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Topic: New Super Mario Bros. U: Damsel in Distress

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Hokori

41. Posted:

And a girl isn't the only one who's been kidnaped in Nintendos history, we've had Mario and DK get kidnaped
Samus has to save Adam in the next Metroid game :o it's portraying the stereotype that guys have an ideal fantasy to get rescued by a hot girl in a zero suit

Edited on by Hokori

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Bankai

42. Posted:

RE: sexism

Nearly every human being with whom I have shared a love of Mario games over the years has been female; I've yet to have a male friend with a passion for the series, yet I've shared it with many a lady. Personal anecdotes aside, I'm sure statistics would back me up that there have been few gaming series in the history of the medium with as balanced a fanbase as Mario.

And Mario isn't your usual macho protagonist. If you pay attention to his characterization, you'll notice that he has long been portrayed (in body shape, movement) as more of a cartoonish toddler than an adult, particularly once they introduced his new 3D model in Mario 64. The captured princess deal is kitsch that everyone appreciates because it's so harmless; we're all in on the joke that his "quest" is just a ruse for hopping around and yelling like a crazy child across a few colorful worlds. There's really nothing to be upset about here.

Tacitly condoning a behaviour doesn't make it appropriate. Any more than the tacit approval of using a gun to heroically kill a digital person in Call of Duty is an appropriate representation of violence in media.

I agree that it's about as harmless as sexism goes, but that doesn't change the fact that the Mario games are unbalanced representations of male and female roles.

Not all women, or people, are able to defend themselves. There's nothing sexist about being defenseless.

No. It becomes sexist when the one and only woman in a major gaming franchise fulfils no other purpose than to be a prize for over 20 years.

Giant frilly dress? At least it's not revealing, right? It's sexist that a girl wears a dress?

It's the symbolism that's the problem. Feminism couldn't care less about what women wear. It's how they're portrayed. The giant frilly dress portrays a completely stereotypical fairy tale princess - a character archetype that feminist theory has a problem with since inception, and with good reason.

You are seriously just looking for things here.

It's called critical analysis.

Squeaky cute voice, so what? Is she supposed to sound like a 60 year old smoker? She's a cartoon princess.

And once again it's the symbolism that's the problem. Princess Peach is a girl; weak, incapable of protecting herself, and utterly submissive.

Lighten up.

You know, people who tell other people to "lighten up" because they're arguing against an injustice... well, they're the very antithesis of progress.

Do yourself a favour. If you ever get to university, don't take an arts degree. You'll be eaten alive with that attitude.

The hero doesn't necessarily have to be a male. The hero just happens to be a male.

If this were a single game, then I'd agree with you. But there has been dozens of Mario games, and one single Princess Peach game, which managed to be even more sexist than the Mario games. No. According to Nintendo the hero does indeed have to be a male.

Think about the children. As they are still in their very young years, they grasp the concept of gender from their environment. Theoretically speaking, the Mario games are reinforcing the roles of gender to the younger demographic. How it affects the child, however, is not known as far as I'm concerned. Mario is a light-hearted franchise that's just supposed to be fun, but maybe the gender differences between the hero and helpless could be affecting a child implicitly at a deep cognitive level.

This is a good point. To me, the Mario games are really not much different from parents buying pink clothes for girls and blue clothes for boys - giving girls teddy bears and dolls, and boys toy soldiers and trucks.

Is any of that done out of a desire to be sexist? No, of course not. But it is a subconsious attempt by the parents to force the child to conform to social standards and expectations of men and women.

That is the very core of what the feminist movement is trying to combat - these gender stereotypes and expectations are not necessarily a healthy part of modern society.

In other news, genuine female heroes is almost rare in the games industry. If I ever make a game, I'd love to incorporate a female protagonist.

Yeah, it's unfortunate. I've actually tried to come up with a list of female heroes that are not sexualised or otherwise designed to conform to male fantasies, and I think I only managed three or four - and the girl from Beyond Good & Evil is the only one I can remember off the top of my head.

