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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 1.5K users

So, remember that whole brouhaha with that woman doing a Kickstarter to make a series looking at how women are portrayed in video games that got a lot of people behaving really, really badly?

Yeah, the first episode of her series went live yesterday: Damsel in Distress.

I watched it yesterday.

I had to fight not to fall asleep.

I get what she's doing, but she's doing it in a very dull manner. Her voice is very monotone, her script is full of "impressive" words, the cuts between takes is jarring and doesn't flow well at all, and what she's saying is stretched out far too much - she basically takes 20 minutes to say stuff that could easily be compressed into 5.

Also, and I freely admit this is a very silly thing to focus on, but those earrings are ridiculous. I can't take her even remotely seriously when those things are dangling around. Ugh.

Wondered what you guys thought of it.

247 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @WarpSpeed said: Disclaimer: I didn't watch the video. But I thought it was interesting that today, CNET posted an article about someone hacking Donkey Kong so Mario is the one who has to be saved.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57573628-1/dad-hacks-donkey-kong-so-daughter-can-save-mario/



    Its a nice gesture, but let's be honest.
    Its just a sprite hack.
    (I'd be more impressed if she played differently)

    Its a little sensationalist, redditish d'aww story that got a little too much attention. -_-

  • @ryannumber1gamer said: Well i really hope she does not try to get examples from Batman Arkham City


    ...you're defending the Arkham games based on their treatment of women.

    KaAbFcx.gif

    Yeah, no.

    S3b5NAM.jpg?1

  • So I decided to pop in this N64 game I own that I've never played before. It's called Battletanx: Global Assault. I press Start and I'm treated immediately to this.

    V3m.png

    jontron_nightshade_reaction_gif_by_metro

  • @Secret Fawful said: So I decided to pop in this N64 game I own that I've never played before. It's called Battletanx: Global Assault. I press Start and I'm treated immediately to this.

    V3m.png



    That's like, exactly the opposite of this book I was planning, called Synthia's Daughters where 99.9% of men had died in a plague. The difference, of course, was that the human race could keep on going, just with only one gender and egg cell fusion.

  • @Alcoremortis said: That's like, exactly the opposite of this book I was planning, called Synthia's Daughters where 99.9% of men had died in a plague. The difference, of course, was that the human race could keep on going, just with only one gender and egg cell fusion.


    So....it was Y: The Last Man.

  • @Rather Dashing said: ...you're defending the Arkham games based on their treatment of women.

    KaAbFcx.gif

    Yeah, no.

    S3b5NAM.jpg?1



    But Dashing She's talking about Damsels in Distress which means women being kidnapped or in trouble and having to be saved which does not happen that often in the Arkham games.

  • I didn't notice her flaunting a strong vocabulary in the video. Maybe her intended audience is slightly more cultured and intelligent than a forum full of people who think that The Longest Journey, Syberia and The Secret of Monkey Island are the Western world's greatest works of art?

    @Vainamoinen said: Methinks this first video is just an attack on Japanese culture in general.

    That's racist! :D

    No, this is not serious. But it is obvious where her examples come from. And what now? 15 parts "damsel in distress", one part "evil women" and then no part at all because heroines like Lara Croft or Jade are not interesting or do not fit a series called TropesVERSUSwomen? She talks about Prince of Persia, does she not know Elika, who saves the Prince a 1000 times? But she does announce to get to Elaine Marley EVENTUALLY.

    I'm sure she's aware of the counter-examples, probably more than you and me are. And she will very likely be exploring them later in the series. However, a handful of examples of positive portrayals of women in video games do not cancel out the thousands of examples to the contrary.

    @Vainamoinen said: I am watching this right now and really wonder: Why did she need money for this again?
    I know a lot of Youtubers that produce better videos free of charge.

    @Vainamoinen said: No, people are just gullible.

    @Vainamoinen said: Sounds to me like a scam.

    She most likely bought all these games (and probably at full retail price) rather than renting them. Plus, many of these games are not necessary in finding material to be used in this video series. Also, she likely bought a VERY fancy video camera and Adobe Photoshop/After Effects, when I'm sure there are plenty of good lower priced products (Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 is only $70, and GIMP is free. Windows Movie Maker is also free.)

    As has been said, many people have made much better videos which are more interesting and informative than this, for a lot less money. Why people paid her to make Youtube videos is beyond me.

