OXM Breaks Down The Girls ‘N’ Gaming Argument Forever

By John Walker on November 15th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

The latest OXM Breakdown has little to do with Xbox, and more to do with games in general. And thus I take this excuse to post the excellent content on our own site, thus taking my final revenge on Future by profiting from one of their videos! MUAH HA HA! Also, it’s a splendid distilling of the arguments regarding both the lameness of the portrayal of women in games, the lameness of how the media discusses it, and most of all, the lameness of the gobshite apologists who will inevitably appear in the comments acting like the spoilt, privileged gobshite apologists they are. Do welcome them.

It’s well worth checking out the rest of the OXM Breakdown series. They’re rarely actually about anything specifically to do with the Xbox, and as the video above jokes, they do have a Charlie Brooker vibe. (Blyth has worked with Brooker in the past, and often fills the gap left in Brooker’s Guardian column when Mr Famous TV Man is away on his luxury holidays.) Highlights include sex and Mass Effect 3. Much like in life.

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448 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    Some of my best friends aren’t gobshites.

    • HilariousCow says:

      Some of my best friends main Chun Li.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        Chun Li is an extremely good and fun to play character with excellent combos and a wide range of moves for most situations though. Are you suggesting that people main her for her thighs?

        Or am I reading too much into this?

        • Radiant says:

          Those cammy unblockables.
          #notaeuphemism
          #alioune

        • Rotekian says:

          I main Juri myself. Her fireball shenanigans are a lot of fun.

        • colossalstrikepackage says:

          Does Vega count?

        • paddymaxson says:

          I’ve not watched the video yet so I’m not sure what’s said about Chun Li but Chun Li has markedly less hit points than male characters in Street Fighter, she’s physically less tough and while some people are good with her, very few high level players use her because (now bear in mind, different street fighter games have changed the balance, SSFIVAE is much better balance than say SF2) she’s statistically just a worse character than say Ken and RYU.

          • shaydeeadi says:

            But that is a trade off for how ridiculously strong she is in other areas, it’s called balance not sexism. She has been nerfed a bit in recent updates but in Super Street Fighter IV she was top tier.

          • paddymaxson says:

            Oh I know it’s not sexism, I never stated it was, I just stated why so few people main her. I’m sure it’s entirely coincidental that she’s female and this style of character. In the story of Street Fighter, women are some of the most badass characters. C. Viper is one of the most powerful characters of all, only Ryu could beat her and he had to utterly lose his shit to do that.

            There’s no female bad guys in Street Fighter either really. C. Viper was a double agent, Cammy was brainwashed and later deconditioned. Street fighter is pretty unsexist, but the only thing that suggests sexism is that all the female characters have lower hit point totals and they do tend to be worse characters statistically.

      • jon_hill987 says:

        Sakura FTW.

  2. jonfitt says:

    Very good. Thanks.

  3. ElvisMZ says:

    ….acting like the spoilt, privileged gobshite apologists they are. Do welcome them. Hi guys!

    • Unaco says:

      They’re covered, but what about the frothing, preening, elitist, self-righteous PC master race gamers? This is from the Official XBawx Magazine (read these last 3 words like you have a turd in your mouth), after all.

      On that note… thanks for posting this John. I’d never have seen it otherwise, what with it coming from the feral underclass of Console-land.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      complaining about the spoilt, privileged,

      And then PC gamers think they are better than other people because they can spend more on a pc than most can spend on their car.

      • Askeladd says:

        That argument is invalid, but I guess I don’t have to tell you that, do I?

      • lurkalisk says:

        Can’t tell if you’re serious, but to err on the side of caution: No.

      • Fede says:

        You know, I’m certainly not what you had in mind, but I’ve done the math and it seems that with a little edit you could be right.

        In the last 10 years I spent a total of ~1100€ in computer hardware, and around ~1000€ into the car (to be more precise: driving licence + fuel spent; as you can guess it’s not mine and I almost never use a car). This one isn’t as accurate, but in the same 10 years I have probably spent ~1000€ for my bycycle (500€ to buy it, and the rest to change tyres/brakes every 12-18 months or ~3000 km) and ~1500€ in public transportation (trains excluded, as I use them sporadically so it’s too hard to estimate).

        By the way, the previous article reminded me that I got a 75% off coupon for Bioshock 2 (on GameFly) I don’t need: GFDRXKF9L3R7TX7G
        If someone takes it please write “taken” below.

      • GSGregory says:

        Um.. No. I spent about 700ish doing a total upgrade to my pc that puts it way past the specs for most things for a few years.

        You pay 60 bucks for most of the games you have to buy plus your paying for xbox live all the time+you have to buy dlc while many times we still get things in the form of updates.

        So 60 bucks a year for multiplayer/online access. No mod support, less advanced graphics.

        Sorry but pc wins by far and you don’t have to spend that much to get something that can play games.

      • El_Emmental says:

        It is funny because it is wrong :V

        Joking aside, I always refrained myself from getting a “nextgen” console because of the step price.

        The console alone cost often as much as the MB+CPU+GPU combo (maybe even the RAM if you get a budget gaming rig), and you start with no or just one bundled game. Meanwhile, I can play bazillions of stuff on the PC, from free to older games I already had.

        Then you need to get an additional controller because console games are best played on local MP (rather than online MP, that you might have to pay for – as with the XBox Live).

        Then the games are more expensive, and you’ve got no sales events, while the retail shop bargain bin having very little choice and not-so-good prices. Gamestop then ? Not in all countries, and only the “popular” games will be available there.

        Then a PC can be upgraded, overclocked, game settings can be tweaked, textures packs (low-res or HD) can be installed.

        One day I might get a PS3/Xbox360 for the few exclusives (like RDR) that I would like to play, but for the same price I could update my rig very decently, so I never really consider purchasing that nextgen console.

        • GSGregory says:

          Pc is the only true nextgen anyway. At this point xbox 360 is like 2 generations behind pc capabilities.

      • MordeaniisChaos says:

        I’m buying a low end motorcycle and even that costs more than my (very hefty) in-progress build with a 680, ivy bridge, a large SSD and way more RAM than anyone needs. Even with multiple 27″ IPS monitors, and fancy speakers, the price is STILL less. And the only reason gas won’t push that to astronomically greater costs is that, well, I get 61 miles to the gallon with my cycle and only need it for a 20 minute commute.

      • noodlecake says:

        I can’t believe people are disagreeing with this guy. I’ve only just been able to afford a gaming rig last year. The PC elitism astounds me. Most people just wouldn’t put £700+ on a machine for games. I think that kind of attitude isn’t something to be sneered at. It just suggests that maybe they have other priorities.

        • Beemann says:

          Are you guys getting supremely shafted on computer bits?
          My PC pre-upgrade could run most modern titles (Max Payne 3, Skyrim, Witcher 2 etc. on max without horrible framerate issues, though I also don’t crank the resolution up like a madman) and according to the ever-present internet pricing (newegg, amazon, NCIX) I can barely push the price over 700 in my inferior Canadian currency. Those are all new parts as well (I saved something around 80 dollars upgrading my graphics card through buying it during a sale and out of the bargain bin at NCIX)
          If all you want to do is run games on “normal”, you can get some really cheap parts
          Cheaper than I was running

          So yeah, I’m not sure how you’re breaking the equivalent of ~$1000 CDN on a budget gaming computer unless someone is adding an extra zero to prices here and there on your side of the Atlantic

      • mike2R says:

        Actually, thinking about it, I did spend more on my PC than on my car.

        This says a lot more about my car than it does about my PC.

      • secuda says:

        But i dont even have a driving licens ;(

        • cowardly says:

          No idea what you people are talking about. I have a notebook, I use it for work, for holidays, for gaming, for Photoshop etc. It cost 850€, it is 1,5 years old, and it still can play current games. Elitism!?

          The PC elitism rather comes from the fact that in the past we actually had good games, while consoles never had any good games. Of course, a lot of that is based on nostalgia, because nowadays we almost exclusively get shitty ports of shitty console games.

          • JohnnyMaverik says:

            “nowadays we almost exclusively get shitty ports of shitty console games.”

            Less so in the past 2 years or so. It’s getting better… I mean we even get AAA size and dev cost exclusives again now, and they do well. We still get the occasional shoddy ports and 6 month delays on PC releases of multi-platform games don’t seem to be going any where fast, but it’s gotten better.

            Of course as soon as the next gen of console toys come out I fully expect it to get worse again for a while -_-

            Such is life…

      • Foosnark says:

        I’m going to need to replace my car sometime in the next year. Please tell me where I can get a new midrange car for $600?

      • pupsikaso says:

        A smart PC gamer buys their hardware to last for 2-3 years, and it costs about $1000 for that once-in-3-years upgrade. That’s about $27 a month. I spend more on fuel per week.

  4. iucounu says:

    He really is a *lot* like Charlie Brooker. I would be an excellent Louis Theroux, if Louis Theroux did not already exist, the bastard, hogging that lucrative ‘Louis Theroux’ niche.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      In mildly related news, Charlie Brooker is doing “Weekly Wipe” some time in the future.

    • Salt says:

      I saw this linked earlier today on Twitter and went on to enjoy the rest of the series. They’re entertaining and even say some interesting things. Certainly very similar to [noun]wipe, pretty sure it’s even using some of the same sound samples.

      It seems weird to me that high quality videos are sitting at less than 10,000 views after being out for months. I know that the bulk of views go to Minecraft, kittens, copyright infringement and implied female nudity, but I’m still surprised they’re not getting more views.

      • The First Door says:

        I was wondering where he went, I loved the rather short lived Jon Blyth Reports series he did, so it’s pleasing to see he is doing something similar again!

        P.s. I just remdined myself how much this part makes me giggle: http://youtu.be/s2cCOGyVS8w?t=2m20s

    • Poliphilo says:

      I did love the video though, but that they’re so blatantly using Brooker’s rant-style just doesn’t sit well with me. Or rather; I don’t like having to dislike this aspect of the video, because otherwise it was brilliant, especially the intro and that bit where he slaps the gobshit-impression guy in the street. Would’ve been equally brilliant without copying Brooker, is what I’m saying.

      PS. Also PLEASE game developers, publishers, take note of this video, watch it at least 5 times, and make notes, if you find you have to. PLEASE, I’m sick and tired of this shit in games, I don’t want to feel guilty for indulging in my passion. Because at this point the objectifying and the bullshit-”gotta tick 12-year old boys’ boxes”-mentality just means I know what games to instantly ignore the day they’re announced. And now it’s happening in good games, too, ffs.

  5. Jamesworkshop says:

    the lameness of how the media discusses it,

    that would include you too then john, and oxm

    why is it only people with private jets tell people not to get into aeroplanes

    I also don’t think the over privileged in society, trade their old games in to buy new ones.

    Unless we follow the feminist theory that the real people in society that don’t have much are really middle class white women with stacks of university degrees that get to write books for a living :)

    • iucounu says:

      Quite right, because… because… what?

    • Meat Circus says:

      I think John has earned the benefit of the doubt. Remember his impassioned raging against the fuckwits that waged their fuckwitted campaign of fuckwittery against Anna Sarkeesian?

      • Hoaxfish says:

        yea, it was pretty fuckwitted

      • Deadly Habit says:

        Yes, but unfortunately due to that whole fiasco, no one wants to call her out on failing to meet deadlines or I believe even deliver any of the promised content yet which can be used as an example of the problems with Kickstarter.

        • Lucretious says:

          I dunno…I receive updates from her every couple of weeks via email, and as far as I know she hasn’t failed to meet any deadlines?

          • El_Emmental says:

            I’m more concerned about the quality of the content than the deadlines.

            Good things take time, and I’m afraid she’s not taking the necessary amount of it.

            I guess that time will tell (and judge, her and everyone – the bloody misogynist bastard !).

    • realmenhuntinpacks says:

      ‘Unless we follow the feminist theory that the real people in society that don’t have much are really middle class white women with stacks of university degrees that get to write books for a living’ Whaaaaat? Must’ve missed that one pol. Really struggling to figure out what you’re getting at there. Feels ropey though, reeeeeal ropey.

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        i’m satirizing johns point,

        A 16 y/o old trading in his games at game station.

        yep that’s what privilege looks like.

        if that’s the reward or benefit for being privileged in society then the

        “middle class white women with stacks of university degrees that get to write books for a living”
        should have added, that get to live in countries with universal suffrage.

        Must be like as they complain, the underprivileged.

