If you haven’t been following this series of videos from PBS Game/Show, then you should do so! They’re interesting and argued well. The previous video addressed female stereotypes in games and Anita Sarkeesian’s tropes examination, while this video is about male stereotypes.
However, I do think there is some critical information left out in this video.
Yes, male stereotypes are harmful to men. Overwhelmingly, the average male character in a game is the hero, the man who’s got to save someone or the man who’s out for revenge. He’s large, he’s muscular (sometimes to a ridiculous amount), and he’s often portrayed as someone not struggling with the emotional consequences of his actions (I do find this to a much lesser degree in indie games of course, but Heavy Rain's Ethan Mars was also an appropriately emotional character). He's also almost always heterosexual and white. That's a problem on its own.
However, more important is the reason behind male stereotypes, and that is because AAA studios are overwhelmingly white, straight, and male and resistant to change. In these male stereotypes, the men are powerful. They may not be complex, but you can sure as hell bet they can get their way by smashing through things or shooting things down. When we look at female stereotypes, we see women who are in need of rescuing, moreover as a possession, sexual connotations or no.
I say this over and over, but that’s only because I think it needs repeating. Male stereotypes are a power fantasy (“He’s so strong! I wish I was like him!”). Female stereotypes are objectifying (“She’s really hot! I’d like to f*** her.” Alternatively: “She’s someone I need to save/reclaim and I will hurt whomever took her from me.”)
Male stereotype: I want to be him.
Female stereotype: I want to do her.
Feminism calls for doing away with stereotypes for both men and women! Everyone needs feminism, not just women.