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Tropes vs Women: Damsel in Distress

Tropes vs. Women, a video series that looks at recurring stereotypes of female characters in video games, has released its first video in the series after being funded on Kickstarter last summer (the project received $158,922 of its requested $6,000 goal). As a trope the Damsel in Distress is a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must then be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest.

  • Posted by Matt

Tropes vs Women: Damsel in Distress


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  1. Man, I hate this lady's videos. Too much cherry picking, glossing over (or outright ignoring), and oversimplifying (some outright falsehoods to boot). Not to mention that patriarchy theory is scientifically unverifiable and shouldn't be used as a framework for analysis in anything remotely resembling a scientific forum. While I think the discussion she has spurred is worth having, by focusing exclusively on women in video games she distorts widespread issues of gender tropes in video games. I wish we would move on to somebody more thoughtful and less biased to guide the discussion as soon as possible.

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  2. The "damsel in distress" theme has been around in lore forever and I don't see it changing anytime soon. Male dominance at everything has always been prevalent. The same goes for video games. I know that there are many female gamers and I'm not trying to offend, but the honest fact is that most gamers are male. The gaming companies know this, so of course they market accordingly. However there are many series, that she failed to mention, that do star female leads. Characters like Samus Aran, Lara Croft, Bayonetta, Nights, and Shantae (just to name a very few) have had their own success in their respective franchises. Hell even Dixie Kong had her own game. And before you say how most female leads are usually depicted with very over-generous proportions and skimpy clothing, we must remember that it is just fantasy. People generally want to play as someone that they are not, whether it be a muscle-bound pretty boy or a voluptuous vixen. To end on a lighter note, lets hope she never finds out about game called Custer's Revenge.

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