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Marcus Estrada

Tropes VS Women: Damsels in Distress Series

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Earlier this week the first part of the Tropes Vs Women video series came out! Yeah, I posted news about it coming out soon, but didn't want to make an entirely new news post about it the day it came out. So anyway here's the video:
 


This is part one of the Damsels in Distress section. After that, there are some 10 (I think?) more videos to come in the series. No date was given for when the next episode will be out, but I'll update this thread whenever that happens.

What do you think of the initial episode (well, half of it)? Do you think it is interesting and useful to the discussion of women in video games or should Anita have presented things differently?

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I was going to post this. I just saw it this morning but for some reason (to lazy) I didn't.

 

Anyway I think she forgets to mention that Zelda is a very capable character she can hardly be labeled as any type of damsel even a helpful one.

 

But most of her comments are on the spot and it's sad that she took off comments and ratings. Probably because last time she spoke out about this she got death threats and major haters. But hey she got 150k out of it so who is the real winner here?

 

This is just part 1 though there will be more parts. I hope that she remembers shes using older characters for part 1. I want to see her talk about newer characters in part 2. Specially ones that break the mold like gee i don't know.. Lightning Awesome Farron. (Awesome is her confirmed middle name, this is a fact).

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Thanks for posting this; I'd been meaning to check it out but haven't gotten around to watching it until now.

 

Overall, like Kiky said, I think most of her points are spot on, and it is a pretty enlightening watch in regards to her tracing back some of the earliest origins of the damsel in distress trope and how it has proliferated throughout the 20th century.

 

I'm not sure I entirely agree with her insistence that Peach is like a ball being tossed back and forth between Mario and Peach, though I understand what she means by it and that that metaphor is probably actually applicable to certain games. But to imply it in the Super Mario Bros. games would denote that neither Mario or Bowser truly care for Peach and only really want to satisfy their rivalry against each other, which would ignore what we've learned about Mario and Peach throughout the cartoon shows and video games in that they do care for each other and Mario does want to set her free while Bowser intends to restrict that freedom due to being infatuated with her (though this is something that's played up more in the show and in the comics).

 

In regards to Zelda, she's mostly correct that Zelda is rendered helpless at certain moments with almost too much of a "really?" kind of explanation in many of the games, but I really feel like they've stepped back from that in the last two console games in particular. In Twilight Princess, she isn't entirely helpless but makes it known that she can't actually do much due to diplomatic reasons and because she's protecting her people from Zant by not acting against him (again, other spoilerish details also abound here). It might seem like a convenient excuse to take her out of the picture, but she's portrayed more as a strong ruler who's looking out for her peoples' best interests, a scenario that has also been used in the case with men in several games as well, including Final Fantasy XII.

 

Regarding Skyward Sword, Zelda is probably the most fascinating character in that game for reasons that I can't mention due to spoiling the story. If I had to describe her relation to the plot, I would liken it to Professor X from the X-Men movies in particular. The reason he doesn't have a huge role in any of them in any protagonistic sense is because largely, he's the most powerful mutant and needs to be removed from the equation if there's to be any progress to the villain's side of the story. While Zelda isn't removed immediately, they do explain it in a sense that, like Xavier, she's extremely powerful, and the enemy doesn't want her as a trophy, it's because they recognize she does pose a threat and they want her power to achieve a means to an end. In any sense, I will say that there's only one true moment near the end where she's made helpless in the cliche sense, but it does make sense for story reasons, unlike some of the previous games. Outside of that, I thought they did a tremendous job of making her the best character in the game, and arguably just as strong as Link, if not more, for much of the story. I wish Anita discussed Impa's role in the story as well, as she actually was portrayed as stronger than Link when she shows up and acts almost as a mentor to him.

 

Anyhow, just wanted to share those two thoughts. Overall, Anita did a fairly good job of explaining things, even if I don't think she was quite as fair in explaining how some of those characters have progressed over time and how Krystal actually did become a playable character in later Star Fox games. Hopefully she'll address this in later games, but for now I'm interested to see what she has in store for the next episode.

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An interesting piece to be sure.

 

To add to the Zelda stuff, I remember how disappointed I was with Ocarina of Time's and Wind Waker's, er, Zeldas, because they started off so strong, and then "Ha! I've kidnapped you for no reason! MWHAH!". It was considerably odd in Ocarina of Time, because when Zelda was Sheik she seemed even more capable than Link, but then she reveals her true self and all her powers go down the crapper.

