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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games digs into the damsel in distress idea


Damsel in Distress: Part 2 of Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series discusses three "trope cocktails" that she says developers use to spice up the bland "save the girl" plotline: the woman in the rerigerator, the disposable woman and the mercy killing.

Sarkeesian introduced the issue of the damsel in distress throughout the history of video games in her first video; the second installment notes that some modern developers recognize this trend and try to make the narrative "edgier" with graphic depictions of violence against women. Each trope cocktail has the effect of victimizing female characters, and using them only as motivation for the real story – the male character's quest, Sarkeesian argues.

Damsel in Distress: Part 2 went live at 1 p.m. PT today, but by 2:30 p.m. the video was pulled from YouTube. It was restored within the hour, though Sarkeesian's official Feminist Frequency Twitter account said the removal was from an influx of bogus reports of YouTube terms of service violations.

"An hour after our video went live I got an email saying, 'The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate,'" Feminist Frequency said. Sarkeesian does note that the video contains "some depictions of violence against women" and advises viewer discretion.

This wouldn't be the first time Sarkeesian was the subject of internet harassment, following a high-profile Kickstarter that drew ire from a vocal group of people online. Damsel in Distress: Part 2 is live now, available for anyone and everyone to view and discuss. Civilly, if we have anything to say about it.

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