I'd say both male and female video game characters are often deviations from the norm.

For example, this popular male character.

So does she talk about contemporary games in this or still talking about games that came out ages ago? Some of these videos are kind of like identifying problems with media representations of women using 1940s film noir or 1970s sex comedies.
The emphasis on Japanese games doesn't help much either as they have their own cultural baggage to sift through. If you look at early-nineties PC games for the US market, you're gonna find a lot less of these kinds of representations.

Speaking of tropes...why are the "sexiest men alive" always White Dudes With Gigantic Foreheads?…
@2 watch and find out?

I thought this one was very good. Disagreed slightly on the ME argument, but I did see the point behind making it.
@1 - The "norm" in this case being the norm established within the world of video games. The video talks about how many female characters are created by taking the blank model and adding pink bows, high heels, and/or massive boobs, among many other feminizing icons. There is nothing about Pac-Man that makes him especially masculine; it is presumably unneeded, because obviously the default is masculine. Ms. Pac-Man, however, is (Mr.) Pac-Man in drag. Her only identity as a female character (especially when they get into the marketing and the cartoon series) is as it relates to and varies from the male character.

And while many male characters are hyper-masculine, such as your example, this video talks more about the situations where, if there were an option to play a female character in that game, her only personality trait would be, in essence, "is a girl," and in the case of the Smurfette Principle, she'd usually be the only girl available to play, because "is a girl" is as much a character as "the tough guy," "the smart guy," "the ballistics/explosives/electronics expert" etc.

In one of her other videos, Anita Sarkeesian talks more about the God of War games, particularly as it relates to the Women in Refrigerators trope, where women in the story serve only as a McGuffin, a weak motivator (i.e. revenge, rescue) for the male, who is obviously the important one here.
Every video she makes, she hands a coil of rope to video game fanboys.
Until recently, video games were made by and for men and boys. This is like complaining about the lack of realistic portrayals of women in professional wrestling.
This was a great video. I too was skeptical at the start, but she really pulled it in at the end. Another great vid.
@1: Yawn, another lame "men are muscled in comic books and movies therefore sexism isn't a thing".

I didn't say sexism isn't a thing, I said portrayals of men aren't the norm either.
More power to her, but I haven't made it all the way through one of these yet. Every trope she's discussed so far have been discussed, unpacked, and codified in other, better, ways, except they discussed television and movies whereas Sarkeesian focuses on video games, which are just inferior versions of television and movies in the first place. Basically, I find this series redundant. On the other hand, she seems to piss off video game nerds and MRAs, and that makes me smile.
@11 - If I may attempt to clarify:

I feel like you're using "the norm" to mean "realistic", which is a problem, too, but not the point here.

"The norm" as it's used in this video and post, means "the way things usually work in the context of video game development." It can also mean "default" or "expected."

Male is where character design often starts, as a default. If a character is designed as female, it is usually only when there is a specific reason that she must be female.
@12 Uh, video games are just a newer form of media. Just like movies/TV haven't brought any knew stories that books hadn't already covered...

That comment also makes you sound like a combination 80 year old man and high school douche jock. It's impressive.
Whoops..."new" dunno how I missed that.

Also, every generation needs their own version of the misogyny talk until it goes away instead of gets worse?

Yeah, I think my objection is that her use of the word "norm" is confusing. She should have used "default."

/but "default" is a technical term and I wouldn't expect a woman to understand it. *ducks*
I think the Mass Effect complaint is legit. I always play the female Shepard because Hale's voice acting is superior (the male version sounds like some corn-fed middle American doofus). To me, the female Shepard is the default, and the constant male Shepard imagery in the marketing materials got tiring. This was a great opportunity to reach out to women players that was largely squandered.
And, of course, Alison Bechdel got to the insight first. Read the first chapter of her "Indelible Alison Bechdel" collection, which came out in 1998, for her thoughts on this issue (it's one page, and is illustrated).
@16 She does actually call it default quite a few times. Really, watching this isn't a bad thing.
@16: Male is the "norm" as in the baseline. Her word is not confusing, your assumptions are based on your lack of understanding.
Is it wrong that all I could think is that she's wearing very prominent eye make-up, lipstick, jewelry, and pink with what could otherwise be a masculine outfit?
@21, because nothing says I'm hearing what you have to say better than a dissection of your outfit & makeup choices.
@21, I'm sure she sees the irony when she's getting all made up to do a video about feminism, but the fact is if you want your video to look "professional," you need to get made up like a showbiz person, whether you're a man or a woman. And maybe she just likes looking like that. It sure works for me: she's cute as fuck. And yes, I feel like a terrible sexist for thinking so. :)

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