Tag Archives: Video Game Tropes

On the Gates that Gamers Build

Sorry to steal over an hour of your time, but this was really good.

We’ve talked about Anita Sarkeesian before, such as in this related post, and her show Feminist Frequency. Having watched all of those videos, YouTube had the good sense to recommend to us the first video… which we then found out was a six-part series.

We watched it all once we started.

I really like the way that the question was approached – why on Earth did all of this happen? Why all the hate, why the targets that ended up being targeted? We’ve been following it all for a while, but not everyone has, and it can be dangerous to bring Anita up when you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.

And I should say – we’ve specifically avoided talking about the hashtagged gate that gamers built because we know that people were trolling that and giving grief. And we were wanting to avoid the grief when we had nothing to add to the conversation. With these videos, that has changed.

Watch them. Share them with those who might need some thought to go into it. There’s some deep psychology stuff in here. Some tough questions. Not a lot of answers. But it’s good stuff.

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Damsels in Distress

So, recently I watched the first of a series of videos from Anita Sarkeesian talking about tropes in video games. The first one is actually part 1 of a two-part series discussing the trope of the “Damsel in Distress”. Part 1 is simply looking at early games, and part 2 will look at some more recent examples. As Anita has become a divisive and controversial figure, many response videos have come out as a reply to her video. Some of them I think miss the point, but others I think make legitimate claims against how she is presenting the information.

For one, by not allowing rating or commenting she is closing down the ability for people to discuss the issue. Which does turn in to her kind of preaching at people instead of having an open and honest discussion with other people that might make them think about their view of the world. Yes, trolls gonna troll, but you do not have to engage with them. In some ways by not allowing commenting you are feeding into their opinions of you.

Second, I do agree that I think she does not delve quite deeply enough into the issue. She points out examples and explains in fairly simple terms why it is problematic, but media criticism is not and should not be simple. There are many contributing factors to look at which each individual story to talk about why it is problematic. You also need to understand the whole story that is being told to talk about each iteration.

There are other things, but those are the big two in my opinion and David and I have been discussing them at length lately. So we decided it was time to do our own post or posts more specifically. We each brought a different perspective to the table about the problems with the damsel in distress. The way I have chosen to deal with it is bringing up some of the questions that came to mind after watching Anita’s original video as well as watching some subsequent follow up videos arguing against her premise. David will get his post up tomorrow. So follow me as we journey down the rabbit hole. Continue reading