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Damsels everywhere

Last posted Jun 03, 2013 at 09:28PM EDT. Added May 28, 2013 at 09:11PM EDT
81 posts from 24 users

So, as Ms. Sarkeesian puts it, let’s get ‘edgy’ by discussing her latest video on Female Tropes (Seeing as comments are once again disabled).
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Keep in mind, people on either side to stay respectful and on topic (don’t resort to ad hominem, etc. or stray off topics related to the video)
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Here’s the video, at your convenience:

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Everyones umbrella up? Ready. Set. BEGIN!

May 28, 2013 at 09:11PM EDT
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Without watching the video I can tell this will get iffy.

May 28, 2013 at 09:22PM EDT
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3edgy5me right?
lol, I realize this could hit the fan quick, but I really am curious to what people think (either in agreement with her, or disagreement, or otherwise)

May 28, 2013 at 09:26PM EDT
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i wonder if she takes herself seriously
because nobody else does

May 28, 2013 at 09:43PM EDT

I guess I’ll kick this off with a few questions:

When is it okay for a woman to be a victim? Is it unrealistic that a woman could possibly be a victim, because Anita seems to think that it is an impossibility, that could never happen. To even propose the idea is misogynistic in itself, and an egregious statement about women.
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Is it bad to want freedom from becoming a monster, even if it means death? Anita insists this is horrible, and that life as a monster (be it demonically devoured, zombified, or twisted beyond human form physically or mentally, etc.) is better than wanting to die as a human. (Keep in mind, countless men also have made such choices in video games, esp. zombie games).
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Is your daughter important? Anita points out that a common theme is a mans family is torn apart, forcing him to save his family, often the children (and, boys are common of this too, think about Heavy Rain or Red Dead Redemption, etc.), but thinks it is condescending to save your offspring (they can take care of themselves, it wouldn’t be scumbaggy to leave them, right?)

Last edited May 28, 2013 at 09:52PM EDT
May 28, 2013 at 09:52PM EDT
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I only need to see “TRIGGER WARNING” in the description to know that it’s not worth my time. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so facepalmingly sad to see supposed feminists presume that women are so fragile and unstable as to need a TRIGGER WARNING. Wait, it is hilarious.

/been having this convo and calling for stronger female roles in video games since the dichotomy was Toadstool+Zelda vs. Samus.


A better reason not to watch it: it’s 340MB. I was going to give it a chance until seeing the file size on my downloader.

May 28, 2013 at 09:54PM EDT
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Ah, an opportunity to actually participate in the discussion.

1. When is it okay for a woman to be a victim?

Same circumstances that it’s okay for a man or a child to be a victim.

2. Is it bad to want freedom from becoming a monster, even if it means death?

Umm, this is a common trope in all forms of entertainment for men and women. What Duke3d did to women was vile, but the more general trope is all about raising that question in the first place.

3. Is your daughter important?

Duh?


Those are some pretty loaded questions there, btw. Is the video actually that bad?

Last edited May 28, 2013 at 10:00PM EDT
May 28, 2013 at 09:59PM EDT
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WarriorTang wrote:

I only need to see “TRIGGER WARNING” in the description to know that it’s not worth my time. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so facepalmingly sad to see supposed feminists presume that women are so fragile and unstable as to need a TRIGGER WARNING. Wait, it is hilarious.

/been having this convo and calling for stronger female roles in video games since the dichotomy was Toadstool+Zelda vs. Samus.


A better reason not to watch it: it’s 340MB. I was going to give it a chance until seeing the file size on my downloader.

I noticed that too. The irony in itself was painstakingly laughable x.x
That aside, I don’t think anyone is against more female protagonists in video games. It’s just the way she puts it is so vitriolic (“Damn you patriarchy, men are all scummy misogynists!!”), any points she does make gets lost in how hostile she is towards men…

May 28, 2013 at 10:01PM EDT
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WarriorTang wrote:

Ah, an opportunity to actually participate in the discussion.

1. When is it okay for a woman to be a victim?

Same circumstances that it’s okay for a man or a child to be a victim.

2. Is it bad to want freedom from becoming a monster, even if it means death?

Umm, this is a common trope in all forms of entertainment for men and women. What Duke3d did to women was vile, but the more general trope is all about raising that question in the first place.

3. Is your daughter important?

Duh?


Those are some pretty loaded questions there, btw. Is the video actually that bad?

Loaded, yes. But it’s not very dissimilar to how Ms. Sarkeesian presents her view. Besides, no one who agrees with her seems to want to say anything (which, if they don’t I’ll just say: Typical.)
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I watched it, having to take breaks in between as to not implode. It’s just as condescending as the first, and just as hostile. Like the other, she raises some points, but as I stated previously, it gets lost in her hostility and patriarchy blaming. On a good note, this time she used examples that are closer to modern times (not ye olde arcade). But, this still isn’t anything close to an objective overview of video games and sexism…
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There was a scene at some point where she tries to make like, a scoffing laugh to show disbelief, but it was just soo awkward I was just guuuhuh. Wanted to peel my skin off I felt so embaressed for her x.x

May 28, 2013 at 10:08PM EDT
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I have not played many of the games mentioned in the video, and so I will not comment on how accurate and/or inaccurate she was about the games in this video (which was a common complaint about her last installment).

And I get the feeling that she is concerned with the dauntingly large number of damsels in distress in video games rather than the existence of the trope itself, which is something I can sympathize with. Not only does this give in to the (unintended or otherwise) notion that women can’t have power, but it gets quite boring seeing all these games recycle the same trope over and over. Not to say that it makes the game bad, but come on, we know game devs can do better. I do like the term “trope coctail” by the way.

I will agree that writers seem to write themselves into a corner with this sort of trope all too often, and honestly I think it’s about time to open a window and get some fresh new topics in here (probably why I focus more on the indie gaming industry these days).

Overall, I would say this was a good video. I don’t always like Anita’s videos, but when she hits the mark she hits it good. I’m interested in her third installment.

You guys are mentioning that her hate for male patriarchy was so strong that it made her argument invalid, but actually I have not seen this intense hatred nearly as strongly in this video as I have seen in her other videos. I would actually say she was on the reasonable side of the spectrum this time around. Maybe you guys are seeing things because you want to see it?

I’m a little scared to head over to the video comments section on kym. Last time was not too pretty. Pretty sad to see this site turn into 4chan when feminism is brought up.

Last edited May 28, 2013 at 10:17PM EDT
May 28, 2013 at 10:11PM EDT
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Crimson Locks wrote:

I have not played many of the games mentioned in the video, and so I will not comment on how accurate and/or inaccurate she was about the games in this video (which was a common complaint about her last installment).

And I get the feeling that she is concerned with the dauntingly large number of damsels in distress in video games rather than the existence of the trope itself, which is something I can sympathize with. Not only does this give in to the (unintended or otherwise) notion that women can’t have power, but it gets quite boring seeing all these games recycle the same trope over and over. Not to say that it makes the game bad, but come on, we know game devs can do better. I do like the term “trope coctail” by the way.

I will agree that writers seem to write themselves into a corner with this sort of trope all too often, and honestly I think it’s about time to open a window and get some fresh new topics in here (probably why I focus more on the indie gaming industry these days).

Overall, I would say this was a good video. I don’t always like Anita’s videos, but when she hits the mark she hits it good. I’m interested in her third installment.

You guys are mentioning that her hate for male patriarchy was so strong that it made her argument invalid, but actually I have not seen this intense hatred nearly as strongly in this video as I have seen in her other videos. I would actually say she was on the reasonable side of the spectrum this time around. Maybe you guys are seeing things because you want to see it?

I’m a little scared to head over to the video comments section on kym. Last time was not too pretty. Pretty sad to see this site turn into 4chan when feminism is brought up.

I definitely agree that it’s a typical and overused mechanic. My issue is more that I feel she feels these are implemented with the intent to keep women down. Someone who refuted he previous video pointed out something: Game developers can be lazy fuckers. Think about how often they recycle multiple scenarios, or go about by the bare minimum (pokemon--I get called a genwunner for saying the designs get lazier each gen).
But it would be nice to see some female protagonists like Samus (from like, Prime, not Other M, that was horrible.) or Laura Croft, or Chell. I don’t think anyone here is arguing whether or not video games are sexist (because they are, in both ways.)
Her version of feminism is what would be called Gender Feminism. It separates us in two, Men/Women, and often pins women as the victim (hint hint), and men as the oppressors. Marginalizing both. The fact she dismisses any male archetypes in video games as ‘power fantasies’, and accepting that as just the norm, is not Equity Feminism (which would be synonymous with Egalitarian), or that she paints any man who uses violence in games as just brutes (but is women do in video games, well, that’s just them being empowered). She clearly draws double standards.
Seeing things that aren’t there? Sounds familiar.

Last edited May 28, 2013 at 10:30PM EDT
May 28, 2013 at 10:29PM EDT
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Almost halfway through the video, still wondering the point of this. Does this video have a message or is it one of those “this is how it’s made” kind of videos? Well, at least she put Elizabeth in the category of “Strong female who don’t need no man” role.

May 28, 2013 at 10:30PM EDT
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Well, Kyntak, thanks for attempting to promote a civil discussion even if we blew that high ideal to hell (an’ I helped a lot!).

