Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anita Sarkeesian's Women as Background Decoration: Part 2

Anita Sarkeesian's Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games:

I think Anita's videos and analysis are extremely insightful. I watched her latest video yesterday (and again just now) and it struck me how I have played or wanted to play many of the games she references, yet seeing those images side by side in the context of them forming a pervasive pattern is disturbing and depressing.

In particular, the observation that such a pattern normalises, sensationalizes and mis-characterises violence against women makes me feel uncomfortable at how often I have seen such scenes in games and movies and automatically accepted them as background to the story being told.

I enjoyed the observation she made about a common rebuttal to the point of violence against women being so pervasive in games: that without it, the story or setting would appear unrealistic or not historically accurate. Her observation is that we routinely accept all the other aspects of sci-fi and fantasy that break historical and scientific realism to create the works we love so much. I meant it when I said I enjoyed this observation, because it makes me wonder how we could achieve the same undertones without resorting to portraying casual sexual violence against women. I find this to be a challenging and thought provoking idea.