Thursday, March 20, 2014

Video: The Ms. Male Character Trope

 I took a class called Gender and Fandom* last semester, and the professor introduced us to the wonder of the YouTube channel Feminist Frequency, which uploads videos that critique issues of gender within the articles that fandom consumes. Although I cannot claim to be a gamer, I found this Feminist Frequency video about the trope of male characters being "feminized" into female characters forms really interesting.

I'm too young to have played the original form of Pac-Man, which the video discusses extensively, but I do remember playing Ms. Pac-Man on my Game Boy Advance** as a kid. I did not notice how Ms. Pac-Man was only distinguished from Pac-Man by a pink bow, but I was always irritated by the fact that my gaming console was called a Game Boy and not a Game Girl. Interestingly, in 1995, about seven or eight years before I started using a Game Boy, Ninetendo reported that half of the product's users were female. I know that the Game Boy has evolved into some other console by a non-gender specific name at this point in gaming history, and I'm rather happy that that's the case. I know that I was never held back from playing on it, but I can easily imagine that other girls would have been reluctant to use an item that literally has the word boy in its name.

*Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.
**I actually still have it, and I'm pretty sure it still works, despite being about ten years old.

1 comment:

  1. Two much better Youtube channels are "How It Should Have Ended" and "Honest Trailers". Sure they're not going to be the subject of any serious college courses....