5 Overused Gaming Tropes That Just Need to Stop

Gaming may be cyclical, but there are a few key elements of storyline or gameplay that may have popped up one time too many.

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strayanalog343d ago

The gaming industry have only been around 40 odd years; whereas the film industry has been around over 100 and uses these tropes. Point being as long as the writing is good tropes won't matter, and when we start expecting them that's when a writer will surprise us.

Cole-Cocking343d ago

Very well said. When it comes down to it, these tropes do exist for a reason - and as long as they are able to apply it in a way that is meaningful, it can breathe new life into otherwise tired stereotypes.

341d ago
drizzom341d ago

But what if I like those tropes?

whothedog341d ago

5 pages you have to scroll through, typical bullshit

Diffraction_Fos341d ago

I disagree with everything. Especially the last part. Because depending on the context of the storyline, I may or may not enjoy a "damsel-in-distress" situation in games. That may be horrifying to hear for the Anita Sarkeesians of this world, but it is what it is.

For example, rape is a thoroughly disgusting and despicable act in real life. So why is it that almost every so-called Women's sex studies have listed "rape" as one of the more common sexual fantasies for women? Because it is a fantasy, not reality. Just like the "damsel-in-distress" situation in games. No woman really wants that to happen in real life. There is nothing romantic, stimulating or desirable about being held hostage in a life or death situation. However in fantasies, it can be all of that given the right plot and writing.

That's the thing with feminists. They have a problem separating fantasies from reality. They think everything in games is literal. How many men have whined incessantly that the muscles of Kratos or Marcus Fenix are too big and that they're not accurate representations of the average man in the real world? How many have gone on and on about the fact that not all men have a deep bass voice, perfect square jaws, perfectly sculpted body figures with near-zero percent body fat, and don't walk around in only loincloths and fur shoes all day long like they are usually made to do in games?

Princess_Pilfer341d ago (Edited 341d ago )

I actually agree that gaming (along with every other artistic medium) has room for all of the things listed and the context any trope is used in matters.

However, you are damaging your own argument by making bad comparisons and saying comically stupid nonsense at the same time. See, almost never does one actually *play* the damsel in distress. It's not a fantasy being fufilled, sexual or otherwise. As was pointed out, it's almost exclusively a man rescues helpless woman situation, where you play the man. If people were regularly making games where you play the damsel while attempting to undermine or survive the will of your captor, that'd be a *very* different game than the damsel in distress trope in gaming actually refers to.

Also, men in games are almost *never* sex objects. They hyper masculine men like Kratos that you refer to are almost always self inserts for male power fantasies, not intended to be sexy to appeal to women. Those are very different things. It would be flat out wrong to state that physical attractiveness has nothing to do with who women find attractive, but to ignore the stastical reality that women tend to value physical attractiveness less in a partner in favor of other traits is also stupid. I find super huge guys to be pretty gross, tbh.

And to be clear, I'm 100% ok with some women in some games being sex objects. It's a bit to common for my tastes and pops up in games I'd prefer it not be in but whatever. But pretending "oh all these ripped men in games are dehumanizing sex objects because they're all ripped" and that the situation is in general comparable to how women tend to be portrayed in both those same games and the mdeium as a whole is frankly, fucking stupid.

Your preferences on and range of tolerance for what types of characters show up in what games and how often is fine. As long as you don't go into the relm of attempting to justify it with pseudo intellectual garbage. You actually hurt your point when you do that.

Diffraction_Fos341d ago (Edited 341d ago )

Where's the bad comparison? I never claimed a like-for-like representation on the things I mentioned. No one plays the damsel in distress because the viewpoint of gaming usually is from the hero/heroine. That's logical. How much excitement can you actually extract from being tied to a chair and waiting for rescue? Probably very little. Anyway, my main point was that the author claimed the "damsel-in-distress" scenario was misogynistic and dangerous. I'm simply trying to point out that it is not always so, and not limited to women at all. Many women too, on several researches have confessed to fantasies of adultery, rape, degrading and mutilating men. No one is crying outrage over those. Why? Because they can separate the fantasy from the reality, which the author seemed to be unable to do.

