Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"tropes vs women in video games"

This is pretty much the response i wrote and wanted to post to @feministfrequency's latest video;
 "Damsel in distress: part 1 - tropes vs women in video games" 
wich revolves around the objectifying of women in videogames (in the 80's 90', but we dont say that because the level of toleranse in todays games would invalidate the arguements she makes in the video).

So what happened was, i intended to post this on her facebook page, but realized half an hour later that it would be way too much and it would fill her whole comments page and i have not seen any of her other videos, she might do great thigns for women everywhere, i specifically disagree strongly on her video games video, wich i might point out was a kickstarter project, she asked for 6000$ to make this video series, but recieved almost 160,000$ to make.

Yet the whole video is 20 minutes of her up against a drab background screen with a few video game clips <.< i see people do this for free make waaaaay more creative video's than that, hell, anyone can make more creative videos than that with a hd camera.

Man, i could buy a house with that money, i could buy a hd camera for like 500$ and a green screen for like 100$, the chair i'd sit on. lighting, everything i need for 1-2000$ and i'd have 155,000$ all too myself, my videos would look uncreative and bland with me and a single coloured background and some clips from the game i mention.....ooooh wait, thats exactly what she's done <.< well played, soo, can i get 150k$ too? ill totally make 10-12 pop culture videos 20 minutes in length.... hmm i might just start a kickstarter... 

Anyway, heres my original post:

I just saw your video game video, and i feel i have a counter comment; i think your points regarding videogames in and of  themselves are baseless, i will tell you why; late 80s; if you would imagine yourself (woman) the hero, would you rather rescue
 A:princess in need 
B:prince in need
 if you say A you're just as discriminating as the rest of the industry, if you say B thats ok, opposite sex' attract each other and if you imagine your boyfriend\husband kidnapped you would  want to save him.
Thats the same thing with men, its all very natural, the reason women get depicted more as a 'damsel
 in distress' would be because the gamerbase of that time was 98%male.

So, lets do some math, lets say there are 1 million players in the late 80's early 90's, would you make a game with a  female protagonist rescuing a prince for 20 000 players aimed at the female playerbase of that time? 

Or would you make a game with a male protagonist rescuing a princess for the other 980 000 players aimed at the male playerbase of that time? 
Also, you use ocarina of time as an example, would it be different if it was a prince that got caught or would your
 skewed perception of the game remain unchanged? would you campaign on men's behalf? probably not.
What you fail to mention is that this game is nothing like mario, The hero's name is Link, but this is ZELDA's legend, you play as nothing more than a simple subject to a princess, you also failed to mention zeldas continued involvement in the game whereas she is clearly much more powerful than link and saves him or helps him continue his quest.

She does this in the disguise of sheik. because a princess can not be seen doing such things, she is not 'damselled' and removed from the game because she is weak, she is removed and it is too dangerous because she is royalty and Link is expendable since he is a mere subject, a peon in their kingdom.

What other really big game series are from that era? sonic? Sonic was never about saving a damsel in distress more than it was helping woodland creatures escape robotnik's experiments or having a reason to run fast from A-B.

Cant defend double dragon though <,< i see your point there, but on the flipside you just ignore Metroid wich is 

like top 5 game series from the 90's, but it has a female strong protagonist so i guess that goes against the theme here.

I realize you dont have a monarchy in America, i live in Norway, and if one of our princesses got kidnapped and actually escaped herself (or king\prince for that matter) i think we would all be shocked and it would ruin the image and value they had.

It would seem below them to do such things when they have all of us, their subjects to free them and wage war against whoever took them from us, presidents are a dime a dozen, but our royal family cannot be replaced 
(this is not a political comment and im not saying either thing is better, i guess im just saying we get more of a chance to connect to our leaders since they are there our entire lives, but that is just my opinion, true or false as it may be) and therefore hold more of a value, we feel a need to protect them and save them if they are in trouble.

As for modern games, ill look at the biggest titles from the last 2 years:

COD black ops 2 is irrelevant, ME3 you can play as a male OR female commander, uncharted 3 had strong female supporting actors but it was ultimatly Nathans story, playable in multiplayer though, more recent releases; dead space 3 actually has a damsel in distress, however that was just a ploy to convince Isaac to go to the ice planet and she was as much in distress as a african american woman (race diversity weeee) and a middle aged man shown to be weaker and relying heavily on the 2 apparently stronger female characters in their group.

You got Tomb Raider, and ill just say one thing; Lara Croft is the strongest person in the whole game saving both female and male characters several times throughout the game, she does things

 noone else are capable of and is depicted as a strong, highly intelligent survivor Who is clearly a woman.

The point of it all is that you are mad at 90's society for making games for their core audience: the young\young adult male.

If you look at games made post 2005 when the core audience is getting closer and closer to a 50\50 player base you see alot more diverse characters and roles in games. all your video is doing is saying "REMEMBER WHEN WE USED TO BE TREATED UNEQUAL BECAUSE WE HAD NO INTEREST IN GAMING, BUT WE DO NOW SO NOW WE CAN LOOK BACK AND SEE HOW UNEQUAL WE WERE TREATED? LETS PROTEST!"
 and it comes off silly to anyone with a good head on their shoulders and some common decency.
Let me put it like this, if you feel you have to tell the world and show the world where the problems are, you are the one making the problem, i have never in my entire life viewed women as a weaker sex.

My Father left my mother when i was 2 years old and she was still going to school.

She is my biggest role model, she starved so i could eat when we were really poor, she bought a NES for me when we couldnt afford gasoline so she could go to her night jobs. people like you are telling the world women are seen as weak and treated wrong, no ma'am, i think its you who view other women weak because you feel you have to tell them they're treated weak. 

Naturally this is way too much to put in a commentary section on someones user page so i hopefully someone reads this at some point, although i doubt it ;)

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