Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games Reveals An Ugly Truth

Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games Reveals An Ugly Truth

This is an interesting article. It’s not news to me that many big selling video games (and films/movies) are just the same tropes over and over and that not many feature women as strong characters. And yes, female characters are often over sexualised. Even Ripley in the film Alien, who is definitely a strong female protagonist, gets semi naked (underwear) for no practical reason other than titillation. The part of Ripley was written originally, I read somewhere, as either for a man or a woman but it’s less likely there would have been an underwear scene in an Alien film featuring a male Ripley. The films Alien and Aliens (not so much the rest of the series) remain some of my favourites and I think my girlfriend even liked them a little bit as well.

Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Personally I like all kinds (well not all, most) of Films(movies) and Video Games. I like all the ones mentioned with strong female protagonists. Tomb Raider though I always thought was more about ‘Look at Lara’ than gameplay and I’ve never been that interested in it. My girlfriend (She Who Must Be Obeyed) would say I mostly like stuff that involves shooting and killing stuff but that’s not always true. I play Battlefield and the like but I also like games where the answers don’t involve shooting and killing stuff. Mirrors Edge, Beyond Good and Evil, Fate of the World, World of Goo, The Sims and lots more I can’t think of the names of. And some have strong female characters and not just females as victims or decoration.

Update: It has been pointed out to me that Mirrors Edge did make it possible to get a gun but really that made you more likely to fail the mission. Also that in Beyond Good and Evil there actually was combat. I had forgotten that. I played BG&E with my girlfriend, me on the keys and her on the mouse, if I remember correctly. We enjoyed the exploration and liked that instead of shooting critters sometimes you took photos of them as a reporter. The shooting and fighting parts spoiled it really. We also played Dear Esther which deserves a mention for being non violent although I think the female is a victim. The path also although we haven’t got round to that one yet. Hydrophobia also had a strong female lead and we played that together but we tired of that game quickly. I’m not sure if there was shooting in Hydrophobia though but it does deserve a mention.

Portal the game also deserves a mention here as it is a great game where your character is female and you don’t spend your whole time shooting. I tried to the SWMBO in to that game but she didn’t yet. Mass Effect I played as a female so I suppose that ‘femShep’ the protagonist could count as a strong female but I think there could be a few two many over sexualised females in that game as well. Incidentally in a 3rd person view game I often choose a female character if I can. I’m sorry, I’m a man and if I’m going to spend my game time looking at someone’s back, it may as well be one I like looking at!

Also I would like to mention pretty much the whole ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series as a bad example. From what I have played many of the women are all either prostitutes or other victims who are there just to be treated badly. I haven’t played much and I don’t know that much though, just that it’s a bad example in my opinion. I would suggest that mothers, you should prevent your sons from playing those GTA games in particular.

Anyway. I for one would like to see more games, films/movies featuring inspiring women as heroes.


The youtube video: