Last June, Anita Sarkeesian set up a Kickstarter to fund a YouTube series about Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. Some lovely internet denizens responded by being bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling, including such impeccable behaviors as making rape threats, posting thousands of antisemitic and sexist comments on her YouTube videos, and flagging her videos as “terrorism” in an attempt to get them taken down.
Now she’s posted the second video in the series, which is the second episode about the Damsel in Distress trope (part one here). In a move that should shock no one, the video was temporarily pulled from YouTube yesterday because it was flagged as terrorism by aforementioned bastard-coated bastards.
In this installment we look at “dark and edgy” side of the trope in more modern games and how the plot device is often used in conjunction with graphic depictions of violence against women. Over the past decade we’ve seen developers try to spice up the old Damsel in Distress cliche by combining it with other tropes involving victimized women including the disposable woman, the mercy killing and the woman in the refrigerator. [Feminist Frequency via The Mary Sue]
The most disturbing part of this episode is seeing how many games include a woman being brutalized or killed in service of spurring a male protagonist’s character development or providing a revenge motive. It’s lazy writing, but also creepy when it keeps happening over and over.
The video has spoilers for 28 different games (listed here). They also recommend three indie games that explore a character’s mortality in a non-exploitative way: Dear Esther, To The Moon, and Passage.
So here’s this “terrorist” video now that it’s back on YouTube.