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Women in Gaming Scenarios

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    Eternal Champion
    • Oct 2004
    • 5747

    This fits right in here.

    Interesting article over on the Grauniad website, about an open source tool that can be used to create text based 'games' with strong, sometimes highly personal, narratives, and apparently very popular with with women, gay, transgender, etc. folks. Anyone interested in the future potential of narrative in our modern complex multimedia age could do worse than give this a read.

    Twine: the program that’s democratised the video gaming world
    The free, easy-to-learn tool has encouraged non-techies, many of them women, to create their own games and explore subjects far beyond the traditional shoot ’em ups, sport and space fantasies. But the change hasn’t gone down well with everyone…

    A potentially very handy tool for playing with some interactive story telling. I wish I'd had something like it when I first put together my own website, about fifteen+ years ago. All written on Win95-Notepad, in HTML 3.? and never proof read because it was all over the place.

    Try Twine for yourself:


    • Darth Cypher
      Nomad of the Time Streams
      • Jul 2015
      • 25

      I disagree with Anita Sarkeesian
      1st she speaks about "Women as Background Decoration"
      I don't see a lot of "women" in her example.
      Young girls, female half-elve, melnibonean princesses but only few women, considering what is the average body proportion of women in the real world, especially in USA ( with 65,7 % overweighted & 30,6 % obesity affected people).
      So these female creatures she defends are fictive photoshoped ones, not the female human I see every day in public transport or in the street.
      Perhaps she should defend goblins shown as weak and orcs as stupid too?
      What about all these zombies who are never treated as human beings? even if walking a corpses needs some respect.

      2ndly she is sexist as well: she complains that in Watch Dogs
      player must wait for the crime to start or end before fighting/punishing perpetrator.
      Of course any (ugly) male shouting at a pure/innocent/weak woman is always ready to stab her and should be arrested.
      Looks like "Minority Report"
      Of course, the program script makes it to be the case.
      Just as the program script stops the player with invisible wall when reaching game area limit, prevent entering in any building we want , building stuff like in 2nd life,...we can also complain to that as well.
      Game is violent. In real world, wives are more often victims than husbands, weak, sick, stupid, poor and old than strong healthy intelligent, rich and young.
      That's violence. If you don't like violent world play Chess, Candy Crush, Sim Farm, Poker(only for token and point not for money),...
      Her attitude is like entering in a sex shop and complaining about nudity saying you just came to by "shoes that kills" that can only be found here.

      3rdly a large proportion of games she complains are from Rockstar Games, well know for its polemic=promotion marketing or are linked to ASSASSIN Creed and HITMAN franchise.
      Do you really expect such names to be a warranty of morality? It's like complaining about top-model undressing in magazines and only speaking of Playboy and Penthouse.
      Does Anita Sarkeesian knows about "Joan of Arc: Wars & Warriors" ?
      Here you have in a very violent game a virgin, catholic saint, armorclad from foot to neck (no cleavage) who slices 1vs50, men-at-arm that weight the double of her into piece.
      She can even parry arrows with her sword as easily as Obiwan & Anakin counter blaster beams.
      PSP Jeanne d'Arc T-RPG is also nice with full parity.

      Perhaps she likes to support SlutWalks protest marches and wants heroins to be hyper sexy without being victims?

      No problem, FTP MMORPG Scarlet Blade is made for her:
      Nurses in pink mini skirt, sword amazon with titanium corset, wolverine-clawed girls in catsuit and big gun markswomen in vinyl string,... fights (like Emily "Baby Doll" Browning and her Sucker Punch kill team) against plenty of male stereotype
      - terminator like robot
      - power armor space marine
      - madmax punk
      - zombie/mutant badass
      before resting in swimsuit in a disco pool.
      The "Escort Girl" mission were the female cyborg has to protect a (male) rookie crossing mutant post-apocalyptic area to reach secured camp is the perfect opposite to the "Damsel in distress" trope
      There is even an "help your best-friend going to party despite she is punished for the week-end" where you escort a girl to her boyfriend stuck in an outpost, not to protect her but to make the trip quicker so that nobody noticed she left her hologram at her post.
      A real femen dominated world were Chippendale (with sometime gay-pride like clothing) like men are only here for the background, just as PSP Queen's Blade T-RPG were they are only weak grunts.
      In this Sci-Fi world each underground city mankind survives is dominated by an IA called "Mother" using female hologram to communicate and female cyborg as enforcers.
      Cyborg with energetic whips are +/- shown as priestesses of this goddess-like entity.

