Quick Tropes vs Women Project Update

August 1, 2012

I recently shared a long update with our backers over on the Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter page detailing our progress on pre-production and game research as well as equipment, software and website infrastructure upgrades. We also revealed more about the expanding scope of this project including another bonus video we have in the works. Since that update was only for backers of the series I thought I’d make a very quick post here to highlight some of our progress.

Anita with some of her research materials. See larger image on Flickr.

The researching phase has begun! So far we’ve purchased well over 300 games for this project. As of now we can play games from the following systems: SNES, Gamecube, Wii, PS2, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, iPad and PC/MAC. We are also looking to acquire a 3DS XL when it becomes available next month. Note that not all of the games being researched for this project are pictured above. All the digital games downloaded via Steam, PSN and XBLM are sadly not nearly as photogenic, but rest assured we are looking at classic titles from throughout the history of gaming.

As a result of the unexpected extra Kickstarter funding I can now commit full-time to Feminist Frequency and to this video series which is truly a dream come true for me! I can now also hire my producer full-time for this project. Plus we are in the process of bringing another writer/researcher on board part-time. So far I’ve chosen to keep my small crew out of the limelight to try and shield them from any potential harassment. When I feel it is safe and appropriate to introduce them I will.

Obviously each video in this series requires a tremendous amount of research, writing and production time so we are planning to release one video per month. We anticipate the launch of our first Tropes vs Women video in late fall or early winter and we’ll be kicking off the series with the Damsel in Distress trope!
Thanks again to all my supporters everywhere for your incredible encouragement. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to create this video series. It will now be bigger and better then I could have ever imagined possible!

As always backers of the project can read the full detailed update on Kickstarter and will always be the first to be notified of our progress.

There has also been a fair amount of press coverage surrounding my fundraising campaign and resulting harassment. The New Statesmen, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Forbes and The New York Times have all written articles. Additionally here are a few interviews I’ve done recently.

Woman Vs. Internet: How Anita Sarkeesian beat the trolls – GamesIndustry
Women and Gaming: Smashing Stereotypes – CBC Radio’s The Current
Tropes vs Women in Video Games – Gaming as Women
Interview: Anita Sarkeesian, games, and Tropes vs. Women – Destructoid

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19 Responses to “Quick Tropes vs Women Project Update”

  1. Hello Anita,

    This still is incredible. And I am so glad that a dream has come true for you.
    I hold it as amazing and very kind of you to keep your fans and supporters updated – even the ones who – for whatever reason – were not able to support your Kickstarter campaign.

    More then 300 games on so many different gaming-platforms … That is a lot; and I think that is an amazing reflection of the sincerity and high quality standards you set for yourself; and this also speaks for itself and is an unbeatable argument against the ones just loudly shouting out gibberish … Here in Germany we have saying: “Barking dogs don’t bite!” And although I am aware that you had some hard time to pass (so far) – as you mentioned in interviews -, I am very glad that you have not lost your spirit.

    Anyway: I appreciate what you do and am very eager to learn more about your Tropes vs. Women in Games …

    All the best!
    Clem

  2. So happy for you, Anita!

  3. I’m so glad your funding drive has been so successful! Can’t wait for the first video :)

  4. Thanks for the update! Good to hear details on what you’re doing with the extra money.

  5. I’m thrilled that every expectation has been exceeded. I can’t wait for the videos to start rolling out.

  6. “I know you are taking it in the teeth, but the first guy through the wall…he always gets bloody…always.”
    -John Henry, Moneyball (2011)

    You are doing important work. Thank you.

  7. This is awesome. I’ve been a (lurking) fan of yours for about a year, and I am so, so pleased that one of the unexpected consequences of the trolls’ awful behaviour is that you get to pursue what is obviously a passion of yours full-time. I’m looking forward to your series!!

  8. Everyone else is free to be happy for Anita, but as a backer, I’m mostly happy for me. :-) I’m excited to see the videos as they come out, and even more excited for the good I expect to come from it.

