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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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FemFreq's Twitter
Bell ‏@Desert_Bell 3 Aug

10 y.o. Daughter just watched all three episodes of @femfreq 's Tropes v. Women in Video Games. Now she's determined to make a better game.

Some parent showed their 10 year-old kid all of that violence and sexual situations from T- and M-Rated games? Oh, great idea..


We think that way about women because that is the way its always been, and in a lot of cases..still is. "We think of women as inferior...they're weaker." Yes, they're generally weaker. Are there stronger women than I am? Absolutely. Are there stronger Olympic women than Olympic men? No. Unless, of course, you're talking about AIR MARONEY and the RIDICULOUS height she gets off of her handsprings. Nobody gets higher! She's also smaller, lighter, and therefore has a higher percentage (probably) of muscle in her tightly wound body.

As far as weakness goes, and as terrible as it is..Zero cites rape as much as he seemingly can, and there are manhunts (...womanhunts) for girls who have gone missing, probably taken away and kidnapped by some D-bag guy. You don't hear too many stories about guys being kidnapped by women and being held captive in a basement / attic for months until they heroically escaped. Unless you're watching that movie with Kathy Bates.

Posted by 
 on: 08/11/13, 02:36:34
I have only one previous post on this thread, and it pretty much surmised all I needed to say about games in relation to women and gender roles. Nevertheless, I've just started playing Bayonetta and looking around the internet I've realized how there is definitely a double standard when it comes to these things. Other action games starting men (God of War, Devil May Cry) feature explicit sexual acts (sex mini-game in every GoW game) and I still remember Dante's slow mo Pizza opening of Devil May Cry 2 was it?
Edit: Actually I think I'm getting confused between the old games and the remake. I'm sure it was the remake now. My original point still stands though.

But suddenly when a woman (Bayonetta) does it, everyone seems to have a problem. Hell, Kratos exposes a lot more skin than Bayonetta only sporting a loincloth and sandals but no one bats an eye.

And while I'm here, I will say that yes, women tend to be physically weaker than men. That was an evolutionary necessity because back in the days men (or beings that would eventually become men) used to physically fight for sexual access to females for procreation. The way I see it, more women should practice martial arts to defend themselves against the "stronger sex". We've evolved past the point where brute strength isn't the end all be all. Even without weapons, a smaller woman could take on a larger man if she knows what she is doing.

Keep in mind that I don't like violence but I realize that the world would be better off with most of the people here wiped off the face of the earth.

Posted by 
 on: 08/11/13, 08:04:31  - Edited by 
 on: 08/11/13, 08:08:16
[ref=id=8025&pagenumber=67#348167]Mr_Mustache said:
You don't hear too many stories about guys being kidnapped by women and being held captive in a basement / attic for months until they heroically escaped. Unless you're watching that movie with Kathy Bates.[/quote]

You make this point to suggest that women aren't physically strong enough to kidnap/rape. But the actual point here is that women are less inclined to have the pent-up sexual aggression (not to mention lack of empathy) required to perform something like that. Maybe we could learn from the Mosuo...

The Mosuo (SE China) are one of the last matriarchal societies living today and they don't even have a word for "rape" it's so rare. Perhaps men don't have the irrational urge to assert their dominance when women are centre of their culture. Food for thought, society.

Posted by 
 on: 08/11/13, 19:10:17  - Edited by 
 on: 08/12/13, 14:53:03

Well, SC, don't pigeonhole us. Some guys just act certain, horrible. ways, and they think those are great ideas.

And often times, kidnapping has nothing to do with sexual urges. Could be a ransom thing, or whatever.

Posted by 
 on: 08/12/13, 09:05:40
Tranquilo said:

The way I see it, more women should practice martial arts to defend themselves against the "stronger sex".

I see where Tranquilo is coming from but what he is suggesting is like an arms race, where the women get strong so now the attackers need to get even stronger or use more brutal force... where does it end?

The answer will most likely come from a change in culture:
-Gender equality taught in schools.
-Re-imagining masculinity.
-Complete removal of victim-blaming (in sexual assaults).

Those are just 3 off the top of my head. And yes, the stuff that Anita is preaching will hopefully contribute to this. She's certainly not going to make the World a worse place, that's for sure.

