Tropes in Videogames

13456726
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Just discovered this youtube channel and it's pretty amazing. I love how well she breaks down these principles without being reactionary or taking them too far. I think every single videogame designer and producer and concept artist needs to be forced to watch these on repeat till we get more diversity in game characters and game themes.

[ame=" The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Tropes vs. Women) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=" Women in Refrigerators (Tropes vs. Women) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=" The Smurfette Principle (Tropes vs. Women) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=" The Evil Demon Seductress (Tropes vs. Women) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=" The Mystical Pregnancy (Tropes vs. Women) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=" The Straw Feminist (Tropes vs. Women) - YouTube[/ame]

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  • fearian
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    Wow, I was ready to be disgusted by the Youtube Comments... but I'm pleasantly surprised!

    Great videos, and something all writers really need to be aware of.
  • Bigjohn
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    Just watched the first one, gonna watch the rest later, but just had to comment real quick.

    Cause a couple of weeks ago I went on an epic rant to my brother about Forgetting Sarah Marshal saying the exact same things in that video! I've noticed that too. And then sure enough, right after that movie, Yes Man comes on with Jim Carry and (who else?) Zoe Deschanel... with the same basic story.
  • aesir
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    I was listening to the second one "women in fridges" when she talked about how they killed off gwen stacey "FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GIVING PETER PARKER A MORE COMPLEX AND INTERESTING STORY ARC." Yes. Duh, yes. Why are you arguing against yourself? You just said it made the story better, so why are you bitching? Is it because you think it's more important to have a woman in the story then it is for the story to be good? Because that is lame.

    DONE.
  • DeadlyFreeze
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    She's a master of pointing out the obvious, 'hey all these girls are ditzy and dumb' ya you're watching a romantic comedy.

    It's like me going 'hey why are all these games filled with space marines with guns?', well your playing a scifi fps, wtf do you think it will be.
  • leilei
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    well your playing a scifi fps, wtf do you think it will be.

    A bubblebutt

    Starcraft Ghost :(
  • DeadlyFreeze
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    rule 63, there's always one...
  • Bibendum
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    Watched all of them, her points are well explained and definitely very relevant to the gaming industry.

    Her brief rant (complaint?) at the end of the first video about men crediting women as important inspirations for their lives/work making her want to scream and puke at the same time, then trying to tie it back to the trope seemed like a huge logical leap and really out of place.

    I also had to roll my eyes at criticizing straw feminist characters and then using Rush Limbaugh as damning evidence in the same video, who is himself a walking caricature of male chauvanism and modern sexism/racism. Attacking a strawman with another strawman... There was more than enough actually substantial evidence in the video to make the point without resorting to that..
    I was listening to the second one "women in fridges" when she talked about how they killed off gwen stacey "FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GIVING PETER PARKER A MORE COMPLEX AND INTERESTING STORY ARC." Yes. Duh, yes. Why are you arguing against yourself? You just said it made the story better, so why are you bitching? Is it because you think it's more important to have a woman in the story then it is for the story to be good? Because that is lame.

    DONE.
    You pretty much missed the point, yes the hope (not necessarily an indicator that it actually works) of the plot device is that it's going to make the story more interesting, but the point is about how female characters are portrayed in the media we consume that help further stereotypes about them. The WIR trope uses a violent/traumatic scenario of a supporting female character for basically no other reason than to leverage the main male characters motivation to do something and is almost always significantly more brutally illustrated than their male counterparts, intended to make a bigger impact by portraying them as helpless victims and not just "someone who lost a close fight" as is typically the case when a male hero goes through a similar experience. It is, as should have been obvious by the titles of the video, a gender role trope.
  • poopinmymouth
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    Bibendum wrote: »

    I also had to roll my eyes at criticizing straw feminist characters and then using Rush Limbaugh as damning evidence in the same video, who is himself a walking caricature of male chauvanism and modern sexism/racism. Attacking a strawman with another strawman... There was more than enough actually substantial evidence in the video to make the point without resorting to that..

    How is Rush Limbaugh a strawman? He might be to you, but he has quite a few listeners, and they agree with what he says. You're comparing made up characters, designed to be silly to make a point, and an actual person who is taken seriously by his target audience. I don't really think they are the same.

    Even if she used a made up character that resembled Limbaugh's appearance and rhetoric, it's still not comparable since there are actually a frequent occurrence of men just as ugly and sexist as he is in real life. Whereas there are very few "real life" straw feminists as written into cartoons/tv/comics.
  • poopinmymouth
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    Bibendum wrote: »

    Her brief rant (complaint?) at the end of the first video about men crediting women as important inspirations for their lives/work making her want to scream and puke at the same time, then trying to tie it back to the trope seemed like a huge logical leap and really out of place.