"Also, men in games are almost *never* sex objects"
So? They definitely are in other forms of media. How successful do you think The Twilight franchise, whose fanbase is largely female, would have been if Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner were replaced by Jack Black and Kyle Gass? Or the members of One Direction were all made up of 80+ year old men?

"women tend to value physical attractiveness less in a partner"
That is such bullshit and you know it.

"I'm 100% ok with some women in some games being sex objects."
I'm not. I can't stand games whose appeal is based solely on the size of the female characters' chests and butts or the skimpy outfits they wear. But I'm also not so naive as to think that every female nudity = objectification either. This is the problem I have with feminists. Everything to do with women that stems from men is supposedly sexploitation. And yet, "Its okay if the male protagonists are naked because we don't think of men like that". Yeah right.

"Your preferences on and range of tolerance for what types of characters show up in what games and how often is fine. As long as you don't go into the relm of attempting to justify it with pseudo intellectual garbage."
Oh I'm sorry. I must have missed the part where you're the sole authority over what I find acceptable in the different forms of media I consume.

Princess_Pilfer341d ago

Evidently you haven't played or enjoyed horror games where the point is that you're weak and struggling just to survive. That would actually be a really good setup for a damsel in distress story that wasn't super generic.

Also, you claim not to be making a like for like comparison, and then immediately make one. Women are not largely in control of the video game industry and are not largely creating these fantasies as games. That's before getting into that medias perception of what is and isn't normal has an impact on peoples perception of what is and isn't normal, so while an individual damsel in distress story isn't a problem, women being predominantly weak and/or helpless compared to their (almost exclusively male) captors does reinforce that idea. Wanna see it done in a way that's not generic or outright bad? Look at FF10 and The Last of Us. Ellie easily fits into that trope a lot, but she's genuinely helpful and takes an active roll in her own survival, even when Joel Doesn't want to give her one, or 2 of the times you go to rescure Yuna, once in the beginning of the game where by the time you get to her she's thrashed all the guards inside the ship and basically saved herself, and once where she wasn't even kidnapped and is voluntarily going along with it, and what you're doing is delivering new information to her so she'll change her mind. These are characters with agency who at least actively contribute and at most save themselves and/or the protagonist. The Damsel in distress technically refers to any woman who is rescued by any man ever, but what people tend to have a problem with is when it refers to women who serve only as things to be rescued, who lack agency. When it's "woman as mcguffin."

The article is about videogames. Also it's largely disproportionate even in other mediums. Fairly successful, because it preys on womens insecurities and gives them a "perfect" man who wants nothing more than to please them and who can never misunderstand them because he can read their thoughts.

No, no it's not. One google search will tell you that. On average, women find a wider variety of physical features attractive and overall value them less compared to personality and status. Again, it's not that looks don't matter, it's that they matter less.

Why are you talking about feminists rather than addressing the point? If you don't think it's ok for fictional characters to be objectified you're just as bad as they are. And you're strawmanning the crap out of the arguments people make, or selecting only the most extreme. I don't even agree with them, but they're arguing intent, not it's mere presence.

I don't remember saying I get to tell you what you find acceptable. I would say good try, but in the sentance you're quoting I literally don't say the thing you think I'm saying.

Diffraction_Fos341d ago

"Evidently you haven't played or enjoyed horror games"
Yeah because "damsel-in-distress" scenarios usually involve the victims shooting, cutting and mutilating the shit out of their captors, right?

"Women are not largely in control of the video game industry and are not largely creating these fantasies as games"
And the majority consumers of the teen-drama films, mainstream pop music, etc. are girls/young women. One caters mostly to boys/young men while one caters mostly to girls/young women. Guess which is which.

"it preys on womens insecurities"
Really? So you're saying a half-naked digital girl makes women insecure about their looks, but a half-naked digital man is not a source of insecurity for boys because they dream of becoming one? What? So you're saying only girls can be insecure about their looks? Do you realize just how hypocritical you sound?

"women find a wider variety of physical features attractive and overall value them less compared to personality and status"
Again, bullshit. The only thing women value more than looks is money and "status", as you put it. Check to see how many women look for partners who they consider to be way below their level in both earnings and social status.

