TLDR; "What Ms. Sarkeesian is saying is that as soon as you make a female character and have them suffer in any kind, the men are evil. She may attempt to deny it 22.00 into the video, but I know one when I see one. It shows in how she searched long and deep to find examples that apparently are not fueled by sexism, but attempt to turn them into one."
In response (or derailment) to the blog (particularly the video Damsel in Distress Pt 1) by Ms. Anita Sarkeesian (I would love to post this on her blog, but the comment was disabled--and I heard it is because of rude and offensive responses she gets, so that is very understandable).
So here goes my response:
I am only now going through the first video, so I can't say much about the later examples, but the very first example that Ms. Sarkeesian gave of videogame sexism is that of Dinosaur Planet being turned into Star Fox:Adventure. Well, here's my take on that event.
No, that is not sexism. I have to break out here and say that feminist are often quite self-centered (I have seen it times and times again), seeing enemies where they do not exist.
But that doesn't mean Dino-Fox: Adventure is not a horrible decision, albeit one fueled by greed, not sexism.
Many games were made under one guise, then finished as another game. Case in point, FF:Ver-XV, Resident-May-Cry (yes, DMC WAS an RE game), or even Warhammer-Craft. Even HALO started its life as an entirely different game. It is very typical to see a big name usurping what felt like a good game into its umbrella. After all, why spend another 50 million developing a game when you were lucky enough to already strike gold with a cheap, new IP that you have just developed for 10 million?
Overall, Ms. Sarkeesian's critique of the video game industry's use of "Damsel in Distress" seems overly broad. I know that this particular video is NOT saying anything about sexism--it is merely listing and looking (not quite analyzing) "damsel in distress", as I would say, "pick out alliteration from all dialogs in video games". I would say that Ms. Sarkeesian was approaching this very academically, but ended up exposing too much of her feminist agenda that she pushes her analysis too far in her Zelda analysis.
Zelda, she says, is a damsel (who is most often in distress, but at times helpful). This is DUMB and very SELF-CENTERED analysis. Why do I say this? Because it shows she does not discern good writing from feminist agenda. Zelda is a well rounded character. Yes, she was put as "a trial for the hero to overcome", hence fits into the strict definition of the Damsel in Distress. Yet should we straight away fault any game that "dis-empower" women?
Princess Zelda is (mostly) well portrayed. By this I mean she is a well rounded character, with proper background, character development, and meaningful dialog when it is called for.
That's 2 out of 3 main games in the first video that were cited as "sexist" which are in fact not. Ms. Sarkeesian would benefit greatly if she is more neutral and think longer and harder before making another entry. There ARE many games deserving attention in being sexist. Unfortunately, the Damsel in Distress is one sin that video games are rarely guilty of, because games that end up having you rescue a female character while playing a male generally does NOT have any kind of story or context to it. Hence you would have to stretch it a little thin in order to talk about one. River City Ransom, for example, uses this plot device--but because it attempts to frame it into a more realistic context. A gang of thugs trying to kidnap a grandma would be kinda silly, really. There ARE however, many games deserving attention, most a bit obscure. Ms. Sarkeesian would do well to widen her repertoire of games if she truly wants to be a proper game critic.