Some additional thoughts of mine:

1. Female characters are too often oversexualized these days. While there are plenty of hypersexualized men (compare any of them to the male “fighting man” ideal portrayed in 1970s GI Joe dolls), the men generally don’t get it as bad and as often as the women. I’ll leave a couple of links on the subject:

http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/post/50432219744/special-guest-edition-the-hawkeye-initiative-irl

http://repair-her-armor.tumblr.com/

2. There are more games with female protagonists these days, but this is largely due to there being more games overall, and too many of them (possibly more than half) turn the women into sex objects rather than letting them be protagonists who happen to be female.


[edit] This too: publishers discouraged developers from making a game with a woman protagonist. They did it anyway. Good for them.

Last edited May 28, 2013 at 10:43PM EDT
May 28, 2013 at 10:30PM EDT
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@Kyntak

My issue is more that I feel she feels these are implemented with the intent to keep women down

Actually, I’m pretty sure she acknowledged in the video that this is more implemented because it’s easier writing for game devs. I don’t know, I just got the feeling she wasn’t so much blaming male society for this one as she was blaming lazy writing. I also appreciated her comment that this trope effects men as well.

Her version of feminism is what would be called Gender Feminism. It separates us in two, Men/Women, and often pins women as the victim (hint hint), and men as the oppressors. Marginalizing both. The fact she dismisses any male archetypes in video games as ‘power fantasies’, and accepting that as just the norm, is not Equity Feminism (which would be synonymous with Egalitarian), or that she paints any man who uses violence in games as just brutes (but is women do in video games, well, that’s just them being empowered). She clearly draws double standards.

This is very true, and the main reason why I think she is not the best person to represent internet feminist. Her trigger warning at the beginning was just plain dumb. I may agree with her at times (like in this video) but her feminist views and mine are very different.

Seeing things that aren’t there? Sounds familiar.

Haha, you got me there.

May 28, 2013 at 10:44PM EDT
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There’s a lot of males in the gaming industry. Any time they make a game with a single protagonist it usually ends up male because they don’t know what it’s like to be female. The whole game ends up being about that one character so they need to give him a reason to fight. Usually for revenge or to protect something, usually a lover. That’s probably why the damsel in distress is so overused.

Last edited May 28, 2013 at 10:49PM EDT
May 28, 2013 at 10:47PM EDT
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Crimson Locks wrote:

@Kyntak

My issue is more that I feel she feels these are implemented with the intent to keep women down

Actually, I’m pretty sure she acknowledged in the video that this is more implemented because it’s easier writing for game devs. I don’t know, I just got the feeling she wasn’t so much blaming male society for this one as she was blaming lazy writing. I also appreciated her comment that this trope effects men as well.

Her version of feminism is what would be called Gender Feminism. It separates us in two, Men/Women, and often pins women as the victim (hint hint), and men as the oppressors. Marginalizing both. The fact she dismisses any male archetypes in video games as ‘power fantasies’, and accepting that as just the norm, is not Equity Feminism (which would be synonymous with Egalitarian), or that she paints any man who uses violence in games as just brutes (but is women do in video games, well, that’s just them being empowered). She clearly draws double standards.

This is very true, and the main reason why I think she is not the best person to represent internet feminist. Her trigger warning at the beginning was just plain dumb. I may agree with her at times (like in this video) but her feminist views and mine are very different.

Seeing things that aren’t there? Sounds familiar.

Haha, you got me there.

Fair enough. I concede that I’m fallible and my bias gets the best of me now and then. To her credit, she did say that, so, that is something to note.
The trigger thing was just… painful. I laughed, then sighed when I saw it. That’s my biggest issue with her and her ideals, is how hypocritical they can be (i.e. “women are strong and emotionally stable--except when they see ‘edgy’ videos about video games, then they just lose it” apparently.)
Also, I hope I didn’t/am not coming off as being crude. It’s been pointed out by peers I can be, er, sharp? Crass? But that’s more me being direct, not to be purposefully mean/disrespectful.

May 28, 2013 at 11:02PM EDT
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@Kyntak: Actually I think you have been handling this subject with less aggression than most people that talk about Sarkeesian’s videos (just taking a quick look at the KYM comments for these videos alone tells me that). I have been sorta afraid of being too aggressive and coming off as a misandrist and/or feminist on Anita’s level just because I’ve been trying to defend her and what she does X.x

Man, this is such sticky territory to tread.

May 28, 2013 at 11:14PM EDT
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Crimson Locks wrote:

@Kyntak: Actually I think you have been handling this subject with less aggression than most people that talk about Sarkeesian’s videos (just taking a quick look at the KYM comments for these videos alone tells me that). I have been sorta afraid of being too aggressive and coming off as a misandrist and/or feminist on Anita’s level just because I’ve been trying to defend her and what she does X.x

Man, this is such sticky territory to tread.

Hehe, well I’m glad I’ve been able to manage that, by now I’ve usually come across as a bitch (and rightly so, lol).
I don’t think you should feel that way. You stated video games are sexist, and they portray women uncouthly, which is nothing but fact. Plus, you’re better than her (by a great degree in my opinion) for expressing an opinion, and defending it on an open forum. That’s something I like anyone doing even if I disagree with them (one difference between you and Ms. Sarkeesian is you’re willing to face criticism, which is something I respect.)
And lol, yeah it can be pretty rough, but, I like to think expression like this helps us understand one another (er, at least that’s what I hope ._.)

May 28, 2013 at 11:36PM EDT
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This was not the thread I had in mind when I read the title…

May 28, 2013 at 11:43PM EDT
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Alex wrote:

This was not the thread I had in mind when I read the title…

D: You pervert!

May 29, 2013 at 12:02AM EDT
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Hmm… Makes me think… It’s been a while since I checked my privileges…

Sorry, but get ready for a bit of a long obitur dictum, as there’s something I’d like to address before I speak too much on the actual subject.

As a person who loves to write (read “uneducated, struggling person who writes in his free time”) I take offense to calling saving the damsel in distress “lazy.” It’s not that I think it’s actually not lazy, it’s just that with the vast and unenumerable MacGuffins that plague gaming, it’s nice to have one that actually makes sense in and of itself (more on that later).

What I mean to say is that it’s nice that you have a deep character that’s 2edgy4me, but without good motivation, you’re not going to have a good game. Herein lies a serious problem, as there are PLENTY of bad motivators I see in every genre of games.

Money (like in Borderlands, and most GTA games). A few stories have pulled this off beautifully (lookin’ at you, Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland), but all and all it’s far too boring and indirect a MacGuffin. Vice City Stories tried to correct this, saying that you’re collecting money for a good cause via illegal activities but even this is far too uninteresting and played out (Robin Hood turned into robbin’ the hood, really). Also, when writing a likeable character, it’s nice to not make them seem like a greedy douchebag. Monetarily-motivated protagonists sort of suck in this regard, so if the character is predefined as avaricious, similar to, I dunno… Eddy from Ed Edd n’ Eddy, then you work off of that and make them endearing through the ways they attempt to make their dosh.

Pride, patriotism, or loyalty (like Medal of Honor or Call of Duty). Play Metal Gear Solid 3. Its message is basically all about how fighting for one side against another is a passing sentiment, as in years from now sides that were brutal enemies may now be strong allies against another force, and how fighting for your country is in no way fighting for what’s right. How many war games have you played that state that? I respect, honor, and love our troops, but I fully understand and agree with the Boss on this point. The MacGuffin of patriotism or loyalty is too susceptible to obsolescence within too short a period of time.

Oh, and not to mention that it’s probably hard for, say, a Russian gamer to enjoy shooting up a person wearing his country’s flag as it’s basically a terrorist simulator for them (and yet I’ve never seen a video talking about the rights of Russians in gamers..).

(In case you’re wondering, I’m mentioning mostly mainstream FPS games because just about everyone’s played them it seems)

How about revenge, like in Fallout New Vegas, Red Dead Revolver, and Red Dead Redemption (as the latter was previously mentioned by another user)? By making a character seek revenge, you have to make it so that he loses something, thus ruining any chance of having him/her question their motives (as they’re blinded by their vendetta). Metal Gear Rising; Revengeance actually touches on this, which basically forces me respect it.

I’m not saying these games are terrible, I’m saying they utilize terrible plot devices. Also, this is just a taste of terrible plot devices as the list goes on and on, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Bottom line is that even if you have the greatest protagonists ever, your game could still be total crap without a good driving force.

In closing, ahem… These overdone plot devices aren’t ship sinking, but they’re still terrible compared to this vilified “damsel-saving.”

…Just saying.

So now that I’ve talked about the other MacGuffins ad nauseum, let’s talk directly about using “damsels” as plot devices. It’s weak, and I readily admit that, but it’s really nothing to scoff at for reasons I’ll list here:

In truth, it’s closer than you might think, but the ESA released a study in 2007 that showed roughly 60% of gamers are male. This 20% margin we possess over female gamers is actually more than enough to make game developers pander to males more than females, sadly. This is only a theory, but this may be why most protagonists are males and females are usually portrayed as “eye-candy” to be saved. There are, of course, games with strong female characters meant to appeal to other females, but in truth a lot of female protagonists are heavily sexualized to still be appealing to male gamers (I’m sure you’ve seen Samus’ bikinis and/or Zero Suit).

While I’m on the subject of sexualized female protagonists, consider the Tomb Raider series. Ironically, when Lara wasn’t completely oversexualized in the most recent game, she ended up being more attractive. That being said, some people don’t really enjoy the thought of Lara being a relatable and vulnerable girl, like this columnist, who holds that Lara’s being weak is worse than her being sexualized.

