Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration - Part 2

August 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Women as Background Decoration: Part 2, the latest video in the Tropes vs Women in Video Games series from Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian is online. The latest video continues to explore "sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence," according to Sarkeesian's description on YouTube. Here's a little more on the latest episode from Feminist Frequency's YouTube channel:

"The Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they're created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused."

A full transcript of this episode can be found here. You can watch the latest video here or check it out to your left. Games highlighted in the latest video include Bioshock, Dead Island, Dragon Age: Origins, Fable 2, Hitman, and many more.

As usual the reaction from both supporters of Sarkeesian's work and those who vehemently disagree with it is turning social media into a black hole of name calling, bullying, and hate on both sides. On the plus side, the latest video has garnered the public support of many developers including Double Fine's Tim Schafer and the man behind the Avengers movies, Joss Whedon.


Comments

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

People are still listening to this baseless rabble-rouser? I would've thought the video where she tried to make women out to be victims in Hitman: Absolution would have given people a clear indication as to how deceptive and dishonest she was.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

What specific video are you referring to?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Women as Background Decoration Part 1- though it's fair to say that she was deceptive and dishonest long before then. But focusing on that video she makes it a clear goal to take as many video game scenes out of context to display them in the most negative light as possible.

Such as implying in Red Dead Redemption where at one point you're tying up a prostitute that this is inevitably going to lead to the abuse of the said woman, when no such thing actually occurs, nor is it intended.

Or implying that there are no negative effects in New Vegas for murdering prostitutes in Gomorrah, when the obvious effect is in a loss of Karma and the immediate hostility of the Casino's security filling you full of lead, and where the context for the strippers is that they only show up in 1 of 2 casinos- one casino (Atomice Wrangler) where the well-being of their workers is taken into account and the prostitutes (which include males) are there of their own volition (except FISTO, but he's programmed that way), and the other (Gomorrah) serving as an example of debauchery for a shady casino tribe which the player must deal with, and to which several side quests involving the prostitutes as having backstories and asking the player for help comes into play on at least 2 occasions- so they aren't just set decorations.

Or implying that the sex trafficked women in Watch Dogs are nothing more than set decorations which add little to the narrative- when the fact is that the main character is on the location in the first place to stop the sex trafficking ring and thus their appearance is very integral to the narrative.

Or where she shows a playthrough in Hitman: Absolution where the player punches out and "pacifies" strippers (as opposed to killing them with garrot wire) and dump them into a container to keep them hidden, and insisting that this is a main objective that players rely on in order to progress through the game in order to "derive a perverse pleasure" from dragging their bodies around...

...when in reality, the mission in question actually penalizes you from actually taking that option, the mechanic in question applies to men and women (more to men, since they'll be your victims 99 times out of 100), and the strippers come up in a tiny fraction in the game- 1 mission out of 20, 2 parts out of 7 in that mission max. And of course, it ignores the fact that almost every single playthrough you see on youtube has the player (who Anita asserts must be young, male, vulnerable to sexism in video games, and who is deriving a "perverse pleasure" from moving around a half-naked dead erotic dancer) actually avoiding the strippers actively, instead opting for stealth as opposed to violence.

http://youtu.be/WuRSaLZidWI?t=2m27s

It also ignores that the dialogue of the strippers is meant to express a bit of exposition regarding their situation and that of the player's target- in fact, their dialogue is written in such a way that you're meant to sypathize less with Dom Osmond as a victim, turning him into a target for the player's aggression, and... why... objectifying the poor man.

... Yeah, I wasn't ignoring Anita's "discussion", particularly when she was using incredibly interchangable criteria to describe "objects" and "objectification".

It's bad enough doing poor research to find facts or evidence to support an argument, but it shows a complete lack of integrity and respect to viewers when you actively misrepresent a position or take things out of context to demonize both players and developers.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Let's start with your original comment: "she tried to make women out to be victims in Hitman: Absolution"

I have no idea what you mean or you're referring to.  She shows several clips from the game.  Most notably: one in which Agent 42 spies on girls in their underwear, one in which he uses a dead woman in her underwear as a distraction, and one in which he punches two underwear-clad women unconscious and hides one in a trunk.  All clips are used appropriately to illustrate what she's talking about at the time and she in no way lies about the content of the game.

Red Dead - Nothing she says is inaccurate.  You can hog tie women and you do get an achievement for leaving them in front of a train.

New Vegas - Nowhere does she imply that there are no negatives for killing prostitutes in this game.  In fact, she doesn't even discuss killing prostitutes in this game.  Her few examples of New Vegas illustrate what she calls "Non-Playable Sex Objects," how characters feed into the instrumentality prong of Martha Nussbaum's object theory, and a few examples of male gigolos in games.

