Posts tagged: Tropes vs Women in Video Games

Sinister Seductress
This episode explores how female villains in games very often function to demonize femaleness itself, drawing on patterns of female representation that have roots in creatures from myth and folklore which reinforced misogynistic attitudes about women in their own time. We look at Grotesquely Female characters: those who communicate that femaleness is abhorrent and disgusting, and […]
All the Slender Ladies: Body Diversity in Video Games
This episode examines the very limited range of female body types commonly seen in games, contrasting this with the much wider range of physiques that male characters frequently possess. We then illustrates that, when female characters appear who do have a body type that is notably different from the slender physique that games establish as the […]
Lingerie is not Armor
This episode explores the ways in which female characters are frequently placed in wildly impractical, sexualizing outfits specifically designed to objectify them for the titillation of the presumed straight male player. We then discuss the problems inherent in linking the sexualization of female characters to notions of female empowerment, and examine what positive depictions of female […]
5 Ways Men Can Help End Sexism
What role should men play in working towards an end to sexism? How much or how little should men be helping? In this video we will explore answers to those questions and share a few suggestions for how men can respectfully approach feminism. We also explain why ending sexism can be beneficial for men too! This […]
Women as Reward – Special DLC Mini-Episode
This totally free supplemental add-on content pack for our Women as Reward video examines how women’s bodies are used not just as a reward for in-game actions but also, via paid downloadable content, as a reward for spending actual money. We then address the most common defense of this kind of objectification and commodification of women’s […]
Jade – Beyond Good & Evil
This episode of our series on Positive Female Characters focuses on Jade, the protagonist of Ubisoft’s 2003 action-adventure game Beyond Good & Evil. We examine how plot elements, gameplay mechanics and smart dialogue work together to make Jade a relatable protagonist who is defined by her professional talents, her altruistic convictions, and her bonds with friends.
Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)
This is the second episode exploring the Women as Background Decoration trope in video games. In this installment we expand our discussion to examine how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence. The Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters […]
Ms. Male Character – Tropes vs Women
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, narrative […]
Damsel in Distress (Part 3) Tropes vs Women
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 attempt […]
Full IGN interview with Anita Sarkeesian
A few months ago I was interviewed by Paul Dean for an article at IGN entitled “Tropes vs Women in Video Games: Why it Matters”. Our conversation touched on a wide array of topics, including my experiences with games growing up, heroic women of the 1800s, and how I’ve responded to the organized harassment campaigns against […]