        Videogamers are hardly considered “winners” in society at the best of times

        Music is very mass market but you don’t get roger ebert saying that it’s not really art. so even if video games do cater to men (and they do) it’s still a hollow achievement

        • Chirez says:

          Saying that videogamers are relatively low in the hierarchy of privilege is largely a value statement.
          Pretty much no matter where you are on that scale there are are people both above and below, the point at hand is the relative positions of male and female gamers.

          When the only distinction is gender, all other factors being equal, male privilege is very powerful in games, arguably more so than in many other areas.

          Yes, if you are playing games in the first place, you are more privileged than many who will never have that opportunity. Equally, many people who play games are underprivileged within their own societies. Both points are irrelevant to the current discussion.

        • Syra says:

          “Videogamers are hardly considered “winners” in society at the best of times”

          I just want to /facepalm. That people are still judging each other on the merit and mainstream appeal of their hobbies in this day and age, when gaming is the largest media form. Sigh.

          • sinister agent says:

            The suggestion that “whether or not you play video games” is even remotely comparable to “sex” or “ethnicity” as a social consideration is quite amusingly mad, also.

          • Phantoon says:

            You’d think it’d be easier to be inclusive about video games than entire opposing cultures and viewpoi- wait we’re not really doing that either. Welp! Better continue to bitch about only one specific facet of human stupidity like complaining fixes anything other than serve as catharsis.

            At least every successive generation will be smarter.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          There are multiple axis of priveledge, there is no heirarchy and they don’t generally don’t conflict (i.e. it’s not a competition).

          If you are male and you exist in any of the societies that currently exist on earth, then you will benefit from male priviledge. End Of. You don’t also have to be wealthy, white or one of the cool kids, just being male will do.

          Also, inventing straw-man* arguments about non-existant feminist theories is just weak. Either that was a pathetic attempt at satire, or you don’t really understand what satire is.

          *straw-person?

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            INTRO: BatmanBishop wrote a long response to my post. I wrote a long response. By the time I came to post it, his response was gone (either he deleted it or someone else did…). However, I’ve spent ages writing this so… fuck it:

            You’re mistaking my saying “having privilege” with a more general “being privileged” (which we generally use to mean “being wealthy”).

            Privilege is the advantages that people benefit from based solely on their social status.

            There are multiple axis of privelege, and they don’t generally* don’t conflict. Everyone is privileged in some aspects of life and non-privileged in others. e.g. a black man has male privilege over a white woman, but she has racial privilege over him. Neither of them wins anything, but it’s important to take their respective privileges into account as they play into the context of their interactions, and influence who has “the power” in any given situation.

            Male privilege is the set of advantages that are given to men as a class in relation to women as a class. Every man will experience this privilege differently due to his specific circumstances and the other privileges he does or doesn’t posess. However, every man, by virtue of being male, benefits from male privilege.

            So my great-grandfather who died before he was 50 because of coal dust in his lungs from working in the mines was privileged?

            No, I’m saying he had privilege over the women he encountered in his life. For instance, it would have been a a lot easier for him to get a divorce from his wife [assuming he was married] than it would have been for his wife to get a divorce from him. Assuming he was alive before 1918 [quite likely I think] in the UK [possible] then he would have been able to vote in elections, unlike women of the same era.

            By the fact that every female in my family benefited by the sacrifices the males made means that because of random chance my genes meant that i’m male I’m privileged.

            Yes, being male gives you male privilege. Also – what about all the sacrifices that the women in your family made?

            …and just saying. “you’re male, you have it easy” is just ridiculous.

            Out of context that would be – good thing no one is saying that. “You have privilege” != “You have it easy”

            You can argue that those in power have created systems that allow those of the male sex to benefit but don’t for one second try to tell me that every single male automatically benefits by virtue of having a penis. That is not how the world works.

            Actually, that pretty much is how the world works. Sometimes it’s overt and obvious (e.g. Women not being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia), sometimes it’s subtle (e.g. it’s the norm for a wife to take her husbands surname – keeping her own will often generate comment and/or criticism)

            But we should never take the easy option and just blame it on whatever group we deem fits those in power that have created those structures

            This is the important bit.
            Recognising privilege isn’t actually about blame.
            It’s not your fault you have privilege, you didn’t ask for it or create it. It is conferred on you by society
            Having privilege doesn’t make you a bad person.
            Having privilege isn’t even optional – there is nothing you can do about having it.**
            It’s what you do or [more importantly] *don’t* do with it that matters.

            * It’s worth pointing out though, that the wealth privilege generally trumps all others as money directly equates to power.

            ** Aside from helping to change society, natch.

            TL;DR – Male privilege is a real thing, it’s not your fault, but it’s still real. Giving examples of men who aren’t all-powerful in all situations doesn’t negate this.

          • Furiku says:

            You people are so hilarious, instead of categorizing everyone as people, humans and treating them all the same you bring gender theory and race theory and all sorts of hocus pocus to the matter to help your argument.

            Let me ask you then, what about “female privilege”?
            What about women statistically getting lower prison sentences, and generally not being very well represented in prisons?
            What about occupational fatality rates, men being 13 times (or more) likely to get killed while working? http://www.aei-ideas.org/2010/04/creating-%E2%80%98equal-occupational-fatality-day%E2%80%99-occurs-next-in-2021/
            What about enforced conscription for males, that women never had to go through, tell me how it is “privileged” to die somewhere in a ditch for something you might not even believe in?
            What about child support and general likelyhood of getting custody over a child?
            What about looks (and quotas) influencing job decisions, good looking women are more likely to get certain jobs and there’s more and more quotas being instated across a lot of states to the point that American businesswomen relocate to Europe, because they have guaranteed top paying jobs: https://www.bluesteps.com/blog/European-Boards-Pursue-American-Businesswomen.aspx
            What about the “children and women first” mantra when a boat goes down, or basically with a lot of other things?
            Mens lives are generally a lot less worth in society because of their lack of childbearing capabilities.
            What about males generally expected to go work for long hours, while females are not?
            What about general niceties you do when a woman is around, not talking about the same things, trying to generally be nicer and more pleasant, what about all the concepts of chivalry towards “ladies”?
            What about women statistically living 5-7 years longer than men?
            What about cases of domestic violence against males generally being ignored or brushed off and it being up to 7 times less likely of being indicted?
            Also being understanding for general violence against men, even in public while almost any kind of violence against a woman is being met with forceful reactions?

            You’re making this awfully easy on yourself by listing all the supposed advantages that males have and ignoring all the ones that females do have.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            Furiku please go see a therapist before you hurt yourself or somebody else.

          • jorygriffis says:

            Furiku just finally made the so-asinine-and-pedantic-that-they-might-actually-be-a-troll men’s-rights post that we’ve all been waiting for.

          • BatmanBishop says:

            @Ergates_Antius

            I deleted my response as it was a lot more anger than good argumentation. Its a very very complex topic and internet forums\comment sections just are not a good place to have them. I appreciate your reply anyway, very good points.

          • RaveTurned says:

            @Furiku

            Hilariously, you’ve actually listed a whole bunch of examples of gender-based inequality rooted in institutionalised pro-male gender stereotypes. The majority of examples you cite find their roots in the idea that women are too weak and feeble to fend for themselves, particularly in harsh environments (like prison, or any job with a reasonable risk of injury, or a warzone, or a sinking ship, or a job that requires long hours, or an abusive relationship). Accordingly, the big strong men are obliged to step in to protect these feeble creatures from all the evils of the world (including other men, if necessary). The idea of chivalry extends this notion as far as protecting their precious ears from impolite language or even saving them the trial of having to open a damn door on their own.

            You’re quite right to call all this out as bullshit, but you’ve failed to recognise the perverse mantra at root of it all, and how it plays into male and female roles in society. To quote from this article, which I suggest you read:

            “For the most part, women do gain some benefits from the chivalric beliefs that are often chalked up to “female privilege”, just like men gain some benefits from the system of male privilege. However, the difference is that the status quo for men is one which grants them status and power in both the public and private spheres, whereas the status quo for women is one which limits their power to the much smaller, and more specific, domestic sphere.”

          • Furiku says:

            Yep, at the last general assembly of the collective patriarchat the head patriarch decided that in order to keep them womyn down it is absolutely essential to send men to their deaths on various occasions and make them to be considered the most worthless of human lifeforms in society, as well as taking away rights in regards to custody and increasingly deny them jobs because of their gender lately: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/business/global/citing-lack-of-women-in-top-jobs-european-parliament-rejects-male-nominee.html

            Makes sense.

  6. Meat Circus says:

    So… have you seen those women they’ve got nowadays? What are *they* all about, eh?

  7. Snids says:

    But what about us mans?!?!!

  8. Snids says:

    Also, recruit Log! We wants him. Yesssss.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Is he actually a gay? I want to gaily stroke his beard.

      • DickSocrates says:

        He’s just saying that to appeal to hardcore gamers.

        No, he is.

      • Meat Circus says:

        We gaymers like to stick together. You know, for bumming purposes.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Oh, “meat circus”! I get it now!.
          Sorry, I’ll go away.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          In an out of place moment of objectification I would also like to add my support to the notion that Blythe is totally hot.

        • Jamesworkshop says:

          So that’s why their are so many typos when homosexual men discuss games

          games

          gaymes

          I get it now :)

      • Snids says:

        I dont wan’t him physically. Well, maybe a little bit. Just maybe a fleeting moment of physicality. Then, for years I’ll look at him and our eyes will meet and we’ll both remember that precious little flash, that raw erotic moment we shared.

        So, in summation I can categorically say I am not, nor have I ever been a member of the communist party.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Meat Circus, your RPS handle would make an excellent Growlr username. Mind if I steal it?

        • sinister agent says:

          I would personally be wary about letting a meat circus near my growler.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          Oh now I was being lighthearted, and making a joke about a pun to do with not letting a ‘meat circus’ near your ‘growler’ not really working in the context of growlr being a popular gay hook up site designed specifically to get hold of a good meat circus. Let’s still be friends.

          • sinister agent says:

            Ohhh. I thought it was … well I dunno, a picture hosting site or somthing, like flickr or tumblr or whatvr (the latter of which is surprisingly not a thing).

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Now you mention it there are a load of confused straight guys on there, I’d always put it down to denial and repression but the similarities with Tumblr and flickr could totally be the reason!

      • The First Door says:

        Gaily stroking another man’s beard is clearly the most manly thing it is possible to do! Wait…

        I do agree with you though, it is an extremely strokable beard.. I’ll have to put him on my list of beards I envy, right after Brian Blessed.

        • sinister agent says:

          A word of warning: it is considered very impolite to stroke a man’s beard without asking her permission first.

          • The First Door says:

            I can’t tell if that was a typo or if you were being very gender neutral in your post on purpose.

            Either way, as the proud owner of a (not quite as fantastic) beard, I’m well aware! Speaking for myself, however, most friends are allowed a stoke of my beard if they ask nicely.

          • The Anonymous Mr P says:

            I’m sure the ‘error’ was intentional.

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=beard

            WORDPLAY!

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            I also commend your wordplay. It made me do a smile.

          • Rawrian says:

            Imagine what it’s like to be a bald manly man with a great giant beard. Everybody wants to touch your shining dome and stroke your chin vegetation at the same time.

          • The First Door says:

            I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad I didn’t know that meaning before now. Well, at least I’ve learned something this morning!

          • Phantoon says:

            And once again, my screen has been cleaned. Thanks for that. Should know better than to read comments while drinking water.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      No please please don’t, his reviews for PCZone were so absurdly positive for big name games I’d be deeply worried about Blyth lowering RPS’s standards.

      • Meat Circus says:

        Does it actually matter if the videos slip by a few months? As a result of what happened, she has way more money than she expected, which affords her the luxury of taking longer to do a really high quality production job. Which is what she’s doing.

        The last update on the Kickstarter page suggests the videos will start appearing in December.

      • skinlo says:

        I think his one major mistake was Spore, but apart from that I didn’t notice anything majorly positive?

  9. Joshua Northey says:

    Was a nice video. Nothing too groundbreaking.

    I think the main thing he might be missing is that his video is clearly for 20 and 30 somethings, but the boobies are for the 14-22 year old demographic. I mean it works some on the older male demo, but not nearly as much. A lot of the problems with games (from a 31 years old’s perspective) come from so many of the consumers being teenagers. It really distorts the marketplace and what the companies are incentivized to do. It is the same with movies, where it is hard to find much of anything good that is PG-13, and you are much better off sticking to R movies that aren’t reaching for the (giant) 12-16 year old market.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      “A lot of the problems with games (from a 31 years old’s perspective) come from so many of the consumers being teenagers.”