Watch Dogs - She uses the clip from Watch Dogs as one example of sexually objectified characters who "have little to no individual personality or identity to speak of and almost never get to be anything other than set dressing or props in someone else’s narrative."

Hitman - Once again, everything she says is true and in no way misrepresents the game.  Knocking out or killing characters and hiding them is a mechanic that players rely on to progress.  The fact that most characters in the game are male and can be violently acted upon in the same manner as women is a point she specifically address later in the video.  The fact that many players ignore the bikini girls or otherwise don't victimize particular characters is likewise a point she specifically addresses later in the video.  Same thing for in-game penalties for harming characters.  In fact, that's actually the very next thing she discusses.

So, nothing you've provided indicates that Sarkeesian is deceptive, dishonest, a rabble-rouser, poorly researches her videos, demonizes players or developers, or fails to provide context to the scenes she uses as examples that would affect/change/alter/disprove the content of her narration at that point.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

And when Faux News uses the phrase "Some people say" some people REALLY did say it therefore it's technically true.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Huh?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I'm not trying to dive into this conversation or endorse/oppose what you are saying but I wanted to say thank you for at least taking the time to post something thoughtful here.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

This took me a grand total of 30 minutes to research. It wasn't that difficult. Yes, I knew where and how to look, and yes, I had a lot of hours logged into a couple of those games, so it was easy to verify.

That, however, should be a standard to which Anita should be upholding, by playing the games in full (rather than pulling game content played by other players) and then presenting the situations she's focusing on in context (instead of misrepresenting the gameplay objectives, narrative or character motives).

It's obvious she had no intention of doing so even from the start- when "analyzing" Double Dragon Neon (a remake of the 1980's arcade brawler) she insists the woman is being objectified simply because her rescue become a goal (rather than a rational human response when a loved one is kidnapped). But when you try to apply that to the character James in Fallout 3, where the player character is being motivated to find and rescue his own father for about half the game, wouldn't that also be considered objectification by Anita's standards- to say nothing of how almost any goal regarding any npc in any game could also be considered objectification by Anita's standards; by definition, even the player would be objectified.

One of the other key problems is that Anita attempts to define the characters and judge their games by their appearance primarily and (as seen in Background Decoration videos) not by their narrative or gameplay. Isabella Valentine (Ivy) from the Soul series is definitely one of the sexiest characters in he video game world- she also happens to be a skilled combatant with an unorthodox weapon, has enough willpower to resist and control a weapon imbued with a demonic force, and is a historian and alchemist of great renown; gameplay-wise, she is consistently one of the hardest characters to master in a competitive setting. Of course, when you remove the context of the character the way Anita does, the narrative becomes meaingless and the sex appeal becomes the main focus- as long as the character remains female, of course. Because for all the objectification of the sex appeal of women, she doesn't seem to say a word about the shirtless, muscle-loaded adonises that make up the male portion of most games, be they protagonists, antagonists, players or NPCs.

I'd even argue, as I have from the start, that the title of her web series is meant to encourage conflict rather than discussion- by adding "vs.", as if there is a dichotomy between tropes and women (when in fact tropes can be applied to just about anyone or anything in negative or positive ways), it's almost as if she's meant for the line to divide the two as clearly as RED and BLU teams from Team Fortress 2.

But if this is a conflict, and facts, presentation and honesty are the ammunition, then she's done nothing thus far but fired blanks and hired stage actors to take falls like some kind of stunt show.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

"Isabella Valentine (Ivy) from the Soul series"

And why exactly, does a skilled combatant with great willpower and intelligence run around in some of the most unpractical fighting attire? Really her clothing becomes more ridiculous with each game. What purpose does it have besides T&A? And that's where the objectification sets in; when you take an otherwise respectable and strong woman and start treating her like a sex object, you are objectifying her. Its pointless sex appeal. Why can't she have more clothing? Because then she would not be as sexy... The fact that she has so many positive personal qualities kinda emphsizes how they are treating her since they are basically making her act out of character for the sake of T&A. The way she is sexualized basically undermines her positive qualities

 

"she doesn't seem to say a word about the shirtless, muscle-loaded adonises that make up the male portion of most games"

And that would be false equivalence. That is not male objectification, but Male idealization. They are designed in a way that most males would find ideal. The expected response the designer expects to get from their audience is "he looks so cool and so awesome!" or even "I wish I looked as awesome as he does". This is POSITIVE response. Female characters however, are not designed for other women, but are designed for what the average male wants. "She's so sexy, she's so hot, I'd hit that" is the expected response. The designers don't care what female gamers think since males are their target audience and they know their audience wants T&A

