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View Full Version : Kickstarter: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games


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RocShemp
06-18-12, 09:59 AM
You guys heard about the whole Tropes vs. Women in Video Games (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games) debacle that happened recently?

A blogger from Femenist Frequency wanted to do a six part series of the portrayal of women in video games. She was asking for $6K to fund the project. Apparently a lot of folks got pissed (presumably 4chan was where the flames were fanned) and they hijacked the comments section of her video on youtube, wrote a lot of nasty stuff on her wikipedia entry, etc.

Long story short, despite all the attacks (or perhaps because of said attacks), supporters flooded in droves and the project has now been funded by a total pledge of $158,917.

http://www.feministfrequency.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/6967-thankyou.png

It sounds like an interesting series. It's not a burning topic (sexism in videogames is well known) but if, handled well, could make for an interesting series. I just hope it doesn't end up a whiney/preechy mess as such anti-discrimination documentaries usually end up.

I hope she ups her game to make the most out of so much support. Also, I hope she gives a passing mention at least to the fact that there are gender stereotypes for male characters as well (either musclebound He-Man types of metrosexual himbos).

Michael Corvin
06-18-12, 10:54 AM
:hump:

chuckd21
06-18-12, 11:28 AM
She's hot. Looking forward to seeing her boobs.

DRG
06-18-12, 11:36 AM
Also, I hope she gives a passing mention at least to the fact that there are gender stereotypes for male characters as well (either musclebound He-Man types of metrosexual himbos).

Yeah, this is really where I think her arguments could live or die... If her argument just boils down to "Women can't be strong, capable heroines without being sexy and idealized" then she's missing the point that almost all player-controlled human characters are idealized, male or female. If you're going to complain about Lara Croft's Barbie body, then you should also complain about Marcus Fenix's hulking roid physique.

And looking at the descriptions of her planned videos, these two seem to contradict each other.
The Sexy Villainess - Video #4
Unattractive Equals Evil - Video #9

I do want to see this series, although I'm mainly interesting in the final one about the female representations she does find acceptable. Also I'm curious if she'll address the fact that many of the worst offenders (going off her title card collage) come from Japanese games, and if she'll go into how the differences in cultures likely contribute to the level of objectification, if you will.

chuckd21
06-18-12, 11:48 AM
Men aren't allowed to complain.

covenant
06-18-12, 11:53 AM
http://i2.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/001/144/titsorgtfo.jpg

RocShemp
06-18-12, 01:12 PM
Yeah, this is really where I think her arguments could live or die... If her argument just boils down to "Women can't be strong, capable heroines without being sexy and idealized" then she's missing the point that almost all player-controlled human characters are idealized, male or female. If you're going to complain about Lara Croft's Barbie body, then you should also complain about Marcus Fenix's hulking roid physique.

Exactly. Everyman characters are very rare in the male world of videogames. Given the additional funding, I hope she takes the opportunity to broaden her focus and show that gender stereotyping isn't exclusive to women.

And looking at the descriptions of her planned videos, these two seem to contradict each other.
The Sexy Villainess - Video #4
Unattractive Equals Evil - Video #9

I saw that but didn't think much of it at first glance. I wonder if she means to imply there's no middle ground (that the villainess is either super hot or a disgusting slag).

I do want to see this series, although I'm mainly interesting in the final one about the female representations she does find acceptable.

This I'd like to see, as well. Based on the picture I posted, I'm guessing Faith from Mirror's Edge is a character she views positively.

Also I'm curious if she'll address the fact that many of the worst offenders (going off her title card collage) come from Japanese games, and if she'll go into how the differences in cultures likely contribute to the level of objectification, if you will.

This would be a facinating documentary all to itself. Hopefully that's what the episode "Man with Boobs" is about. Since that description sounds like something I've seen in quite a few JRPG's and Japanese cartoons.

glassdragon
06-18-12, 02:12 PM
Exactly. Everyman characters are very rare in the male world of videogames. Given the additional funding, I hope she takes the opportunity to broaden her focus and show that gender stereotyping isn't exclusive to women.

From the video on the page I highly doubt it. It sounds like an agenda piece and not something that is going to show both sides of the coin imo

Plus, it's feminist frequency. I imagine that is the agenda and they don't much care about the way that men are portrayed.

fujishig
06-18-12, 02:25 PM
I think the recent controversy over the new Tomb Raider was the vulnerability of Lara and the fact that the trailer focused on her being tied up, with rape threats, and then the creators basically saying something akin to that's what makes her into the strong woman she became or something to that effect. Let's be honest, the main target for videogames is men, who like their superhero fantasies and attractive females. I mean, I cringe at stuff like the character designs for Lollipop Chainsaw (and I realize it's on-purpose over the top) but that's what the demographic is.

I would argue that 99% of all videogame main character designs are either "super hot" or "grotesque" with no middle ground. Who wants an ordinary, pudgy protagonist?

RocShemp
06-18-12, 03:24 PM
From the video on the page I highly doubt it. It sounds like an agenda piece and not something that is going to show both sides of the coin imo

In all fairness, the myopic view presented in that video was back when she wanted to make a small series for just $6K. With $158,917 to work with, there's no excuse to focus exclusively on how women are portrayed.

Plus, it's feminist frequency. I imagine that is the agenda and they don't much care about the way that men are portrayed.

I'm not familiar with the site but, looking over a few of the videos, it does seem agenda driven. Which is a shame because it actually weakens their argument to pretend that games and other media aren't rife with equivalent male stereotypes.

I would argue that 99% of all videogame main character designs are either "super hot" or "grotesque" with no middle ground. Who wants an ordinary, pudgy protagonist?

This is why I liked what Naughty Dog did with Nate and Elena in the Uncharted series. Similarly, I like Lara's new look. She actually looks more of an everywoman than a supermodel. It's part of the reason why I also find Elena from Uncharted so appealing.

As for Elena, it's interesting that when a female character artist got to work on her in Uncharted 3, the artist's first instinct was to "make her more feminine" and "pretty". It would be a gross oversight if the series doesn't discuss this as well since gender stereotypes are not exclusively enforced by men.

Drexl
06-18-12, 06:17 PM
Exactly. Everyman characters are very rare in the male world of videogames.

Although, Mario is a significant example.

Groucho
06-18-12, 06:27 PM
I'm fine with her focusing on the portrayal of women in video games. Seems like a legit topic, and I don't understand the rage. I wish I knew about this before funding ended so I could throw in a few bucks.

Hopefully she can explain how metal bikinis are able to serve as adequate armor in RPGs.

mhg83
06-18-12, 07:11 PM
Exactly. Everyman characters are very rare in the male world of videogames.








A lot of RPG's have everyman characters. Especially JRPG's.

RocShemp
06-19-12, 08:52 AM
A lot of RPG's have everyman characters. Especially JRPG's.

I'm not saying everyman characters are nonexistant rather that they are rare compared to the hulking and/or ridiculously toned badasses and spikey haired emo douches with huge swords (very prevalent in JRPG's and Japanese games in general).

The fact is, gender stereotyping in games is not one sided. And female gender stereotypes are oftentimes encouraged/enforced by women themselves (and likewise by men for male characters).

My point is that there are two sides to this, like the extremes fujishig pointed out and the ridiculousness that does indeed befall female characters that Groucho pointed out.

Although, Mario is a significant example.

Thank goodness that plumber hasn't fallen out of favor with the general public. :up:

RocShemp
08-28-12, 12:25 AM
You know, the cynic in me is starting to wonder if this whole campaign was just a ruse to buy herself a ton of games and call it "research". :D

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7274/7619451560_2371b4cffb_z.jpg

Boba Fett
08-28-12, 03:41 AM
If, Bayonetta, isn't in that pile, she's failed. Everything that is wrong with women in games exists in that tacky, hollow, cliche of a character.

RocShemp
08-28-12, 05:34 AM
If, Bayonetta, isn't in that pile, she's failed. Everything that is wrong with women in games exists in that tacky, hollow, cliche of a character.

You know, that post reminds me that I never got passed the prologue in that game. In all fairness my PS3 fatty had died shortly after I got it. But I have not been inspired to play it on my slim for some reason.

mattysemo247
08-28-12, 08:58 AM
Well now I don't feel as bad about my pile of shame.

And how the hell is she going to play Diablo 3 and Starcraft? Is she going to buy a gaming rig too?

RichC2
08-28-12, 09:05 AM
Hope Ms Splosion Man is on her list. Since that one is all about, you know, 'sploding... and shoes. This kind of shit reminds me while they make plenty of games for adults, a majority of the gaming population is made up of 13 year old boys.

Tracer Bullet
08-28-12, 10:26 AM
This thread is really about what I expected.

Certainly men are stereotyped in games. They are idealized power fantasies. And men generally don't find that the stereotypes of supernaturally strong, capable men create a hostile space for them.

Women are stereotyped as sexual objects and that portrayal generally creates a hostile environment for women who play videogames.

This is kind of a difference.

mhg83
08-28-12, 11:54 AM
You know, the cynic in me is starting to wonder if this whole campaign was just a ruse to buy herself a ton of games and call it "research". :D

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7274/7619451560_2371b4cffb_z.jpg

Not Guilty.

maxfisher
08-28-12, 01:10 PM
This thread is really about what I expected.

Certainly men are stereotyped in games. They are idealized power fantasies. And men generally don't find that the stereotypes of supernaturally strong, capable men create a hostile space for them.

Women are stereotyped as sexual objects and that portrayal generally creates a hostile environment for women who play videogames.

This is kind of a difference.

I get your point, but to play devil's advocate, it's a bit sexist to say video games are filled with overly attractive stereotypes of both sexes, but it's not ok in the case of one sex because they don't cope as well with such things. And while it's easy to say that both male and female vg characters tend to conform with adolescent male fantasies, it's not hard to find plenty of female cosplayers who apparently like some games' take on sexy females as well. Again, just to play devil's advocate, as there are plenty of games awash in testosterone and few, if any, drenched in estrogen.

RocShemp
08-28-12, 01:54 PM
That is true. I know plenty of female cosplayers that adore the skimpy outfits of videogame and cartoon characters. But, on the other hand, I know many who also like the more "modest" (albeit rather flamboyant in terms of ornamentation) attire as well.

Looking at the Feminist Frequency FaceBook page, I'm sure there will be a "us poor subjugated women" slant to the series but I want to watch it nonetheless. Stereotypes tend to be such because they're often true so it'll be interesting to hear what she has to say about the games she'll be playing.

deadlax
08-28-12, 03:15 PM
looks like she's purchased a bunch of games that don't even really have female characters at all.

RocShemp
08-28-12, 03:56 PM
looks like she's purchased a bunch of games that don't even really have female characters at all.

Which ones? I noticed that some of those games have minor female roles but I don't know if any of them lack female characters alltogether.

Setzer
08-28-12, 08:25 PM
She's hot. Looking forward to seeing her boobs.

She raised $160k...she better show us her boobs.

Obi-Wan Jabroni
08-28-12, 09:27 PM
No way she has time to play all these games. I look forward to seeing the results of her labor in about 10 years or so.

mhg83
08-28-12, 10:11 PM
If she's doing this project full time, some of the games can be knocked out in a day. She'll probably only do a few hours for each game though.

dugan
08-28-12, 11:16 PM
She only needs to "play" each one long enough to video-capture the clips she needs from it.

Of course, she could have just rented them...

RocShemp
08-29-12, 07:26 AM
According to her site (http://www.feministfrequency.com/), she's hiring on an assistant.

The researching phase has begun! So far we’ve purchased well over 300 games for this project. As of now we can play games from the following systems: SNES, Gamecube, Wii, PS2, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, iPad and PC/MAC. We are also looking to acquire a 3DS XL when it becomes available next month. Note that not all of the games being researched for this project are pictured above. All the digital games downloaded via Steam, PSN and XBLM are sadly not nearly as photogenic, but rest assured we are looking at classic titles from throughout the history of gaming.

As a result of the unexpected extra Kickstarter funding I can now commit full-time to Feminist Frequency and to this video series which is truly a dream come true for me! I can now also hire my producer full-time for this project. Plus we are in the process of bringing another writer/researcher on board part-time. So far I’ve chosen to keep my small crew out of the limelight to try and shield them from any potential harassment. When I feel it is safe and appropriate to introduce them I will.

Obviously each video in this series requires a tremendous amount of research, writing and production time so we are planning to release one video per month. We anticipate the launch of our first Tropes vs Women video in late fall or early winter and we’ll be kicking off the series with the Damsel in Distress trope!



So it seems she wont be playing all the games herself in order to release each video in a timely manner.

mhg83
08-29-12, 01:35 PM
Oh and that update she writes that they plan to buy 3ds xl and some games. This really seems fishy now that she could just go out and get a 3DS for cheaper but since she has all this money decides to buy the more expensive system when the regular 3ds would've been fine to play games on.

starman9000
08-29-12, 01:37 PM
What's fishy about it?

chuckd21
08-29-12, 01:39 PM
If, Bayonetta, isn't in that pile, she's failed. Everything that is wrong with women in games exists in that tacky, hollow, cliche of a character.

I think you mean X Blades. Play that, and then revel in how amazing Bayonetta is.

flashburn
08-29-12, 01:55 PM
Oh and that update she writes that they plan to buy 3ds xl and some games. This really seems fishy now that she could just go out and get a 3DS for cheaper but since she has all this money decides to buy the more expensive system when the regular 3ds would've been fine to play games on.

Well, tits are bigger on the XL.

Supermallet
08-29-12, 05:37 PM
Oh and that update she writes that they plan to buy 3ds xl and some games. This really seems fishy now that she could just go out and get a 3DS for cheaper but since she has all this money decides to buy the more expensive system when the regular 3ds would've been fine to play games on.