      No… it comes from the false belief that so many of the consumers are teenagers. Oh, not from random gamers like yourself believing it, but in the people who make the decisions believing it.

      • Meat Circus says:

        I think you’re both confusing “teenagers” with “idiots”. There’s a strong correlation, but it’s not 100%.

        • eks says:

          As a former teenager, I’m going to have to ask you to provide evidence that suggests it’s not 100%

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            All teenagers are idiots, but not all idiots are teenagers.

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            Knowing someone used to be something doesn’t mean everyone at that stage was exactly the same.

            Ergo, the onus is on you (and the others claiming the same) to prove all teenagers, ever, are idiots.

          • sinister agent says:

            Everyone is an idiot, including teenagers. But there are different kinds of idiot.

          • Xzi says:

            Today’s teenagers are the reason why we have movie adaptations of Twilight when the books were so clearly some of the only ones fit for burning. They’re also the reason that Lady Gaga gets to continue making “music.”

            I don’t think we need a whole lot more evidence.

            That said, it’s not so much that teenage boys are idiots as it is that they tend to think with their smaller head first. When most of us think back to high school, there’s little else there save porn, video games, and a few scattered dates which usually ended unsuccessfully.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            Ergo, the onus is on you (and the others claiming the same) to prove all teenagers, ever, are idiots.

            That’s easy to do.
            1) Go outside
            2) Find a teenager (follow the sound of shitty music being played on a mobile phone)
            3) Engage them in conversation
            4) Repeat.

          • wu wei says:

            The frontal lobes don’t stop developing until a person is in their mid-20s.

            Biologically, teenagers are idiots.

    • D3xter says:

      I think you might be wrong, sex sells literally everything for a broad range of demographics: http://www.livescience.com/20773-sexy-advertising-increasing.html
      http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/tcom/faculty/ha/sp2003/gp1/Article4.html

      I’m not sure why particularly video games have to set aside because John & friends seem to have a problem with it.

      • Dark Nexus says:

        Probably a multitude of reasons, but the main one is thus:

        This is a site about video games. An article about how women are portrayed in beer commercials would be somewhat out of place.

        And really, it’s distasteful and insulting no matter what medium it’s used in.

      • tobecooper says:

        They seem to be nice people with good manners who think putting boobs into everything is just in bad taste, and playing to the lowest common denominator. They care for the game industry and thus want it to become better. Furthermore you might find that John & friends aren’t interested in selling you sex or even games. Seriously, let’s buy games not sex – this seems to me a nice message for a Thursday evening.

        • D3xter says:

          I don’t particularly do as it is, my Steam history for instance says that I’ve recently played Resonance, Spec Ops: The Line, Emerald City Confidential, Gemini Rue, Blackwell Series, To the Moon, Torchlight II (which aren’t particularly “sexy”), oh and I also recently finished Dead Island

          Some of the last few games I’ve bought were Splice, Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery, Blackwell Deception, Resonance, Spec Ops: The Line, Rome: Total War, To The Moon, Dark Souls etc.

          It’s just a particular pet peeve and pisses me off when the Moral Outrage Brigade claims they have all the answers, want to tell people what they are and aren’t supposed to like, want to tell developers what they are and aren’t supposed to do with their games and somehow want to impose this meme about “boobs being bad” on everyone.

          For instance I haven’t owned a Dead or Alive game in my life, my only exposure to them was playing for a few minutes several times over at friends almost a decade ago, but it pisses me off deeply when people try to push their agenda about the games somehow being “wrong” and “objectionable” and that the developers are horrible horrible people for making them.

          For that matter the series existed since 1997 and had 11 iterations and it’s only now that the “sexism” bandwagon has discovered its objectionable existence *rolleyes*

          Even if they ARE targeted at teenagers, what’s wrong with that? Have teenagers suddenly stopped existing a few years ago? And what does compel people like John Walker to get all outraged about their existence? Just ignore them and move on if you don’t like them, like a lot of people do with a great many other games.

          • realmenhuntinpacks says:

            Targeted at male teenagers. It seems to come down to an argument between those who think the world is fine as it is and those who would like to see change. I find it absofuckinlutely mind-blowing that anyone can argue that there’s something wrong with progressive rebalancing. JUST MOVE ON AND IGNORE IT FUCKING HELL WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUUUUUUGRRRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH

          • Snargelfargen says:

            “It’s just a particular pet peeve and pisses me off when the Moral Outrage Brigade claims they have all the answers, want to tell people what they are and aren’t supposed to like, want to tell developers what they are and aren’t supposed to do with their games and somehow want to impose this meme about “boobs being bad” on everyone.”

            Have you been taking notes from Strawman Mat? Sure there are some crazy commenters out there if you go looking, but the majority have reasonable criticisms.

            “For that matter the series existed since 1997 and had 11 iterations and it’s only now that the “sexism” bandwagon has discovered its objectionable existence *rolleyes*”

            So just because an issue was ignored for years, we shouldn’t discuss it now? In any case, complaints about sexism have been around for quite a while, I think it’s safe to say that it is no longer a fad.

          • Dark Nexus says:

            “For that matter the series existed since 1997 and had 11 iterations and it’s only now that the “sexism” bandwagon has discovered its objectionable existence *rolleyes*”

            No, I pretty much remember people complaining about it way back then too. The collective volume just wasn’t as loud then – as it wasn’t as loud then on this overall topic in general.

          • tobecooper says:

            d3xter, I like the games you play and I love boobs too.

            I treat the kind of stuff that John does here as a call for empathy and for thinking about your entertainment and gaming culture. I don’t find that detrimental or offensive.

            Give the womenzors personality first, then we can discuss whether they need cleavage or not! – this is for developers.
            Don’t ignore idiots from the ‘gimme sammich’ camp. Don’t let these teenagers think this is all right or funny. – this is for other players.

          • derbefrier says:

            @tobecooper

            personality? come on man its not like every male character is deep and involving. Usually they are just muscle bound idiots spouting catch phrases we better get pissed or no women will ever respect up for the smart people we are…give me a break, should we get all up in arms about that? The fact is neither male or female are generally portrayed in a realistic way. But I dont see you guys getting pissed about that. why the double standard?

            And what about the whole games are art argument? Do you side with the conservative nuts who don’t want great works of art displayed because they have boobies in them to? Where do you draw the line and who gets to decide? you? me? the government? This is why this argument is futile because we all have different beliefs on the subject and in a supposed society were freedom of speech and expression are treasured really the only responsible thing to do is ignore what you don’t like unless its directly hurting someone of course, but if your not mature enough to handle the idea people may believe differently and may not be as extreme in their beliefs as you lets just make all game characters white squares so it cant possibly offend anyone…oh wait why does it have to be white? why not black? oh fuck I give up…

          • noom says:

            Well, it’s been talked about since 2003 at least.

            Edit in reply to derbefrier:

            “personality? come on man its not like every male character is deep and involving. Usually they are just muscle bound idiots spouting catch phrases we better get pissed or no women will ever respect up for the smart people we are…give me a break, should we get all up in arms about that? The fact is neither male or female are generally portrayed in a realistic way. But I dont see you guys getting pissed about that. why the double standard?”

            No double standard. What you’re talking about is just the other half of the same adolescent male power fantasy. The depiction is not a sexualised one, except so far as it is supposed to suggest male sexual dominance of women.

            It’s a point that comes up a lot in this whole debate, and frankly it doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

          • Chirez says:

            Hmm, telling people what to like and what not, eh?
            Given that there are people in the world who like torturing small animals with power tools, I think that this particular argument may have some flaws.

            If you accept that gender prejudice is a Bad Thing, it seems like steps ought to be taken to slow its proliferation. All games tell us something about our culture and ourselves. The developers who create these experiences have choices to make about how sex and gender will be viewed within the context of the game. Unfortunately in order to have a nuanced, intelligent perspective on something so complicated would involve a deep and comprehensive understanding of the subject, which is beyond reasonable expectations of the people involved.

            That said, however, explicitly rewarding the player for doing something invasive or socially unacceptable legitimises that behaviour and really seems inexcusable. I suspect the strawmen would pipe up about killing being acceptable behaviour in games, but the difference is that killing people in the real world is not generally contentious. Staring at women most certainly is.

            Oddly enough, I think blatant cheesecake like DoA Volleyball is perfectly acceptable. If you want to watch animated girls in bikinis bouncing around, I’m not likely to object. Divorced from context and purely self justifying, it’s not saying anything other than ‘straight men like titties’, which seems to me fairly inoffensive, not to mention obvious. In a game with a more complex premise however, which I would strongly hope counts Bioshock in, such things need to be justified and contextualised, if they are going to avoid being pure objectification.

            I think the point I’m getting at here is that the characters in DoA are objects, and can be treated as such. Characters in Bioshock are attempted depictions of people. and must be subject to more detailed analysis.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          @derbefrier

          The fact is neither male or female are generally portrayed in a realistic way. But I dont see you guys getting pissed about that. why the double standard?

          To precis was noom wrote:
          The way men are generally portrayed in games is a male power fantasy.
          The way women are generally portrayed in games is a male sexual fantasy.
          Do you see the commonality?

          • El_Emmental says:

            “The way men/women are generally portrayed in games” …sold to men.

            In games sold to women, there isn’t gigantic boobs flying around.

            Trust me, I bought, watched, played, tested several of them (for several female relatives/friends, who knew nothing about video games and wanted advices for their kids and themselves). I haven’t seen a single “girl” game with a pointless bikini scene, cleavage-friendly postures and other male fantasy non-sense.

            For some social-control (mostly done by women themselves) reasons, girls were told that video games were for asocial male nerds and weren’t for them at all. Women were the first to prevent girls from gaming freely.

            You should have heard the comments said about my sister playing Goldeneye (the paintball mode was her favorite, especially with the KF7) or Tomb Raider II back then… they were the most elaborate sexist rants I have ever heard, from people I thought were moderate and intelligent. Same with my cousin (girl) playing Sonic games (back when Sega was making consoles), treated like a weirdo tomboy by her peers and her own family.

            Now that it’s slowly changing and girls can buy and play games without much problems, developers and publishers are slowly adapting to the new potential customers. Blaming them for not going fast enough, when it took more than 20 years and the Wii for women to finally accept video games in their social spheres of “it’s ok to do it”, is kinda hypocritical.

            [part 1]

          • El_Emmental says:

            My main advices to deal with sexism in games *would* be:

            - Buy and play the damn games, boycott and criticize any sexism as “poor character design”. There should be as much female gamers as male gamers, there is no excuse, there is enough different and good games to feed an entire solar system nowadays.

            - Stop pulling the “sexist agenda by machist devs trying to appeal to frustrated teenagers” (portraying the average gamer like that is quite sexist btw) card every time a games feature overexposed breasts or a stereotyped female character. Nobody is listening to that drama but you and a few “progressive” people not in the video games culture at all. Circle-jerking between “sexism-aware” people is 100% useless and often leads to stupid and totally inaccurate claims.

            - Eradicate the “girl gamers” trend with an orbital ion cannon – seriously, it is strictly categorizing female gamers as entirely different gamers, who should be treated differently, talked to differently, played with and against differently – where are the feminists on that major issue ? Afraid of “friendly-fire” casualties between women ? (A “blue-on-blue” situation, or should I sexistly say, a ” :3 pink-on-pink <3 !!1!!" one)

            No really, get rid of the gamer girlz bullcrap, it's even worse than the 12 years old male kid: it's an inside enemy, safe from any criticism, and it last several years after the subjects' puberty. Kill it.

            [part 2]

          • El_Emmental says:

            Meanwhile, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is on hold indefinitely and the first one sold very poorly.

            Meanwhile, Mirror’s Edge 2 is on hold indefinitely and the first one sold very poorly.

            Meanwhile, The Sims series is constantly hitting the top5 charts and is not going to stop anytime soon.

            Meanwhile, the Just Dance series is constantly hitting the top5 charts and is not going to stop anytime soon.

            Go in the street, go in the stores, go on social network websites, talk with your friends, and see who massively buy Just Dance and The Sims games. Then see who bought Beyond Good and Evil and Mirror’s Edge.

            Explain me how the sexism in games is solely caused by the developers, publishers and players.

            Explain me why it *should* logically change (morality aside), how it could be commercially-relevant and commercially-sustainable.

            Explain me how there isn’t any serious social issues and stigmas among female humans regarding gaming.

            Why that topic is never mentioned ? Why I’m not seeing videos of female gamers directly and strongly criticizing the women and girls looking down on gamers, especially female gamers, categorizing them as non-feminine and asocial girls ?

