3 thoughts on “Video: Damsels, Vixens & Buff Guys: Sexism in Video Games

  1. I think that shifts in certain franchises may help change the gender roles of the game industry. Historically Peach and Zelda were both just damsels in distress but have recently become not only more major characters but in Peach’s case the sole character. When the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came out for the N64, a big change happened to the story. No longer was she being kidnapped and rescued. Zelda escapes capture and works behind the scenes to fight Gannondorf (the antagonist). She isnt presented in any scant clothing or in an advanced state of undress. In the story she is given the role of bearing the wisdom of the gods. In the latest installment of the Zelda franchise Zelda is presented not as a princess, a title synonymous with being a damsel, but as a queen who in under duress still makes wise decisions. These changes to the basic story made it so that you weren’t saving the princess anymore, you were liberating your country aided constantly by a strong none sexualized female.

    Final Fantasy has always had leading female roles but continues to design even the strong independent characters as overly sexualized people. There has been some advances on the breast size front in adventure/rpg games though. With studies showing that the majority females enjoy these types of games over others has forced design teams to change the way they make the characters.

    The gender bias in the gaming world specifically in the adventure games can be eliminated very easily by simply studying what it is that makes up the story line. The typical adventure/rpg game use the standard rules in literature for defining an epic hero. 1. Mysterious circumstances surround birth or childhood. 2. Magical or seemingly omnipotent teacher. 3. Magical or mythical weapon or tool. 4. Charged with quest, ordeal, or undertaking to prove themselves in which they over come impossible odds. 5. Gain heightened status after defeating an antagonist or alternatively have an overwhelming revelation or enlightenment. This list is gender non-specific. The female epic hero appears in literature every now and again but not regularly enough to have influenced society. If the producers of adventure/rpg games were to look at these things they would see that the formula for the epic tale can have a female protagonist. I can not however think of any female epic heroes. The only ones that spring to mind are Perseus and Achilles of Greek myth or Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings. But obviously should Perseus be replaced by a woman the story would go unchanged. Cast to sea in a chest, brought up in foreign lands, taught to fight by gods, given sword and shield by gods, killed monsters, claimed birthright. No where does it require the need to be a male.

    I think it would be a huge step forward to have the protagonist of an epic game but a female who isn’t huge breasted and overly “girlish”. Not to suggest that she needs to be a tom-boy, but as stated in the video, the virgin and the whore are a problem because they seem to be the only characters that are made in games. The virgin is almost always subservient and made up of the “sorority sister” stereotypes.

  2. Interesting video. They make some good points(don’t agree with everything though)It’s funny they mention raiden.I still hate that pansy character with a passion….

Comments are closed.