Yep, you're right. What a bitch! :rolleyes:

RocShemp
08-29-12, 11:11 PM
Yep, you're right. What a bitch! :rolleyes:

I think he's implying that her "research" is just an excuse to buy a bunch of games and consoles and have fun. I willl admit that he has a point that she could just get a standard 3DS and it would still serve her purposes. However, perhaps one or more of the games she's going to study are made with the new 3DS in mind. We'll just have to wait and see.

dugan
08-30-12, 12:51 AM
Oh and that update she writes that they plan to buy 3ds xl and some games. This really seems fishy now that she could just go out and get a 3DS for cheaper but since she has all this money decides to buy the more expensive system when the regular 3ds would've been fine to play games on.

Wouldn't the larger screen look better when she videotapes it?

Supermallet
08-30-12, 02:08 AM
I think he's implying that her "research" is just an excuse to buy a bunch of games and consoles and have fun. I willl admit that he has a point that she could just get a standard 3DS and it would still serve her purposes. However, perhaps one or more of the games she's going to study are made with the new 3DS in mind. We'll just have to wait and see.

Let's go ahead and assume her research isn't just an excuse, and now that she has money far in excess of her original requested amount, she can afford to spend $50 more to get the newer version of the 3DS, with the larger screen (which, as someone said, would look better when filmed) and that is reportedly easier to play for long periods.

RocShemp
08-30-12, 07:17 AM
Let's go ahead and assume her research isn't just an excuse, and now that she has money far in excess of her original requested amount, she can afford to spend $50 more to get the newer version of the 3DS, with the larger screen (which, as someone said, would look better when filmed) and that is reportedly easier to play for long periods.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't agreeing with mhg83. I can just see how it could have set off his BS detector is all. :shrug:

TheKing
08-30-12, 07:44 AM
I see that in addition to buying all those games, she also found it in the budget to hit the hair salon.

Kinda playing into real life stereotypes of women there ain't she?

starman9000
08-30-12, 07:51 AM
Yup, and that room she's in has a pretty nice paint job. Kind of seems like she could live in a shitty apartment and still do this project.

mhg83
08-30-12, 09:41 AM
Or in a van living with solidsnakepac

RocShemp
08-30-12, 12:28 PM
Or in a van living with solidsnakepac

No way a woman that attractive gives his homeless ass the time of day. And she seems to be quite smart. That's two strikes against poor Esteban.

RocShemp
08-31-12, 03:37 PM
Someone over at Blu-ray.com suggested that she need not look farther than this MMO:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/biunxLU92yk?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The switch to female armor sets occurs at 5:35.

Deftones
03-07-13, 04:49 PM
Here's the 1st one:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/X6p5AZp7r_Q?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Groucho
03-07-13, 04:52 PM
Well, if she's giving it away for free I'm glad I didn't back this.

Supermallet
03-07-13, 05:54 PM
If she's giving it away for free then I'd like her address, please.

Adam Tyner
03-07-13, 05:59 PM
I haven't watched the video yet, but I found this take on the project more than a little bit interesting: http://www.kentaiblog.com/2013/03/the-sarkeesian-apocalypse-is-nigh.html

Supermallet
03-07-13, 06:19 PM
tl;dr What is that article's point?

Groucho
03-07-13, 06:22 PM
Watched the first video. Her presentation is a little dry (not a surprise if you've seen her other videos), but it's well-researched and she raises some good points.

Obviously, it just came out, but I'd be interested in hearing her take on the new Tomb Raider game.

Dragon Tattoo
03-07-13, 07:11 PM
"In the end, will thoust get the girl? or play like one?"

Oh, Nintendo. :lol:

bippitty
03-07-13, 10:15 PM
It's interesting how her own story fits into the "damsel in distress" category. A helpless woman being victimized by evil villains. Kickstarter heroes rush in to save the day. The fact that her top mimics the colors of the Princess Peach costume beside her further cements her into the role.

She's wearing those giant hoop earrings. They look almost like shackles. The blue lines in the plaid shirt are like the chains hooked to those shackles. (And if you drop the "p" you get "laid".) The base color of the shirt is not too far off from a flesh tone which would transform the shirt into a skimpy fishnet top.

Why is she cute and skinny? Couldn't she have gotten someone ugly and fat to helm the videos?

Why isn't she being the change that she wants to see in the world? Why not a Kickstarter to fund a feminist game studio? Games for women by women. Does she not think that women are capable?

Is her endeavor a subversive attempt to destroy feminism? Someone ought to do a Youtube report on this.

fumanstan
03-07-13, 10:41 PM
Watched the first video. Her presentation is a little dry (not a surprise if you've seen her other videos), but it's well-researched and she raises some good points.

Obviously, it just came out, but I'd be interested in hearing her take on the new Tomb Raider game.

Agreed about the video, she's kind of boring but the research and material is decent. Can't really disagree with her, and I like the short clips of examples she gives for each point.

dugan
03-11-13, 01:48 AM
1. I thought the first episode was great. Written like a paper, and never boring.

2. Who else got PTSD when she mentioned Super Mario 2's ice levels? ARRRRGGGGGHHH. I'd forgotten wow frustrating they were.

3. This is definitely relevant, after she spends so much time deconstructing Donkey Kong:
Dad hacks Donkey Kong for his daughter; Pauline now saves Mario (http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/03/dad-hacks-donkey-kong-for-his-daughter-princess-pauline-now-saves-mario/)

LosingMyMind
03-11-13, 04:40 AM
1. I thought the first episode was great. Written like a paper, and never boring.

2. Who else got PTSD when she mentioned Super Mario 2's ice levels? ARRRRGGGGGHHH. I'd forgotten wow frustrating they were.

3. This is definitely relevant, after she spends so much time deconstructing Donkey Kong: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JeXDNg7scyU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Dad hacks Donkey Kong for his daughter; Pauline now saves Mario
Fixed

slop101
03-11-13, 11:37 AM
One of my favorite games, Half Life 2, has an "ordinary" male protagonist (Gordon Freeman), and the female protagonist in the same game (Alyx) is also ordinary and not hyper-sexualized, though unlike Gordon, she's "hot".

Breakfast with Girls
03-11-13, 12:19 PM
If, Bayonetta, isn't in that pile, she's failed. Everything that is wrong with women in games exists in that tacky, hollow, cliche of a character.Left pile, fourth from the top.

Breakfast with Girls
03-11-13, 12:47 PM
Here's the 1st one:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/X6p5AZp7r_Q?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>I thought it was a well-done video essay and I agree with it 100%. I can't <em>imagine</em> what she'll actually use $160,000 for, though, seeing as how the equipment to produce these videos presumably costs, well, $6000.

slop101
03-11-13, 01:23 PM
Probably a good thing she disabled comments - it would most likely turn into an endless stream of "show us your tits" posts.

Jay G.
03-11-13, 03:31 PM
I thought it was a well-done video essay and I agree with it 100%. I can't <em>imagine</em> what she'll actually use $160,000 for, though, seeing as how the equipment to produce these videos presumably costs, well, $6000.
Well, she did buy a crazy amount of games for the the series, including well over 300 boxed games:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7274/7619451560_2371b4cffb_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/anitasarkeesian/7619451560/)

She also hired on her producer full-time and hired a part-time writer/researcher. Also, she dedicated herself full-time to the project, so she's likely taking a salary of some sort, or at least paying for living expenses while working on the series.
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/08/quick-tropes-vs-women-projec-update/

She's apparently doing a lot of research for each topic. The tumblr page for the series currently has a crazy number of screencaps of games using the damsel in distress trope:
http://tropesversuswomen.tumblr.com/

Supermallet
03-11-13, 03:47 PM
Probably a good thing she disabled comments - it would most likely turn into an endless stream of "show us your tits" posts.

Which she could easily make go away by showing her tits. I don't see the problem.

slop101
03-11-13, 04:26 PM
Which she could easily make go away by showing her tits. I don't see the problem.But as with all things, it would then escalate (or devolve) into "show us your poon" and eventually into hardcore porn with anal and bukake, with her thesis getting away from her as she's being covered with gallons of semen.

Supermallet
03-11-13, 05:01 PM
I'm still not seeing a problem.

I actually did watch the video and thought it was well done.

Johnny Boy
03-11-13, 05:38 PM
I rolled my eyes when I read about this woman, but then I watched the video that Breakfast with Girls posted, and she made some really good points. I like this girl, but she needs to understand that although the amount of female gamers have been growing rapidly ever since The Sims came out, the large majority of people who play video games are still males. And that is why we see things like this. Once female gamers (and female game creators) equal the amount of male gamers/creators we'll probably see more of a change. On a side note, some females LIKE being the damsel in distress. She should talk to these women and ask why they willingly want to play such a submissive role.

Jay G.
03-11-13, 06:07 PM
...she needs to understand that although the amount of female gamers have been growing rapidly ever since The Sims came out, the large majority of people who play video games are still males.
This isn't true. According to the ESA, about 47% of gamers are female, and of the most frequent game purchasers, 52% are male and 48% are female. So the genders are about even now:
http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

The problem is, as you noted, that the percentage of developers that are female is still low.

However, I don't see why we have to wait until women fight hard and reach equality in the gaming workplace for this to change. Simply educating everyone, including men, about gaming tropes that may be considered disparaging women could cause people to take a step back and consider if they use any such tropes, and why. Then they can consider ways to avoid such tropes and make better games for both genders.

dugan
03-11-13, 06:16 PM
"Games that don't depend on sexist tropes" and "Games aimed at female gamers" are not the same set of games, obviously. For the second set, here's a recent interview with a company (Aksys Games) that's just released one:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/the-x-button/2013-02-20

Johnny Boy
03-11-13, 06:22 PM
This isn't true. According to the ESA, about 47% of gamers are female, and of the most frequent game purchasers, 52% are male and 48% are female. So the genders are about even now:
http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

The problem is, as you noted, that the percentage of developers that are female is still low.

However, I don't see why we have to wait until women fight hard and reach equality in the gaming workplace for this to change. Simply educating everyone, including men, about gaming tropes that may be considered disparaging women could cause people to take a step back and consider if they use any such tropes, and why. Then they can consider ways to avoid such tropes and make better games for both genders.

Thanks for that info, Jay G. I was not aware that 47% of gamers are women. That is awesome. I hope it keeps growing.

fujishig
03-11-13, 06:41 PM
This isn't true. According to the ESA, about 47% of gamers are female, and of the most frequent game purchasers, 52% are male and 48% are female. So the genders are about even now:
http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

The problem is, as you noted, that the percentage of developers that are female is still low.

However, I don't see why we have to wait until women fight hard and reach equality in the gaming workplace for this to change. Simply educating everyone, including men, about gaming tropes that may be considered disparaging women could cause people to take a step back and consider if they use any such tropes, and why. Then they can consider ways to avoid such tropes and make better games for both genders.

I know that data was taken from a distributed survey of 2000 households, but they seem to club mobile games, computer games (I assume flash games and facebook games) and the like. Isn't this study mostly about console games? I have absolutely no research to back this up, but I would assume the majority of console game players are still male, given the demographic that seems to be targeted in most console games.

slop101
03-11-13, 06:59 PM
Yeah, that 47% of gamers being women includes everything from Farmville to solitaire and minesweeper. Console-only would be much less women.

Jay G.
03-11-13, 09:54 PM
Yeah, that 47% of gamers being women includes everything from Farmville to solitaire and minesweeper. Console-only would be much less women.
These numbers from 2010 suggest that consoles were skewed male, while PC was about 50/50. Also, World of Warcraft had about 40% female players:
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/WandaMeloni/20100330/4812/The_Next_Frontier__Female_Gaming_Demographics.php

With consoles, it's a kind of chicken-and-egg situation. It's been historically more male-dominated, so there's lots of games appealing to males, like hyper violent shooters and even fighting games with "jiggle physics" for the female characters. But is it possibly these type of games that are keeping women away from adopting consoles more frequently. The Wii had higher female players, possibly because of the novelty of the controller, but also possibly because the games like Wii Sports were more gender neutral.


On a related note, here's a mod someone did of Donkey Kong NES for his daughter so she could play as Pauline:
JeXDNg7scyU
http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2013/03/donkey-kong-pauline-hack/

And again, a father changed the pronouns in Windwaker so that Link is referred to as a girl (although I guess Zelda still is put in peril):
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/11/i-am-no-man-for-zelda-playing-daughter-dad-gives-link-a-sex-change/

Johnny Boy
03-12-13, 02:25 AM
Here's an interesting video on the subject. I love The Amazing Atheist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfkS9YS_T0k&list=UUjNxszyFPasDdRoD9J6X-sw&index=1

Supermallet
03-12-13, 04:40 AM
I can see both sides of the argument. She doesn't HAVE to enable comments and ratings, and frankly, I would never go to YouTube comments for reasonable debate. There are plenty of other places on the web that can host such discussions, like right here. And as someone who has released content on the internet, I know how batshit insane people can get, and how easy it is to take it personally. I got viciously attacked by people online for posting a zero star review of Apocalypto, which is nothing compared to a woman who dares to criticize the way women are handled in video games.

On the other hand, not allowing comments can be viewed as silencing criticism, and I don't know enough about Sarkeesian to know whether or not she has other ways of communicating with her audience, both negative and positive.

Jay G.
03-12-13, 07:53 AM
Here's an interesting video on the subject. I love The Amazing Atheist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfkS9YS_T0k&list=UUjNxszyFPasDdRoD9J6X-sw&index=1
So his main point is that she should enable comments on the youtube page for the video.

