It’s called “Okay, But Ladies.” And you can make your own variants, such as “Okay, But People of Color” or “Okay, But LGBT People.” It’s quite adaptable, as you’ll see.
Here’s how the game works:
1. Take a movie.
2A. Replace the male lead with a female lead OR
2B. Tell the story from a female character’s point of view.
Playing this game allows me to enjoy popular culture much more, since I’m so tired of narratives that focus on men. It’s sort of like fanfic, except the stories encompass everything, not just sexy-times (well, that’s the kind of fanfic I like, anyway).
I first thought up this game last fall, after watching Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. This Bollywood movie follows the male lead, who is immature and needs to grow up to win the female lead’s heart. Except he doesn’t really learn anything or change. [Ed. Surprise!] Meanwhile, the female lead has a really interesting arc, where she leaves her comfortable life to be an advocate for rural villagers. But that happens largely off-screen.
“The story should have been about her,” I thought. “The guy was like every rom-com Bolly-male. The woman is way more interesting and dynamic.”
And so my game was born.
Imagine The Great Gatsby from Daisy’s POV: What is her life like with Tom? What are her dreams, what are her sacrifices?
Guardians of the Galaxy about Gamora and Nebula, what they’ve suffered together, what they’ve endured alone.
What’s great about this game is the diversity of stories. I can’t be the only one tired of the same old thing.
I hold out hope that my game will go away soon. Female characters have proven they can carry movies and TV shows. Of course, half the population shouldn’t have to prove such a thing in the first-place, but anyway. I play this game so I’m not angry all the time, so I’m not exhausted from wondering about representation all of the time.
Of course, the kicker is that every time I play the game, I’m a little angrier, a little more tired. Why do I have to create these worlds in my head; why can’t I see them on the screen?