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s-m-r

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Candle
17th March, 2013 at 17/03/2013 21:21:46 -

I'm very very pleased that this series has finally been released:



 
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Muz



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9th April, 2013 at 09/04/2013 22:04:12 -

The trope is popular because it what people like, and that includes both sexes. The video tries to play it off as sexist, but take a look at any romantic plots that women love. A vast majority of romantic shows that appeal to women are variations of the damsel in distress. Reversals of the trope are usually used for comedy, and sometimes to appeal to geekier males.

It's simply because men and women view romance in two different ways. Men value trust in a relationship. It's especially romantic if he messes up a lot and she trusts him anyway. Women value acceptance, sacrifice, and unconditional love in a relationship. The less reason there is to love her (especially if she is 'unattainable' or simply unattractive), the more romantic the story is.

Damsel in distress mixes the two together. It allows a story of a bumbling hero and his sacrifices, her acceptance of the protagonist's efforts, despite the best efforts of the antagonist to 'rescue' her as well. It just doesn't work so well in games because you're expected to fail so often that you forget all about the romantic part of the story (and in many games, the story actually pulls away from the game itself)

 
Disclaimer: Any sarcasm in my posts will not be mentioned as that would ruin the purpose. It is assumed that the reader is intelligent enough to tell the difference between what is sarcasm and what is not.

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s-m-r

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Candle
10th April, 2013 at 10/04/2013 03:54:22 -

I think you're avoiding her thesis about women being objectified since the inception of video games.

Even if the "adventure hook" or story is abstracted and when, as you say, "the story actually pulls away from the game itself," the gender roles almost exclusively maintain the trope. The protagonist is wearing pants; the prize is wearing a dress.

And that stuff about men value trust (as opposed to the things you mention women appreciate) in relationships is particularly puzzling. Any support for these wildly generalized statements? Who wouldn't value trust in a relationship, regardless of gender? Things like sacrifice, acceptance, and unconditional love would mean nothing without trust, wouldn't you agree?

 
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-Liam-

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10th April, 2013 at 10/04/2013 18:47:57 -

I *almost* stopped watching after she described the switch from Dinosaur Planet to Starfox.

She talks as if the situation was approached like this: "What? A FEMALE lead character? Ho ho ho! No, we can't have that! Fox McCloud can be the main character, and she can be a sexual object of desire! Yes, that's the way!"

It seems like an obvious combination of games to merge, in my opinion. I'd rather them have been separate though, I strongly dislike Miyamoto's obsession with relying on his old game francises, rather than creating new ones. Dinosaur Planet could have been a great "new" title, just like Luigi's Mansion could have been "new" if they hadn't slapped the Mario brand on it.

They seem to ignore the other games that have a female leading role, like Kameo, by the same developer. I dislike how feminists have recently been targeting video game characters and stories - This year my Twitter feed has been full of this. I've no idea what started it all. I've never noticed it until 2013.

If someone stole my wallet or car, I'd not run into their lair and climb to the top of a tower to recover it. If someone stole my girlfriend/wife, I'd run in blindly and foolishly risk my life to try and save her. That's what love makes you do, so I figure it's a good plot to go with.

My main issue here is that they're focusing on stereotypes. Both feminists, AND game developers. There are too many "guy saves girl" stories in games and it's incredibly boring.

There are good feminists and then there are the ones that hate men. So sorry if I'm sounding like a masculine jerk, I truly believe men and women should be equals.

 
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-Liam-

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24th April, 2013 at 24/04/2013 14:59:10 -



I really don't like this women. Maybe I am just being a male pig, but isn't it called sci-fi for a reason? If she wants to see normal pregnancies, why not look go watch/read something else, more "normal".

I don't think I've ever seen a "weird" pregnancy film/tv show/etc so I wouldn't say it's overused. Also, call me strange but I think that giving birth is a pretty horrifying thing. Some people see it as beautiful, which it is, but the pain and complications of it are not something I enjoy thinking about. A good setting for horror I'd say. It sort of ads to the whole "fear of the unknown" thing.

