You’re a Damsel in distress and nowt’ more than an object

This series is by, Anita Sarkeesian, who talks us through a history of the “Damsel in Distress” mechanic used by many popular games from the digital age, referenceing games like Mario, Zelda, Prince of Persia… pretty much a lot of games. It takes a very well laid out approach to identifying what to look for, what mindset it may put the player in and rounds with a challenge that “game makers can do better”. The video essay explores how Damsels in games are powerless, stupid and nothing more than a ball in a game between two male characters, an object. Not I hear you fuming, a great image.

While the video is a very good essay piece and was interesting, it does feel very narrow minded. She definitely uses some popular games to prove her point but you’re still left with a feeling of unbalance; She fails to explore the hundreds of other games that have “jack all” (nothing) to do with Damsels and more to do with sweets (Candy Crush saga) or strong women characters (the Halo series).

Feminist Frequency
Feminist Frequency

The video is still worth taking the time to watch, monotonous as it is as I have no doubt it will set you thinking. Bring on Part II and we’ll see if the view balances.

==UPDATE==

In response to this, enjoy this graphic 🙂

Dad re-writes Donkey Kong for girl to be hero
Dad re-writes Donkey Kong for girl to be hero

Author: Dan Course

Dan Course, E-Learning Development at Warwick University (WMG). Agile Scrum trained and full-stack development. Interested in E-learning, Democracy, Politics and Tech. All thoughts are mine and not of my employer.