Someone already stated this point but it bears repeating. As a male, I can’t tell you what it’s like to be a woman. I can’t explain at length’s end what a woman’s idiosyncratic thought tendencies could be like, nor any other (nonsuperficial) sex-specific things that could set a female character apart from another. As such, it’s easier to write original characters (DO NOT STEAL! :3) from a male’s view, and likewise to write female characters according to my male understanding of them (which is likely off-base). As a rule of thumb, most writers write about main characters that are the same sex and/or gender they are so that they can get down to the nitty-gritty with their thought processes and reactionary tendencies more naturally.

That is not to say that a male is incapable of writing a female character that’s great, it’s simply a possible reason for the stark lack of good female protagonists.

As a sort of societal norm, women are generally viewed as physically weaker than men. To go deeper, this is actually a concept that Carl Jung expounded upon. It’s worked into our collective unconscious that women are physically weaker than men, and therefore men are tasked with their protection. This isn’t a trope- it’s much more powerful than that. It is a concept either accessed through genetic memory or possibly learned by example through the stream of stimuli and information that forms our unconscious and is known simply as an “archetype”. If you take Jung’s theories on the unconscious to the extreme, this concept could very well be entwined into our collective souls, as it were.

Working off this deeply-rooted concept, it stands to reason that if there’s a man that needs a driving force he could be tasked with saving a woman, as it’s more or less encoded into men as “good” and “natural” to save women. This logically explains why a man would fight, as he must save the woman who is unexpressedly understood to be weaker than than he is. Through our upbringing, it may also be considered the “chivalrous” thing to do, but don’t tell me you’ve never thought that some female that had been rescued owed your player character a kiss only to be given the cold shoulder!

…Also, since I mentioned Maidens, please stop putting Zelda in the same rank as Peach. She’s arguably much more powerful than Link in the non-Hero of Wind games. I can elaborate upon that further later on if you so desire.

Seriously. I’m a terrible writer, admittedly, so I could be wrong when I say this, but… It’s easy to conceptualize a character, their antagonist, their environment, etc., but it’s hard to come up with a reason why this story is actually taking place. Yeah, it’s great that you have Garreth Gobblecoque the Mighty, a warrior elf from Tac O’Bell fighting his arch nemesis, Molarr the Gingivitis-Giver… But… Why are they enemies? What would drive two people into actually killing each other?

If Molarr had been late on his half of the rent for the tenth time, Garreth might consider killing him, but wouldn’t actually slit Molarr’s throat in his sleep… If Garreth found Molarr was planning on reallocating tax funds to line his own pockets, he might campaign against him for position of governor, but he wouldn’t assassinate him with a rail gun mounted mechsuit… BUT, if Molarr had killed/captured Garreth’s romantic love interest, he would TOTALLY have a reason to kill Molarr, and I would fully understand why he wants to examine the contents of Molarr’s cranial cavity with his +5 Battleaxe of Skull-Splitting.

That’s not me being really hypocritical and calling the MacGuffin of revenge not lazy whilst saying that rescuing a damsel is an easy way out for writers and is therefore lazy… I simply meant to say that it’s one of the least lazy plot device we have come up with as a race, but only if it’s properly handled. You still need to be inventive with it, like Silent Hill 2’s focus on finding James’ wife who’s supposed to be dead. You want to find her before the crazy stuff that’s happening all around you gets her just as much as you want to find out if she’s actually dead, meaning you have mystery and horror wrapping the decidedly simple MacGuffin of rescuing your wife.

TL;DR- It’s a psychologically valid, male-audience-oriented, and easy plot device that I don’t think is wrong in and of itself. That being said, I’m a male gamer so my opinion is basically null and void :D

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 04:18AM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 04:17AM EDT
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That was fantastic input, Patrick :D I’m sure not all of us here are writers, and so I think it’s good to have that little bit of perspective. As I’ll restate, I haven’t really seen the trope itself as all that offensive to the female gender (as Sarkeesian might) I only have a problem with the overuse not only of the trope itself, but of the fact that it’s almost always female (and beyond that, usually a lover). Obviously this trope works really well a lot of times and can cause some really emotional scenes that some of us will remember for the rest of our lives because the relationship between lovers is a very strong one that many of us who play games (boy or girl) desire and/or have experienced. This trope is not only a good way to make a motivation for the protagonist, but also a good way to explore the way the main character feels about the girl he is saving (beyond “she’s a woman I have to protect”). We have seen romantic relationships in video games explored very well through this trope. That being said, I would love to see this trope branch out to using people from different relationships and genders. I mean, wouldn’t it be interesting if there were more games where you had to save your father? Or your brother? Or your gay lover? I’m not saying these don’t already exist, but I would love to see these get a spotlight alongside our damsel.

God, I hope that made sense. Making long thought out posts within an hour of waking up isn’t really my strong suit.

May 29, 2013 at 11:44AM EDT
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I think some things about this.

Yes, I’d love to see more women as protagonists in games. The Damsel in Distress IS overused. But it’s overused because … it works. On the one hand, you could say men like this idea because it gives them power over women. BUT you could say that it just feels good to be a hero: helping someone important to you (love interest) is a very good motivator. It moves the story along, and makes the player want to see it through to the end.

But Sgt. Calhoun from Wreck-it Ralph, as Sarkeesian mentions, is just as compelling of a character as any. Actually, they should make all the games from Wreck-it Ralph for realz. I would be all over Sugar Rush.

tl;dr Just have a lady rescue a dude sometimes. No one would complain as long as the game itself is well put together.

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 12:16PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 12:15PM EDT
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Kyntak wrote:

I guess I’ll kick this off with a few questions:

When is it okay for a woman to be a victim? Is it unrealistic that a woman could possibly be a victim, because Anita seems to think that it is an impossibility, that could never happen. To even propose the idea is misogynistic in itself, and an egregious statement about women.
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Is it bad to want freedom from becoming a monster, even if it means death? Anita insists this is horrible, and that life as a monster (be it demonically devoured, zombified, or twisted beyond human form physically or mentally, etc.) is better than wanting to die as a human. (Keep in mind, countless men also have made such choices in video games, esp. zombie games).
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Is your daughter important? Anita points out that a common theme is a mans family is torn apart, forcing him to save his family, often the children (and, boys are common of this too, think about Heavy Rain or Red Dead Redemption, etc.), but thinks it is condescending to save your offspring (they can take care of themselves, it wouldn’t be scumbaggy to leave them, right?)

Hey, thought I’d answer these since I think you’re missing the point.

1. I don’t think Sarkeesian is saying women should /never/ be victims, she just doesn’t like how it’s so ridiculously widespread. If one game has a woman in a weak position that makes sense in the context of the narrative, fair enough, but if the majority of games that have female characters do that it’s kind of a problem. It’s like if a TV show has a black character who isn’t that intelligent, it may be justified in the story and not be much of an issue, but if /every/ TV show with black characters had them all being idiots, people would rightly think there’s a problem somewhere.

2. Sarkeesian isn’t saying a character in this position shouldn’t want to die, she’s asking why did the fictional storyline put the character in this position in the first place, and why does it have to be so common? She’s not criticizing the in-universe choices of the characters, she’s criticizing the choices of the /writers/ who intentionally put the characters in the situation where they have to make those choices.

3. Again, she’s not saying people shouldn’t want to protect or save people they’re close to, but is asking why the stories have to be written in such a way where women are so frequently killed or put in danger to serve the story arc of the male protagonist, and discussing what unfortunate implications this can bring. I don’t really get why people seem to have such a hard time getting this point.

As she says in her video: “Of course, if you look at any of these games in isolation, you will be able to find incidental narrative circumstances that can be used to explain away the inclusion of violence against women as a plot device. But just because a particular event might “makes sense” within the internal logic of a fictional narrative – that doesn’t, in and of itself justify its use. Games don’t exist in a vacuum and therefore can’t be divorced from the larger cultural context of the real world.”

Also, I don’t get the hate for trigger warnings. Some people have been affected by violence and seeing such violent imagery might cause them a lot of discomfort. Why is it such an imposition on you to see something that might allow people to avoid unnecessary suffering? Are you offended whenever someone on the news says “some viewers may find these pictures disturbing”?

May 29, 2013 at 12:39PM EDT
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Twee wrote:

Also, I don’t get the hate for trigger warnings. Some people have been affected by violence and seeing such violent imagery might cause them a lot of discomfort. Why is it such an imposition on you to see something that might allow people to avoid unnecessary suffering? Are you offended whenever someone on the news says “some viewers may find these pictures disturbing”?

It’s not the fact that she put up a warning for violence, she put up a warning for violence against women, not men, which is somewhat counterproductive to the strive for equality that most feminists aim for. The ESRB does not put maturity ratings on their games for violence against women, they put it on their games for violence, period. Many people (including myself) think Anita should have put that into a little bit of consideration

May 29, 2013 at 01:01PM EDT
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Crimson Locks wrote:

Twee wrote:

Also, I don’t get the hate for trigger warnings. Some people have been affected by violence and seeing such violent imagery might cause them a lot of discomfort. Why is it such an imposition on you to see something that might allow people to avoid unnecessary suffering? Are you offended whenever someone on the news says “some viewers may find these pictures disturbing”?

It’s not the fact that she put up a warning for violence, she put up a warning for violence against women, not men, which is somewhat counterproductive to the strive for equality that most feminists aim for. The ESRB does not put maturity ratings on their games for violence against women, they put it on their games for violence, period. Many people (including myself) think Anita should have put that into a little bit of consideration

Does the video actually feature violence against men, though? Certainly not any to the graphic level of violence against women the video showed, and which at the end of the day was what the video was about, so of course she’d focus on that. Such violence could easily trigger women who have been in domestic abuse situations. I don’t see how it’s counter-productive, it’s just being considerate to people’s feelings.

