Hot off the Internet presses, Anita Sarkeesian‘s first installment of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games was released yesterday and I have an analysis and link to the video.
You may recall the video I posted in January of Sarkeesian explaining in a TED Talk the overwhelming backlash she got from the male gaming community over her Kickstarter to get this web series off the ground in my post, “When Men Are Boys.” I have that video embedded at the bottom of this post, too, for context. Essentially, Sarkeesian has been making excellent videos about feminism, particularly in the face of culture tropes, and she’s just released the first episode of this new series.
Two additional pieces of context may be helpful to you:
1. Here’s how Ms. Sarkeesian defines “trope” in one of her videos:
A trope is a common pattern in a story or a recognizable attribute in a character that conveys information to the audience. A trope becomes cliche when it’s overused. Sadly, some of these tropes often perpetuate offensive stereotypes.
2. It’s not going to be easy for some people to look at the games they love with new eyes, but as Ms. Sarkeesian explains…
This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters. But remember that it’s both possible, and even necessary, to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects.
For a third piece of context, this specifically for this article, I am a man who grew up playing video games and who continues to play video games.
With that set-up, here’s the video: “Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” by Anita Sarkeesian
Amazing, isn’t it?
Ms. Sarkeesian has data on her side. The proof is in the pixels and she uses several tactics to her advantage: explaining the stories behind game development, historical evidence, and the echo effect: lining up example after example side by side to emphasize the wider-reaching ramifications of the issue.
As an adult male who has literally played video games for thirty years