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FF: Positive Female Characters in VGs

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"To rid of an ancient evil, the hero sacrifices herself"

 

Stopped there. No character that sucumbs to such a lazy stupid and emotionally manipulative trope is a good character.

 

Still it was surprising to see her use such an obscure example, I give her points for that.

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"To rid of an ancient evil, the hero sacrifices herself"

 

Stopped there. No character that sucumbs to such a lazy stupid and emotionally manipulative trope is a good character.

 

Still it was surprising to see her use such an obscure example, I give her points for that.

To be fair, she did say she'd like for characters to not fall under that trope.

 

In the grand scheme of things, it fits in the context. The game is about losing your strength. Each boss fight has you losing a heart, not gaining one. In the end to have the character just flat out die makes sense. It's not like some random trope to make the game more dramatic.

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Did she? That's good.

 

It doesn't matter how it was written into the plot, it's still a shit trope.

 

I'll say it as many times as I need to: If you need to kill off the main character in order to invoke an emotional response from your audience, that shows me you either are a lazy writer or ran out of ideas.

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Look I'll agree that The Scythian isn't a bad example, but should she really be regarded as one of the best? Because what I got from this is that to make a great female character is to make her a completely blank slate with no personality or any immediate features that could indicate she's a female other than people telling you she is. The whole "you can project yourself on the character" doesn't quite work too considering what if it's a guy playing and the game is telling you you're a girl. yeahsurethatsokayiguess

 

Anita makes the Metroid ending comparison a few times without really acknowledging why that ending was taken the way it was. The ending was a surprise, one that would forever change the way people think of video game protagonists, it got people to warm up to the idea that females are just as good as males. The Scythian however? It's because we're always given subtle hints 

about the gender it doesn't faze anyone nearly as much. However I suppose if there were no hints at all it would just be a reveal at the end that The Scythian was female all along it would be branded either a "homage" or "rip-off" or Samus.

 

But the way Anita describes it is that having no personality or not drawing attention to the fact your character is female makes a great female character, which is incorrect.

 

tl;dr Samus did it first

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Well to be honest, not drawing attention to the fact your character is a female DOES play a part in making a great female character. I don't think a character should have to go "I HAVE BOOBS" to be cool.

 

Also, I believe this is a series. She merely picked out one good example of a female representation in gaming and she was one. She's not saying that all women in gaming should be her. If you take a look at the intro, you see a number of other characters she is going to do.

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Look I'll agree that The Scythian isn't a bad example, but should she really be regarded as one of the best? Because what I got from this is that to make a great female character is to make her a completely blank slate with no personality or any immediate features that could indicate she's a female other than people telling you she is. The whole "you can project yourself on the character" doesn't quite work too considering what if it's a guy playing and the game is telling you you're a girl. yeahsurethatsokayiguess

 

Anita makes the Metroid ending comparison a few times without really acknowledging why that ending was taken the way it was. The ending was a surprise, one that would forever change the way people think of video game protagonists, it got people to warm up to the idea that females are just as good as males. The Scythian however? It's because we're always given subtle hints 

about the gender it doesn't faze anyone nearly as much. However I suppose if there were no hints at all it would just be a reveal at the end that The Scythian was female all along it would be branded either a "homage" or "rip-off" or Samus.

 

But the way Anita describes it is that having no personality or not drawing attention to the fact your character is female makes a great female character, which is incorrect.

 

tl;dr Samus did it first

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It's nothing like Samus. The Scythian doesn't exist in the game as a haha gotcha u were a girl all the time huehue punchline for the chracter. She just is female. No tricks, no fakeouts, she just is. It's not even subtle hints. The game explicitly uses female pronouns to refer to your character. 

 

The Scthyian is not a blank slate- you experience her thoughts and mannerisms throughout the game as you play through it. It's really weird that you describe the character as having no personality when it clearly does. Maybe she's not wearing a showy Zero Suit or battle bikini or some shit but the scythians animations, thoughts and even action prompts are dripping with personality. 

 

Just because something isn't exactly like something you like (ie. metroid) doesn't make it worse. What makes the game, and the character special is that it's a woman doing a typically "male" fantasy hero quest, and doing it despite extreme cost and pain (you can see a clip of the scythian vomiting towards the end there), whilst finally being treated just like a hero, no dumb special treatment because she was female or otherwise. 

 

topic split, also. 