First, he doesn't acknowledge the disparity between the 2 negative comments he received and the plethora of rape and death threats Anita received, which are an order of magnitude worse. The comments he got, no matter how wrongheaded they were, were still attempts at civil criticism. Rape and death threats are just attempts to silence that person through fear and intimidation.

She's already discussed this somewhat on her own blog:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/harassment-misogyny-and-silencing-on-youtube/
In addition to the torrent of misogyny and hate left on my YouTube video (see below) the intimidation effort has also included repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me (with porn), organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded.

So people were trying to get her video delisted by flagging it as "terrorism", as well as trying to get her Kickstarter banned, in other words trying to silence here. And that's not counting the harassment she got through other websites.

Note that in the screenshot of Youtube comments in that blog post, partway through there's a comment from here on why she (initially) left the comments open:
PLEASE NOTE: I've left the comemnts open on this video as a way of showing why this topic is so important. I apologize in advance for the hate speech and ignorance that will invitably be left below. So don't feed the trolls - except may to thank them for proving to everyone that sexism in gaming is indeed a huge problem. [TRIGGER WARNING]

So since she later disabled comments on that video, one can only imagine how much worse it got.

Groucho
03-12-13, 10:00 AM
Here's an interesting video on the subject. I love The Amazing Atheist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfkS9YS_T0k&list=UUjNxszyFPasDdRoD9J6X-sw&index=1This guy is clueless. First of all, he doesn't address the video at all, just the fact that comments and ratings were disabled. He claims comments were disabled because Sarkeesian wants to "stifle criticism". This is completely ignoring past history...I don't think we'd see any valid "criticism" posted in her YouTube comments section...just more rape jokes.

And of course, criticism of her video hasn't been stifled...there's plenty of it all over the internet...from this thread to The "Amazing" Atheist's response video. YouTube comments are probably the worst place to get interesting discourse on anything.

I only watched about half of this inane video before giving up, so if he makes any good points in the second half feel free to summarize here.

slop101
03-12-13, 11:17 AM
Is there a comment section on the internet more useless and brain-killing than the comments on youtube?

Jay G.
03-12-13, 11:22 AM
Is there a comment section on the internet more useless and brain-killing than the comments on youtube?
IMDB's forums?

Groucho
03-12-13, 11:28 AM
IMDB forums are the essence of civility and high discourse compared to the YouTube comments section.

Mordred
03-12-13, 12:01 PM
I liked her video a lot, even if I didn't agree with everything in it. Glad she's able to do her thing and that we have a forum here where most of us can discuss it pretty civilly.

I honestly can't understand why so many men feel so threatened by this sort of thing.

Drexl
03-12-13, 12:02 PM
Is there a comment section on the internet more useless and brain-killing than the comments on youtube?

Yahoo comments can be pretty awful.

Breakfast with Girls
03-12-13, 12:15 PM
I can't fathom why some males are so threatened by her. It is literally beyond my comprehension.

What I do suppose is that the vast majority of them are adolescent boys who think making rape and death threats is somehow funny... This kind of thing is why I am on the fence about real name requirements. They would still post those things, but at least they would be indexed by Google forever. Hopefully when they apply for a job the employer searches for their name and sees... Oh, you made a rape and murder threat to someone 4 years ago. Application denied.

dugan
03-12-13, 12:31 PM
Is there a comment section on the internet more useless and brain-killing than the comments on youtube?

No. Encyclopedia Drammatica's entry on Youtube pretty much summarizes it as "a great place to troll."

RichC2
03-12-13, 02:04 PM
Yahoo comments can be pretty awful.

If imdb and Youtube had a baby born with additional learning disabilities, it'd be Yahoo comments.

Supermallet
03-12-13, 02:24 PM
I can't fathom why some males are so threatened by her. It is literally beyond my comprehension.

What I do suppose is that the vast majority of them are adolescent boys who think making rape and death threats is somehow funny... This kind of thing is why I am on the fence about real name requirements. They would still post those things, but at least they would be indexed by Google forever. Hopefully when they apply for a job the employer searches for their name and sees... Oh, you made a rape and murder threat to someone 4 years ago. Application denied.

I think a lot of people have a stupid kneejerk reaction against feminists, probably because they think wacko ladies like the one who wants to install a matriarchy is the norm. And most people, being stupid, lash out stupidly.

spainlinx0
03-12-13, 02:55 PM
I can't fathom why some males are so threatened by her. It is literally beyond my comprehension.

What I do suppose is that the vast majority of them are adolescent boys who think making rape and death threats is somehow funny... This kind of thing is why I am on the fence about real name requirements. They would still post those things, but at least they would be indexed by Google forever. Hopefully when they apply for a job the employer searches for their name and sees... Oh, you made a rape and murder threat to someone 4 years ago. Application denied.

Do you really want things you said in your early teen years to be held against you in your 30s?

Johnny Boy
03-12-13, 04:19 PM
So his main point is that she should enable comments on the youtube page for the video.

First, he doesn't acknowledge the disparity between the 2 negative comments he received and the plethora of rape and death threats Anita received, which are an order of magnitude worse. The comments he got, no matter how wrongheaded they were, were still attempts at civil criticism. Rape and death threats are just attempts to silence that person through fear and intimidation.

She's already discussed this somewhat on her own blog:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/harassment-misogyny-and-silencing-on-youtube/


So people were trying to get her video delisted by flagging it as "terrorism", as well as trying to get her Kickstarter banned, in other words trying to silence here. And that's not counting the harassment she got through other websites.

Note that in the screenshot of Youtube comments in that blog post, partway through there's a comment from here on why she (initially) left the comments open:


So since she later disabled comments on that video, one can only imagine how much worse it got.

Well, when I first watched the AA video I thought he brought up some good points, but now I've read about this lady a little more and I didn't realize the magnitude of the rape and death threat comments she was getting. I now understand more why she took the comments down and take back my post.

Johnny Boy
03-12-13, 04:20 PM
This guy is clueless. First of all, he doesn't address the video at all, just the fact that comments and ratings were disabled. He claims comments were disabled because Sarkeesian wants to "stifle criticism". This is completely ignoring past history...I don't think we'd see any valid "criticism" posted in her YouTube comments section...just more rape jokes.

And of course, criticism of her video hasn't been stifled...there's plenty of it all over the internet...from this thread to The "Amazing" Atheist's response video. YouTube comments are probably the worst place to get interesting discourse on anything.

I only watched about half of this inane video before giving up, so if he makes any good points in the second half feel free to summarize here.

^See above post. I understand now why she took away commenting. My bad. :D

Breakfast with Girls
03-12-13, 04:21 PM
Do you really want things you said in your early teen years to be held against you in your 30s?No. But even without that worry I still somehow managed to avoid threatening to rape women.

Jay G.
03-12-13, 04:29 PM
Well, when I first watched the AA video I thought he brought up some good points, but now I've read about this lady a little more and I didn't realize the magnitude of the rape and death threat comments she was getting. I now understand more why she took the comments down and take back my post.
That means you're a far wiser man than the Amazing Atheist.

Still, even if you no longer agree with it, I thank you for posting the video link. It's important to know that such criticism of the video series exists, and adds to the discussion.

mhg83
03-15-13, 05:50 PM
I like this response:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iUxcLxClQ08" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

TL;DW

Nintendo isn't sexist. They're just lazy.

Supermallet
03-15-13, 06:02 PM
That guy's missing the point. I don't think her claim ever was "OMG video game developers are so sexist!" I think the point was that these tropes reinforce sexist views, even if they aren't intended that way.

Jay G.
03-15-13, 10:57 PM
I like this response:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iUxcLxClQ08" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
OMG, that guy is sooooo anoying. I hated his snarky voice. I only got about 2 1/2 minutes in, right about the time he completely missed the point about why Anita included King Kong in her video.

He also slams her for taking the time and money to research her topics and write a well reasoned argument about it, which are totally things in her favor.

I think he also missed that her video was labelled "Part 1," so may not be conveying everything she wants to cover on this topic.

Anyway, if his ultimate point was that developers aren't sexist, just lazy, then her videos still are incredibly useful in that they can illustrate to the developers that their lazy regurgitation of sexist tropes for cheap/easy dramatic effect are damaging to society, and they should maybe think harder about what they put in their games and do better.

RocShemp
03-15-13, 11:21 PM
I honestly can't understand why so many men feel so threatened by this sort of thing.

They don't. It's mostly boys (or men that didn't grow up) that feel threatened.

That said, this woman can sometimes come across as batshit insane. One time on her facebook page she was decrying an ad in a store that claimed their products were so good for your skin that you don't need to visit a plastic surgeon to look good. She of course decried the ad for objectifying women. However, a few posters pointed out that the ad was genderless. There was no model on the ad. The background was generic (nothing you could call girly or even masculine) brown swirls or streaks, as I recall. And the font chosen was plain. It was also pointed out that half the clients of said store were men.

She of course began ranting about the comments being nothing but a case of "what about the mens" (her words) and her followers (which came across as a bunch of nutbags in this particular case) complained that people that dared not be offended by the ad should not be on her site and that it should be a safe haven for people like her and, blah, blah, blah. She kept stoking those fires as well.

Which is sad because she does tackle an important subject, which is why I started this thread. However, I'd rather see someone more level headed tackle the subject. Because, although her videos are informative (if a tad dry and every so often reaching), her occasional antics and semi-hysterics do more to hurt her cause than help it.

Anyhoo, off to watch the first video in this series which I feared I'd never be alive to see. Seriously, it feels like ages since I started this thread.

RocShemp
03-15-13, 11:49 PM
Just finished watching the video. I really enjoyed it and hope the next videos in the series are just as good. :up:

wmansir
03-16-13, 01:43 AM
I liked the video up until the last couple of minutes when she calls the trope "crap" and brought out the soap box.

The response video was pretty poor and largely missed the point. But I have to say I also found it odd that Solid Snake was on the list of Damsel in Distress offenders. It's true, the story and protagonist sexually objectifies just about every female character, but the subject of this trope, Meryl is actually show escaping her captors and independently taking on the terrorists before she even meets Snake. Yes, she is put in to a damsel in distress-like role at some point, but she is a full character who actively participates in the story and not a passive object, which would seem to be one of the trope requirements.

RocShemp
03-16-13, 02:29 AM
^ Actually, she points out in the video that the only requirement for the damsel in distress trope is that the woman (in this case Meryl) is depowered at all (even if for a brief time) and thus requires rescuing at some point.

Although MGS might fudge the rules a little bit. It's a woman (Sniper Wolf) who beats Meryl and hands her over to Liquid. Although Liquid still has Meryl lying on top of Metal Gear REX during the last fight, as I recall. Then Meryl helps you escape. But that brief moment is enough to set up the trope.

That said, doesn't Meryl also save Snake at some point? I can't recall as it's been years since I played the game.

Supermallet
03-16-13, 04:51 AM
In general, the MGS series doesn't use the damsel in distress trope. But maybe that was her point in including it, to show that even a series like MGS has used it at some point because of how pervasive it is.

RocShemp
03-16-13, 09:39 AM
In general, the MGS series doesn't use the damsel in distress trope. But maybe that was her point in including it, to show that even a series like MGS has used it at some point because of how pervasive it is.

I dunno. She seemed to use MG and MGS as negative examples (although mainly for the sake of contrast) in the first video. I'm sure we'll find out where MGS stands in Part 2 of the Damsel In Distress Trope video.

That said, MGS as a whole will likely get vilified as this series progresses. Just look at Eva in MGS3 and Naomi apparently no longer understanding how to button her blouse in MGS4.

wmansir
03-16-13, 08:43 PM
^ Actually, she points out in the video that the only requirement for the damsel in distress trope is that the woman (in this case Meryl) is depowered at all (even if for a brief time) and thus requires rescuing at some point.

Although MGS might fudge the rules a little bit. It's a woman (Sniper Wolf) who beats Meryl and hands her over to Liquid. Although Liquid still has Meryl lying on top of Metal Gear REX during the last fight, as I recall. Then Meryl helps you escape. But that brief moment is enough to set up the trope.

That said, doesn't Meryl also save Snake at some point? I can't recall as it's been years since I played the game.

Meryl opens the door to the DARPA chief's cell after she escapes from her own, but while the player was stuck there until she did, Snake wasn't really in captivity since he came in through a vent. She also leaves the male guard she overpowers naked, ass up on the floor.

Also, in terms of the trope as a main plot device, part of Snakes mission at the start of the game is to rescue two male characters from captivity. Snake himself is also captured, by a woman, and can be rescued depending on the player choices. Octacon, a generally sympathetic and relatable male character, is shown as a bit of a coward if he is called on for assistance as he refuses to take on the guard and flees despite Snake's plea for rescue.

While MGS may technically use the trope, I don't think it does so in a way that promotes a gender-role message.

RocShemp
03-17-13, 03:05 PM
While MGS may technically use the trope, I don't think it does so in a way that promotes a gender-role message.

Thanks. I was having a hard time remembering the events of the game. Doesn't Naomi also actively poison Snake in MGS with the FoxDie virus that is later killing him by the time of MGS4? I seem to recall her as being far more proactive in MGS than the mostly passive character she became in MGS4.

It's a shame that MGS2 reversed the positive strides of the previous game with EE. Man, I really wanted to let that girl drown. And I wanted a chance to shoot Otacon for wasting time with bullshit chatter and whining at EE.

At least MG2 had Olga, even if they killed her off in the most dismissive manner possible. I never understood why she faced Solidus without her Ninja gear. I know officially she was supposedly wearing it under her BDU but that doesn't explain how she was suddenly so slow, weak, and pathetic. She deserved an epic duel against Solidus but instead went out like a chump.