      In King's Bounty spin-off Armored Princess, Amelia is there to save the "lords in distress" since her father (and previous king) defeat.
      Type stereotypes are suggested for this female commander: sexy warrior or sorceress but also chaste paladin.
      Cleavage & bare thighs or shining armor with holy cross and white dress YOU choice.
      Warlords, errant knights, tribes chiefs ask or sometimes nearly beg Amelia to rescue the kingdom.
      I wonder if the video game inspired the last part of "White Snow and the Huntsman" were the Damsel not any more in distress, came back in full plate to poke the witch queen ass with her long sword.

      Is Princess Lenna of Final Fantasy V a Damsel in distress?
      I think not. the King of Thycoon IS in distress just as all the continent. She is recruiting and leading the rescue party.
      In Chainsaw Lollipop, cheerleader Juliet Starling saves her boyfriend (who also plays a frozen damsel in distress role) and her zombie-hunter father cries as he realizes she is better tactical expert than him.
      Faris/Sarissa was a lost girl who rescue herself and became leader of fearless and lawless pirates and thank to her rank save the heroes from been executed by the pirates.
      What about other Final Fantasy X & XIII girls like Claire/Lightning, Lulu,.. who have more experienced in combat or magic, than males...
      look at this teaser and tell me who is in distress the Damsel or her jailers?
      In GBA Advance Wars, Nell is your military instructor, Commanding Officer Sami is a "Miss Rambo" who is the for infantry assault & capture.
      Just like Tania Adams in Command & Conquer: Red Alert.
      Sure Deathtrap Dungeon relied on sexist marketing (if you consider dominatrix are less than their male slave...) and intro (suggesting the wizard harem MAY be the price) BUT Chaindog & Red Lotus have equal chance of winning the game
      (perhaps Lotus a little more as she is a slimmer target) and none wins the harem. CD shows his muscled arms skin, RL her sexy leg one: 1-1 for eye candy contest.
      What about Sarah Kerrigan Ghost then Alien Queen in Starcraft & Brood War ?
      Look at the cinematic of Starcraft Ghost who is in distress ? the elite sharpshooter damsel who will be ignored thanks to her cloaking cybersuit or the big body small head space knight in armor?
      Noticed the sequence shows another trope called "Samus is a girl" in reference to Metroïd
      Anita Sarkeesian shows Sgt Calhoum in Wreck-It Ralph as an exception but she is nothing else than a Terran Ghost and her troopers Marines fighting Zergs.
      (this explains why she has a lighter armour/space suit than her troops)
      In Winx Club (PC) who is in distress in Black Mud Swamp? the fairies/princesses or their princes boyfriends who will be blamed for the troll escape & airship crash?
      Note that boss fights with princess Bloom in winged fairy mode is perfectly realized, nearly looking like the mobile suit Gundam or Robotech 3D dogfights.

      Obviously Anita Sarkeesian knows better feminism than video games and is the perfect target for controversy marketing strategy of the games she condemns.
      Instead of involuntary(?) promoting sexist games, she should promote "Girl Power" ones.
      I am also surprised that in her video women and girls tits are hidden by added black shapes, while blood, guts resulting from decapitation, explosion or evisceration are not.
      What is her message ? bloodshed is natural but breasts are something to be ashamed of?!
      I prefer seeing my wife sunbathing top-less (this is legal on French beaches) than loosing blood from injury.