 

I'll admit, I've not played this game, I've only watched this video and tried to form an opinion from that, but I'm not convinced. It is good that they don't make any real awareness to her gender, but that raises the question of who really cares about a gender of a character, or why this complete lack of care to gender really warrants a video like this? Heck I love Metroid to the Moon and back but even I will admit Samus, whilst she is a decent example, wouldn't daresay she's the best, especially in Other M (but that's a different can of worms). At least to me, to like a character is to have characteristics, I just can't see the appeal in complete blank slate characters, this goes for male characters as well.

 

That being said I feel as if I've been fairly ignorant of the topic on The Scythian, as really I've only made my assumptions on this video, of which Anita does say that she is a blank slate, and whilst she does say the character does state her thoughts and opinions, Anita doesn't show an example of it, leading me to believe otherwise. You guys have explained this better than Anita has, I'll admit it's opened my eyes a little.

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To be totally honest I don't think Samus is a good choice at all anymore... as a feminist and a Metroid fan it really pains me to say that. I don't think the current portrayal of the character is very progressive at all. The Prime games were best in that regard imo but Nintendo seems to want us to forget about those, so eh.

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Other M must've been pretty damn bad if people are still going on about it five years later.

 

 

then again, there hasn't been anything more Metroid related since then sooo....

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FF is just so incredibly boring I find it hard to get through her videos.

 

I'm interested to see her talk about Mirror's Edge, since I know she really likes that game but it's essentially just another patronising damsel in distress story. It does have some clever social-politics messages and Faith is ok, I guess. But I really don't see what she sees in that.

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I'd never heard of the Scythian or her game before now. It certainly looks intriguing based on this review, and I think I'll try it out soon.

 

As someone who genuinely likes FF's Tropes vs. Women series, I'm really looking forward to seeing more of this. Hearing some of Sarkeesian's positive thoughts on games is a nice contrast to her criticism; Even if I generally agree with it.

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Haven't had a shred of respect for Sarkeesian since she started labeling female characters "fucktoys" just for daring to be sexually evocative.

 

This woman ain't really a feminist, tbh.

Wanna talk about BG&E, contribute something interesting to the conversation, or wanna thread shit and continue posting inane wastes of everyone's time?

 

Maybe I'm biased- Beyond Good and Evil is one of my favourite games ever, but I feel Jade is a perfect example for this series/theme of videos.

 

Alot of people compared Jade to Alyx Vance, but thinking about it, they're kind of opposites apart form looks. Jade has sidekicks and Alyx is one, moreso when you think about the sidekick as cheerleader trope- how many times does Alyx stroke your ego in HL2? At least when PEy'j does it it feels more like an interaction with your bumbling uncle than one with your biggest fan ever. 

 

Anyway, great character, great interactions, gorgeous game with an amazing world. Maybe one day we'll finally get that BG&E2.

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To be honest I find Anita's views conflicting, now I'm not going to go into all the controversy jazz I just want to talk about her statements concerning female characters.

Honestly I think she's way too strict and nitpicky when it comes to sexist, I mean I doubt Mario is teaching men gamers that women are nothing but trophies to be fought for. Am I denying that there's sexism in videogames, no I'm not, there's definitely sexism in some games, a lot of it can be found in Rated M games.

Essentially I think people would take her more seriously had she gave better examples. Like for example how she claimed "Super Princess Peach" is a game using PMS powers, I would like to point out in the game that Peach isn't the only one using her powers as emotions in that game, in fact all the enemies including Bowser use emotions as powers so the point is kind of invalid since both men and woman in the game are using emotions to fight in that game.

Then when she used Zelda as example saying that the games were saying, no matter how strong a woman is, they can always get overpowered by a man, yet she fails to see that this isn't because Ganondorf is a man, it's because he has more powerful magic. There are many times we have seen Link get overpowered by Ganondorf as well, in fact sometimes he can't defeat Ganondorf until Zelda lends him her power where their forces combined help defeat the dark king.

And the time she said it's sexist for a woman to sacrifice her life to save a man, I do not believe this is sexist in the slightest. No matter the gender to me the sacrifice shows how much that person cares that they are willing to sacrifice their life, regardless of gender. And we also had a handful of men sacrificing themselves for a female character like in Xenoblade Chronicles.

So that's my thoughts on this debate.

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Wanna talk about BG&E, contribute something interesting to the conversation, or wanna thread shit and continue posting inane wastes of everyone's time?

