Gena Davis institute on Gender in media tries to link violent games to mass shootings and police violence

Dwarvenhobble

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Let's assume any of this is true.

Why get up in arms about the existence of characters like Captain Marvel or Rey? If media has so many badass women, I think it would make more sense for those who dislike them to just shrug with indifference and move on to something they didn't like.

But that isn't what happened. We had hate campaigns, calls for boycotts, lies about how the movies were really financial failures and the studios were faking the box office results, video essays about how this was the death of cinema as we know it and in the case of Star Wars, pirating and trying to sell a version of the movie that removed the women characters.
1) Cause Rey and Captain Marvel are kinda crap.
2) Because they're the ones people seem to latch onto and be going "THESE ARE GOOD FEMALE CHARACTERS AND HOW ALL FUTURE ONES SHOULD BE"
3) They're in pretty big franchises people are or were fans of that generally have tried to do better.


It wasn't the original costumes that people had an issue with. It was the ones from MK9 and to a lesser extent, the PS2 era costumes. That was the image Netherealm studios was trying to get away from.
Ah yes the go to example of video games being bad because of violence and they decide to tone down the characters being sexy...........MK has always been seen a pretty silly so if I were a conspiratorial type I'd have said it was they were hoping to get ESPN coverage at Esports events to use as free advertising.



MK 11 was the highest-grossing game in the month it was released and even beat out Kingdom Hearts 3. It stayed the highest-grossing game for at least two more months and its sales are almost double the amount of previous entries. The notion that they needed the classic costumes because it was a financial failure is easily disproved nonsense.
I kinda think I need to see some figure on any of that.


Most of the male cast wasn't dressed like this and the average woman doesn't look like the MK 11 either. And again, almost every woman was wearing high heels and figure-hugging outfits with two of them using moves in which they hit you with their asses. To say nothing of Sindel's intro dialogues being 49% sexual innuendos. The biggest hits were Sonya and Cassie who are soldiers and shouldn't be running around with the boobs out anyway and Sheeva who is supposed to be a monster.

And this isn't even getting into the fact that Mortal Kombat isn't Dead or Alive which built its identity around sexy women.
And yet part of the argument was realism lol
 

Silvanus

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I think it's quite likely that men do account for the majority of VG tie-ins.

Certainly that it's predominantly women who read and write romance is a fact. In fact, as discussed on this very site, around the 1960s, when more women entered publishing and writing, genres diverged even further in terms of authorship.

There's no shortage of fields and interests that, as society has become more equal, have become more gender-specific.
Oh, almost certainly. But most men have never read VG tie ins, and most women don't read much if any romantic fiction. So the preponderance of the trope isn't really explicable by the idea that women all like this stuff anyway, based on book sales.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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So why does it have to be a woman? You say that people can relate to fighting to save a loved one so why not more games about a guy trying to save his father, brother, uncle, male friend etc? Hell, look how much backlash occurs when the genders are flipped and its the woman who has to save the man. Expect the words cuck, simp and eunuch to be tossed around despite those words not even making any sense in context.
It doesn't have to be and actually there likely are a fair few example of the trope being women saving boyfriends etc. Primal on Ps2 did it as one example. Also I can't name any character that has seen backlash because of it being a female lead doing it.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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  • Underworld is a Romeo and Juliet retelling where a vampire falls in love with a lycan. The plot is not "woman saves man."
  • Resident Evil's plot is based around the investigation then escape from an Umbrella lab. The plot is not "woman saves man."
  • Tomb Raider's plot is based around an heiress tomb raiding. The plot is not "woman saves man."
  • Terminator's plot is based around the titular terminator trying to kill the female lead while she is being protected by the male lead. The plot is not "woman saves man."
  • Final Fantasy's plot (guessing at The Spirits Within as the one you meant?) is based around the female scientist lead having alien dna and using it to stop the apocolypse. The plot is not "woman saves man."
  • Halloween's plot is Michael Myers killing people, his potential victims trying to run away, and his doctor and the sheriff trying to stop him. The plot is not "woman saves man."
One would think that when creating a list of "examples" of something you claim is so common, you would include even one film that is actually based around a "woman saves man" plot...
  • Michael is a hybrid not a Werewolf unless something happened in Rise of the Lycans I don't know about. At best you could claim Underwold as a franchise is the continuation of Romeo and Juliet because in it the Juliet figure was executed basically before the films.
  • I dunno Alice becoming a super solider kinda could be seen as that.
  • Yes though oddly she does regularly end up saving her male allies (when they don't turn out to be evil and she kills them or lets them die)
  • Terminator could be seen as Sarah Connor saving John or if you want to get further into it Johns future Wife saving John as was revealed in Terminator 3
  • Possibly also 8 with the Sacrifice of the sorceress to and also X-2 where Yuna and co save Tidus
But hey of people and a list of some.