            It’s always the same thing in such “debate”, it’s so much easier to designate a scapegoat, an external enemy, and run with it – going home happy, thinking we made the world a better place.

            See:
            - people defending freedom of expression in the Muhammad cartoons debate => “it’s a hate attack on muslim people !” (what ? we should take the extremists problem by the horns ? I call poppycock !)

            - people against death penalty/lynching => “so you like rapists and murderers !” (what ? Justice ? Human rights ? unimportant things)

            - poor sales of a video game ? => “must be piracy !” (what ? publishers losing touch with their customer base ? baloney !)

            - the economy is broken ? => “ha, knew it ! all these immigrants stealing our jobs !” (what ? financial sector deregulation in the last 20 years and out-of-control consumerism ? gobbledygook !)

            I’m tired of this.

            [part 3, the last one]

          • derbefrier says:

            Ok let me ask you a question. How is a male character with muscles and abs that only a body builder could have, combined with the intellectual capacity of a 5 year old and less sexualized or more demeaning than a female with big boobs and the same amount of intelligence? Why focus on one aspect and ignore the other? What purpose does that serve? Do you think people are incapable from distinguishing reality from these cartoon like caricatures of the perfect male\female that both sexes fantasize about? I know thats a lot of questions but this leads to my next point that has gone unanswered.

            Forget the superficial for a moment and think about the philosophies that allow this sort of expression in our media. The right to free speech, a freedom of expression. Do you not think intimidating and coercing people into censoring themselves does not diminish those basic liberties? IF you decide it isnt than who do we give this power too to decide what is acceptable, is there anyone qualified to make such decisions? In all the bs thrown back and forth here this is one question I want everyone here to think about. because when it comes down to it. this is all basically an attack on a freedom to express oneself by those who disagree with a certain point of view by using soapboxes such as a gaming site to lord your opinion and publicly pressure people and demonize those who might think differently than you. Like I said before in a world were these freedoms are generally looked on as positive things this assault on them makes no sense to me. I believe you should all act mature enough to realize this and have the dignity to act to your own beliefs but to respect those who may not be in the extreme position you choose to reside in. We all have different backgrounds and influences in our lives and just because we may come to a different conclusion does not make it inherently worse than yours to believe so means your nothing more than a close minded fool that’s just a slave to his ego.

          • Ich Will says:

            @derbefrier – In reply to some your questions.

            “Ok let me ask you a question. How is a male character with muscles and abs that only a body builder could have, combined with the intellectual capacity of a 5 year old and less sexualized or more demeaning than a female with big boobs and the same amount of intelligence?”

            It’s not. The problem is they are both male fantasies for males. No female fantasies about a male with muscles and abs that only a body builder could have, combined with the intellectual capacity of a 5 year old who dominates women, not in the way portrayed in video games anyway.

            “Why focus on one aspect and ignore the other?”

            As pointed out, they are both male fantasies and they are both problems.

            “Do you think people are incapable from distinguishing reality from these cartoon like caricatures of the perfect malefemale that both sexes fantasize about?”

            These caricatures as you so amusingly call them do not reflect reality. While the fantasy they portray strokes the male ego, it alienates females. This is a bad thing. Do you understand why this is a bad thing? Let’s not overlook the anonymity the internet provides. People do act like these meat headed characters behind the safety of a username to anyone who dares identify themselves as female in a multiplayer game environment.

            “Do you not think intimidating and coercing people into censoring themselves does not diminish those basic liberties?”

            No-one is asking for the end of games with boobs in. If they gratify you, that’s OK. It is not intimidation or coersion to suggest that many people will find that pathetic, it’s fact. If you feel intimidated and coerced by that fact, that’s your own genetic desire to be a part of the pack. People are not saying boobie games should not exist, just that every game shouldn’t be a boobie game, not even half of all games. Maybe a quarter would be acceptable, I don’t know.

            ” IF you decide it isn’t than who do we give this power too to decide what is acceptable, is there anyone qualified to make such decisions?”

            We give the power to the market i.e. game buying humanity of all races, sexes colours and creeds. I’m sure your fingers are already twitching over the “humanity has spoken and they like boobs in nearly all games” Sadly, game makers do not currently represent a full and balanced diversity of humanity. I want to see “bollywood games” marketed with the same strength as “Female Witcher complete with male “amazing conversation” cards” alongside your traditional boobie game. Get a diverse and open community making the games to match the diverse and open market and let the market forces decide.

            “This is all basically an attack on a freedom to express oneself by those who disagree with a certain point of view by using soapboxes such as a gaming site to lord your opinion and publicly pressure people and demonize those who might think differently than you.”

            No, no it’s not. It seems you want to be able to express your opinion by playing the games you want but you want to censor other peoples opinion on you and the games you enjoy. This is just your own version of attacking other peoples right to express what a loser people who play games you play are. As I pointed out earlier, the pressure you feel comes from the fact you are genetically programmed to feel pressure from the common public opinion. And because a huge majority of people dislike things you like, you feel pressure. This is not their fault. You cannot blame people for having an opinion which disagrees with yours.

            ” I believe you should all act mature enough to realize this and have the dignity to act to your own beliefs but to respect those who may not be in the extreme position you choose to reside in. ”

            Part of freedom involves the freedom of expression. Whilst many people I’m sure express them selves in an immature way, this is their right and you have no business telling them that they may not do so.

            “We all have different backgrounds and influences in our lives and just because we may come to a different conclusion does not make it inherently worse than yours to believe so means your nothing more than a close minded fool that’s just a slave to his ego.”

            Or maybe you are the close minded fool that is just a slave to your own ego for not realizing that in our society we have designated some opinions worse than others. The opinion that drink driving is OK is worse than the opinion that drink driving is not OK. The opinion that apartheid is a good thing is worse than the opinion that all races should enjoy equality. Do you see where this is going?

          • noom says:

            @derfebrier

            One quick but important point. Please don’t conflate constructive criticism with an attack on the principle of free-speech. It really is a cop-out. I don’t believe any article RPS has posted regarding gender politics have followed a Daily Mail style “Ban this sick filth!” format. John Walker’s articles that I have seen have done nothing but call certain practices and prevailant ideologies into question. The majority of comments on RPS are constructive too; yours also (mostly) if we’re to be fair. This is debate and it’s healthy. We all have to be wary of putting up strawman arguments though.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Because it’s (generally) degrading and marginalising towards women in all media but John and friends work in the gaming industry? I’d think it would be out of place for RPS to run stories about sexism in auto-mobile advertising, don’t you?

    • briktal says:

      Which makes it interesting that the big “teenager” games are rated M.

  10. Jenks says:

    I bet all the kids who like to stare at boobs feel awful silly right now. Well played, OXM.

  11. Feferuco says:

    Eh, shouldn’t have mentioned Bioshock Infinite, the game isn’t even out and we don’t know much how it goes with the cleavage lady (Elizabeth?). There are tons of other examples that could’ve been used from games that are already out.

    While in the subject, whatever happened to Tropes vs Women? I’m too lazy to look it up and expect the Internet to google things for me.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      I’ve never seen someone actually request a “let me google that for you”

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Having googled it before to check on the progress it’s actually a bit harder than it sounds… as far as I know, she completely missed her deadline and has yet to put out anything (and also made a basic poll to get her backers to do the work for her). Apparently the first of her videos is coming “soon”.

        One guy is putting out videos following her topics, as a kind of “what’s the hold up? I can do this for free”: https://www.youtube.com/user/gamesvstropesvswomen/videos

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          as far as I know, she completely missed her deadline

          These were lies you no doubt saw on 4chan or Reddit. Completely manufactured bullshit.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            No, I think it was me reading the “Delivery: August 2012″ on the Kickstarter as being the delivery date of the video(s)… though I guess it’s possible to have “video credits” without it being in an actual video.

            December 2012 for a full-set DVD delivery + all the above, is still possible as a deadline I guess (didn’t notice the delivery date was different at those tiers)

          • Acorino says:

            Double Fine Adventure missed also its supposed deadline already, but only because of awesome reasons, as in more than expected money. I think the same goes for the Tropes vs. Women in Videogames project.

          • Persus-9 says:

            I think it is fair to guess that the unexpected size of her funding is allowing her to devote considerably more time to the project to make higher quality more in depth videos so the schedule has lengthened slightly. She basically painted herself into a bit of a corner with the promised release dates. If she delivered them all as quickly as originally promised people would very rightly ask where all the rest of the kickstarter money went. So she’s going the slower a higher quality route to make use of the funding and now people are complaining that she is missing deadlines. I think people need to be a bit more reasonable myself.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Per the last public update (I missed the chance to back the Kickstarter project, so I can’t read the more recent updates), the first Tropes vs Women video should be out December-ish.

  12. Utsunomiya says:

    Oh, more delicious apologetic junk.

  13. D3xter says:

    Oh look it’s this again, what has it been, two days?
    Let’s all be ashamed of the tits together everyone…
    Maybe John can start a self-help group.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      No, you see you can still like tits and no-body is saying differently. What we’re arguing is that women are reduced to nothing but tits (tits to be rescued usually) in many computer games, and this is wrong because it’s part of the cycle between the media and social attitudes that causes women to be marginalised.

    • John Walker says:

      Even if I spelt the letters out of skyscrapers, I couldn’t write “OH, GO AWAY” big enough.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        I would like to live in a city where the skyline spells out “OH, GO AWAY!” London is a bit too subtle about it.

      • Oracizan says:

        Unless ‘go away’ is a polite way of saying ‘fuck off’, those like D3xter are the ones who least need to go away. The video – and by extension the article – must be directed at people like this, or else what is the point of them? You’d just be preaching to the choir.

        Of course there are those who are complicit with sexism in video games only because of their relatively innocent ignorance or complacency, but the tone of the video is really not directed at them and seems to be targeting the “lameness of the gobshite apologists” specifically.

        Until we’ve finished constructing the starship to take them all to a distant star, these types of people are here to stay in videogame culture and must be rehabilitated: We must reason with them just as much or more than the innocently ignorant and the complacent.

    • jrodman says:

      Welcome, D3xter!

  14. f69 says:

    I am ashamed I have a penis that works. :/

  15. Yosharian says:

    Sorry but I don’t buy it. Bioshock Infinite’s ‘damsel in distress’ is no big deal, and by the way she’s hardly defenseless considering the stuff I’ve seen her doing in some footage, and ‘girlfriend mode’ is no big deal either, just a rather dumb name for a game mode which isn’t sexist in any way shape or form.

    Team Ninja’s boob physics and general boob obsession can die in a fire though, I agree there.

    • Bhazor says:

      She still has her tits hanging out though.

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        Actually looks very much like what boobs actually look like in a corset, women have breasts and sometimes you can see parts of them, get over it.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          I can confirm that this is correct.

        • DiamondDog says:

          Apart from the fact that a corset is essentially underwear. So in modern terms she’s basically wandering around in a bra.

          Yes women have breasts, well done for noticing, but the point is most stories do at the very least clothe their characters.

          You’d think it was silly if Ezio was leaping about just in his undies. Or maybe you wouldn’t, it’s hard to tell. Maybe he should just wear a shirt and some boots and have his cock flapping about for all to see. Men have cocks, it’s perfectly natural.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            But, like, she wears a dress over the corset, the point is that’s what ladies looked like in dresses with corsets underneath. I think. Oh, I don’t know. Guess we don’t know who she is yet, so it seems a bit redundant to to focus on her boobies.

          • Bhazor says:

            So its a shame that its basically all we know about the character.

          • ChaseGunman says:

            Penis physics! Capital idea!

          • Jamesworkshop says:

            Peter molyneux tried it for black and white but the animator threaten to stab him

            http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.231457-Black-White-Monster-Penis-Almost-Got-Peter-Molyneux-Knifed?page=5

            knew the escapist would have it

          • DiamondDog says:

            Is she wearing a dress over it? All the video’s I’ve seen look like the corset is there for everyone to see. Edwardian women didn’t walk about with their cleavage on show like that. You’re thinking of the Ann Summers version of fashion history.

            For a game so defined by it’s setting and time-period it’s rather strange that they threw that out the window for Elizabeth.

          • jorygriffis says:

            “So its a shame that its basically all we know about the character.”

            YES! YES YES YES YOU NAILED IT! Basically all we know about the character, and certainly all that’s conveyed by visual signifiers, is “doe eyes and big cleavage”. It’s pandering and creepy–especially with the knowledge that they actually revised the character to make her eyes bigger and waterier and her corset tighter! It makes me think of this comment I once saw Ken Levine make:

            “In terms of her body type, I think certainly people on the Internet have spent way more time thinking about Elizabeth’s chest than I have. It’s something I’ve barely thought about.”

