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Sorry Mario Bros
Say what you will about Anita Sarkeesian, you gotta admit that people do take note of what she says for good or ill. In this piece of news, it's for the good.

As you might already know, in her latest video she outlined a simple "damsel frees herself" video game. Nothing too spectacular but it showcased how one can subvert the typical trope and make a strong female character out of it. While many were quick to criticize her for not making the game herself (given her kickstarter success), others took a more direct approach and actually made a game in 2 weeks.

The game is called "Sorry Mario Bros," and the plot is that Princess Peach decides to rescues herself by leaving Bowser's castle in world 8-4. You progress right to left through familiar, but slightly altered, original Mario Bros. worlds working your way backwards towards world 1-1. Along the way you can take detours and use Peach's float ability to reach hidden areas and collect "princess coins." There are 10 coins in the game and they are often well hid, giving you incentive to take your time and roam these redesigned version of classic levels.

The game is humorous too, as you'll pass Mario on his way to rescue you while you're stomping goombas and traversing through levels he's already cleared. It's the little touches like that that make this sort of game more than just a quick gimmick. It is a rather short game, the controls are a little slippery, and the graphics are modified to be recognizable but not exact (probably to avoid any copyright infringements), but outside that it's still a very admirable attempt and I'm sure we'll see more like it soon!

The game is available for FREE on Mac, PC, and Linux systems and can be found here: www.thewildeternal.com/2013/07…

PS: Sorry about all the journals recently... it's been busy!
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:icongilotyna815:
gilotyna815 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That sounds awesome, I'll definitely try that :D. Already downloading.
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:iconnintendomain:
Nintendomain Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha, for a minute you had me convinced this was a real game.
(It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo pulled something like this :XD:)
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:iconnotmolo:
NotMolo Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
Free? So I don't have to donate money to play this "female empowerment fantasy" game?
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:iconemilyrees:
EmilyRees Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Praise the forthcoming game industry crash and total 'geek' apocalypse that purges the cancerous scum.
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:iconvillamar:
villamar Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
Umm... I think they could have done better by using SMB2's Peach and real SMB1's levels. I mean... it's not like they didn't use real pixels for Super Mario Bros Crossover and they didn't have any copyright issue. It's a good game. If you haven't tried it, you totally should: www.explodingrabbit.com/games/… . It's fun to play Super Mario 1 with many different characters from different games. You can also use skins to make it look like NES, SNES, GB, etc. ^^
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:iconllirbwerdnadivad:
llirbwerdnadivad Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013
XD That sounds fun.
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:iconneedtogetfriends:
needtogetfriends Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013
i looked at the first couple lines then skimmed 
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:iconatata:
Atata Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
it was a cute game lol, liked the concept, but I somewhat feel that if this was made also in support for the damsel in distress problem, I think that it still has it's one issue... it was too easy. and more in the fact that if you didnt want to land somewhere, you didnt have to land there, you'd just float. I feel like the game becoming oversimplifying, creates the idea that even supporters think that gamer girls aren't capable of going through as many difficulties as male protagonists go through.

Like, maybe it would have been cool if princess peach was actually at mushroom kingdom, and the reason mario set out to save the princess was because she went missing and the only way Mario could possibly think could have happened was she was kidnapped by bowser, who had kidnapped some of the other townspeople already. So princess peach would dress combat ready in tomboy clothing (overalls and cap), knowing mario put himself in danger, to follow him and make sure he doesn't get hurt, use same physics and powerups and at the end, stage herself as captive... I know I can't make games myself, and stuff like this would be stretching it, but think they should still keep the same difficulty levels so that it doesn't belittle women's capabilities when trying specifically to support it.
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:iconlynxclaw:
Lynxclaw Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
I'm glad that there are people out there actively making stuff! That's how things get done.
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:iconjijikit:
jijikit Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is awesome!!!!  I'll have to go check this out!  :XD:
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:iconmadhatter2801:
Madhatter2801 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013
More Journals? Brentalfloss the comic is ending, so it would be in your best interest to get the attention of someone who is in need of an artist as a possible job.
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:iconfireninjastar:
Fireninjastar Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Pewdiepie the comic"

