Anita Sarkeesian has released a new installment in her Tropes Vs. Women in Gaming video series that explores women as decorative objects in gaming. Her videos tend to be controversial amongst the gaming community, but I think she does great work to exposure a lot of the sexism and bias in the gaming community. Others may say “LOLWHATEVER”, to which I would reply “touche” . Warning, some content in the video can be a little graphic and NSFW. Anyways, here’s a description of the video from The Feminist Frequency website.
“In this episode we explore the Women as Background Decoration trope which is 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. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they’re created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused.
Sexual objectification is the practice of treating or representing a human being as a thing or mere instrument to be used for another’s sexual purposes. Sexually objectified women are valued primarily for their bodies, or body parts, which are presented as existing for the pleasure and gratification of others.”
Let me know what your stance on these videos are. Please no “SHE STUPID. SHE NO NOTHING BOUT VIDAJ GYMES”.
2 thoughts on “New Tropes VS. Women In Gaming Video: Women as Background Decoration Part 1”
Her work fell off of my radar and, unfortunately, I have yet to have personal experience with it. The more legitimate comments that come up tend to be that she misses the forest for the trees and that she’s the wrong sort of feminist. (Wrong sorts of feminist exist.) Having no experience, of course, I can’t say whether any of this is relevant but I will say that I hope it’s not correct.
What I will say is that I will be approaching her work critically and with three particular question in mind: (1) is she aware of and does she separate out pressure from the suits (including marketing) when making a critique as such, (2) does she give undue weight to particular examples or recognise the legitimacy of the inclusion of purported sexism relative to game design/narrative and (3) is there any real commentary on acculturation, the acceptance of acculturation while railing/growing/moving against any number of its various aspects.
I study sociology at university and so I appreciate videos that elaborate on anything that deals with race, class, gender, social stratification, etc. This is 100% true. I primarily have written papers and did a recent blog about females in videogames. Sexual objectification of any gender is utterly just wrong and everlasting stain within any society. This video was highly enlightening and should be shared with all who appreciates and sees women as equals and not lesser human beings.