May 29, 2013 at 01:11PM EDT
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I’m putting my responses into buttons to cut down space, so don’t freak out, there’s not like hidden porn or death threats in them xD but feel free to look at any of them :3

Beautifully put. And one point I want to expand upon is to hold this from the Company Interest perspective (the part where you pointed out men make a larger consumer base, vs. female buyers).
One thing that irks me is that Ms. Sarkeesian is all too coy to admit is that at their core, video games are products that are sold for revenue to pay the developers and project workers (and possible pave the way for new projects). Therefore, a lot of the aforementioned problems, I feel, stem not from any internalized social values as she would have it, but rather, a miscommunication between player and producer.
If we look at it from the company interest, we see that men (as Patrick points out) make a significant (but not all too engrossing) portion of their sales. So from their point of view, they want to make sure to keep hold of the audience they already have--as not to lose them, since it’s a guarantee [to them] if they keep the interests of the majority (men) they can keep that large audience, but there is no guarantee on their end if they appealed to women (who are the minority of their sales) they would make more money, or even break even with the audience lost. (if that makes sense x.x and also, there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t make profit, but from a purely statistical stance, they would want to stay with the numbers that are safe, and not chance it on social pressures, such as angry feminists.)
But at any rate, interesting take on things. Didn’t think about it from the writers point of view o.o
I will say though, the refutation of biological strength gets thrown out the window, seeing as most main characters in video games either relay so heavily on magical or supernatural means (i.e. Mario’s fireball, Links Master Sword, Cole’s electrical powers (Infamous, Infamous 2), etc) or technology (Starfoxs ship and weapons, Samus’ ship and suit, Chell/Carolines ASHPD, etc.) that for most games, it is less about physical strength, and more about prowess or cleverness. You might have a shot to refute that the psychological drive provided by biology is a valid reason, though.

Speaking as a gay, male gamer I may be out of touch with either side of the trope really, now that I think about it. On one hand, I am male, which what these tropes are geared towards. However, I am also gay, which is not part of the targeted demographic (heterosexual males). And on the other end, the people it focuses on (damsels/women), I am not either. So when it comes to things like Peach or Zelda being boiled down to “pretty lil’ things” I just don’t see it all too well (not to say it does not exist, because it does, and I can see how they get put in rather ridiculous positions, considering power/agency they show either prior to capture, or prospectively.)
But what I mean is, there is a disconnect between me, Link and Mario as I don’t see the sexual or romantic side as much as I do, say, patriotism. When I would play as either, I never thought I was saving them because “they are women, must protect women”, but more along the lines of “These are nobles, leaders of this country, and without them their respective nations would be thrown into chaos”. Though, as Patrick points out, this is more true for Zelda than Peach, and the two are not on the same caliber as Ms. Sarkeesian presents them. Mainly because Zelda almost always is crucial to the story line and/or resolution and is strongly tied in because she wields a piece of the triforce, whereas poor Peach just kinda.. gets captured from the start, then we see her at the end--yay, cake time Mario, blah.)
But um, I digress, the point I’m trying to make is I don’t think men who play video games see women in distress as things to save, just because their women, but for greater reasons (i.e. nationality, nobility, romanticism--which is different from just sexual drive, etc) which I feel is something she overlooks. And I don’t just say that for gay gamers, but a lot guys who probably don’t even care what the sex is of who they save.
Also, the likelihood of any gay lovers being saves is so improbable, I’m willing to label it impossible, at least by a main or secondary protagonist. If it did ever happen, it would be done either not as the direct objective (i.e. they’re part of some group that is captured) or you don’t save them, but an allied party does. But the gesture you think it would be worth a shot is well received :P I just wouldn’t count on it. Saving a lesbian lover though, is far more likely, more um, obvious reasons x.x

Well, first, expanding on what I said about Patricks post, the point of it ‘making sense’, makes sense. From the business perspective, they would target their largest audience, so as not to lose them, and this audience is of course, men. So in their mind it makes sense (“If we have a larger male audience, than female audience, should our Protagonist be male or female?”) and in theory, the idea of using the sex of the larger audience is profitable makes sense, though, in actuality, to most gamers the sex of the character doesn’t matter as long as the game in and of itself is good (otherwise, there would be no female gamers, or at least, only a handful).
And the second is just a little note, on how it irked me that Ms. Sarkeesian thought the scene where Calhouns fiance was eaten alive was humorous to the point it ’bordered on the lines of absurd" (granted, it was not the most touching death scene, or detailed/graphic, but it was still pretty damn sad, or so I thought. Esp. keeping in mind Wreck-it Ralph was a movie intended for families with young children).

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Well, I’m so glad to see all these views and points being brought up _ yaaay discussion!

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 02:34PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 02:04PM EDT
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I just typed up a whole wall of text and then deleted it on purpose because honestly I come from tumblr and I am tired of seeing basically people who take these things like personal attacks instead of social opinion/commentary… ( ´_ゝ`)

It’s not that the trope is inherently bad, but due to poor writing, development, and/or execution, it definitely doesn’t stop the objectification of women that’s already present in a lot of video games, or the inherent misogyny that you can find in literally the comment section for this video on the front page. I’m not saying we should stop making action-y games, but it would be fricken cool if more games were developed and written that forced the players to think about the underlying issues of the things they encounter so they can stop reflexively jumping to the (usually, highly dangerous) conclusions that these video games aren’t challenging.

Like I just keep thinking about how Anita has gotten an utterly ridiculous amount of death/rape threats for making these videos, and that alone speaks volumes to me because there is literally no reason anyone should have their well-being be put at stake for introducing relatively non-threatening commentary or criticism, and I sure as hell don’t blame her for turning off the comments section.

And I would just like to reinforce that I’m also not trying to attack anyone’s viewpoints or ideas I’m just really tired of people being so defensive of their privilege they shit all over everyone else for bringing things up (this goes for social issues in general)

May 29, 2013 at 02:09PM EDT
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I had posted this on the comments section, but decided it was a little too wall of text-y. So I’ll post it here and make it even textier!

Her stats concerning rates of violence against women might be more relevant to the video if gamers had a higher preponderance to being the perpetrators than say…people living in poverty, people with substance abuse issues, or people raised in abusive households.

Her entire argument in this video is undermined by the same counter-argument that has been used whenever anyone tries to posit that video game violence somehow leads to real-world violence. The fact still remains that there is no positive correlation between the two, and given the numbers at hand, it seems more likely that the opposite is true. Yes, she does more or less make brief mention of this in the video, but immediately does a 180 and pretty much contradicts herself by saying that games “shape cultural attitudes.”

Misogyny, sexism, and violence against women have been around for as long as there have been human beings. Video games have been around for less than half a century. I really think her focus on this issue is seriously misplaced. Video games hadn’t even been invented yet when my grandfather was beating my grandmother, father, and uncles. Or when my other grandfather was doing even worse things to my mother and aunts. There wasn’t even so much as a Commodore 64 in the house when my father was beating my mother. Maybe if that generation had Playstations and Xboxes to occupy their time, my childhood would have been a little less…umm, “interesting.”

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 02:31PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 02:27PM EDT
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May 29, 2013 at 02:35PM EDT

First of all, so that I don’t come across as someone who sees Sarkeesian as the Feminist Messiah, I might as well point out a couple general criticisms I have for her videos. First, something I’ve heard many say, and I agree with, is that disallowing comments on her videos is questionable. Yeah, her critics have been major assholes, but that’s the unfortunate reality of the Internet, and sometimes you just have to deal with it. Secondly, something I’ve never heard anyone say, but is what I would say to Sarkeesian if there was a way to give her feedback, is that in general, her videos are too dry. I watch them because I’m interested in the subject matter, but it feels like I’m watching a college lecture in gender politics. It’s not wrong, but I think she’d reach a wider audience if her videos incorporated more humor. There is a lot of media out there (The Daily Show comes to mind) that uses humor to educate people about serious topics. I’m much more likely to listen to someone talk about an opinion I disagree with if they entertain me while doing so, so I suspect Sarkeesian is largely “preaching to the choir” here.

Following that, I’ll go to Kyntak’s questions:

When is it okay for a woman to be a victim? It’s certainly not unthinkable, but your comments after the question suggest you’re missing her point as many seem to do. Sarkeesian never says “never”, she merely says that the trope is overused, and has unfortunate sexist implications.

Is it bad to want freedom from becoming a monster, even if it means death? While I’m not tracking with Sarkeesian’s analysis of this trend, again I think you’re misinterpreting her message. What she’s saying is that it’s tiring and disgusting to see this scenario set up time and again, and it’s largely an excuse to give the damsel a fake pseudo-empowerment, which gets mixed with shades of domestic violence. I can see that these characters have lost empowerment because death is their only escape, but I also see that there is a level of genuineness in heroic self-sacrifice.

Is your daughter important? Sure, and so is your girlfriend/wife. The point of questioning the overuse of the damsel in distress trope is to wonder whether women and children can serve a purpose in storytelling beyond designated hostage. Furthermore, as Sarkeesian points out, there’s a strong implication that these people are being treated like they are the protagonist’s property. Although I don’t think the term “objectification” was used in this video, I think people miss the non-sexual connotations of the term. Even if not sexualized, DiDs are “objectified” in that they are less people than they are possessions.

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 06:22PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 03:53PM EDT
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Twee wrote:

Hey, thought I’d answer these since I think you’re missing the point.

