Tropes vs. Women in Video Games has returned with a new entry in the video series, dubbed "Women as Background Decoration: Part 2," that further explores how non-playable women are used in games.
Part 2 carries a content warning for graphic violence against women. It features games such as Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, BioShock, Dragon Age: Origins and The Darkness 2. While the previous video explored sexual objectification, Part 2 is an examination of how sexualized female bodies can occupy "a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence."
Creator Anita Sarkeesian defines the Women as Background Decoration trope as "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." You can watch the video above, or view the full transcript on Feminist Frequency's website.
Tropes vs. Women in Video Games examines the appearance and role of women in games; it was funded via Kickstarter in 2012. Since its inception, Sarkeesian has released videos examining topics such as the damsel in distress trope and female versions of established male characters.
Sarkeesian was honored for her work on the series at GDC 2014 with the Ambassador Award.