  • Primal Ps2 game
  • The Magicians Season 1 (Alice vs the Beat)
  • Basically recurrent in the show Andromeda (Rommie quite regularly or Trance because insane powers level)
  • Beautiful Creates (at least with the mind wipe spell bit)
  • Hex the tv series
  • Continuum (Emily saving Alec and Kira doing so fairly regularly too also Kira saving Carlos)
  • Shadow in the Cloud (Amazon film)
  • Annihilation
  • Killjoys Season 1 cliff hanger
  • Kya: Dark Lineage
  • Charmed
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips war
  • Basically any episode of Xena with Joxer the Mighty except 1 of them
  • Gooma in Early man
  • Iron Sky the Coming Race
  • Star Trek Lower Decks
  • Dave's Girlfriend, Dave Made a Maze
  • Red Riding Hood
  • The Host
  • The War of the Worlds BBC series
  • Supergirl (happens pretty often in that show)
  • The Hunger games (3 & 4 specifically)
 

Cicada 5

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1) Cause Rey and Captain Marvel are kinda crap.
So are a lot of male characters that didn't elicit this response. I remember when several aging Hollywood actors tried to mimic the success Liam Neeson had with Taken by playing old action heroes and the worst they got was a bit of an eye roll and then everyone moves on.


2) Because they're the ones people seem to latch onto and be going "THESE ARE GOOD FEMALE CHARACTERS AND HOW ALL FUTURE ONES SHOULD BE"
This sounds like you're just made that anyone likes these characters at all.

3) They're in pretty big franchises people are or were fans of that generally have tried to do better.
Again, so what? These characters are among several in this franchise and the most you can do is just pretend they don't exist. Committing so much energy to hating them just feels like a waste of time and energy.



Ah yes the go to example of video games being bad because of violence
No one's believed that since the end of the 90s.


I kinda think I need to see some figure on any of that.
https://za.ign.com/mortal-kombat-11...ombat-11-is-now-the-best-selling-mk-game-ever



And yet part of the argument was realism lol
Yes, because unless you're making something like Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry, every work of fiction has to adhere to some rules of reality to an extent. But it seems like this is most controversial when the conversation is about women's outfits.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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So are a lot of male characters that didn't elicit this response. I remember when several aging Hollywood actors tried to mimic the success Liam Neeson had with Taken by playing old action heroes and the worst they got was a bit of an eye roll and then everyone moves on.
Mostly because in them they're for the most part not impossibly skilled and mostly outmatch their opponents vastly lol. Even John Wick ends up with injuries he has to deal with.



This sounds like you're just made that anyone likes these characters at all.
No just that they're being propped up as example of how to do things right when they're Buckaroo Banzi but female and not actually deliberate parody characters.


Again, so what? These characters are among several in this franchise and the most you can do is just pretend they don't exist. Committing so much energy to hating them just feels like a waste of time and energy.
They're also the mainline newest lot in said franchise and considering how some franchises have gone you can almost bet they'll be brought up again and again.




No one's believed that since the end of the 90s.
The funny thing is MK still gets used like that. The Whitehouse montage under Trump used MK Xray moves and fatalities when trying to pin a mass shooting on video games.


Something smells off here and I think I know why.

It's the Unit sales trick. They report on Unit sales not revenue. It's an old trick if you cut the price and get more sales you report the sales numbers not the actual revenue numbers


Yes, because unless you're making something like Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry, every work of fiction has to adhere to some rules of reality to an extent. But it seems like this is most controversial when the conversation is about women's outfits.
Well yes because it is policing women's bodies by proxy.

If we take the argument that Anita and co tend to use that video games and media impact the real world and the claim Anita made at Vidcon 2016 that the efforts to change video games are to change the wider culture of the world. Then well it raises quite a number of questions about why people want female characters to be toned down and made less sexy........It wasn't even as though MK 11 was going back to the more classic character looks, with a number of the characters it seemingly covered them up even more.
 

Hawki

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On the subject of the whole damsel in distress thing and the lists being generated, I think there's a misunderstanding here.

A story where X saves Y is very different from a story where X saving Y is the crux of that story.

This started off with games, so I'll use two examples, Super Mario Land and Resident Evil 7 (since that's already been listed). In Super Mario Land, like so many Mario games, rescuing Daisy (or more usually, Peach) is the explicit goal. It's the starting goal, it remains the goal, and the game ends when the goal is reached. In RE7, on the other hand, Ethan may set out to find Mia at the start, but it's really not the driving force of the game. If anything, it subverts it, since Mia tries to kill Ethan early on, 'dies,' then helps him later, and potentially dies at the end - all this in the midst of a story with twists and turns that's more about survival. There's no point in a Mario game where Daisy decides "screw it," helps Mario, and shows she's just as capable.