1. I don’t think Sarkeesian is saying women should /never/ be victims, she just doesn’t like how it’s so ridiculously widespread. If one game has a woman in a weak position that makes sense in the context of the narrative, fair enough, but if the majority of games that have female characters do that it’s kind of a problem. It’s like if a TV show has a black character who isn’t that intelligent, it may be justified in the story and not be much of an issue, but if /every/ TV show with black characters had them all being idiots, people would rightly think there’s a problem somewhere.

2. Sarkeesian isn’t saying a character in this position shouldn’t want to die, she’s asking why did the fictional storyline put the character in this position in the first place, and why does it have to be so common? She’s not criticizing the in-universe choices of the characters, she’s criticizing the choices of the /writers/ who intentionally put the characters in the situation where they have to make those choices.

3. Again, she’s not saying people shouldn’t want to protect or save people they’re close to, but is asking why the stories have to be written in such a way where women are so frequently killed or put in danger to serve the story arc of the male protagonist, and discussing what unfortunate implications this can bring. I don’t really get why people seem to have such a hard time getting this point.

As she says in her video: “Of course, if you look at any of these games in isolation, you will be able to find incidental narrative circumstances that can be used to explain away the inclusion of violence against women as a plot device. But just because a particular event might “makes sense” within the internal logic of a fictional narrative – that doesn’t, in and of itself justify its use. Games don’t exist in a vacuum and therefore can’t be divorced from the larger cultural context of the real world.”

Also, I don’t get the hate for trigger warnings. Some people have been affected by violence and seeing such violent imagery might cause them a lot of discomfort. Why is it such an imposition on you to see something that might allow people to avoid unnecessary suffering? Are you offended whenever someone on the news says “some viewers may find these pictures disturbing”?

I want to open with the fact I posted this as a partial joke, as someone pointed out, they are loaded, much like Anita’s presentation is. But I’m always up for the challenge
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1. Except, that’s not what she’s refuting. In her first video, she defines a damsel in distress as essentially any woman who gets captured in a plot (and cannot redeem herself, even if she does something heroic in the end that resolves the plot--i.e. Zelda is apparently always a damsel, even after she essentially saves Hyrule with Link.) In her view, if you’re a damsel, that’s it--game over. She also is very ‘nitpicky’ about it, and offers no real objective point of view (show women who are strong and independent in games--which there are quite a few of). And it is true that this trope is all too common, though, this is true for, well, most all tropes, which is a sad fact.
.
2. The idea of sacrifice of ones life to retain humanity is a long standing idea in movies, video games, and novels. It is not targeted towards either sex, and is supposed to be symbolic of how important ones humanity is. Instead, Ms. Sarkeesian spins it off as some specific attack on women, and the men who relief them of their burden is seen as monster himself for trying to help in the only way he can. Or that they were “asking for it” but honestly, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who would want to turn into something monstrous. I for one wouldn’t want to turn into a zombie or something (in fact, I even made my ex promise me he’d shoot me before I’d turn if the event should ever happen--not that I think it would, we were talking about zombies and blah blah). So I guess I’ll ask you: Would you rather live a monster, or die as yourself? This is what these women she points to ask themselves (and the men from other series like RE6 or Walking Dead, etc. ask).
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3. Okay, I want to state this to tackle this one, and a bit of the previous point, about over using archetypes/stereotypes (and for anyone further who tries to use this): I’m gay. Now, that in mind, I want to you think of the last gay, male character in video games you can remember. Then ask yourself, “Can I even remember one?”, then, if yes to the prior ask “How much of a flamer was he?”. If you don’t think I don’t understand tropes and archetypes, you’re dead wrong. I’ve yet to find any gay men who aren’t exhaustively effeminate or horny creepers (common stereotypes).
Feminism, is supposed to be about empowering yourself, not someone giving it to you (as feminist Eleanor Roosevelt put it; No one can make you feel inferior without your permission, a concept that is mind blowing to feminists like Ms. Sarkeesian). Now, I do that every day I have to watch some effeminate gay man make some sexual innuendo in whatever media (because, ya know, that’s all we do beside being quippy). I don’t let it limit me in any way or make me feel as though that is what a gay man is, instead I say “Well that’s garbage, that’s not me”. So, I don’t really get why people have such a hard time getting that.
Also, do video games dictate womens lives as strongly as Ms. Sarkeesian believes? I don’t know, but you might want to ask the same question about video game violence impacting teens, as the studies have been done over and over, with more or less the same conclusion…
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Would it be nice if there were more female protagonists in video games? Yes. I’m not arguing that. In fact, it would be good if a lot of characters weren’t so flat. The problem is, she goes about it all wrong by claiming the victim card and whining, instead of actually doing something (like, perhaps using that money she received to fund a video game with a female protagonist, or for the education or group of female game developers/designers). There is so much that could have been done, but instead she goes about making videos all about the problem she sees, but nothing about the solution. How productive.

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 04:31PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 04:29PM EDT
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@Brucker, Anita, and the concept of women & children as property:

I think its a stretch to say that a man who desires to protect women and children does so because they view those people as their property. Is it really misogynistic to not want to see your loved ones come to harm? In an equivalent real-world situation where, say, a female spouse is rendered helpless through no fault of their own. Maybe they were trapped in a collapsed building after an earthquake, for example. Is the correct, progressive, gender equal method of dealing with the situation simply to sit back and do nothing, because to desire to help would be sexist?

It wouldn’t make much sense if the motivating force behind a game’s protagonist was simply reclamation of property. Slaughtering dozens or hundreds of people and skirting various other moral lines all because the game’s antagonist stole your iPad wouldn’t make for a compelling story. While I agree this trope isn’t very original and doesn’t make for much better writing, either, I think the underlying message is less about sexism and more about love makes us do crazy, and sometimes dangerous things.

Now, if there was a game called White Male Simulator 2014: The Victorian Age (on the phone with my copyright attorney now. DO NOT STEAL!) where the objective was to marry a series of women (who frequently die from water-borne illnesses, thus must be replaced often) in order to produce heirs to continue the family financial matters, and daughters to marry off to your business and/or political rivals in the hopes of cementing alliances…then the “women/children as male property” argument might apply.

May 29, 2013 at 04:53PM EDT
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@WarriorTang, RE: “TRIGGER WARNING
You’re assuming Sarkeesian’s video is intended to only be viewed by women, when she clearly states that her concern is warning parents of possibly inappropriate content.

Kyntak wrote:

It’s just the way she puts it is so vitriolic (“Damn you patriarchy, men are all scummy misogynists!!”), any points she does make gets lost in how hostile she is towards men…

This is the thing I don’t get about so many of her critics, who like to call her an “EXTREME FEMINIST!!!1!1!!one!!” (an essentially meaningless term) I feel like I didn’t watch the same video; could you point me to where in the video she says this, even paraphrased?

Crimson Locks wrote:

And I get the feeling that she is concerned with the dauntingly large number of damsels in distress in video games rather than the existence of the trope itself, which is something I can sympathize with.

Exactly. This entire post was spot-on.

Kyntak wrote:

My issue is more that I feel she feels these are implemented with the intent to keep women down.

Sarkeesian explicitly says the exact opposite of this at about 19:53; are you sure you watched the same video?

Patrick wrote:

…there are PLENTY of bad motivators I see in every genre of games.

You’re quite right. As lame as the DiD trope can be, it certainly more admirable and interesting (to me at least) to have the protagonist trying to save his girlfriend than make a buck.

Gamers are predominantly male.

There’s a bit of circular logic here that seems obvious to me, but I’m surprised so few other see it. 1) Developers create and market games for boys. 2) Mainly boys buy their games. 3) Sales data is collected to see who gamers are, so the next generation of games can be created and marketed. 4) Go to step 1, duh. Some game developers stepped out of this loop and made games like Myst and The Sims, which ended up being some of the top-selling games of all time. It seems obvious to me that if you double your target audience, you can easily nearly double your revenues.

It’s worked into our collective unconscious that women are physically weaker than men, and therefore men are tasked with their protection.

It’s a separate discussion, but I’ve always felt that it’s problematic to equate racism with sexism. A racist thinks, “Black people are inferior; we must protect ourselves from them.” A sexist thinks, “Women are inferior; we must protect them from us.”

Serious Business wrote:

It moves the story along, and makes the player want to see it through to the end.

I think you’re right that this is something that makes the DiD trope interesting for a lot of people. Romance is a bigger challenge to write into a game than shooting things, but if romance is implied as the motivation of the protagonist, the player writes that part of the game in his own head, doesn’t he? My view about the trope is that its not the kidnapping that’s the problem, it’s the complete helplessness of the damsel. As Sarkeesian says in the first video, if a protagonist gets thrown in a prison cell, he (or she) uses his wits and skills to escape. The damsel on the other hand, sit and waits for the protagonist to show up, since that’s all they can do. Video games can and do manage better. I recently played LoZ: Twilight Princess, and while it employs this trope, it hints at what could be in that in part of the final battle, Zelda actually fight alongside Link. I think Sarkeesian would be pleased (and I know I would) to see a damsel that manages to use her personal resources to evolve into a secondary protagonist in her own right. (Actually, I think I played a Final Fantasy game (maybe IX?) in which an attempt to kidnap the princess ends up with the princess joining the main characters’ party as a fellow hero for the bulk of the game; a great twist!)

Kyntak wrote:

Also, the likelihood of any gay lovers being saves is so improbable, I’m willing to label it impossible, at least by a main or secondary protagonist.

