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Tropes Vs Women in Video Games, Somehow a Controversy? (+ general gender / video game discussion)
News reported by 
June 14, 2012, 17:58:56
The short story is that Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has started a Kickstarter to explore the stereotypes of females in video games. Or well, why not just hear it in her words?

I love playing video games but Iím regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented. This video project will explore, analyze and deconstruct some of the most common tropes and stereotypes of female characters in games. The series will highlight the larger recurring patterns and conventions used within the gaming industry rather than just focusing on the worst offenders. Iím going to need your help to make it happen!

The longer story is that because she is a self-proclaimed "feminist" (what this means in her case I'm really not sure, since everyone interprets this label differently when applying it to themselves) that anything she does somehow automatically becomes super controversial, and she has received rape threats and death threats and attempts to shut down this project from (primarily) male gamers. Because obviously if you disagree with feminism the way to get your point across is to tell a women she needs to be raped and murdered. (That was sarcasm, in case you missed it. This is not the correct way to express disagreement. At all.)

Personally I think that, all fears of succumbing to the feminist agenda aside (also sarcasm), projects like hers are necessary for the video game industry to truly mature. Gamers seem to love talking about the word "mature" a lot, so why do we rebel against actual maturity so much? I think that it's a good thing that she is sticking to her project, all threats aside. And whatever the case, it is ridiculous that people are fighting so hard to shut her up. Why not let her say what she has to say and if, after actually hearing it, you disagree with it, you are well within your rights to say something.

What do you guys think?

PS. As of this writing she has brought in $126,768 of her $6,000 Kickstarter goal. So things aren't completely dire. But this doesn't negate the abuse she has had to (and most likely will continue to) sustain just to get this project moving.

As of today this thread will be locked. What originally was meant to be a thread discussing the soon-to-be controversial Anita videos about female tropes in Video Games grew into something much more. We at Negative World absolutely love a good conversation and we will always encourage mature and respectful conversation. That said, the thread has had it's moments of polarization to the extreme in the past and recently. While at the moment I write this, the thread is rather calm,.. there has been a joint decision by the moderators of this site to close this particular thread down. The thread strayed way outside of the original bounds of it's intent. We have a different idea of how to frame this delicate and polarizing topic at Negative World.

For future installments of Anita's series we will either have a mod create a new official thread for it (as well as posting links to previous episodes) or we will use our already established Youtube Video thread. The latter could have easily been the original home for this thread if it wanted to. Discussion can continue as normal in the future thread but we ask to keep in mind that the topic should relate to Anita's videos and her message. Hear, analyze, and discuss that. This new location for this discussion will be established with the release of her next video. Please find patience till then.

Thank you from all of us at Negative World for understanding.
~ Negative World Moderation

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Posted: 06/14/12, 17:58:56  - Locked by 
 on: 08/22/13, 04:37:22    
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@Mr_Mustache Titania is pretty badass. I think RPGs will tend to be an exception because they tend to star multiple characters and you would kind of have to go out of your way to make them all males or even make all of your females hyper-sexualized (though some RPGs still manage to do this.) Step outside that though and it is tough to find many legitimate lead female roles where they're not being built in shallow ways to appeal to men. Ok yeah, maybe most video games are bought/played by males (although I'm not super sure about this) but you don't move forward by continuing to only appeal to the established demographic. Nintendo proved this last generation with the Wii!

Posted by 
 on: 06/16/12, 22:37:28

OH, haha, DUDE! I've totally seen that stuff before (not that specific picture), where where is a fetish of making fit videogame chicks rather fat. Oddly enough, when I was looking up "fat princess," I got a lot of Fat Princess Peach! Like, a LOT more. There was also a Fat Samus in there, among others.

Furthermore, there are some other places that like fat REAL chicks, so the photoshop gurus come in, use their stretch tool, and give an extra chin to Lindsay Lohan, and give her some hips and a gut. Its incredible.

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 01:22:21

Yeah, I used to hang out on a forum where the Photoshop guys would "Fatshop" skinny girls. Some of the funniest stuff I've ever seen. Never learned to do it myself, though.

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 01:23:52

Well, I mean, there are other women in there (who I find attractive, sure), but I think you guys would've had a fit about it:

A little Zettai Ryouiki, anyone?


I believe you have some homework.

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 01:30:13  - Edited by 
 on: 06/18/12, 00:52:10
kriswright said:
Do you really buy that argument, though? I mean... come on. Here you have Peach, the most recognizable female character Nintendo's got, finally starring in her first game. And what's the hook? She has mood swings. Do you really think that was accidental? 'Cause I don't. And I liked the game.

