Well, THAT sure didn’t take very long, did it?
Yep, everyone’s favorite commentator of video games, “Saint” Anita Sarkeesian is back, and this time she’s criticizing the best Zelda game ever (“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”). At the time of this writing, the review is not up, but it has been submitted, when it’s up, this article will link to the review. Let’s break down each tweet and explain why each one is wrong.
“There is so much to admire in BOTW. Its gameplay is incredible. But that absolutely doesn’t excuse its use of tired, sexist plot devices.” – Feminist Frequency
Ehrm…what sexist plot devices? Oh, are we talking about how Link is the Hero and Zelda is in distress and needs saving? Anita, I’m fairly certain you haven’t played the game, but rather watched cut-scenes of others playing it. I could be wrong, but let’s cut the crap here, okay? Zelda is being pretty awesome throughout the whole game, even as Link is getting his ass kicked by enemies all over the place. We’ll address this one more fully later on.
“Critics might call out sexism in games with bad gameplay but often act as if it’s not worht mentioning when the gameplay is great. It is.” – Feminist Frequency
You know what? Fair enough, if there’s a problem and sexism is rampant, by all means, call it out. However, don’t call out sexism where there is none to be found. I mean, don’t get me wrong now, because some people may have an issue with the cross dresser who helps Link sneak into the Gerudo City. The fact that the Gerudo all want to find men to be their husbands. At the same time, it does make sense from a biological standpoint since all Gerudo are women and very rarely gives birth to a man, or the fact that Zelda is, again, a Damsel in Distress, but we’ll cover that next point soon enough.
“Through the memories players can collect, BOTW acknowledges the ongoing problem of Zelda being damseled but doesn’t do anything about it.” – Feminist Frequency
Alright, this makes me think that you watched the cut-scenes, because this game is way harder than the type you actually try to play. I could be wrong, because you could have played the game, but anyway…There are eighteen memories in total, thirteen of which are part of the main quest and five that are found throughout the game.
The memories that Anita is talking about, fourteen of them, show Zelda’s interactions with Link from before the return of Calamity Ganon until the Great Calamity and just afterwards. Twelve are given to you to find, the thirteenth one is after you find those twelve and the fourteenth one is when you find the Master Sword. The memories show a girl who’s bound by Destiny to wield tremendous, godly power, due to the fact that she is the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, but this Zelda’s passions are in research of ancient technology, which drives a rift between her and her father, who accuses her of “playing scholar” throughout the memories.
However, despite that, Zelda tries to overcome her uneasiness. She obviously doesn’t want the powers nor the responsibility that comes with it, but she tries her best with no help to understand them, to unlock the powers that are hidden deep inside. And when she couldn’t use her powers, she did all she could to make sure that Hyrule was ready with the magi-tech army. Well, when the inevitable happened…
Yeah, real sexist to have someone break down when everything goes to hell in a hand basket and all your friends and family are dead, huh?
“The slew of perfect scores BOTW receieved from critics shows that most still don’t give a damn about how women are represented in games.” – Feminist Frequency
And THIS is why I don’t think you played the game at all, Anita. If you had, you would KNOW, for a fact, that without Zelda being a “Damsel in Distress” in this game, Calamity Ganon would have destroyed Hyrule completely and the final boss of the game, Ganon would have destroyed the world without Zelda’s help. And no, that’s not a spoiler, sheesh, every time Ganondorf is in a Zelda game in some fashion. He becomes Ganon, save for Wind Waker.
As for how other women are represented in Breath of the Wild? Well, the Zora champion was female. She was the best at what she did and was massively adored by every single Zora in the game. Seriously, talk to any Zora when you get to Zora’s domain. You see, most of them lavish praise on her, even if Link can’t recall a thing about her. Urbosa is a Gerudo. By definition, she’s kicking ass. Hell, she can drop lightning down on your head if you’re not careful (or rather, she could, hard to do it when you’re dead and trapped in a giant camel). In other words, this is nothing less than another case of “Saint” Anita seeing a forest and not looking at any trees within.
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Robin Ek – Editor
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
I am not a fan of Feminist Frequency or Anita Sarkeesian.
The Gaming Ground
More by Phil Weigel:
Save 3$ with our Play-Asia coupon code "thegg"