I'm addressing feminists because the author is clearly one, and you most likely are one as well. And its for most people who the liberal media has told; video games teach violence towards women, video games are sexist, video games are misogynistic, etc. If video games are THAT influential towards real life, perhaps we should start truly outlawing the war games. Who knows how many players are getting ready to mass-murder their fellow human beings right now?

"I literally don't say the thing you think I'm saying"
You actually did.

Princess_Pilfer341d ago

There's no particular reason they can't. A game about attempting to survive the wrath of a captor long enough to send out a signal and get yourself freed could be very compelling. I don't know why you're being hostile about that idea.

That doesn't address any point, so I'm not sure why you mention it.

No, I'm saying Twilight itself, in how it's written, deliberately plays on womens insecurities. It has nothing to do with any amount of half naked anything, and everything to do with the bland, self insert protagonist and the 2 desirable guys who fight for her attention, one of whom is magically drawn to her and can read her mind and so respond to her every whim and feeling appropriately, even when she herself isn't sure what she's feeling. It's a very, very well written to prey on women with low self esteem. My disgust at how manipulative it is woldn't change that. As long as the main guys break into the "ok looking" range, they keep the majority of their appeal. Maybe don't put words in my mouth?

Check? Again, there are studies that confirm it. Even studies explicitly satying they found looks matter more than we say they do, still find that it matters less compared to other traits, as long as we find the person in question at least somewhat attractive (and agian, women find a wider variety of things attractive, again, google, there are studies, we tend to value other things more.

Reinforcing and normalizing pre-exsisting biases =/= teaching people to be violent.

(Yeah, I'm clearly a radical feminist. A radical feminist who thinks it's ok for women to be sex objects in games and agrees that tropes that paint women as victims are fine in the proper context. Because that's an argument they make :/ )

No, I did not claim to be the arbiter of what you can and cannot like. I claimed whatever you like is fine, but that you shouldn't attempt to justify it with bad arguments that hurt your point.

Diffraction_Fos340d ago

"A game about attempting to survive the wrath of a captor long enough to send out a signal and get yourself freed could be very compelling"
But that would not be very "damsel-in-distress" y now, would it? Which was what your original argument was about.

"That doesn't address any point,"
It addresses your argument that games cater largely towards male players and, hence, need to be changed to "show progression"(in the words of most liberals). I'm just pointing out that, as in any market, its not male-bias but rather majority-bias.

"women who serve only as things to be rescued"
And that's why I mentioned "implementation in the right situation" in my very first post. Read it again if you want. In any case, the "damsel-in-distress" scenario does partially reflect the real-world whether you like it or not. I know I'm probably going to get flamed by lib-tards and feminists for this but physically, women "are" the weaker sex. Whether they like to admit it or not. That is why men always have and will always continue to hold majority in numbers in construction work, the army, combative police force, etc. That's not catering to "gender roles", as feminists put it. Its following the laws of nature. A person is less likely to be involved with work that exceeds his/her capabilities. So its no wonder that historically, men have almost always been the ones to be put on the forefront of any job or duty that requires physical confrontations and/or has a high risk of death. So its not misogynistic to say that the "damsel-in-distress" scenario is still reflective(but not quite accurate or as frequent) of the real world.

"agian, women find a wider variety of things attractive"
Again, I have addressed this multiple times already.

"Reinforcing and normalizing pre-exsisting biases =/= teaching people to be violent."
I agree. Its a lot less serious and a lot less damaging than teaching people to be violent. "Oh that digital woman is not as physically as strong as the digital men. Sexism alert. Call the authorities." Big whoop.

"A radical feminist who thinks it's ok for women to be sex objects in games"
No. A feminist because you can't help yourself but blame men for just about everything and every supposed "bias" you think exist in this world. A feminist because you can't separate the digital world from the real world. A feminist because you're a hypocrite. Yes, I said "feminist" and not "radical feminist". There are no "radical" feminists. There never were. Just like there are no radical Nazis.

"I did not claim to be the arbiter of what you can and cannot like"
You did.

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vork77341d ago

to be fair the dream trope is rarly used

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