There is a deep imbalance there - to the way women and men are portrayed in games, and being told to "Lighten Up" by someone that can't stand anyone daring to criticise a Nintendo game is not helping right the imbalance.

Somewhat ironically, given how the game is promoted - Lollipop Chainsaw is the most intelligent deconstruction of gender politics that I've seen in years. Juliet is an empowered and intelligent character, and her costumes, as well as the behaviour of the male characters to her, is a brilliant self-referential assault on people who expect their female game characters to be sexy and submissive/ dominatrix.

Edited on by Bankai

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KaiserGX

43. Posted:

Agh damit... it's one of these threads... walks away.

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Hokori

44. Posted:

What about SEGA being sexist hmmmmm???

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Bankai

45. Posted:

What about SEGA being sexist hmmmmm???

What? Oh, this is the bit where you think I'm being the big meanie that's teasing Nintendo in the playground.

SEGA's sexist. Square Enix is sexist, and damn I love that company. Just because I criticise something about the entire games industry that I don't like, doesn't mean that I don't like these games. I loved Pandora's Tower, and that's the sexism of Mario turned up to 11.

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Hokori

46. Posted:

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

What about SEGA being sexist hmmmmm???

What? Oh, this is the bit where you think I'm being the big meanie that's teasing Nintendo in the playground.

SEGA's sexist. Square Enix is sexist, and damn I love that company. Just because I criticise something about the entire games industry that I don't like, doesn't mean that I don't like these games. I loved Pandora's Tower, and that's the sexism of Mario turned up to 11.

No I'm actually trying to find where Sega is sexist (can't think of any :p)

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Retro_on_theGo

47. Posted:

Ya know. At first I was like. "Yeah, you got a point Waltz." then "Ok you're reading too much into a light hearted platformer." but now that you've given reasons and examples to back up what you're saying not only do I get what you're saying I'm more inclined to agree with you. Kinder posts like that last wall of text may make people see your side of the argument faster, Choco.

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The_Fox

48. Posted:

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

If this were a single game, then I'd agree with you. But there has been dozens of Mario games, and one single Princess Peach game, which managed to be even more sexist than the Mario games.
.

Well, if there's one thing I can agree with it's that Super Princess Peach was pretty damn sexist.

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Hokori

49. Posted:

People think too much into this how is it sexist to have emotions? I have emotions and I'm a guy

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Bankai

50. Posted:

Retro_on_theGo wrote:

Ya know. At first I was like. "Yeah, you got a point Waltz." then "Ok you're reading too much into a light hearted platformer." but now that you've given reasons and examples to back up what you're saying not only do I get what you're saying I'm more inclined to agree with you. Kinder posts like that last wall of text may make people see your side of the argument faster, Choco.

[/div]

I'm impressed someone actually read it, frankly :P I tune out of my own walls of text half the time.

No I'm actually trying to find where Sega is sexist (can't think of any )

The Yakuza games.

Edited on by Bankai

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Radixxs

51. Posted:

Well I think Super Smash Beach Volleyball should solve any problems of sexism still lingering within Nintendo games. You guys all sent in your letters right?

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Bankai

52. Posted:

Radixxs wrote:

Well I think Super Smash Beach Volleyball should solve any problems of sexism still lingering within Nintendo games. You guys all sent in your letters right?

Only as long as Ganondorf has jiggle physics. Nintendo leaves that out and it's the most sexist game ever.

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WingedSnagret

53. Posted:

Okay, BESIDES all the sexist talk, I'm happy that we'll see at least sort of new supporting characters. And by that I mean the adorable baby Yoshis we saw in the trailer. While I agree that things need to be shaken up, the sales that the Mario games get show that changing the formula isn't a complete necessity.