      After playing same game as I, will she still complain that to fight female character have to be full plate nun or bikini amazon ?
      Hey welcome to the club, just look praying tin boxes of John Boorman Excalibur, Iron-Man, clone troopers, Halo Master Chief... and 300 Spartans in leather string, Conan and He-Man their fur pants, Rocky with his star and stripes trunks.
      Do we men complain that because we don't have an hoplites, barbarian or Heavy weight body we must sweat under a cumbersome armor to cosplay impressive movie or game heroes?
      As supporting the "cosplay is not consent" campaign ( ) I admit that male attitude in virtual world SOMETIMES shows in real one.
      Neither developers nor costumes should be blamed, only stupidity! Men doing to real girl/women what games allows to their pixel counterpart didn't get maturity since as boys they thought that wearing a red cape will make them fly, wearing spider-man costume stick to the walls or plastic shield can stop a kitchen knife. According to Anita Sarkeesian such guys will assault women because it its shown as normal in video game.
      Well why don't they drive at top speed as GTA policemen stops pursuit, why don't they hunt wild-boars with a fire-axe as WoW shows this a a basic quest, why do they bother with stairs and elevators as Assassin's Creed proved jumping by the window is quicker and safe?
      Yes there are stories of plane-jacking because the guywanted to practice Flight Simulator IRL, but I doubt it was a motivation for 09/09/2001.
      In GTA V the tortured victim is a man not a woman and what happen is no better no worse than the "girl assaulted" event.
      At the beginning of Rambo: First Blood Part II on CPC you saved a male soldier from torture and you have to rescue other men.
      Anita Sarkeesian blinders just focus on poor women not poor man? because a man is/has to be strong ? while women weakness should not be shown.
      Who are sexist? the developers, the gamers or the feminists?

      She also complains about "girls begging to be killed" (to prevent damnation, transformation,..). Well do you remember Terminator 2. Isn't alpha male Schwarzenegger begging a woman and her son the destroy him to prevent spare parts recycling into evil robots?
      The NES video game ends like this too
      "begging for mercy kill" is a trope but not a sexist one, it could even be a proof least of self sacrifice, this mean of psychological strength rather then weakness. Just think of the Christ accepting his Passion and pierced by Longinius spear on the cross!

      Such things that are "not coming out of vacuum" has she says should not be interpreted as banalization of violence against women but as a way to had something dramatic in addition to fear, epic, fantasy, well everything you don't see everyday in real life where you can gently sit on confortable armchair and take your gamepad afterwork (things refugees and soldiers have life time for...) Hey if bricklayers & masons were inspired by TETRIS red-bricks houses would be build in half time! An ADVENTURE is NOT standard life, just ask your insurance company! These narrative "stimuli" are used because they know player WON'T be indifferent (hey it worked well for Anita) NOT to make people finding it current in real life because of games(worked little less for some feminists...)
      Developers exploit "over and over" woman victimization but except Anita and game addict who has time to play "over and over" such games up to the "sexist scene" ?
      Did she herself? or was just sent a youtube cinematic link by a game addict wife/girlfriend angry against the console or by Rockstart marketing services wanting some buzz?

      I'm also surprised that Anita Sarkeesian who seems to follow with great care Rockstar Games catalogue didn't congratulate Bully as an example of woman's lib & galantery.
      Game start with the player, a school boy is dropped from at a boarding school while his divorced mother drives away with her new boyfriend.
      In this game, while player can fight with or racket ONLY boys, the only thing he can do with girls is offering flowers & chocolate hoping for an healing kiss.
      The school prefects seems to have selective blinders. When player attack (or is assaulted by) a boy out behind them or far away, the fight can go up to full K.O. with extra humiliation / "finish him" possibility.
      but if the just slap player just slap a girl who insults him, she immediately gets an extra speed running power + act as the ultimate magnet for the prefects.

      Therefore, the ultimate targets and the young, weak or fatty, comics reading and timid nerds (with glasses or not).
      They are easy to fight with little risk of loosing or being punished.
      As that is exactly what I was at the beginning of puberty and what seems to be the archetype of young sexist game players, playing Bully should be a good way for Anita Sarkeesian to get revenge and self satisfaction without borrowing the gamers with extra censorship
      (several games she spoke about are already +17 or +18 rated)

      Featuring too many games with macho-women like Lara-Croft should be even more dangerous if we follow the idea of "game shows example"
      School boys would think that any shy daddy's little girl actually hide Hit-Girl fighting skills behind this weak appearance and the pigtail girls playing doll are preparing some Sucker-Punch tactic and therefore could be assaulted for "playing and training" just like boys from Judo or Rugby club or even should be as right of (preventive) self-defense.
      Last edited by Darth Cypher; 10-08-2015, 06:16 AM.