So, yeah. One of these things is a damsel in distress story, one of them isn't. And it's very rare that a story has a "dude in distress."
 

BrawlMan

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At the least, CoD is definitely political, only it's the type of politics that doesn't tend to trigger the "keep politics out of games" crowd.
Yet whenever game has a female or minority as the main character or focus that's not a stereotype or victim, it's "politics are being forced down our throats" to these assholes. Not to mention, Activision is riding on the we're "apolitical" train recently about their COD games.





All of them can fuck off.
 

CriticalGaming

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So, yeah. One of these things is a damsel in distress story, one of them isn't. And it's very rare that a story has a "dude in distress."
I dunno id still argue that many stories with female leads have the "dude in distress". Its just not seen that way for whatever reason. Still does change the fact that when a woman rescues the male character it is technically the same trope.

And the crux of the whole argument is based in hypocritical thinking.

Women getting saved = bad.
Man getting saved = irrelevant

The same reason why nobody gives a shit when the men are all Adonis' in everything. But people get upset when the women is too hot.

Lara Croft in a wetsuit is "impractical"

Kratos slaughtering gods shirtless is fine.

And both characters share the same level of power in their respective stories too, so the power difference doesnt track. No Lara isnt murdering gods but in her games she is the strongest, smartest, and most capable character so in context the power is the same.
 

Hawki

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I dunno id still argue that many stories with female leads have the "dude in distress". Its just not seen that way for whatever reason. Still does change the fact that when a woman rescues the male character it is technically the same trope.
If all it takes for the trope is a female character rescuing a male, then sure, there's no shortage. But stories where that's the driving goal are very rare, and when they do exist, are usually a subversion (e.g. The Paperbag Princess).

I challenge you to name some stories where the female rescuing the male is the core, driving goal of the plot. Looking at the list you did earlier, maybe Underworld, but that's it.

(I don't think Terminator counts - John has to be 'saved' in T1 and T2, sure, but it's doing both films a disservice to boil it down to that.)
 

CriticalGaming

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If all it takes for the trope is a female character rescuing a male, then sure, there's no shortage. But stories where that's the driving goal are very rare, and when they do exist, are usually a subversion (e.g. The Paperbag Princess).

I challenge you to name some stories where the female rescuing the male is the core, driving goal of the plot. Looking at the list you did earlier, maybe Underworld, but that's it.

(I don't think Terminator counts - John has to be 'saved' in T1 and T2, sure, but it's doing both films a disservice to boil it down to that.)
But the thing is, i cant think of very many stories in which the man saving the woman is the driving force of the story. Outside of old fairy tales.

Sure there are lots of stories in which a love interest is saved in addition to saving the world or stopping a bigger bad guy. But stories in which the damsel is the ONLY narrative?

Mario is the only example i can think of. Because mario is the only story i can think of in which the main character would do nothing if not for Bowser taking Peach. That and the Taken movies i guess but ive said that i dont think the parent/child trope counts because the argument against the damsel trope is that the woman is the prize and a child wouldnt be a prize.
 

Hawki

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But the thing is, i cant think of very many stories in which the man saving the woman is the driving force of the story. Outside of old fairy tales.

Sure there are lots of stories in which a love interest is saved in addition to saving the world or stopping a bigger bad guy. But stories in which the damsel is the ONLY narrative?

Mario is the only example i can think of. Because mario is the only story i can think of in which the main character would do nothing if not for Bowser taking Peach. That and the Taken movies i guess but ive said that i dont think the parent/child trope counts because the argument against the damsel trope is that the woman is the prize and a child wouldnt be a prize.
Very few would be the "only" narrative, but that's getting into semantics. But as part of the core narrative? Well, countless fairy tales (as you said), which translates into countless Disney films, and in games, I can name countless Mario games, plus Banjo-Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot 1, Donkey Kong (as in the arcade game), Double Dragon, Dragon's Lair, Castle of Illusion, Earthworm Jim, quite a few Legend of Zelda games, Resident Evil 4, Sonic CD, Ghosts and Goblins, and arguably Star Fox Adventures and both Sarge's Heroes games. And this is just off the top of my head - the premise of the "girl is a reward" is so common, especially in early games.

In contrast, how many instances are there where there's "the dude in distress?" Again, off the top of my head, maybe Portal Runner, Donkey Kong Country 3 (probably the best example), the Wand of Gamelon (I think?), and that Princess Peach game. That's about it. Maybe there's more, but they're really rare.

