Horizon, the statue of Aloy in Florence amidst appreciation and controversy

SmartWorld team

Among the many statues that attract the attention and admiration of tourists a Florence there is a decidedly unusual one, which stands out precisely for its particularity: it represents a warrior in a combat pose holding a bow and a sword, the combat pose. For some completely unknown, for many others a familiar face, since she is Aloythe heroine protagonist of Horizon Forbidden West.

The pedestal on which the statue is placed, the ‘placeholder ‘ which bears the name Aloy and her vocation: “An icon of courage, tenacity and resourcefulness holds the place for all the women in history who have led these values ​​and deserve a statue”. As to why you are in Florence, it is easy to say: from 17 to 27 February Sony, to celebrate the release of Horizon Forbidden West (available from February 18 for Playstation 4 and 4) has decided to install in Madonna della Neve square this temporary statue dedicated to the protagonist of the game. A promotional choice certainly, but which also wants to make us reflect on who she is and who she represents Aloy.

Why Aloy was chosen

The heroine of the saga is in fact a huntress in action in a dystopian future, a post-apocalyptic America in which machines dominate and nature has taken over man. In the final chapter of Horizon, Aloy must travel through territories once known as states – California, Nevada and Utah – to investigate a mysterious plague.

And it does so by moving away from the stereotypical canons with which women are represented in video games: physical aspect takes a back seat, and Aloy, born and raised by marginalized, is represented for what he is, a person fighting for survival. Which, among other things, has not failed to arouse controversy among the most accustomed gaming fans attracted by characters such as, for example, the very sensual archaeologist Lara Croft. And her frailties and inner contrasts emerge over the course of the game, transforming her from character to person to empathize with but that not everyone has appreciated, making comments on Twitter and forums regarding both the outward appearance (“too masculine”, “has the beard “) is the presumed fragility.

“The story of Aloy tells us about the ability, on the part of the videogame industry, to transport in the dimension of the videogame universal stories and themesputting the player at the center, and allowing him to live and play deep and articulated stories, take on the role of incredibly multifaceted characters, without ever losing sight of the opportunity to dream – underlined Marco Saletta, General Manager Sony Interactive Entertainment Italy – An extraordinarily stimulating reference model for the younger generations and a look at a possible future, this time not only for the videogame context “.

“Aloy holds the place for all the women of the past”

In short, the statue on display in Florence wants to represent not only the release of the new chapter of Horizon, but also a stance against gender stereotypes, even in the gaming world. The statue of Haloy, Sie pointed out, “it holds the place for all the women of the past who shared its values, contributing to increase, in different and original ways, sometimes in a discreet but significant way, the artistic, cultural, scientific and social heritage of our country, even though they have not always been celebrated in the context of toponymy ” .

Indeed, the Italian cultural and monumental heritage reflects an important representation gap. Only 5 percent of Italian streets are dedicated to women, of which about 60% refer to the names of saints and martyrs and to Marian denominations. In the remaining 40%, legendary, mythological, literary characters and traditional denominations have a certain weight. The most remembered figures belong to national and / or local history, literature and the world of entertainment; women of science, of the visual arts, of the world of work and of sport are to a much lesser extent.

“The greatest power of the toponymy – said ega Maria Pia Ercolini, president of female toponymy – is to create models, to refer to imaginary, as well as to represent a will. The Sony Interactive Entertainment Italia initiative opens up a preferential communication channel with the younger generations on the importance of cultural models, a reflection on which ones they want to preserve, and which ones they want to give value “.

“We are happy that Sony Interactive Entertainment Italia has chosen Florence for this project. The sector of gaming it has grown a lot over the years and will grow again. Also in Florence there are realities that are linked to this medium and I am sure that in the next few years there will be many activities that will be born linked to the videogame panorama – said the councilor for economic activities Federico Gianassi – In the face of this growth, a greater attention also to the training of young people who are the main users of these tools. This initiative seems to me to hold together various aspects and try to put the accent, through the protagonist, also on vthe value of diversity“.