There's been a lot of controversy lately surrounding Anita Sarkeesian's crowdfunded documentary Tropes vs. Women in Games. Sarkeesian's now-funded project will be a multi-part series dedicated to taking a closer look at the many problematic tropes that video games use while depicting female characters. Most of the controversy has been due to the fact that a large number of internet-dwelling troglodytes have come out of the woodwork to threaten Sarkeesian with all manner of awfulness.
But one group has gone underrepresented in the ensuing debate: The men who are oppressed by video game sexism every day. Who will make a documentary for them?
Well, these guys will, if they have anything to say about it. Stating up front that their proposed video is "not an attack to tropes vs women or Anita Sarkeesian," this group of guys (and maybe some girls?) has started up a google doc to brainstorm ideas for Kickstarting a project with the tentative title An analysis of misandry present in modern interactive video game media.
It begins with a warning (screengrabs featuring salty language incoming):
Fair enough! Certainly, some members of the media would be quick to mock this project out of hand. It's important to the people running the page that things seem professional, so they're being careful about who they bring on:
And with that, they start listing ideas. The page has been a constant state of flux; almost none of this stuff is on the document anymore. Here are the first few ideas as of the time I wrote this:
Well, they're off to a… start, anyway. I like that "James Vega" is his own category, and that there's a guy who's just mad that games still have silent protagonists.
Here are some of the proposed Kickstarter's proposed rewards:
Heh. I sort of wish more Kickstarters would do that for the $1000+ donations, actually. It's like a panhandler putting out a sign that says "Why lie? It's for beer."
The document has actually changed significantly in the time since I started following it for this article—The new goals have been outlined thusly, and they're no longer interested in doing a Kickstarter:
Most of the above stuff has been deleted or moved to another document, and it's now mostly a draft of the script of the video itself, with some interesting (no really!) notes about how to improve the message and which tropes should be cut.
I'm sure that by the time you're reading this, the article will have changed yet again. And while yes, most of the stuff in the early drafts document was more than a little ridiculous (when it wasn't being offensive), it would appear that its creators are not just having a laugh.
The idea at the heart of this, that men are also portrayed using unfair tropes in games, has proven interesting enough that I've seen several other writers around twitter start talking about tackling the idea for a separate list of tropes vs. men in video games.
The same group has set up a Steam Chat going where the brainstorming continues. Click the links to follow along.
Update: The google document has been deleted, save the following:
Tropes vs. Men in Games [Google Docs - After we linked to it, the document has become something of a NSFW grab-bag of porn and other various stuff. You're free to go check it out if you like. Godspeed!]
Tropes Vs Men (TropesVMen) [Steam]
(Top photo credit | Jeff Thrower /Shutterstock)