      • Heresiologist
        Mothra Worshipper
        • Jan 2012
        • 982

        Originally posted by Darth Cypher View Post
        I disagree with Anita Sarkeesian
        1st she speaks about "Women as Background Decoration"
        I don't see a lot of "women" in her example.
        Young girls, female half-elve, melnibonean princesses but only few women, considering what is the average body proportion of women in the real world, especially in USA ( with 65,7 % overweighted & 30,6 % obesity affected people).
        So these female creatures she defends are fictive photoshoped ones, not the female human I see every day in public transport or in the street.
        Perhaps she should defend goblins shown as weak and orcs as stupid too?
        What about all these zombies who are never treated as human beings? even if walking a corpses needs some respect.
        In both of her Background Decoration videos she states:

        "I define the Women as Background Decoration trope as: The subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds."

        I'm not really sure what to make out of your second point. She's sexist because in the context of an examination of the presentation of females in video games she doesn't criticize a game for possibly implying that ugly men shouting at women are always ready to stab the women they're shouting at?

        Your third point seems to be about exceptions to the trends Sarkeesian is trying to reveal. She's got an Instagram account (or something) where the sheer magnitude of images speaks to the pervasiveness of the things she's critiquing. A short list of exceptions is not a strong rebuttal to that.
        Last edited by Heresiologist; 10-17-2015, 08:42 PM.


        • Darth Cypher
          Nomad of the Time Streams
          • Jul 2015
          • 25

          Short list of exception? I will make it bigger.
          Maybe be this list cumulate to the other exceptions she speaks in her videos.
          While the game I spoke about, I either played them in full version, playable demo, my wife or my daughter played them or watch the anime/movie the game was coming from, I only knew of her sexist game from the trailer & her videos.

          Isn't it paradoxal a "fantasy girl" geek like me knows more "girl power" games but less macho(*) game than a feminist?

          (*) I prefer this term for anti-women game as some sexist game can show male are weak, background element,... while the alpha-female characters are over power.

          By the way, to this "girl power" list could be added the old Catwoman on the Game Boy/Girl Color that I transmitted to my daughter who has just replay in car this WE.
          Together we played Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, usually in NASCAR or F1, the boy races for the girl kiss on podium here in 1st mission Amy Rose races to catch Sonic. Feminist should be satisfied except her Pink cabriolet is much more Girl Power.
          You can also unlock as "girl power" groovy & swinging Ulala from Space Channel 5 or "Monster High like" Zobiko gothic girl from House of the Dead EX. She teams with Zobio but when winning you see in the animation that she claims the victory walking on her male partner.

          Video game is a market.
          If macho game are produced, its because people buy macho game.
          If people buy less macho game and more asexual (Tetris & Chess like) or more girl power game, more of these game will be developped.
          Note also that some game will use oversexualized marketing while been nearly assexual, just look the case of Ebony
          Should developper be blamed for that?

          By promoting all these trope, she is nearly helping their marketing. If I would like to buy the most macho game, I would check her review as she is skilled for finding women assault opportunities that most players don't dare to try, fearing it would make main mission failing.

          Nethertheless her complains is quite funny as real "dangerously sexist games" are in these japanese eroge that I would not name (to prevent promotion), except a Wikipedia known one
          If you are 16+ just type "RapeLay" as search.

          Of course "many noting that rape is a lesser crime compared to murder, yet there are thousands of legal video games in which the goal is to kill enemies" yet you can always say you train as fighter pilot only to bomb terrorist to defend the innocents (and not only widow & orphan girl ) & just kill "bad people" for Justice, while rape isn't a self-defence method nor legal punishment (even in American states where death penalty applies) nor "Geneva compliant" military mission.

          Better "just slapping 10 than raping 1 virtual sluts" in a S(d)A ("Sarkeesian (dis)Approved") game. Better playing S(d)A games than speaking a rude word or looking with pervert eyes even a single girl or woman sitting in front of you in the bus or just even thinking about touching her.

          But don't think all japanese games are bad.
          Look Gundam franchise. I played "Gundam Wing: Endless Duel" and female Lucrecia Noïn is as effficient as the other pilots.
          In the anime she equals the local "Char Aznable" version.
          At 1st sight Relena Darlian Peacecraft would look like the "Damsel in distress" because she doesn't actually fight, but so would be many USA & France Presidents, UK Prime Ministers (even Mrs Tatcher)
          Relena is the Boss, the best in politic, diplomacy and perhaps economic. She ends the war and become for a moment Queen of Earth. Gundam pilots are nothing else for her than Preatorian Garde for Roman Emperor.