Groucho
03-17-13, 03:26 PM
OMG, that guy is sooooo anoying. I hated his snarky voice. I only got about 2 1/2 minutes in, right about the time he completely missed the point about why Anita included King Kong in her video.

He also slams her for taking the time and money to research her topics and write a well reasoned argument about it, which are totally things in her favor.Of course, if she hadn't completely researched this and said something like "In Donkey Kong, Mario tries to rescue Princess Peach..." her detractors would have seized upon that. Anything to keep from responding to the actual content of her video (which is why such a big deal is being made about having comments turned off).Anyway, if his ultimate point was that developers aren't sexist, just lazy, then her videos still are incredibly useful in that they can illustrate to the developers that their lazy regurgitation of sexist tropes for cheap/easy dramatic effect are damaging to society, and they should maybe think harder about what they put in their games and do better.I think he's right...developers ARE lazy, and they use these tropes because it's easy storytelling, especially for a video game. Of course, you have the perfect counter to that, that they do need to think about these things when including them in their games. This appears to be Sarkeesian's point as well...I don't think she's accusing developers of having a hidden sexist agenda.

RocShemp
03-18-13, 06:19 PM
Of course, if she hadn't completely researched this and said something like "In Donkey Kong, Mario tries to rescue Princess Peach..." her detractors would have seized upon that. Anything to keep from responding to the actual content of her video (which is why such a big deal is being made about having comments turned off).I think he's right...developers ARE lazy, and they use these tropes because it's easy storytelling, especially for a video game. Of course, you have the perfect counter to that, that they do need to think about these things when including them in their games. This appears to be Sarkeesian's point as well...I don't think she's accusing developers of having a hidden sexist agenda.

Right on all counts. And I applaud her for disabling comments since it would just welcome the same asshats that started shit over her previous videos and comments. And her same detractors would then accuse her of leaving comments open so as to bait the same folk that talk trash about her, in some vain attempt for cheap publicity. It's a damned if you, damned if you don't scenario.

On a side note, I love her name. Sarkeesian sounds like a badass Sci-Fi villain and/or anti-hero.

On another side node, she needs to ease up on the makeup. Particularly around the eyes. She has a faint but noticeable raccoon mask going on.

slop101
03-18-13, 10:46 PM
Irony!

wmansir
03-19-13, 04:26 AM
@RockShemp

I only played MGS and VR Missions. I only recall the plot in such detail because last month I watched some of an LP of The Twin Snakes, the MGS remake for GameCube.

her videos still are incredibly useful in that they can illustrate to the developers that their lazy regurgitation of sexist tropes for cheap/easy dramatic effect are damaging to society, and they should maybe think harder about what they put in their games and do better.

I don't think she really does that, in this video at least. She shows 20 minutes of examples of the trope and then just assumes their widespread use is damaging to society, "normalizing extremely toxic, patronizing and paternalistic attitudes towards women". In fact, the only concrete example we are given of the long term effects of exposure to these tropes is Anita herself, as she makes it a point to establish her classic video game cred. and love of these games.

Personally I find her examples similar to the extreme end of the "video games cause violence" position, which would also include Mario and Zelda as "normalizing the use of violence". My feeling is that in both cases the art/commercial product is much more a reflection of society than a powerful influence on it. However, I also believe there is a feed back loop of sorts, both in the perpetuation of these ideas and in the evolution of both art and society. So, how much influence does the use of these tropes have? That wasn't really addressed in this video, and frankly I'm not hopeful it will be in the future.

Moving to the current state of video games I have to ask, when is it OK to employ these tropes? "Always", which seemed to be the case 20 years ago is not the right answer. "Never", isn't' right either because it would stifle storytelling if you could never have a female disempowered, etc. or even if creators always had to be conscious of "balance" within an individual title. Even though Anita seems to be in the "never" camp, I'm still sympathetic because there is an imbalance in video games on the whole. I think you can create balance by adding games with strong female role models, etc, without calling work that doesn't "crap".

Jay G.
03-19-13, 08:20 AM
I don't think she really does that, in this video at least. She shows 20 minutes of examples of the trope and then just assumes their widespread use is damaging to society, "normalizing extremely toxic, patronizing and paternalistic attitudes towards women"...

So, how much influence does the use of these tropes have? That wasn't really addressed in this video, and frankly I'm not hopeful it will be in the future...
That's a good point. However, if you eliminate the idea of influence from the tropes, they can still be seen as negative portrayals of women, and maybe should be used at a miniumum, or at least not without careful consideration. As the story of the daughter that wanted to play Donkey Kong as Pauline and rescue Mario, there's likely a demand out there from female gamers that want to play games that portray women as more proactive. Simply flipping the script occasionally, or offering both male and female heroes to play as in Mass Effect, could improve things greatly.

mhg83
03-19-13, 05:02 PM
The game industry doesn't want female heroes

Remember Me is currently in development under the watchful eye of Capcom, but the story of a woman who can "remix" peoples' memories had to do a lot of fighting to exist. According to creative director Jean-Max Morris, the industry at large hated the idea of a female protagonist.

"We had some [publishers] that said, 'Well, we don't want to publish it because that's not going to succeed. You can't have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that,'" he told Penny Arcade. "We wanted to be able to tease on Nilin's private life, and that means for instance, at one point, we wanted a scene where she was kissing a guy. We had people tell us, 'You can't make a dude like the player kiss another dude in the game, that's going to feel awkward.'

"I'm like, 'If you think like that, there's no way the medium's going to mature.' There's a level of immersion that you need to be at, but it's not like your sexual orientation is being questioned by playing a game. I don't know, that's extremely weird to me."


I've never really thought about the whole kissing thing, but he's right. Women are overtly sexualized in many videogames, but they're rarely allowed to be sexual. Sure, have your female avatar swing massive boobs around in bikini battle armor, but if she dares to show physical interest in somebody? Oh, the scandal!

That, right there, is objectification at work. Having a female character exist for our saucy gratification, but not ever being allowed to reciprocate, initiate or otherwise become an active participant. Outside of games where players can create their own characters, I don't think I've actually seen a playable female protagonist kiss a guy in a game. The closest examples would be Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain, both by Quantic Dream. I'll give them credit there, though if I recall correctly, both those games' sex scenes had players in control of the male lead at the time, not the female one.

As Morris says, it's weird. More than that, it's kind of creepy to me that so few female leads, if any at all, are actually allowed to be in straight relationships, lest it incur the homophobic insecurity of the male audience. This is to say nothing of the base fear of letting a non-sexed-up woman be allowed a leading role in the first place.


I recall one game that was in development a few years ago. Faith and a .45. It was set to be a cooperative shooter starring a man and a woman -- lovers -- who would very much be in a "Bonnie & Clyde" style relationship. Aside from working together in combat, the game was going to have a really cool revival system -- if one player is downed, the other can kiss him or her to get them back up. I joked at the time about it messing with the minds of homophobes, but it was truly an inspired idea -- even outside of any potential statement it could make, it was just a clever new spin on the revival system that worked perfectly in the context of the characters.

Unfortunately, that game never saw the light of day, which is hardly surprising given the climate and the attitudes in the market.

We have some exceptions, of course. Tomb Raider is an obvious example of a successful game with a female lead, but she exists today more thanks to legacy, and one wonders if the more recent Tomb Raider would have gotten anywhere if it were a new IP -- something some fans claim it ought to have been. Back when Tomb Raider was a fresh idea, Lara Croft was a massive-breasted sex object. The Lara we have today likely wouldn't have existed without the Lara back then.


We recently saw BioShock Infinite's Elizabeth relegated to the back cover of the game case, for fear that the presence of a woman would turn consumers away. Naughty Dog also recalled a similar situation, where it had to fight to have a woman appear on the cover of The Last of Us. There's something eminently shuddersome about the message that sends, a message that suggests women have their uses, but are best kept locked away with the rest of the tools until they're required. It's the kind of situation that puts an itchy feeling under the skin.

There are some who argue sexism isn't a problem in the game industry, but I don't know how a rational person could see this kind of stuff and not admit, even grudgingly, that it exists in abundance. When publishers are trying to eradicate female protagonists or hiding the womenfolk away lest an audience be turned off, there's some ill sentiment at play. Whether the fault of the industry itself or the audience, there is a fault, and it's a downright unsettling one at that.

And if you'd be seriously upset by seeing a female lead kiss a guy in a game, you're emotionally broken.


http://www.destructoid.com/the-game-industry-doesn-t-want-female-heroes-249067.phtml

Supermallet
03-19-13, 05:18 PM
Whenever there's a choice to play as a man or a woman in a game, I always choose the woman. I've always been surprised at how many people are genuinely shocked when they see me playing a female character.

slop101
03-19-13, 05:29 PM
Whenever there's a choice to play as a man or a woman in a game, I always choose the woman. I've always been surprised at how many people are genuinely shocked when they see me playing a female character.Ditto.

Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, fighting games, etc. - when there's a gender choice I always pick the female. Maybe because I'm more secure in my own masculinity than the average dude...

But then, when they can, all my female characters are kissing other females (Mass Effect) or married to other females (Skyrim), because dudes are gross.

Supermallet
03-19-13, 05:35 PM
My female characters run the gamut. In the first Mass Effect I seduced Liara, but by the end of the series she ended up with Garrus. :shrug:

And when people ask me why I always play as a woman, I tell them it's because I spent all of my real life being a man, so why not try something new while gaming?

Michael Corvin
03-19-13, 05:41 PM
:lol: Same here. I'm not sure why, but it's always been like that, from Peach in Mario 2 (or Kart) to Gears' Anya or Lilith/Maya in Borderlands. If I have a choice I'm going with the female.

In addition to Lara; Faith (Mirror's Edge), Cortanna (Halo), Nariko (Heavenly Sword), Jade (BG&E), Samus (Metroid), GLaDOS (Portal) are some of my favorite characters this decade. When they're done well, they're really done well. The problem is too many poorly developed female characters which makes the pool look bad for all of them.

slop101
03-19-13, 05:49 PM
For me, it goes all the way back to Ms. Pac-Man; even as a kid I was more excited about playing a female character. I was stoked when I first found out Samus was a woman.

Michael Corvin
03-19-13, 05:53 PM
:doh: How could I forget about the Ms.? Of course. It was always Ms. Pac over the Mr.

Supermallet
03-19-13, 06:00 PM
I enjoyed playing the Princess Peach game, but was amazed to see that the game mechanics revolved around how moody she was.

fujishig
03-19-13, 06:05 PM
The problem is that the console market is overwhelmingly male, and it's tough to break out of that with a female protagonist. And look at it from an early age: Do little boys want to play as girls? If you look in the cartoons and comic books and action figures targeted to boys, the main characters are, except in very rare cases, male-centric. Transformers, GI Joe, He-man, Avengers etc., all dominated by male figures (and in the action figure world, the perception is that female characters don't sell, so they're shortpacked). And on the other side of the aisle MLP, Barbie, She-ra, are all dominated by girls. Lego got a lot of flack for creating a completely separate lineup last year targeted at girls, but you know what, it sold. And I think a lot of it has to do with role play... if a boy's going to play Power Rangers with his friends, he's probably going to want to be Red, not Pink.

The argument is going to be that games should appeal to both sexes, but it's a chicken and the egg thing, and I think gameplay has to change as well as just who the protagonist is. My wife will play some games like Animal Crossing and Mario Party, but hates any game where her character can die, especially if it's gruesome. She's never going to play an FPS. I know there are female gamers out there who love FPS's, but when you look at the stat earlier in the thread that half of all gamers are female, I can almost guarantee that that's because of facebook games and farmville apps and puzzle games.

Do we have any data on how games like Super Princess Peach and, I dunno, Tron Bonne did?

slop101
03-19-13, 06:07 PM
I enjoyed playing the Princess Peach game, but was amazed to see that the game mechanics revolved around how moody she was.Actually, it's the most realistic aspect of the game... bitches be crazy!

slop101
03-19-13, 06:10 PM
And look at it from an early age: Do little boys want to play as girls?Peer pressure aside, we've established that yes, boys do. And playing as a female character in a game is WAY different than playing with a female figure, action or otherwise.

dugan
03-19-13, 10:33 PM
I enjoyed playing the Princess Peach game, but was amazed to see that the game mechanics revolved around how moody she was.

I'm starting to want a game where Samus, Lara, Lightning and other moody emo videogame chicks sit around a living room discussing their feelings. And I'm glad Wreck It Ralph called out the industry for this trope (which is, of course, not limited to female characters).

Breakfast with Girls
03-20-13, 04:38 PM
I enjoyed playing the Princess Peach game, but was amazed to see that the game mechanics revolved around how moody she was.It's not amazing. It's just typical Japanese bullshit. The only Mario game that got it right was Super Mario Bros. 2, and as she said for a later game with four characters they just changed the role of Peach to <em>a Toad palette swap</em>.

Do we have any data on how games like Super Princess Peach and, I dunno, Tron Bonne did?Well, they didn't get sequels, so I'm guessing not great.

RocShemp
03-20-13, 07:17 PM
I'm starting to want a game where Samus, Lara, Lightning and other moody emo videogame chicks sit around a living room discussing their feelings. And I'm glad Wreck It Ralph called out the industry for this trope (which is, of course, not limited to female characters).

I've seen Wreck-It Ralph a few times and have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

dugan
03-21-13, 05:14 PM
I've seen Wreck-It Ralph a few times and have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

"You can't blame her. She was programmed with the most tragic backstory ever!"

Okay never mind.

And more relevant news:

Publishers Initially Turned Down "Remember Me" Due to Woman Protagonist (http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/03/19/publishers-turned-down-remember-me-due-to-woman-protagonist)

RocShemp
03-22-13, 09:00 AM
"You can't blame her. She was programmed with the most tragic backstory ever!"

