Eyes on the Ladyprize
August 31, 2015 5:16 PM   Subscribe

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. - Tropes vs Women: Women as Reward. Tropes versus Women creator Anita Sarkeesian on the backlash to the series (Warning: GamerGate), Previously, previously.
posted by Artw (35 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugggh stop talking about her jewelry and hair...
posted by Etrigan at 5:32 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh awesome, thanks for posting this. I love these videos.
posted by painquale at 5:40 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


An inspired typo:
[...] instead of a kiss, sex with the rescued victim is the player’s reward.

CLIP: The Witcher 2
“You saved my life. A bit of joy as recumpence is not too much to ask.”
“I’m intrigued. It’s been a tough day. I think some joy might do me good.”
(Moaning)
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:41 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's a typo? That seems like exactly the misogynist bullshit I've come to expect from games.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:06 PM on August 31, 2015


The typo is "recumpence" for "recompense".
posted by kandinski at 6:10 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I continue to be a huge fan of Sarkeesian's work -- I backed this project on Kickstarter, and every new video exceeds all expectations. As someone who has been a gamer all his life, I'm both glad to see her continue to shine a light on these problems, and also totally horrified by some of the examples she shows. It speaks volumes to how much I seem to have drifted away from AAA gaming in the past 5-10 years that I was genuinely shocked by some of the clips (WTF GTA V?!).

Also, and I say this not as a comment on her looks, but her state of mind: it's kinda painful how much she seems worn down in this video. I think the work she's doing is both important and pretty amazing, and it's hard not to feel some combination of sadness and guilt at what must be an awful toll being taken out on her to continue to be the focal point of so much misogynistic bullshit on a daily basis.
posted by tocts at 6:14 PM on August 31, 2015 [18 favorites]


yeah this is really great stuff.
posted by rebent at 6:18 PM on August 31, 2015


Tangent: If you have a media center app (like Plex or Kodi) that uses the TVDB scraper, downloaded and properly renamed episodes of this series will show up in your library. Handy for those of us with internet connections that make streaming HD content difficult.

Slightly less tangential: I love that they supply transcripts. Really helps facilitating discussion when you don't have to transcribe it yourself or rely on memory to quote.

On target (I hope): This really highlights something I loved about Dragon Age: Inquisition. Yes, you could have sex with other characters. Yes, you could see their naked bodies. But the sex and nudity wasn't presented as a reward so much as an honest progression of the emotional arc of your characters and their relationships. It had context beyond simple titilation. Plus it was equal opportunity - your character could find that connection no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity. It wasn't "Kill bad guys to get titties". it was "Form an emotional bond and watch it progress into a physical expression of love and mutual desire".
posted by timd at 6:18 PM on August 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Damn, glad I sucked at Metroid.
posted by edeezy at 6:18 PM on August 31, 2015


That's a typo? That seems like exactly the misogynist bullshit I've come to expect from games.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:06 PM on August 31 [+] [!]


The typo is "recumpence" for "recompense".
posted by kandinski at 6:10 PM on August 31 [+] [!]


ThatsTheJoke.jpeg
posted by Slackermagee at 6:28 PM on August 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looking through the list of games she used, there's absolutely nothing I have been or am interested in playing, and in fact two of my faves are listed in her example of snitfit inducing counterprogramming.

I'm currently working on replaying FFX-2, in which the main purpose of the game is to collect unlockable outfits. Oh, and to save the world from a scary ghost that looks like your ex.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:15 PM on August 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Where is that typo? The subtitle at 04:38 is clearly spelled "recompense"?
posted by Justinian at 7:20 PM on August 31, 2015


The outfits were my favorite thing about FFX-2, not only because it's a tried and true feature of RPG job systems, but they were designed to look awesome and most were appropriate to the job.
posted by numaner at 7:39 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


OMG, the Resident Evil. So many super competent women with super awful bachelor party hooker costumes.