You’ve got my curiosity piqued. While you’re right that exploring GLBT issues in gaming is not likely to be common, it shouldn’t be non-existent. How many video games exist that do explore these issues? I only know of two, but I’m not much of a gamer.

wezli333 wrote:

I really think her focus on this issue is seriously misplaced.

I see what you’re saying, and I wouldn’t say you’re wrong, but perhaps what Sarkeesian is saying is that as tragic as the reality of violence against women is, wouldn’t it be nice to see video games being part of the solution rather than part of the problem?

May 29, 2013 at 05:05PM EDT
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I think I’ll steal your posting method, Kyntac. Hope ya don’t mind, bro~

No, that totally makes sense, yo! Don’t worry so much. I get where you’re coming from, and I’d have to say I agree with you wholeheartedly in that it’s best to switch up the trope for the sake of an interesting story, but as Kyntac touches on in his post, people make games to make money, so going a step further I’d venture a guess to say that they get scared when they consider switching up the formula.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t ever collectively switch it up, as we all know. However, despite the occasional c-c-c-combo breaker, game plots are uninterestingly stagnant, and this is what I truly dislike about the plot device, not its overuse in and of itself, but its misuse. They overuse it because it’s safe to them. If Ms. Sarkeesian accomplishes anything of value with her series, I hope with all my heart it’s that she gets companies to consider altering the “damsel formula,” as it were.

Only time will tell, non?

Thanks, man. You’re absolutely right when you speak of companies looking to make profit being a bit overlooked in Ms. Sarkeesian’s video, and you have an interesting point about not bringing biological strength to the table.

True, seldom is there a game where a hero saves the damsel and he’s but a normal guy and she’s just a normal girl. But, it’s not so much the strength they possess so much as it is the underlying presupposition that females are weaker than males. It could be a game where women are herculean in strength, and yet because we view the game with our reality’s archetypal conceptualization of the female sex, we still feel as though women need to be rescued when they’re in danger even though they could totally save themselves in this case. I wasn’t holding that males are just stronger than females so they must save females, rather that we may subconsciously think something along those lines. This may just be some sort of logomachy through a fault of my own, but I wanted to be clear on this point, as it’s actually the one I hold to be most powerful, despite being based off of psychological conceptions that can in no way be proven :D

You’re right, she could stand to work in a little humor but it is nice that she tries to be serious throughout the series, and yes, what I described is circular logic that is indeed counterproductive. However, I must point out that I never said it was an intelligent course of action, just that it was present.

(By the way, a personal favorite game of mine, Ico, is the quintessential damsel in distress game. I think you’d really enjoy it if you like Myst.)

As for the equation of racism with sexism, I must admit I barely make a distinction between the two thanks to my upbringing. Thanks for bringing that to light, because I legitimately cannot tell when I’m making a distinction or not :I

Also, @wezli… I would play the hell out of White Male Simulator. GET THAT KICKSTARTER GOING, DUDE!

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 05:33PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 05:31PM EDT
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Hmmm, after readiing through these posts, there are a few things I would like to address:

Gamer’s are predominantly male

As many have already stated, this isn’t exactly true. But the point people don’t bring up is that male gamers are the more vocal of the two, so they’re bound to get more attention. The loud, obnoxious ones always seem to overshadow the calm, reasonable ones, no matter the context, nor the gender.

…and offers no real objective point of view (show women who are strong and independent in games--which there are quite a few of)

As I once stated in the entry, she’s already stated that she’ll get to that later. She said right at the end of the video that part 3 will focus on some of the times where the strong woman helps the man in distress. I brought up a similar point in the entry in regards to the first video, and was combated with “It doesn’t make sense to talk about Peach then go “Oh, well we’ll get to this part LATER” either focus on Zelda, or focus on Peach, don’t half ass the two”. I can’t agree with this. The videos are set out in a clear order: First video about old damsels, second about older damsels, third video about reversed damsels. Super Princess Peach (which I will reiterate does not present Peach as a strong independent princess who don’t need no plumber, as demonstrated below) can only fit in the role reversal video, so it would make sense to talk about it in detail there, while giving analysis of other good role reversals as well. She already stated in her kickstarter video that she will show characters who ARE strong and independent. Just give her time.

…Stapling all games as misogynistic

She has stated at the start of both videos this exact line: “…but please keep in mind that it is possible, and even necessary, to simultaneously enjoy a piece of media while being critical of it’s more problematic and pernicious aspects”. "She doesn’t hate the games that she critiques, she just wants people to be aware of any misogyny the game may present.

Also, the likelihood of any gay lovers being saves is so improbable, I’m willing to label it impossible, at least by a main or secondary protagonist.

This topic has also piqued my interest, but I can agree that it is near impossible for games to explore these topics. As a gay gamer myself, I found it a little sad at all the backlash Mass Effect 3 received for even daring to have gay characters. I wish more game developers would include these options you wouldn’t imagine all the shipping I’ve had to do for Fire Emblem Awakening because two guys can’t marry in game.

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 05:41PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 05:38PM EDT
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@Kyntak:

1. If a woman is in a situation where she requires rescuing by a male hero, then yes, she’s a damsel. That’s how tropes work, if something happens that fits the trope, the trope is played. It doesn’t matter what else happens before or after, or whether it’s justified in the narrative or not, the trope is still played. Now, just because a woman is “damselled” at a particular point in the story, that doesn’t mean the story is bad, or she’s a bad character, or her character is defined by her damselhood (Sarkeesian even says this in the video), but it does mean that she’s disempowered at this point in the story and it’s part of the trend of women overwhelmingly needing to be rescued as opposed to men. It’s the trend she’s objecting to, not specific examples.

2. Again, you’re missing the point. She’s not criticising the choices of the characters in the story. She’s criticizing the choices of the writers who put the characters into that situation. If writers keep putting women in situations where they need to be saved or mercy killed by male protagonists, that subtly perpetuates the idea that women are weak and need to be protected and saved from themselves for their own good. You may disagree with that, but disagree with what she’s actually saying and not something she isn’t.

3. It’s good for you if things like that don’t bother you. But not everyone is going to be able to brush this sort of thing off easily. It can alienate a sizeable group of people, so they’re frustrated by how people like them are depicted and so can’t enjoy it as much, or they just steer clear of games entirely. I think that’s sad, and unnecessary.

I don’t see how she’s playing the victim card or whining. She dislikes certain things about games in general, and she’s expressing her opinion on it just like anyone else (an opinion that a lot of people want to hear or she wouldn’t have raised the amount she has). Your argument could just as easily be made against any form of game criticism (“lol why dont you make your own games if you think the AI in Aliens Colonial Marines was so bad”). IMO trying to raise discussion about this issue and encouraging game developers to step up has the potential to do a lot more than make one more somewhat obscure game.

May 29, 2013 at 05:39PM EDT
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Next round :O

This is the thing I don’t get about so many of her critics, who like to call her an “EXTREME FEMINIST!!!1!1!!one!!” (an essentially meaningless term) I feel like I didn’t watch the same video; could you point me to where in the video she says this, even paraphrased?

Actually, if you pay attention, near the end she starts expanding on the idea of patriarchal values being expressed by male gamers through the games mechanics. (Keep in mind, only Gender Feminists believe in patriarchy theory). She also uses the words “Insidious”, which should be note of as it implies subtle execution. And, is also very upset that women are used as ‘pawns’ in game plots, yet, no mention of men who are (i.e. the thousands of grunts you slay though the game, but I guess that’s okay, I mean, men are disposable, right? hint hint: double standard)

You’ve got my curiosity piqued. While you’re right that exploring GLBT issues in gaming is not likely to be common, it shouldn’t be non-existent. How many video games exist that do explore these issues? I only know of two, but I’m not much of a gamer.

2 things: 1) Look at my post to Twee (points 3) for further on that. I’ve only come across a handful, most of them in rpg games (which don’t count often, since you choose to be gay, or romance the same sex, rather than actually be them, And any partners are always slutty, horny, or crazy effeminate) 2) Not much of a gamer? This really begs the question of credibility on the matter. Not you, but Ms. Sarkeesian herself. she spams a lot of scenes, but I question if the context was right for all of them (One where she points to “damsels in refrigerators” shows a scene from Infamous where Cole’s girlfriend dies but she was not always dead throughout the story, which is what her own definition was).

I see what you’re saying, and I wouldn’t say you’re wrong, but perhaps what Sarkeesian is saying is that as tragic as the reality of violence against women is, wouldn’t it be nice to see video games being part of the solution rather than part of the problem?
You seem awfully hard pressed on violence against women. But what about men? Who are often the nameless grunts in video games--the one used, almost like tool--to help you fight or advance? Or the ones you kill countless of?
Men. But I’m not hearing a big fuss that these guys in games are used up faster than you can say “Game over”. I’m gonna have to call double standard here, and also the irony that she (and I assume you) think women do not need saving and are strong, but need to protect them from death or danger by removing any women who encounter violence, from the games… I’m going to be ‘edgy’ and say violence against people in general is bad.
And keep in mind, after countless studies, video games have not been linked to promoting violence. In fact, statistics show a steady decrease in violence. There is a reason why it isn’t a viable theory in psychology

Yay! You like my idea :D
Oh, I wasn’t accusing you of anything. I was just saying that since most power in game comes from a technological or supernatural extension of the wielder, it could be either male or female

As I’ve stated previously (somewhere o_o) I’ll be skeptic till it happens. She sure is quick to shoot down any women who are possible examples of being strong or independent, though.

