Jump to content

Rudy's Blog

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

The "damsel in distresss" trope in some video games



Awhile ago I stumbled across this interesting youtube series on about how many video games use a "damsel in distress" plot device, and how few had strong female player characters.


Here is part I:



Over the past few days I've also played the colecovision "Donkey Kong" certainly a strong and early entry in this theme. If you look at the flyer for the game the scenario is far more salacious than the graphics of the day were able to portray.


Why was this a pattern? I think it's a case of "those who hide under beds, look under beds," or to put it less pithily, the nature of one's actions towards others are determined by one's own past actions and beliefs. I believe most of the programmers behind video games were trying to design a game that expressed their own experience and attitude towards life, but the dominance of those beliefs in this developing part of popular culture displaced other voices in our culture. This appears to be a form of cultural imperialism.


Recommended Comments

That's a good point but I'm not a sociologist or aware of who was playing these games at the time so without knowing more it seems they were tapping into male power fantasies of heroism and, as you put it, "getting the girl". I'll check the link, thanks.

Link to comment

It's sad to see how some of the overly-sensitive, politically correct, rabid feminists over analyze everything to the point sucking the crap out of it.


I would like to agree with Random Terrain, that the target demographic is largely pre-teen or adolescent boys, I think most would agree that males are probably the biggest users of video games in general. Now with all the super-hero movies, comics and games, this is just one among many. They just want to play and have fun, they don't think about the underlying social dynamics, heck they are probably totally unaware of it. I personally am sick of politics and political correctness creeping it's way into every aspect of my life, I mean really my video games too?


Now, has the female form been exploited? Yes, for as long as recorded history. Even the magazines by women, targeted at women TODAY have articles about how to emphasize their looks, "attract a mate", etc. The advertising in some of the women's magazines exploit the male body too, but no one is talking about that.


If the adult population in general cared, or were really serious about becoming a sexless or androgynous society, they would not buy all these magazines or associated products, but the market has spoken, however there will always be a vocal and easily offended minority buzzing in your ear.


Now back to fun... which is why I come here.

Link to comment

I just thought it was an interesting video because I was not even aware of this pattern, or if I was, I was only aware of it on a very low level of clarity. I focused more on the games themselves than on the story behind them. Some interesting work has been done in this area with the "James Bond" movie series also. If anyone is interested I can provide a link otherwise I won't bother if nobody wants to read it.

Link to comment

The lady who made that video is a self-serving shill. Many of us are tired of the discussion - at least where this persons work is concerned.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...