I have watched the first two videos in the Tropes vs. Women series by Anita Sarkeesian. While I have found it interesting to look at games I have previously played in a different light, this project does not go far enough. This is because it only covers a small portion of the games released.
In both videos Anita stated how the games she explained to have these tropes in them were just some of the examples, but we really need to know how many videos have these tropes compared to all the games released. This would give us a percentage of games with these tropes. Only then would we know if these tropes are so prevalent as to be a problem.
As a hypothetical example, let us say in the non-gaming forms of media, tropes vs. women appear in 50% of all products released. If video games are sitting at 40%, we are actually in a better spot, at least better than the average. If it turned out that video games were above that 50%, only then can we say that tropes vs. women is a problem in video games. You see I am not convinced that it is such a big issue without hard data. A few examples shown in a video is entertaining but does not cover enough to tell us the answer.
I realize that playing every game released to look for these tropes would be too much for a single person, but maybe all games that sold more than 100,000 at retail would be a start. Maybe Anita is already doing this, but I have not found any information on her methodology for picking games to play and study. I have noticed many popular games but also some lesser well known games. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason so far.
I did not donate to the Kickstarter myself. Actually, it was already over by the time I heard about it. Maybe this video series was not meant to be comprehensive, just an entertaining series to start the discussion on the issue. I do not know. If, however, Anita Sarkeesian’s goal was to prove that tropes vs. women are a problem specific to the video game industry, the Tropes vs. Women series does not go far enough.
Maybe the money would be better spent as part of a university research project. Get a bunch of college graduates to play games and submit information on all the tropes they find. Or maybe even a crowdsourced project. Get gamers to submit the tropes vs. women they experience in games, though there could be problems if players submit false information.
Now, the video series will not be over for a while. I will keep up with them to see if anything changes, but I cannot see a video series possibly covering all the games released. We need hard statistics, hard data that objectively proves there is a problem. Maybe that is part of the problem too. Not everyone agrees whether a trope is bad or not, but that is a much bigger issue.