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!
(It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo pulled something like this )
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.
Though it's a nice idea for the game - but I think next time I'll just stick to youtoob.
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.
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.
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.
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. ^^"
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.