    Had to watch that again to see what you mean. I agree it wasn't tied in so fully, but I like that she brings in personal anecdotes sometimes. It's hard because we are so used to either full on reportage style information with no personal injections OR personal conversations that are not meant as authoritative. She is pretty clearly trying to straddle these two fences, being both lecturer and confidant. I like it, but it has the opportunity to be unclear.

    On the point about the rant about scream/puke, I disagree with her point that famous male creators should never mention their muse, but I do think it gave her a platform to make the point that muse is not the only way a woman can function, that they are creators in their own right very frequently, just not in TV/comic/videogame/movie depictions. It's most likely a pet peeve of hers, but it isn't something objective like some of the other points she brings up, so I see what you mean in this criticism.
  • System
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    Wonder how long it will be until people just group themselves as "people" or "human".

    I feel like this is somewhat relevent but perhaps i'm naive as i myself am not a member of a minority but at the same time i dont really distinguish between anything... people are people.

    [ame=" freeman solves the race problem. - YouTube[/ame]
  • paulsvoboda
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    I've watched the first two and while they are extremely well done, her thoughts and arguments are laid out clearly and concisely, I can't help but think in certain cases she is stretching her points too far which consequently diminish their effect.

    The short rant about wanting to puke every time someone mentioned a female as their source of inspiration is one. Most of the people who make this claim are usually married/in a serious relationship, making it safe to assume that their spouse is their closest friend, someone who they share every day with, and someone who knows them so well that they can support them in their hardest moments, and vice versa, very easily making them the source of inspiration to keep pushing through.
    I understand that she is trying to push the point that women are creative and are people who also put forth media, but it seems, while not fully wrong, not entirely fair either, to not mention that they may very well say that the man in their life has been their inspiration.

    Regarding the WIR argument, I'm not going to argue on behalf of comics because I have little knowledge in that area, but yes, women are often used as plot points, yet so are men. In the case of Lost, I'd argue that Boone was used in pretty much the same way as Libby and Shannon, in order to advance Locke's case, as was Charlie to some extent, and to not mention this seems to indicate that she may tend to see what she wants to see in order to make a better, but perhaps not completely legitimate, argument.

    The reality of media is that we often need these tropes in order to advance story in an interesting way. Boone's death for one led to a fascinating journey for Locke and Jack, and it advanced both their characters in very interesting ways, much like how Shannon's death advanced the tension between the Losties.
    I won't speak to Heroes as I haven't watched that show past season 1.

    I understand that Women are often used in these tropes more than men, but any romantic comedy where the female is cast as the lead will cast the man as the MPDG instead.

    Again, she makes some great points and they are things that we need to think about, but it sometimes seems as though she is just calling out tropes and then casting them as anti-feminist.

    Thanks for posting these.
  • PhattyEwok
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    To add more to the WiR discussion. What about the most pointless death of all the male heroes? Jason Tod being beat to death by Joker with a tire iron. They killed Batman's only sidekick to make the story-line more interesting and it involved a male victim.

    Note I realize this is probably more of an exception to the rule.
  • pseudoBug
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    "women are not here for men's anything".

    While I'm sure she has some relevant points, she comes across as someone with an ax to grind.

    She comes across as the kind of person who'd get mad if another girl told here she enjoyed being someone's muse. Or liked cooking. *gasp* For a GUY!!!

    Lots of women enjoy being there in a supportive and creatively inspiring capacity, as many men do for women. She suggests that one is mutually exclusive of the other.

    She comes across like a shock journalist. "OMG WOMEN ARE PEOPLE AND NO ONE KNOWS IT". "Don't you dare use us as inspiration".

    Feminist Frequency and "Bitch Media". Huh.
  • ErichWK
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    What i wanna know is why there are rarely any Blonde heroes.
  • Bibendum
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    How is Rush Limbaugh a strawman? He might be to you, but he has quite a few listeners, and they agree with what he says. You're comparing made up characters, designed to be silly to make a point, and an actual person who is taken seriously by his target audience. I don't really think they are the same.

    Even if she used a made up character that resembled Limbaugh's appearance and rhetoric, it's still not comparable since there are actually a frequent occurrence of men just as ugly and sexist as he is in real life. Whereas there are very few "real life" straw feminists as written into cartoons/tv/comics.
    You're right its not the same thing. My problem is that she described Rush Limbaugh (and Glenn Beck) as being part of the conservative mainstream which is pretty big misrepresentation to me considering his listenership is shrinking and his supposed "millions" of listeners has always been an inflated number that came from his own show that no one could verify. Cenk from TYT has gone as far as offering him $10k if he could prove he was getting the 20 million listeners a day he claims he is, we'll see how that pans out.