 

As for Tetra, I didn't mind it too much at all in Wind Waker, but in Phantom Hourglass it's more of a 'wtf?' thing. Seriously? How did SHE get kidnapped?

 

Um... that's about it. I don't have too much to add xD

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I see what she's getting at here, and I don't particularly like one sided arguments like this.

 

She does bring up valid points, all tailored to her argument of course, but valid nonetheless. I don't like how much she glosses over Zelda's not-helpless side so much, though at least she does bring it up. You mention this will be a multi-part series of videos, so I'm wondering what her take will be on non-damsel-in-distress females in games, because, surprise surprise, there are plenty of not-helpless females in games. She talks mainly about Nintendo, yet doesn't bring up Samus? Then again, this series IS for a feminist propaganda site so...

 

Also, I fail to see how this trope is detrimental to females. The people that say it reduces women to the role "object" are just plain stupid. It's purpose is to be a basic plot device, not to spitefully undermine women. It falls in the same category as "Stopping An Evil Force From Gaining Power" or "Epic Journey" type stories.

 

Sure, games used to pander mainly toward young males, because THAT'S WHO PLAYED THEM. Nowadays, because of gaming becoming more mainstream, we can see a much wider diversification, I mean, Mass Effect, a HUGE game series lets you play as male or female, both which are equally as able and capable of saving the universe.

 

She's just masking ignorance through a well-made (technically speaking) and well presented video series.

 

Just my two cents.

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Yeah, Ludono, it kinda irked me she never once mentioned Samus while going over the Nintendo franchises... I was assuming she'd mention it in a later video. I'm also a little put off that she didn't mention Peach's roles in the Mario RPGs, and relegated Super Princess Peach to "I'll talk about it later".

 

I really hope she'll mentioned the better side of females in gaming later... otherwise, this will be very one-sided indeed. It's hard to go over everything in one video, so I don't want to criticize yet... I want to see how she tackles the more sticky situations before I judge.

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I see what she's getting at here, and I don't particularly like one sided arguments like this.

 

She does bring up valid points, all tailored to her argument of course, but valid nonetheless. I don't like how much she glosses over Zelda's not-helpless side so much, though at least she does bring it up. You mention this will be a multi-part series of videos, so I'm wondering what her take will be on non-damsel-in-distress females in games, because, surprise surprise, there are plenty of not-helpless females in games. She talks mainly about Nintendo, yet doesn't bring up Samus? Then again, this series IS for a feminist propaganda site so...

 

Also, I fail to see how this trope is detrimental to females. The people that say it reduces women to the role "object" are just plain stupid. It's purpose is to be a basic plot device, not to spitefully undermine women. It falls in the same category as "Stopping An Evil Force From Gaining Power" or "Epic Journey" type stories.

 

Sure, games used to pander mainly toward young males, because THAT'S WHO PLAYED THEM. Nowadays, because of gaming becoming more mainstream, we can see a much wider diversification, I mean, Mass Effect, a HUGE game series lets you play as male or female, both which are equally as able and capable of saving the universe.

 

She's just masking ignorance through a well-made (technically speaking) and well presented video series.

 

Just my two cents.

 

I disagree with a bit of what you said. I think that even if it is just a plot device they need to get a new one. It's not just females that are getting tired of the same old song and dance it's also males. A lot of males like to play as strong female character (idk why don't ask lol). I mean look at MMOs a large percent of the females in the games are really males.

 

So if it is just a plot device they really need to get a better one or make it more interesting. If they made a more interesting damsel in distress and knight in shining armor story I wouldn't mind. If the plot, the gameplay, and the characters where good. But most of the time they come out 2 dimensional because the driving force of the story is one dimensional.

 

She brought up a really good point with the fact that people think that feminism should be a thing of the passed because we are all equal now. Sadly we are not, woman still face a lot of struggles and hardships and just because they aren't as common or as big of an issue as they use to be it does not me they are still not here.

 

I could drop down a lot of statistics on jobs, sexual harassment, bullying, ect. But I'm sure you know them by now.

 

Edit: Sorry if I'm rude boxing you, you know I have nothing against you I just felt like some of that needed to be said in this thread.

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I mean look at MMOs a large percent of the females in the games are really males.

 

That ain't because they want to play as a strong female character...

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I disagree with a bit of what you said. I think that even if it is just a plot device they need to get a new one. It's not just females that are getting tired of the same old song and dance it's also males. A lot of males like to play as strong female character (idk why don't ask lol). I mean look at MMOs a large percent of the females in the games are really males.