Let's take Batman for instance. Skin tight suit and rippling muscles, but everyone thinks that he looks cool like that and consider him a badass. But what if he was designed and portrayed to look like THIS or THIS instead(slighty NSFW)? He still has the same dark brooding personality, but know he wears impractical clothing for the soul purpose of showing off his abs, pecs, and crotch, often strikes poses to emphasize his male parts, and we would commonly see bruce wayne walking around without a shirt, in the shower, or wearing speedo's by the pool/beach. I really don't think many male comic fans would think batman was very cool if he was portrayed like that. Why? Because that kind of batman wasn't meant for them, he was meant to provide eye candy for the ladies. This is a batman that is being treated like an object; THAT is what it looks like when a male is sexualized and objectified the way women OFTEN are... Much like Ivy above, being sexualized like this would undermine all the positive characteristics of batman's characteristics

Heck to bring up a gaming example, how well do you think uncharted would have done, if Nathan Drake was designed to look like this (NSFW) http://planetivy.com/gaming/53930/what-would-lara-croft-look-like-if-she... The game could the same, along with Drake's characaterization, but i highly doubt an uncharted that feature a box cover with that guy would have sold as well with male gamers

Actually found an article that uses both male and female exmaples that shows the difference between characters that are sexualized and those that are not(Again NSFW) http://www.annamegill.com/blog/2013/12/10/a-brief-guide-to-video-game-ch...

Male sexualization and objectification does exist, but its rather uncommon especially in games, where as for women such objectification is quite commonplace and many gamers treat it like its normal. These same gamers would not be as happy with their games if the reverse were true.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Even if one does consider such things an example of male objectification, the videos are about women, not men.  

She is not preventing people from examining those topics, but it is not the topic she is going over, which is why these 'but think of the menz!' arguments rankle me so much.  It is almost like an issue is not real unless it effects middle class white guys and they must be included in everything... almost like the world revolves around them as the actual people.

 

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Hey, specifics!  Groovy!  Unfortunately, it's going to take more time than I have right now to comb through that (like you're really sitting on pins and needles awaiting my response, anyway).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

A downvote for asking what video the original comment is referencing?

Ha ha ha, some of you are so silly!

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Kinda makes you wonder why I was downvoted mere minutes after posting that response, or who did it.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I would imagine the downvote is in response to you calling Sarkeesian a "baseless rabble-rouser," "deceptive" and "dishonest" either because the voter disagrees with the labels or simply didn't like the perceived tone of your comment in general.

If you offer an opinion, someone will likely disagree and downvote.  Kinda boring.  I mean, I'd certainly prefer a response indicating what the disagreement was but, eh, that's life.

But a post merely asking for clarification?  That strikes me as odd.  Maybe it's something along the lines of "you just want to know so you can argue you argumentative arguer you!"

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I thought this woman had been exiled to under a rock somewhere to wallow in her shame after being continually outed as a fraud. She's the living embodiment of a good message being tainted by a poor messenger.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Hey look. Someone just outed her as a fraud:

https://twitter.com/femfreq/status/504718160902492160

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

How about the video of her from before she started her crusade where she tells a group that she doesn't play or know anything about video games and then not much longer after that, she starts her Kickstarter where she refers to herself as a gamer? That enough fraud for you?

As a female and life-long gamer, I don't want her lying ass trying to speak for me.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

"she tells a group that she doesn't play or know anything about video games and then not much longer after that... she refers to herself as a gamer"

That's not what she says.  She said she wasn't a fan of video games and had to learn a lot about them.  Even ignoring the appropriate context (she's talking about a specific type of gaming fandom of which she's not a part), those statements are not incongruous and not indicative of a pattern of dishonesty.

"I don't want her lying ass trying to speak for me."'

She's not and hasn't claimed to be.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I take it this video reaction is the one you are referring to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcPIu3sDkEw

In it she tells a college class that she says she is not a "fan" of video games and had to learn a lot. She later says that she would love to play games but doesn't want to go around shooting people.

I don't see how that invalidates her whole video series. A lot of people grew up playing games and then fell out of it when the games they enjoyed stopped being made or they simply ran out of time to play. 

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I don't see how that invalidates her whole video series. A lot of people grew up playing games and then fell out of it when the games they enjoyed stopped being made or they simply ran out of time to play.