    Who the fuck are you to tell her what kind of camera she should be using or how much she should be spending on games? What the fuck?

    The original amount she asked for was $6,000. If Matt Barton of Matt Chat fame were to ask for a few grand to do a collection of videos on X topic with higher production values, I would hope and expect to see him make his goal. Not everybody has the time or money to make high-quality videos for "free". If some people do, that's great; enjoy them.

    But you're suggesting that a woman (with a long track record of producing videos) who has a project in mind that she can't do for free is scamming the 7,000 people interested enough to donate? SCAMMING? So not only is she an incompetent woman with a boring voice doing a badly researched video, wearing ridiculous earrings and an ugly shirt, but she's a fucking SCAMMER? I don't know what your issue with women is, but if you don't want to continue to come off as trash you should probably avoid topics like this in the future.

    @Vainamoinen said: But he's wearing casual clothing that doesn't clash with the background or his skin tone, and while his hair is pulled back, it still frames his face properly. And the clutter only matters if it has nothing at all remotely to do with the topic at hand or his internet persona in general, or if any part of it is particularly flashy for no apparent reason.

    If this woman was wearing the same clothing he is, (or similar, like her grey hoodie in other videos) it wouldn't matter. Similarly, if he was wearing 00 (double-zero) gauge earrings, or had a big tattoo on his arms, or was morbidly obese or something like that, yes it would be distracting (to varying degrees, of course) just as her earrings and makeup are also distracting.

    ... Well, I say that, but it depends on the subject matter. Her earrings might not be so distracting if she actually had vocal inflections that sounded like she actually cared about the discussed topic. The only reason why it seems that she cares is not because of her tone, but the fact that she won't shut up about it.

    THIS woman, on the other hand, has eyebrows that are obviously drawn with a makeup pencil:

    pRxcZC9.png

    And again I say that that shirt is ugly. it doesn't matter who wears it.

    I cannot believe that you're serious with this post. Why don't we go ask 5,000 random people which one presents themselves better on video?

    You're criticizing the woman about her fucking eyebrows?

    @Vainamoinen said: Darth Barsoom Den, I'm going to buy you a big earring for your penis.

    It's the only way to combat all of this sexism.

    @Vainamoinen said: I think those earrings are cute!

    Now THERE's your sexism.

    So here, what you're doing is yucking it up in the ole' boys' club, trying to turn the whole thing into a joke. Because misogyny is a fucking punch line, and the fact that thousands of gamers have piled vitriol onto Sarkeesian, including rape threats, death threats and creating a video game where you get to beat her to death is no big deal. We all need to lighten up! Right?

  • @JuntMonkey said: I didn't notice her flaunting a strong vocabulary in the video. Maybe her intended audience is slightly more cultured and intelligent than a forum full of people who think that The Longest Journey, Syberia and The Secret of Monkey Island are the Western world's greatest works of art?



    You seem kinda bitter.

    idk, on one end, free market, people paid for it, ect whatever

    on the other end, the entire kickstarter idea was really dumb. it was essentially a way to get a shit load of video games and put sparkly imagery on videos that she proved she could make without kickstarter.

    the whole thing is dumb and all she's doing is collecting a paycheck from preaching to the crowd who already know and complain about these tropes as well as the controversy from how absolutely ridiculous the whole thing is.

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    Darth Marsden Moderator

    I feel an overwhelming urge to respond to your post, JuntMonkey.
    @JuntMonkey said: I didn't notice her flaunting a strong vocabulary in the video. Maybe her intended audience is slightly more cultured and intelligent than a forum full of people who think that The Longest Journey, Syberia and The Secret of Monkey Island are the Western world's greatest works of art?Then I suggest you watch the video again. There's a lot of complex words in what she says. For example, here's the second 'paragraph' from her video (thankfully transcripted on her website):
    This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects.The underlined words are the sort I was referring to, and it's these sort of words that I find problematic. They're not really the sort of words you'd hear in everyday conversation - they make her sound like a teacher, preaching down to her students by reading from a textbook.

    As well as this, I consider myself a fairly intelligent and well-spoken person, and even I don't know what 'pernicious' means. I can guess, but if you're making a video supposedly explaining something to people, then I shouldn't have to make an educated guess at the meaning of what you're saying.