Okay never mind.

Ah, I remember that line. It was funny but I never took it as any attempt at poking fun at a trope specific to female characters. A good deal of heroic and player characters, regardless of gender, have a defining element of tragedy in their background.

Unless you mean they were mocking modern games reliance on the "tragic backstory" trope. In which case, yeah, they did poke fun at it with that throwaway line (and subsequent scenes).

And more relevant news:

Publishers Initially Turned Down "Remember Me" Due to Woman Protagonist (http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/03/19/publishers-turned-down-remember-me-due-to-woman-protagonist)

This news was covered a few posts back (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/11620902-post106.html).

Groucho
04-08-13, 09:51 AM
I would love to hear Sarkeesian's take on Bioshock Infinite. On one hand, it definitely employs the "damsel in distress" trope. On the other, Elizabeth is a fully developed, three dimensional character with a powerful arc.

slop101
04-08-13, 11:53 AM
I would love to hear Sarkeesian's take on Bioshock Infinite. On one hand, it definitely employs the "damsel in distress" trope. On the other, Elizabeth is a fully developed, three dimensional character with a powerful arc.I don't think it's that big a deal either way since
[Bioshock Infinite spoiler]Elizabeth turns out to be your daughter

dugan
04-08-13, 01:03 PM
Or the new Tomb Raider, which subverts the trope by having the damsel's rescuer be a strong woman.

Groucho
04-08-13, 01:04 PM
Or the new Tomb Raider, which subverts the trope by having the damsel's rescuer be a strong woman.And one of the "damsels" in the game is a huge Samoan guy.

DRG
04-08-13, 02:42 PM
And one of the "damsels" in the game is a huge Samoan guy.

I just finished that game this weekend and it cracked me up when Lara is struggling to carry the Japanese girl back to the boat (after fighting off a giant undead samurai and soldiers and everything else) and the Samoan guy ("Hey, there's Lara!") waits until they're about ten feet away before going to lend her a hand.

RocShemp
04-08-13, 03:49 PM
Dammit. When I saw this thread updated I thought she posted her second video already. :(

alxreys
05-28-13, 04:29 PM
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/toa_vH6xGqs?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
05-28-13, 05:11 PM
let the firestorm commence.

Supermallet
05-28-13, 05:14 PM
Video removed because it violated Youtube's TOS?

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
05-28-13, 05:18 PM
Video removed because it violated Youtube's TOS?

Musta been the "trigger warning"

spainlinx0
05-28-13, 05:27 PM
That's weird. They even blocked out the bare breasts with pink bars. I think she must have been reported by people just because of who she is.

spainlinx0
05-28-13, 05:28 PM
I did get to watch it, and since I don't play that many games anymore I was shocked at the overall story laziness. There was a lot of dead female motivators.

wmansir
05-28-13, 05:40 PM
Probably got falsely reported by youtube assholes, which seems to be a redundant description these days.

It could also be a robot tagged it for copyrighted content, but I think the error specifies that. I know Nintendo caused a stir recently by enabling copyright content matching on many of their titles's gameplay footage, but even then it leaves the video in place and Nintendo takes the ad revenue.

Groucho
05-28-13, 05:56 PM
I was able to watch it, there's nothing there that should cause it to be pulled.

Not as good as the first installment...seemed a little redundant. Not to mention that in most of the games she profiles, hundreds of male characters get killed...but she focuses on the deaths of the female characters only.

Lots of spoilers for newer games, as you can imagine. No mention of Tomb Raider or Bioshock: Infinite.

RocShemp
05-28-13, 06:16 PM
It seems to be up again. I'm loading it now. Can't wait to watch it.

EDIT: I had to stop viewing halfway to say that I knew I really like this woman when she laughed at the Bionic Commando remake because I know she was thinking exactly what I thought when I was told of that game's big twist. :lol:

EDIT #2: Finally finished watching it. Loved it. Bring on part 3.

Not to mention that in most of the games she profiles, hundreds of male characters get killed...but she focuses on the deaths of the female characters only.

In all fairness, most of those male deaths are canon fodder rather than the McGuffin that sets the story in motion.

Hell, look at Max Payne 3. Even though he takes the male deaths hard as well, what really gets Max going is a kidnapped helpless woman. And he also has to deal with her obnoxiously whiny sister later on.

fujishig
05-28-13, 07:29 PM
So is this a "women in refrigerators" theme (haven't watched it yet)? If so I blame Ron Marz for writing the story that prompted Simone to coin the term...

Jay G.
05-28-13, 11:37 PM
So is this a "women in refrigerators" theme (haven't watched it yet)? If so I blame Ron Marz for writing the story that prompted Simone to coin the term...
Women in Refrigerators is mentioned, but the scope is bigger than that, and the trope is much older than a 90's comic book.

RocShemp
05-29-13, 09:19 AM
Women in Refrigerators is mentioned, but the scope is bigger than that, and the trope is much older than a 90's comic book.

Yeah, she could have easily relied on that trope but she really did her homework and brought up a lot of interesting points. I also like that she acknowledges that none of this means women can't/shouldn't die in games nor that playing any of these games will suddenly transform you into a misogynistic douchebag. However, the tropes are really overused and are getting more pervasive in their depiction rather than at least trying something different.

I hope that in part 3 she mentions that in Uncharted, Drake races to rescue Elena only for her to have to rescue him. Sure she later has to be rescued again but it’s more a case that she’s out cold due to a helicopter crash she indirectly caused while trying to escape.

chuckd21
05-29-13, 12:18 PM
So I'm curious how many dudes instinctively tried to contact YouTube and save her video when it went down...

RocShemp
05-29-13, 03:32 PM
So I'm curious how many dudes instinctively tried to contact YouTube and save her video when it went down...

How would they even do that? It got reported, she contacted YouTube, and it went back up.

Groucho
05-29-13, 03:34 PM
Whoosh

dugan
06-02-13, 07:36 PM
In all fairness, most of those male deaths are canon fodder rather than the McGuffin that sets the story in motion.

I lost interest when I realized that she'd overlooked the game that was probably the biggest trendsetter here:

Final Fantasy 7.

Obi-Wan Jabroni
06-02-13, 07:51 PM
I lost interest when I realized that she'd overlooked the game that was probably the biggest trendsetter here:

Final Fantasy 7.

Aeris is a main, playable character though. I don't think that qualifies her as a damsel. We might get something about her later.

Jay G.
06-02-13, 10:59 PM
I lost interest when I realized that she'd overlooked the game that was probably the biggest trendsetter here:

Final Fantasy 7.
Regarding FF7..
Aeris is more of an example of women in refrigerators (death) than damsel in distress (needing rescue). Also, her death wasn't the main narrative drive; the other characters were already committed to stopping Sephiroth before he kills her.

However, she is included in the tumblr feed:
http://tropesversuswomen.tumblr.com/

alxreys
08-01-13, 05:52 PM
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LjImnqH_KwM?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

mhg83
08-01-13, 06:53 PM
Big Spoiler for Braid!

chuckd21
08-01-13, 07:18 PM
She should buy a second shirt.

wmansir
08-01-13, 07:56 PM
5 months, 3 videos, one trope...I'm not even bothering with this one.

Decker
08-01-13, 08:16 PM
She should buy a second shirt.

Maybe that was a Kickstarter stretch goal that she didn't reach.

mattysemo247
08-01-13, 10:15 PM
She should buy a second shirt.

She filmed all of these videos in one day. No time for a wardrobe change!

dugan
08-02-13, 12:22 AM
She didn't seem to be aware that Aquaria and Spelunky had the same designer.

mhg83
08-02-13, 12:28 AM
Has she actually played any of these games?

RocShemp
08-02-13, 09:51 PM
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LjImnqH_KwM?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I enjoyed the first two videos. Definitely looking forward to watching this one.

Jay G.
08-02-13, 10:49 PM
Has she actually played any of these games?
In the video she mentions Beyond Good and Evil as being a personal favorite.

From an interview:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2013/06/full-ign-interview-with-anita-sarkeesian/
This new series is especially exciting for me because games have been an influential part of my life since I was about 8 years old. My dad was a computer networking engineer, so while I was growing up our house was full of computers and he would always have a few machines loaded with games for me. When I was about 10, I remember I campaigned for months to convince my parents that the "Game Boy" was not in fact just for boys...

I've been playing a ridiculous number of games over the past several months looking for either examples or counterexamples for each of the tropes in my series. I've also been revisiting a good amount of games I haven't played since my childhood... So I'm playing (or replaying) everything from Zelda and Metroid to Secret of Monkey Island and Braid to the God of War and Bioshock series.

...I recently played and enjoyed Arkane Studios' Dishonored (especially the stealth options and the mystical listening heart!). The female characters in the game however were disappointing to put it mildly and I think they represent a failure of imagination.

Groucho
08-02-13, 11:52 PM
She was unnecessarily harsh on Spelunky.

RocShemp
08-03-13, 12:13 AM
As much as I've been enjoying these videos, I found myself wishing that the massive funds she accrued had instead been used as seed money for the hypothetical video game she mentioned. Ignoring the agenda with regards the choice of plot, it would make for a fun game on gameplay merits alone. Although I do like the plot summary as well.

She didn't seem to be aware that Aquaria and Spelunky had the same designer.

I don't think that was the point. All that matter was that one game used the trope and the other didn't. Similar to how Michel Ancel made both Rayman Origins (which she criticized) and Beyond Good & Evil (which she praised). She even acknowledged that even games that use the trope in question can be very well made and lots of fun to play.

RocShemp
11-19-13, 12:42 AM
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eYqYLfm1rWA?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

RocShemp
11-19-13, 08:52 AM
One error on the video is that Male Shepard is often referred to as Male Shepard or BroShep. When Mass Effect fans refer to Shepard as simply Shepard, they're usually not referring specifically to the male version but just the character regardless of gender chosen.

Decker
11-19-13, 09:53 AM
She should buy a second shirt.

Hey, she did! It's just awfully similar to the first one.

Michael Corvin
11-19-13, 10:12 AM
I'm way behind. Finally watched the first vid. Very well done and it's hard to disagree with her. I'd love a Zelda game where Zelda is actually the protagonist.

mhg83
12-23-13, 06:52 PM
This makes me embarrassed to be a gamer:

Female Game Developers Can’t Even Submit A Game To Greenlight Without Receiving Harassment

Zoe Quinn resubmitted her game, Depression Quest, to Greenlight recently so that it may be considered for distribution on Steam. It seems that the mere idea that a female developer could hope to have her game on Steam was enough for a bunch of online users, mostly from online bulletin board Wizardchan [Note: This wrongfully stated it was 4chan previously], to launch a harassment campaign against her.
The abuse has got so bad that Zoe has had to change her phone number after she received several sexually harassing phone calls.


Plain text: “The fact that I can't do something simple like put a game on Greenlight without shit like this (1/2)”

Image reads: “she is the one responsible. Of course a woman would never relate to anyone here. She would never be with a truly depressed person. Can someone mail her a rant or a link to this thread? God i hate that ****.”


Plain text: “(2/2) happening while people say, ‘It’s not REALLY sexist here,’ makes me sick with rage.”

Image reads: “All females are sluts and have no right to be depressed. They can just go out onto the street, lie down with their hole open and have any man come and solve all their problems. But they would still be depressed because they’re all stupid whores.”

“The whole ‘game’ is without substance and is nothing more than an exercise in attention whoring. This is clear because the game is about a controversial subject and took no skill to make. Feel free to contact the author here [redacted] and tell her what you think of the game.”

Apparently, a similar torrent of abuse was directed towards Zoe when she first put Depression Quest on Greenlight earlier this year. She took it down not long after in the hopes that it would stop the abuse.
Rather than have to pull Depression Quest from Greenlight once again due to the harassment she has received, this time Zoe has decided to speak out against it in order to make people aware of what she has to put up with. But do note that the abuse directed towards Zoe is both personal, as well as being directed towards her due to her gender.

It’s been made clear on the Wizardchan boards that the specific reason Zoe has been targeted for the abuse is because she’s a female developer with a game on Greenlight. If she was a male developer, then this harassment campaign would likely not exist.


Plain text: “Don’t feed the trolls” How about don’t harass people or tolerate harassment as though it’s accepted/inevitable & yr weird for speaking out

Obviously, the result of these “raids,” or harassment campaigns, is that female developers don’t feel safe in merely doing their work because they can’t do it without being abused on multiple fronts. Let’s be clear about it; the abuse that Zoe has received is a criminal offence. Chris Whitman outlines in his Storify of Zoe’s tweets that in Canada, “indecent communications and harassing communications would both become criminal offences under bill C-13.”
It’s clear that this is a much wider issue that people still need to be made aware of so that we can work towards resolving it. If a female game developer is receiving abuse from people just because she has made a game and put it online, then we have a huge problem. And that is exactly what is happening, as Zoe is trying to make people aware of, admirably.


Plain text: “I’m not alone in dealing with this shit, and neither should anyone else be.”


Plain text: “This is predictable. Unless we call this shit out & fight it when we can, this will continue to be the cost for me to stay in games.”

http://indiestatik.com/2013/12/13/female-game-developers/

Decker
12-23-13, 07:48 PM
<iframe width="853" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/H77fRz1rybs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

RocShemp
12-23-13, 10:02 PM
I'd love a Zelda game where Zelda is actually the protagonist.

