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satanhog
A week ago a “pop culture critic”* named Anita went on Kickstarter to beg for 6 grand to make a youtube type video about why video games are sexist.

* (though based on her youtube videos she only criticizes things she finds sexist) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8I0Wy58adM&list=UU7Edgk9RxP7Fm7vjQ1d-cDA&index=1&feature=plcp

In her video she says, (while pretending to play with a controller she doesn’t know how to turn on) “Have you ever noticed that with a few notable exceptions almost all female characters in video games fall into a few handful of clichés and stereotypes?” She then lists these stereotypes as the following:


· Damsel in Distress

The Fighting Fuck Toy
The Sexy Sidekick

The Sexy Villainess

Background Decoration



First of all we need to ignore Japan. I mean seriously that’s not even fair. Japan is fucking insane and they actually have rape simulators. Japan is off the table, because it’s not fair to make cultural judgments of that kind, but more importantly, Japanese games are designed for a Japanese market instead of a world market like in the Nintendo days. Look at the biggest selling games in the US http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games how many of these titles are from Japan?

The damsel in distress hasn’t been used extensively for quite some time. Granted it was a major staple in early NES titles, but in 1985 things were pretty different. The two biggest comedies on TV involved a bar owner who sexually harassed his employees and a courtroom where the DA sexually harassed the Public Defender. 1985 was a different time, and honestly video games are a different medium. Comparing the story telling abilities of modern games with 80’s games is like comparing modern cinema to shadow puppetry. The plots couldn’t be terribly complex so “someone kidnapped the princess, we need a brave knight to rescue her” isn’t a bad motivation, but that was so quickly played out that it doesn’t exist anymore. In fact it stopped existing back then. Princess Toadstool became a playable character and a useful player by 1987 and Princess Zelda was a useful ally in every game after the one where she’s under a sleeping spell. This was a trope back then, but it got so oversaturated that it’s gone away.

The fact is the better selling games almost always allow the player to choose gender of characters, or use a formula where that is awkward because it leans away from real life.

Like I’m sorry there are no positive female characters in the Madden series, but that’s football. We can’t change the real world. Women aren’t allowed in combat jobs in the military and female models have smaller hitboxes which is problematic.(remember goldeneye?)


As for the fighting fucktoy, that’s just bullshit. Here’s where the bullshit starts to unravel. One of the videogame characters she says is too sexy, is Mrs Pacman. I don’t know if any of you remember what Mrs Pacman looks like, but anyone who can get a hard on looking at Mrs Pacman is not having that idea broadcasted into their brain by the video game industry, they have an imagination lightyears beyond anything I understand.

What this goes back to is feminists getting angry whenever a woman is attractive, or ugly or whatever. Another example she gave of the “fighting fucktoy” is Lara Croft. Now I can’t imagine that Anita Clue would have any problem with the fact that Lara Croft is a female Indiana Jones, so what could it be … oh right she does her archeology in shorts and a tank top. Really the one who is being dismissive of women in this case is Anita Growup. The message here is “If a woman in a game is attractive, no matter how educated she is or how skilled she is, she’s just a dick holster”. Again like Mrs Pacman being a hotty, anyone who gets that in their head already had it there.

For the sexy sidekick, blow off. For the example she picks for this, she chooses Cortana. She’s trying to make the case that all women fill into these categories and she picks Cortana? A supporting character in a series where the player gets to choose their gender, the female marines act like marines, and the female Spartans are indistinguishable from the males except when they take off their helmets in the cutscenes? Yeah, if that’s the best you can do, these videos are going to be hilarious disasters of stupidity.

Again with the sexy villain, it gets even worse. She also says a trope is ugly = evil. So she doesn’t want the villains to be sexy and they can’t be ugly. That gets to the root of it, she wants all the female characters to be boring realistic portrayals of women inside a universe full of elves, aliens and magic. Sure thing.

As for background decoration, that’s never going to go out of video games. In a lot of ways video games are the most equal place where women are portrayed in all of entertainment, but there is no entertainment where this doesn’t happen, and I honestly don’t see what this has to do with “more interesting female characters”, but I do see what it has to do with being a typical trope of real life feminists. There is a kind of woman, usually in their early 30s or late 20s who searches culture looking for a reason to be offended. They don’t need any rational reason to be outraged, and like to use evidence from before they were born.

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