Was it Alien, where a man gave birth? Not sure as I've not seen it, but there's an example where it wasn't a woman.

I feel like she's far too aggressive in explaining her point of view. Anyone else think like me?

 
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Hagar

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24th April, 2013 at 24/04/2013 20:03:38 -

I really think this is a lot of hot air about nothing (I switched off after a while sorry!). Why does this lady have such a problem with the Mario series and Shigeru Miyamoto in particular?

Popeye, or Shigeru Miyamoto's work has never influenced me to treat females any different - I treat them the same as I do anyone else. I find such things to be condescending nonsense to be quite frank. The "You played Mario as a kid? I guess you chain your girlfriend to the kitchen sink/bed!" attitude really grinds my gears!

She has obvious bias as well, or has done seriously sloppy research.

Perhaps its an easy way to get youtube views (cash) and potential fame - pick on someone famous and in my opinion producing totally inoffensive material. I would be happy to give my potential future kids ANY first party nintendo game.

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
10th August, 2013 at 10/08/2013 22:03:04 -

Parts 2 and 3 of this excellent video critique series are now available:

http://www.feministfrequency.com/2013/08/damsel-in-distress-part-3-tropes-vs-women/





 
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BattleCat



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10th August, 2013 at 10/08/2013 23:12:55 -

Wait she's still making stuff? I believe there was a huge uproar on Reddit about her taking donation money and disappearing or something?

 
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-Liam-

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10th August, 2013 at 10/08/2013 23:44:41 -

Not sure why she needed the kickstarter to make videos, as the vids she's put out after raising the money have been similar to what she used to do for free anyway, and she's not doing them often enough.

I was reading my old posts above and I sound so angry! Kinda funny I don't HATE her, I just don't like the way she comes across. I assumed s-m-r was being sarcastic about being happy about this series... Or was I wrong?

Edited by -Liam-

 
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UrbanMonk

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11th August, 2013 at 11/08/2013 00:16:31 -

I saw these a while back. I learned a few things about the history of some games, but that's about it.
I mean the developers are going to make games for their target audience.
I don't see a problem with that.

Would she prefer it the other way? A majority of games dominated by a strong female character?



 
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Alonso Martin



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11th August, 2013 at 11/08/2013 01:50:22 -

I don't really have much to say about this, but it is true that the broad cultural narrative medium is dominated by a masculine structure.

However, she falls into a hole quite quickly when she gives her example of a game with a leading female character: the female character could just as well be a male. Let alone the outfit, but the way in which she seeks victory is just a replacement of a male role. But I don't blame her: almost all women that have central roles in narrative could be swapped for men, and the story would be the same.

I think the issue is not to counter-balance masculine tropes with more masculinity (via feminism), but rather acknowledge that both men and women have masculine and feminine aspects, and that treading-to-goals is done with both approaches (via moods). I've doing this with my game, for lack of another example. The main character is a woman, but she's neither completely masculine or feminine. She's not neutral, either, but both aspects come out in different situations.

Someone with more talent would be able to make the masculine and feminine impulses/aspects be in strife, always bringing one another to the limits and making it shine its best. That's the way it works for people that accept and know themselves and their bodies, in real life.

As a last point, feminine forces don't have anything to do with conquering or dominating, but rather with holding together, growing, structuring and birthing/giving death.

Edited by Alonso Martin

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
11th August, 2013 at 11/08/2013 02:09:10 -


Originally Posted by -Liam-
I assumed s-m-r was being sarcastic about being happy about this series... Or was I wrong?


Hahaha! Sorry for the confusion. I suppose I never blatantly admitted I'm an anarchist, atheist, white ally here at TDC. If I were a woman, I'd be a radical feminist, but at this point in time I suppose the best I can do is be a supporter.