I wholeheartedly agree. :up:

Groucho
03-07-14, 10:47 AM
Anita Sarkeesian accused of stealing artwork:

http://cowkitty.net/post/78808973663/you-stole-my-artwork-an-open-letter-to-anita

Jay G.
03-07-14, 11:11 AM
Anita Sarkeesian accused of stealing artwork:

http://cowkitty.net/post/78808973663/you-stole-my-artwork-an-open-letter-to-anita

So she used a fanart image of Princess Daphne from Dragon's Lair that she likely found via a google image search (it does come up) and used because it didn't have a background, making it easy to composite into the TvW group image of female characters.

The artist who made the fanart is claiming copyright infringement, but can you even claim copyright for an unauthorized derivative work?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_art#Copyright
Fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work.

Even if the fanartist could claim copyright, I'm pretty sure Anita's use of it falls under "fair use" as does her use of copyrighted images and video from the original games.

Dan
03-07-14, 11:25 AM
That was my initial thought as well. I can draw Mario in all sorts of crazy positions -other- but can I accuse someone of stealing my art if they use it with their own art of Sonic?

Decker
03-07-14, 11:53 AM
Anita Sarkeesian accused of stealing artwork:




Was it Pizza Hut?

http://www.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/styles/primary-image-610x340/public/WWW/data/images/repository/2007/12/24/20071224_pizza_checkered_tablecloth_18.jpg?itok=a30s5EOi

Jay G.
03-07-14, 11:54 AM
That was my initial thought as well. I can draw Mario in all sorts of crazy positions -other- but can I accuse someone of stealing my art if they use it with their own art of Sonic?
You can certainly complain about it, but I don't think you can claim copyright infringement. So you'd have no legal recourse to stop them outside of public shaming.

Of course, I don't think anyone ever thought Anita created the art assets herself.

wmansir
03-07-14, 03:13 PM
I don't think there is much of a copyright case here, but if Sarkeesian is going to criticize a game or character based on it's artwork she should be sure she is using official artwork and not fan art which may or may not be an accurate representation of the original.

Jay G.
03-07-14, 03:43 PM
I don't think there is much of a copyright case here, but if Sarkeesian is going to criticize a game or character based on it's artwork she should be sure she is using official artwork and not fan art which may or may not be an accurate representation of the original.
It's pretty accurate. The art was used in an image for her Kickstarter campaign back in June 2012, so nobody noticed that it was fan art for nearly 2 years.

The artist has posted an update, saying she got a response from Anita; basically the response was Anita considers it Fair Use.
http://cowkitty.net/post/78869649107/update-official-response-you-stole-my-art-an-open

Groucho
03-07-14, 03:46 PM
I don't think there is much of a copyright case here, but if Sarkeesian is going to criticize a game or character based on it's artwork she should be sure she is using official artwork and not fan art which may or may not be an accurate representation of the original.I don't think she criticized that image.

Even if it's not a copyright issue, I think there's an etiquette issue. It would have been nice if she got permission to use the artwork, the "lets play" clips, and other assets from around the internet. And gave credit where credit was due. Especially on such a high-profile project.

Jay G.
03-07-14, 04:19 PM
Even if it's not a copyright issue, I think there's an etiquette issue. It would have been nice if she got permission to use the artwork, the "lets play" clips, and other assets from around the internet.
What's this about "let's play" clips? I had to go look that up, because it apparently was never discussed in this thread. It apparently was a thing in July 2013:
http://victorsopinion.blogspot.com/2013/07/anitas-sources.html

Crediting the sources she used for the videos would be good. I don't think she necessarily needs to ask permission though if she feels it's fair use. She already has a page for transcript and "resources" for the videos, she could just add a list of sources to that page:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2013/08/damsel-in-distress-part-3-tropes-vs-women/


I know 2 Player Productions is pretty studious in this regard when making their own video game documentaries. I don't know if they ask permission, but when showing footage from other sources in their Minecraft documentary or Double Fine stuff, they credit it.

RocShemp
04-29-14, 06:27 PM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/x1pJuU7kVng" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

fujishig
04-29-14, 07:50 PM
Thanks, I wouldn't have known about Nintendo's Girls club if not for this. Wait, Nintendo UK? Forget about it.

I know, I know, I'm part of the problem. But they like to throw around this stat that 50% of gamers are female. Well, that's fine, that includes cell phone games and whatnot, but Nintendo doesn't sell cell phone games, in fact, they're competing with that market, so they're not going to advertise social games on their network. Also, this is Nintendo, they're mainly hawking their own stuff... why would they focus on something like Assassin's Creed, which while available on their console is probably cheaper and even better on other consoles? Why not go for their unique first party titles, especially the ones that do reach out to women? Now if five years from now that's all they're covering, and not the Super Mario 3D lands and Zeldas of the world (which also have a ton of female fans) then that's something else entirely.

Of course, my daughter just discovered pokemon and is thrilled with catching her first pikachu. She loves the cuter pokemon. She picked the girl character, and I'm sure she'll be excited when she gets to the clothing part. I'm a terrible parent, should have set her up on Bravely Default or SMT or something as one of her initial gaming experiences on her 3DS.

Solid Snake
04-30-14, 01:36 AM
You dress up Pokemon now? How times have changed since my Gold and Silver days.

RocShemp
06-17-14, 12:33 AM
The new video is finally up.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4ZPSrwedvsg?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

spainlinx0
06-18-14, 11:27 AM
This video had some very annoying aspects to it. Many of the points she brought up applied to all NPCs, not just the strippers or other sexualized characters. I understand her point about women as objects. She probably has a good one.

However when she says "oh you can kill a prostitute, get busted, and be out of jail with some loss of money or items" doesn't apply JUST to those characters. That's every NPC. And she frequently brings up how you can kill them, but in those same games you can basically kill anyone and the same stuff happens. It just struck me as very disingenuous. Does she want the developers to have you lose your save file and all progress if you kill a sexualized female NPC?

Groucho
06-18-14, 12:41 PM
I agree. She brought up some good points in the first half of the video, but when she went on and on about what you can do to female NPCs in open world games she went off the rails, because it basically implied that the games were specifically coded so you could only abuse female characters. Additionally, in all her ranting about GTAV she missed that one of the three core storylines involves a male character salvaging his marriage and reconnecting with his teen daughter.

Really, most of the stuff she showed should an embarrassment to the developers (and the male gamers who enjoy it) more than anything.

fujishig
06-18-14, 01:49 PM
This is probably appropriate in this thread (a grantland article about reactions from E3, female game characters, etc.)

http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/is-assassins-creed-sexist-is-link-a-girl-and-more-fun-questions-from-this-years-e3/

As for my daughter, she is now obsessed with Pokemon, and was super excited yesterday when... she found out she could change the hairstyle of her pokemon trainer. I have no idea how I'm going to introduce the prospect of Pokemon breeding, eggs, and the androgynous and loose Ditto pokemon.

RocShemp
06-18-14, 07:47 PM
Yeah, I watched the whole thing after posting it and I must agree that she was ranting about things that can be done to all NPC's. I do agree with her that male sex workers are usually played for laughs (I kept expecting her to comment about the tranny hooker in Dragon Age II) but the NPC assault is not gender biased.

mhg83
06-18-14, 09:23 PM
Anita brushed off the Rd Dead Redemption Gameplay you can't have sex with the Prostitutes. She went on about how 'But you can hogtie and put her on the train tracks!' I'm pretty sure you can do that to all NPC's that you hogtie.

I think it's a bigger deal for a company known to use the Prostitutes in a lot of their games but in RDR they stuck to his character and was something I was genuinely surprised by. Oh and I never once hogtied the Whores! :)

Brack
06-19-14, 01:08 AM
Maybe when I have some time I'll watch all these, but it doesn't sound like anything enlightening that I already didn't know, which is that video games are pretty sexist, and misogynistic idiots will make death and rape threats. It's not right, but it happens to almost any woman that tackles this subject, or even is a somewhat public figure that talks about anything practically. But most everything and everyone living is sexist to some degree.

Just look at other forms of entertainment, like sports. By and large, men and women want to see men perform sports. Women sports aren't very popular, and thus there are only a handful of sports where women can make a living as a professional athlete. Sexist? Certainly, but it's women who are being sexist towards other women. Men follow women's sports more than women do. Could it be that lots of women view the idea of playing video games, at least in the context of console gaming, as unappealing? The few female "gamers" I know seem to like PC gaming, and play games like WOW, Second Life, or The SIMs (I think this was already mentioned).

Like others have mentioned, why not do a Kickstarter that funds video games made by and for women?

It seems to me that girls are less interested in playing games where they're a "hero" who is saving someone, the world, etc., and would prefer to play games like Animal Crossing, Minecraft, Pokémon, and some others I'm probably forgetting. Just changing the sex of the hero and having a "dude in distress" really won't make a dent in the perception of games to women, because that's generally not the type of games they want to play anyway. I know I'm generalizing, but I think the gameplay is more of a turnoff than gender roles or sexism. There are two big reasons why no Twilight video games were made, which are 1) Guys wouldn't play it and 2) Women wouldn't like the gameplay (at least not enough of them to make the games successful).

Decker
06-19-14, 02:10 AM
Oh and I never once hogtied the Whores! :)

No Platinum Trophy for you!

DRG
06-19-14, 10:28 AM
This video had some very annoying aspects to it. Many of the points she brought up applied to all NPCs, not just the strippers or other sexualized characters.

Yeah, that is what struck me while watching this one. By that logic, 9-11, Hiroshima or any mass killing event could be seen as "an attack orchestrated against woman". I suppose that's technically true IF you ignore the contextual implications of the omission (it WAS an orchestrated attack, and there WERE many female victims), but it's still shady and that type of manipulation seems unnecessary when there are so many legitimate examples of this topic.

slop101
08-25-14, 03:36 PM
New one's up:

5i_RPr9DwMA

mhg83
08-25-14, 05:37 PM
I call bullshit on her Watchdogs segment. You can always end crime in progress. If you get too close to the target they get spooked and the side mission ends.

RocShemp
08-25-14, 05:41 PM
Here's hoping it's better than the last one (which went off the rails with regards to harm to NPC's - which is not limited to female characters).

slop101
08-26-14, 06:41 PM
Saw this somewhere else, and wanted to post it here to see how you guys feel (I pretty much agree with it)



- Sarkeesian is a genuine hero. In no way is that over exaggeration. I can't imagine the number of death and rape threats she gets. The number of times she's reported something to the police. How much she thinks about the security of her bank accounts, email, social networking. Fuck, she must actually get worried about her safety in the street, simply for being a prominent feminist in an industry with some of the worst consumers.
I don't think I would be as brave as that. All power to her. And her videos are fucking great.

- I agree so much. And all she's doing is bringing ACADEMIC ANALYSIS TO GAMES. She's not passing laws, she's not picketing devs, she's just looking critically at games. And this is how they react.

dugan
08-26-14, 08:09 PM
Agreed completely.

Supermallet
08-26-14, 08:19 PM
I definitely agree. I'm not sure what it is about video games in particular that makes people act like complete shitheads, and bravo to her for sticking it out.

XavierMike
08-26-14, 08:30 PM
Yep. I think its a good analysis. If video games will ever be considered art, then they need serious criticism.

slop101
08-27-14, 11:27 AM
http://i.imgur.com/N2PMvt3.png

Dan
08-27-14, 11:34 AM
Fucking savages.

Groucho
08-27-14, 12:27 PM
I'm not sure why she gets people riled up. If developers start paying more attention to the issues she's raising, it's not going to make their games worse or less fun.

Regarding the last video, I'd like to see more "good examples" than just the one game. I think that's more helpful than simply dog-piling on with the bad stuff.

dugan
08-27-14, 03:20 PM
I think that Tomb Raider 2013 would have qualified as a good example for the last one.

And the "women in refrigerators" episode is now making me sad that commentators, including her, have completely forgotten the DOS and Amiga eras. Surely she would have at least mentioned Police Quest 3 (http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/police-quest-3-the-kindred) (an early example of a gritty triple-A game) if she had known about it?

spainlinx0
08-27-14, 03:28 PM
What I really don't get is that her goal is to eventually get more female representation in gaming, so why are people fighting her? Who wants this stuff to be a boy's club? More females gaming, means more acceptance of gaming, which means it's something you can share with your family instead of playing when they go to bed, which is what members here are often forced to do.

RichC2
08-27-14, 03:35 PM
Because most of these gamers are children, not a generalization on gamers, but these guys seriously have the maturity of 11 year olds.

slop101
08-27-14, 03:51 PM
Because most of these gamers are children, not a generalization on gamers, but these guys seriously have the maturity of 11 year olds.Yes, that, and a lot of these douches are self-stylized "men's rights activists", who actually are just frighted of women because they don't really know any, except for their mom who most likely messed them up (and who they still live with).

chuckd21
08-27-14, 04:45 PM
What I really don't get is that her goal is to eventually get more female representation in gaming, so why are people fighting her? Who wants this stuff to be a boy's club? More females gaming, means more acceptance of gaming, which means it's something you can share with your family instead of playing when they go to bed, which is what members here are often forced to do.