1. Then her new view in this video contradicts her view in the first (where being damselled is an absolute, and anything she offers as help is just “pity parts” given by the writers).
2. “Subtly perpetrates”. You do realize this is the same defense NRA uses with video game violence right? I really want to see studies--something factual--and not just opinionated garbage…
3. You kind of just bypass everything I said and just say “Well, good for you”. I know enough about feminism to know it’s about empowering oneself--validating your own power and worth. Except you seem to think video games validate someones worth, not from themselves…
.
Except, she isn’t criticizing an individual game, she’s criticizing a multitude of them, and is searching for a specific theme. Your example focuses on criticizing one game… if you want a specific game (per example, if I wanted a game about dragons), then you’d either have to make game about [x] or wait till one comes out. See the difference?
Also, that’s not really how marketing works. I can guarantee that the developers are more worried about whether or not it impresses the investors, and not some ranty videos on youtube… (Funny, you talk about raising discussion, but in order to do so, I had to make this thread…)

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 07:34PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 07:23PM EDT
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Kyntak, since I don’t think I’ve said it yet, while I disagree with much of what you say in this thread, I do appreciate your making it in the first place and your tone which is far more respectful than I’ve seen by many critics of these videos.

Kyntak wrote:

She also is very ‘nitpicky’ about it, and offers no real objective point of view (show women who are strong and independent in games--which there are quite a few of).

The point she’s trying to make is that strong, independent women are hard to find in games, so why would she highlight the rare exceptions? In the first video, she talks about how there are two Zelda games in which Zelda is a strong, independent female…so long as she doesn’t reveal her identity. Once she does, she is immediately “damseled”.

And once again, she never says that these characters don’t exist, only that they’re rare.

Instead, Ms. Sarkeesian spins it off as some specific attack on women, and the men who relief them of their burden is seen as monster himself for trying to help in the only way he can.

While I said that I disagree with her assessment of this plot device, I see where she’s coming from. Think about it: if the general overuse of the disempowered damsel isn’t bad enough, the new twist is a woman who is not only helpless and waiting for the empowered male to save her, but her salvation is in the form of the hero killing her. I can understand why Sarkeesian doesn’t see this as a step forward.

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission

That’s an opinion which may not be true. Here’s an older rant by me on feminism and inferiority.

There is so much that could have been done, but instead she goes about making videos all about the problem she sees, but nothing about the solution. How productive.

Something I considered saying at the end of my previous post was that while so many accuse Sarkeesian of pointless whining, it’s a lot easier for a single person to point out systemic problems than to single-handedly fix them, and sometimes somebody has to do the former before anyone does the latter.

Patrick wrote:

(By the way, a personal favorite game of mine, Ico, is the quintessential damsel in distress game. I think you’d really enjoy it if you like Myst.)

Cool, I’m always looking for games with the puzzle-solving depth of Myst, if that’s what you mean. DPF pointed out in IRC yesterday that a new sequel to The Neverhood is in the works; The Neverhood was an excellent, quirky, humor-laden puzzle-solving adventure game in which the characters were essentially genderless. A very worthwhile game if you can get access to it.

Kyntak wrote:

And, is also very upset that women are used as ‘pawns’ in game plots, yet, no mention of men who are (i.e. the thousands of grunts you slay though the game, but I guess that’s okay, I mean, men are disposable, right? hint hint: double standard)

I see what you’re saying, but there are a couple things of note. Sarkeesian speaks out against violence in general in her videos, it’s just that this video is highlighting the relationship between violence and the DiD trope. Furthermore, I think there is an important difference between the slaying of “thousands of grunts” and the killing of the damsel. While yes, they’re all human beings, the scenarios in which you rescue a damsel by killing her are very personal ones. I think there’s a whole other issue (which IMO she addressed poorly in her otherwise very good video on The Hunger Games) of pop culture dehumanizing minor characters in battle scenarios and turning them into cannon fodder, but violence done against your girlfriend/wife/child has unfortunate undertones of domestic violence on top of the more obvious issues.

This really begs the question of credibility on the matter. Not you, but Ms. Sarkeesian herself.

I can’t speak from personal experience, but I get the impression that Sarkeesian is a pretty serious gamer.

And keep in mind, after countless studies, video games have not been linked to promoting violence.

I’m not suggesting that video games are making people violent (against women or otherwise), and I don’t think that Sarkeesian is either. I think the point is that if something is offensive in real life, maybe it should be offensive in our video games, too? I don’t allow my kids to play video games with any violence, regardless of the victim’s identity, because I’m not convinced that “It’s only a game!” is an excuse to promote violence, even pretend violence, whether that leads to real-world physical violence or not. Not only would I like my daughters to be able to play games with strong, independent female protagonists, but regardless of gender, a hero who can save the day without resorting to violence is a big plus.

May 29, 2013 at 08:29PM EDT
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@Kyntak:

1. I don’t see the contradiction. AFAIK her position has always been that a damselled character shouldn’t necessarily be written off or that necessarily ruins the game. Of course, in the first video she’s talking about older games where a lot of the characters /were/ mostly defined by their damselled state.

2. Perpetuates, not perpetrates. :P Media does affect what people think and their perceptions of themselves and others. This is pretty well documented afaik. If it didn’t companies wouldn’t spend so much money on advertising. Regardless, the point she’s making is not the one you were rebutting.

3. I’m sorry, but well, yeah. It is good for you if you can ignore that stuff, and yes, in an ideal world people wouldn’t be affected by stuff like this. But a lot of people are. If someone is playing games and those games tell them that they’re weak and ineffective, or just eyecandy and objects for other people, they’re not going to enjoy playing it as much. I personally think games are awesome, and it’s a shame people will be put off because the writers took lazy copouts in their storytelling.

Fair point. Say if someone doesn’t like e.g. always-online DRM in their games, and criticizes the practise in a video. Would you say they should either shut up or make their own game without always-online DRM? I dunno, I find it hard to believe people would be so on Sarkeesian’s ass if she was a guy talking about anything else in regards to what they’d like to see in gaming.

And maybe if enough people are informed by the video and start to demand change the investors and developers will see what the market wants and listen?

You’d never have made the thread if she hadn’t made the video. :P Not to mention all the other discussions I’ve seen about it since she announced the series.

EDIT: “Kyntak, since I don’t think I’ve said it yet, while I disagree with much of what you say in this thread, I do appreciate your making it in the first place and your tone which is far more respectful than I’ve seen by many critics of these videos.”

I agree!

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 08:38PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 08:38PM EDT
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Personally, for the most part, I find the sexist tropes in video games to be pretty harmless. I don’t know, I just don’t spend much time thinking about it. I would just like to say that while women being damsels is a common trope, men are far and beyond the most common enemy. Always getting killed in heinous ways and no one gives a shit because that’s all part of the plan, kill a woman and everyone loses their mind. Sexism in video games goes both ways really, I don’t know, I just don’t get bothered by it much.

May 29, 2013 at 08:45PM EDT
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well, after watching both her videos on the topic and reading a larger part of this thread, i can see that the depiction of females as the weaker gender is as common in games as in other media, i still can’t agree with many points of her argumentation, and i also can’t imagine how she imagines a perfectly unsexist game.

while i agree with the fact that women are victimized way too often, the damsel plot device is overused etc., thinking about that overused plot device, i haven’t come across THAT many other motivations for a hero to take action, which is a requirement for most games that have a story and/ or revolve around a protagonist and a antagonist.
mostly, it comes down to

A: the greater good (saving the world, saving your people, plain patriotism etc.)
B: personal reasons (personal wealth, revenge, the damsel thingy (of course), mere survival etc.)

of course, those can be mixed, but coming up with something really new seems difficult, but if there’s no motivation, there’s no story.

most games she’s talking about are action, adventure or RPG games (that mostly involve violence in some from), the gamers demand rousing or stirring stories to keep them in front of the screen, and from what i understand her main point is HOW the game’s developers try to evoke emotions (or “feels”) inside the player.
and while i agree that the “mercykilling” and the “x in the refrigerator” are gruesome ways to evoke emotion and are being overused, they CAN be a legitimate events in a game’s story (though i personally don’t like them), and it’s not as if “that stuff only happens in videogames”.

the point is, that most people would agree that it is worse seeing (knowing) that your loved ones (or other people you are close to) are getting harmed than being harmed yourself (especially if it happens because of you), and that is simply exploited by almost every game, book or movie that involves the damsel device/ abduction (or taking hobbits to isengard).
the “reclaiming (or taking revenge for) your rightful possession/s” would never even come to my mind (as well as i wouldn’t ever think a person belongs to me). that motivation is also far more believable than just patriotism or the protagonist just being a do-gooder (because he/she “simply is”).

that being said, any story and any reason for the protagonist to go out and live through the events of the game can be seen as cheap if the player keeps his distance and only analyses the plot, that also applies to every drama, movie or book.
it’s also not possible to create a interesting story with interesting characters that is impossible to interpret in a way that can be used against it.

also, arguing that those games actually boost misogyny in our society is just the same as stating that violent games boost violence irl, or that people who play red faction become communists. to draw the conclusion that the “mercykilling” actually promotes domestic violence against women is just “trying hard” in my opinion.
and of course, i get angry fast when someone depicts my beloved games as misogynist crap with cheap misogynist plots and badly written misogynist characters.
(and also why the hell does she mention ICO,
and who could expect anything like correctness from a gta game, gta probably discriminates every part of the society at some point)

i beg to excuse the addleheaded writing, i might have to edit this whole thing after i got some sleep…

May 29, 2013 at 09:11PM EDT
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I’ve liked the discussions I’ve read here. It’s nice to see people confronted with the subject actually handle it like an adult instead of just calling her a cunt and being done with it.