    I could easily rewrite this to mean exactly the same, but not sound as complex. Watch:
    This series will take a look at a lot of well-loved games and characters, but you have to remember that we can enjoy something while still taking issue with some of the more problematic aspects of it.
    Although, to be honest, I'd probably have said something totally different. But hey, that's just me.

    @JuntMonkey said: I'm sure she's aware of the counter-examples, probably more than you and me are. And she will very likely be exploring them later in the series. However, a handful of examples of positive portrayals of women in video games do not cancel out the thousands of examples to the contrary.True. But so far she's pointing out the early examples, and she doesn't point out what one or two others have done in this thread - early games had very simple plots with a traditional goal because they couldn't have anything else. They were incredibly simple games, and so the plots had to be simple as well. The simplest and most easily remembered plot? Save the girl. Or gold, but hey, women are more visually entertaining.

    If she'd mentioned that and then said that she was disappointed that games continued to use the trope even after games got more complex and had the opportunity for more expanded and interesting stories, then it would have been fine. But she doesn't. She just seems to pick on early games for using the trope, end of.

    @JuntMonkey said: Who the fuck are you to tell her what kind of camera she should be using or how much she should be spending on games? What the fuck?

    The original amount she asked for was $6,000. If Matt Barton of Matt Chat fame were to ask for a few grand to do a collection of videos on X topic with higher production values, I would hope and expect to see him make his goal. Not everybody has the time or money to make high-quality videos for "free". If some people do, that's great; enjoy them.

    But you're suggesting that a woman (with a long track record of producing videos) who has a project in mind that she can't do for free is scamming the 7,000 people interested enough to donate? SCAMMING? So not only is she an incompetent woman with a boring voice doing a badly researched video, wearing ridiculous earrings and an ugly shirt, but she's a fucking SCAMMER? I don't know what your issue with women is, but if you don't want to continue to come off as trash you should probably avoid topics like this in the future.Dude's entitled to his opinion.

    We haven't seen where the money's gone. She's never actually told the general public anything specific, like a breakdown of expenses or whatnot. She's told us that she's bought a whole bunch of games, and then posed next to them, which is easily the point that's going to stick in most people's heads, and she's told us that she's hired a couple of people ("I can now also hire my producer full-time for this project. Plus we are in the process of bringing another writer/researcher on board part-time." - from the same post where the picture was shown), but the majority of updates were for backers of the project alone, and since I didn't back the project, I couldn't tell you what they say.

    They could very well explain where all the money went. BUT I DON'T KNOW. And if people don't know, they're going to form theories, ones which the previously shown picture do NOTHING to dissuade.

    If she'd released a detailed breakdown on where all the money went, the theories that she's scammed people would vanish, because we'd probably know that she hasn't just used the money for games. But she hasn't, so they won't. Quad Erat Demonstrandum.

    @JuntMonkey said: I cannot believe that you're serious with this post. Why don't we go ask 5,000 random people which one presents themselves better on video?

    You're criticizing the woman about her fucking eyebrows?He's pointing out that the eyebrows (which are clearly the result of too much make-up) were distracting, just as I pointed out that her earrings were distracting. WHICH THEY ARE.

    It's a perfectly valid comment to make, and he's not the only person saying things like it.

    @JuntMonkey said: So here, what you're doing is yucking it up in the ole' boys' club, trying to turn the whole thing into a joke. Because misogyny is a fucking punch line, and the fact that thousands of gamers have piled vitriol onto Sarkeesian, including rape threats, death threats and creating a video game where you get to beat her to death is no big deal. We all need to lighten up! Right?In case you haven't noticed, people here have a habit of trying to lighten the mood when things get too serious, which it kind of is here. Also, most of us appear to be guys (though I could be wrong, I usually am when it comes to identifying people's gender), so a bit of guy humour isn't entirely unexpected.

    Funnily enough, in an earlier post, Vainamoinen said this:
    @JuntMonkey said: Youtube commenters. I hate them. Hate, hate, hate.

    Criticise the video, but bashing the commenter LIKE THAT? That's just crap. Hell, even Secret Fawful showcased how bad some of the YouTube comments were.

    We're not ignoring the fact that Anita got a lot of shit from internet fuckwads. We just know that that's how the internet works. It brings out the worst in people. We know this. It's a sad fact of life, but it IS a fact. You give people anonymity, they're going to abuse it.

    Doesn't mean we can't have a small laugh every now and again.

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