To be clear, I don't think the trope is inherently bad - if anything, it has intrinsic heroism behind it - but we can do much better writing than the premise of "guy must save girl" (or vice versa in rare cases). Thankfully, writing has got a lot better since then. It's why games have better writing (in general), and why recent Disney female characters tend to be more compelling than the likes of Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora for instance.
 

CriticalGaming

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Very few would be the "only" narrative, but that's getting into semantics. But as part of the core narrative? Well, countless fairy tales (as you said), which translates into countless Disney films, and in games, I can name countless Mario games, plus Banjo-Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot 1, Donkey Kong (as in the arcade game), Double Dragon, Dragon's Lair, Castle of Illusion, Earthworm Jim, quite a few Legend of Zelda games, Resident Evil 4, Sonic CD, Ghosts and Goblins, and arguably Star Fox Adventures and both Sarge's Heroes games. And this is just off the top of my head - the premise of the "girl is a reward" is so common, especially in early games.

In contrast, how many instances are there where there's "the dude in distress?" Again, off the top of my head, maybe Portal Runner, Donkey Kong Country 3 (probably the best example), the Wand of Gamelon (I think?), and that Princess Peach game. That's about it. Maybe there's more, but they're really rare.

To be clear, I don't think the trope is inherently bad - if anything, it has intrinsic heroism behind it - but we can do much better writing than the premise of "guy must save girl" (or vice versa in rare cases). Thankfully, writing has got a lot better since then. It's why games have better writing (in general), and why recent Disney female characters tend to be more compelling than the likes of Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora for instance.
Well sure. First of all, with fairy tales, that trope was just kind of part of the genre to be fair.

Secondly you have to remember the limitations of old games like that. Shit on the NES when you beat the games all you usually got was a "Congrats" and that was it. The girl in donkey kong or hydlide or whatever was nothing more than a "save princess for video game to happen" thing.

Writing has evolved and very rarely if ever relies on the trope anymore. Which is why it is baffling that people have such a problem with it.

Also to be fair to Mario. Peach is never his prize. He only saves her for the cake she bakes him at the end of the games. His prize is food, not her.
 

Chimpzy

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Also to be fair to Mario. Peach is never his prize. He only saves her for the cake she bakes him at the end of the games. His prize is food, not her.
Bullshit. We all know the cake is just the prelude to Mario getting some of Peach's sweet sweet "cake", culminating in a liberal "icing". Of course, the games don't show that because of the whole all ages thing.
 

Seanchaidh

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Bullshit. We all know the cake is just the prelude to Mario getting some of Peach's sweet sweet "cake", culminating in a liberal "icing". Of course, the games don't show that because of the whole all ages thing.
🎵It's 1986, I'm in the first grade...🎵
 

CriticalGaming

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Bullshit. We all know the cake is just the prelude to Mario getting some of Peach's sweet sweet "cake", culminating in a liberal "icing". Of course, the games don't show that because of the whole all ages thing.
How come Bowser has kids and Mario doesn't if he is tapping that Peach every game?
 
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Hawki

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Well sure. First of all, with fairy tales, that trope was just kind of part of the genre to be fair.

Secondly you have to remember the limitations of old games like that. Shit on the NES when you beat the games all you usually got was a "Congrats" and that was it. The girl in donkey kong or hydlide or whatever was nothing more than a "save princess for video game to happen" thing.

Writing has evolved and very rarely if ever relies on the trope anymore. Which is why it is baffling that people have such a problem with it.

Also to be fair to Mario. Peach is never his prize. He only saves her for the cake she bakes him at the end of the games. His prize is food, not her.
Absolutely old games had limitations. On the other hand, well, to use Mario as an example, Mario started off rescuing damsels, and he's still doing that. Most of the series I listed above have evolved over time. It's good that less series are relying on it, that doesn't make the trope less irritating in of itself.
 

CriticalGaming

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Absolutely old games had limitations. On the other hand, well, to use Mario as an example, Mario started off rescuing damsels, and he's still doing that. Most of the series I listed above have evolved over time. It's good that less series are relying on it, that doesn't make the trope less irritating in of itself.
It's fine to not like the trope, I don't have a problem with people who just don't like the trope because it's a cliche or whatever.

I just have a problem when people claim that some fictional trope has a deterimental effect on society because of some ingrained desire to prove that women are inferior for whatever reason. Tropes have no motive inherent to anything other than storytelling devices. And even then tropes are really just plot elements boiled down into basic elements and don't really describe any given story as a whole.

As discussed previously, there are only really 7 core story concepts that exist in the most barebones sense. However it's what is done with those concepts that make stories what they are.
 
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