OH C'MON
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:iconmadhatter2801:
Madhatter2801 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
I'd say it'd be a match made in heaven, but their egos would both get in the way.
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:iconfireninjastar:
Fireninjastar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Id rather have a good artist with an ego than a shitty lets player with an ego.
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:iconmadhatter2801:
Madhatter2801 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013
True, but the point I'm trying to make is Dobson needs to stop constantly posting journals and arguing with people who don't agree with him, and get on task trying to find a job to support himself.

Especially if he's not getting enough through ad revenue, if his other journals and recent SYACs are to indicate, he's going to have to find something that could give him work, and he needs to be proactive about it.
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:iconfireninjastar:
Fireninjastar Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So he's a jackass about disagreeing with others opinions?

And he's also selling books, and doing random odd jobs, so he'd getting cash.

Besides, at least he IS using his art degree instead of wasting his life away (ahem egoraptor) 
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:iconmadhatter2801:
Madhatter2801 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
If he's disagreeing with someone calling him out on some sort of immoral behavior then yes, he'd be a jackass.

But the deal is he's spending needless time arguing and writing journals during his free time between his "random odd jobs" when he could be spending that time promoting his books, something he's complained about in a journal mind you, and getting to work on acquiring a job that has at the very least a little bit more financial stability - especially since when he made his journal on Brentalfloss the comic job ending he commented on it being a reliable, steady job. which I would think that a webcomic would be considered more of a "random odd job" than a financially stable one. If that's the case, he would need to land a pretty decent gig to be able to afford rent and utilities, something a few random odd jobs are not going to cut. (That is unless he's mooching off of someone.)

As for Hanson, I dunno, the guy seems to be working it out being a internet comedian, being commissioned to be a guest on various internet shows. The guy still produces animations from time to time (as well as being commissioned) so I can't say Arin's degree is entirely a waste... Whereas Dobson has stated his degree is entirely useless and has mentioned many a times he considers himself a non-professional when the degree he has should consider himself one. So I don't think arguing that Dobson is using his BFA when he's really not is a good argument on your part.
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:iconfireninjastar:
Fireninjastar Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can I have that comment as a book?
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(1 Reply)
:iconrhythm-wily:
Rhythm-Wily Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013
Sounds awesome!
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:iconagent505:
Agent505 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Professional Writer
I gotta give you a heads up about that game download - it's got a malware or something attached to it; after I downloaded and played through the game once (it was neat, nothing special) my USB equipment started acting up, and the computer told me that all my external drives were corrupt.  That included anything that was USB - webcams, mice, everything.  After running a full scan from my norton, the problems are over.

Though it's a nice idea for the game - but I think next time I'll just stick to youtoob.
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:iconpaul-launzi:
Paul-Launzi Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013

I'd like to say something, which you most likely already know but it's not very likely that Nintendo will change their mind about Mario Brothers and Peach.

The reason simply is, and I don't mean to be racist, that they are Japanese.

It's pretty common in Japan to be sexist, it's actually very normal. They just don't see it as a bad thing, rather as how it is. You just don't really notice that on the outside because the borders of what's male and what's female are different and the rest will just be seen as the regular sexist things you can find everywhere.

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:iconfireninjastar:
Fireninjastar Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The damsel in distress deal has been around since the VERY old days.
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:iconyagamiyoshi:
YagamiYoshi Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Sounds awesome!
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:iconbiumphress:
BIUmphress Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Student Filmographer
I cannot support Sarkeesian on the basis of bad academia, which is evident if anyone has read any of my previous comments on her presentation.  To be honest here, I have my doubts about the game she creates, IF she creates it, if only on the proposed narrative itself (I'd still play the game before I'd make any final judgments).  I'll try to be fair when explaining my doubts by offering suggestions that would improve the narrative, if and when I can.