I never said that did invalidate her series or that her series was invalid in the first place. She raises a lot of good points, but then tries so desperately to see them everywhere that she ends up sounding nuts.

It does, however, invalidate her as the messenger. Just because she played Mario 3 when she was 8 doesn't make her a gamer.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

"Just because she played Mario 3 when she was 8 doesn't make her a gamer."

What if she plays Mario 3 as a 25 year old? Or whatever? What if she still plays Bejewelled and other "casual" games? 

Personally, I find this whole "who is or is not a gamer" debate a complete waste of time and part of the problems we have. Those people sending her death and rape threats are self proclaimed "gamers" who see themselves as defenders of the right.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I find the debate especially stupid given how few of the people claiming she is not a 'real gamer'  have no background in media, sociology, or gender studies, yet feel completely qualified to comment on research from those domains.

People keep talking about her videos like they are 'her' theories or ideas when all she is doing is applying well established systemic analysis to an emerging media.  A media I might add that many of its proponents desperately try to point out that it is art on par with earlier forms like print and movies... yet get hostile when the same examination of those other types are applied to games.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Thing about this 'good message' is every time a woman brings it up she is called a fraud or extremist or such.  Men can bring it up in moderation (like Extra Credits did) but they tend to be careful to not upset their male viewers.

The message itself, I am always amazed at how much flack it gets in gaming.  This is 101 stuff in other media and is pretty well established in gender studies.  None of it even borders on controversial in the field itself or any of the related ones.. but it seems to really upset a good number of gamers.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Character assassinations and demands that she be raped and die are hardly convincing proof that the target is a fraud.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Did a post get deleted where someone tried to use that kind of crap as proof of fraud?  Or is this response as completely disconnected from the post it's replying to as it appears to be?

It *is* possible for people to criticize her for twisting facts without them having anything to do with "character assassinations and demands that she be raped and die", after all.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

It is a response to the general gamer reaction to her campaign and videos. The handful of "counterpoint" videos people ahve linked to have consisted mainly of character assassinations and ad hominems aimed at her with little substance regarding the tropes and games she featured. The death and rape comments are just the general vitriol aimed at her on twitter and elsewhere. 

There has been very little reasonable debate posted as a counter to her series. I have read some good posts here and elsewhere, but they have a hard time showing that the tropes don't exist or that they aren't as widely used as she claims.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

With all due respect, talking about rape threats and character assassinations is NOT responding to the "general gamer reaction".  It's responding to attention-seeking jackasses who don't deserve the time of day.  And there don't seem to be any of them actually in this thread, at least not deserving of that kind of association.

If you actually want reasonable debate, it might not be the best idea to respond to general criticism of her with associations to rape threats.  That sort of thing does nothing to raise the level of discourse.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I never said my comments were in response to anything specifically from this discussion. I was simply pointing out that there has not been any real "outing  her as a fraud" happening. Usually, those claiming to debunk her theories resort to ad hominems and sweeping dismissal of her points.

Then there are the rape and death threats which are a whole different ball game.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

You may have wanted to point that out, but what you actually accomplished is to say that any claim that her videos are misleading or have blatantly incorrect facts is tantamount to rape threats and should be treated as such in any debate.

As you said, rape and death threats are a whole different ball game.  So, why spend two separate posts trying to tie them together?  It makes it look less like you're interested in an honest look at the issues, and more like you're interested in shouting down any and all opposition.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Alright then.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I tried to watch this video (actually, the video of the first part of this "mini-series") and had to turn it off halfway through. You'd get more reality based information from Faux News. GP and, sadly the GDC, shouldn't be promoting this insane (or, she would be if I thought she actually believed the words that she wrote, which I don't), toxic, and dishonest person.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

If we covered only things that everyone was comfortable with we'd spend all day posting cute cat videos.

It's our job to cover these things.

Feel free to send us links to content that offers a counter-point that is beyond the usual ad hominem attacks on her character.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I wholly disagree. I disagree with much of what she says, like i often feel like she draws false conclusions/assumptions and sees meaning in something that wasn't meant to carry that meaning, but she DOES make some very good points about women in games. This is why its a shame that the internet has reacted the way it did, which was being all around venomous (sexist mindless insults, flaming, death threats, etc); the mere discussion of women issues in gaming seems to garner a venomous response that is much more extreme than the common trolling you get on any other topic(you call her toxic, but nothing she says even comes close to the kind of abusive responses that have been thrown at her; THAT's toxic)... Thanks to the vile portion of the internet, it has become impossible to actually DISCUSS her videos and critique them accordingly.

