Ms. Male Character – Tropes vs Women

November 18, 2013

In this episode we examine the Ms. Male Character trope and briefly discuss a related pattern called the Smurfette Principle. We’ve defined the Ms. Male Character Trope as: The female version of an already established or default male character. Ms. Male Characters are defined primarily by their relationship to their male counterparts via visual properties, […]

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Damsel in Distress (Part 3) Tropes vs Women

August 1, 2013

This is the third installment in our three part mini-series exploring the Damsel in Distress trope in video games. In this episode we examine the rare Dude in Distress role reversal and then take a look at the use of “ironic sexism” in retro inspired indie games. We conclude with an investigation of titles that […]

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Damsel in Distress (Part 2) Tropes vs Women

May 28, 2013

TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains a handful of graphic scenes involving violence against women. Parents should preview the video first before sharing with young children. VIDEO DESCRIPTION This is the second in a series of three videos exploring the Damsel in Distress trope in video games. In this installment we look at “dark and edgy” […]

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Damsel in Distress (Part 1) Tropes vs Women

March 7, 2013

This video explores how the Damsel in Distress became one of the most widely used gendered cliché in the history of gaming and why the trope  has been core to the popularization and development of the medium itself. As a trope the Damsel in Distress is a plot device in which a female character is placed […]

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Quick Tropes vs Women Project Update

August 1, 2012

I recently shared a long update with our backers over on the Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter page detailing our progress on pre-production and game research as well as equipment, software and website infrastructure upgrades. We also revealed more about the expanding scope of this project including another bonus video we have in […]

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Help Fund Tropes vs Women in Video Games

May 18, 2012
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NOTE: The Kickstarter campaign has ended. Thank you everyone for all your support! See the final results here. Earlier this year, I was invited to speak about developing female characters in video games at the BUNGiE offices in Bellevue, WA (you probably know BUNGiE as the developers of the Halo series). It was a great […]

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Tropes vs. Women: #6 The Straw Feminist

September 23, 2011

This is the last of a six part series created for Bitch Magazine. Tropes vs. Women explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows. The Straw Feminist trope is a deliberately created, exaggerated caricature of a feminist that is used to undermine and ridicule feminist movements.  This was […]

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Tropes vs. Women: #5 The Mystical Pregnancy

July 28, 2011

This is the fifth of a six part series created for Bitch Magazine. Tropes vs. Women explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows. The Mystical Pregnancy is a trope writers use to create drama and terror by invading, violating and exploiting women’s reproductive capabilities.  Often these female […]

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Tropes vs. Women: #4 The Evil Demon Seductress

May 19, 2011

This is the fourth of a six part series created for Bitch Magazine. Tropes vs. Women explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows. The Evil Demon Seductress is a supernatural creature usually a demon, alien, robot, vampire etc. who is most often disguised as a sexy human […]

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Tropes vs. Women: #3 The Smurfette Principle

April 21, 2011

This is the third of a six part series created for Bitch Magazine. Tropes vs. Women explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows. The Smurfette Principle was named two decades ago by Katha Pollitt, when she noticed that there were a disproportionate amount of male characters in […]

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