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theblackdragon

54. Posted:

Everything is sexist. the end. you think it's not sexist or that it's okay just because females still enjoy playing the games, but when you get down to actually looking at it, it's kinda not.

also, I gotta say i love how people are touting Super Princess Peach as 'see? peach can save the day too!' — yeah, by being overly emotional! she PMSes her way through the game almost; way to reinforce the idea of a strong, put-together female character who can totally make rational decisions and kick just as much butt as the guys! lol... one of the reasons I've always loved SMRPG is because it was really the first time where Toadstool got to actually fight for herself (and it wasn't just a dream), but even then her strongest weapon was a freakin' Frying Pan. sigh.

to be honest, if there were an option to choose the gender of your character for every game you play, this whole thing would be that much closer to being a non-issue. i know there's not really a way to do that kind of thing for established IPs like the Mario series (though by swapping Mario for Peach and having Bowser constantly trying to marry him instead, it could actually be quite the progressive move for the series), but I do hope future IPs give us the option more. as for Mario... it's just tradition at this point. hell, i doubt people even realize they're trying to save a princess anymore; we're just in it to hit that flagpole and move on to the next level, lol.
/rambling

Edited on by theblackdragon

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zezhyrule

55. Posted:

Stop copying me tbd :O

[21:47] zezhyrule: why does the game need ot be about mario saving peach anyway? besides tradition
[21:54] zezhyrule: all games should just have a girl/guy option so these conversations would disappear

also I'm just kidding don't kill me

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Bankai

56. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

Everything is sexist. the end. you think it's not sexist or that it's okay just because females still enjoy playing the games, but when you get down to actually looking at it, it's kinda not.

also, I gotta say i love how people are touting Super Princess Peach as 'see? peach can save the day too!' — yeah, by being overly emotional! she PMSes her way through the game almost; way to reinforce the idea of a strong, put-together female character who can totally make rational decisions and kick just as much butt as the guys! lol... one of the reasons I've always loved SMRPG is because it was really the first time where Toadstool got to actually fight for herself (and it wasn't just a dream), but even then her strongest weapon was a freakin' Frying Pan. sigh.

to be honest, if there were an option to choose the gender of your character for every game you play, this whole thing would be that much closer to being a non-issue. i know there's not really a way to do that kind of thing for established IPs like the Mario series (though by swapping Mario for Peach and having Bowser constantly trying to marry him instead, it could actually be quite the progressive move for the series), but I do hope future IPs give us the option more. as for Mario... it's just tradition at this point. hell, i doubt people even realize they're trying to save a princess anymore; we're just in it to hit that flagpole and move on to the next level, lol.
/rambling

[/div]

I'm rather shocked. TBD and I almost see eye-to-eye.

This must mean the world's about to end. The Mayans were right :(

Also:

(though by swapping Mario for Peach and having Bowser constantly trying to marry him instead, it could actually be quite the progressive move for the series)

I would love Nintendo if this happened. I would even go out and buy it (my first Mario game since the SNES that I've paid money for), simply to support Nintendo for having the gonads to do that.

Edited on by Bankai

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DudeSean

57. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

as for Mario... it's just tradition at this point. hell, i doubt people even realize they're trying to save a princess anymore; we're just in it to hit that flagpole and move on to the next level, lol.

That's all it ever was...

@LollipopChoSaw Okay... I'll return the ball.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

I agree that it's about as harmless as sexism goes, but that doesn't change the fact that the Mario games are unbalanced representations of male and female roles.

[/div]

If it's as harmless as sexism goes. Then why even say anything?

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

Not all women, or people, are able to defend themselves. There's nothing sexist about being defenseless.

No. It becomes sexist when the one and only woman in a major gaming franchise fulfils no other purpose than to be a prize for over 20 years.

