Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian has released the 2nd video in her ‘Tropes vs Women in Games’ series. It continues her examination of the “Damsel in Distress” trope and its even darker aspects in modern games.
It’s important to have these conversations as games advance as an art form. Both the causes and implications of sexist tropes in all media deserve attention, and this series breaks new ground by examining video games. Anita Sarkeesian breaks these tropes down and gives example after example of the same plotlines (repeated nearly verbatim across so many titles) that leave female characters with no agency and often gratuitously brutalized.
When presented this way, her case is compelling. The tropes she points out become glaringly apparent in montages that mash together cookie cutter moments from several of this generation’s most popular titles. The sexist tropes in game narratives are displayed in a way that’s both undeniable and (speaking as a male gamer who hasn’t always put much thought into the issue) quite disturbing.
Sarkeesian first gained national attention when her Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the series was subjected to a huge smear campaign and sexist backlash. Ironically, the attention these attacks garnered contributed to Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter success and she raised $160,000 for the project. Her goal had been to raise only $6,000! With the influx of crowd funding, Sarkeesian increased the scope of the project greatly. Despite a few delays, her well researched, thought-provoking video series is on track, starting with 2 very strong episodes.
Also, it’s probably the only video you’ll see today that begins with both a Trigger Warning and a Spoiler warning. Check it out below!
[Via: Feminist Frequency]