    The truth is no one has any idea how influencial Rush is, everyone assumes he is important because everyone else is saying how still important he is, and no one can prove he isn't. But he's much more like Paris Hilton, the only reason anyone is even aware of his continued existence is because larger news organizations pick up on his shit and run "LOL RUSH IS AT IT AGAIN" stories where they can collect pundits to discuss his antics. Like everybody else, politicians don't know how valuable his audience is so they just play it safe and keep their distance while trying to not make an enemy of him.

    She also mentioned Glenn Beck, in 2010 Glenn Becks viewership fell 50%, this year major radio stations began dropping his program (along with Sean Hannity's) and political talk radio in general, which is mostly conservative at this point, is in massive decline. The median age of their listeners is 52-63 and going up every year which would imply they aren't getting any new listeners. They're literally going extinct.

    I know a lot of conservatives, I don't know a single person who aligns themselves with Rush Limbaugh's views, much less his views on women. I'm sure they must exist somewhere, at least enough that his popularity justifies him still having a show (although maybe that's because he still has 4 years on his contract) but to say their views are being infused into the mainstream is a big stretch. If anything the evidence seems to indicate that the mainstream has flat out rejected their views which is why in a few years no one will even remember who Glenn Beck is and hopefully whenever newscasters and politicians stop pretending like Rush matters, he'll be in the same boat.
  • dfacto
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    Very interesting series, but completely destructive to film and games. Tropes are what you use when you don't have the time for a 3 hour exposition and just need the viewer to understand something at a glance. Take tropes away and you'll be left with longwinded art films about boring people looking at each other meaningfully. I watch movies for space marines, hot chicks, aliens, dinosaurs, and other cliche stuff. I get my "boring everyday life quota" fulfilled just fine throughout the week.

    Good writing, not usage of cliches, is the most important factor which needs to be addressed.
  • Zwebbie
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    I don't know how reasonable it is to ask men to write true female characters. When they try, it's not an uncommon complaint that they fail at it and just don't grasp the female psyche. Rather, isn't the problem that so few women are creating our media?

    Also, a problem that I have with these gendrist takes on media is that bad tropes can easily be bent either way. The Evil Demon Seductress and Mystical Pregnancy here are an example. In EDS, the female sexuality is predatory and men will only get hurt by it, in MP the male sexuality is predatory and females will only get hurt by it, and yet these two opposites are both negative only towards women? You could just as easily say that the former projects men as thinking only with their reproductive organ and the second associates impregnating a woman with horrific machine tools that destroy a woman. And voila, it's the men who get the short end of the stick. Both of those are a wrong way to look at it. These tropes are just stupid for being stupid, not so much for being sexist, IMHO. And that's a bit of a problem with such gendrist views, they often don't consider the possibility of something just being bad instead of sexist.

    P.S. - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has to be the most sexist thing on air, men in it are either evil, twats or dimwitted.

    P.P.S. - An error in Mystical Pregnancy, the Immaculate Conception is not the Virginal Conception, it is Mary being born without original sin. Which doesn't strike me as particularly sexist. At all.
  • Anuxinamoon
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    I wasn't going to watch all of them, but after watching the first one I watched the rest.

    Many of the examples she cited I have had nagging problems with in the past when I observed them, but didn't know how to lump those problems into something substantial like these 'trope names.'

    Thanks for sharing.
  • almighty_gir
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    so what i'm getting from all this, is that hazardous should be ashamed of himself?
  • Bibendum
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    so what i'm getting from all this, is that hazardous should be ashamed of himself?
    Why's that?
  • MadnessImport
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    Bibendum wrote: »
    Why's that?

    Most of his Work = Female Characters

    Inspired by Women ♥
  • poopinmymouth
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    dfacto wrote: »
    Very interesting series, but completely destructive to film and games. Tropes are what you use when you don't have the time for a 3 hour exposition and just need the viewer to understand something at a glance. Take tropes away and you'll be left with longwinded art films about boring people looking at each other meaningfully. I watch movies for space marines, hot chicks, aliens, dinosaurs, and other cliche stuff. I get my "boring everyday life quota" fulfilled just fine throughout the week.

    Good writing, not usage of cliches, is the most important factor which needs to be addressed.

    As an artist I cannot disagree more strongly. Using existing stereotypes as a shortcut is incredibly lazy and the reason why we have so many same-y games out. If an artist has any pride whatsoever they should constantly be on the lookout for how to stretch boundaries or communicate in new ways.

