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Tropes vs. Women's new episode takes a look at the male gaze in games

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Season two returns

Feminist Frequency released the second episode of this season of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. In the new installment above, host and media critic Anita Sarkeesian assesses how games like Bayonetta 2, Mass Effect 2 and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain make use of the male gaze.

Differences in character animation and body language for male and female characters are analyzed in the episode. Sarkeesian uses them to help illustrate how women in games are often subject to the male gaze, which suggests that visual arts depict stories from a masculine perspective. The episode also addresses the misconception that inverting male gaze, by depicting shirtless men, for example, somehow equates to equal opportunity sexual objectification.

full transcript of the eight-minute video is available and includes further reading material, like critic Laura Mulvey's original essay on the concept.

Season two of the series kicked off in January with an episode on how games show off characters' backsides. Feminist Frequency announced with its launch that this would likely be the final season of the project, which began in 2014. The non-profit organization is currently crowdfunding another video series, which will focus on various female changemakers throughout history.