Watch the First Tropes vs Women in Video Games Video

The first Tropes vs Women in Video Games video is here! It covers the history of the Damsel in Distress trope and the classic games that make use of the trope (over and over and over…). There is a transcript available at the Feminist Frequency blog. You can also see a staggering collection of examples of video game damsels at the Tropes vs Women tumblr.

About Alex

Alex posts some of her sewing projects and cosplays on her Tumblr; you can also find her babbling about sewing and games and Parks and Recreation on Twitter.
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20 Responses to Watch the First Tropes vs Women in Video Games Video

  1. marco says:

    I was really excited to finally see the videos, and somewhat surprised by how diverse the response and commentary have been (some places in comparison to others have likewise shocked and/or disappointed me though).

    Really eager to see the others, and I hope we’ll get them in a steady stream~.

    I can’t wait to see what everyone else here thinks. I learned quite a bit I feel on a number of topics. (It’ll be great to see the more modern examples in the next video though.)

    • Alex says:

      I really liked it. It’s thorough and clear and incredibly well-researched. I especially liked the example montages and the parts where the remakes showing the same exact scene were all on the screen at once–the production values were fantastic. And I learned things too, like about Dinosaur Planet/Star Fox Adventures. Can’t wait for more.

      • Matt says:

        Learning about Dinosaur Planet was painful. I’d call it the most egregious exec meddling I’ve seen in a long time, but only because I have a very short attention span and have been reflexively blocking other examples out of my mind.

  2. luminum says:

    Sarkesian is alway really great with these. I don’t always agree with her, but she does her research and her presentations are logical and clear. This was great and I can’t wait for the continuation.

  3. Momiji says:

    I enjoyed the video! Easy to follow as well as well researched and informative. Saw a lot of the games I played as a child flash by in the video. I’m really looking forward to the next video with more modern examples.

    Though it was disheartening to confirm my gut feeling that the Nintendo games I loved the most as a child (Mario and Zelda) played a big role in cementing the Damsel in distress-trope as one of the most over-used way to disempower female videogame characters.

  4. Dave says:

    Great video. Some of the game content and commercials made me absolutely cringe! (“Save the girl – don’t play like one” – WAT?)

    • marco says:

      My boyfriend and I both turned to each other and agreed that was a terrible commercial all around. It created a real sense of boys vs girls (and obvious that being a girl was crap/weak/worthless). Really unfortunate and disappointing.

    • Devin Parker says:

      That was a pretty awful commercial. I remembered the Adventure of Link commercial (“ZELLLLLLLDA!”) from when I saw it on TV as a kid. Despite being excited about the game, man, did I ever hate that commercial. That whiny, plaintive yelling, over and over again…

      • Matt says:

        It’s thanks to your comment that I finally remember seeing this commercial when I was young.

        I’ve never played a Zelda game, ever.

        I think they’re related.

    • tossca says:

      Yeah that commercial was pretty awful. This was the first time I’d seen it.

      I liked that she included it in her video. I think it really helped to solidify her point.

  5. Metaleaf says:

    I haven’t been able to watch the video yet, but the comments on the main game news sites are driving me up the wall. Are we ever going to be able to have a civilized conversation about gender in video games without a legion of trolls taking it as a personal attack?

  6. Claire says:

    I really like her style. Making it about information, observation & education rather than entertainment is such.. a relief, I guess? Harder to shrug off. Treating this like it’s real instead of One Fan’s Opinion.

  7. gunthera1 says:

    I thought that this video was absolutely amazing. I can’t begin to estimate the amount of time spent to get all of those video examples and then to edit it all together into this cohesive piece. I really believe that this needs to be required viewing for all gamers AND especially people in the game industry. I am very excited for the next video in the series!

  8. Devin Parker says:

    Great video; I can’t wait to see the next one.

    And I would play the heck out of a Zelda game that featured Zelda as the protagonist. My wife is an even bigger Zelda fan than I am, so I’m pretty sure she’d call dibs on it.

    • Lupus753 says:

      Oh, there was one. Reportedly, it sucked horribly. Granted, so did the other two CD-i Legend of Zelda games.

  9. Deviija says:

    I am stoked that the first episode has been released! I watched it yesterday with much glee. Sarkesian’s videos always have a very informed tone, very fluid, always about the facts and analysis. I like it. For subjects and territory that tackle these large issues, it is always good to come to the table and just lay down your logic cards, crisp and clean and easy to digest. I loved every minute of the video and am excited for more. The next one sounds grand.

    I hope this series gets circulated not only around the gaming community but the gaming *industry* (from developers to teachers training the next gen) as well.

  10. Jesse says:

    totally loved it – the tumblr btw is really incredible, just having a virtual database of examples really really hits home.

    while it was cool to learn the roots and history of this particular trope i’m even more excited to see part 2 where she examines it in recent games. I’m sure that’ll cause an even bigger stir haha (yay!).

    also the fact that anyone can take offense to the videos despite her so clearly and repeatedly spelling out that it isn’t an attack on anyone or any game is ridiculous. many of my fellow men need to grow the hell up!

  11. AceofOpus says:

    I thought the video was fine but I really from the get go was going to give this video a pass. To me the Damsel in Distress is a really obvious and apparent target in old video games. She brought it up, she brought it up how it gets brought up in “Retro Remakes” (although for these Retro Remakes I think a lot of it has to do with laziness which is also part of the larger problem) What I am interested in is Part 2 of this. I saw Dante’s Inferno in the teaser (I game I personally think is one of the worst this generation for almost every reason one could give) but I wonder what else she brings up from the modern era of games. I feel it could be easier to nit pick this trope in modern video games more but I could be wrong. I am really waiting for topics beyond this one though, I am almost sure to have some better discussions with those than this one.

    On another note a lot of reaction videos seem to overlook this was part one of two which seems weird to me.

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