I've always been a huge video game snob. I've followed the industry for years; while other 12-year-olds were outside, skating around parking lots, I was inside, busy reading the latest news from E3 press conferences. I'd like to think that one day, maybe 20 years from now, when a bunch of French dudes sit around and develop the video game equivalent of auteur theory and make it cool to name drop famous game designers in casual conversation (like Hideo Kojima, Warren Spector, Shigeru Miyamoto and Peter Molyneux), I'll be vindicated for all of the time I've spent glued to my screen and following the industry.
So when you follow trends in the game industry as much as I do, sometimes you start to pick up on an emerging industry-wide trend. At first I thought it was just a small thing, but 2012's E3 made it readily apparent that game designers are all obsessed with one person in particular. The first sign of this was when we found out that a major character in that year's Diablo III boasted more than a passing resemblance to a certain diminutive actress who hails from Canada.
Yes, that's right, the driving crux of Diablo3's narrative is a demon lord that makes Ellen Page cry, so like an internet white knight, your hero character goes on a quest to kill every demon because they made Ellen Page cry, and only you can defend her honor, and maybe, just maybe, you can make out with her after you kill all the demons. Perhaps this was an isolated case; perhaps it was just this one game where we'd be seeing the delightful AF Ellen Page. But no, then Naughty Dog unveiled its new post-apocalyptic zombie game, The Last of Us.
The entire survival-horror game is a huge escort mission where your character, the grizzled and embittered survivor of zombie-infested wasteland, is charged with escorting Ellen Page for reasons unknown. Yes, that's right—The Last of Us is you and Ellen Page on an adventure where you're charged with keeping her safe from all the evil, predatory men that so often tend to inhabit just about every fictional post-apocalyptic wasteland.
So that's two high-profile games, both jam-packed with Ellen Page goodness. But it gets even better. If having Ellen Page in Diablo and also having her in an original zombie survival game wasn't enough, we got an even bigger surprise at Sony's 2012 E3 press conference.
Simply creating new characters based on Ellen Page wasn't enough for certain game developers. Indeed, Quantic Dream's David Cage took things to a whole new level with his bold homage. Instead of creating a character with Page merely acting as the jumping-off point, for Beyond Two Souls the developer had the real deal lend her voice, her likeness, and partake in motion capture so that she could truly be the main protagonist of his next game. I'm sure Cage would have you believe that the reason why he decided to do this was because he felt the incredible caliber of her acting skills was needed to help bring his game to life. But really, the main reason was so he could have an excuse to bring her into his motion capture studio and cover her in little silver balls.
So why has Ellen Page become the obsession du jour for game developers? How has she become the new Lara Croft figure of lust and obsession in the game development community? I'm guessing it's because of all the very geek-friendly acting roles she's tackled that have sort of transformed her into the ultimate dream geek girlfriend in the eyes of moviegoers and gamers alike.
It all started when she first played Kitty Pryde in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. While she wasn't exactly the main attraction in that film (the only thing anyone seems to remember about this X-men movie is how bad it was), it was the first step in inserting her into the greater geek consciousness.
Then of course we had her in the titular role of Juno, playing the ultimate, rebellious, fast-talking geek dream girl who is into all kinds of edgy subculture. You could practically feel her binding herself into the collective consciousness of geeks and nerds around the world as she talked about genre movies and indie music with Jason Batman. Not to mention that the film's narrative was driven by the fact that she got knocked up by Michael Cera, giving the impression that if he could get her in a fictional narrative, maybe the rest of us socially awkward, developmentally arrested man-children have a shot with her as well.
Ellen Page is super...hot.
Then came 2010, the year that cemented Ellen Page as a prominent figure within the geek libido. We got Inception, which made her a big player in prestige films as well as big blockbusters. Then we also got James Gunn's Super, where we got to see her in one of her most sexually explicit roles as a psychotic fan girl who gets off on the fascist power fantasies that go hand in hand with superhero narratives.
But really, perhaps it was Ellen Page's star turn in 2009's Whip It, playing a roller derby misfit, that was responsible for sparking the love of millions of fellow bumbling, graceless geeks the world over and consequently three separate video game characters who closely resemble her.
With Diablo III being one of the fastest selling PC game of all time, it's a safe bet that we'll be seeing a lot more of Ellen Page in future video games. Hell, I'm sure the general takeaway that game publishers are going to get from all this is that all games need to be successful is Ellen Page. Just you wait and see. Before you know it, the market will be flooded with more Ellen Page than most gamers will be able to handle, and if #LaraCroft in the Tomb Raider reboot suddenly gets another unexpected redesign, we know who she'll look like.