"None of this makes any sense. What did we do?" Hah, yeah.

"The developers call it an urban ninja costume?"
*obvious slow pained sigh*
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:09 PM on August 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Where is that typo? The subtitle at 04:38 is clearly spelled "recompense"?

In the transcript, it follows the list of games. Odd that they'd get it right in one place and not another.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:28 PM on August 31, 2015


Yay, the next one! She has done so amazingly well with these!
posted by Deoridhe at 9:49 PM on August 31, 2015


It speaks volumes to how much I seem to have drifted away from AAA gaming in the past 5-10 years that I was genuinely shocked by some of the clips (WTF GTA V?!).

The worst part is that someone spent hours, weeks, whatever, animating the POV character pulling the prostitute's hair while she's giving the POV character a blowjob.
posted by sukeban at 10:06 PM on August 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't play many games, and very few recent ones. I'm shocked, too. People play these? In public? And I presume lots of kids are playing these too. It's just mind-boggling.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:09 PM on August 31, 2015


Similarly, in Lollipop Chainsaw the player can unlock the “I swear! I did it by mistake!” achievement for using the game-camera to look up Juliette’s skirt for an extended period of time despite her coy efforts to block players from doing so.

This part really struck me because the name of the achievement reinforces lying about purposefully objectifying women while requiring active player actions to accomplish it. It reminds me of how often "boys will be boys" or "he didn't know what he was doing" or "she should have been more clear" is used to cover up the fact that a subset of men are active sexual predators who deliberately target women who are less likely to fight back while the men pretend they don't know any better. And then if one points out that the person actually seems more socially aware than they claim, women are asked to give them "the benefit of the doubt".
posted by Deoridhe at 10:26 PM on August 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


"And I presume lots of kids are playing these too."

And lots of kids watching 18 rated films when they shouldn't be either. It's a failing of parents and retail channel regulation.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:14 AM on September 1, 2015


I am in awe of the tightness of the analysis and the excellent video editing. I wish I could structure things like that.
posted by Quilford at 2:20 AM on September 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


She's a damned hero (and so right). Her work, I gather, has made, is making and will make a significant impact on the attitudes of game developers big and small and helps make this little section of the civilized world more civilized.

Remember though, all the (amazing, strong!) people who stand up and keep doing their thing in the face of tidal waves of horrible bullshit need support from the rest of us too, especially those with priveleged voices who can make the most difference -- keep standing up against the assholes and arguments that keep the shitstorm alive, whether its tiring or frustrating or what.
posted by Drexen at 4:18 AM on September 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Another really good video. What always gets me about these is that what she's pointed out isn't particularly subtle or deeply hidden. We're not plunging into the depths of feminist theory; it's all fairly basic elementary stuff. So I don't get the criticism that she's reaching, reading things into it that aren't there, or presenting items out of context. It's all fairly obvious and surface level. This isn't intended as a criticism of her scholarship, but the fact is, you don't need a lot of scholarship to see what's being pointed out here. You need a pretty thick bucket on your head to not see it.

Nevertheless, after watching each one of these, YouTube offers me up a dozen "rebuttals" by big white moon faces who want to shriek about misandry, political correctness, and the evils of feminism.
posted by Legomancer at 5:39 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nevertheless, after watching each one of these, YouTube offers me up a dozen "rebuttals" by big white moon faces who want to shriek about misandry, political correctness, and the evils of feminism.

Literally the only thing I regret about supporting Anita Sarkeesian is that it has caused Google to algorithmically decide that I'm interested in stories about her -- and by stories about her, I mean, insane misogynistic rants. Google literally will be like "Are you interested in Anita Sarkeesian?" and link to guys spouting the worst sort of racist/sexist bullshit about her. Ditto for YouTube -- I've had it "suggest" videos by total shitbags, because obviously if I like Sarkeesian's work I must be interested in the frothing loonies who scream about her.

