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Damsel in Distress: Part 2 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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I think this fits here. A series of videos exploring stereotypes about women in video games.

I know many men don't like (which is a mild expression) Anita Sarkeesian's documentaries, but she's been doing a good job on analysing women's thropes in all kinds of games, showing that what seems "just some plot twist" may have much deeper and often shocking meaning in our colture.

 

This is part two of "Damsel in Distress", focusing on violence against women, so it's particularily interesting and shocking in the same time. I recommend to watch part one after or before this video. Definietely gives you better insight on what is gaming industry feeding on.

 

toa_vH6xGqs

Ross's girlfriend (IRL) Twitter: @AmazingMagda follow me! ^^to somewhere! ^^

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I find her arguments naively feminist (no surprise here).

 

It's not that women look more attractive to men because they appear to be weak or subordinate, it's that it makes men feel strong and deserving of the woman in question. It answers to a genetically programmed need for a man to be a hero and to protect his female partner, the future mother of his offspring (or so he hopes). No amount of feminist wishful thinking is going to change it.

 

So, damsel in distress - a plot device as old as the history of homo sapiens (maybe older) - may or may not suit a particular game, may or may not be used tactfully or appropriately, but it is just a matter of the talent and creativity (or the absence of it) of the developers and is not a battle in the war of sexes.

 

By the way, there is no war of sexes :-)

 

Regards

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I'm also not a fan of her arguments, simply because they're built with the intent for pushing this pseudo-feminist (I'd hope that most feminists don't think this way, I like to give women credit for their ability of higher reasoning than this) stance and don't fairly evaluate the issues she presents. For example, in part one of her 'documentary', she uses the game Dragon's Lair to illustrate the damsel in distress problem as a poor portrayal of women in video games. Yet, she doesn't touch down on the character of Dirk the Daring, who can be easily illustrated as a negative male image using Sarkeesian's same argument method. Think about it, we have a character that doesn't speak throughout the entire game except for screaming like a coward when he fails. How is that a fair representation of the male gender? Let's also look at another game with a damsel in distress situation, Double Dragon. Should Billy and Jimmy have simply left Marian alone to meet her fate at the hands of the Shadow Warriors? According to Sarkeesian, yes. She was right about one thing, though; the damsel in distress isn't about the woman, but rather it's about a person (usually a man) fighting against many opposing factors to ensure the safety of someone they care about. How is that a bad thiing?

 

A lot of her statements are also lacking additional support, such as peer review studies. It's hard to take her statements as facts when she's not offering much proof outside of her own words.

 

Not to mention that she never once addressed the many examples where women are represented as empowering characters in video games, which happens a lot more than you'd believe based on her videos. Claire from RE2 wasn't a damsel. Alyx from HL2 isn't a damsel, and in fact rescues Gordon from civil protection on more than one occasion. Samus has remained valiant through alien attacks. Elizabeth in Bioshock: Infinite was essentially a god who didn't need Booker to protect her. Chell has defeated evil robots three times (Glados, Glados again, then Wheatley). Did anyone see the ending to Double Dragon Neon? I don't think a weak Marian would be able to break someone else's balls like that, especially when she has one of the best power poses I've seen in games in a long time. I could go on, but I'm beating a dead horse here.

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Not a fan either, she seems quite selective about her examples and information and a bit biased. She should be more objective and also pull forward examples of women being empowered in games and not just "damsels in distress" which I agree is a bit of a stereotype but it has faded away a lot.

 

Lara Croft for instance is one of the most prolific characters in video games and I don't need to tell anyone that she's definitely not a damsel. Of course she's been heavily sexualized which of course is typical, but I feel that she has a lot of character beyond her looks and the latest Tomb Raider game did show her as more of a human being and less as an "ideal".

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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I don't understand all this reluctance towards Anita. She's made a solid research and her arguments are supported by facts. Also, she makes each video focused on a certain topic. She doesn't harm anyone and I think research like that is needed if not necessary to uncover some truth. You may not agree with her, but there is at least a grain of truth in these video series. Maybe women see this better, because they experience "tropes roles" in real lives.....

 

I'm too tired right now to read all the comments...

 

I've found this video recommended by a MAN, on OBJECTIFICATION OF MEN IN VIDEO GAMES:

 

>>>>>>click http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/7290-Objectification-And-Men <<<<<<<<<

 

Worth to watch, it's made by another man! ;)

Ross's girlfriend (IRL) Twitter: @AmazingMagda follow me! ^^to somewhere! ^^

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The negative opinions expressed here aren't against Anita as a person, but rather the arguments she presents. That difference needs to be recognized since one paints those of us who have commented so far have not addressed Anita personally, but rather the arguments she has presented. I could go on to object to this project entirely, encompassing the people involved as well as the arguments, but I don't feel that's appropriate for a thread posted in the video games section of the forum.

 

I think my counter example to her use of Double Dragon Neon calls into question how well-researched her project has been thus far. The analysis of Princess Peach was fair, I won't argue with that one, however when she tossed out counter examples of her appearances in non-mainline Mario games for no reason (seeing as these types of games outsell standard Mario titles in many gaming generations), I felt that was a blatant example of her cherry-picking facts to support a preconceived notion she held before even starting this project. Also, the way Princess Zelda has been portrayed in these videos is extremely shallow and an insult to the actual character.

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The negative opinions expressed here aren't against Anita as a person, but rather the arguments she presents. That difference needs to be recognized since one paints those of us who have commented so far have not addressed Anita personally, but rather the arguments she has presented. I could go on to object to this project entirely, encompassing the people involved as well as the arguments, but I don't feel that's appropriate for a thread posted in the video games section of the forum.