 

So if it is just a plot device they really need to get a better one or make it more interesting. If they made a more interesting damsel in distress and knight in shining armor story I wouldn't mind. If the plot, the gameplay, and the characters where good. But most of the time they come out 2 dimensional because the driving force of the story is one dimensional.

 

She brought up a really good point with the fact that people think that feminism should be a thing of the passed because we are all equal now. Sadly we are not, woman still face a lot of struggles and hardships and just because they aren't as common or as big of an issue as they use to be it does not me they are still not here.

 

I could drop down a lot of statistics on jobs, sexual harassment, bullying, ect. But I'm sure you know them by now.

 

Edit: Sorry if I'm rude boxing you, you know I have nothing against you I just felt like some of that needed to be said in this thread.

Not at all, I welcome a good rebuttal!

 

Overused? Sure, but then again, most story telling and plot devices are at this point, the reason why? They're still popular, they're familiar, people want to see them, even its subconsciously. That's why hero saving the world movies are still popular. And to quote Umberto Eco, "...every story tells a story that has already been told." There are no new stories, only new takes on the old stories.

 

Sure you could drop a ton of statistics, but do you really have to? It's clear that we're definitely heading in the right direction as a society with equality for everyone, I mean look how far we've come in the last 30 years! But we will never attain complete equality, not in the sense that feminists are arguing for anyway. You can have a society that is beneficial to everyone, but not equal on every level. Going down to the basic human anatomy, men will never be able to do things a woman can(though the movie Junior would argue that), because they were never intended to do so (such as give birth).

 

Anyways, I think we can coexist in a world where games have diverse plots, INCLUDING this one.

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Not at all, I welcome a good rebuttal!

 

Overused? Sure, but then again, most story telling and plot devices are at this point, the reason why? They're still popular, they're familiar, people want to see them, even its subconsciously. That's why hero saving the world movies are still popular. And to quote Umberto Eco, "...every story tells a story that has already been told." There are no new stories, only new takes on the old stories.

 

Sure you could drop a ton of statistics, but do you really have to? It's clear that we're definitely heading in the right direction as a society with equality for everyone, I mean look how far we've come in the last 30 years! But we will never attain complete equality, not in the sense that feminists are arguing for anyway. You can have a society that is beneficial to everyone, but not equal on every level. Going down to the basic human anatomy, men will never be able to do things a woman can(though the movie Junior would argue that), because they were never intended to do so (such as give birth).

 

Anyways, I think we can coexist in a world where games have diverse plots, INCLUDING this one.

 

Things we are born with we can't change. But what we can change we should for the better of the world. I can't think of many man that want to give birth but I know of a few woman that don't want to lol. Anyway we are talking about just America and more progressive countries. There is still plenty of countries where woman are lower class citizens. But thats a long story for another day.

 

Also I agree we are headed the right direction but heading somewhere means just that. We aren't there yet and it's going to take a while.

 

I already said how I felt about the damsel in distress. So I don't think theres anymore I can add to that. If you are okay with it thats fine, I just personally don't like it and honestly it has more to do with it being a boring plot device then a woman being considered to weak to save herself.

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Things we are born with we can't change. But what we can change we should for the better of the world. I can't think of many man that want to give birth but I know of a few woman that don't want to lol. Anyway we are talking about just America and more progressive countries. There is still plenty of countries where woman are lower class citizens. But thats a long story for another day.

 

Yes, I was never referring to any place other than the USA. Other countries and regions of the world are far less progressive than we are here. Seems like we are one of the better places in the world to live (not saying its perfect but...) yet we have some of the most obnoxious "complainers" as I like to refer to them, the hardcore feminists, the "Occupy Wallstreet" buffoons, Rednecks etc. I'd say that's BECAUSE we are one of the most progressive that people like that are able to be so vocal.

 

Anyways. Good mini-debate :)

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Yes, I was never referring to any place other than the USA. Other countries and regions of the world are far less progressive than we are here. Seems like we are one of the better places in the world to live (not saying its perfect but...) yet we have some of the most obnoxious "complainers" as I like to refer to them, the hardcore feminists, the "Occupy Wallstreet" buffoons, Rednecks etc. I'd say that's BECAUSE we are one of the most progressive that people like that are able to be so vocal.

 

Anyways. Good mini-debate :)

 

Yeah I enjoyed it to. It's pretty nice having a debate where both sides can keep it civil and neither gets hostile.