    I just watched a French movie, Point Blank. It's sort of like Die Hard, in that it's a reluctant hero movie. It's not amazing, but it's pretty good. The reason I bring it up is that it avoids so many shitty cliches just be being made by French people. So many situations surprised me because they set them up in different ways than hollywood does. They were still very easy to understand, I didn't feel like it was some art-house flick, but it made it incredibly fresh. If the same movie had been made by hollywood it would have been so forgettable I wouldn't even remember the name.

    Also I reject the idea that games are what they are because of space marines and hot chicks and other cliches. Games are first and foremost the feedback loops. Collecting the items, fulfilling the task, racing the clock, etc. This sexist trope is merely the veneer on top, and is in no way the definitive essence of what a game is. No one is even arguing to do away with it entirely, just a slight bit of nuance or variety in theme would be nice.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ugh, seriously, this is starting to thick me off.

    Can't we ever a FEMALE journalist/blogger/etc who can say what's need to be said without grinding her Axe about something? Extra Credits pretty much makes well rounded arguments without the need to grind an Axe about anything, is it that hard?

    I simply don't have time to sit down and hear rants anymore, we get it, everyone's an angry smuck, I'm angry, she's angry, children are angry, animals are angry, we have angry food, we have angry showers and we have angry sex.

    Frankly, this entire sub-culture of "Hey, look at me, I can make an argument, but for the sake of 'views' I will throw in a couple of angry rants" is getting tired, you can make the perfect argument all you want, and be flawless in your jabs, but it takes that single "Grrr" moment to ruin everything because it shows 'your opinion', not an outside researched structure, but one where you're trying to push a couple of ideas, as well to get noticed more.

    Also, the way she takes real people and claims they 'represent' a majority of us real-life people vs. a couple of cartoon characters is extremely cheap, and biased, especially considering it's limiting to female vs. male idealization. I can make the same exact argument by putting up Marcus Fenix next to a fat guy, next to a female alien character, while sourcing the female character from 2010 and male characters from Flash Gordon, let's see how fair that is.

    Also, fun-fact, how come she's avoiding talking about products which had females be in the main part of the dev team, even leads, when these products at the end of the day were sexist to the n'th degree? Instead, she finds time to complain about Lego's.

    This is why we can't have nice things, because all we get are complaints, not solutions or creative discussions.
  • eld
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    SVA170.jpg

    I think the mystical pregnancy got to me the most,

    Something that is so (and this will grind someones axe), definingly female and important to humanity, it is something that everyone can connect to, and even used in very creative ways (see alien).

    And if you are not able to get pregnant that does not make you less female, but females should still have the right to be proud of that genetic feature as much as males probably worship their penis on an altar, and pregnancy will still be a part of stories in different weird ways due to how EVERYONE has a connection to pregnancy in one way or another.

    Many series don't drive the lasting effects on pregnancy due to being "one episode at a time" in structure and personally that offends me even more,
    but with others like the x-files, she failed to see that the series actually made that whole thing one of the main plotlines in a way that female viewers would idenfity themselves with or understand even further.



    I need to start a video blog!!
  • dfacto
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    As an artist I cannot disagree more strongly. Using existing stereotypes as a shortcut is incredibly lazy and the reason why we have so many same-y games out. If an artist has any pride whatsoever they should constantly be on the lookout for how to stretch boundaries or communicate in new ways.

    Yes and no. Bald SPESS MUHREENS *patriotic salute* may be overdone, but the core concept of a soldier is so fundamental that you can't remove it without drastically limiting the story you can tell. With her vids she's talking about core storytelling elements like "girl inspires boy" or "bad things happen to love interests". These are such basic concepts that she's more or less arguing for the destruction of entire genres, to be replaced with... I dunno, movies about a woman being a real person. Fun?
  • poopinmymouth
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    dfacto wrote: »
    Yes and no. Bald SPESS MUHREENS *patriotic salute* may be overdone, but the core concept of a soldier is so fundamental that you can't remove it without drastically limiting the story you can tell. With her vids she's talking about core storytelling elements like "girl inspires boy" or "bad things happen to love interests". These are such basic concepts that she's more or less arguing for the destruction of entire genres, to be replaced with... I dunno, movies about a woman being a real person. Fun?

    I haven't seen it, but she compliments the series "Veronica Mars" as portraying women as real people, and it seemed to have a good run with lots of fans and advertisers. Are you implying that a game couldn't be fun with numerous well rounded female characters?
  • fearian
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    Having now finished all the videos, something has appeared to me that I think is a little funny:

    In the straw feminist video most of all, she rightfully bemoans the trope of feminists being aggressive and over the top; She points out that by doing so, writers are distancing reasonable female leads from feminism.