I admire Sarkeesian's work, in all honesty. And I'm happy she is carrying through on the series. I think there's supposed to be nine more segments, and I will watch and archive them all. I think they are great learning, especially for game-makers and designers. It's also good watching for parents, whose children may frequently interact with videogames.

There are obviously a number of games out there that teach-via-example that women are nothing but objects to be attained and/or used to assert ones masculinity. It's my view that as game-makers, we have a responsibility to not carry the torch for such barbaric and hurtful ideas, particularly if the younger generation has so much contact with that media.

 
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-Liam-

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11th August, 2013 at 11/08/2013 09:57:45 -

I always feel weird saying "I'm a feminist" while being a man, but despite what I've said in these posts I actually am a supporter of traditional feminism. It's this modern feminism I'm not so fond of.

It's disappointing that feminism had to come about in order to give women the right to vote, and the right to work etc. Women should have had the opportunity to do this always. The same goes for racism/slavery etc. My opinion is that we should be treated equally.

We all have varied opinions of things, and we'll never be able to agree on things 100%. I genuinely feel that women are weaker (or more vulnerable) than men. That sounds AWFUL, I know - But let me explain. I mean women are dainty and petite, men are big and scary. That's what I see/feel when I look at a man and a woman. It's the way men and women are genetically built. I know you can have a female body builder vs wimpy man, and she'd destroy him, but again, to me it just seems to be the way that male/females are made. Not to mention male testosterone, which even the most arrogant, annoying males can't actually help so much. I suppose.

Anyway, I'll approach a woman if I'm lost or need help, and I'll avoid contact with men. I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder, which may contribute to this, but I think most people agree that women are more approachable than men. I typically think a man will mock or challenge me, while a woman will be more kind and willing to help.

I love that the Ancient Egyptians knew that both men and women must be respected in their own way. There was a male and female temple, restricted to only men or women entering them. I forget all the attributes, but men were typically associated with logic, and women with creativity. (I'm not so fond of that part) but both men and women had their roles, and they were both respected equally. Eventually this died though as Pharaohs lost power to priests. Or something like that, I forget.

ANYWAY. I'm not saying women are weak creatures. But the fact that feminism exists sort of confirms what I said. You don't often hear about men being raped by women (Though I'm sure it has happened!). I hope you can understand what I mean, I'm pretty terrible at explaining myself. I could reword it and say, men have too much testosterone and don't control their pride well enough... I don't know.

I just don't like Anita's singling out people like how she pretty much suggests Shigeru Miyamoto is sexist. Maybe he's just fond of damsels in distress? Maybe men typically have this built into their brains genetically? (It's a thought) And I'd rather her use her kickstarter money to make her own game about a strong female character, rather than telling other people what they can and cannot do.

I really hope I made sense and didn't sound insulting..!

Edit: Men seem to have a lust power, and to show their strength. We see this in young boys. Girls typically don't show this as much. I just had a thought though - Wouldn't it be interesting to see how boys and girls behave if they were born into a world were women were considered tough and mighty, and men were not allowed to work/vote etc. Maybe instead of protests, men would grab pitch forks and torches? I imagine it's something to do with testosterone. Still, it's an interesting thought.

Edited by -Liam-

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
11th August, 2013 at 11/08/2013 14:08:18 -


From Alonso Martin:
I don't really have much to say about this, but it is true that the broad cultural narrative medium is dominated by a masculine structure.

However, she falls into a hole quite quickly when she gives her example of a game with a leading female character: the female character could just as well be a male. Let alone the outfit, but the way in which she seeks victory is just a replacement of a male role. But I don't blame her: almost all women that have central roles in narrative could be swapped for men, and the story would be the same.



I agree with your first point above, though I also think that the example she offers supports her point, not weakens it. Her whole thesis is that women are completely capable of performing the role of hero, and game studios should consider that when developing their own games.