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You are all stupid butts, it's obvious that men are the ones being discriminated against in gaming. It is always up to us men to save the day or rescue or princess! Why can't we just take a day off and let you woman stop all the evil overlords for a change?

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Yeah, Ludono, it kinda irked me she never once mentioned Samus while going over the Nintendo franchises... I was assuming she'd mention it in a later video. I'm also a little put off that she didn't mention Peach's roles in the Mario RPGs, and relegated Super Princess Peach to "I'll talk about it later".

 

I really hope she'll mentioned the better side of females in gaming later... otherwise, this will be very one-sided indeed. It's hard to go over everything in one video, so I don't want to criticize yet... I want to see how she tackles the more sticky situations before I judge.

 

Hopefully she will mention Samus once we get to part 3 where she say that she'll talk about developer trying to reverse this. But obviously she wouldn't mention Samus since it would raise question to any of her argument. Honestly there isn't much for me to add to this as Lud pretty much nail it in the coffin for me. He pretty much had everything I would have said. I appreciate her view, I agree with her argument, but of course this was a well done research and a one sided debate. But this is really interesting for me. My one real problem is how she feel that the "plot" itself is so over use. I know this isn't the best of examples nor is it applicable in all situation. But if you let your female character escape we don't really have a story. Same goes for movie or any novel that uses this type of plot. I know we can do a lot of other plot devices to but I honestly nothing is more personal for a character than to go rescue someone of importance to them.

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Well hey I'm gonna add my opinion too...11 days later... I liked a lot of the references she had, going over games like Double Dragon, Ghosts n' Goblins, and even Final Fight is good argument. But as I can see everyone has undoubtedly caught onto by now there was no mention of Samus. This entire notion bothers me because of much she bashed on Nintendo yet didn't once bring her up. I'd also like to agree with something Ludono said about the target audience being young single men. At the time yeah, it made sense, now not so much. Which is why we have Lightning and Sheppard and other cool and successful female protagonists. Heck we even have some cool female villains like Alexia Ashford and Ada Wong from the Resident Evil series.

 

I'm actually really interested to see what she's going to do for the next video, I understand that the first part was more towards the stereotype itself and not characters breaking it just yet. Also to agree with Gaia, I am also slightly upset she didn't mention Peach's roles in Mario RPG games. I haven't played Super Mario RPG myself, but I think I know enough about the game that you can't just look it over so easily. Even in Paper Mario, Peach tries to escape, she tries to fight, she helps Mario through out the entire game so he can save the world, not just her. Hey even characters that were damsels in distress made come backs or complete turn arounds. Look at Final Fantasy 13-2, Serah went from complete unmoving object to main protagonist that saves the world! And I love using Lightning as a reference for that too. She's a strong and incredibly independent character, comparing her to Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 would be an insult to her in my opinion, frankly.

 

Sorry for bringing this up again haha, just watched the video and I really wanted to tell people my opinion. I hope the next video comes out soon so we can all talk again :D

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Well like Lud said, this was a one sided argument and obviously she is saving Samus as a big key factor in the later part. I'm just really interested in how she will bring all this together.

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IS SHE WEARING HULA-HOOPS ON HER EARS?!

 

*ahem*

 

Finally got around to watching this, and it was a bit better than I expected it would be considering some of the things I heard about Anita here (and because I've grown a bit iffy on feminists due to some of the annoying extremists out there). It was certainly interesting learning the origins of the damsel in distress trope, and I agree with plenty of her points, though I honestly think she should have provided a few counterpoints where possible, as to not make this part seem so one-sided (like the Zelda points Jason made, for instance). Nonetheless, I'm interested in watching the series to see if she decides to bring up what people have mentioned (Samus, other strong female characters, etc.).

 

Also, that's a nice review there, Jason ;)

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IS SHE WEARING HULA-HOOPS ON HER EARS?!

 

*ahem*

 

Finally got around to watching this, and it was a bit better than I expected it would be considering some of the things I heard about Anita here (and because I've grown a bit iffy on feminists due to some of the annoying extremists out there). It was certainly interesting learning the origins of the damsel in distress trope, and I agree with plenty of her points, though I honestly think she should have provided a few counterpoints where possible, as to not make this part seem so one-sided (like the Zelda points Jason made, for instance). Nonetheless, I'm interested in watching the series to see if she decides to bring up what people have mentioned (Samus, other strong female characters, etc.).

