Description: This video is a great icebreaker for a class discussion and project on sexism and the use of tropes in videogames. Much respect to the important and powerful work of Anita Sarkeesian and her blog Feminist Frequency.

How are women represented in Video Games?
How are women represented in Video Games?

Just one of the great quotes in this video:

“it’s undeniable that popular culture is a powerful influence in or lives and the Damsel in Distress trope as a recurring trend does help to normalize extremely toxic, patronizing and paternalistic attitudes about women.”

Read more about this briliant video here:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2013/03/damsel-in-distress-part-1/

Questions for Discussion:

  • What video games do you play? Are there any women depicted in these games? Describe their role in the game?
  • Can you choose to be a female character in the games you play? Do you choose the female character? Why or why not?
  • What is a trope? Do you see tropes in other forms of media?
  • As a woman do you feel comfortable playing video games? Have you ever considered them sexist?
  • As a man do you feel comfortable playing video games? Have you ever considered them sexist?
  • As an LGBTQ person do you feel comfortable playing video games? Have you ever considered them sexist?
  • What is a stereotype? How do video game characters follow stereotypes?
  • What movie influenced the Donkey Kong video game?
  • Why do you think women in video games are depicted in the ways described in this video?
  • Can you name a video game that has a female protagonist or hero?
  • What other tropes or stereotypes have you seen in videogames?

Project Ideas:

  • Research a video game that you enjoy. Can you find a movie, book or story that influenced this game? Are there any stereotypes or tropes present in the video game? Prepare a presentation, 2-D or video based on your research.
  • Design a female character for a video game that challenges the tropes discussed in video above. You can create a 2-D drawing, digital illustration or 3-D model.
  • What would an LGBTQ video game character look like? How could you conceptualize a character without using hurtful or disrespectful stereotypes? You can create a 2-D drawing, digital illustration or 3-D model or a written piece.
  • Remix/Reedit a sequence from a video game to modify the tropes or stereotypes present. This could be a 2-D or video based work.
  • Using Scratch design a game that takes into consideration everything discussed in the video and depicts women without using the ‘damsel in distress’ tropes.
  • Interview some people who play video games. Conduct a survey to see if they recognize the use of tropes in relation to female characters?

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