    So feminists aren't abrasive, bitchy, or chauvinistic. Now let me communicate this to you in a slightly over the top rant that takes the point of each video to it's absolute extreme. (i.e. "I will puke if I hear a man cite a woman as his muse"). Let me tell you these things via the channel, 'bitch media'.

    I don't want to say 'She could have toned it down' because that pretty much just pisses in the face of what these videos are about, but I do feel that she might not be recognizing the severity of a couple of her points.
  • fearian
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    Oh I also wanted to mention the bechdel Movie Test.

    I don't know it word for word, but it goes something like this. Think of a film you've watched recently. Does it feature at least two female characters, who talk to each other about something OTHER than a man?

    It's surprising how many films with a strong female character, actually on closer inspection have that character act as nothing more than a prop for the male lead.

    If you think this test is too selective or difficult, re-examine your expectations of women in films, and then apply the test to men.
  • pseudoBug
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    Women In Refrigerators:


    Where are her statistics? Is she trying to convince people who don't see things her way to change their minds, or just using a platform to garner attention?

    "Does everyone remember the 1994 issue of green lantern?" Um nope. I don't read comics, and if I did, I'd hope you could come up with a recent issue, seeing as 1994 is actually 18 years ago. Which, seeing as someone could be 18 years old and never read this issue, I consider to be a decent amount of time. Yeah. That's practically the 80s. people.

    "I've never read green lantern, but thankfully, Gail Simone did. because SHE began to see a trend".

    Wait., so you're making a video, touting a view about injustice in a certain type of media, citing an example that you yourself didn't actually read? Wait. WHAT? What is this, youtube? Oh wait. . . .


    Ok, so maybe she's got some examples and statistics. Let's watch some more.

    "Simone was sick of seeing heroines who had been either "depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refridgerator".

    Ok, so because she is personally sick of it, does that automatically mean that there are an overwhelming amount of these stories? No. Just that she doesn't want to hear them. But maybe there are some statistics coming up.

    "Simone compiled a Startlingly long list of over 90 comics that featured female superheroes who suffered a loss of powers, brutal violation, or untimely gruesome death."

    Wait, so a female "losing her super powers" is on an equal plane as "brutal violation", and "untimely gruesome death"? Am I supposed to believe then, that this shouldn't happen to women in comics, and only to men?

    Ok, no real statistics yet, other than the "over 90" number. I'd like to see that stacked up with the number of times this occurred to male superheroes. If you're going to try to convince me, put some effort into it. Ripping characters out of stories and touting them as your examples without giving real comparisons to what happens on the flip side - to male characters - is simply biased.

    There have been well over 160,000 comic books created based on the statistics that I can find. The amount of superheroes created is staggering. 90 really isn't a very large number, especially when it's a biased method of fact finding, that ignores anything but what someone wants to see.

    She does the same thing in the vid with lost. Nowhere do I hear her compare the female deaths with the deaths of male characters. I'm pretty sure there were males that died. Pretty sure.

    "The writers chose to kill of an important female character. . . " Wait, so is it a trope because it killed off an important female character, or simply because it killed off an important character. Because it's blatantly sexist to imply that because the character is female, you shouldn't kill her off to give a male character a more complex story. If you think it's a trope that is bad simply because it's a trope, regardless of what sex or orientation the character is, then why make all the fuss about her being female?

    ". . . she was conveniently killed in her kitchen without a sign of a struggle." Are you saying that because she's a woman, the writers should automatically make a sign of a struggle? Is it not possible for a woman to be surprised and killed without a struggle? I don't see how it's implausible for either a man or a woman with great power to be surprised and killed without struggle. Once again, an example that tells me nothing. No statistics showing that this has doesn't happened to males in comics.

    "Big Barda is just one of many female characters whos random and meaningless death was constructed in order to create a more intricate storyline for a male hero."

    Ok. While I certainly believe that is a possibility, it sounds yet again, as though she believes the trope exists simply because of the fact that the character was female. If all characters that were killed off in "meaningless deaths" male, would she be ok with it? Or is it simply a trope all across the board?

    Also, how can a meaningless death actually be meaningless? I mean, do people die meaningless deaths in real life? If so, why can't we write about them? And how is a death really meaningless if it affects someone in an extremely powerful way? Is that sexist? "Barda meant so much to me that I was torn apart by her death. It destroyed me." Wow. I think I'm going to puke. That's sooo sexist.

    "comic books can be hard to follow. . ." Yes. especially if you don't read them.