          Same way Hirule could be seen like marion Zimmer Bradley sees Brittania in the Mist of Avalon.
          Who have the true power ? Jousting knights, withering Arthur? or the fairy-goddesses who pull the strings of men's fates?
          Who really rules the kingdom, deals with people complains, rise taxes, give justice while Link plays with his bow or boomerang except Princess Zelda?
          Who has the power of resurrecting Link like as easily as repairing a doll except Venus, the Fairy Queen. She is the Mother-Goddess, could save the world but doesn't as she prefers looking Link boy questing around.
          Just like any IRL mother could kill Ganon by switching of the console but doesn't as she finds the game a funny way to entertain her son in the service of his virtual girlfriend, just as her husband go to work for supporting her perfect family.
          What prevent little girl writing stories about a real crown princess everyday's life while her brother plays the knight?
          "Damsel in distress" trope is a perfect educational tool to prevent irresponsible male teenagers leaving their girlfriend alone as pregnant single moms.
          Why Feminists spoils it as a weakness stereotype, while it could be shown as a responsibilty example?
          You bought/asked for the game and be the kingdom champion: you have now to save the Damsel and give back our kingdom its ruler.
          You have organized/asked for this date and hot night: you have now to assume the pregnancy and the reputation of your partner.

          Look also the Sailor Moon franchise, I played 3 games the Final Fantasy like RPG, 2 Double Dragon beat'em up and a streetfighter like fighting but many other exist

          OK japanese uniform school girls & magical girl are tropes that look sexist
          But look closer: according to Wikipedia:
          "sailor fuku ... was introduced as a school uniform in 1920 in Heian Jogakuinand 1921 by the principal of Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University Elizabeth Lee. It was modeled after the uniform used by the British Royal Navy at the time, which Lee had experienced as an exchange student in the United Kingdom."
          So it's a cadet uniform. It symbolize the right for girl to have education and right for women to be involve in military effort.
          If occidental macho & feminist see it as symbol of female weakness, they are wrong.

          What is Magical Girls except than another form of super-hero? Peter Parker gets surnatural power from Spider, Bunny gets them from Moon & a cat. Most of the time they help people (including male and even boyfriends) in distress

          Back to the game, male suffer from trope more than the girl as they are either
          - stereotype of gentlemen in cumbersome smoking suit and big hat, full of galantery, codemned to open every door to any lady: Tuxedo Mask
          - jester, clown, joker with silly costume refused for 1960s burlesque Batman TV with Adam West. Well just like feminist girl see the teenage boys of their school or feminist mother see their son's school friend. Isn't this a trope?

          Of course Sailor Moon cries when loosing but this is not the case for stronger champions like Jupiter or Uranus. In anime, some character are really dangerous: Saturn who is Death or Galaxia who is the equivalent of Jean Grey/Phoenix from X-Men.

          Therefore I think Anita Sarkeesian blacklist is just like sharing a list of good beers to share with your big-brother at 20 years-old +11 month in a californian Springbreak. Despite even drinking 1 can for 2 would illegal, real problem will be with your 21+ years old best friend drinking alone a full whisky bottle and driving the car...
          Commiting sin for (stupid) fun and moral/authority challenge versus commiting (or even plotting) crime.

          "Bad" tropes exist for everything in multimedia, but are they so dangerous? Playing (non-gambling) games IRL is a better socializing activity (try Stormbringer/Elric/Hawkmoon/Mournblade RPG ) than any videogame.
          (except perhaps if you play RISK this way: )

          Forget feminist point of view. I you have a daughter you want to play in video game a self-confident, powerful, brave or whatever positive heroine, the "Girl Power" game collection is big enought for your wallet.
          But been an heroe in virtual world is not enought to get some self-confidence, except, if we listen some feminists, for harassing people, isn't this a sexist thought.
          Stop XXth Century feminist vision and check the XXIst one with this kind of point of non-anti male view
          or stay thinking like
          Last edited by Darth Cypher; 10-22-2015, 06:12 AM.