The use of violence against women to justify, and propel, the stories of modern video games

Watching the latest video in the Tropes vs. Women series was interesting due to the number of times we see the same plot devices and well-worn plot twists in modern video games. Seeing things laid out, with one example after the other, is eye-opening. When we play games it's easy to dismiss these sort of things as uncommon examples of bad storytelling, and it takes a wide view of gaming as a whole to see how these things have become systemic.

It's also interesting how violence against women, or the early death of a female character, is so often used as a cheap emotional ploy in what amounts to a male power fantasy. Women get brutalized; we're upset because we lost something we care about: time to kill everything. It's effective and enjoyable - movies like Taken basically operate as highly enjoyable revenge-porn - but it's so common that the effect is dulled, if not removed altogether. After a while you just become numb to yet another woman getting shot in the head as a reason to shoot other people in the head.

The first step to moving past these often lazy plot points and characterizations is to be aware they exist, and this video does a great job of explaining what's problematic about these situations. If nothing else, this should convince you that video games may need to get one or two new stories to tell.

Also, as much as I'd love to hear from a bunch of men claiming sexism isn't a problem in the industry, I'm shutting off the comments for this post. This time you're just going to have to sit down, listen, and think about the overwhelming, repetitive nature of these plot points and tropes.