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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 3K 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.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    On a related note, here's a brand new article on the objectification of women in art - book covers, to be precise. It's more of a finger pointing, actually.

    http://muddycolors.blogspot.de/2013/03/objectify.html


    However...

    @Darth Marsden said: 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.

    She walks the high road of language. I won't blame her. My English has formed at the university, I'm kind of used to having new words tossed around my ears, judging their meaning from context alone. Thing is: She DOES take the role of a teacher, so she isn't supposed to chum up to viewers by dumbing down her language. Is what she does pretentious? Possibly. But definitely less than you'd find daily in an educated environment. Then again, I've been taught gender roles so thoroughly in literature that all the terms she uses which are needed for fully understanding the video are so engraved in my memory, it's not even funny any more.

    @Darth Marsden said: 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.

    Certainly. It's this first video that's starting a massive riot because a lot of 30-something video gamers feel their most precious childhood memories badmouthed. That's not what's happening here. As I said, it's basically a history lesson. She hasn't said anything untruthful. The trope IS there, and its prevalence in these early games is INCREDIBLE. If I had to count how many times April O'Neil ALONE was abducted in these glorious late 80s, early 90s, I probably wouldn't get to finish today. Sarkeesian HAS to pick on these early games, because that's exactly how they were. Not mentioning them is like cutting out the first chapters of your history book, and we can't understand modern VG culture if we don't look at the old games first.

    @Darth Marsden said: 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. [...] 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.

    She hasn't shown a breakdown of expenses, but she has offered an abundantly precise sum which she needed to make this series. Six thousand dollars. Which the kickstarter, I think, reached within day one. In essence, everyone who gave her money afterwards was well aware that it was surplus money. No one was "conned" of course. This is all crystal clear. Maybe Sarkeesian will give to charity eventually. Maybe she finds a way to further her cause elsewhere with the money. Maybe she just keeps the leftovers for herself. I really don't care. I don't envy the position she has moved herself into. And I don't want to be in the same situation for those surplus 100,000+ dollars.

    She lucked out because her idea was obviously lucrative. Deal with it.

    @Darth Marsden said: 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.

    Sarkeesian put those first comments on her blog openly. It's shocking to see that the whole internet can be disgraced. But I'll have a jab at those eyebrows EVENTUALLY. But not the earrings. I like those earrings.

  • Also, I reject the notion that finding fault in what Anita's doing is misogyny simply because others have been such. That's like saying people who joke about Obama are racist because some of his dissenters are. And let me tell you something, far more people want him dead than Anita. And many of those are legitimate threats and not just angry teen boys raging on the internet.

    This forum is actually one of the most "egalitarian" forums I've been to, not to mention the most chill ones because most of the people are older and educated.

    *shrug*

  • To be honest, I refuse to watch these on the same grounds as I refuse to read TV Tropes articles nowadays (or at least try to restrict it to cetain types of tropes), and that is because it would ruin any chance for me to work on my projects without taking these tropes into account. The more tropes you know, the more you either try to avert them, deconstruct them or try to add a new spin on it, which is why I mostly just restrict myself to sex tropes and stuff, things I will never actually put in my work.

    Also why I stopped watching Extra Credits.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    What's wrong with adding a new spin to them? :)

  • @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?

    Then take the fight to them instead of picking a fight with me. I'm not the one piling vitriol onto her, threatening to rape and kill her, nor have I made any video games where you can beat her to death.

    You might be on the right side, but your white knighting is sorely misplaced.

    @JuntMonkey said: Also, I reject the notion that finding fault in what Anita's doing is misogyny simply because others have been such. That's like saying people who joke about Obama are racist because some of his dissenters are. And let me tell you something, far more people want him dead than Anita. And many of those are legitimate threats and not just angry teen boys raging on the internet.

    This forum is actually one of the most "egalitarian" forums I've been to, not to mention the most chill ones because most of the people are older and educated.

    *shrug*

    Careful, Tope. JuntMonkey might consider you a SEXIST who HATES WOMEN and wants everyone RAPED AND MURDERED.

  • @Secret Fawful said: Careful, Tope. JuntMonkey might consider you a SEXIST who HATES WOMEN and wants everyone RAPED AND MURDERED.


    JunkMonkey sees through my disguise :eek:

  • @Secret Fawful said: Careful, Tope. JuntMonkey might consider you a SEXIST who HATES WOMEN and wants everyone RAPED AND MURDERED.

    FUCK WOMEN

    *rips out own ovaries*

  • @Giant Tope said: FUCK WOMEN

    *rips out own ovaries*

    That's the spirit.:cool:

  • @Vainamoinen said: What's wrong with adding a new spin to them? :)

    There's nothing wrong with it, but actively trying to will often hamper your creativity. Making anything creative is partially using tropes, partially inserting your own DNA in a non-sexual way. Trying to actively insert as many tropes as possible or doing the exact opposite will make that which you created more tropes and less you.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @GaryCXJk said: There's nothing wrong with it, but actively trying to will often hamper your creativity. Making anything creative is partially using tropes, partially inserting your own DNA in a non-sexual way. Trying to actively insert as many tropes as possible or doing the exact opposite will make that which you created more tropes and less you.


    I know my stuff contains lots of tropes, but I don't really care. The only tropes I avoid are the ones that matter to me such as those that portray groups in a negative light (which I describe below). But if I inadvertently write something that has a trope that could be considered a stereotype, it won't bother me too much.

    That's the thing to me, if it's done inadvertently, I'm not worried about it because there was no malicious intent involved. The hero saves the princess stories are like this. In fact, if you want to go into it that's a negative stereotype for men too (having to be strong and throw safety to the wind). But, like I said, the stories weren't made to purposefully put down anyone, so I'm not bothered by them.

    The stuff where they make the bodies of females disproportionate in order to enhance sexuality or dumb down their intelligence, or the stuff where they make the guy a big hulking man who is macho and rude (and often dumb down their intelligence too) because they want to appeal to a teenage male demographic is the stuff that bothers me, because that stuff is not done inadvertently, but rather purposefully. The stuff where they portray gay men as womanly or gay women as manly, and transexual women as manly, and transexual men as manly lesbians bother me too since they are done purposefully and maliciously. Additionally, I'm also bothered by the stuff that's made (in a non-satirical fashion [to a point, stuff labled as satire that is done just for the shock value bothers me as well (since that stuff really isn't satire, but is malicious in nature)]) that reinforces the race role such as black people as drug users and thieves, hispanics as lazy people living off the government, white southern Americans (and sometimes Americans in general) as inbred gun-toting rednecks, etc. This kind of stuff is so stupidly prevalent in our society, that it does re-enforce negative stereotypes, no doubt (and it keeps misogony, racism, and bigotry alive).

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