Are Women Too Hard To Animate? Female Combatants

July 27, 2016

Subscribe to us on YouTube This episode examines the general lack of female representation among standard enemies as well as in the cooperative and competitive multiplayer options of many games, and the ways in which, when female enemies do exist, they are often sexualized and set apart by their gender from the male enemies who […]

Lingerie is not Armor

June 6, 2016

Subscribe to us on YouTube 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 […]

Women as Reward – Special DLC Mini-Episode

September 14, 2015

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 […]

Jade – Beyond Good & Evil

May 11, 2015

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 […]

Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)

August 25, 2014

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 […]

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, […]

Full IGN interview with Anita Sarkeesian

June 6, 2013

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 […]

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” […]

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 […]

TEDxWomen Talk about Online Harassment & Cyber Mobs

December 5, 2012

  I was excited to participate in this year’s TEDxWomen in Washington, DC, an annual event organized by the Paley Center for Media. I presented a 10 minute talk about sexist online harassment, cyber mobs and both the destructive and uplifting power of online communities. In this talk, I use the analogy of an MMO (Massively […]

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