 

I think my counter example to her use of Double Dragon Neon calls into question how well-researched her project has been thus far. The analysis of Princess Peach was fair, I won't argue with that one, however when she tossed out counter examples of her appearances in non-mainline Mario games for no reason (seeing as these types of games outsell standard Mario titles in many gaming generations), I felt that was a blatant example of her cherry-picking facts to support a preconceived notion she held before even starting this project. Also, the way Princess Zelda has been portrayed in these videos is extremely shallow and an insult to the actual character.

Agreed, she doesn't really go into any depth...

 

And yes, I totally respect Anita as a person, I just disagree with her.

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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I don't really agree with her, I find her biased, that's all, not really focusing on the GOOD things about women in gaming, only the bad. But yeah, she has some points obviously.

 

 

That's the sense of all her research. She noticed that there is an overwhelming number of negative and sexist examples of female characters in gaming and decided to research that. She's been playing games since 8 so she has some good recognition as her father is a computer engeener, she had abundance of games to play for years.

 

I agree with her. There are much too many examples of sexist and stereotypical treatment of women in gaming and it has started changing a bit only recently (like maybe last 5-2 years). I've played not that many games but most games don't offer much equality to women.

 

So I find argument that she focuses only on negative things invalid, because that is the SENSE of her research. There is nothing biased. I know only few video games (comapring all the mainstrem ones) that treat women as equal partners or give them leading roles, including very new "Remember Me" that had problems to be released because the protagonist is a female.

Ross's girlfriend (IRL) Twitter: @AmazingMagda follow me! ^^to somewhere! ^^

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Her arguments aren't well thought out and her observations are very shallow. She only got attention because of the backlash towards her kickstarter and it's the only reason she has a league of white knights defending her Kickstarter cashgrab, in fact it's the only reason she has an audience at all.

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Honestly, I don't get what you all are saying about her not looking at good things (did you watch the video all the way through? The next one is about role reversal of Damsel in Distress; a positive thing), because she's focusing her video on one topic: negative portrayal of women in video games. You're asking her to talk about something that's the exact opposite of what her stated intention is.

 

As for shallow points, I suspect she was maybe being brief. Of course, the history of misogyny in video games is pretty damned long considering how old the medium is, so doing all the research to get all the little quirks would take some time. Not saying you shouldn't bother, just saying that when I only need half a cup right now and I'm on a deadline taking the time to get all five gallons isn't something I'd do.

 

I will agree with the point on Zelda though. Even if she was stupid in Wind Waker (after Tetra became Zelda and lost her tan and awesomeness I kind of lost the will to play that one), she's pretty cool in most games of the series.

░▒▓I see them ask each other, is she the MAIDEN or the ℳØηЅ┼εя?▓▒░

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So I find argument that she focuses only on negative things invalid, because that is the SENSE of her research. There is nothing biased.

 

I'm going to have to disagree with the biased thing there. The fact that she chose to focus her research on finding examples of sexism against women shows that she went into her subject with a preconceived notion of what she was going to find and how it should be interpreted. I think that in itself is close enough to the definition of being biased to validate the claims made her and throughout the internet.

 

because she's focusing her video on one topic: negative portrayal of women in video games. You're asking her to talk about something that's the exact opposite of what her stated intention is.

 

And that is one of the main reasons as to why the videos are getting so much backlash. If her analysis of the portrayal of women in video games was the least bit fair and approached with facts instead of her own personal interpretations on the subject, then it's possible that this topic wouldn't be as opposed to her videos as it has been thus far. Personally, the only thing I'm asking from her videos is a proper analysis of the subject, not one fueled by her own ideology.

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So I find argument that she focuses only on negative things invalid, because that is the SENSE of her research. There is nothing biased.

 

I'm going to have to disagree with the biased thing there. The fact that she chose to focus her research on finding examples of sexism against women shows that she went into her subject with a preconceived notion of what she was going to find and how it should be interpreted. I think that in itself is close enough to the definition of being biased to validate the claims made her and throughout the internet.

Exactly...

 

because she's focusing her video on one topic: negative portrayal of women in video games. You're asking her to talk about something that's the exact opposite of what her stated intention is.

 

And that is one of the main reasons as to why the videos are getting so much backlash. If her analysis of the portrayal of women in video games was the least bit fair and approached with facts instead of her own personal interpretations on the subject, then it's possible that this topic wouldn't be as opposed to her videos as it has been thus far. Personally, the only thing I'm asking from her videos is a proper analysis of the subject, not one fueled by her own ideology.

Precisely why she kinda bothers me but I respect her nonetheless...

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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I don't understand all this reluctance towards Anita. She's made a solid research and her arguments are supported by facts. Also, she makes each video focused on a certain topic. She doesn't harm anyone and I think research like that is needed if not necessary to uncover some truth. You may not agree with her, but there is at least a grain of truth in these video series. Maybe women see this better, because they experience "tropes roles" in real lives.....

 

I'm too tired right now to read all the comments...

 

I've found this video recommended by a MAN, on OBJECTIFICATION OF MEN IN VIDEO GAMES:

 

>>>>>>click http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/7290-Objectification-And-Men <<<<<<<<<

 

Worth to watch, it's made by another man! ;)

jim sterling isn't exactly the master at arguments....or coherce thoughts for that matter. his entire stance is playing devil's advocate, much like RazorFist. All of his opinions raise caution in me because I don't know if it's him talking, or his need for attention.

 

also it's funny you mention Anita making solid research because she hasn't, remember the Bayonetta video?

R.I.P Stephen "Anti-Social Fatman" Bray

 

"In the meantime, the sun will be rising. You will know all, and I will not feel this dread any longer."

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