1) The protagonist starts out as a strong and independent woman already.  According to what Sarkeesian says about captured damsels in games, they are powerless; therefore, I'd be inclined to believe that the protagonist starts out weak, and would need something to spark the change in character (because a dynamic protagonist is more interesting than a static one; and if paced well enough, you can keep the audience's attention for the duration of the game).  One such spark could be a sorceress who aids the protagonist in her escape (I know, this sounds like the beginning of Remember Me where Nilin is guided by radio, but the sorceress would say that the hero sent to rescue her took too long and the world is going to be in danger sooner than anyone expected; it's 2:00 in the morning, so I am trying my best to come up with good plot threads on my feet).  One might argue that having outside help would defeat the purpose of having a "strong independent woman" as the protagonist, but a character's emotional depth and change needs to be revealed through social interaction; also, since when has a protagonist in a game never relied on other peoples help, if not even to ask for directions for side quests?  Also, if the princess, who likely has no weapons or any prior martial arts/black magic training, is going to escape, why not escape Metal Gear/Solid Snake style until she has access to weapons or some other tool that helps with her defence from enemies?  Because I find it unlikely for anyone to break out of a cell Kool-aid man style without any assistance of any kind to be possible.

2*) The overwhelming feminist* bias.  I put an asterisks on both the number and the word "feminist" because I'm not sure if anyone would count this as a point and because my views of what constitutes feminism is different from that of Sarkeesian's (within the schism of feminism called the "Sex Wars," I'm currently leaning toward the sex-positive side of things, although I might need to educate myself more on what is constituted on each side).  Maybe it's because of the general tone of "these games are misogynistic and you should be ashamed for having fun playing them" prior to Sarkeesian displaying what her ideal game would be (Yes, she says that we can have fun but have to think critically at the same time, her word choices speak otherwise), but I feel that the tone/bias/whatever-is-the-proper-word-it's-2:10-in-the-morning comes across as borderline misandrist, even if the protagonist supposedly is supposed to have beneficial partnerships with anyone regardless of gender.  It could ease my mind if perhaps at one point in the plot the protagonist meets her hero who never arrived on time; perhaps they could have a conversation where she says that while she is grateful for his attempt to rescue her, but she needs to find her own way, and that any help for her main quest can still be appreciated before they go into a beneficial partnership/join the party/whatever-Sarkeesian-wants-to-call-it.  It can also be a good point to uncover an interesting truth or theme for the game at that point, but that would depend on how well done the writing is; otherwise, the themes of the story would look like propaganda rather than the book "Johnny Got His Gun" (which has a socialist bias, but at least it's carefully disguised with the horror the protagonist experiences living on a hospital bed with most of his senses gone).

3) The evil council takes political control of the nation and that the princess is the only surviving heir of the royal family.  Aside from the fact that this sounds like Dishonoured (seriously, I seem to bring up that game every time Sarkeesian's name comes up on your journal posts, at least since I rewatched part 2), it already seems cliché in my opinion to have an evil council be behind the protagonist's misery.  I cannot offer any other solutions that do not sound cliché for this one, other than to remove the evil council; there's already a final boss who the protagonist fights, so why not give him/her (or would using "her" be sexist to Sarkeesian because that would make the final battle comparable to a sexually objectifying cat-fight?) more involvement in the plot?

