Before going on some points
Spoiler warnings for: Metroid Fusion Braid, Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess Star Fox Adventures on Dinosaur planet, Mario Adevnture 2, Star Fox Assault , Sonic CD, Mario Adventures 2 on Gameboy and Prince of Persia the Sands of Time
Strong Language warning for those who may find it offensive
The bulk of this was written while I was under the influence of alcohol I have tried to revise it to make it easier to read and follow.
This is a multipart blog in an attempt to stop posting 5,000 word novellas here and avoid daunting walls of text, as such if I haven’t addressed it in this blog I may be addressing it soon.
As this is my response to Tropes vs Women in Video games Damsel’s in Distress part 1, its advisable to view that first (if you’re like me strong alcohol may be required) I will be addressing points raised in this but having watched the video is rather essential to understanding the points to save me writing the full point out again which as the full part one analysis is about 6 pages already on word I want to try and address the points.
The Damsel ball
Now this point really pissed me off, I’m not kidding. I really don’t get it, surely the Damsel isn’t being passed between them as the concept is she’s chosen to be with one of them. For this concept of the Damsel ball to hold true it would have to be a fight between two equally bad entities both wanting her for their own with no concept of free choice on the part of said Damsel. An apt comparison would the at present the Falkland Islands asking for the right to self determination and to stay with the UK while Argentina refuses to listen to them and claim they own it. The break down of the Damsel ball is that one party is potentially seeing the Damsel as property whilst the other is in reality respecting their right to self determination and believing they want to be with them, said hero has come to save them. The obvious counter point that can be brought up is the idea of games like Braid
or Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess
where the “hero” is unaware the Damsel doesn’t want to be with him, hence why you’ll hear many guys complain about the “Just friends, or Friends Zone” line as for many they want a clear “I would never date you in a million years” comment and be definitively shot down 90% of the time.
Male power fantasies
While to an extent I will give the video credit here as it could be seen a legitimate point considering the audience at the time playing to them isn’t something I can condemn either, as companies wanted money and gamers, for whatever reason, wanted those things apparently. It’s the same argument used to defend Call of Duty, it’s not big, it’s not clever, but it’s giving the people what they asked for. Now allow me to say I’ve already had to a very small degree a taste of being seen as a “hero” to someone in reality. Involving me going to a late take out order, having access to a warm dry place, a girl having lost her keys and me owning a mobile phone. In reality rather than being some grand thing it had a rather awkward conclusion as the girl attempted to get off with me......make no mistake I very much appreciated it however it was awkward as I had literally met the girl 5 minutes before this, so it was rather a surprise. It lead to her stopping and asking why I didn’t seem to be into it and if I was gay. I didn’t end up as some triumphant hero, sure I felt better in myself as I had been rather low and an attractive girl randomly kissing you isn’t going to knock the self esteem much. However I didn’t feel like some hero, in reality I felt rather awkward and out of place in that moment, sure I felt I’d done something good but as much as I was a Hero to her, I wasn’t a Hero to myself as I’d just been in the right place at the right time and helped someone out.
My Personal objection to it
Ok finally I can rant a bit. The seeming suggestion near the end of the video was that there should be no Damsel in distress or that said Damsel should always be able to free themselves. Now this creates a slight problem in that it suggests every situation should be solved alone and that every Woman should be an island in video gaming. However as the trope has been starting to see a reversal in some games, surely it has merit in existing to bring the human element to the game as its being proved its possible to do with female characters saving male counterparts too. To eliminate the Trope entirely would eliminate its evolution into not simply being a Female only Trope but a universal Trope. Elsa actually pointed this out so read her blog
already as I don’t want to poorly retread ground already covered far better by someone else. The personal highlight of things I take point with is the term “this regressive crap” when it really is discounting any evolution of the Trope beyond being gender specific. If a Trope itself were a bad thing we should loath the work of Shakespeare and not be teaching it in schools because of the many Tropes derived from his work.
The worst part of this Trope identification is its actually discounting people just being decent human beings. Is Hugh Jackman a giant misogynistic pig for rushing to help Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars
or just being a decent human being ? Was I wrong to offer someone a warm place to sit on a cold night and let them use my phone to get a housemate to let them into their own home ? This trope brings up the rather worrying question of “Is it ok to help someone who appears to be in need ?”
Personally the worlds hard enough and a bit of kindness to help with certain problems goes a lot further than people think and I find it rather stupid that now it can be made a negative thing by claiming it can be sexist. What should I be doing, walking by ? Kicking the person to make sure they’re down ?
To say someone is a Damsel in distress merely due to being depowered at one point and needing help could also extend to Samus Aran. At the start of many Metroid games you lose your powers, so does that therefore make the Universes badass bounty hunter a Damsel in distress due to losing most of her power ? Heck in Meteroid Fusion Samus is actually carried off the planet for medical help, by this definition of Damsel in distress Samus is one now. This very much relates back to my objection in part one where I pointed out how Krystal actually joins the Starfox team as an equal after being rescued that first time.
In Part 4:
I will start to address Tropes vs Women part 2 and begin as I did with addressing part 1 by addressing inaccuracies I spotted or misrepresentations of games shown in part 2 including The Darkness and Timesplitters 2