Janeva, Horizon Zero Dawn’s Trans Symbol, Needs Back To The Forbidden West

No one remembers where Janeva is from Horizon Zero Dawn. To be fair, nobody seems to remember anyone but Aloy, Rost, that guy with the mustache (he’s called Erend, by the way), and the guy from The Wire (it’s Sylens). Even among other players who are perhaps more committed to Horizon mythology, Janeva falls down the list behind Elisabet Sobeck, Ted Faro, Nil, Resh, Talanah, Arana, Teersha, and a few others that I know. Most of the players have struggled to recall Mustache Man’s name. Again, as you may have forgotten, it’s Erend.

It’s not your fault that you forgot. I love Horizon Zero Dawn, but the supporting cast isn’t on the list of reasons. Aloy spends a lot of time alone – something less likely to happen in Forbidden West – and as a result it is very difficult to get to know the other characters, especially when so many of them are fragile on the ground. Janeva is similarly skinny, but they represent something bigger, and I hope they somehow make their way back to Forbidden West.

Related: The call of the mountain horizon can be the breath of virtual realityJaneva is trans – maybe. I’ll come back to that later, but of course the title already says it. Identity politics is often a barrier to understanding rather than a gateway, but identity and representation matter. Even those who argue it don’t get upset when straight white men – archetype representing them – now have less screen time when playing games. If you put Hunter Schafer in a movie, I’m more likely to watch it because I can identify with her. Note: put her in a damn movie. Do I have to wait another two years in Euphoria season three to see her again?

Aloy in the snow horizon no dawn frozen wild dlc

Anyway. Just having a transgender character isn’t a groundbreaking, epic victory, but it feels pretty close to being a character. I could cram a few examples these days – Krem, Leo, Tyler, Lev, Janeva – but it’s still rare enough, especially in the three-A scene, that it’s worth celebrating. For transgender women, Cyberpunk 2077’s Claire is one of the obvious ones, and even that makes me feel conflicted. Let’s get back to that ‘maybe’ though. The word ‘transgender’ is never said, and this is a fairly common way of saying it. Although the English language as a concept already exists – and the suspension of skepticism that accompanies giant robotic eagles lunging at you – words like ‘transgender’ never get over it. It’s the same for Dragon Age’s Krem Palace, listed above. Leo Kleisen’s transformation has only been confirmed outside of Tekken, and even then, it’s been debated. Lev never said trans in The Last of Us Part 2. Only Tyler of the characters above possesses his ability to transform, although the game pledges this fully to the point of almost compensating for the others.

Despite Tyler’s strides, Lev is perhaps the most important, because The Last of Us Part 2 is a massive game, and Lev is one of its most popular characters. If Janeva gets a bigger role in Forbidden West, it might be through standing on Lev’s shoulder To get there.

Lev in The Last of Us Part 2

Janeva presents as male and says “I’m not your sister. No woman can wear Carja armor,” but his name is Janeva. According to Carja’s naming convention, a vowel at the end denotes a girl, suggesting that Janeva was designated female at birth and has kept her name, but has assumed the role, dress, and appearance. of a male. In a way, it’s progressive – many transgender people change their names to be sneaky, and even people like me who are openly transgender change their names because of the naming tension of society. and because using a male name may cause society to question our gender even more. The youngest generation seems to choose gender-neutral names in the opposite direction of these conventions – see: Hunter Schafer – but Janeva embraces her birth name while rejecting her birth gender I’m just as attractive.

As with all characters in Zero Dawn, our time with Janeva is too short. Many players don’t even notice the conversion code, and there’s nothing else special about him – he has a backstory about the power of crime rehab, but nothing to write home about – he We will be forgotten like Takaba, Aratak, Kranta and Loama. I made all of that, but have you noticed? And if your answer is “of course I did, I’m not stupid,” here’s some news: Aratak is real. Sorry.

I’m interested in Janeva purely because he’s transgender, I admit it. But with very few characters to call my own, that’s enough. I want him to be the Lev of Forbidden West, and if they give him half a chance, he probably will.

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