example, observe “The Top Ten Fighting Women” from the December 1993 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly.
When halfheartedly tackling the game industry’s endemic sexism, EGM opted for the old comic-book approach: it’s fine for a woman to be sexualized and shallowly written just as long as she kicks ass. Who says women only sit around waiting for the hero to rescue them? They also stand around waiting for the all-important male gaze to wash over them! Well, a least it’s better than the magazine’s Hottest Game Babes feature, which I apparently wrote about here almost fifteen years ago. I must’ve been an embryo.
Most of the characters here did not become industry icons, but that’s OK. Let’s see if I can find nice things to say about them all.