            When I first read that, my only thought was, “Well maybe you should think about it!”

          • D3xter says:

            I’m almost afraid to ask of what your interpretation of the Little Sisters from BioShock are that you could only “harvest” or “save” and what that tells us about Ken Levine.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            “So its a shame that its basically all we know about the character.”
            You know what, this is a good point. I find myself unwilling to spend much energy defending BSI here – I think you’ve changed my mind.

      • sinister agent says:

        It appears that she’s defenceless until you order her to defend herself in a specific way.

      • Yosharian says:

        A woman with her tits ‘out’ as it were is not automatically sexist. It’s the manner in which this is portrayed or used that determines it.

        Saying that this character is sexist is like saying any portrayal of a woman in any period drama ever is sexist. It’s an irrelevant and inappropriate judgement to make.

        • sinister agent says:

          It’s a mistake to take that example in isolation. On its own, no, it’s not necessarily sexist, but it’s not on its own. It’s just one drop in an endless stream of Total Cleavage, and as the video points out, its sudden intrusion into a series that’s been fairly respectable and avoided pandering to tedious “tits and explosions” Bayism is quite tiresome. If even relatively mature, thoughtful serieseseses like Bioshock are shoving cartoon blimps in your face every five minutes, where the hell are we supposed to go if we don’t feel like being treated like bloody chimps?

        • Jamesworkshop says:

          Unless your female character can beat lex luthor at chess and out wrestle superman, it’s a sexist portrayal.

          • Kaira- says:

            Your strawman is quite weak. F-, apply yourself.

          • Jamesworkshop says:

            See butthurt over metroid other m

            also a good rum doings episode discussing that bit in that bbc’s sherlock holmes, where some woman got rescued and people said that was sexist, because one time a man did something that was helpful for a women.

            same thing.

          • Kaira- says:

            Which couldn’t have possibly been because of making Samus completely dependable on males and crying half the game as opposed to how she had been portrayed in previous games?

          • Jamesworkshop says:

            Real women don’t cry

            is that your suggestion

            All i saw was a woman smart enough not to blow a whole through every wall when you have the death star hanging on the end of one arm.

            the other games have no portrayal, the real stupidity is the idea of being scared of something you’ve killed like three times already.

          • Bhazor says:

            Samus Aran in Other M was embarrising. Basically the most emotionally crippled character I’ve ever seen in a shooter. Baby obsessed and completely subservient to men. To the point that her daddy figure shoots her in the back because she can’t be trusted to do the job herself and so the big strong daddy figure has to do it instead.
            Then Samus apoligises.
            For being shot in the back.

            As for Holmes I assume you mean the part where Holmes female counterpart she was completely rewritten as a prostitute. A woman who in the original out smarted Holmes and escaped is here rendered both helpless and with a raging lady boner for the male lead.

            F- for you.

          • Zakski says:

            just wanted to let you know, “butthurt” is an extremely asinine phrase and I will be taking this opportunity to relieve you from polluting my screen with your comments any longer

          • Jamesworkshop says:

            polluting my screen with your comments any longer

            don’t read the articles then, because john said a swear, so you must never log in again.

            I trust other people will, if you have blocked me, call you out on that on my behalf.

          • Anabasis says:

            Hey Jamesworkshop!

            Not every sentence needs to be a new paragraph.

            Also each one should probably relate logically and semantically to the others.

            Banana.

    • Brun says:

      boob physics

      Man, imagine if you could get a doctorate in this! Best thesis paper ever.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        When working with a three-dimensional stress state, a 4th order tensor containing 81 elastic coefficients must be defined to link the stress tensor and the strain tensor.

        The tensor is called the stiffness tensor or the elasticity tensor. Due to the symmetry of the stress tensor, strain tensor, and stiffness tensor, only 21 elastic coefficients are independent. As stress is measured in units of pressure and strain is dimensionless, the entries of are also in units of pressure. The expression for generalized Hooke’s law can be inverted to get a relation for the strain in terms of stress. The tensor is called the compliance tensor.

        Generalization for the case of large deformations is provided by models of neo-Hookean solids and Mooney-Rivlin solids.

  16. PopeRatzo says:

    Wait, what are we supposed to do again?

  17. JackDandy says:

    You calling me a Gobshite, John?
    Come here, you crookteeth limey bastard. I’ll give you what for.

    • Brun says:

      Have at thee!

    • JackDandy says:

      Completely serious though- Walker can go fuck himself if that’s how he regards people who don’t have the same mindset he does.

      To me, he’s just a shit stain on this site’s credibility.

      • Ich Will says:

        You honestly think people with a sexist mindset have any right to be allowed their sexist opinions without being called out on it by people like John? And people like you and me?

        PS I didn’t just call you sexist in any way shape or form.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        To be honest I think the argument is aimed at people who specifically say things like “Tits or GTFO” and “make me a sammich, bitch”. I.e. The ones who are ACTIVELY sexist.

        I don’t think the intention is to imply that if you are male and like boobs, or may have accidently bought a game that on later inspection has boobs, you are automatically sexist. That would be a retarded accusation to make. However the argument IS being played a little broad-brush and as an attempt to influence, shows a lack of political savvy as it runs the risk of just alienating the target audience rather than persuading.

        I guess its going more for the ‘shame it into the shadows’ approach. The problem with that is it will still exist, people will just be less likely to say it in polite company, a bit like when a work colleague suddenly starts ranting about immigrants after a few beers at the xmas do. Thats the reason why persuasion is much better than shame, but nowadays shame seems to be the favoured blunt instrument.

        • JackDandy says:

          That was the exact problem. I’m not an idiot. I don’t say shit like “tits or gtfo”, and I never acted mean to any girls online, but on the other hand I don’t mind having overly sexy ladies in games. Sometimes I even enjoy it! I’d hate to see that going away in the name of political correctness.
          I found that “tropes vs women” shit to be absolutely ridiculous.
          If that makes me a “privileged gobshite”, then Walker can go fuck himself.

          • jrodman says:

            Welcome, JackDandy!

            Here’s a hug. We’re making crafts at 4. I hope you’ll join in.

        • Dark Nexus says:

          I think it’s also aimed at the “Meh, there’s nothing wrong with that” group that act as enablers to the “active” crowd you mentioned.

          • Gnarf says:

            And I think it’s also aimed at people who doesn’t agree with John Walker on everything. The idea is that instead of arguing, you call people names, cos then maybe people will stop disagreeing with you cos they don’t want to be called those names.

          • sinister agent says:

            It sounds very much like you’ve never communicated with John Walker, or heard/read his communication with anyone else in your life. Quite aside from his writing and twitter silliness, he has a podcast called Rum Doings that can be summarised as “John and his friend disagree with each other for an hour”. You’re being utterly ridiculous, in other words.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            @ Nexus – there is a clear distinction between calling out appalling, intimidating behaviour, and being grey on where the line is for titillatory exploitation. Personally, I find highly sexualised or stereotyped women in games annoying because I know to a large extent, it is meant to manipulate me. Its obvious and it breaks the sense of flow because “why the hell are you only wearing boob armour”.

            However, you are making an assumption that misogynists take the presence of boobs in games as approval to abuse women. That is a leap of logic to say the least, confusing correlation with causation, and implies you know their psychology en masse, when really what you are doing is making an assumption about dicks, largely based on your (justified) anger at them.

            We have been arguing for years that violence in games does not lead to violence in reality. Why does a lack of sexual enlightenment suddenly lead to rampant misogyny, if its expression is found to be vile by so many? It may simply be that dicks are going to be dicks, and we need to confront dickish behaviour. That weak or exploitative female representation is the root of dickism is an unproven assertion. Regarding the silent majority, you may be confusing not saying anything with enablement – maybe the problem is a fear of speaking up, as opposed to people secretly thinking “meh, its ok?. Timidity is not unheard of, and this is why I think persuasion, not brute force, from those with a voice is important.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          The gamer’s behaviour and game’s content issues are two separate discussions, though. There’s probably some relation between the two, but conflating them seems to muddy the waters a bit.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        I think when someone says something on their own website that you don’t like the obligation is for you to fuck off, rather than the author to fuck himself. It’s basic netiquette.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Basic netiquette is actually (and unfortunately) to explode into a writhing mass of sweary condescension and quoting chapter headings from “How to Win Every Argument: The Use and Abuse of Logic”.

          Ideally, polite interchange of ideas and robust defences of carefully crafted points would be the norm, however “STFU FAG” is far easier to type.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Conversely, the people running the site could simply let others have their say. Or they could delete the comments. Or one of a dozen other actions.

          Netiquette is not a thing, really.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Neither is humour apparently.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            For some reason my left hand smells of garlic.

            That has nothing to do with anything, but I felt it needed saying.
            EDIT: IN B4 “w**king off frenchmen” joke

          • jrodman says:

            If it’s true, I’m jealous.

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        Other gaming websites are available

      • Anabasis says:

        I demand to have my opinions recognized or respected but refuse to allow them to be criticized or challenged!

  18. Wulf says:

    That was… well. Entertainingly brilliant, to be honest.

    All opinion, at the end of the day. I guess. Sexism is pants, but not all games are like that, not all of the time, anyway. One friend of mine was particularly pleased that–as a lady engineer–she could actually have modest clothing, almost as much as the male counterpart I was playing. Almost. That’s a sad reality, but Torchlight II is a massive step up over the tits everywhere of Diablo III.

    It’s saturation that does it. Not that sexual objectification is coming into the equation, surprisingly, but as a genuinely core concern as to why so many women dress like that. Where is their self respect, she would ask, why do so many of them dress like hookers? Why is self respect a quantity primarily attributed to men?

    And that’s an important question, I think: Why is self respect a quantity primarily attributed to men?

    Let me explain saturation from another point of view. What if every game we’ve played recently had a Justin Bieber analogue as the main character? And what if these characters were all more emo than Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3 and had to break down and have a little cry every few seconds? What if, instead of romance being handed to us on a platter, we had to crawl on our hands and knees and beg for it? What if all of this were true in every game we played?

    This is the problem, as men, we’re not used to seeing representations of us which don’t have a lot of self respect. Most of them do. They’re frequently intelligent and/or insightful, they often have a ‘badass’ quotient that people seem to enjoy. That’s all well and good for us. But… compare Garrus from Mass Effect with Miranda and you’ll begin to see what I’m getting at, here. Women, in games, are portrayed as being a little bit pathetic, a little bit desperate. Where is their self respect?

    Don’t they deserve self respect? Again, this isn’t about sexual objectification, this is about looking at a woman in a game and wondering why she doesn’t have any respect for herself, wondering why her self esteem is so low compared to the men she’s surrounded by. Wondering why, for example, Miranda feels the need to shove her butt up into the air every few seconds to be appealing, but Garrus doesn’t. Do we really like it when women seem trashy in our entertainment, is that something we want?

    Isn’t that a problem? That’s the perspective my friend gave me on this issue. And since I got that perspective I’ve been looking at things a little differently. It’s not that there are breasts on a woman in a game, it’s more why that lady feels so desperate that she feels the need to dress so provocatively, in a leather and fitting body suit or whatnot. Doesn’t that make you feel a little uneasy, even a little slimy for being complicit to viewing that?

    One of the things that was a crowning achievement for Trek fans was seeing Troi finally donning a uniform. Not because we wanted to see her out of the bunny suit, and definitely not because we wanted to see a conservative Troi. But up until that point it always felt like Troi believed that as a ‘counsellor’ she didn’t feel qualified to wear a Trek uniform, she didn’t feel as professional and capable as the big men around her. The uniform in Trek is symbolically important, after all.

    So why did Troi feel too uncomfortable to wear a uniform? Did she think that her crewmates would feel intimidated, did she feel that it would seem strange to them to relax with someone professional? Why did she feel so uneasy with a uniform, so much so that she opted for a bunny suit instead? And frankly, when she did adopt a uniform, she looked so much better in it. She, as a character, appeared more confident and willing to speak out, too. Not quite the meek, timid Troi of before.

    Every character deserves self respect. Sexual orientation? Unimportant. Gender? Unimportant. Ethnicity? Unimportant. All characters, unless there’s some special case, deserve that. And having it so that 90% or up of women in our medium look like they don’t have any respect for themselves, that they don’t care how they look or act, can send a very wrong message. It can be demeaning. And yes, it can actually undermine the self esteem of women. I have been told this.

