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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 3.9K 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
  • If she thinks Peach and Zelda are portrayed in a sexist manner, she should check out what freaken' POKEMON got away with in the origenal japanese version of the manga, "The Electric Tale of Pikachu", every female charicter in that book is sexualized! Even Misty, and she's only 12. By that example, I think we should just count ourselves lucky Peach and Zelda don't run around in thong bikinis all the time.

    TL;DR: Japanese children's media can get FAR worse, in terms of being sexist.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    Yeah, this crap again. One of the 'rebuttal' videos from youtube, just uploaded:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mow7acLq0b4

    Seriously, this is what this discussion had become. This guy is speaking out against the abuse Sarkeesian has endured, but then goes on to directly accuse her of trollbaiting:

    She wants to make money off the back of this internet hate campaign. She knew exactly what she was doing. She did whatever she could in order to make sure that she got the types of comments she wanted to get [...]

    Anyone here who WOULDN'T call this absolute sexist crap? Kickstarter successful, all the money on the bank, hey, now let's get me some RAPE THREATS because that was what I was after all along? This is ludicrous. Someone punch this guy in the face. :mad:

    I've watched a whole lot of these rebuttal movies and they all make the most desperate attempt at misinterpreting what the original video was there for. "Why doesn't she mention this or that game as a positive example?", I've been asking myself as well when I started that vid. Weeell, because the title is "tropes VERSUS women". Because this series was always meant to have a focus, possibly EXCLUSIVELY on the most sexist crap in the history book of video games.

    And what she presents with the damsel in distress standard story is completely undoubtedly where_video_games_started, overwhelming in quantity, whether we like it or not.

    I want a second video now... but fuck do I understand why it's late.

  • @Vainamoinen said: I want a second video now...


    I don't.

  • Women get pushback anytime they assert themselves. There's almost always a higher bar for women to prove themselves than men.

  • @DAISHI said: Women get pushback anytime they assert themselves. There's almost always a higher bar for women to prove themselves than men.

    This is a good point, and it's probably true to varying degrees for any group of people that isn't white males.

  • Wow, a LOT of game stories are spoiled in a major way in the most recent Tropes Against Women video. The first one dealt largely with set-ups, but this one deals a lot more with endings, and as such blithely throws out several successive end of game twists in rapid succession.

  • It's out?

    EDIT: Yes it is. Hope you don't mind me moving your post, Dashing.

    For the record, here's the list of games that receive spoilers (as taken from the video description):
    · Bionic Commando (2009)
    · Borderlands 2 (2012)
    · Breath of Fire IV (2000)
    · Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (2007)
    · Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (2003)
    · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (2010)
    · Dante's Inferno (2010)
    · The Darkness II (2012)
    · Dead Space (2008)
    · Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs The Soulless Army (2006)
    · Double Dragon Neon (2012)
    · Gears of War 2 (2008)
    · God of War: Ghost of Sparta (2010)
    · The Godfather: The Game (2006)
    · Grand Theft Auto III (2001)
    · Hotline Miami (2012)
    · Ico (2001)
    · Infamous (2009)
    · Inversion (2012)
    · Kane & Lunch: Dead Men (2007)
    · The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)
    · MediEvil 2 (2000)
    · Ninja Gaiden 3 (2010)
    · Pandora's Tower (2011)
    · Prey (2006)
    · Resident Evil 5 (2009)
    · Shadows of the Damned (2011)
    · Tenchu: Shadow Assassins (2009)

    That's... yeah, that's quite a few. And to have the list pretty much buried in the video description with only a basic caption in the video itself warning of this... hmm. there's warnings about the violence, sure, but not the spoilers?

    EDIT II: That was a really depressing video. Like, REALLY negative. Can't see many people siding with her on this video in particular. Yeesh.

    Also doesn't help when she makes mistakes. At the end was footage from The Darkness, but she labelled it as the sequel. I can see LOTS of people calling her out over that.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    Hmmmmm. That wasn't perfect. But really, it was wayyyy better than the first video and to me, actually enjoyable. What now, you can't connect to that idea? All right, let's attempt to list some of the improvements which were obvious to me. :D

    [LIST]
    [*]less theory preaching. The first video tried to flatten the audience a bit with latin nomenclature, antique trope history and possibly psychology. This one doesn't.
    [*]more expression of emotion. Sarkeesian makes a far more successful attempt to posture herself as an involved presenter. The first video only had the continuously raised eyebrow, although that might have just been the way she shaves those things. ;) In this one, the expression of despair at 12:25 stands out. She'll have to practice all this a bit more though. It's not easy talking in front of a camera.
    [*]positive examples are acknowledged. It's not all bad for Sarkeesian this time. She shows games with female main characters - all in the blink of an eye of course because, again, this is not the topic of those videos. The warning at the beginning is, word by word, the very same as it was in the first video - of course you can still enjoy those games, but be the fuck aware of what gender roles you're being fed!
    [*]tropes are diversified and own theories formed. The first video was a yawny history lesson interspersed with examplemania. It felt rather stretched at a half hour length. This one tries to identify variations of the damsel in distress and - surprise - she's actually not bad at categorizing and naming them. This is new theory. These are modern narrative twists that have become a trope in the last 20 years; it's important that someone makes a decent attempt at classifying them.
    [*]Modern examples of the trope(s) are more convincing. It might have been her mistake to start with the past and get to the modern games only two months later. I myself got the "she dumps on all our childhood games" impression in that first video, which was the misled assumption of all those rebuttal video makers later on. And I think even in this thread I've voiced issues with where this series would go as I believed there really couldn't be THAT many examples in present games with their "more sophisticated stories". It's good and I believe very necessary that she finds and lists these games. I myself have played exactly one of the games she shows footage from (Prey) - and must admit that I have been impressively appalled by how many modern games she could put of the table with perverted, but clearly identifiable variations of the damsel theme. Really, just wow.
    [*]The responsibility of the game developers is not exaggerated. These reservations at the end are something that was missing from video 1. Because of course these 'lessons' look like she's trying to find someone whose fault this narrative bullshit is. Turns out, she really isn't - yet another thing that people have just not understood in that first video although it was already stated in there to some degree.
    [*]Psychological effects of the trope are not exaggerated. This is a very important part at the end where she finally speaks on what kind of influence she thinks these tropes have on our society, on male as well as female behavior. Surprise again: Not that much.
    [/LIST]

    @Darth Marsden said: EDIT II: That was a really depressing video. Like, REALLY negative. Can't see many people siding with her on this video in particular. Yeesh.

    Well, of course it was negative. Ask all the gratuitously killed women in those games. But it's hardly a question of siding with her. The tropes are there, that's the fact. You can't argue that.

  • Crap. Are there actual spoiler spoilers of Hotline: Miami or is it just a general reference to it? I can deal with being spoiled on everything except that.

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