 

Also, that's a nice review there, Jason ;)

 

Don't worry Jordan even as a female some feminist scare me. I think that there is a fine line between wanting equality and wanting special privileges. Sadly the ones who are louder are going to out voice the more peaceful ones even if they don't out number them. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't let the bad apples ruin your view on a certain group just because they scream the loudest. True feminist (male or female) just want equality not to prove we are better then each other.

 

Still waiting for her next videos. Like I mentioned before I hope she makes it a point to counter with strong female characters not just bash old stereotypes.

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Lol, I posted this thread then let it thrive on its own. Well thank you for posting comments everyone and to Jordan also for pushing the thread into activity again or else I woulda forgotten yet again to post any sort of words here :P. Also, saying that extremists turn you off from listening to other things is pretty rough. I mean, every group has extremists (Christians, gamers, etc). Like gamers, you just learn to tune them out as "trolls" so put the same into effect with feminism? ;)

 

Although this doesn't have much to do with gaming, I must say I don't care for the argument of young men being the target by developers/publishers. Yes, they definitely were viewed the big audience of gaming (although young women, old women, old men, etc were always able to play too) but that's such a disgusting thing overall. Media isn't necessarily catering to what the young male demographic wants, but what they believe it wants. In turn, the audience feeds off of what they believe is societally expected of them and they act as if this is all they ever want.

 

Yes, teenagers are filled with hormones and probably do like to see attractive women (typically) onscreen and/or live out power fantasies though hulking beasts. However, it's painful to see that developers/publishers believe that's ALL men could possibly be interested in. We've seen games expand beyond these tropes more recently, but it doesn't change a massive history of things mostly stuck in the mud. It's gross that games are created to satisfy a supposed "male mindset" and worse that men themselves rarely seem to argue against it. Honestly, I see feminists rally up more about the problems men face in society than men themselves. I guess power fantasies and obsessive heterosexuality are not viewed as problematic by (most) men, but it certainly doesn't help young boys growing up today thinking they need to do [stereotypical male things] and have [stereotypical male interests] to satisfy ridiculous and sometimes sickening expectations of masculinity.

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Lol, I posted this thread then let it thrive on its own. Well thank you for posting comments everyone and to Jordan also for pushing the thread into activity again or else I woulda forgotten yet again to post any sort of words here :P. Also, saying that extremists turn you off from listening to other things is pretty rough. I mean, every group has extremists (Christians, gamers, etc). Like gamers, you just learn to tune them out as "trolls" so put the same into effect with feminism? ;)

 

Although this doesn't have much to do with gaming, I must say I don't care for the argument of young men being the target by developers/publishers. Yes, they definitely were viewed the big audience of gaming (although young women, old women, old men, etc were always able to play too) but that's such a disgusting thing overall. Media isn't necessarily catering to what the young male demographic wants, but what they believe it wants. In turn, the audience feeds off of what they believe is societally expected of them and they act as if this is all they ever want.

 

Yes, teenagers are filled with hormones and probably do like to see attractive women (typically) onscreen and/or live out power fantasies though hulking beasts. However, it's painful to see that developers/publishers believe that's ALL men could possibly be interested in. We've seen games expand beyond these tropes more recently, but it doesn't change a massive history of things mostly stuck in the mud. It's gross that games are created to satisfy a supposed "male mindset" and worse that men themselves rarely seem to argue against it. Honestly, I see feminists rally up more about the problems men face in society than men themselves. I guess power fantasies and obsessive heterosexuality are not viewed as problematic by (most) men, but it certainly doesn't help young boys growing up today thinking they need to do [stereotypical male things] and have [stereotypical male interests] to satisfy ridiculous and sometimes sickening expectations of masculinity.

 

This remind me of how if you can do a super fast run in Super Metroid you get to see Samus take out off her suit. I wonder if she'll use this bit in her next couple of video.

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Hey, I never said that the extremists turn me off from listening, I said that they make me a bit iffy. What I mean by that is that I'm unsure how to approach them because I'm not sure if I'll be annoyed or enlightened. I sill listen, though, which is the reason I watched this video.

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So when does the kickstarter for the next episode start?

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So when does the kickstarter for the next episode start?

 

When she's found some new topics from wikipedia to lie about, make hyperbole, do poor research, etc.

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When she's found some new topics from wikipedia to lie about, make hyperbole, do poor research, etc.

 

Hehe, I feel like we got a rebuttal in the making here.

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Does anyone know if episode 2/part 2 is out yet? I mean 150k is a lot of money I doubt she spent it all in one episode lol.

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