  9. Dear Ms. Sarkeesian,

    I am a self-employed registered Republican, and I ordinarily would never come into contact with you or with anything you write. This is especially true because I am not a gamer and have no interest in many of the comics and movies that you analyze.

    For these reasons, I really had no idea of what sorts of trolling existed until I read the NYT article and followed up the links to you and your Kickstarter campaign.

    I was shocked and appalled that people would act that way. To create a game in which the player punches your face until you are bloody is grotesque, and the fact that the author of that game was comfortable defending it until he was silenced just speaks volumes about current gamer ethos.

    Proceeding further, I viewed your video about Christmas Songs and found it rather extreme. But I dug a little deeper and viewed all 6 of your “Tropes vs. Women” videos and after seeing those I can understand why you feel as you do. I was also impressed with your videos about Legos and found your research into Legos’ advertising archives to be a worthy act of scholarship.

    You have made me think about things that I have not thought about before. I have to thank you not only for this, but for bringing these matters to public attention and also for precisely articulating some rather uncomfortable truths about American society. I just wish that you did not have to run the gantlet of abuse that you suffered.

  10. Cannot wait, Anita!
    It’s going to be something special :)

  11. Anita,

    I stumbled across a few hate videos aimed at you on YouTube while using the search function to find your channel. I didn’t click on anything because I refuse to give them the hits (unless it was close up and personal of course- that option is very tempting) but the fact that they still existed on the site and that new ones had been posted so recently really depressed me.

    I came to your offical website to see if there was any news about the project and was immediately uplifted by your latest entry. You have so much strength of character to keep your head up high without giving into anger and thus giving those bottomfeeders what they want.

    Whether everyone agrees with what you have to say or not, you have the right to say it. Thank you so much for reminding us all of that.

    I hope you continue to update us all with the project’s progress, which I can already tell is going to be something really special.

    With best regards and hope for the future,

    Kirsty.

  12. Ah, great when it all works out.
    Doing what you dreamed of full time is always inspiring.
    Excited for this next chapter!

  13. Anita,

    Thank you again for this project. I have a question about a specific female character, Heather Mason of Silent Hill 3. Will she be making an appearance in your series? And if so, how would you classify her as a female protagonist?

  14. Anita,

    I have been following you since the internet world went crazy with the story about your harassment. I just wanted to say thank you for continuing excellent work in a field that is in particular need of a feminist viewpoint.

    I was like many women in geek culture who often shrugged off the blatant sexism apparent in the actions of the male fans and gamers as well as what was present in films and television. And now I feel much more enlightened on the topic and I have become much more aware of just how pervasive this ignorant mindset is. I no longer passively accept sexist comments or laugh along as a way of being “one of the boys” anymore. Now I call them out on it, and really, you are the reason I feel this way.

    I am so glad you have risen above the harassment and I wish you the best. I look forward to seeing you upcoming Tropes v. Women project!

  15. I only now came across this project via a link on the german website netzpolitik.org. This looks like a wonderful endeavour, I wish you all the best!
    And it’s also good to see that you have weathered all that hate and harrassment. It’s really a shame what some people in a supposedly enlightened society say.

  16. Wow! That game library makes my own look pitiful in comparison. I wish you luck in your research, and am looking forward to seeing the videos.

    Just remember to take lots of breaks. You don’t wanna strain anything in your hands!!

  17. I so look forward to this Trope video series! I am also so glad to have come across this site (Bookmarked and subscribed)! Lately I’ve been looking for articles and blogs that reflect feminists views on our culture, and have become an addict to it all! (I’ll be spamming this site for the next several days)
    And, this right here, is feeding my feminist side very much!

    OH, and just because those piggies hate when this is said, I’ll say it away: You go gurl!
    LOL.
    Seriously, keep up the great work and keep fighting the good fight!

  18. I guess this means you now play games for a living? ;) I’m so jealous of this enormous stack of games!

  19. Way to go, Anita! :D

    I argue that’s money well spent.