Imagine a world where female video game characters could save the world instead of waiting to get saved. Think about it: if the ladies were doing the saving, then they wouldn't even have to do it all in a tight, sexy corset top. If you're still with us, then you'll appreciate the fact that pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian is taking on the norms of the gaming industry and tackling the limited ways that women are included in it.
Her project "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" will explore and analyze the roles women repeatedly play in virtual reality and how this affects the roles we expect them to play in real life. The vision started out as a five-video series, yet due to her immense success on Kickstarter she has now expanded the project to 12 parts. Sarkeesian will focus on cliche roles that women often fill, including the damsel in distress, the fighting f*** toy, the sexy sidekick, the sexy villainess and background decoration.
Last year Sarkeesian released a video series analyzing the representations of women in the mainstream media that has been featured in school curriculums for everyone from middle school to law school. The video game edition has already raised $128,666 on Kickstarter, showing that lady gamers are more than ready for an upgrade to more challenging and complex characters.
Yet although the series has overwhelming support -- it is 2,151% funded -- not everyone is ready to let women explore their full potential. Recently Sarkeesian has faced vandalism and harassment on Wikipedia and YouTube, attempting to intimidate and shame her for starting the project. Of course this shockingly backwards display of sexism only reaffirms the importance of Sarkeesian's campaign. In fact, Sen. Leland Yee told SF Weekly: "For far too long, the video game industry has glorified violence against women and often depicted female characters as nothing more than sex objects. Such sexism is unacceptable and teaches our kids the wrong lessons."
Sarkeesian has confirmed her dedication to complete the project, so rest assured you will be able to watch all twelve videos online for free. But you still have one more day to help Sarkeesian yourself by funding her Kickstarter and take her ever-growing vision to the next level. Check out her blog Feminist Frequency to learn more about the shape of things to come.
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