4) The princess wants to defeat the final boss to lead the nation into a new government as a republic.  Why would someone of royalty want the nation to become a republic?  I would say that it's hard to believe, but I have read a graphic novel called "Persepolis" which explains that the Iranian royal family was ousted from power by a foreign nation's government in place of the Shah, thus giving the remaining royalty a reason to become radicalised in communism.  So does the fact that the princess wants the nation to become a republic show that her loss of political power has affected her personally, leading her to decide to give up power?  Would it be a pessimistic world view, or optimistic?  Come to think of it, what kind of republic is the nation going to be?  Is it going to be communist?  Anarchist?  Democratic?  Because knowing the motivations of the Iranian royal family according to Persepolis as being rather pessimistic, having a democratic republic is too hopeful.  And the type of republic chosen might influence if this game is a persuasive tale or heavy-handed propaganda.  I think that it would be simpler to have the protagonist decide to adopt a Constitutional Monarchy (she would still be recognised as royalty, but all the political power would go to the parliament in accordance to the nation's constitution, and she would only have some control if the Prime Minister doesn't call an election after the 5th year of not calling one, but that power she has would only be for her to force the Prime Minister to call an election...; I know that I am going on an on about it, but outside of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, other Commonwealth nations, Denmark, and other nations that still have royalty but run on a parliamentary system, who else knows what a Constitutional Monarchy is?).

While I give the team who made "Sorry Mario Bros" an A for effort (they at least took initiative in creating that game), I now feel concerned if the team did it with a lot of independent consideration or if they did it because Sarkeesian said it was a good idea and they didn't think much more about it (based on the fact that it was made within 2 weeks, it seems they started development before Part 3 of Sarkeesian's video series was released, so there was room for some independent thought, unless my perception of time is skewed...).  One of the commentors on the host site for Sorry Mario Bros (@ExtrordinaryBen, or Ben DeCamp) had one point I liked, mostly about the last two sentences: "A good question would be to ask how your women friends feel about Super Mario Bros. Do they feel like Peach is nothing more than 'a reward for a man’s trouble.' Or is it a simple romance story in a video game from the 80s?"  The Sex-Positive perspective on feminism is all about recognising that the woman is a human being under any circumstance, with consent being the key to that recognition (mostly this applies if women want and/or enjoy expressing sexuality, but I think this also applies outside the context of sex, as in here).  Knowing that video games in the 80's typically have a simplistic story, I am inclined to think that, applying sex-positive principles in Super Mario Bros, Peach is not an object for Mario to retrieve, but rather as a subject of Mario's affection, with Mario risking his life and limb to save her, like a medieval German minne-chivalric knight who adores and serves his lady.  Perhaps I'm over-romanticising Mario, or it's because it's now 3:00 in the morning, but my point is that if Peach is recognised as a human being rather than as what Sarkeesian calls an object, Mario has a well orchestrated story for the 1980's in the video game world,  although Princess Zelda is a complex person due to the her many iterations over the years, with increasing depth of character with improved hardware for crafting deeper stories.

On a final note, if Sarkeesian really wants to subvert the Damsel in Distress trope AND impress me, why not have a woman save the princess or have the male hero rescue a dude in distress without be disgusted by the task?  THAT would be subversion through the heterosexism angle, which actually hasn't been explored much or at all in any medium outside of Revolutionary Girl Utena(?) (unless you play Spelunkey/however-that-game-is-spelled and choose the male damsel out of all the options.  On a related note, what is that fourth option and what does it do?  Sarkeesian didn't talk about it and it's bugging me a heck of a lot; I would find out myself, but I don't have a copy of the game, so if anyone can answer that question, I thank you).
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:iconprowlex:
Prowlex Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
Are you talking about the option with all three heads?
If so, it's a random one each level.
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:iconbiumphress:
BIUmphress Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Filmographer
Thank you for your explanation; that was the option I meant.
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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Anita basically made it 'she sets up a republic' because her coming back to seize power probably feels like a negative (and I would assume masculine) trait to her. She glances over any reasoning to give, when she could easily have added 'traversing the nation, seeing the plights of the common folk at the bottom of society' to give a reason for her to become da president rather than just the queen.

