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Tropes vs Women is very well done

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Tropes vs women

Anita Sarkeesian took to Kickstarter to get money for her Tropes vs Women in Video Games series. I was very skeptical about the project, but I was wrong. She’s doing an awesome job and you should watch these.

Somehow, it sounded like more feminist whining but on a greater scale. However, seeing the quality of the videos as well as the solid argumentation, it makes a lot of sense. Her latest video deals with the concept of women as background decoration. Used to make games seem more gritty or villains more detestable, violence against women is used as a device. However, players have no way of helping these women – the best that they can do is kill their attackers but there is no way to interact with the victims afterwards. Sarkeesian argues that rather than expose some sort of gritty reality of violence against women, it actually just sanitizes it to make it comfortable for our consumption.

She makes an important point in her video descriptions, though:

The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects.

We can still enjoy games – this series isn’t about making us hate gaming or only see a certain side of it. However, it should highlight the endemic nature of sexism in gaming, just as violence in general is made easier for us to consume, and even enjoy. Games are entertaining and they still can be, but we should be aware of devices used that perpetuate stereotypes. Tropes are useful – inns and pubs in RPGs will always be the best place to find companions and missions, but are slowly getting phased out in favor of more nuanced approaches; it’s simply a matter of becoming aware of these cliches so that we can push developers and publishers towards finding more creative approaches. NPCs in general need more reimagining from developers, and if these discussions help them to start with women in this regard, then so be it.

Last Updated: August 26, 2014


  1. Kromas of City17

    August 26, 2014 at 17:37

    I could only watch half of this. She makes a point or two BUT she over analyzes waaayyy too much. This is the equivalent of the guy who called the new Taylor Swift music video racist cause of 1 black girl twerking.

    Maybe it is just me.


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      August 27, 2014 at 08:58

      I think the whole Taylor Swift music video saga is just unnecessary. It’s knee-jerking for the sake of it. I always come back to the same point, it actually distracts from ACTUAL incidents of racism and prejudice (which then invariably gets lumped among all the non-issues, like Taylor Swift’s music video).


  2. Alessandro Barbosa

    August 26, 2014 at 18:59

    I’ve always liked her videos and think she makes a great point. A lot of people don’t like her because she presents on side of the argument and doesn’t look at the other, despite the fact that she’s said it will come eventually during the series.

    It doesn’t make me hate the games that she singles out, but rather makes me far more aware of sloppy trope uses. It’s extremely important that people looking to get into game development and design identify some of the issues she brings to light, so that they can be flushed out in the future.


    • Kromas of City17

      August 26, 2014 at 21:05

      I agree she does make a point but unfortunately it is the same point bible bashers make about Anakin Skywalker being a gross misrepresentation of Jesus. She goes too far and invalidates herself.

      Still if you look far beyond the extreme negative feminist views she has a message and it is a rather good message.


      • Brady miaau

        August 26, 2014 at 21:29

        Agenda to push, facts to fit?


  3. Brady miaau

    August 26, 2014 at 21:22

    Watched this a while ago (as did Banana Jim).

    I found some valid points but also some game footage taken out of context or just plain misread. But still interesting, some things I had not thought of


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      August 27, 2014 at 08:55

      I have to agree, while I think her heart is in the right place, what’s bugged me about the latest videos (haven’t watched the current one) is what Brady just mentioned. I think it actually lessens her over-all-argument when she takes game footage out of context or even artificially creates a controversial scenario that wasn’t intended in the first place (the Hitman-stripper scene is a very good example).

      I’ll watch this video when I can, maybe this evening.


      • Rags

        August 27, 2014 at 09:20

        Her heart is only on the money.


      • Brady miaau

        August 27, 2014 at 10:27

        I think Kickstarter is also to blame, you have to show you are using the money in the correct way, so it is possible that that clouds the thinking. I do not for a second think they are saying “Hey, let us take this totally out of context, essentially lie, just to prove a point.”


  4. Rags

    August 27, 2014 at 09:08

    Are you really advocating for her on this site? She is all what is wrong with modern femtards. Thieving money from incredulous white knights. She is an obvious fraud. And making up BULLSHIT claims.


    • Archie Bunker

      September 7, 2014 at 12:50

      She’s a dirty gypsy!


  5. Guild

    August 27, 2014 at 09:45

    I’m not a fan of Anita. I applaud her for the awareness she has created but her over analysis, constant repetitive use of single examples, bible-bashing manner is over the top. The Hitman/Stripper scene was a ridiculous and stupid example used by her where I feel it shows she has over-committed on her video project and is trying too hard to find damning source material.


  6. Brady miaau

    August 27, 2014 at 10:39

    Right, I have just watched several videos.

    She assumes I am a sexual predator (my words not hers, but read context in her videos)? I am livid right now. And then, knowing that people would get upset with her, she says that people who think they are not sexual predators are in danger. I base this only the way she spoke during the Hitman Absolution bits. Why would I do the things she says you can do in the game? Her comments are just as applicable to a man walking down the street.


  7. Guardian Star Lord

    August 27, 2014 at 19:39

    No support for liars and fraudulents, please.


  8. Mikel Crawford

    September 2, 2014 at 04:19

    We need more Investigative Journalism in regards to Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency, since there are some “Evidence” that she’s a con-man.


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