Sarkeesian is nothing if not polarizing. I can't say that I personally agree with every single thing that is said in each of her videos, but the fact remains that each of the videos are well researched, extremely well thought out, and lay out facts with evidence in a way that make you examine the games you've played in a different way.
I recently got in a discussion with a friend on social media regarding the latest video, and while the discussion was indeed interesting and respectful, it caused a bit of reflection on my part as to what the Feminist Frequency and Tropes vs. Women in Video games really stand for in my opinion.
Watching the latest entry in the series made me realize that not only is Sarkeesian's view important, but the way that she articulates the thoughts and lays them out is vital to the conversation of the portrayal of women in games. I realized that one of my favorite games, Red Dead Redemption, had instances of violence towards women in a fashion that was entirely brutal, and I didn't bat an eye while playing. Sure, I did my best to save the women as they were thrown to the ground in front of the Armadillo saloon, but when they were brutally butchered in the dirt street, I cast a casual glance, maybe said something along the lines of "aww, damn" and rode off to lasso more bandits.
Shawn Vanaman of the Idle Thumbs podcast, and Campo Santo studios, echoes my sentiments after watching the video as well,
I remember seeing that and not feeling the same way, I mean I obviously felt terrible, like I felt like *shudder* when I saw it, but I just killed the guy really fast...But then seeing it from the third person, it's a completely different emotional feeling.
Vanaman illustrates the same feeling I had watching the video, I did my best to save the women in both Red Dead and Watch_Dogs, but if I didn't the game continued. I left the scene, no care for the gruesome scene that just unfolded directly in front of me, and continued. Vanaman brings up another point during the podcast that really struck me as well,
Nevertheless, seeing all of that content, in aggregate...it's so f***ing boring, it's so boring, it's just so homogeneous and cliche. You can see the inexperience of the author creating it.
I'm not saying that either opinion, design decision, or person is right or wrong. These are just some thoughts and emotions that came to me while viewing this video, and as I mentioned, I don't think Sarkeesian hits every nail on the head. The points, examples, and concepts she brings up do necessitate discussion, and those discussions both from the enthusiasts and developers themselves will see the industry we love grow exponentially as a medium.