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Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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Published on Aug 25, 2014

Content Warning: This educational episode contains graphic sexual and violent game footage.

This is the second episode exploring the Women as Background Decoration trope in video games. In this installment we expand our discussion to examine how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.

The Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they're created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused. 

Full transcript, links and resources available at: http://wp.me/pwSlB-5mK


ABOUT THE SERIES
The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it's more problematic or pernicious aspects. This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on Kickstarter.com

GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE:
Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009)
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
Bioshock (2007)
Bioshock 2 (2010)
Dead Island (2011)
Dishonored (2012)
Dragon Age: Origins (2009)
Fable 2 (2008)
Far Cry 3 (2012)
God of War 3 (2008)
Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Hitman: Absolution (2012)
Hitman: Blood Money (2006)
Kane & Lynch (2007)
L.A. Noire (2011)
Mafia II: Joe’s Adventures (2010)
Metro: Last Light (2013)
No More Heroes (2008)
Papo & Yo (2012)
Prototype (2009)
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Saints Row (2006)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)
The Darkness II (2012)
The Witcher (2007)
The Witcher 2 (2011)
Thief (2014)
Watch Dogs (2014)

FAIR USE
The multimedia clips included in this video constitute a 'fair use' of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship.

COMMENTS: We have been forced to close comments on YouTube due to continued harassment of this channel but please feel free to post and share this video with your own social media networks to facilitate discussions.

OTHER TROPE VIDEOS:
Damsel in Distress Part 1: http://youtu.be/X6p5AZp7r_Q
Damsel in Distress Part 2: http://youtu.be/toa_vH6xGqs
Damsel in Distress Part 3: http://youtu.be/LjImnqH_KwM
Ms. Male Character: http://youtu.be/eYqYLfm1rWA
Women as Background Decoration Part 1: http://youtu.be/4ZPSrwedvsg

CREDITS
Director: Anita Sarkeesian
Producer: Jonathan McIntosh
Writers: Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh
Motion Graphics: Black Math
Music: Matt Joynt & Nathan Sandberg

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