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Tropes vs Women In Video Games – Damsel In Distress Pt. 2

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 by

Continuing the exploration of the Damsel in Distress trope in video games, the ever-polarizing Anita Sarkeesian turns her eye this time to modern games to deliver further critical analysis on female representation in gaming. Catch the first episode, if you missed it, here.

Tropes vs. Woman In Video Games is a series of videos authored by Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency and funded through a massively successful Kickstarter campaign.

About the Author

Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone). Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG

Mark A. Brooks has written 626 posts on Delta Attack
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  • http://www.lacychenault.com/ Lacy Chenault

    Gah! She was right, some of it is really hard to watch. Makes me sad, but still hopeful developers and such can and will challenge themselves to come up with new and better themes and ideas for video games. What is almost more depressing though is the reaction from some male gamers to this series – as if it’s just not a problem or that this is just how it is and people should just accept it.

    I love gaming and love that it is being taken more seriously these days – just like movies – and I think part of being taken seriously and more accepted as a common form of entertainment is being critiqued and dissected – which is exactly what this series is all about. It’s healthy and helpful for the medium, what is not helpful is the overwhelmingly butthurt responses.

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Markham Asylum

      Don’t let the apathy of some viewers get you down. For any particular issue in the world, there will be a lot of people that give zero fucks. Focus on the ones who want to help make the change you desire, not the ones who don’t care.

      I’m looking forward to the third part of this topic. I know a lot of effort goes into these videos, but hopefully it doesn’t take ~2 1/2 months for the next one.

      • http://www.lacychenault.com/ Lacy Chenault

        Apathy is one thing – those who *really* don’t give a fuck don’t care to comment, and that’s fine. However it’s sad to see so many gamers rage at simple critiques such as the tropes vs women ones. I guess at first I didn’t expect such a horrid backlash to them, but now I’m kind of used to it. Makes me sad, but it surely doesn’t lessen my desire for change.

        I wish they’d all some around sooner, but I’m willing to wait. The re are soooo many left in the series, I have a feeling they’ll be coming out for the next year (or longer)

        • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Markham Asylum

          Don’t let them draw you in. Like anyone else, they want attention. Just ignore them — if they don’t have your respect, why should you give them what they want?

          • http://www.lacychenault.com/ Lacy Chenault

            Well, I would say they are “drawing me in” simply by me taking note of it. I also wouldn’t say I’m “giving them what they want”

            • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Markham Asylum

              Ah. I was under the impression that you often got involved in debates related to this issue, but that must have just been because I saw Terry and you get into it over the prior video in the series. Yeah, if you’re not responding, you’re not giving them attention, so not what they want.

    • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

      I actually liked this one far better than the first, but still feel that it’s a vocal minority that is magnified by the Internet. Same goes for the guys who are actually against it, whereas I don’t particularly care either way because I’m not offended by the supposed misogyny.

      Gaming is a part of nerd culture and nerd culture has been associated for years as a guy thing.

      I do think the idea of “butthurt” is a bit of a dismissive response, though, for anyone. If it’s healthy and helpful to have this, isn’t it also healthy and helpful to have the counterpoint? Conversely, would it be healthy to refer to women upset by silly games as being butthurt?

      The problem that comes with overcoming this, then, is that there are three typical conflicts: man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus self. With games being what they are, with story typically taking a backseat to everything else in all games aside from RPGs, you have the primary difference between games and other mediums.

      If a man were put into a world to save another man, people would wonder why they are saving a man. Soon, the game becomes that “gay” game in gaming circles. We’re talking Cho Aniki type of things.

      It’s a motivation because, frankly, players put themselves into the roles. The problem is that, frankly, you and other women aren’t the target audience. It’s the same thing as, say, cigars and scotch. You can enjoy them, of course, but they are geared towards men.

      I like that Mirror’s Edge and Beyond Good & Evil were given as examples, but it’s also worth noting that they didn’t sell so well for a variety of reasons. Sadly, one of the sticking points for Mirror’s Edge lackluster sales could very well be Faith’s bust size, not the rough camera.

      It is what it is.

      Just like movies, indies will be the ones making real stories because they need to separate themselves in other ways like Papa & Yo and, surely, tons of others.

  • fattsmann

    Anyone who has been imprisoned will tell you how much strength it takes to get through being trapped and powerless. I think if people would realize that, it balances out what is actual “heroism” or “bravery.”