One thing that I’ve definitely noticed outside of watching these videos or even playing video games, is that women’s deaths are very often used as a plot device. Some of my favorite shows do this and I still love them. When I’m watching however, if there’s a female character 9 times out of 10 she will be dead soon to move the plot forward or to greatly affect the main male character. Supernatural for example. It’s an amazing show and I love it but not many females survive unless they’re evil. The whole show begins with two major female deaths. Without those two main deaths the story wouldn’t even begin. I can forgive things like this because it’s necessary for the story. And writing probably is REALLY hard. It just sucks watching all my favorite female characters die. Even the really tough ones who I admired. And they sometimes seem completely avoidable. And obviously they aren’t the only ones that die and I’m not one to say that the writers MUST be sexist because that’s ridiculous. It’s a story and it’s fine. But I agree that it’d be nice for more female heroin stories or at least something different from the norm. It’s why I like RPGs where you get to pick your gender and make the character your own.

May 29, 2013 at 10:37PM EDT
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I only have one thing to say. What drives what is made? Good stuff. If it’s good, it sells, regardless of who or what the main protagonist is. This is true of any form of entertainment, and we know for a fact that’s what sells. Seen that movie SALT?

Yea, just about everyone I talked to said it was a great spy flick, no one gave 2 shits it was a woman as the main protagonist.

In LOTR, Eowyn slaid the Witch-King, have yet to find anyone opposed to it being a woman that killed him (albiet Marry was involved in that). In fact, a lot of very strong female characters in that series.

Inheritance series is similar, but did have 2 “damsel in distress” situations, however one turned out to be far stronger than just about anyone or anything out there. The other too turned out to be a pretty strong character, but was definitely the more womanly characters in the book. In fact I think there was more interesting female characters in that series than male, especially Angela.

That’s just a start. But the market demands quality, but fun, and more or less, stories are not the main part of a video game. I honestly never gave even half a fuck I was trying to save a princess every time I tried to play Mario games (which by the way, Peach seems to always have a big advantage in, for both Mario Kart games and Super Smash bro./Mario Party games).

Along with that, what’s going to sell? Games with male or female main protagonists? It used to be far more male, both because of the industry and because of who bought them. Tons of nerds who were already either trying to get women and failing miserably and/or already hated women. It’s a changing market, the publishers and developers are changing too, as is who are actually making the games. It’s sexist, but what isn’t in some way? It’s all about perspective, without it we have nothing, context is another big issue. I’m not going there, my post will literally be a wall…like, a few hundred volumes to read if I go in depth on the subject. That’s all I have to say, thanks for playing, respond but I won’t. Too touchy.

May 29, 2013 at 11:01PM EDT
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Dactective L wrote:

Sexism in video games goes both ways really, I don’t know, I just don’t get bothered by it much.

Yes, sexism does go both ways, but I think that’s a big part of why it’s important and why people who have such distaste for feminism are missing the bigger picture. As I said in the comment section of the article, I think every sexist attitude hurts both genders, just in different ways.

Since I realized that I never addressed wezli333’s question about the protagonist’s family as “property”, let me use that as an example. If I’m a VG protagonist, and the antagonist comes and kidnaps my wife to get to me, he’s treating my wife as though she’s my property. Yes, it’s an effective way to hurt someone, and yes, if my wife were kidnapped it would likely push me to extremes to save her that I might not otherwise. Nonetheless, if my wife is my property, that makes her a slave, and me a slave owner. Thus by implication, she is turned into an object, I am turned into a monster, and both of us are hurt.

I like the way Sarkeesian puts it in the first video; that in the game of oneupsmanship between Mario and Bowser, Princess Peach isn’t a player, she’s the ball.

thehappyavocado wrote:

It’s nice to see people confronted with the subject actually handle it like an adult instead of just calling her a cunt and being done with it.

This is an important counterpoint to what I myself said about disabled comments on Feminist Frequency videos. While I think it would be better to let people speak, it also has to be understood that Sarkeesian isn’t trying to squelch criticism, she’s cutting out the bullshit that’s being piled on her by haters. In my mind, the people responsible for the lack of criticism are the people who for unknown reasons hate her the most.

May 29, 2013 at 11:12PM EDT
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Dac wrote:

Personally, for the most part, I find the sexist tropes in video games to be pretty harmless. I don’t know, I just don’t spend much time thinking about it. I would just like to say that while women being damsels is a common trope, men are far and beyond the most common enemy. Always getting killed in heinous ways and no one gives a shit because that’s all part of the plan, kill a woman and everyone loses their mind. Sexism in video games goes both ways really, I don’t know, I just don’t get bothered by it much.

Make men the villain and nobody cares, it’s all part of the plan
Make women the victim


On the subject of Anita’s disabled comments, for a while I thought she was justified in disabling comments. After all, there is a huge difference between not wanting to deal with criticism or assholes and not wanting to deal with threats of harassment, death, and rape. Then I realized, why the fuck is she even bothering to post her videos on youtube? The obvious answer is that youtube is the largest video sharing site on the internet and she can reach a very large audience that way, but I really don’t think she is reaching the right audience by going to youtube. If I were her I would have abandoned the youtube channel and have posted my videos on other websites and forums (similar to this one) where it will be obvious that intelligent discussion will be at least a possibility. Yeah, her videos might make their way back to youtube via someone else posting them, but at least she won’t have to directly deal with all the abusive people that show up in the comments section.


Also, can I just say I am in love with the positive karma flow that is running through this entire thread? Very positive, I approve.

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 11:17PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 11:14PM EDT
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Brucker wrote:

Dactective L wrote:

Sexism in video games goes both ways really, I don’t know, I just don’t get bothered by it much.

Yes, sexism does go both ways, but I think that’s a big part of why it’s important and why people who have such distaste for feminism are missing the bigger picture. As I said in the comment section of the article, I think every sexist attitude hurts both genders, just in different ways.

Since I realized that I never addressed wezli333’s question about the protagonist’s family as “property”, let me use that as an example. If I’m a VG protagonist, and the antagonist comes and kidnaps my wife to get to me, he’s treating my wife as though she’s my property. Yes, it’s an effective way to hurt someone, and yes, if my wife were kidnapped it would likely push me to extremes to save her that I might not otherwise. Nonetheless, if my wife is my property, that makes her a slave, and me a slave owner. Thus by implication, she is turned into an object, I am turned into a monster, and both of us are hurt.

I like the way Sarkeesian puts it in the first video; that in the game of oneupsmanship between Mario and Bowser, Princess Peach isn’t a player, she’s the ball.

thehappyavocado wrote:

It’s nice to see people confronted with the subject actually handle it like an adult instead of just calling her a cunt and being done with it.

This is an important counterpoint to what I myself said about disabled comments on Feminist Frequency videos. While I think it would be better to let people speak, it also has to be understood that Sarkeesian isn’t trying to squelch criticism, she’s cutting out the bullshit that’s being piled on her by haters. In my mind, the people responsible for the lack of criticism are the people who for unknown reasons hate her the most.

“If I’m a VG protagonist, and the antagonist comes and kidnaps my wife to get to me, he’s treating my wife as though she’s my property….Nonetheless, if my wife is my property, that makes her a slave, and me a slave owner. Thus by implication, she is turned into an object, I am turned into a monster, and both of us are hurt.”

I disagree, he isn’t treating your wife as property. He understand the emotional connection between you two and is severing it. The implication isn’t that she is your property, it’s that you love her and would risk life and limb to keep her safe, even if it means self sacrifice and he knows this. He knows that watching the person you love the most in the world being in danger is worse than anything he could do to you. You aren’t saving her because she belongs to you, you are saving her because she is a human being and you love her. Even if bowser believes peach is his property, Mario going to save her doesn’t imply that he thinks of her as property, he justs wants her safe.

I’ll put it this way, when I play Mario, my thoughts are:

You must really love her to put up with this shit.

Not

Nigga, he stole your bitch. She belongs to you man, get her back.

Last edited May 29, 2013 at 11:48PM EDT
May 29, 2013 at 11:35PM EDT
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Kyntak wrote:

So, as Ms. Sarkeesian puts it, let’s get ‘edgy’ by discussing her latest video on Female Tropes (Seeing as comments are once again disabled).
|
Keep in mind, people on either side to stay respectful and on topic (don’t resort to ad hominem, etc. or stray off topics related to the video)
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Here’s the video, at your convenience:

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Everyones umbrella up? Ready. Set. BEGIN!

Does she at least know that women victims are not such a fiction but a reality? In western countries they are oftenly abused, and in mideastern countries, whenever they are not abused, they are a childstep from being slaves.
And if a man risks his own life to save his wife/girlfriend that does make him a monster because he’s claiming her as his propriety, thus making her an object?
Does she really thinks a man would risk his own life, HIS OWN LIFE, for merely sexual or pride motivations?

May 30, 2013 at 08:18AM EDT
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Hypercat-Z wrote:

Does she at least know that women victims are not such a fiction but a reality? In western countries they are oftenly abused, and in mideastern countries, whenever they are not abused, they are a childstep from being slaves.
And if a man risks his own life to save his wife/girlfriend that does make him a monster because he’s claiming her as his propriety, thus making her an object?
Does she really thinks a man would risk his own life, HIS OWN LIFE, for merely sexual or pride motivations?

Speaking as a penis endowed individual, you will not believe what one will do to get laid.

May 30, 2013 at 09:29AM EDT
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