Here's a new installment in Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter-funded, misogynist-enraging, must-watch "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" series: Ms Male Character: a closely annotated, fascinating 25 minutes on the practice of producing a "female" version of video-games by feminizing the lead characters.
The Adult Swim game Giant Boulder of Death takes the trope to ridiculous extremes by gendering a pink boulder with a giant pink bow before she’s stuffed in the refrigerator to motivate the blue boulder to seek revenge.
Now the interesting thing is that these gendered signifiers are really quite arbitrary and abstract. There’s nothing about a bow in and of itself that is intrinsically or essentially feminine; it’s just a piece of colored fabric, after all. But our society currently assigns a very specific, socially constructed and strictly enforced meaning to that piece of fabric. It’s a symbol that conveys the concept of female (and invokes the idea of girlhood.)
The indie game Rogue Legacy has an interesting system whereby you can be randomly assigned the choice of either male or female heirs to play on each run. The characters are essentially identical both mechanically and aesthetically (except for a very minor difference in their breast plate styles). So far so good, but all the female heirs also have a strangely conspicuous and completely unnecessary lavender colored bow on top of their armour. This is a classic example of put a bow on it!
The colour-coding of characters is another frequently used visual element to signify gender. Typically the dominant color used in the design of the female variant is bright pink (although sometimes a purple or pastel palette may be used).
In the 1985 NES classic Ice Climber, player 1 controls Popo who wears a blue parka. If you have a 2nd player they can control Nana who wears a pink parka.
Ms. Male Character - Tropes vs Women in Video Games
Pee-Wee Herman will play the father of Oswald Cobblepot — AKA The Penguin — in season two of Gotham, a role he already nailed in 1992’s otherwise meh “Batman Returns,” where he depicted Daddy Penguin as a lunatic disciplinarian vaper oligarch.
Sweden’s MOVITS! (presently touring the USA) plays music they call Äppelknyckarjazz (“Apple swiper jazz”) that combines big-band swing with hip-hop that’s infused with dancehall reggae-style rapping and declaiming (in Swedish).
Press Start to Play is an anthology of video-game-related science fiction, edited by John Joseph Adams and Daniel “Robopocalypse” Wilson, with stories by some of Boing Boing’s favorite SF writers: Ernie Ready Player One Cline, Charlie Jane Anders, Rhianna Pratchett, Catherynne Deathless” Valente, Hugh “Wool” Howey, Austin “Crooked” Grossman, and…me! (the anthology reprints my story […]
This Smartphone Photo Lens Kit arms you with six unique smartphone photography accessories, so you can take high-quality and well-composed photos of any subject from small insects to expansive landscapes.6 unique lensesRolls up neatly for transportTripod for stabilitySmall lenses attach seamlessly with magnetMicroscope and 8x telephoto lenses attach with a case (case attaches to phone)Lens wallet […]
Inspired by the universality of symbols, the founders of Noun Project began to collect thousands of hand-drawn icons. The concept has since transformed into a massive digital collection of 150,000+ unique icons that fuel the work of designers every day. Spend less time crafting icons and more time putting amazing designs out into the world with […]
You won’t need to think twice about going hands-free on the road with Exomount’s easy-to-use car mount. It mounts your smartphone so easily, you literally only need one hand to quickly secure your phone in the perfect position and get driving. Don’t risk a ticket, use the world’s best suction technology to effortlessly mount and […]