Thanks a lot, Google.
posted by tocts at 5:56 AM on September 1, 2015 [18 favorites]


I've had a similar problem with YouTube tocts. I followed some link one day to some dude being a massive misogynist and ever since, YouTube keeps suggesting "similar" videos. And occasionally I'll accidentally click one thinking it's something else and it just reinforces it. The people who create these videos seem to be pretty good at naming them so you think they are relevant to a topic and not toxic.


I really wish there was a much easier way to be like "NO I DO NOT LIKE THIS". I've tried using the thumbs down on these videos, but it just makes it worse because it's like "Oh you recently watched WomenzRD3str0yingSociety, here are similar videos!" Despite the fact I just thumbs downed it.


It also does this to me with perpetual motion machine videos, but I'm OK with that, as perpetual motion machines are hilarious.
posted by mayonnaises at 6:59 AM on September 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Ms. Male Character video is so good and eye opening to what I've always thought as uncommon (putting a bow on it). I can't believe it's that prevalent.

Tangent: Is there a way to block certain channels from showing up in related videos column? I can't seem to find one in settings, and the crazily misogynistic videos against Anita are everywhere.

On preview, what the above two said.
posted by numaner at 7:11 AM on September 1, 2015


Looking through the list of games she used, there's absolutely nothing I have been or am interested in playing

That's a shame. While Sarkeesian rightly points out the problems with these games, there are some real classics like the Metroid series that are well worth playing.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:32 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another great addition to the series.
posted by Theta States at 7:51 AM on September 1, 2015


I was thinking that It'd be nice to put my money where my mouth was against her harassers; I was wishing it was easy to toss her a few dollars towards her efforts.

And yup! It's easy, on the upper right hand corner of her page there is a donate button, just a couple of clicks and you can buy her a beer, or a couple of beers, or a couple of beers every month, reoccurring (or coffee, if that's her drug of choice).

Also it's tax deductible (which probably means that the money won't go towards beer or coffee, but instead equipment, web hosting, or the like, but I guess that's okay too).
posted by el io at 9:39 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I also watch her twitter account and if anybody engages in harassing behavior, I report it. I suspect I'm not the only one, as the number of openly vile attacks has decreased and tends not to stay up very long. I wish there was a way to report sealioning, though.
posted by maxsparber at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's a shame. While Sarkeesian rightly points out the problems with these games, there are some real classics

Yep. There are quite a few good games in that list. Hell, Witcher 3 is one of the top 5 RPGs of all time.
posted by Justinian at 4:14 PM on September 1, 2015


It might be worth pointing out that in earlier videos, she explicitly says it's OK to like and play these games. I think the point is to be aware of these tropes and retire them, not to boycott games where they've appeared.
posted by zompist at 4:37 PM on September 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hell, Witcher 3 is one of the top 5 RPGs of all time.

Dunno. By this point, there's enough competition for entertainment time out there that it's really no loss to look at any particularly problematic game and go "You're not something I'm actively interested in playing now, and because there's so much else out there, that means I'm probably at-best going to want to get to you once my Steam backlog clears. Which, at current rates (not including sandbox games / mods, even) means approximately... 5 years before the heat death of the universe?"

Not to say that people can't enjoy things like Witcher 3, but it's tough enough for games jockeying for attention without grey marks against them like that, much less with.
posted by CrystalDave at 4:51 PM on September 1, 2015


Sure, anybody can decide its not for them. But the implication of the comment Sangermaine and I were replying to was that there were no games here worth playing. Which is clearly false. A bunch of those games are worth playing; whether or not any individual cares to play them is a purely personal decision.
posted by Justinian at 5:12 PM on September 1, 2015


The most ridiculous argument being that she's a con artist who "stole people's money", considering the complete lack of humanity they extend to the very funders of the campaign - supporters of Anita and feminism in general. Please, children, don't get mad on our behalf. We can decide for ourselves if our money was well spent.
posted by SassHat at 12:09 PM on September 4, 2015


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