Shhhh, this is the internet. No logic, only rage.

slop101
08-27-14, 05:20 PM
Check out this guy


[spoiler]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BwEefh5IcAAG_ob.jpg:large

and among similar lines...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BwAfZbsIgAAQqe-.png

Seriously, what is wrong with this people, and why is it so much more prevalent among "gamers" than elsewhere?

dugan
08-27-14, 06:18 PM
Here's one analysis on where it's coming from:

http://www.polygon.com/2014/7/29/5947661/the-nightmare-is-over-theyre-not-coming-for-your-games

fujishig
08-27-14, 06:22 PM
That seems like par for the course on some video game message boards, whether the target is male or female... :P

Music
08-27-14, 06:44 PM
kidz

Supermallet
08-27-14, 08:58 PM
Badass Digest put up a great article on this subject (and the repeated torrent of abuse from random gamers is one of the main reasons I rarely ever play multiplayer-centric games anymore, Destiny being the first big exception in a long time): http://badassdigest.com/2014/08/26/video-games-misogyny-and-terrorism-a-guide-to-assholes/

mhg83
08-27-14, 09:14 PM
The Zoe Quinn incident was unsettling. Who cares who she Fucks?! Stay out of her personal life assholes!

edstein
08-27-14, 09:50 PM
I’ve killed 10’s of thousands of people (mostly men) in more games than I can count. I don’t see how pointing out that woman are treated negatively in games really makes a difference to the overall issue of violence in today’s video games.

chuckd21
08-27-14, 10:23 PM
The Zoe Quinn incident was unsettling. Who cares who she Fucks?! Stay out of her personal life assholes!

Games journalism must be exposed and destroyed, no matter the cost. It is the only thing that matters in the universe.

Supermallet
08-27-14, 10:36 PM
I’ve killed 10’s of thousands of people (mostly men) in more games than I can count. I don’t see how pointing out that woman are treated negatively in games really makes a difference to the overall issue of violence in today’s video games.

There are plenty of anti-violence advocates who focus on gaming. I see no reason why feminists should not also be able to air their criticisms on gaming and the industry as a result.

Derrich
08-27-14, 11:05 PM
It's amazing just how often dead or beaten prostitutes appear in so many games. They show up a lot. I mean...a LOT. Even SVU pales in comparison. Game developers have some issues to work through.

D

spainlinx0
08-28-14, 07:55 AM
Some people just aren't good sports. All my friends play games. Yet, I have one friend who routinely gets suspended from chat in DOTA. It's a running joke. He thinks he's the best, and if his team loses, it's definitely everyone else's fault.

However, I think people who give up on online are also part of the problem. I play online, and I like to play a team game and have fun with teammates. I make an effort to be friendly, say hi, and get people talking. I think if you avoid online gaming, and leave it to the assholes, that it just gets worse. You have to get involved and be a positive person. Sounds cheesy, but I notice the people who quit always talk about the negativity.

I have mostly good experiences because I end up looking for and partying with strangers who are looking for the same experience as me. The good times are out there. If we leave gaming to the misogynists and assholes, that's what is going to be left there.

Draven
08-28-14, 11:04 AM
Some people just aren't good sports. All my friends play games. Yet, I have one friend who routinely gets suspended from chat in DOTA. It's a running joke. He thinks he's the best, and if his team loses, it's definitely everyone else's fault.

However, I think people who give up on online are also part of the problem. I play online, and I like to play a team game and have fun with teammates. I make an effort to be friendly, say hi, and get people talking. I think if you avoid online gaming, and leave it to the assholes, that it just gets worse. You have to get involved and be a positive person. Sounds cheesy, but I notice the people who quit always talk about the negativity.

I have mostly good experiences because I end up looking for and partying with strangers who are looking for the same experience as me. The good times are out there. If we leave gaming to the misogynists and assholes, that's what is going to be left there.

It's not my job to fix other people. Whenever I play online, I just mute all the other headsets and turn mine off/unplug. No need to talk to people since 99% of them won't listen to any sort of strategy anyway.

When I used to do clan stuff, of course we chatted. Randoms on the internet? Pull the plug and let them rant into the ether.

slop101
08-28-14, 11:09 AM
Here's a great piece by Dan Golding about how the "gamer" identity is now broken. And these douchebags are lashing out because their identity is now no longer their own.



The End of Gamers

The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand.

First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a harassment campaign that attacked her personal life and friendships. Campaigns of personal harassment aimed at game developers are nothing new. They are dismayingly common among those who happen to be women, or not white straight men, and doubly so if they also happen to make the sort of game that in any way challenge the status quo, even if that challenge is only made through their very existence. The viciousness and ferocity with which this campaign occurred, however, was shocking, and certainly out of the ordinary. This was something more than routine misogyny (and in games, it often is routine, shockingly). It was an ugly spectacle that should haunt and shame those involved for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to note that this hate campaign took the guise of a crusade against ‘corruption’ and ‘bias’ in the games industry, with particular emphasis on the relationships between independent game developers and the press.

These fires, already burning hot, were further fuelled yesterday by the release of the latest installment in Anita Sarkeesian’s ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’ video series. In this particular video, Sarkeesian outlines “largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players.” Today, Sarkeesian has been forced to leave her home due to some serious threats made against her and her family in response to the video. It is terrifying stuff.

Taken in their simplest, most basic form, a videogame is a creative application of computer technology. For a while, perhaps, when such technology was found mostly in masculine cultures, videogames accordingly developed a limited, inwards-looking perception of the world that marked them as different from everyone else. This is the gamer, an identity based on difference and separateness. When playing games was an unusual activity, this identity was constructed in order to define and unite the group (and to help demarcate it as a targetable demographic for business). It became deeply bound up in assumptions and performances of gender and sexuality. To be a gamer was to signal a great many things, not all of which are about the actual playing of videogames. Research like this, by Adrienne Shaw, proves this point clearly.

When, over the last decade, the playing of videogames moved beyond the niche, the gamer identity remained fairly uniformly stagnant and immobile. Gamer identity was simply not fluid enough to apply to a broad spectrum of people. It could not meaningfully contain, for example, Candy Crush players, Proteus players, and Call of Duty players simultaneously. When videogames changed, the gamer identity did not stretch, and so it has been broken.

And lest you think that I’m exaggerating about the irrelevance of the traditionally male dominated gamer identity, recent news confirms this, with adult women outnumbering teenage boys in game-playing demographics in the USA. Similar numbers also often come out of Australian surveys. The predictable ‘what kind of games do they really play, though—are they really gamers?’ response says all you need to know about this ongoing demographic shift. This insinuated criteria for ‘real’ videogames is wholly contingent on identity (i.e. a real gamer shouldn’t play Candy Crush, for instance).

On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity. Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems, such as bias and corruption, which are partly just ways of expressing confusion as to why things the traditional gamer does not understand are successful (that such confusion results in abject heartlessness is an indictment on the character of the male-focussed gamer culture to begin with).

The gamer as an identity feels like it is under assault, and so it should. Though the ‘consumer king’ gamer will continue to be targeted and exploited while their profitability as a demographic outweighs their toxicity, the traditional gamer identity is now culturally irrelevant.

The battles (and I don’t use that word lightly; in some ways perhaps ‘war’ is more appropriate) to make safe spaces for videogame cultures are long and they are resisted tempestuously, but through the pain and suffering of people who have their friendships, their personal lives, and their professions on the line, things continue to improve. The result has been a palpable progressive shift.

This shift is precisely the root of such increasingly violent hostility. The hysterical fits of those inculcated at the heart of gamer culture might on the surface be claimed as crusades for journalistic integrity, or a defense against falsehoods, but—along with a mix of the hatred of women and an expansive bigotry thrown in for good measure—what is actually going on is an attempt to retain hegemony. Make no mistake: this is the exertion of power in the name of (male) gamer orthodoxy—an orthodoxy that has already begun to disappear.

The last few weeks therefore represent the moment that gamers realised their own irrelevance. This is a cold wind that has been a long time coming, and which has framed these increasingly malicious incidents along the way. Videogames have now achieved a purchase on popular culture that is only possible without gamers.

Today, videogames are for everyone. I mean this in an almost destructive way. Videogames, to read the other side of the same statement, are not for you. You do not get to own videogames. No one gets to own videogames when they are for everyone. They add up to more than any one group.

On some level, the grim individuals who are self-centred and myopic enough to be upset at the prospect of having their medium taken away from them are absolutely right. They have astutely, and correctly identified what is going on here. Their toys are being taken away, and their treehouses are being boarded up. Videogames now live in the world and there is no going back.

I am convinced that this marks the end. We are finished here. From now on, there are no more gamers—only players.

spainlinx0
08-28-14, 12:10 PM
It's not my job to fix other people. Whenever I play online, I just mute all the other headsets and turn mine off/unplug. No need to talk to people since 99% of them won't listen to any sort of strategy anyway.

When I used to do clan stuff, of course we chatted. Randoms on the internet? Pull the plug and let them rant into the ether.

Nobody is asking you to fix everything. I play online. I'm telling you that your 99% number is obviously a gross exaggeration.

Most of the people in the lobbies are the same as you. No mic, no communication, or else they are in private parties.

It's not that hard to find a decent group to play with if you put yourself out there. Obviously that's your choice to avoid it, but if you want to play with other people you have to dive in.

MoviePage
08-28-14, 01:16 PM
*sigh*

Tropes vs Women author Sarkeesian vacates home following online threats (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/475428/tropes-vs-women-author-sarkeesian-vacates-home-following-online-threats/)

The prominent games essayist Anita Sarkeesian vacated her home on Wednesday following a spate of increasingly severe threats from anonymous critics of her work.

Sarkeesian, whose video articles showcase negative representations of women in video games, often publishes captions of threats she is sent via Twitter, email and though other communication channels. Many of these threats include sexual violence, while some mention her address and family.

On Wednesday the situation had escalated to the point that she contacted the authorities and vacated her home.

"Some very scary threats have just been made against me and my family. Contacting authorities now," she wrote on Twitter, before adding:

"I'm safe. Authorities have been notified. Staying with friends tonight. I'm not giving up. But this harassment of women in tech must stop!"

The threats and hateful comments sent to Sarkeesian are often in response to her collection of essays, called Tropes Versus Women, which examines why women are often represented as powerless, sexualised and enfeebled characters in games.

Though a vocal, and often abusive, minority of games enthusiasts condemn her work, Sarkeesian's analysis is widely praised by some of the most prominent games industry figures, from Tim Schafer to Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckman.

dugan
08-28-14, 02:59 PM
Good to see this finally getting mainstream backlash.

There was a similar campaign against the community manager of Mighty No 9 about a year ago. They (obviously the same people) were trying to get her fired from the minute her hiring was announced.

That seems like par for the course on some video game message boards, whether the target is male or female... :P

I would say that organized campaigns aimed specifically at destroying people's careers cross a line into something else.

RocShemp
08-28-14, 03:58 PM
That's pretty fucked up.

It also sucks that she's had to disable comments on her videos. It'd be great to have some serious discussion about what she gets right, what seems to be reaching, and what might be wrong in her videos. But all she'd get is a bunch of assholes calling her names and threatening her. Which helps no one.

chuckd21
08-28-14, 04:01 PM
Those have been disabled from the start. And while I understand why, it fans the flames somewhat because instead of feedback and conversation, to some it looks like "Here's the way things should be, nothing you say in response is relevant".

Again, I understand why she had to turn off comments. Comments most places should be turned off. Hell, Fox News turns them off on their website a lot of times, which is telling.

RichC2
08-28-14, 04:07 PM
It's good they're turned off. Yahoo! needs to.

Supermallet
08-28-14, 04:14 PM
Except Sarkeesian isn't saying "this is how things should be and that's that" in her videos. She's saying this is the way things ARE.

Decker
08-28-14, 04:19 PM
I call bullshit on her Watchdogs segment. You can always end crime in progress. If you get too close to the target they get spooked and the side mission ends.

What bullshit? She says exactly that, and notes that doing so gains you no XP or increased reputation (Something I thought was kind of stupid as well -- you stopped a potential crime; how is that a bad thing).

Thought this was a particularly good one. Lots of good points and it becomes sensory overload eventually. We all know that violence against women is prevalent in M-rated open-world games, maybe she's right that it doesn't really need to be.

dugan
08-28-14, 04:27 PM
It also sucks that she's had to disable comments on her videos. It'd be great to have some serious discussion about what she gets right, what seems to be reaching, and what might be wrong in her videos.

This thread would work fine for that.

Jay G.
08-28-14, 04:39 PM
This thread would work fine for that.
Yeah, there's plenty of places to discuss the videos online. Shutting down Youtube comments wasn't so much an effort to suppress discussion, but an acknowledgement that Youtube comments are toxic. I think she had Youtube comments enabled on earlier videos of hers before the video games series, and she ended up having to disable them due to how toxic they were.

I haven't watched the new video yet, but for part 1, one thing I noticed was that while, yes, you can kill both male and female NPCs in some games without realistic repercussions, there was a difference in behavior shown when NPCs of different genders were attacked. For examples, the male pimps are shown fighting back, shooting guns, etc, while the female NPCs are often shown cowering, pleading, or slowly running away.

RocShemp
08-28-14, 04:52 PM
Except Sarkeesian isn't saying "this is how things should be and that's that" in her videos. She's saying this is the way things ARE.

Bingo.

Decker
08-28-14, 05:05 PM
There's no way to ask this without sounding defensive and snarky, but I seriously do wonder:

If there were a game inspired by Kill Bill, parts of Sin City or let's say Daenerys Targaryen's storyline in Game of Thrones, where a sexy female protagonist went on a revenge quest and killed lots of men (and almost exclusively men) - perhaps objectifying men in the process, would that be considered a good thing for the videogaming industry in turning certain tropes on their heads? I don't know.

dugan
08-28-14, 05:11 PM
If there were a game inspired by Kill Bill, parts of Sin City or let's say Daenerys Targaryen's storyline in Game of Thrones, where a sexy female protagonist went on a revenge quest and killed lots of men (and almost exclusively men) - perhaps objectifying men in the process, would that be considered a good thing for the videogaming industry in turning certain tropes on their heads? I don't know.

Wasn't that Tomb Raider 2013?

And personally, I'd want a game based on Daenerys' storyline to be an overhead-view turn-based strategy game where I can take over cities on an overworld map, send my followers to attack or engage in diplomacy, etc. With a pet simulator element for the dragons and maybe with "relationship points" for certain NPCs. Something like Civilization.