You could have a woman save the prince, the 'rescue the captured scientists' does happen fairly often, tho.
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:iconbiumphress:
BIUmphress Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Filmographer
Except that "becoming the president" assumes that she is willing to set up a democracy.  Ideally, in a democracy, you would have to be willing to accept that it's the people's choice to elect a leader of best fit; that means that if there are other candidates that the citizens of the protagonist's nation feel that another person is better qualified to lead a nation, the protagonist might not necessarily become president.  I'm not saying that's a bad idea, but that idea needs to be fleshed out considering that politics is a complex topic, and something that needs wider perspective (perhaps there are multiple endings where your actions may determine who becomes president; maybe the protagonist princess decides to give up political power to live a simpler life in a similar fashion to Buddha; again, this all depends upon the context of the narrative, and for this to be seen as a legitimate story, some skill in writing needs to be used, otherwise it could be seen as heavy-handed propaganda).  This is why I would suggest having a Constitutional Monarchy instead: the people of the land could still revere the protagonist as their royal ruler, but the princess would still give up (or share, if you want a nicer word) her power for democracy by setting up a parliamentary system.

As for the idea to have the woman save the prince, yes, that idea has already been done (perhaps even done to death; what you have just described was the plot to Rhapsody).  Also, Sarkeesian said in her video that it doesn't do anything (to which I agree, but only for different reasons; i.e. in North American culture, it's not much of a stretch to think of a man who saves a woman in trouble or if a woman saves a man in trouble.  That is why I like my idea of having both the hero and the person in rescue to be the same gender; even in 2013, it's not an idea that's utilised very much in the mainstream.  Even if there isn't a romantic context between the characters, which usually exists in a damsel in distress situation, it can show that 1) the person in distress is not an object, but a human being who needs help, and 2) helping someone in need is an action that defines what being a good human being is, although you can still get that point across with opposite sex characters IF there is no romantic attraction between them).
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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Of course, I meant 'she becomes the president' more to mean 'Anita probably didn't want to say she goes back to being queen or princess because princess is too feminine, and therefore she must take the rightful gender neutral place'

Ant to the second part yeah, it would mostly be increasing the relevance of 'the scientist' in those plots. I mean there's plenty of games that again, have it be 'go save the scientist(s)', which could easily be the plot of a game and therefore be there. of course the major issue with the 'damsel in distress' trope is that in order for it to be saving only one person, you really have to have a personal or other reason to be specifically working to save this one person, rather than focusing on saving everyone, hence most damsels are either emotionally connected to the protagonist or have some other importance outside of just being a person.
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:iconbiumphress:
BIUmphress Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Student Filmographer
I suppose that's one thing Sarkeesian doesn't understand about the damsel in distress: there's an emotional connection between characters in the same way there is an emotional connection between people.  She says that the use of the trope enforces the paternalistic (whatever that means; if I had to play college or university professor here, I'd declare for her to define her terms; she keeps using that word, and I don't think it means what she thinks it means) view that women are property that the male hero has to retrieve; unfortunately, that sort of declaration on its own is, if not fully, borderline misandric because that declaration assumes that men aren't capable of caring for other people or having complex emotions, i.e. based on what I have seen of the Darkness 2 (or 1; apparently she screwed up on labeling the footage of one of the games by calling it the other), the protagonist's relationship to his wife looks pretty much like that of any regular old husband and wife that I have seen in real life.

To rescue the scientist, there should be an already established relationship (i.e. Deus Ex: Human Revolution) or it should be one that builds over time (i.e. Metal Gear Solid).
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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
And yes, total agreement there. The implication of objectification due to the DiD role is absurd, it's simply a character playing the part of Herald in the Monomyth, their capture being the act that calls the hero to action.
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:iconhadeskitten:
HadesKitten Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013
That's my key problem with it! It's such an unrealistic ending. So she banishes the monarchy, and replaces it with what? A tyranny? It would make more sense if there was more political unrest built into the plot. People are not necessarily upset if a monarchy is overthrown, especially if the monarchy sucks. It would make the take over easier for the leaders, I assume aristocrats, because they would not have to waste resources in restoring peace. If a monarch suddenly broke out and declared she was removing the tyranny to replace it with something else then the people would probably resist her. Even if they weren't happy with the tyranny in the first place, who says they want something else? People don't like political unrest!

