Tropes vs. Women episode 3 looks at dudes in distress and games that get it right

Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian has released the third episode of her "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" series, the final episode examining the "Damsel in Distress."

While prior episodes focused on how the trope in question had been played straight both in classic retro games as well as in more modern ones, this episode looks at how it is subverted and occasionally inverted. The first part of the episode examines the rare case of a male character having to be rescued by a female protagonist such as in games like Super Princess Peach and Beyond Good and Evil.

In the second part of the episode, Sarkeesian examines "ironic" uses of the trope in games like Spelunky and Fat Princess that technically feature female characters needing to be rescued, though it is played firmly tongue-in-cheek.

In the final part, Sarkeesian takes a look at how it might be possible to use the Damsel in Distress more positively, as well as games that consciously subvert, deconstruct or otherwise play with the trope like Secret of Monkey Island.

According to the Kickstarter page for the project, the next series of videos Sarkeesian intends to produce will examine the "Fighting F#@k Toy" trope.

More from Polygon

Hearthstone - Plague Quarter gameplay video

  • A guided video tour of an Unreal Tournament map

  • Freedom Planet gameplay video

  • Adventure Time trailer

  • Hearthstone: Naxxramas Overview

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.