For Sin City, I'd want a point-and-click adventure along the lines of Rise of the Dragon.

Decker
08-28-14, 05:32 PM
Wasn't that Tomb Raider 2013?
Maybe to an extent, but Tomb Raider 2013 was really about surviving at all costs against ruthless thugs. I still think a pure revenge motivation would have a different feel to it.

And personally, I'd want a game based on Daenerys' storyline to be an overhead-view turn-based strategy game where I can take over cities on an overworld map, send my followers to attack or engage in diplomacy, etc. With a pet simulator element for the dragons and maybe with "relationship points" for certain NPCs.

Sounds good. Needs a slavemaster crucifixion mini-game as well. And Kinect-enabled "Dracarys" commands.

fujishig
08-28-14, 05:50 PM
There's no way to ask this without sounding defensive and snarky, but I seriously do wonder:

If there were a game inspired by Kill Bill, parts of Sin City or let's say Daenerys Targaryen's storyline in Game of Thrones, where a sexy female protagonist went on a revenge quest and killed lots of men (and almost exclusively men) - perhaps objectifying men in the process, would that be considered a good thing for the videogaming industry in turning certain tropes on their heads? I don't know.

How would that turn tropes on their heads? We don't have games (that I know of) where a male protagonist is taking revenge and killing exclusively women.

Decker
08-28-14, 06:02 PM
No they kill other men who victimize women. But close enough to a reversal of the trope.

Or if you like, how about a videogame adaptation of Cruising where all the victims of violence and assault are sexualized gay males. Though that would open a HUGE can of worms in the media.

dugan
08-28-14, 06:03 PM
@decker So a game where you're the martial-arts practising, attack dog cultivating, motorcycle riding, gun enthusiast bear-hunting half of a lesbian couple where, one day, YOUR WIFE IS BRUTALLY MURDERED AND YOU HAVE TO RESCUE YOUR DAUGHTER? ;) Basically a cross between Taken and Expendables, uh, 2?

Draven
08-28-14, 06:08 PM
Nobody is asking you to fix everything. I play online. I'm telling you that your 99% number is obviously a gross exaggeration.

Most of the people in the lobbies are the same as you. No mic, no communication, or else they are in private parties.

It's not that hard to find a decent group to play with if you put yourself out there. Obviously that's your choice to avoid it, but if you want to play with other people you have to dive in.

I can't remember the last time I was in any online game without hearing a) racism, b) homophobia or c) someone blasting their radio directly into their headset. Why waste any energy at all trying to do something about the problem? Those people are obviously assholes and aren't interested in becoming less of an asshole. Plus, I'll be honest - I have younger kids and what blasts out of a typical Xbox Live game is not something I want them to hear.

I have no problems having fun games with random people online without verbal communication. I'm pretty good at games like Battlefield and COD, and usually there are others on my team who are too. We don't need to talk to know when we should be doing X or Y. It's obvious. Sure, we might not be able to pull off something intricate but it's usually pretty clear where you should be focusing your energies.

RocShemp
08-28-14, 06:19 PM
No they kill other men who victimize women. But close enough to a reversal of the trope.

Or if you like, how about a videogame adaptation of Cruising where all the victims of violence and assault are sexualized gay males. Though that would open a HUGE can of worms in the media.

Eliza Dushku was in a game like that. It was called Wet. Apparently it sucked.

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
08-28-14, 06:25 PM
I think I would take this lady more seriously if she would offer some ideas for solving the issues that she presents. (Unless she already has in previous videos...they are so far spaced apart I forget whats was in the last one) One would hope that would be something that she covers in a future video. I's one thing to say "Yo this is fucked up!" and "Yo this is fucked up! And here's how we can start to fix it."

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
08-28-14, 06:26 PM
Eliza Dushku was in a game like that. It was called Wet. Apparently it sucked.

I played it and enjoyed it for what it was. The setting and story weren't that games problem. It was the underlying gameplay mechanics that brought that sucker to a halt.

Dan
08-28-14, 06:28 PM
I think I would take this lady more seriously if she would offer some ideas for solving the issues that she presents. (Unless she already has in previous videos...they are so far spaced apart I forget whats was in the last one) One would hope that would be something that she covers in a future video. I's one thing to say "Yo this is fucked up!" and "Yo this is fucked up! And here's how we can start to fix it."
I don't think she needs to offer a solution. What she's doing is saying, "Here it is. again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. Try something different, okay?"
I don't have a problem with that. It's up to the creators to avoid these things, not her.

dugan
08-28-14, 06:29 PM
What she's doing is saying, "Try something different, okay?"

Well, that's a solution right there.

Most of her videos also give shout-outs to games that either do thing right, or at least do them better.

Decker
08-28-14, 06:37 PM
Her point that even if it's historically accurate, doesn't mean it's essential to the game is a pretty good one.

dugan
08-28-14, 06:40 PM
Her point that even if it's historically accurate, doesn't mean it's essential to the game is a pretty good one.

I'd actually quibble about her WE ACCEPT HISTORICAL SETTINGS THAT ARE NOWHERE ACCURATE AND HAVE DRAGONS ADDED TO THEM premise. (If you've seen the video, this point and the one quoted above are presented together).

My answer to that?

"This game lets you relive authentic battles from Japanese history. Now here's a giant enemy crab."

Rex Power Colt-Robot Man
08-28-14, 06:54 PM
I don't think she needs to offer a solution. What she's doing is saying, "Here it is. again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. Try something different, okay?"
I don't have a problem with that. It's up to the creators to avoid these things, not her.

I dont think of that as a solution though. And Im not asking her to fix everything wrong. But giving some thoughts other than "here are repeated tropes that need to be addressed. Good day!" isn't helping. I dunno. Something like encouraging young females to get into computer science, game design ect would be more beneficial. Then if that caught on the next generation would start to fix the industry from the inside.

Supermallet
08-28-14, 07:25 PM
Yes, it does help. It's one thing to say, "Women are treated badly in gaming" and another thing to comb through decades of games to show the patterns and tropes that have women treated badly. I was just re-watching part 2 of Damsels in Distress, and she mentions that there are a ton of games where women are killed, but then their soul is captured by the villain and you have to still save them, so you get the easy emotional content of killing the girl and then saving her too. And I thought, "No way is there that many games that use that, it's so specific", and then she rattled off a bunch of games that did exactly that.

On top of it, she explains WHY these tropes are harmful to the industry, not just to women, which gives you a better understanding of why they're problematic outside of just noticing that they are trends. And yes, she does point to games that are doing better when she has examples of them, so it's unfair to say she's just standing there and listing a trope and then every game that uses that trope. But even if she did, that would still be a pretty powerful indictment.

Decker
08-28-14, 08:17 PM
The problem is, of course, that tropes are easy and convenient. They make "logical" sense. And as we well know, the writing in video games, especially in open-world games is largely elementary and simplistic. A game like The Last of Us might have some nuance, but Far Cry 3 or Assassin's Creed 2? Not so much.

Since we'll never get a game where we see bad guys abuse children (thank God), we are going to continue to see this trope going forward. Sure there could be some more male-on-male violence portrayed, but I think this Neanderthal concept of Chivalry comes into play -- "Of course I should hunt down and kill this bandit- he hit a lady" That plays better than chasing after a guy for assaulting a policeman. I don't think there's an easy fix for all of it, but certainly I hope at least the most egregious offenders start to tone things down a bit after these videos -- some of that stuff was really offensive, especially seeing it all back-to-back.

Supermallet
08-28-14, 08:26 PM
Tropes are easy, but the only reason the something like the damsel in distress trope makes "logical sense" is because we live in a society that continually reinforces that men have a lot of agency, and women have very limited agency. Could you imagine a Mario game where you play as Princess Peach, you get abducted by Bowser, and you have to escape using your own wits and abilities? It's not a crazy idea, but it's never been done in the history of Mario games.

RocShemp
08-28-14, 10:03 PM
Tropes are easy, but the only reason the something like the damsel in distress trope makes "logical sense" is because we live in a society that continually reinforces that men have a lot of agency, and women have very limited agency. Could you imagine a Mario game where you play as Princess Peach, you get abducted by Bowser, and you have to escape using your own wits and abilities? It's not a crazy idea, but it's never been done in the history of Mario games.

That sounds like Sarkeesian's idea for that princess game she discussed a few videos back. I for one would love it if a developer like Bioware, Naughty Dog, or CD Projekt Red would make that game a reality.

Supermallet
08-28-14, 10:20 PM
As would I. I believe I mentioned many pages back that there was a Princess Peach game, and the game mechanics revolved around her moods, i.e. making her sad would have one effect on the game, making her happy would have another, etc. A game like that would NEVER be made about a man in our society.

Decker
08-28-14, 10:28 PM
Of course, a game like that would require Nintendo to come up with a new gameplay idea and we all know that hasn't happened for them since Metroid Prime.

Supermallet
08-28-14, 10:43 PM
The gameplay could be classic Mario. The mechanics wouldn't have to change at all.

Decker
08-29-14, 12:45 AM
Oh sure. I get what you're saying and it's an easy fix for those games (frankly, I don't know why they don't do that - or at least make her a Luigi-like sidekick; the same old Mario/Zelda story is VERY, VERY old by now). There have been a few games with a female protagonist that have really done a nice job of battling the helpless damsel trope -- Heavenly Sword is a good example, but like many others with a female protagonist, it sold poorly.

I was making my comments about the new video she put out regarding violence towards women in the background. I agree it's too much and way over the top and can desensitize people to violence towards women. Still, if you're going to make a game set in a dark, brutal world, it's hard not to include that and still have it seem even remotely realistic since it's sadly so much a part of the dark side of human nature. It seems to me to avoid that trope you really only have two choices : 1) you can do what Tomb Raider 2013 did and just essentially eliminate female NPCs (yes, Lara had a couple female comrades with her, but every baddie on the island and every corpse was either male or unidentifiable by gender), or 2) go full alt-reality with a Kill Bill/ Sin City vibe. Showing female-on -male violence and objectifying male but not female characters would certainly even things out, but it's so far from our reality that I think it would massively distract the player from the game at large.
Sad, but I think that's the way things are.

Supermallet
08-29-14, 02:43 AM
Except there are very, very few games that present even an approximately realistic world (unless you're talking about sports or racing games, where you'd be hard pressed to find any of these tropes). LA Noire is one of the few I can think of that's meant to take place in the real world without any major embellishments. GTA is satire, and incredibly over the top. CoD is a heightened reality (and also not a major perpetrator of violence against women AFAIK), most of the games she mentions are NOT realistic depictions of the world, but rather fantasy versions of the world with brutalized women thrown in to make it more gritty.

But I haven't watched all of the videos yet, so maybe there are some more realistic titles I'm forgetting about.

RocShemp
08-29-14, 07:59 AM
As would I. I believe I mentioned many pages back that there was a Princess Peach game, and the game mechanics revolved around her moods, i.e. making her sad would have one effect on the game, making her happy would have another, etc. A game like that would NEVER be made about a man in our society.

That Peach game was covered in one of Sarkeesian's earlier videos as well. It's basically one big PMS joke.

However, men in a lot of games also tend to be one-note rage machines. Just look at those Gears of War games or the macho "rah rah" bullcrap writing of the Call of Duty games. Stereotypes abound to both genders.

The only point of contention I have with Sarkeesian and other feminists is the assumption that stereotypes are exclusively negative for females when males are often expected (and fail to live up to) the ridiculous expectations placed on them as well. Hell, just look at the prevailing humor in many of the threads of this forum (mainly Otter). It's a bunch of guys trying to play up macho, billionaire, He-Man bullshit stereotypes that don't apply to them in the real world.

Both genders are pretty much ill represented in different ways. Guys: "This is what you should be, girly man!" Girls: "This is all you're good for, bitch!"

Neither is actually positive. However, I am glad to see at least one side (women) calling game developers on their bullshit. It'd help if the other side (men) helped out and perhaps brought about their own grievances. That said, I know plenty of women that scoff at all this because they view it as mere fantasy. One lady friend of mine often says "the more righteous the character is, the bigger his pecs or the bigger her tits." And she's not wrong. But then neither are people like Sarkeesian who say that the market is simply flooded with these tropes when there is a relatively untapped market that wants something more/different.

spainlinx0
08-29-14, 08:27 AM
I guess I'm a hypocrite because I see exactly her point, and I was actually pretty shocked at some of the violent scenes in those games that I never played, and even some that I had. In Red Dead Redemption I never saw that guy stab the girl because I automatically shot that guy every time he went to tie her up. Meanwhile, I always like seeing a strip club in a game.

Jay G.
08-29-14, 09:24 AM
The only point of contention I have with Sarkeesian and other feminists is the assumption that stereotypes are exclusively negative for females when males are often expected (and fail to live up to) the ridiculous expectations placed on them as well...
I don't think this is true at all. Feminists, by definition, are focused on female issues and problems with inequality, etc, but I don't think any of them think that exclusively females are subject to negative stereotypes.

It's a bit like saying you don't like the charities and organizations that focus on treating & curing cancer because they assume that cancer is the only disease that affects people.

That said, I thought that Sarkeesian did point out that a lot of stereotypes in games were feeding into a particular male stereotype, which is damaging to males as much as females. At least, that's the impression I got, if it wasn't ever stated explicitly.

However, I am glad to see at least one side (women) calling game developers on their bullshit. It'd help if the other side (men) helped out and perhaps brought about their own grievances.
This I can agree with. There's really nothing stopping someone else making a "Tropes vs. Men in Video Games" series, aside from the desire to do so.