[/div]

Super Mario Bros. 2. Peach (Toadstool) is not a damsel in distress, or "prize" as you see it. Right off the bat, you're wrong.
Quite frankly, I find the fact that you call her a prize to be sexist. She's a human being in need of help, and you're calling her a prize. THAT'S sexist.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

Giant frilly dress? At least it's not revealing, right? It's sexist that a girl wears a dress?

It's the symbolism that's the problem. Feminism couldn't care less about what women wear. It's how they're portrayed. The giant frilly dress portrays a completely stereotypical fairy tale princess - a character archetype that feminist theory has a problem with since inception, and with good reason.

[/div]

Yes, the story is very much a streotypical fairy tale. I honestly don't see the problem with that. It's YOUR point of view that there's something wrong with that. It's not a fact. Therefore, it is something that you must deal with personally. If it's that much of a problem, then don't buy the games and support that type of story. (lol. Boycotting Mario because of the story...) If it's not that much of a problem, then there's no reason to complain.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

You are seriously just looking for things here.

It's called critical analysis.

[/div]

Making stuff up is not critical analysis. It's using your imagination.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

Squeaky cute voice, so what? Is she supposed to sound like a 60 year old smoker? She's a cartoon princess.

And once again it's the symbolism that's the problem. Princess Peach is a girl; weak, incapable of protecting herself, and utterly submissive.

[/div]

Yeah, not everyone is strong. So every time there's a weak girl in ANY story, that's sexist? As if there aren't weak girls in real life...

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

Lighten up.

You know, people who tell other people to "lighten up" because they're arguing against an injustice... well, they're the very antithesis of progress.
Do yourself a favour. If you ever get to university, don't take an arts degree. You'll be eaten alive with that attitude.

[/div]

What injustice? There is NO injustice here, at all, whatsoever. We're talking about Super Mario here. A video game. GAME. And you're taking it seriously. Yes, you need to lighten up.
Also, don't worry about me and my attitude in a university that has nothing to do with you. I'll do what I want and whatever happens is my concern, not yours.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

The hero doesn't necessarily have to be a male. The hero just happens to be a male.

If this were a single game, then I'd agree with you. But there has been dozens of Mario games, and one single Princess Peach game, which managed to be even more sexist than the Mario games. No. According to Nintendo the hero does indeed have to be a male.

[/div]

Super Mario Bros. 2. Metroid. Pokemon. Nintendo has games where the hero is a female. Even in the Mario series. So, no, your point is not valid. I can see how you can consider Super Princess Peach sexist, but she's a princess. Princess' are spoiled. Therefore she fits the character.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

Think about the children. As they are still in their very young years, they grasp the concept of gender from their environment. Theoretically speaking, the Mario games are reinforcing the roles of gender to the younger demographic. How it affects the child, however, is not known as far as I'm concerned. Mario is a light-hearted franchise that's just supposed to be fun, but maybe the gender differences between the hero and helpless could be affecting a child implicitly at a deep cognitive level.

This is a good point. To me, the Mario games are really not much different from parents buying pink clothes for girls and blue clothes for boys - giving girls teddy bears and dolls, and boys toy soldiers and trucks.

[/div]

I see nothing wrong with any of that. Parents can buy whatever they want for their kids. When you have a boy, you can buy him a dress and dolls if you want. Just be prepared to have him get made fun of a lot. Right or wrong, it's the reality, and it's why most parents go along with it.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

Is any of that done out of a desire to be sexist? No, of course not. But it is a subconsious attempt by the parents to force the child to conform to social standards and expectations of men and women.

[/div]

There are far worse things to worry about. I see nothing wrong with parents wanting their children to fit in and be normal.

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

That is the very core of what the feminist movement is trying to combat - these gender stereotypes and expectations are not necessarily a healthy part of modern society.

[/div]

How is Super Mario Brothers' story an unhealthy part of modern society? What harm is it doing? It's the parent's job to teach their kids about "gender role" issues, etc. Not a cartoon video game about a fat plumber who jumps on killer mushrooms and turtles.
If you think Mario is bad, I can't imagine what you think about games like GTA...