    So… frankly? I don’t give a shit about boobs. But women deserve the chance to show that they respect themselves in games. That’s all there is to it. I think that boobs are something of a side effect of that problem, dressing in revealing, provocative ways is just one of the things we notice about a woman who doesn’t seem to care as much about her appearance, and definitely not so much as the man she’s a companion to. That’s a problem. Let’s fix that.

    If you’re a game developer and you’re writing a character, or you plan to any time soon, keep this in mind, okay? The issue isn’t boobs. The issue is that all too often women are portrayed as having no self respect, or self esteem, far too meek to actually care about how they look and act. How about the opposite of that? How about strong women who do care? How about women that won’t bend over for the first male character that asks? That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

    TL;DR: Why do so many women in our games act like gender-swapped versions of Leisure Suit Larry?

    • sinister agent says:

      Phone call for Mr. Tolstoy.

    • The Random One says:

      Your blog post was more insightful than the video IMO. Could you record yourself reading it while wearing a dress?

      • Brun says:

        Your blog post was more insightful than the video IMO.

        Indeed. Who is this guy and what has he done with Wulf?

      • Zakski says:

        We should kickstart this?

    • Snids says:

      You lovely bastard.

      Come on, argue against this! You’ll try though wont you?, you slimy weasel straw-man gobshites.

      Honestly if someone disagrees with you I’m moving to space.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I don’t disagree with the moral thrust of the post, and it is remarkably well written – but where I do disagree is the idea of ubiquity. A quick look at my steam games list and I can see Skyrim (with a number of strong, decidely self-esteemed up females, not to mention the fact that all power-fantasy experiences in the game can be enjoyed AS female), Mirror’s Edge and Portal. Bioshock 2 had its Big Sisters, who were definitely not weak or meek, not to mention the scary antagonist who outsmarts you, Ryan and the occupants of Rapture all the way through. My femshep was pretty kick ass too.

        Hell there are even a number of weak military shooters that have a female radio operator barking orders at you – so I don’t really accept that there are no games out there that portray women as having self respect.They may lack character development and depth however.

        I think its an over generalisation to imply this is rampantly common.

        EDIT: Oddly, what seems MORE common is games that have no women in them at all. That seems to be most of my steam list. I’ve got about 80 games, and found about 5 with ‘weak’ females, another approx 5 with ‘strong’, another 5ish with ‘mixed bag’, and then the rest don’t seem to have any. Weird.

    • Lucretious says:

      Ey, that was pretty well said.

      Wait…AND Wulf said it?

    • Kilometrik says:

      ACtually i’ll offer the diametrally opposite argument of yours. Why do men are always macho, brave, badass motherfuckes without an inch of self doubt, of sensibility or of refelxion? THey are always sure of who they are, what they want to do and how to do it. THat’s at least as harmful to men as what videogames do to women. It fosters and incredibly, INCREDIBLY big sense of inadequacy on sensible and thoughtful men who’d rather talk than fight, who’d rather hear his girlfriend’s problems than fuck her silly.

      This will sound incredibly pathetic but i never see myself represented in games and never have. The issue here isn’t so much of a positive gender role as just enforcing pre existing gender roles, period. Men are supposed to be the strong arm and women are supposed to be there for men’s sexual desires. Fuck those sexual roles. Neither i, nor my girlfriend fit them in any way. So just…. just fuck those social roles, okay? Let’s make a game about weak men who think and action women who act. A game about a writer in his midlife crisis and his strongheaded wife. A game about Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Manhattan Murder Mystery and less about Rambo and whatever bimbo he happens to be fucking in that specific movie…

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        It is important to have more diverse or relatable male characters in games. But, it’s more important to get female characters right. Why? If you have to ask, you must be living in a cave, and I would like to know what you’re plugging your pc into.

        • Kilometrik says:

          It’s not a onesided issue. If they start to write more real, relateable characters BOTH sides will benefit at the same time.

          And i completely agree with you to the fact that women characters need to be treated with more care. I’ts just that it’s not my business. It’s not an issue that affects me in the slightest. WHat does affect me are the thousands of macho power fantasies that are released each year…

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            True true. But ladies been done wrong more than mens, so there’s an imbalance that the industry isn’t working hard enough to redress.

          • Kilometrik says:

            It’s true that the girls have it worse, and that something must be done about it. But the trap comes when people start believeing that after they have fixed that problem. there will be no more problems to fix. When the fact still remains that games exist to perpetuate gender roles and that’s the heart of the issue.

        • Zakski says:

          I hear that crystals work, http://www.atomic-robo.com/free-comics/fcbd09/ also this an excellent comic book series

      • Unaco says:

        Wait… weren’t you in the video Strawman Matt?

        • Kilometrik says:

          If by that you mean that you are making a strawman version of my argument in your mind, then yes…

      • Eddy9000 says:

        The portrayal of men is a power fantasy, designed to make male players feel more powerful. The portrayal of women is also designed to make male players more powerful by portraying them as subservient to men. I’m not saying that the stereotypical portrayal of men isn’t problematic in itself but can you see who’s coming off worse?

        • Kilometrik says:

          I know the girls have it worse. I agree that something should be done about it. That doesn’t mean i will play power fantasies in which the female characters are there to satisfy me. As i dislike power fantasies. The can make the moste dignified and complex female characters and, as long as they are part of a male power fantasy, i won’t give a rat’s ass about her or the game…

          • Eddy9000 says:

            well congratulations, you appear to be part of the solution! I think (and I detected you might agree with this in what you said) that sexism and female stereotypes are degrading to men also, they’re just generally degrading (although women come of far worse materially). Tackling sexism is as much a male priority as a female one because A) all people of the world should help one another and B) sexist female stereotypes in games make them shit for gamers, narratively vapid, culturally unimportant piles of shit. Glad to have you on board.

          • Kilometrik says:

            Yep, i agree completely. Especially with THIS phrase “that sexism and female stereotypes are degrading to men”.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        THat’s at least as harmful to men as what videogames do to women

        No, it really isn’t.

      • JackShandy says:

        I think you want a confident protagonist in most games. They don’t have to be Badass McHuervos, but the fun in most games comes from completing your goals quickly and confidently. You want the protagonist to embody those values. Completing difficult goals with a skilled protagonist is generally better than competing simple goals with an unskilled protagonist.

        Of course there are a lot of games where the fun comes from flailing wildly as everything goes to hell.

    • lexoneir says:

      I love how you don’t seem to use any of the other women in Mass Effect as examples. Or any other games. Miranda was a single example of a woman, and may have had the qualities you describe. Individuals have different qualities. Do you want all women to suddenly be perfect, strong, and sexually subdued? That would be just as stereotyped. And if you’re suggesting that no women in games are portrayed that way, I’m going to have to call bullshit. Just wander around in Skyrim, as one example. Strong women everywhere. I’m pretty sure it was true even in Morrowind.

      As for Troi, that one example again is taken out of the context of a crew full of women who wore uniforms and were comfortable in them. Troi, as an individual, may have mistakenly thought as you believe. However, I think it had more to do with her upbringing. Her mother dresses pretty crazy too.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Indeed. Tasha Yar wore a full uniform. She was annoying, but yeah – uniform. And not a boob-exploder like 7. And as annoying as she was, Janeway was not a shy retiring type with no sense of direction.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Dear Mr Wulf. I think you’re right on the money, though perhaps you spent too much of it. The point about saturation needs repeating until it’s everywhere.
      A single example of a poorly realised female character sold on her sexual characteristics is a shame. Decades of them will not only turn people away from the most exciting medium in the world, but will ultimately contribute to the marginalisation and oppression of women in wider society. Change is happening but it needs to happen faster. It’s not that boobs are wrong, but that they need to have people attached to them.

      Lots of people react to this stuff by saying “but I like boobs!”. That’s not enough. You have to like women.

      • Dark Nexus says:

        “Lots of people react to this stuff by saying “but I like boobs!”. That’s not enough. You have to like women.”

        That’s a good way of putting it, IMO.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        “but will ultimately contribute to the marginalisation and oppression of women in wider society”

        If you think women are being marginalized and oppressed in society more than in the past you need your head examined.

        The past 200 years have been basically a never-ending string of progress. Obviously there is still a way to go, but there is ZERO chance we are going to slide backwards.

        • Jamesworkshop says:

          I can barely afford a car that works but with that and NHS healthcare i have a better standard of life than any king had 200 years ago.

          my kingdom for a car, keep the kingdom, mate, its four times faster than your best horse and i don’t get wet when it rains.

          people in the present day got it made.

          Look at the internet, it makes the library of Alexandra look like a kiddies book, people would have killed to get access to this level of knowledge, and we use it for pron and facebook pokes.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          No, I agree that things are getting better, but I think that games are (in general) holding back progress. Didn’t mean to sound like I was ignoring history when I indended to be doing the opposite.

          Edit: Weird grammar is weird.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          Zero chance we’re going to slide backwards?

          I take it you didn’t watch any of the coverage of the recent American presidential election? Or read about the recent attempts by red-faced, middle aged Tory Wankers in the UK (hello Jeremy Hunt) to reduce the legal limit on abortions.

          The hard-won basic rights of women are under constant assault all around the world, and not just in far off lands full of foreigners, right here in the supposedly enlightened west too. So, not only are we at great risk of moving backwards, it’s already happening in some places.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            A0 Read some history.

            B) There might be minor steps back here and there, but the overall trend is wildly positive. Heck mistakes on women’s issues is a big part of the reason the conservatives in the US just got trounced. I know people like to spread militant paranoid language for the cause, but it is out of touch with reality.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Great post, but to be fair, there are a lot of tits in Torchlight II as well. I wouldn’t say it is actually any better than diablo, just a different art style with fewer humans.

    • Stupoider says:

      What is this link between clothing and self respect? Are you familiar with the “slut walk” movements? Has Anita Sarkeesian’s brand of feminism suddenly rid the world of other schools of thought, like the french feminists? Why are we so concerned about covering women up? What gives?

      • Phantoon says:

        Turns out the entire topic is really complex! No one has really managed to condense it other than “gee, sexism is bad, we should stop that”.

  19. Kilometrik says:

    I am tired of this second wave feminism bullshit. Really, REALLY tired of mainstream second wave “feminist critics” making people ashamed of their sexuality. I’m sorry but i like boobs. I love big boobs, i adore small, perky tits, i also love tits, legs and asses. And GUESS WHAT, women love men’s asses, their rugged or boyish appearance, their strong demeanor and powerful social positions. We all sexualize everyone, all the time, if not then Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey wouldn’t be successful. If you have a problem then i suggest you kindly retreat to a monastery and fast the remainder of your life for your sins We already have more than enough Dworkins and McKinnons around.

    Sexual objectifiacion is absolutely different from sexualization. Objectification is reducing someone to their sexual characteristics regardless of their need, wants and desires. When a character (s) are presented as nothing more than the sum of their sexual attributes, without personality, drive, sexual desires of their own, for the benefit of the viewer, then THAT’S wrong, because it’s dehumanizing.

    But women enjoy sex too and they like to look at handsome men (my girlfriend often reminds me so) and actually don’t care, and some even actually want, if they look sexy, if they have a provocative cleavage, and would like to not feel ashamed at showing their bodies. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT DAMMIT!

    Someday i would like to make a truly sex-positive feminist game in which women and men are equally sexualized… A cross between Dead or Alive and Twilight but with, obviously, more thoguht put into characters and personalities.

    Now, i don’t like Bioshock in general (incredibly easy, boring and bland games that look pretty) but the girl with the cleavage is certainly not helpess and lacking personality, from what they have shown, she me not be all that strong, athletic and independent, but not everyone is.

    Hell as an artistically inclined and sensitive male i don’t play most FPSs because they put emphasis in a sexual role i don’t fit and i don’t want to fit and feel uncomfortable fitting, which is the traditional macho soldier.

    Anyway, rant over, Long live sex positive third wave feminism!

    • Ich Will says:

      No, you’re absolutely correct – there’s nothing wrong with that at all. The problem is not that you like how games show women, a lot of thought and energy has gone into marketing games at you (and me) and any straight man.

      All that is really being asked for is for more rugged men with handsome bums in games too and perhaps not to have quite so many games where women are are treated as sex toys but as characters who while they may enjoy sex, have more to their pretend personalities too.

      Is that OK with you or is it some kind of wave of feminism?

      • Kilometrik says:

        Read what i wrote:

        “Sexual objectifiacion is absolutely different from sexualization. Objectification is reducing someone to their sexual characteristics regardless of their need, wants and desires. When a character (s) are presented as nothing more than the sum of their sexual attributes, without personality, drive, sexual desires of their own, for the benefit of the viewer, then THAT’S wrong, because it’s dehumanizing.”

