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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games is a Waste of Your Time

Recent gaming trends led me to a video series known as Tropes vs Women, as hosted by Anita Sarkeesian. The series explores sexism, mostly against women, in various forms of media. The one I wanted to touch upon is her series about sexism in video games involving damsels in distress and how many red flags flew around in my mind whilst viewing it. The series was funded through Kickstarter, reaching over $158,000 of the required $6,000. Wow! It's good to know such a large sum of money is being sent to a serious charity that will help make the world a better place, right guys? Right?

Guys?

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"Help me, boys! I'm tied to this pole and only your money can save me!"

Anita's core example of the damsel in distress trope revolves around Princess Peach being saved by Mario time and time again after being kidnapped by the mean ol' Bowser. She states that Peach is never the main playable character, which we all can sadly agree with, but foreshadows to a future video discussing Super Princess Peach. We can all roll our eyes and predict the arguments she'll make but lets back up to the damsel in distress business. First off, it's no secret that it's a stereotype that Peach has been the victim of for decades but that's the point; it's been happening for decades. You would think something would have changed by now if more than just a few people actually cared but ask anybody, man or woman, if they think it's a sexist thing that is ruining society and needs a stop put to it. Don't be surprised if the response is a raise of the eyebrow and shaking of the head.

Secondly, out of the millions of people on the planet that have played a Mario game, how many of them shove the game into the system and growl to themselves "GR I just gotta save that Peach." I'd be surprised if the answer was more than zero because the simple fact is that Mario games are enjoyed for their creative level design and challenges. It's about the journey, not the destination. The damsel in distress trope is just a throwaway plot device that no one would even notice if it was changed.

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"This umbrella is to block the feminists that rain on my parade. And smacking them."

The Legend of Zelda series is a more complex deal but another argument that Anita uses in her video. She mentions how Zelda is pretty much always a helpless damsel, save for a few moments such as when she becomes Sheik or Link's ghostly choo choo sidekick. No Zelda game is exactly the pinnacle of literature but most of the games have Zelda as Link's childhood friend so there's definitely an emotional narrative as the driving force for her rescue, and Skyward Sword's was very heartwarming and rewarding. Oh, but she was a girl in trouble so that's a bad thing that should be frowned upon. You can say I'm defending these franchises because I'm a long time fan, but I honestly don't see how anybody can have a problem with it.

Sexism in video games certainly exists and is a fun thing to argue about, but there are better ways to do it than this. Anita said it herself that the damsel in distress trope has been around since the invention of brainstorming. So why is it a big deal? What are you going to change that has been around since cave paintings? You can draw over those paintings as much as you want but they'll always be there. Video games are something that you don't need to have in your life and in the meantime, the rest of us can enjoy our damsel in distress video games in which women voice actresses are happy and proud to be a part of. The reason this bothers me is that over $100,000 was funded for this video series. Congratulations. You people funded something that anybody with a webcam could have done for free and would have changed an equal amount of nothing. Thank you for using Paypal.

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"Jeeves, tell my attorney to open a kickstarter. Fake women will never be in distress again."

I realize that I probably blind fired so many shots but I just needed to get this one off my chest. Honestly, I'm not that interested in sexism arguments but I really think this woman is snobby and shouldn't be getting free money for doing literally nothing. It reminds me of the guy who claimed he could make your car run on water. This is my first real piece of writing outside of reviews so I hope anyone who read it feels free to give constructive criticism or other feedback. Until next time, fellow Gamespotters!