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All the Slender Ladies: Body Diversity in Video Games

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This episode examines the very limited range of female body types commonly seen in games, contrasting this with the much wider range of physiques that male characters frequently possess. We then illustrates that, when female characters appear who do have a body type that is notably different from the slender physique that games establish as the standard, these bodies are sometimes presented as a joke, or as a twisted transgression of social standards and expectations. We examine how this limited range extends to the age of female characters as well, before highlighting a few examples of games that have positive representations of women with different body types and women who are older.

This is the fifth episode in season two of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. For more on the format changes accompanying season two, please see our announcement here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/1469466

Full transcript, links and resources for this episode: [LINK]

ABOUT THE SERIES
The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects. This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on Kickstarter.com

GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE
Overwatch (2016)
Ultra Street Fighter IV (2014)
League of Legends (2009)
Dota 2 (2013)
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Dishonored (2012)
Enslaved (2010)
Remember Me (2013)
Heavenly Sword (2007)
Final Fantasy X (2001)
The 3rd Birthday (2011)
Devil May Cry 4 (2008)
Splatterhouse (2010)
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (2006)
Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)
Blades of Time (2012)
Bayonetta (2010)
Wet (2009)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008)
Primal (2003)
Fat Princess (2009)
Dead Rising (2006)
Metal Gear Solid IV (2008)
The Last of Us (2013)
Life Is Strange (2015)
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II (2004)