If anyone has played Skyrim or pretty much any other Elder Scrolls game (to the best of my recollection, at least), the same concept applies. The main character's sex and gender have no bearing on how the narrative plays out, yet the whole is still an entertaining, engaging experience. And your character can be a total badass regardless of their sex or gender.


From Liam:
I'm not saying women are weak creatures. But the fact that feminism exists sort of confirms what I said. You don't often hear about men being raped by women (Though I'm sure it has happened!). I hope you can understand what I mean, I'm pretty terrible at explaining myself. I could reword it and say, men have too much testosterone and don't control their pride well enough... I don't know.



I think both history and statistics indicate that males are generally more violent than females (though yes: female-on-male rapes do occur on occasion...just not using physical violence. It is exponentially rarer than male-on-female rape). If you look at game design, games have magnified this relationship: males are most often the protagonists and major villains, while females are the objects of desire, the ingenue, or the Damsel in Distress. In the later parts of the series, Sarkeesian shows a number of contemporary examples of games that continue to do this, as well as adding ever more realistic violence against women as defenseless plot devices that are simply incapable of anything other than serving as status symbols or objectives. Not only does this reinforce the idea that males can solve problems strictly through violence, but it also suggests that females are unable to do pretty much anything other than serve dominant males.

And so what if Miyamoto is/was sexist? You can admit it and still respect his work in historical context. He was a pioneer of the medium and his work helped propel videogaming to incredible heights. However, it is obvious through critical examination that those old modes of storyboarding (males as heroes, females as objects) doesn't need to be the default. We can move beyond blatant sexism; we can move beyond violence against 'defenseless' women as a plot device.

I saw an additional video that may help clarify some of these ideas, even if you're not a fan of Sarkeesian: Daniel Floyd's Video Games and the Female Audience.



 
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-Liam-

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11th August, 2013 at 11/08/2013 15:24:13 -

That video was much easier to watch than Anita's. And I agree with all of it. I tend to nod my head and agree with Feminist Frequency, but then shudder and turn the video off when she gets snarky. If Anita went about it in a more bearable manner, I'm sure she's be taken more seriously, instead of publicly snubbing creators work. It's fine if she doesn't like it, but I just get the feeling she LOOKS for things to complain about sometimes. It's almost like if she says it enough times, people will just go with it. It's not difficult to deceive people this way.

I'm not gay, but I love to see beautiful male and female characters. Because I find women attractive, I'd be more inclined to see sexy women than men. But I'm certainly not against seeing men with sex appeal. If we turn things around, and it's 90% naked men and 10% naked women, I'd probably have an issue with it though.

As a creative individual, I should create what I really want to. But I do find myself taking Anita's complaints into consideration. I know she's not saying to me I can't make what I want, but she is making me feel like a criminal for doing it. Although as I mentioned before, maybe it's anxiety getting the better of me.

I search sites like deviantArt daily in search of beautiful landscapes, character designs and photography. I often come across women (and men) who love to pose naked, or seductively. They do it purely because they want to. I'm sure they all have their reasons. Maybe they like the look of it, or it gives them confidence, or they appreciate the comments they get, weather they're artistic or just plain crude.

 
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s-m-r

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Candle
12th August, 2013 at 12/08/2013 01:21:47 -


From Liam:
As a creative individual, I should create what I really want to. But I do find myself taking Anita's complaints into consideration.


At the beginning of each of her videos, Sarkeesian states that although it's totally fine to enjoy a game (or other piece of media) for what it is and the entertainment/other use we draw from it, we should also critically examine the game as part of the media landscape at large. So I think consideration of Sarkeesian's viewpoint is a great start, Liam.

No game exists in a vacuum. It's not just a piece of digital media, considered apart from everything else going on in the world. It either supports, refutes, or reinforces ideas and concepts we all deal with in the real world, however distant we may be from it as we play.

We're all creative types here, so I hope we all consider different viewpoints and perspectives as we create our various projects: games or otherwise.

 
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