    "So this doesn't hold true across the board, but it certainly happens a lot". Wait. "A lot". Is this a statistic? How much is "A lot"? Is "a lot" more than what happens to male characters? WAIT!!! I'd like some help believing what you're saying. Statistics please? "It certainly happens a lot." -_- Again with the "a lot"?Seriously? Ok. Maybe you have done some research yourself SOMEWHERE in this video. Let's keep watching.

    "When Simone released her list in 1999 there was an instant backlash from some comic book fans who thought it was unfair that they were singling out female characters. This criticism happens whenever we point out tropes, specifically about women.".

    Wait, how does receiving criticism suddenly equal anything positive for your argument? Does being criticized automatically make you right? Does it somehow make everyone who criticized you sexist? Everyone who is vocal about ANYTHING gets criticism. What makes yours special? Is anyone who gives you criticism sexist?

    “First, there’s [always been] a larger selection of male characters, so a handful killed made barely a ripple.

    Wait, so because there's a lot of guys in comics, it automatically means that doing the very thing to men that you're complaining about being done to women is somehow OK? This isn't sexist?


    "Whereas in many cases the superLADIES were simply found on the kitchen table already carved up."
    How many cases? Do you know? I'd really like to know!

    "Handful killed". "Seem to be killed". "Seems to be fairing much worse for the women". Maybe someone should do some actually research and compare some numbers if one wants to seem credible. Just because you "feel" like women are getting the short end of the stick, doesn't make it so. If you want to see if that's a fact, you first should crunch some numbers and make some comparisons before crying "SEXIST". And you CERTAINLY should provide some real evidence if you're going to go on a mission to convert people to your point of view.

    "And there are plenty, plenty more examples". -_- Um. . yeah. That's a line I used to hear growing up when some kid claimed something was so, without actually knowing what they were talking about. It pretty much tells me that you haven't gone through the trouble of making sure you've got fact to back up what you say. How about showing those examples? Taking some effort to compile evidence to convert those who doubt you? No?

    "Writers are using the Women in Refrigeratorstrope to literally trade the female characters life for the benefit of a male hero’s story arc. They are making clear that women, even powerful female superheroes are basically disposable."

    So anyone who uses a "trope" that involves a female dying to further the story of a male character automatically believes that women = Disposable. Okay. Seems a bit harsh. And this conclusion is based on your massive statistics and research that you inundated me with in your vid, I suppose.

    "stop using violence against women as a way to further the storyline of your male hero, and start writing us as full and complete human beings…. okay? Okay!"

    Oh! So we CAN'T use violence+women in a genre of superheroes where violence is pretty much the main staple. Wait. Really? We can use it with guys though? Isn't that sexist?

    (She writes this at the end of her page, but it's not in the vid.) -
    "I’m not saying women can’t ever die in comic books but it matters how and why they die." But it only matters how women die? Only women? What about kids? Or Minorities? Or, hey, how about white males too?
  • Joseph Silverman
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    If you make a GENUINE EFFORT to understand womens issues, it become possible to disagree with feminism without looking like an asshole. Try it out!

    On that note, my opinion:

    I don't think specific gender roles in stories are necessarily degrading. Women have certain unique and powerful symbology to both women AND men -- they give life, and that inherently places them in a certain 'objectified' role as something for both men AND other women to be concerned for and protective of in unique ways. A pregnant woman is inherently a damsel in distress that demands care, and there is no real working around that. The implication runs pretty deep and is inescapable. There is a price to the injury or death of a woman that simply does not exist with a man.

    Please make an effort to understand this and not latch on to the language as being sexist: Women DO inspire specific care that men do not inspire -- the only issue is that a gigantic majority of stories clearly portrays men, and exclusively men, as the caregivers and protectors of women. Typical women -- women who have children at some point in their lives -- must be cared for in certain unique ways, and that fundamentally colors the identity of women as symbols in fiction. But while in reality the primary caregiver is most typically the woman herself, assisted equally by other men and other women -- in fiction the caregiver is always a powerful, self actualized man, no matter what the details of the plot would like to have the viewer believe.

    Obviously a modern story should be empowering of women as equals, and clearly FAR FAR too many stories are not, but to act like placing women in a gender specific or vulnerable role is inherently sexist is ludicrous. Women and men are NOT fundamentally the same as concepts, even if they can do all the same jobs and achieve all the same goals.
  • Two Listen
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    Holy crap, what is it with people these days?

    I'm more for women's rights and equality (across the board) than a lot of folks, I think. I don't even use the word "bitch" because it gives me a bad feeling, I like my insults to be gender neutral, people are people.