Vibe Island may be the explanation for the powers, but that's just a handwave, surely.

No, you're probably right. I was just saying that Peach's emotions are not like, her super-power or anything. They're just the effects of Vibe Island.

Using a female lead for this game was not accidental. Though I wonder what people would have thought if you played as Luigi (going to rescue Mario) instead of Peach?

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 04:48:55  - Edited by 
 on: 06/17/12, 04:49:13

Nothing here looks like sexual pandering to me. Again, I don't think the complaint is that someone drew an attractive character. These are just cool looking warrior chicks, to me.

With apologies to 70s feminists who hate the word chick.


Probably people would complain about them making Luigi a wuss. Which people do anyway. "Feelings? Pah. Your older brother Mario doesn't have feelings!"

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 08:12:19
@kriswright I guess the complaint would be "why would a female warrior be baring so much leg?" Realistically, this would be a pretty crappy way to go into battle, even if you aren't using mail you would at least want some leather armor or something. Exposed skin in a battle is a way to get hurt, fast. Of course, the answer is... because people want to see skin.

Of course, it happens with male character designs too:

Well... maybe just in Final Fantasy. And I'm not sure if much of anyone actually wanted to see that.

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 08:28:18

Yeah, but I'll mark that up to just wanting them to look cool or whatever. I mean, I don't see anything outright erotic about any of those Fire Emblem designs. The armor doesn't make sense practically, but that could be true for a lot of merely aesthetic and non-sexual reasons. I mean, it's a far cry from this to... well, to that demo of Far Cry where the chick was topless and dry humping a dude.

Except, on second look, the mini-skirt and go go boots girl might be a bit much. I don't remember her from Fire Emblem. Hotcha!

As for the Final Fantasy chick, she's pretty hot. Kind of flat though. What happened to her left breast? Is she an Amazon?

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 08:33:31
I think there is something that isn't quite erotic that is still pandering to a male desire to see skin though. You're not going to see many male characters in video games baring leg for no explicable rea... ok, maybe in Final Fantasy.

Posted by 
 on: 06/17/12, 08:46:01

I say "chick" and "dude" all the time. I think they're partners, and see no issue with them. I'm sure folks do though, yeah.

--Oh, and I don't know if you guys noticed (..) but all four of these girls are showing extreme upper thigh. Even though they have 95% of their legs covered, their delicious milky thigh is open for but an inch. Solid. (More on Zettai Ryouiki; they know what they're doing, just ask me)


I dunno, man. Have you ever watched any of thsoe old gladiator movies? The dudes always have exposed legs. Nephenee is VERY mobile, too, and I think with additional armor she COULDN'T have that speed bonus. Mia either.


Dry Humping? I thought she was ritually wet humping him. Really.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 00:51:37  - Edited by 
 on: 06/18/12, 00:58:02
Gladiators didn't pick their gear though, they were forced into combat for the viewing pleasure of others.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 12:57:10

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 18:40:22
@Guillaume I don't like NegativeZero. WTF? He/she is simultaneously giving Negative World and Zero a bad name. Who is this guy/girl?!

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 18:49:11

I remember back in E3 2001, which was around the time the GBA was going to launch in the US, Nintendo had booth babes wearing jumpsuits that had a bunch of GBAs tethered to them. It was about as ridiculous as it sounds.

So I'm playing this GBA that's tied to this woman who's explaining the game (don't remember which) and the other people around me remark that the suit setup look like the woman is being tentacle raped. This discussion (about tentacle rape, remember) goes on for the 10 minutes we had to play the game. This is followed by me leaving and passing a place where a couple other booth babes were dressed up as some DOA girls, who were being yelled at by press members telling them to kiss.

Anecdotes are useless but in my experience at these events, shit is constantly weird.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 18:58:03
I hate WASD. It's not even symmetrical! ARGH!

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 21:00:36
All this talk about women's portrayal in games and nobody's mentioned Elena Fisher from Uncharted? She's smart, resourceful, determined, caring, feminine and sexy without being at all slutty or over-sexualized.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 22:23:26
She apparently can also half-tuck it like any of the men in the series.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 22:27:17
@Zero, I kinda agreed with NegativeZero. He/she clearly acknowledged the bigger issue, but also said it helps to correct those that you think are treating you unfairly. Did I miss something?

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 22:34:17
Nah, he's always hating on that guy.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 22:41:05
Guillaume said:
This article made me feel terrible.

Agreed. The gaming industry has quite a way to go to reaching 'maturity' and being viewed with more respect.

Posted by 
 on: 06/18/12, 22:59:23
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