Almost appropriately timed (it was actually posted yesterday) is the release of the first episode of Anita Sarkeesian’s phenomenally successful Kickstarter Trope vs. Women in Video Games. And it’s bloody good. I was a bit worried it was going to be informative, but kind of dry and dull. And, lo, it is quite dry, but it’s definitely not dull. It’s a smart, informative, thoroughly researched and polished video. I love that we get a bit of history and context for the trope, and that it lays out clearly and explicitly what the problem with the trope is and why it matters to society at large.
I’m a PC gamer primarily so tis interesting seeing a bit of the history of some of the most famous and successful console games. For the longest time, I thought Legend of Zelda was about Zelda (for obvious reasons) and used to get confused over who this ‘Link’ was. Pretty disappointed to find out that even though she occasionally does get a part to play in the action, Zelda never actually has her own game.
This is Part 1 of 3 looking at the damsel-in-distress trope and looks at the trope in games from the eighties and nineties. Part 2 will bring it up-to-date and see if anything has changed in the past ten years, but it’s Part 3 that I’m really looking forward to: attempts made to subvert the trope. Mostly, I admit, cause a picture of Governor Elaine Marley came up. I still want to be her when I grow up.