Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tropes vs. Women in Video Games Is Live!

Anita Sarkeesian runs an awesome website called Feminist Frequency.  It largely covers female representation in pop culture media--books, TV shows, movies, etc.  There was an awesome series that she made called Tropes vs. Women, in which she talked about a lot of common, negative, and often harmful tropes in popular media and why these tropes are negative and harmful.

The video series was a big success.  She decided to do a Kickstarter campaign to create another video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, which obviously looks at how women are often portrayed in video games and how these representations are misguided at best and more commonly harmful.

I love critical analysis of media, and as I mentioned in a previous post, I've really been paying attention to representation of people in media lately.  I found the Nostalgia Chick through the Nostalgia Critic's videos, but I continue to watch them because she provides a smart, funny, engaging, and awesomely critical look at movies and television (and once children's toys). 

The Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series was something that I was immediately interested in.  I mean, I understand that women are treated unfairly in the media, but to get an in-depth analysis of video games?  I really wanted to Kickstarter to succeed.

And it did.  Her intended goal was $6000; however, she instead raised close to $160,000.

She also became the target of a malicious and organized online harassment campaign led and consisting largely of grown men intent on keeping the status quo in the video gaming industry the way it is--i.e. excluding and discouraging women from entering wherever possible.  Since a lot of these tropes are power fantasies by men, Anita Sarkeesian is sort of threatening their way of life (viewing women as possessions and objects rather than people).

They didn't win, and part one of her video series is now live.  Watch it.  It is awesome, and I am already eagerly waiting for the next video in the series.