The Damsel In Distress Analysis

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David Slovikosky IRLS 150b1 Professor: Lenhart Section: 001 Damsel in Distress Analysis The Damsel in Distress series by Anita Sarkeesian explores a worrying trope found everywhere in many old and new video games. Traditionally, a damsel in distress is the male hero's wife or love interest who is helpless and is in need of mercy killing or rescuing. Women are portrayed as "disposable objects or symbolic pawns" (Sarkeesian) in these kinds of games. Sarkeesian states that this theme "normalizes extremely toxic, patronizing, and paternalistic attitudes about women". The important fact about this trope is that it is not simply an "isolated incidence" but a re-occurring theme. This builds into her main point, that "The Damsel in Distress trope…show more content…
These are mostly seen in modern games, with new and revamped high definition gory graphics. The first of the three victimized women themes, The Damsel in the Refrigerator, shows the brutal murder of a female character whose soul is captured and must be avenged by even more slaughter (Sarkessian). This is seen in many video games such as Medievil 2, The Darkness 2, and Shadows of the Damned. This horrific representation of women, as Sarkeesian states, "fools gamers into thinking their games are becoming more emotionally sophisticated, but the truth is there is nothing 'mature' about most of these stories and many of them cross the line into blatant misogyny". This theme is repeated once again in Max Payne 3 where there isn't even a heroic rescue. The death of a woman in a game for the sake of a quest is what Sarkeesian calls "Disposable Damsel". The "Euthanized Damsel" is the last of the victimized women tropes. In this trope, the damsel, who the player believes is alive, has been dead the whole time (Sarkeesian). This is seen through a large variety of games such as God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Shadows of the Damned, and Resident Evil 5. All of the victimized damsels are simply mutant objects to advance the story, not people to relate
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