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As suggested in the Feminist Frequency thread, it would be helpful to actually get some hard data on the usage of Damsel in Distress for how pervasive the trope is in video games and how often the rescuers and damsels are of one gender or another. The Feminist Frequency thread is probably not the best place to do this, though, since there are so many other topics of conversation which tend to get in the way of the efforts of said census. After we're done with Damsels, we may decide to tackle other issues within fiction.
So from what I understand, here's what we want to know about each game:
For the moment I think we should limit it to capture/escape/rescue scenarios. Though there are other times when Damsel in Distress comes up, these are the most straightforward and seem to be the ones Anita Sarkesian is focusing on.
Right now we need to soldify our rubric so we can start looking at games and gathering data.
Also, please no analysis. At least not yet. That can be saved for after we have results. Right now all I'm interested in is cold hard data.
EDIT: One more thing. Karalora suggested that we should treat remakes or series with the tradition of Damsel in Distress (e.g. Mario) as one instance, or at least give them a little more of a pass. Thoughts on this?
edited 27th Jul '13 5:04:12 PM by arks
First I think we should establish a questionnaire to use for each game. Something like this:
For each capture scenario in the game:
That's all I can think of for now and the questions can probably use some tweaking.
edited 27th Jul '13 8:21:26 PM by Karalora
Here is a problem I ran into when I was doing my less comprehensive tally.
Games that are non-linear with multiple outcomes.
Let's take fallout 3 for example.
There is a side mission called Big Trouble in Big Town. You must save one person who has been captured by cannibal mutants. If you manage to save them they will tell you of another prisoner being held.
Now both of those people are optional to save. If the first one dies you can just go and tell the people of big town that they died and the quest ends and you get a reward. If you save the first but not the second then you the guest ends and you get a reward. If you fail to save both than the quest ends and you get a reward.
So how would you tally that?
We might have to play it by ear. Actually, let me add something to the questionnaire about special or unusual circumstances.
And as for long-running game series where one character gets kidnapped repeatedly, I don't think we should leave them out of the questionnaire itself since we're just tallying statistics. That's more something that would apply to a criticism of the individual game, i.e. "Ugh, ANOTHER game where Zelda gets kidnapped?" "Well, duh, it's a Legend Of Zelda game, that's part of the formula by now."
edited 27th Jul '13 8:20:44 PM by Karalora
Let me try to address that with a slightly modified group of questions.
General Game Information:
Information for each individual capture:
edited 6th Aug '13 4:20:06 PM by arks
Another statistic we might want to collect is: How hyped was the game? We'll have to make some judgment calls there, but I think it's worth knowing. If there are lots of female-led games, but they all get quiet releases while similar male-led games get eight-figure advertising budgets, that's not really equality of presentation.
It's possible that we can use That Other Wiki for that. They usually include an area on the articles called "Reception" which lists critical response and sales figures.
I'd like to get started on this. The list I've made here is basically copy pasted from our Video Game Genres pages. I'll clean it up in a bit to remove duplicates and games that obviously don't apply. This list may seem daunting, but there's a lot of extra fluff in it. Anyways, after we work on it a bit, we should have some usable statistical data rather than examples chosen to outside a very specific point.
I'd say games without a TV Tropes page can be dropped for not being notable enough.
First Person Shooter
Real Time Strategy
edited 16th Aug '17 8:08:22 PM by arks
I'll start with the census. I think for now we'll to one game a post.
Time to promote my favorite game again!
Name of Game: Saga 2 a.k.a. Final Fantasy Legend 2
Year Game was released: 1991
Country of Origin: Japan
Is the PC: C) Customizable (4 PC's, one is designated as the "main character")
Is the game story: A) Linear
Information for each individual capture: Lynn is our damsel in distress. First she falls down a cave and can't get out. The party helps her leave the cave by defeating the God of the Mountain a boss robot blocking the only exit from the bottom of the cave. Later, she's kidnapped by a ninja and taken hostage. This time, the main character's dad is slain and a boss fight happens.
Is the scenario required for game completion? Yes
How explicit is the scenario in the actual game? A) The player actively participates
Name(s) of the person/people captured: Lynn
Is the sex of the captured person: B) Female
What is their relationship to the PC main character: Since Lynn's dad died while serving under The Guardians (a artifact-protecting police force led by the main character's dad), the main character's dad took care of her family's needs, so Lynn calls the main character's dad "Uncle".
What is the result of the capture: A) They are saved by the PC's
Sex of rescuer (if not PC): The PC's
What kind of effort does the captured character make toward escape (list all that apply)?: A) They just take it passively
Other: Lynn joins the party both times to take town the bosses after she's rescued. She's not great as a newb martial artist, but hey, extra damage is extra damage. So she does fight back against the ninja captor and the God of the Mountain, but only after being taken in by the party as a guest party member.
edited 16th Aug '17 7:56:39 PM by Malco
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