Posted by 
 on: 08/12/13, 12:18:37  - Edited by 
 on: 08/12/13, 12:20:39
I have to agree with Super_Conzo here. A few other things I would like to throw in to go on the gaming side of things.

To have more women on gaming sites writing and giving their input. Most of the big sites with a few exceptions are male only.
Try to keep comments and moderation on the sites friendly for everyone.

As for games in general. I have been lurking this topic and many other forums and videos about this and similar topics and for some reason there is this mentality that men need to be in control of whatever field or hobby they are in. If in gaming women got a certain percent of the gaming market then men would need to take back a certain percent more.

Posted by 
 on: 08/12/13, 14:37:37

That's a little disingenuous; God of War has always been a lightning rod for controversy. Between sex mini games and the ridiculous level of violence, the series has always been very deliberately provocative and controversial.

But with that said, Kratos as a character is not overtly sexualized and Bayonetta absolutely is. Kratos doesn't get naked when he's using his powers, Bayonetta does. Kratos doesn't use his sexuality offensively (meaning as an offensive weapon, not that it offends), Bayonetta does. I mean Bayonetta provocatively eats lollipops throughout the game, right? I cannot think of a single example of a male character doing the equivalent, and it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which a male protagonist pantomimes sexual acts throughout a game as a matter of course.

I don't know that Bayonetta in a vacuum is a bad thing; probably not. But within the larger context of the gaming industry, she's just the umpeenth example of hypersexualized female characters in games. Even with that in mind, I don't think it's surprising that some people cocked their eyebrows at a super sexual female character whose attacks will involve getting mostly naked to stomp on enemies with an enormous stiletto heel made out of hair. But in the grand scheme of things, I don't remember Bayonetta making much of a splash in terms of how the character was received; maybe I'm forgetting something.

Posted by 
 on: 08/12/13, 19:10:52

What does "re-imagining masculinity" entail?

We already had "metrosexuality" sweep through and dressed a ton of dudes in pink polo shirts, waxing their bodies, and putting hair gel in their 'do's. We also have "homosexuality" seemingly at an all time high. "Manly Men" are going the way of the Dodo, and being told how wrong they are about everything they do while they're on the way out. Hell, even that Dr. Pepper commercial brought a ton of flak because it was "Just for men!" Seriously, women, you need to drink EVERYTHING? No dude is freakin' ordering Cosmos..

Believe this: when someone's car breaks down on the side of the road, and nobody knows how to change a tire, they'll FAST be wishing that things were different. Do they even do "Shop" class in school anymore?

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:13:28
I can change a tire and I'm not a manly man. Also no one ever taught me in school, I just put 1 and 1 together and figured it out. It's really not that hard.

Dr. Pepper being "just for men" makes no sense. Even if there are products out there that are so primarily consumed by a male audience that it isn't risky to turn off your potential female audience, Dr. Pepper has never been one of them.

@NinTemple_Maxi Negative World needs more female writers! Write for us!

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:33:34  - Edited by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:36:30

Re-imagining masculinity means rethinking traditional men responsibilities/tasks. For example, I think everyone should be able to do laundry, cook themselves a meal, change a tire, fix a computer, etc. Gender need not enter in to it.

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:38:13

It isn't "Dr. Pepper," it was some "Dr. Pepper ______" thing. An offshoot. And the commercial is mostly tongue in cheek.

Here is the original one which got TONS of panties (MALE AND FEMALE) in a bunch.

Like..I don't even get it. How can someone get PISSED about this? Give me A BREAK, AMERICA.

And you've either just outed Maxi or called him a girl. They wish to remain anonymous, mannnnnn.
You have a pretty bad track record with this stuff! Field left "None" for a reason, sir.

EDIT- And your "car skills" aren't that great. Weren't you just telling us recently how your car was making this horrible noise when you were driving it around?


That "Fix a Computer" one is great. Good luck!

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:48:32  - Edited by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:49:38
Oh Maxi is a guy? INTERESTING. I think I already knew that too, but I'm still jetlagged out of my mind right now.

My knowledge of cars is atrocious. But that works into my point about how incredibly easy it is to change a tire. If I can do it, anyone should be able to. I don't even know how to change my oil. Inside the hood is a lot more confusing than the wheels are.

