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Okay, I lied. Contrary to what I said, I am going to talk more about Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist blogger and professional troll magnet. Well, not specifically about her, but the actual, final show itself (which is what really matters). Her brainchild, TROPES VS WOMEN IN VIDEO GAMES, finally premiered its first episode on the Youtubes, entitled “Damsel in Distress: Part 1”. Check it out below:

The Good

  • Very comprehensive. Covers not just video games, but how the “Damsel in Distress” trope bled over from other media, such as novels and film.
  • A lot of examples of the trope itself from a wide variety of classic games from different genres. This type of critical mass means the subject has merit.
  • Fair and accurate analysis of how this trope is detrimental to women by disempowering them overall. The Kidnapped Princess Plot device is boring, sexist, and way overdone. She brings up an interesting point: what if Nintendo switched the controllers on us? I’d fucking love to see a Legend of Zelda game starring Zelda herself. She’s a badass warrior princess, an icon of gaming. Stick a sword in her hand, already.
  • The DINOSAUR PLANET example shows a small glimpse of how the metamorphosis from empowered female protagonist to object of desire can happen even at the best developers.
  • The multi-part episode indicates this subject is widespread enough to be talked about at laudable length.


The Bad

  • Pack a lunch. This thing is looooooooong, clocking it at an ass-numbing 24 minutes. 
  • Dry as a cow skull on a desert noon. Sarkeesian mostly talks directly to the camera in a flat, professorial affect. She’s describing a serious issue in gaming with the same enthusiasm as a slightly bored geometry TA. I’d highly recommend the production team watch some of the longer videos on GameTrailers, such as the Retrospectives, for how to create a long-form, but enjoyable, watching experience.
  • The lack of background ambient music is noticeable and does not help the pacing. The lack of it seems subtle, but since this is a talky series, background music helps fill the experience.
  • Honestly, pretty low production values for $158K raised and nine months of time. The visual look of this feels like a grad school video project with some PowerPoints slapped on it.
  • Comments are turned off on the Youtube video itself. It seems slightly hypocritical to want to critique a game genre, and thereby engage a topic in discussion, but not allow viewers to have a larger discussion about the topic on the page itself. I assume this is to ward off sexist douchenozzles and trolls, but the best tactic is to just FUCKING IGNORE THEM.



About the Author

Carl Wilhoyte did not play TROPES VS WOMEN IN VIDEO GAMES BINGO, because like he said, that is sexist and doesn’t actually exist. Shame on you for asking.  Ladies, you can call him a misogynist, womyn-hating, scruffy Nerf herder on his Twitters at @carlwilhoyte

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The Author

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte is the Video Games Editor of a class warrior poet who writes about all things video games. He's sure everything is not under control and is not going to be okay. For a good time, follow his angry rants and smart thoughts on Twitter: @carlwilhoyte.