Anita Sarkeesian's First 'Tropes Vs. Women In Games' Video May Come Out Next Month, But Her Tumblr's Live Now

Anitia Sarkeesian, the controversial feminist critic whose plans to produce a crowdfunded video series about female tropes in video games led to someone creating a video game all about punching her in the face, is almost ready to show her work.

Sarkeesian quietly launched a Tumblr called "Bits of Tropes Vs. Women in Games" this week. It shows images from one of the tropes she's certain to explore in the series: the damsel in distress.

The site's "about" page states that the image collection is "a work in progress and not meant as a complete comprehensive list but hopefully it can help to demonstrate the scope and history of this problematic trope. Plus, you might just find some interesting bits of classic video game nostalgia here."

Sarkeesian tells Kotaku that she's aiming to launch the project's first video very soon.

"The new Tropes vs Women videos are currently in production and we are shooting for the first video to be released in February," she said in an e-mail. "Due to all the unexpected extra Kickstarter funding we were able to greatly expand the scope, scale and production values of the project which is exciting but also means we've had to rework our timetable."

Sarkeesian's "Tropes Vs. Women in Games" Kickstarter was funded with more than $US150,000 last spring. She had initially planned to release videos in 2012. The absence of those videos has fuelled some doubts about the project. But if Sarkeesian's new timeline sticks, we won't have to wait long to see how this much-anticipated video series turns out.


    Well if her "critics"(if you can call people who just scream insults at computer screens critics) are correct the world as we know it is about to end. The Mayans were right, their watches were just a little fast.

      Or we will just get a long chain of videos with fairly obvious observations ontop of a cloud of platitudes.

      I vote on the latter.

        yeah well, while I don't agree with peoples opinions on her opinions i dont hold high hopes for this to be terribly ground breaking, but I guess its more of an exposure thing

        We're you always this closed mined? Or did you take lessons?

          Perhaps taking lessons in correct grammar might be more useful.

    I still don't understand why she made a Kickstarter. She already had the video camera, games, a youtube account. What was the money for?

    Know I never want someone to willingly die but...

      That last unfinished sentence speaks volumes to your character.

      As to 'why kickstarter' she has the right to attempt to make money from her work, as does anyone. She opened it up to see if there would be a market. There was! That's partly the point of kickstarter. You could easily ask why did Double Fine seek to fund their game through kickstarter, when they could have taken it to a publisher.

        while you are correct, double fine took it to kickstarter because no publisher would publish it lol

        Last line is obviously a joke (you should of seen what I wrote before submitting).

        I just want to see what she spent $150 000 on and I bet a majority of backers wish they never gave anything.

          Why would they wish that? They knew what the project was beforehand, and the scope hasn't changed.

          No, the last line wasn't obviously a joke. Anita Sarkeesian has publicly disclosed that she's received threats, and we've all seen that that terrible game someone made in which you beat her up. Following all of that, you implying that you wish she were dead is not a joke, it's a shitty thing to say. You claiming it to be a joke is just a tired way for people like you to try to escape criticism for being crappy people.

    I'm looking forward to them from an intellectual point of view. It will be interesting to see how she goes about presenting the different tropes and what if any insights she gives into why they exist and why they are perpetuated even in these so-called enlightened times.

    I don't know if I'd call this trope 'problematic', perhaps just 'not her cup of tea'.

    Kate in Mirrors Edge and Rachel in Time Crisis were pretty satisfying saves. Would save again.

    Last edited 31/01/13 3:21 pm

      Individual instances of these kinds of characters are not inherently problematic, it's the frequency with which they occur and the absence of alternatives that is problematic, hence the discussion of tropes.

        I'm looking through my games library, the vast majority have nothing to do with saving a damsel in distress. How exactly are you defining what an alternative is?

          Your dumbfuck anecdotal evidence doesn't mean shit, you rube.

            No worries mate, I'll just go and perform a comprehensive, scientific study just for this comment thread. I could fund it on kickstarter or something, theres an idea! >.>

            Last edited 31/01/13 10:56 pm

              Or you could just look through the trends and themes of videogames over the past 35 years and see the bleeding obvious (ie, the hundreds of games with the 'ave the princess' theme!!) though I doubt you collection from the past 10 years or so has much that's not Call of Duty or Halo related...

                35 years? You're stretching the time isnt it?

                  From 1978 onwards? Not really. The 'save the princess' theme was around even in the Atari/Coleco days, but it became a much more common theme in the 80s as technology and graphics improved.