        So yes, they are completely different. I am in agreeance. I actually want more games with sexualized male characters in which i play as a female, as long as the game is good. I loooove good media that let’s me look through the other side’s eyes (Loved my Black Widow playthrough in New Vegas) (GOOD media, not Twilight). But that’s not what the video expresses. The video expresses disdain for all forms of sexualization, even going so far as to ask developers to have an option for a boob free game…

    • JackDandy says:

      Hear hear

    • Snids says:

      Gobshite.

    • Jenks says:

      Why would anyone agree with you when they can pretend they’re better than you?

    • amniotic says:

      A man arguing for sex positive third wave feminism is like a hedge fund millionaire arguing for libertarianism.

      • Kilometrik says:

        Acutally you are not totally right. Sex Positive THird wave feminisn also has important issues with gender roles. I loathe gender roles mostly because i don’t fit into the stereotypical male. I’m not a conflictive or competitive person, i’m not very social either, i like fine arts and prefer a quiet friday night reading a book than going out to party. My girlfriend is the strong headed, crazy and conflictive one and it’s fine, she takes care of that side while i take care of the rest. I’ve never felt q “man” in the traditional sense of the word.

        Lars Von Trier said that in his movies he usually prefers directing female characters because he identifies with them more, despite the fact that he has children and a wife. I identify with Lars Von Trier. While I would adore a game that sexualized men and women EQUALLY, my ideal game, one that represents me, would be a game about a struggling writer with mild OCD and who is a bit of a loner who meets a headstrong, socially savvy and a bit conflictive girl which has gotten into trouble and the guy, instead of guns and conflict uses his quick wits to solve the situation. THe girl would be the muscle instead when some shooting and fighting was requiered.

        That doesn’t mean i don’t love boobs. Read some third wave feminism on gender roles issues. There are a ton of writers who argue that they are just as bad for men as they are for women.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      I’m sorry but i like boobs. I love big boobs, i adore small, perky tits, i also love tits, legs and asses.

      I too like breasts! And video games!

      I also enjoy beer. And cereal. I do not enjoy beer in my cereal, however, illustrating the concept that you can like something, but not like it in every possible combination.

      I also would rather not have beer every time I want something to drink, illustrating the concept that you can like something but not want to have it nearly constantly.

      We all sexualize everyone, all the time, if not then Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey wouldn’t be successful.

      1) 2 examples != “all the time”
      2) Yes, men get sexualized as well. Not NEARLY as often, and typically not as much when it does happen.

      Sexual objectifiacion is absolutely different from sexualization. Objectification is reducing someone to their sexual characteristics regardless of their need, wants and desires. When a character (s) are presented as nothing more than the sum of their sexual attributes, without personality, drive, sexual desires of their own, for the benefit of the viewer, then THAT’S wrong, because it’s dehumanizing.

      “Sure, that character looks like a sex doll and moves like a stripper. But they’ve got sarcastic one-liners! That isn’t a sexual attribute, so it makes everything else okay!”

      Sorry, but no. Objectification is not an “all or nothing” concept.

      • Kilometrik says:

        ““Sure, that character looks like a sex doll and moves like a stripper. But they’ve got sarcastic one-liners! That isn’t a sexual attribute, so it makes everything else okay!”

        Sorry, but no. Objectification is not an “all or nothing” concept.”

        Acutally you seem to be assuming something about me with that phrase and i don’t quiet know what it is… You are assuming that i consider a character with oneliners and a stripper demeanor some sort of meaningful characterization when i mostly stay away from mainstream gaming. I haven’t played Mass Effect, Asura’s Wrath or Bioshock Infinite (played the first one and didn’t like it). SO please, state your assumptions or argue just my argument, not who you think i am.

        1) No, not all the time.
        2) Yes, men get sexualized as well. Not NEARLY as often, and typically not as much when it does happen.

        To this two points, men don’t sexualize women all the time either. It’s just that this article and that stupid video are making a fuss about the cases in which that hapens.

        And yes, i would LOVE if men got sexualized as much as women. That’s what i meant by “Long live third wave sex-positive feminism!”. I never said that it happened as often. I said that there’s nothing wrong with sexualization. It happens on both sides. We don’t see it in videogames because frankly the AAA industry sucks, but it happens in media a lot.

        Bottomline: Men should get sexualized more in videogames.

        • Dark Nexus says:

          I’m assuming nothing about you (good or bad), I only went by what you wrote. I was simply responding to the concept you put forward (bolded emphasis mine):

          “When a character (s) are presented as nothing more than the sum of their sexual attributes without personality, drive, sexual desires of their own, for the benefit of the viewer, then THAT’S wrong”

          You seem to indicate that it’s only wrong if the character is reduced to nothing but sexual attributes. Which heavily implies that giving even a little bit of personality to that character would give a free pass to everything else that is wrong about the character. Nothing there said anything about “meaningful characterization”, just simply “nothing more than sexual attributes”. So no assumptions, purely based on what you wrote.

          My “No, not all the time” was in direct response to “We all sexualize everyone, all the time”. I figured that included men sexualizing women.

          I don’t want to see men sexualized as much as women if that only means increasing the number of times men are sexualized. I’m not opposed to more sexualization of men, but I also think the current amount of sexualization of women is far too much. Increase the amount of one, decrease the amount of the other, and meet somewhere in between.

          • Kilometrik says:

            If you read my definition of objectification you will, eventually, arive at a part which says “for the benefit of the viewer”. That’s the really important part. Bear in mind that i’m going here by Sartre’s definition of “objectification”, which, even though it’s open to interpretation, is to define something that is essentially not an object (a person) without letting it define itself first.

            What i mean, or rather, what i think sartre meant by this is that human beings are the ones that determine the nature of the things around them, but human beings can define themselves. So when you try to define another human, you are, essentially, objectifying them. To avoid objectifying someone you must take the other person as he defines himself rather than how you define him. Simone Bevoir, one of the first feminists to talk about sexual objectification, was the one that exclusively defined it as reducing someone to their sexual characteristics FOR THE BENEFIT OF another person. So no, there is no other definition that i’m aware of (source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-objectification/ AND http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/faq-what-is-sexual-objectification/)

            If a person defines itself around his/her sexuality and presents itselfs as such (what is commonly know as a slut and a womanizer) then it’s not objectification. That’s another thing entierly, maybe sexual alienation or something.

            On the subject of male and female sexualization, perhaps you do not enjoy sexualization in general, i don’t know, but Salvador Dali and the surrealists often dealt with such topics in their works and sexualization happens to be a favorite theme of mine. I would not stand to live in a world in which sexualization (NOT objectification as i previously defined it) is not allowed to the degree it is allowed right now because some of my favorite works of art (Dali’s The Great Masturbator, Man Ray’s Photographies, Egon Schiele’s paintings, Postmodern literature like Gravity’s Rainbow and Naked Lunch and most of Alexandros Jodorowsky’s comics and films) feature heavy sexualization of it’s characters, FROM BOTH SIDES…

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I said this earlier but it seems relevant here, hope you don’t mind a C&P:

      “you can still like tits and no-body is saying differently. What we’re arguing is that women are reduced to nothing but tits (tits to be rescued usually) in many computer games, and this is wrong because it’s part of the cycle between the media and social attitudes that causes women to be marginalised.”

      So don’t feel threatened, nobody is saying you can’t be sexual and male, they are saying that women shouldn’t be portrayed as existing solely (or even dominantly) to satisfy your male sexuality. Let me know if you agree with this because I hate seeing men thinking they are being attacked by feminism. Yes, feminism is portrayed as dis-empowering to men but that is only because that’s how a patriarchal society views the empowerment of women. Feminism only wants to adjust social attitudes and practices that privilege men to make society fairer for women. You don’t have a problem with giving away some of your privilege so that women aren’t marginalised as much do you?

      • Kilometrik says:

        Please read what i have written, not just the main comment but all of my answers to the other comments. I’m actually a feminist male. BUt i’m not second wave, sex hating feminist. I think women should have the divine right to sexualize men as much as they want. THey ammount of sexualization going on SHOULD be equal from both sides and i don’t consider third wave feminism to be de-empowering for men at all. Maybe for macho, chauvinist men. But not for those who don’t fit the standard social role for masculinity. In fact i think that the liberation from gender roles second wave feminism proposes is waaay more empowering for men than traditional chauvinistic gender roles.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_wave_feminism
        for the record

        • Eddy9000 says:

          No, no I read them. I think we’re mostly in disagreement with the idea that second wave feminists hate sex, but apart from that it doesn’t seem like you disagree with what I wrote apart from to say that you meant that anyway so I don’t need to tell you. So let’s not argue when we could agree about things instead.

          • Kilometrik says:

            Dude, have you ever read the works of Andrea Dworkin or Catherine Mckinnon? Those gals basically wrote Sex and Men hate speech! They were prominent Feminist theorics during the 60s (second wave) and MacKinnon is still alive (and still as crazy)

            “A commitment to sexual equality with males is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered.”
            - Andrea Dworkin

            “Men who are in prison for rape think it’s the dumbest thing that ever happened… they were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught. It may also be true.”
            - Catharine MacKinnon

            You may want to read more of those gals if you wish to reevaluate your position on the second wave feminists. The only sane woman that i’ve read that belonged to the second wave was Simone Bevoir. But again, i’ve only read those 3 as they were the most representative. (MacKinnon even took part in writing the obscenity laws for Minneapolis, thankfully they were overruled…). Again, Bevoir is awesome thoug.

          • jrodman says:

            Seems a bit odd to talk authoritatively about the position of those three and have only read those three?

            I think presentation and sweep are all that are needed to make that seem less weird.

    • SonicTitan says:

      http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311

      That’s what your crock-of-shit “third wave feminism” looks like to the rest of the sane world.

      I know that it’s hard to imagine that human beings are more than warm fleshy sacks of skin upon which it occasionally feels good to rub ones genitals, but you might want to give it a shot.

      • Kilometrik says:

        Ummm, if you are going to do ad hominems please first educate yourself about what third wave feminism actually IS you ignorant dimwit.

        It isn’t even that hard to find out about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_Sex_Wars
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_wave_feminism

        Which, by the way, is a movement still headed by women.

        “Also considered part of the third wave is sex-positivity, a celebration of sexuality as a positive aspect of life, with broader definitions of what sex means and what oppression and empowerment may imply in the context of sex. For example, many third-wave feminists have reconsidered the opposition to pornography and sex work of the second wave, and challenge existing beliefs that participants in pornography and sex work are always being exploited.”

        - From the wiki.

      • Stupoider says:

        Yes, please outline what feminism is acceptable and what feminism isn’t using a satirical cartoon that plays on people’s expectations of what ‘feminists’ look like.

        It’s almost like, haha, you’re in charge, or something!

    • Stupoider says:

      Uh oh, a different school of thought; quickly, label it up as trolling! Those haters attacking Anita!

      My other account got banned for bringing up the same argument in another thread. Want to know why the media’s coverage, including RPS’s, of feminism has been so shoddy? Because it’s all about Anita. The media is vacuous when it comes to understanding that there are more sides to feminism that just Feminist Frequency. You don’t have to be a “gobshite apologist” to dislike Anita’s narrow understanding about what feminism is.

  20. lexoneir says:

    Oh my god. Who actually thinks like that? The video stereotypes games and gamers as much as the biggest moron stereotypes female gamers. Who cares what their gender is!? It doesn’t matter. Bioshock portrays a PERSON in distress who is saved by another PERSON. Stop. Please. I’m so tired of this childish bullshit…

    If you want a game that does the opposite, try Armored Princess, when you, the strong women, literally save a fawning, romantic, weak man and take him on as your companion. Thats not sexist. Thats one example of two individuals. The moment you take a single example and take it to be an implied representation of a whole group, you’re committing the same crime of prejudice of the offenders you claim to despise.

    • sinister agent says:

      Alright, I’ll bite.

      How about you list the other games where a woman rescues a helpless man, and I’ll list the other games where a man rescues a helpless woman, and we’ll compare… no wait, wait! Let’s do that the other way round, because I would like to do something else in the decade or so that list would take.

      • Snids says:

        No, no. His one example is enough for me.

        • lexoneir says:

          I love it. So condescending without saying anything significant, or understanding the post.

          • Snids says:

            Yes your argument is simply too complex and challenging that I’m completely unable to understand it. Excuse me while I go and put my hand in a toaster.

            ” you’re committing the same crime of prejudice of the offenders you claim to despise.”

            Jesus wept.