    ...but stuff like this really throws me for a loop. It's not even that I don't agree with the points themselves. In most (but not all) instances, I do. I just think labeling a video with "bitch media" and then complaining about women getting more respect in media does more to hurt than to help. I mean honestly, I'm sitting here chilling with my wife we're just doing our own thing and then all of a sudden I've got like 30 seconds of the word "PENIS!" being shouted at me. People need to quit focusing so much on the fact that different folk have different "private parts" and focus more on making cool, creative stuff.

    If that means Hazardous posting up a new girl every week, well by all means! Because right underneath it you might have Jessica Dinh with some sweet hand painted goodness. I need to go shake Morgan Freeman's hand.

    (And as a last note, my wife is my inspiration - my reason for waking up every morning. I am certain she would say the same thing about me in return, we've been best friends for many years. And I don't think she's there just to be my inspiration, in fact, it's seeing her make all of her own choices and pursue her own goals that pushes me to work harder all the time. And if she wanted to get a sex change tomorrow for whatever reason, it wouldn't change a thing.)
  • Joseph Silverman
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    I think you're missing the forest for the trees, two listen.

    Part of making cool stuff is being informed about what you're making. Literary criticism is VITAL to a creative existence -- if you can't dig at the implications of what's in front of you, how can you possibly author something meaningful?
  • pseudoBug
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    Big Barda is one of her main selling points on this "Women in refrigerators" trope. I took the time to research it myself.

    Big Barda is only ONE of many individuals killed in a miniseries called "Death of the New Gods. Most of which are men. They All Die in the same "meaningless" quick manner.

    I'd like to show you the first 3 deaths, the first two of which, are male. These all occur in the first few pages of the first comic.

    Another thing that was left out of her vid, was the fact that her husband was actually in the house when she was killed. In the next room. The comic goes on to show that even if her Husband had been in the room, it's likely that he himself would have been killed, as the killer is so swift and deadly, that he is able to assassinate entire groups without resistance.

    So the first death is a man who's lying in a hospital bed. Pretty sad death. Ok, so you might say that this is sexist, because he's obviously injured. The next one is a completely healthy superhero, (Male) who is also killed without any sign of a struggle. How can you reach the conclusion that this woman does, about this specific female characters death, in light of all the surrounding male deaths that occur in exactly the same manner?

    1SmvS.jpg

    What implications does this have? I believe that videos and stances like these are the reason people move away from the "term" feminist, and nothing more. It reeks of what I'd call "Mass effect" journalism.

    Now, while exposing the fact that at least one of the references she's citing are pretty much bogus doesn't prove that there are no tropes that affect women in a negative way, it does show how people running around toting "feminism" can be just as misguided as anyone else - and misinformed about what they speak of. And In my experience, it's quite often.


    *edit* Also, to anyone who reads my long post, and regards it to be sounding rude or arrogant, I'd like to point you back to the eye-rolling, "yeah." quipping attitude of the woman in the video. She hardly comes across as anything but disgusted at the writers, and bemused by people "foolish" enough not to see her "facts".
  • pior
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    Hi there Ben :)
    Only watched the first video so far, and I just have to react to this !

    This kind of position on gender issue really rubs me the wrong way.

    To start with, she he's not very good at making her point clear. If I understand correctly, she's trying to say that many female characters in movies follow a clich
  • Two Listen
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    I think you're missing the forest for the trees, two listen.

    Part of making cool stuff is being informed about what you're making. Literary criticism is VITAL to a creative existence -- if you can't dig at the implications of what's in front of you, how can you possibly author something meaningful?

    I'm not missing anything. That's why these videos really annoy me, she's obviously got a collection of axes in desperate need of grinding and it really, REALLY shows. Often times overshadowing some of her more valid criticisms. Yes, women characters often get the short end of the stick. Yes, we need to point out those examples and at the same time, show alternatives that have been just as viable/successful. (Edit: Looks as if pior snuck in and posted about this while I was typing!)

    These videos do not accomplish those things. It almost makes me want to make my own damn videos, because I feel as if this lady is actually hurting her cause. Anyone who actually DOES the research will wind up facepalming at half of her examples. Of course if I was going to do my own videos trying to better advocate the same thing, I'd have to find a woman to actually show up on camera. Otherwise people (well, people like the lady in the video who can't look past gender for even a few seconds) would just view it as "a man trying to rescue women". And that, is pretty fucked up.
  • pior
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    At least there is plenty of staring ladies in mass effect!
  • ZacD
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    The isn't isn't necessarily the quantity, but the way women are portrayed in video games, I think in the first game you could have sex with every major women character bedsides Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy. They are more often viewed as objects instead of people.
  • Bibendum
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    Uhh you'll have to forgive me if this is false as I've never played ME but I was under the impression you could have sex with anybody, including males and aliens?
  • ZacD
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    Mass Effect 3 is the first one you can have sex with males in (besides being straight). The first 2 you could be a lesbian.
  • DeadlyFreeze
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    Mass Effect, equally objectifying all sexes... and aliens.
  • ZacD
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    I could almost agree with that, it does it to women and female aliens a bit more.
  • leilei
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    But it's written by a woman, so "it's okay"!
  • pseudoBug
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    pior wrote: »

    Haha!

