“Don’t Leave Me” is a video piece that I’ve been working on as I play through games and capture moments that reinforce negative gender-based stereotypes toward women.
“Don’t leave me!” is a phrase frequently cried out by female characters in the role-playing video games I played religiously throughout my childhood. Recently I’ve realized that my expectations for a romantic partner that will jump in front of a sword for me and be my over-bearing protector and savior are more than a bit unrealistic, and that these demands have been formed as a result of over a decade spent playing video games in which such storylines are heavily prevalent. Female characters in these games are frequently collapsing, dying, running scared, afraid of being alone, and always in trouble. Male characters who exhibit these traits within the same games either do not exist or are portrayed as effeminate and possibly homosexual. The existence of these not-so-subtle anti-feminist plots reinforce negative gender-based stereotypes that are harmful to developing children, the largest consumers of these games.