Video games do have a problem with sexism and its an important discussion to have. Her videos would actually make for a great jumping off point for that discussion. I mean the fact that people disagree with her on certain points only gives them more to discuss. Now if only people could communicate those disagreements in an intelligent manner instead of just mindless hurling insults, we could have have a REAL discussion.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

One thing you have to keep in mind is that meaning does not require intention.  It is one of the things that makes tropes so touchy to discuss since what they often expose is underlying social assumptions and patterns that people do not even think about.

So when developers and designers integrate these patterns it is not that they sat and thought to themselves 'hey, I am going to include women in this light', it is that they did not think about the issue at all.  They took the pattern as a given because it matches their social views and are not noticing it, much less questioning or changing it.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Okay, I challenge you to provide three quotes from her Women as Background Decoration videos that are demonstratively false.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

There's "demonstrably false" and then there's "significantly misleading by taking out of context." The one that made me have to stop watching was the video from sleeping dogs where she's talking about you grabbing a massage parlor girl and stuffing her in the trunk. Sure, you can do that, but you can also do that to ANY OTHER NPC IN THE GAME. Then there's just the general impression that seems like she wants to pretend strip clubs and prostitutes aren't actual things and just made up for games to objectify women. And then she goes and infantilizes prostitutes by referring to them as "prostituted" as if they're not beings capable of self-actualization.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Wow.  Not even one, huh?  You call her "insane, toxic and dishonest" and yet you can't even come up with a single, solitary example of dishonesty in 60 minutes of video.

"There's 'demonstrably false' and then there's 'significantly misleading by taking out of context.'"

Fine.  I challenge you to provide three specific examples (please use video timestamps) of Sarkeesian failing to provide context to the scenes she uses as examples that would affect/change/alter/disprove the content of her narration at that point.

"the video from sleeping dogs where she's talking about you grabbing a massage parlor girl and stuffing her in the trunk. Sure, you can do that, but you can also do that to ANY OTHER NPC IN THE GAME."

She's talking about and exemplifying the ability to "directly abuse non-playable sex objects."  The fact that the same actions can be performed on other NPCs is irrelevant to the subject at hand, not disputed, and further, specifically addressed in another part of the video.

"Then there's just the general impression that seems like she wants to pretend strip clubs and prostitutes aren't actual things and just made up for games to objectify women."

She does no such thing.

"And then she goes and infantilizes prostitutes by referring to them as "prostituted" as if they're not beings capable of self-actualization."

She's clearly talking about video game characters, not real people.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Check my respose to you on the other thread. It corrects her on several points regarding how she portrays specific game scenes in the first video alone.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I find it interesting that she doesn't reference any games that are more than 7 years old in this newer series.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Well, it is intended as an introductory video for a youngish audience so it makes sense to reference games from a time period they are familiar with.

The actual tropes can be traced back through games into other media for hundreds of years, but you have to focus somewhere when doing a quick overview.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

She does.  Check out part 1, several games from the eighties, nineties and early 2000s.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I am pretty sure in this video she talked about arcade games that were well past 10 years ago. So I don't see your point at all.

Heck, I saw reference to the Crus'in arcade game where a "woman as background decoration" was used.

These tropes have been used early game industry to today. They are recurring.

-Mrxknown_JG-

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Why is that interesting? Why does it matter? 

Is there something prior to 7 years ago that completely destroys her points?

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

No not at all, but more that maybe this portion of media hasn't developed up until more recently.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

Ah. I see. 

This could be an evolution of sorts of the damsel in distress trope she talked about in her first videos. Since a lot of games have moved on from that trope being the focal point, game developers have simply moved to it being something a little more violent but as a "sidequest".

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

I think it would be helpful to gather a percentage of games rated by the ESRB with sexual depiction, then within those go through them and follow-up to see what kind of sexual depiction they contain, just to give a baseline of what percentages of games do this.  Then for better accuracy go back through and verify games that didn't necessarily get tagged for sexual themes but do use these types of tropes.  The videos don't do a great job of informing the user on how many games per year (or percentage overall) actually pull this stuff.  It only does a good job of showing what games she thinks follow these tropes.  So there's actually no way to tell if the industry is getting worse on this, or better.

Re: Tropes vs Women in Games: Women as Background Decoration ...

The games she showed in this video were specifically picked out because they are a bunch of the "mature" titles aimed at young males. 

While a vast vast majority of games do not use a lot of these tropes or to the degrees portrayed in this video, those games are not often specifically targeted at the young male audience.

One of the points to this whole video series is to show how video games participate in the culture that views women in a lesser light to men.

 
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