 

Lol, hey! I thought that my post was quite interesting, personally. :D

 

Haven't played BG&E so I've got not much to say about it. I'm simply saying that I've felt disenchanted with Anita's TvWIVG series ever since she started labeling cool and empowered women who have their own agency as "fucktoys", thereby quite hypocritically objectifying them and slut-shaming them like a good feminist absolutely wouldn't do.

 

So, my post was more about the series in general than about that particular video. Her ideas of what makes a "positive" female character is typically put up to her own puriticanical scrutiny, and I strongly disagree with that.

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I haven't watched the videos, but a claim like that should probably depend pretty heavily on context.  It might fall into the long fictive tradition of female characters being sacrificed chiefly for the sake of male character development, for instance; the argument would be that this ultimately risks normalising the narrative elimination of female characters whilst prioritising the preservation of masculine life over feminine, emphasising male emotional torment over female physical suffering - and once you boil it down to that level, passive female suffering is one of the oldest tropes in the book.  I can't personally think of any examples of specifically one-to-one, personal, gender-binary "heroic sacrifices," though, especially in video games; maybe a couple in Twilight Princess?  I guess it'd be easier if I just watched the videos to know the context, but I don't really have the patience for long analysis videos.

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To be honest I find Anita's views conflicting, now I'm not going to go into all the controversy jazz I just want to talk about her statements concerning female characters.

Honestly I think she's way too strict and nitpicky when it comes to sexist, I mean I doubt Mario is teaching men gamers that women are nothing but trophies to be fought for. Am I denying that there's sexism in videogames, no I'm not, there's definitely sexism in some games, a lot of it can be found in Rated M games.

Essentially I think people would take her more seriously had she gave better examples. Like for example how she claimed "Super Princess Peach" is a game using PMS powers, I would like to point out in the game that Peach isn't the only one using her powers as emotions in that game, in fact all the enemies including Bowser use emotions as powers so the point is kind of invalid since both men and woman in the game are using emotions to fight in that game.

Then when she used Zelda as example saying that the games were saying, no matter how strong a woman is, they can always get overpowered by a man, yet she fails to see that this isn't because Ganondorf is a man, it's because he has more powerful magic. There are many times we have seen Link get overpowered by Ganondorf as well, in fact sometimes he can't defeat Ganondorf until Zelda lends him her power where their forces combined help defeat the dark king.

And the time she said it's sexist for a woman to sacrifice her life to save a man, I do not believe this is sexist in the slightest. No matter the gender to me the sacrifice shows how much that person cares that they are willing to sacrifice their life, regardless of gender. And we also had a handful of men sacrificing themselves for a female character like in Xenoblade Chronicles.

So that's my thoughts on this debate.

 

The reason a lot of feminists would argue against this points is because you're thinking purely within the context of the video game worlds, not the meta.  These games aren't events that just happened, people wrote them.  People have written, for years, Zelda games in which Link, the man, is the hero, Ganondorf, the man, is the villian, who overpowers Zelda, the woman, who merely supports Link, rarely directly.

 

Now of course, most of these games are products of their time.  While we can analyse these, I find FF's reviewing style far too harsh on older games.  Though I'd always side with her over the douchebros online who have attacked her.

 

 

I personally lost interest for her when she considered Peach a sexist character which I completely disagree with.  Not only do you HAVE to ignore the spin-offs, including Paper Mario for that to happen (if you have to ignore certain aspects of what you're arguing about you don't have a good argument), but even multiple main games have to have important elements of the lore ignored to suggest Peach is a useless prize (case in point, the most cliché Mario story of all, Mario 1, requires her to be saved because she is the only one with the power to undo Bowser's magic - Mario himself cannot save the kingdom without her).  And obviously since 3D Land, Peach's role has changed up in big ways.  She spends 50% of that game on the run after freeing herself.

 

Mario, the good guy, sees Peach as a person.  Bowser, the bad guy, sees Peach as a prize.  To suggest that we're supposed to relate to the bad guy's viewpoint of her is a complete disrespect to all the characters, and the tone of the Mario series.

 

 

Of course, Nintendo has recently been making major strides in their female representation and I love it and I think they know people love it too.  Hopefully they're unlikely to be in the spotlight for being sexist ever again, but I hope people don't continue to look at their franchises and consider them sexist without even playing the modern games, simply because they assume every one has the same story.

 

 

I haven't watched the Jade video, but Mollfie did and told me about it.  I don't have any interesting comments unfortunately because I basically agree, Jade is one of the best female video game protagonists without question.

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