Am I going into too much detail? I'm not sure about the 'too feminine' side but it's also a possibility.


I think saving someone important to you is a good aspect of gaming, even if it is a scientist you've never met. It's giving the player an important role, to protect the innocent or those you love. Scientists are still important if set correctly as you could save the world in saving them or feel a sense of moral pride in protecting them. Even if it is only one scientist. Make them important enough, make them special enough (or maybe mysterious enough) and it won't matter about the relationship. Same goes for Damsels. If they're just 'because I [the character] love them' then the gamer doesn't feel any connection and they don't care. There is really no benefit for either if they're introduced badly. 
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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No, I agree with what you're saying. you gotta show that there is a baker's revolution building up and have her lead a charge to take back the kingdom for the poor, then she gets reinstated as a 'Hero Leader'. As I said, that last bit anita propped on was probably intended to make the character look better/avoid calling her a queen/princess.


Of course. The point I was making is that going to save an individual person is almost always going to be 'objectifying' by anita's standards, mostly because you're working to save them for a personal reason (it's even worse without any relationship, because then it's about a trait of the person you're saving, which could just turn them into an embodiment of the concept.)

The scientist example is a great expression of this. I'm going to save the scientist because he's got the codes to save the world. I have no personal investment in the scientist himself. The scientist is then 'objectified' because we're not saving a person, we're saving a person who just has the codes. What this really shows is that you have to have characterization for the damsel or have the main character have emotional attachment to them to show it's more than just a thing that's getting saved.
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:iconhadeskitten:
HadesKitten Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013
I agree. I have a few ideas of my own, mostly silly conspiracy theories, but it all boils down to a really abrupt ending. With a few more details she could really flesh it out and play up political drama, rather than personal drama. That could make a really interesting game.

Oh yes, I completely agree. They're just different types of objectification. I don't think gaming could handle just saving someone for the sake of saving them as an innocent bystander on their own, not for long term storylines anyway. The only issue I have with the damsel thing is that it feels like it can be a lazy response in storymaking. Building up the character as you go, just as you say, is the only way to avoid that.
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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Honestly no medium can really handle saving a single person for the sake of saving them, unless the scope is small. Saving many people for the sake of those people is generally how you would need to do that. And yeh, damsel isn't a bad thing at all, it's undeveloped damsel that's bad, but only if everyone else is getting development.
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(1 Reply)
:iconagent505:
Agent505 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Professional Writer
Agreed :)
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:iconbiumphress:
BIUmphress Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Filmographer
Glad to see that you manage to read all that (sorry for all the heavy reading).  You shall be rewarded.
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:iconagent505:
Agent505 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Professional Writer
Actually, I kinda skimmed :)
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:iconbiumphress:
BIUmphress Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Student Filmographer
Oh.  But at least you took some time.  I still appreciate it. :)
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:iconbugeishakyasarin:
BugeishaKyasarin Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Anita is not who I would have nominated as the figurehead for feminists against sexist tropes in gaming or whatever. I don't think it was right of her to use her perception of Peach and Zelda to rant about the damsel in distress trope instead of talking about them in the context of their respective games. They both get kidnapped by evil forces and a hero sets out to save them to restore order to the kingdom. Link and Mario aren't questing to "reclaim their property" as Anita puts it. I think a better way she could have discussed sexism in general in video games would be by pointing out the sex mini-game players can do in God of War, or the fact that in Soul Calibur IV Bandai added the armor destruction feature which reduces all characters down to their skivvies. Those are better examples of objectification in my opinion. Maybe she plans to do this already, but she should really present some examples of well-rounded female characters and talk about how they subvert tropes and stereotypes. Samus would be a no-brainer. Nariko from Heavenly Sword is great too. Faith from Mirror's Edge, the new Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider reboot, and Aveline from Assassin's Creed: Liberation are all examples she could use to tell gaming developers "we would like to see more characters like these!" As a female, not necessarily a feminist, I certainly would.
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:icondragonrider1227:
Dragonrider1227 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013
LOL What a funny idea
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:iconpaperboyhat:
PaperBoyHat Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student General Artist
Just spent half an hour goofing around on that game. :D Thanks for the link!
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:iconjust-call-me-alex:
Just-Call-Me-Alex Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student Artist
While I agree the damsel in distress trope is a bit cliched I couldn't help but feel she was seeing the characters of Peach and Zelda as just damsels in distress and nothing more. Peach is, yes, a damsel and she's a little vain, and ditzy, and girly. But there are women like that in real life too. And that's okay. We love her for being quirky. There are all kinds of women. Women who can save themselves. Women who need friends to rely on for support. Women who  need a hero. Women are as varying as anything on the planet. Peach is a beloved ruler of her kingdom that a hero is willing to go through hell to save.
 Zelda's presence means peace and prosperity to all of Hyrule and as that, she is the target of those who wish to bring chaos. It's her strength, wisdom and leadership that makes her a target. She is the keeper of ancient powers that keep evil in check. Gannon isn't going after the "weak link" he's sealing away the one thing powerful enough to stop him and bring peace back to Hyrule. Not Link. But Zelda.

