Tropes Vs Women In Video Games: Pt. 1: Damsel In Distress

Here’s a 23-minute video, the first in a series, which of course can’t possibly exist because Anita Sarkeesian is a scammer who bilked people of money on Kickstarter then went to the Bahamas.

Dense, information-packed, well-researched, correct in all its particulars, and can’t possibly exist. My search engine hits for “Anita Sarkessian scam” tell me so.

Tropes Vs Women In Video Games – Damsel In Distress to be released this month

Kotaku reports:

Sultan's daughter, Prince Of Persia Classic (2007)

Sultan’s daughter, Prince Of Persia Classic (2007)


Anita 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.

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North Korean IT venture company makes country’s first (maybe) video game

Lord Setar brought this to my attention: the first IT venture company in North Korea, which brags of having internet connectivity, has built the country’s first video game (unless you count these mobile games published under the Fox Mobile banner… which might not actually count, honestly).

I’ve tried a number of times to play the in-browser Flash game, braving their site’s unfortunate overuse of clipart, but it fails to load repeatedly at the G in “Loading”. So I’ve had to settle for checking this out via Youtube.

This is very self-evidently a propaganda piece, to try to sell North Korea’s tourism market, but I have to give them credit for making a fairly good game for their first outing. Sure, it’s rather dull, with static cars as the only obstacle, and the only goal to pick up petrol drums and collectible placards that both show a landmark and a short piece of text chastizing you for your poor driving skills. And that’s not to mention the female traffic cop who appears on occasion to tell you not to look at her. But all in all, there’s a lot that’s laudable from a startup even where there’s a lot that’s laughable. I hope they learn from this and make another attempt. And I certainly hope it brings a little money into their wealth-starved country — from which most of the injustices of their totalitarian government likely flow.

Their about us page indicates, to me, why said government might have been interested in them. I can guarantee that “secrecy” is not a selling point over here, so much as an unfortunate reality.

A good old fashioned book burning, updated for the modern age.

Thirty miles south of Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, a tiny township called Southington is preparing to deal with the aftermath of said shooting and end the scourge of violence among youths by… you guessed it… amassing, destroying and burning violent video games.

Following the shooting, Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi said that he was flooded with emails from concerned parents asking what could be done to help both the nearby Newtown community and their own.

“What happened in our community, very similar to communities across the world, is everyone wanted to do something for Newtown,” he said. The SOS “convened and we looked at how do we continue to pray and support Newtown and how do we do something perhaps meaningful for Newtown and our own community.”

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EA removes gun links from Medal of Honor site

Guess why. Not because it’s ridiculous on its face to advertise to kids who play video games — obviously not, when the average gamer is 35 and has played games for 13 years.

When it was announced that Electronic Arts would be partnering with gun companies for the latest outing of their Medal of Honor franchise, the vast majority of those following along let out a collective sigh. “Great,” people said to each other, “Another reason to blame video games for gun violence.” EA has finally agreed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and pulled the links to gun retailers from the Medal of Honor: Warfighter site. All it took was a national tragedy for them to realize their mistake.

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Street Fighter X Megaman

I’m trying to download this fan-made (and Capcom-hosted and sponsored!) free Megaman game for PC right now, but its servers are positively logjammed at the moment. If you can manage, the download’s available here. And if I ever get it, I’m considering broadcasting it on twitch.tv while I play it, just for fun.

The game is described as a love letter to Street Fighter and Megaman fans for the 25th anniversary of both franchises — and from what I’ve seen so far via these videos, it almost certainly is. Seow Zong Hui, the game’s creator, obviously had a lot of love for both to have done what he’s done. That Capcom’s throwing their weight behind this is simply fantastic, and I honestly wish more companies would legitimize fan-made derivative works like this because that might have repercussions on copyright law that would alleviate some of the fear within fandom of being cracked down on by the “intellectual property” owners.

Anita Sarkeesian’s TED talk and the predictable response

This talk by Anita Sarkeesian at the TEDxWomen 2012 event was posted with its ratings and comments disabled. While ordinarily I would consider that the mark of an attempt to stifle debate, this was done because she is the target of an ongoing hate campaign because she’s a woman talking about sexism in a traditionally male-dominated territory: video games.

The comments and downvotes would wreck this talk’s chances of being seen, normally. In this case, knowing that she’d be censored by the same haters she’s talking about, I’m okay with disabling the ratings and comments. We can post it to our own sites and let her speak, then offer constructive criticism in spaces where we can moderate away the haters. This deprives them of a space to vent, and allows her message to enter the marketplace of ideas to live or die by their own merits.

But the haters found an easy way around this: upload the identical video elsewhere, so they could downrate it to shit and talk about rape all they want. It may not remove the original video from the public discourse, but it sure makes them feel better about their tiny and insignificant lives.

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Gameathon: You did good, and you should feel good!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ecstatic with how the gameathon went. Despite the technical glitches and scheduling issues and having to cut it off about 2.5 hrs before our predicted end time (oof), it was still ridiculously successful. We got more guests than we were expecting and often had to double, triple and quadruple up. We got more donations than we were expecting, raising a total of $523.89 each for Women In Secularism and Camp Quest, and covered all expenses necessary to start this up so I’m not even in the red! Yes, seriously, I was a bit pessimistic at first, thinking nobody would show or donate and that we weren’t going to make enough to cover those expenses. I was fully prepared to have to eat the cost just to have something to give to CQ/WIS. But as it stood, we had enough to cover all the major expenses and plenty to give to both charities.

And the fun we had! If you missed the broadcast, it’s all still available here, and I plan on pulling chunks of it out to put on Youtube for easier access. I curb-stomped JT repeatedly at Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, though in fairness his internet was basically horrendous throughout the whole event (despite them sending someone out to fix it). He got his comeuppance when he played Contra on the NES and got to Stage 4 on the default three lives — he’s a beast. And despite my immense experience with Megaman, he beat me handily a few times when we did some stage time trials . I played some Bible games to show the audience the kind of crap available for the NES from Wisdom Tree, Jodi played some Toejam and Earl, we did some three-player Ninja Turtles (albeit briefly), we each played a few games that we’d never seen before (including Ninja Baseball Batman — which is awesome!).

Then there were guests. Ed Brayton made a surprise appearance, Glendon Mellow hung out for a while, Russell Glasser was a good sport and visited twice — once on Saturday afternoon and once on Sunday morning shortly before we threw in the towel. Stephanie Zvan made a yet-unmet challenge: find proof of the existence of an Atari II (or thereabouts) Taipan! clone called Shanghai (and no, not the Mahjongg Solitaire game). James Croft visited to give us a rousing speech… or two. Though both of which may have been lifted from other sources, come to think of it. I met a bunch of people for the first time, like Lauren Lane and Lux Pickel. And we introduced Brianne to the concept of emulation and she was absolutely ecstatic to play as Yoshi in Mario Kart and drive into a wall repeatedly.

This is going to happen again next year, without question. But it may have to happen with JT and I in the same place, if the internet is going to be any near as recalcitrant next time around.

And none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you all, so very much.