First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

March 7, 2013 -

The very first Tropes vs. Women video is alive and kicking and ready for your perusal. The video series by Anita Sarkeesian was crowd-funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign, though some in the gaming community attempted to take Sarkeesian for being overzealous about misogyny and sexism in both the development and game-playing community.

The first video is called "Damsel in Distress: Part 1 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games" and is described by Sarkeesian on the Frequency Feminism YouTube channel as:

This video explores how the Damsel in Distress became one of the most widely used gendered clichés in the history of gaming and why the trope has been core to the popularization and development of the medium itself.

As a trope the Damsel in Distress is a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must then be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist's quest.

You can watch it to your left. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.


Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

The last three minutes has some of the best discourse on the topic I've heard in a long time.

"A large percentage of the world clings to the deeply sexist belief that women as a group need to be sheltered, protected, and taken care of by men [because they can't protect themselves]."

So true.  I know plenty of women who could easily break me in two if I so much as looked at them the wrong way.  smiley

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

Glad to see these videos finally seeing the light of day.

I generally like her stuff, and I think videos like this could be be really useful to aspiring designers and authors.  This is pretty standard stuff in many lit programs (well, newer/updated ones at least) but I think these issues get left out of video game design programs a bit too much.

One of the things I find frustrating is I have talked to designers who tried to break away from tropes like this and were basically told to change it to be more traditional because 'feminist games do not sell'.  Granted there are exceptions, but it is still a pretty pervasive attitude in the industry.

Heh... the fact so many consider 'switching the gender roles' to be 'feminist' says a lot right there..

Though it would be nice if she had given a nod to Super Paper Mario, which while not main sequence, did have a playable Peach along side the other characters.

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

First thing I noticed was that comments are disabled on the video. A completely understandable action to take.

The second thing I noticed was just how well done the video was, justifying much of the expense. 

The third thing I noticed was how informative the video was. I learned a lot about the history of the Damsel in Distress, not just in games, but in general media was well.

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

Not just understandable but really the only sane move to make here giving Youtube's nature.

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

Have to say the same thing, she's done her research.  I can say that I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.  My final verdict I reserve for the end, but so far, so good.

"If you really want to enslave people, tell them you are going to give them Total Freedom." - L. Ron Hubbard

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

Funny you should mention that, I've watched a response video by The Amazing Atheist taking her to task for disabling comments to avoid genuinly held dissenting opinions.

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

Considering the comments she got just for trying to kickstart the series, yeah not surprised in the least that comments and rating are disabled. I stopped watching the Amazing Atheist a long time ago, but I'm not surprised he's stirring the pot on this bit. I doubt any sane person thinks even a fraction of the comments are going to be "genuinely dissenting viewpoints". But hey even without comments he still managed to respond, even if he did it in a deliberately antagonizing way, "Just a bit of friendly advice from me to you" I've never heard that spoken in a genuinely friendly way.

Re: First Tropes vs. Women Video Released

I'm guessing disabling the comments has less to do with avoiding "genuinely held dissenting opinions" and more to do with avoiding death threats and trolls.

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