    Anyone who is scared of having their viewpoint challenged knows they are standing on unstable ground.

    I know this is an overly extreme example here, but to be honest I can't think of anything more inline with what's happening.

    Look at China, North Korea, Pakistan and other countries where the internet is heavily censored and edited so ideas the government doesn't want aren't allowed, where an opposing point of view is considered a crime. Are we as gamers so insecure about our chosen form of entertainment somebody making a video about the role of women in Video Games has people screaming abuse at her.

    You don't have to agree with it, but you have to let her make have it and make it public, just because you don't agree with something doesn't take away their right to have it. Usually we're the guys having our opinions and choices silenced and maligned, I hate how the moment we're the popular majority we forget all the wrongs done to us and inflict them on others.

    I know it's the douchier louder minority here but when in the face of US Senators blaming Video Games as murder simulators and to a lesser a degree everyone who plays them as psychopathic killers we need to look classier than the people who are painting us all with the same brush as the psycho nutjobs who just happen to like games too.

    I really don't want to be the bad guy here, but the comments on this article have me worried.

    I'm worried that after all the mud slinging and abuse that has tainted this project, when the episodes eventually are released everyone is going to take everything Sarkeesian is going to say as gospel, whilst simultaneously disregarding any opposing argument as being mysogyny, regardless of how well thought out it may be.

    There are already video's out there that point out that Sarkeesian has in the past stifled discussion on her video's or moderated them so the only comments that come through are comments that praise her, or comments that attack her which she can use to play up the argument that the only people who disagree with her are outright sexists.

    I for one want Anita to make these videos and I am intregued to see the first one, I just hope that any sensible response to them is not overshadowed by a bias comment system that tries to paint the opposition with one brush


    "Your game is crap".

    "Yeah, well... you're just a misogynist!"

    So she's finally making the videos, ey? Well I guess the "she's got a a billion dollars and now she's pulling a runner" theory is finally disprovable.
    Let's hope the videos are actually any good.

    If you see the Tumblr, most of the games featured are from the 80s and 90s with a few exception. Now I don't know about where you live, but back then women were definitely viewed as lower than men. These games are just representative of the culture at the time, when games were squarely aimed at the male population. Hence why Samus' identity was such a shock because Metroid was very much a then-'masculine' game (shooting stuff as opposed to... well, nothing really).

    I have not read much into Anita nor been exposed to her work much, but I still don't get the can of worm she's stirring? To be frank I have no qualms about playing a male hero and saving a damsel in distress (disclosure: I am female) if that's the plot the game is taking. I suppose she's complaining that it's too often used & abused, but really the only way I see this trope EVER subverted is to make lots of equivalent games with women as the main character and their boyfriends abducted.

    It's a slow progress but to kick up stink & controversy about it just brought about the flame wars :S Frankly I'm happy that women are getting bigger and bigger usefulness in games. However if gender does not in anyway shape or form need to be represented at all (e.g. Counter Strike, Battlefield, any multiplayer games) then I'm happy playing either gender or even an alien.

      All you have to do is look at any game that is marketed towards guys (tweens and up) and look at the portrayal of women which is usually sexualised in some way (especially if they're a storyline or notable character) and you'll see what she's getting at. I'll give you some examples: Women in fighting games, Aggressive In-Line Skate and the 'schoolgirl' in the skimpy outfit and who's had a LOT of attention paid to modelling accurate breasts; Most fantasy games with warrior women in super skimpy outfits and completely impractical 'armour' that has less surface area than a headband, a lot of game art like this for example:

      ...and so on, and so on. She makes a fair call. Guys have been chauvinistic, angry, homophobic, racist (etc) lords of this domain for a long, long time and now the demographics of the 'gamer' is changing considerably and this makes a lot of guys (not all) very uncomfortable, so they lash out, usually with juvenile/aggressive behaviour to perceived threats and slights. And before anyone blasts me for being over the top, jump into any game of Call of Duty, Day Z, nearly any MMO (especially STO and WoW) and you'll see douchebags being openly hostile/racist/homophobic/sexist in some form or in some combination. Jeez, you just have to read some of the responses she's received for proof. You can even spot the simmering resentment in some of the comments further above!

    That's right everybody lets start arguing!

    Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with where our games and women are headed because there is plenty of game developers that do it right and there's no way there will be less of those kind in the future.

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