Home Gaming A female perspective about sexism in videogames

A female perspective about sexism in videogames

1 min read


Don’t roll your eyes at me for bringing this topic up again there is a valid reason for this. The first being that after the 4th of July there simply is no news to report on but more importantly this response to sexism in video games is possible one of the most well articulated ones I’ve seen and well worth a watch.

I’m very much on her side in this discussion as I truly do not believe the industry is particularly sexist and it irritates me that the world is currently so scared about being called sexist that it will attempt to bend over backwards to please the vocal minority.

In this video KiteTales (not sure of her real name) answers Anita Sarkeesian’s original video around sexism by debunking each of her points but ends it all off with a list of some of the most incredible female videogame characters we have to prove that women do have strong videogame role models to look up to if that is what they are looking for.

And what I find best is that she argues the point politely and yet firmly – never lowering herself to insults; yet you can see she isn’t going to roll over if you argue back. She has valid points and she expresses them excellently.

My only complaint would be that the video takes a little too long to lay the ground rules of the discussion.

Last Updated: July 5, 2012

One Comment

  1. Poolboy

    August 6, 2013 at 12:44

    There is so much wrong with it, I find it painfull to watch. No offense to Ms. “Kite Tales”, but her logic just completely falls flat.

    Minute one: “The Problem with that statement is that it implies that a single act of misfortune upon a female character somehow disempowers her entire being”

    So the argument here is that having a problem with females being helpless means we disregard any other positive trait other than “helpfulness”. That would totally work if we were talking about real, existing people, but with videogame characters, it just doesn’t make any sense. Unless the game specifically shows these “other positive traits”, we cannot simply say they outweigh the physical helplessness. And even if that were the case, it still misses a very important point: Agency. The one thing that sets videogames apart from other media is agency of the player. Consistently denying agency to female characters is a cultural problem, and you cannout argue against a cultural problem by pointing out individual characteristics.

    Minute three: [Paraphrased]”It is wrong to state that Peach and Zelda are consitently put into distress for the benefit of the hero’s story arc, because the hero rescues them for the good of the kingdom, not to satisfy his own desires”

    This statement makes no sense logically. I can only assume that it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what “character arc” means. I mean she even goes on to say that a defining trait of the “hero” protagonist is his selflessness…

    Minute four: “in the rescuers eyes they are never viewed as property” “Princess Peach’s subjects don’t look down on her”

    Yeah, because if you analyze gaming culture, the purported views of a fictional characters (most of which we never see) is certainly the important factor.

    Minute 5: “Peach makes various important appearances in other games”

    A valid point, but none of these games have any story to tell. As far as cultural impact goes, how many different skins a brawler offers isn’t really all that important. Her subsequent argument about sale numbers completely misses that point.

    Minute 8:30: “Just because Zelda isn’t a playable character doesn’t mean she isn’t as equally important”

    Yes, yes it does mean that. In the context of a game, the playable character is always going to be more important than the NPCs. He is the one with the agency, he is the one through which the story is experienced. In a movie, things would be different. But games are special in this regard because they offer the player agency, and that makes the PC significant.

    The quantitative evidence she suggests is nice, but Ms. Saarkesian has offered her own quantitative evidence, too. So there is certainly no “absence” of that as the video claims in Minute 10.

    Min. 10:50: “Game developers should have the gamers in mind, not the critics”

    Yeah, and they do, and therein lies the problem, that Kite Tales, as well as many others, seem to not get: Apparently the studies that game developers, and publishers especially, have at their disposal seem to suggest that strong males and weak females sells well. And if that is the case, this is clear evidence of a corresponding cultural bias.

    I mean I’ll give Kite Tales the benefit of the doubt and say that she had good intentions. But her critique is sadly short sighted, and misses several curcial points.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Has the FPB made itself redundant?

Quick lesson: The FPB AKA the Films and Publication Board in South Africa is responsible f…