Saying that all women character's should be strong and have to save themselves is insulting to those who find strength in family and friends. Not everyone is made for independence.

Zelda and Peach are the fonts of strength for their kingdoms and people they love and the . They represent peace and prosperity and the entire world is left for worse when they are captured.  
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:iconatata:
Atata Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like this :iconfblikeplz:
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:iconcarmenfoolheart:
CarmenFoolHeart Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Giving a woman some active qualities would not be too bad. I mean, Peach is never seen doing anything besides getting rescued and baking a cake afterwards. And Zelda is a passive keaper, a sacred object that holds the balance. I would like to actually see them handling some political decisions or something like that, even actively seeking out ways to stop the evil. I mean, I love delicate, girly and overall dainty characters, both male and female, because I find that kind of people very relaxing and encouraging to be around in real life. But they never get to do much, other than represent peace. We only KNOW they are rulers but we never get to see them do much. They only get spirited away at the beginning. Check out TVTropes "Men act, Women are" for clarification. Zelda is a cute girl (I never liked Peach but that is a personal preference) but I would like for her to have a bigger role. :)
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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
>Giving a woman some active qualities would not be too bad. I mean, Peach is never seen doing anything besides getting rescued and baking a cake afterwards.

Super mario bros 2, Super mario 3d world, The party, kart and sports series, First 3 of the paper mario games, super princess peach, melee and brawl.


She's had plenty of active points in her time as a character, and it's a bit silly to disregard all of them (especially the paper mario games and SPP, as those are mainline games where she is active in part of, or the entirety of the journey.)
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CarmenFoolHeart Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Yeah, she does get those. It's good, I think that maybe with time she can entirely grow out of her reputation as a damsel. But in some games I despise her weapons. I mean, PMS? And in one I've seen but have not played (not a Mario fan so I never play them now) I've seen her using a frying pan (when a princess has access to swords and toys and chooses a frying pan something is off, it was much more undesrtandable and cute in Tangled) and her butt. But yeah, more active roles to both these girls. Happy Peach gets them and hope she gets them more.