LollipopChoSaw wrote:

There is a deep imbalance there - to the way women and men are portrayed in games, and being told to "Lighten Up" by someone that can't stand anyone daring to criticise a Nintendo game is not helping right the imbalance.

[/div]

I can stand you daring. I just find it ridiculous. There is no imbalance. Nintendo has Super Mario. Nintendo has Metroid. Balance.

There are real issues that need to be dealt with in this world. This world has a lot of bad in it. The story, or lack thereof, in a video game is not a real issue and is literally harmless. If the one of the major things you have to worry about for your child is what they think about a video game, then you are extremely lucky. Or just have horrible priorities.
If there is any issue here at all, it's that parents allow their children to be so heavily influenced by the media. That's an issue of parenting, not Super Mario's story.

Edited on by DudeSean

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Hokori

58. Posted:

I still see nothing sexist with super princess peach, I bet if I were going after some thief who stole my GirlFriend id have the same powers as her, WE AS HUMANS HAVE EMOTIONS it has nothing to do with the fact women are seen as emotional, because after all I've seen WARIO cry in a few games

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theblackdragon

59. Posted:

DudeSean wrote:

Super Mario Bros. 2. Peach (Toadstool) is not a damsel in distress, or "prize" as you see it. Right off the bat, you're wrong.
Quite frankly, I find the fact that you call her a prize to be sexist. She's a human being in need of help, and you're calling her a prize. THAT'S sexist.

no, but in the end, Mario wakes up and it was allllll a dreeeeeam. Silly Mario, and silly everyone else thinking Toadstool could take care of herself like that. whoops, don't wanna be late to get kidnapped yet again in SMB3, SMW, Sunshine, Galaxy... and don't forget to give him a big ol' kiss at the end of the games for rescuing you, too, princess! /eyeroll

DudeSean wrote:

What injustice? There is NO injustice here, at all, whatsoever. We're talking about Super Mario here. A video game. GAME.

and books are books. TV shows are TV shows. movies are movies. plays are plays. you say it's 'just a game', and if it were just one game perhaps you'd have a point, but it's not just one... it's damn near every game that reinforces the same 'girls are weak and need men to save them' stereotype.

btw, I see below you're resorting to the 'there are far more important problems in the world' argument, to which i say this — if we waited until all the 'big' problems in this world were worked out, we'd never see any change happen in the world, ever.

DudeSean wrote:

Super Mario Bros. 2. Metroid. Pokemon. Nintendo has games where the hero is a female. Even in the Mario series. So, no, your point is not valid. I can see how you can consider Super Princess Peach sexist, but she's a princess. Princess' are spoiled. Therefore she fits the character.

Mario 2 was a dream fantasy. Metroid features a woman, yes — shown off in a bikini at the end of the first game. Pokemon started out with having you playing a male character originally; thankfully that particular series has been more progressive with regards to allowing the player character to choose their gender, but Is that all you've got, though? why not bring up a Nintendo cornerstone like Legend of Zelda? Aside from SS Link is constantly having to save poor Zelda from the big bad meaniehead bad guys — ffs the only time she even remotely kicks butt is when she's impersonating a guy.

as for the rest of your replies, i'd respond about the same... yes, parents can teach and do whatever they like with their kids. they can reinforce whatever stereotypes they like and disown their children in the end should they turn out 'abnormal' or 'wrong'. i don't think anyone's saying they don't have the right to do so. what is being said is that there are things that are inherently sexist, and to turn a completely blind eye to that is folly. just because society views it as 'normal' doesn't magically make it not-sexist somehow, and some of us wouldn't mind seeing some changes made in the basic structure of video games to accommodate the idea of a strong female that can make the same rational choices and be just as awesome in general as her male counterparts.

Edited on by theblackdragon

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Undead_terror

60. Posted:

...ah you want us to leave?

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