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Let the Princess Save Herself

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A media critic reimagines the tired video game staple of rescuing a damsel in distress to empower young women.

By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

Despite the fact that nearly half of gamers are female, the gaming industry is notoriously less than female friendly (nevertheless, female game developers are still accomplishing very cool things) and many video game concepts are far from empowering for girls, featuring some hapless damsel in distress sitting around in highly impractical clothing waiting for her knight in shining armor to appear.

But what if feminists rewrote the video game script?

That’s the premise behind media critic and blogger Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, a series of short videos reimaging the same old sexist video game themes into more female-friendly concepts. Sounds innocent enough, but previous, seemingly innocuous efforts to make games more empowering for girls have brought out the sexist trolls big time. That hasn’t stopped Sarkeesian, however, as she’s just released a new addition to the series, reconceiving ye old helpless princess as a kick butt avenger in her own right.

If the trolls (or retrograde video game concepts) have got you down, maybe this fun and empowering look at what video games could be will help cheer you back up. And the fact that Mashable is reporting the idea has already started generating fan art might really make you smile.

What video games are you happy to buy for your daughter?

jstillman Jessica Stillman is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter @entrylevelrebel.

Image credit: jameson9101322.