Last May, Anita Sarkeesian–founder of Feminist Frequency–launched a Kickstarter for a video series about “stereotypes of female characters” in video games. The description begins, “I love playing video games but I’m regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented. “
With an initial goal of $6,000, it ultimately raised $158,922 from 6,967 backers. While this outcome speaks to the level of interest, Sarkeesian has written about receiving a “torrent of misogyny and hate speech” and “intimidation and harassment” from the gaming community.
“Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games” was published to Youtube yesterday.
A quick quote from its 23:35 span:
“The damsel in distress is not just a synonym for weak. Instead it works by ripping away the power from female characters, even helpful or seemingly capable ones. No matter what we’re told about their magical abilities, skills or strengths, they’re still ultimately captured or otherwise incapacitated and then must wait for rescue.
Distilled down to its essence, the plot device works by trading the disempowerment of female characters for the empowerment of male characters.”