    Also, in case someone mistakes my passion for dismantling what I see as bogus regurgitations - Make no mistake. I am fully aware, and do believe that there are many things in popular culture, video games, and comics that are hurtful to the way women, AND men are perceived by themselves and by the other. I think there are real issues that this women isn't even addressing. She does other women a disservice by parroting things she's heard, and simply widens rifts and causes the very stereotypes which she abhors.
  • ericdigital
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    ZacD wrote: »
    I could almost agree with that, it does it to women and female aliens a bit more.

    For sure. I haven't played enough of femshep throughout the series to know how they treat things from the female perspective but I assume you're on a equally ridiculous sexual conquest at least.
  • Ganemi
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    Ace-Angel wrote: »
    Ugh, seriously, this is starting to thick me off.

    Can't we ever a FEMALE journalist/blogger/etc who can say what's need to be said without grinding her Axe about something? Extra Credits pretty much makes well rounded arguments without the need to grind an Axe about anything, is it that hard?

    I simply don't have time to sit down and hear rants anymore, we get it, everyone's an angry smuck, I'm angry, she's angry, children are angry, animals are angry, we have angry food, we have angry showers and we have angry sex.

    Frankly, this entire sub-culture of "Hey, look at me, I can make an argument, but for the sake of 'views' I will throw in a couple of angry rants" is getting tired, you can make the perfect argument all you want, and be flawless in your jabs, but it takes that single "Grrr" moment to ruin everything because it shows 'your opinion', not an outside researched structure, but one where you're trying to push a couple of ideas, as well to get noticed more.

    Also, the way she takes real people and claims they 'represent' a majority of us real-life people vs. a couple of cartoon characters is extremely cheap, and biased, especially considering it's limiting to female vs. male idealization. I can make the same exact argument by putting up Marcus Fenix next to a fat guy, next to a female alien character, while sourcing the female character from 2010 and male characters from Flash Gordon, let's see how fair that is.

    Also, fun-fact, how come she's avoiding talking about products which had females be in the main part of the dev team, even leads, when these products at the end of the day were sexist to the n'th degree? Instead, she finds time to complain about Lego's.

    This is why we can't have nice things, because all we get are complaints, not solutions or creative discussions.

    steam pressed my clothes into the 2nd dimension with that one
  • Ganemi
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    Can we all agree that vaginas are pretty damned cool?
  • fearian
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    pior wrote: »


    Are you kidding me?

    I don't want to get into all the reasons why Jim Sterling is an awful games 'journalist', or an attention seeking misogynistic cunt because that's off topic, but you can get the picture that everything this guy says tends to rub me the wrong way.

    And even as a joke that video was completely shallow and missing the point entirely. "HURR everyone thinks sexist objectifying shallow representations of women in games are the problem BUT WE JUST NEED NAKED DUDES HAHA L O L"

    I'm not even sure how you can bring to the table the words of someone who while arguing with someone on twitter recently, called them "an embarrassment. To your gender, your species and all feminazi sluts like yourself."
  • pior
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    Fearian - that's exactly his point tho! He's doing the naked hero dick joke to show how pointless the whole argument is in the first place. That is to say : of course, female fantasy warriors in chain bikinis don't make any kind of sense! And it would't make any more sense to have Marcus Fenix run around in a jockstrap. The point of pushing the joke further is to show how ridiculous the argument is in the first place ...

    I think he is a very clever guy, using sarcastic humour very well !
  • fearian
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    I feel a bit dense now :P
    I dunno, I've heard too much shit come out of Jim Sterling's mouth to ever think that deep into what he's saying. But if that's really what he's trying to get at, then It's a good effort, but still a little off the point.

    Largely speaking, the Half Naked male hero with a ripped body and perfect hair is not in the game to appeal to women. He's in the game for the dudes sake, to see how cool and badass he is. Ripped half naked badasses are ripped half naked badasses, because that's who we want to be when we save the world. Meanwhile most half naked women, are there to look hawt for men.


    And to clarify on one thing - I do not think we need to get rid of all the half naked women. I think we need to at least provide more realistic alternatives.
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