Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes vs Women in Video Games Is Back With More On That Oh-So-Irritating Damsel Trope

Tropes vs women damsel in distress part 2
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Stop the presses -- I've put my second topic for today on hold, because Anita Sarkeesian has just released the next episode in her Tropes vs Women in Video Games series. The latest episode is part two in a three-part exploration of the damsel in distress (Hamlet wrote about part one back in March) and it's an absolute must-watch for just about every gamer out there, male or female. See for yourself:


Sarkeesian has been the subject of a lot of, well, let's call it "noise", since she began working on this series, but as she so ardently points out she isn't hating on games by being critical of them. You can love and enjoy something without blindly swallowing every single part of it. Some of my favorite games from the past year (Dishonored, Bioshock Infinite, and even Scribblenauts Unlimited) have had some serious damsel issues, and though it hasn't stopped me from playing or enjoying them, it has made me think. In the case of Bioshock Infinite, Sarkeesian's work even inspired me to write about the elements of Elizabeth's character that didn't sit right. It's always seemed a little odd to me that borderline passive consumption of video games is encouraged while at the same time it's widely accepted (and in some circles expected) to engage critically with other forms of media, like books or movies. But maybe that's just me?

Either way, I'm already anticipating the next installment in Sarkeesian's series. She's doing some amazing and long-overdue work, to say the least.

[Update 2:35pm: The video has been removed from YouTube for allegedly violating YouTube's TOS. I'll update the link when a new one becomes available, but until then consider reading the comments on this Kotaku post about the new video if you'd like to exercise your eye-rolling muscles.]

[Update 3:12pm: The video's still down, but you can read the episode transcript here.]

[Update 3:22pm: YouTube has restored the video. Carry on folks, nothing to see here...]

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Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.


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Arcadia Codesmith

I'll have to watch it when I've got a chance. Anything that makes the fanbois go into a frothing defensive seizure like that is probably cutting to truths that are deeply threatening to their puerile egos.

Wolf Baginski

It makes me wonder about my own writing, but I am pretty sure that I do better than the video games.

It looks pretty easy to do better than the average video game.

You'd have to be a pretty repulsive guy to do worse.

Iris Ophelia

The Bechdel Test is a good place to start, Wolf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test

prefer not to say

personal i really love to see that the project she invited is lifting so nice off!

The power she stands with,
at this horrible misogynistic-harassment-storm,
is wonderful to see
i personally wish her the strength to stand this out!

((even from my anonymity here))

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