 

Anita never said that they are stupid, silly or weak. She only complains how the plot treats them. I do that often with even my favourite characters. You know, great personality and skills and then the plot gives them only a chance to be rescued or get their behinds kicked. ^^"

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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well for PMS, I don't think it was as much PMS as it was just reaching into her emotions. Her magic umbrella friend gave her 'vibe power', which is what is necessary to use the emotional powers, so it's safe to say it's more an amplification of the 4 modes of the vibe scepter. They probably should have chose something else tho.

The frying pan isn't because she's a girl. It's a reference to mario game&watch collection 2 in which Chef was a game, and the change as you played as peach using a frying pan to bounce food mario and luigi were chopping up and tossing off of cutting boards to cook it for a yoshi to eat.




"She only complains how the plot treats them."

But that's the issue with that. The plot demands that they not be able to save themselves, or else you undermine the story of the protagonist. The only thing a DiD really needs is development equal to the amount of story development to flesh her out as a character. And simply saying they 'only are being capture to only be rescued' is a kind of spit to the face on the Monomyth. The damsel is the Herald, the person who creates a call to action of the protagonist, and as such is secondary, yet important to the plot.

Not everyone needs an active role in a story to be good characters.
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:iconcarmenfoolheart:
CarmenFoolHeart Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

And you summed up the entire problem with the trope Damsel In Distress. A female is used as an object to further the male's story. How often do you see men reduced to this role? Almost never and most distressed dudes still have active role in their own rescue. Unless it's used for comical effect. Yes, males get captured or in trouble but you almost never see them tossed away for the entire game/movie/book/story and they prove their worth as active characters in some way. So no matter how great a character, it does not give them much dignity to get whisked away and put in the place of an object; the damsel is the prize in the end. She could be replaced with a cake without the story changing. So that is why I'd like them to have more active roles, especially if the game has little to no other female characters aside from the damsel. How many games pass the Betchdel test? Almost none. I think that giving some spotlight, even as a side kick to the hero or the healer, would make them more interesting. Like, show them off a bit. Zelda already has this cool sacred-power-thing going on, can't wait to see her do more in the future!

 

But now I have much less issue with the frying pan! I mean, if it is an inside joke and reference it's okay. I always found it funny that a princess did not use a sword. Now I get the point. :)

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:iconpainfulelegy:
PainfulElegy Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How often do you see men reduced to this role? Almost never and most distressed dudes still have active role in their own rescue. 
Otacon was this, and he played the same relevance as peach in his own rescue.


So no matter how great a character, it does not give them much dignity to get whisked away and put in the place of an object; the damsel is the prize in the end.
And this is where you are irrevocably wrong. Just because you are a damsel and play a passive/minimally active role in a story does not mean you are suddenly an object, only a prize to be won. To claim that the damsel in distress trope demands that the character will be nothing more than an object is misandric because it assumes that being in a passive role and being saved means that males will always never see you as anything more than an object.


She could be replaced with a cake without the story changing.
Even more misandry, because now you imply that male characters would find equal value in saving a piece of food as saving someone they possibly care about. There has been one game where someone quested to find cake because it was stolen from them, and that character is called a maniac for killing legions of people just to get that cake back. It's called 'Kirby Squeak Squad'.


So that is why I'd like them to have more active roles, especially if the game has little to no other female characters aside from the damsel.
And your reasoning for such is terrible, because it assumes you have to play a major active part in a story in order to be a well developed and designed character, when that isn't the case.

The concept of DiD objectifying the victim is a case of projection because it's not about that character not being a properly developed character; it's about how you and others feel that the damsel role does not fit into this small box of traits you want to see in female characters. It's really obvious since most of the examples used aren't examples that support your claim like the princess from dragon's lair, but rather people like peach who are well developed characters, or characters like the girlfriend from double dragon, who are flat and one dimensional, like everyone else in the game.




The point is that characters come from all cuts of cloth. Some are more proactive and will help in their own rescue, some realize they can not and as such do what they can anyways (which amounts to little). The key here isn't giving female damsels more active roles, it's giving them enough screen time to develop to the degree that the other characters do.
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