March 25, 2013
Battle of the Sexes: Men Vs. Women In Video Games (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of a 3-part series. You can read Part 1 here.
After watching Anita Sarkeesian’s video “Damsel in Distress: Part 1- Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” the Internet was set ablaze with a slew of videos containing heated opinions. I’m going to highlight a few other YouTube users, and their opinions on it.
I’m going to start out with TheAmazingAtheist, who posted a video in response to Anita’s titled, “Who’s the Damsel Now?” In his video, he makes no counterarguments to Anita’s video, but rather points out another problem. Anita disabled ALL forms of feedback on her video. The comments, likes & dislikes, and even viewer statistics are all disabled. In a blog on his tumblr page, TheAmazingAtheist says that, “[Her] unwillingness to allow that stance to be challenged undermines the legitimacy of [her] claims because it sends the signal to everyone who lands on your page that [her] ideas cannot hold up under scrutiny.”
He goes on to talk about how he received radical reactions to his totally unbiased and fair challenge. Including one lady who calls him a, “f***ing pig [who’s] sad his blog is sh** and everyone cares more about anita because her opinions are actually valuable.” And another one who honestly believes that men are “at their core violent, malformed, and weak. They shouldn’t lead; households or countries.”
He finishes his video by saying that both sides obviously have the radical and/or trolling individuals among the masses of dissent. The fact that Anita, however, disables comments gives off the impression she is afraid of what others have to say and cannot defend it. On his tumblr page, TheAmazingAtheist replies to many of his haters, and even puts them up for the public to see.
He drives the point home by saying that ironically, Anita is falling into the “Damsel in Distress” stereotype by not actually defending her opinions, but falling back, hiding, and allowing her supporters to save her from the dissenting masses.
Another YouTuber named MrRepzion posted a video named “Re: Damsel in Distress.” (Caution: Foul language.) I don’t agree with most of his argument, but Repzion’s point is that there are hundreds of games with female protagonists. He goes on to name 80’s titles like Lady Bug, Mrs. Pac-Man and Ninja Princess. He then names his own personal collection of games with female protagonists such as “Bayonetta”, “Super Princess Peach”, “Mirror’s Edge”, and “Beyond Good & Evil”.
With this list, and the rest of the video, MrRepzion basically undermines the notion that the “Damsel in Distress” represents a majority of gaming, especially in modern games. He represents a majority of the dissent towards this video.
The last video I’m highlighting is about a male feminist who supports the video. YouTuber and journalist marnax uploaded a video titled “Damsel in Distress – Tropes vs Women in Video Games – Reaction.” Marnax, being in agreement with the video, doesn’t offer very much original opinion. But he points out that Shigeru Miyamoto’s influence on the Zelda franchise definitely correlates to the use of the trope. In more recent games, such as The Wind Walker and Skyward Sword, Zelda plays a more helpful role through most of the game before being captured. It is also worth noting that in his old age, Miyamoto is starting to slack off in how directly he works on designing with these franchises, and is allowing the younger generation to take more part in it before he retires.
So even proponents of the cause are admitting to the fact that the games are changing with time and old ways are dying out. While there are far more videos online of people who disagree, Marnax represents a significant amount of the feminist public.
In Part 2 of this 3-part series I highlighted others’ opinions on the video and Anita’s cause as a whole. Check back for Part 3 where I speak my mind on the matter, and what I think Anita should do as she continues these videos.
Image Credit: Danomyte / Shutterstock