But yeah, of course some people will find things to disagree with in that ad, it's pretty ridiculous. The thing is, I think you imagine everyone like FOAMING AT THE MOUTH over everything they find problematic. Maybe some people get like that. Most people are pretty rational / civil with their objections. What's the big deal about objections? Like honestly, why does it bother you so much when people object to things that you don't. Are you worried that they will change the world in ways that you won't like or something along those lines?

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:53:04  - Edited by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:55:11

No, it just seems like a lot of fuss over something that requires no fuss. I've not once bitched about Sex & The City (edit- I mean, besides it being HORRIBLE), a show very clearly NOT for me. Do I need to watch/drink/enjoy/play everything? Absolutely not. Why does everything HAVE to be good for me to do? It doesn't, OBVIOUSLY. So if I'm ok with that...why aren't other people?

That, my friend, is incredibly confusing.

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:58:22  - Edited by 
 on: 08/13/13, 01:58:48
I don't think the issue is about everything being good for everyone though.

Mr_Mustache said:
So if I'm ok with that...why aren't other people?

Because different people have different beliefs?

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 02:03:31

I do think that is an issue, surely. Some folks don't like hearing "this isn't for you."

Now, when I say "me" or "I'm" though, I mean that "many others" are ok with a LOT of things.

Why do some people seem to complain about every single thing in the entire world?
When should society go "hey, why don't you quiet down a little? You don't need to do EVERYTHING."

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 02:28:13
Just out of curiosity, because so many people in this thread have a very progressive mindset, what do you think about someone like Fallon Fox.

While I agree the line between traditional male roles and female roles is blurring, and it's probably for the best (I love to cook and my mom made sure I could do my own laundry while I was still in grade school), there are flat out major genetic differences between men and women. For me this Fallon Fox person is a prime example extreme left left wing ideology coming to pass as acceptable in the mainstream. Fallon Fox is a man who decided he wanted to be a women and in his 30s made it happen. Then he got into MMA and has been kicking the ever living shit out of women. This, fyi, is not a guy who was some sort of phenom athlete, he was an average guy and he's beating women who have been doing this for a very long time. Why? Because his basic physiology is that of a man. My point is "thinking" you are a women does not, contrary to a lot of people in the mainstreams view, make you a women. And vice versa. There are massive differences and some of reasons we have different roles for different sexes is based not on some archaic, misogynistic bullshit but the fact our physiologists are very, very different.

So I guess my question is what do you guys think about this?

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 03:21:42  - Edited by 
 on: 08/13/13, 03:23:21

That is allowed? The Transgender guy in the Female division?? Wow..that is....--is this what Feminists want?

As a very..."not Feminist," that is WHOLLY UNACCEPTABLE to me.

Thanks for showing this, OMW, I had no idea this was going on. I'll read the link later.

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 03:25:23

I agree 100% on Fox. It's clearly not a level playing field. I remember hearing Joe Rogan go on a bit of a rant on this topic. The fact is, not everyone needs to be accommodated all the time. For much the same reason, I also very much disliked Oscar Pistorius competing in the Olympics. But on most of these arguments, I'm much closer to Mustache than not, so my stance isn't a surprise. I'd be curious what others think as well.

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 05:36:02
I just want to point out something. She knew she was transgender since she was 17 so this isn't really a thing she came to terms with just recently. As far as the level playing field I want to bring something up. Male to female transgender women lose muscle mass because of the hormones that they are on and so essentually they are actually weaker then cisgendered females because they have their testostone and estrogen not as balanced as cisgendered women so they have to improve on their technique to get good.


I think it is just about equal rights. People just want to be accepted whoever they are in what they do.

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 07:41:12
Oldmanwinter said:

Then he got into MMA and has been kicking the ever living shit out of women.

Lolz - you make it sound like a dude just threw on a wig and started tearing into women. I'm pretty sure there is a crap ton of training involved, and let's not forget that Fallon has been approved by the MMA. This athlete meets the physical standards... and that is AFTER the testosterone blockers have worn away her previous (man) muscle.

But hey, it's a really good talking point. All we can do is speculate. The experts will decide.
Does anyone know if she has lost a fight? I can't seem to find the stats. Not that I have any real interest in MMA

Posted by 
 on: 08/13/13, 10:22:47  - Edited by 
 on: 08/13/13, 11:00:14
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