      • lexoneir says:

        Its a cliche. I agree. We should totally even out the numbers here, because numbers are important?

        The point is it doesn’t matter. You completely skipped over my last sentence.

        I hate to bring up such an example, but have you watched that South Park episode with the town flag that depicted a bunch of white people hanging a black person? The town was up in arms about it. But the kids were asked whether or not they should keep it, and they said they should keep it. Someone had to EXPLAIN to them that it was racist, because when they saw the flag all they saw was a bunch of people hanging another person.

        That’s what we have to see here. One person rescuing another person. That’s the only way we’ll escape prejudice. Not by freaking out over the gender of the individuals involved.

        But I’m tired of this. If I keep going I’ll just get more irritated. Keep stereotyping. Keep assuming.

        • sinister agent says:

          I can definitely see where you’re coming from, and I sort of agree. I remember reading a job application years back that had a ridiculous ‘quiz’ component, with one of the questions being something like “your new co-worker is from Nigeria – how do you respond to this?” and the options were basically “I lynch him” or “I am itching to get to know this exciting mysterious foreign magic person from exotic new diverse superland oh my fucking god a real black man this is like on the telly!”. I stopped applying for the job right there, because my answer, and the only reasonable answer, would be “who the fuck cares?”.

          So yeah, I think I get what you mean. But we won’t get there as a culture, or as a society, as long as we’re actively perpetuating roles and stereotypes like “woman is helpless breast support system. Man is brave violent hero who rescues woman”.

          And it’s not a problem if a game or two leans on cliches and/or wanders into somewhat stereotypical territory, but when those games make up the vast bulk of the landscape, and even games that distinguish themselves by doing differently end up with sequels that make all the same mistakes, well, then we have a problem, because there’s a lot more to sexism and stereotyping than what we explicitly say.

          If you have a hundred games, and they’re all about someone rescuing someone else, fine. If ninety-nine of them just happen to be about a man rescuing a woman… that’s not a culture that doesn’t give a shit about gender roles.

      • Stupoider says:

        Are you keeping a tally of this?

        Should there be a quota?

    • Lucretious says:

      Hey, there, games don’t exist in a cultural vacuum. The people who play them exist in worlds where sexism and marginal groups are a Thing. This is why it’s not problematic in Armored Princess’ case. If you’d like to trade however unfair that might seem for thousands of years of institutionalized and cultural oppression, be my guest.

      Actually, wait, don’t be my guest. Because I’m a guy. And that would suck.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      Oh my god. Who actually thinks like that?

      Hi! You must be new to the internet. That’s the only reasonable explanation for the naivety you’ve just demonstrated.

      (Non-sarcastic version follows)

      An unfortunately large number of people think that way, and they’re catered to by an unfortunately large number of game developers (and movie/tv creators, and so-on). And they’re very vocal about anybody who suggests that disproportionate situation should be corrected.

    • MondSemmel says:

      Armored Princess is a strange example to pick. Here’s what I wrote after finishing the game (which I loved overall, despite its length and despite this nonsense):

      “The story is often painfully conversative/traditional/backwards – for example, even after saving two worlds, the player (in the form of Princess Amelie) is still scolded as a “foolish princess” etc. At one point, one is essentially told that (I’m paraphrasing) “You’ll have to marry soon, but don’t worry, you can go adventuring later again…”, or something to this effect. I find that quite unacceptable, but I don’t expect the same level of political correctness from a game made in Russia as from one made in Europe/USA. Still, that disappointed me a lot. However, it’s easy to totally ignore the story, so there _is_ a solution to this problem.

      Also, Princess Amelie is a _great_ example of a female warrior clad in totally inappropriate “armor”. It’s obviously a marketing ploy – if you look at a screenshot of the actual game, you will see that the game perspective doesn’t allow for any alluring poses in game, anyway.”

  21. acho says:

    I literally have no idea what to think of both the post and the video.
    I don’t really know that fat guy well enough to recognize whether he’s being sarcastic or not (Poe’s law in full effect), but most of the stuff he’s ranting about is completely ludicrous. But at the same time, the girl in the video seems completely sensible, why is the video not about her opinions on the subject.
    And John Walker calling everyone who disagrees dumb apologetic gobshites?
    Someone tell me what to think of all this, I guess I’m just too dumb. Or maybe I just don’t understand feminist logic. (does anyone?)

    • Lucretious says:

      I suggest googling “cultural norm” and “sexism in media” as a place to start. It’s kind of a lot to ask of RPS comments to explain the complexities of feminism to you–though you humbly express ignorance–when there’s plenty of free and clear information about it out there.

      • acho says:

        I wasn’t really looking for more insight into the “complexities of feminism” – I feel like I know enough. I just don’t really know where to put the video itself (probably because the sarcasm went way over my head) and John’s passive agressive stance on the subject.
        The entire issue of this whole “sexism in games” that has popped up recently feels like a giant clusterfuck to me. Maybe that’s the entire point of the video. Or whatever.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      @ acho: To answer your final question – no, most of those women are hysterical on account of their wandering uteruses, so logic doesn’t come into it. Proper medical application of the artificial phallus is the only cure.

      • acho says:

        I wasn’t talking about women, and “woman logic”, I was talking about “feminist logic”
        I have no problem with women. I have a problem with feminists.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          I have no problem with women. I have a problem with feminists.

          If you have a problem with feminists, then you do have a problem with women.

          It’s like saying “I don’t have a problem with black people, I just have a problem with people who advocate racial equality”

          • Furiku says:

            Because feminists aren’t extremist at all, look at all the lovely egalitarian prose some of the movements figureheads have imparted to the world:

            “We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

            “All men are rapists and that’s all they are.” – Marilyn French

            “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.” – Catharine MacKinnon

            “I feel that “man-hating” is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.” – Robin Morgan

            “The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.” – Valerie Soianas

            Truly the sign of a great egalitarian movement that wants to spread their dogma about love and understanding with everyone…

          • Nim says:

            There are feminists and then there are extremist feminists and then there are people of low intellectual caliber that cannot tell the difference between them.

          • acho says:

            It’s more like “I hate white supremacists, not white people”.
            Feminism isn’t about sexual equality, it’s about feminine superiority.
            It’s not even about women’s rights, but more about “women’s hurt feelings”.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            Goodness me. Comparing feminists to white supremacists is a special kind of dumb.

          • Furiku says:

            “There are feminists and then there are extremist feminists”
            The problem with that is that these are some of the head figures of the movement who helped define it as such, and have written a lot of the works feminist theory is based on and not just some random people.

            Although there are enough contemporary examples of the same in non-famous figurehead-of-movement circles:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvEJfN-jiS4

  22. ShDynasty says:

    Man, gotta love those Japanese. Even Bioshock Infinite’s got nothing on the way they can show off dem boobies. Also, there is a Children’s Day. We just can’t seem to settle on a date… Heck I think there’s even a Children’s month. I hate kids.

  23. piecewise says:

    It seems like this guy is a bit…well, over thinking some of this. I mean dead or alive, yeah, pure exploitation of jiggle physics, but I see the Asura’s Wrath achievement as more of something some developer threw in after he noticed beta testers staring at the female models for extended periods.

    In reality though, I think this recent tread of obsessing over the portrayal of women in video games, cherry picking the really bad examples and ignoring all the neutral and good ones, isn’t really helping anything. People can bitch about it all they want but if it sells, it sells and sex sells. It sells everything; it sells movies, games, fucking trash bags and sofas and energy drinks. Whens the last time you’ve seen a spokesperson for ANYTHING that wasn’t young and attractive? It’s a fundamental aspect of marketing that you can get better returns if you show the target audience a sexy person of the opposite gender enjoying your product or being associated with people enjoying the product. Games are just cashing in on that and considering the fact that they’re a business, you can’t really expect them to do something that would sabotage their sales. Well, ok you can want them to, but they’re not going to. At least not until it stops working, and that won’t happen until everyone stops buying shit that they sell like that.

    In reality I think what we should really be pushing for is better writing over all and better, more unique games. As I see it, much of what people complain about, the “Damsel in distress” and “Hot chick with gun” stereotypes are a symptom of the larger problem of endemic poor writing that is everywhere in the industry these days. To my mind there’s nothing inherently wrong with the “Damsel in distress” stereotype if it’s done well, with good writing and mechanics that makes the said Damsel at least seem like a real person not just an object to be won back. For instance:

    Imagine a mario game where, between levels of mario running around and stomping heads, we cut to levels with peach where she breaks free of her imprisonment and proceeds to spend the rest of the game stealthing it around Bowser’s castle, sabotaging his plans and generally going Guerrilla warfare on his ass. And depending on how well you did in those levels, how much you sabotaged before you were captured or found out, the levels for mario would be easier. In that case, using just mechanics, you turn a passive object into a character actively doing the best she can, using her wits and tactics to fight something she can’t fight physically. She’s still a Damsel, still needs some goddamn help getting out of the giant castle ruled by the giant fucking dragon, but she’s an active character, not just a complacent goal. And hell, thats the type of situation where you could easily switch peach out for a guy and mario out for a girl and it wouldn’t really matter. And to me thats really the important thing here: Not how they dress, but how they act, that they’re written and act like CHARACTERS, like PEOPLE, not like someone on the dev team said “We need a token Girl here, or a token gay guy, or a token insert ethnicity, religion or fucking anything here.”

    Also, while I’m not a big fan of Elizabeth in Bioshock infinite, it’s how she’s written that bugs me, not what she wears. Again, this hypercritical focus on “Oh look, a girl showing cleavage, clearly this is degrading to women” when I see more cleavage then that just walking around the mall or a downtown street. Shouldn’t we be more focused on the fact that she’s written like some sort of bipolar abused sex object with the mental capacity of a 7 year old? Is that not more offensive then the fact that we can see a portion of her body?

    • elfbarf says:

      I’m pretty sure there is a “Peach screwing with Bowser while Mario is on his way” type thing in one of the Mario RPGs (though I can’t remember which).

  24. subactuality says:

    Whatever the outcome (if it’s even reasonable to expect any), I’m just glad that there finally seems to be some legitimate dialogue emerging on the topic of sexism in video games. It makes for a nice alternative to the screeching of man-sized infants.

  25. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    I just don’t understand why some games companies are so reluctant to sell to over 50% of the world’s wallet-holders. Never mind that it’s 2012 and we shouldn’t have to be explaining why booth babes aren’t a good idea or why damsels in distress might not cut it any more (incidentally, worst example of this – look at ArmA2′s unit names for male/female civilians), how about that we’re in a recession and it might make sense not to pretty much lock out half your audience?

    In addition to being a serious issue, though, it’s also a very interesting one. I’ve got more opinions on the issue, but I’m not a feminist – whilst I’d agree with them on a lot of things I wouldn’t frame the issues in the same way. Unfortunately for John Walker this presumably makes me a “spoilt, privileged gobshite apologist” who should stay off his precious website, so, uh, fuck you too, John.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I’m fairly certain that John didn’t say “anyone who doesn’t call themselves a feminist is a gobshite”. In fact it seems like you’re one of the ones who’s allowed to stay. But then, swearing at John Walker does make you feel like a big man, doesn’t it? A big muscly man?

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        Don’t you push your patriarchal gender norms on me. I’ll have you know I’m fragile and delicate.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I agree, especially when EA have demonstrated with ‘The Sims’ what can happen when you do.

    • John Walker says:

      It doesn’t sound like I was talking about you. Odd to assume I was.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        Must’ve gotten the wrong end of the stick, then – I saw a video, approval for it, and an invitation for anyone who didn’t agree with it to fuck off. I disagree with the way the video frames the issue, so I included myself in that.

        Discussions on gender get very dogmatic from all angles. It should be obvious why agree-with-me-or-fuck-off is problematic.

        • John Walker says:

          Yeah, except I was talking about the spoilt privileged apologists for sexism referred to in the video. Because… I said that.

  26. f69 says:

    See I get the idea that more diversity would be good. That female heroes and strong women are good. That someone needs to make games for girls. I get why people can get tired of the damsel in distress cliché.

    However that is not what is usually being encouraged. Instead people who make games for men are being shamed as if they did something wrong. And for what? For cleavage in Bioshock?

    Since when is cleavage demeaning? Last time I checked real women outside of your feminist corner of the internet like wearing flattering clothes and dressing sexy on occasion. Some more so than others, but it doesn’t make one better than the other unless we are talking extremes. I get how Dead or Alive is borderline softcore porn but cleavage in a dress? It is getting ridiculous.

    If no one harps at “50 shades of grey” for being porn for women no one should harp at Dead or Alive. Sexual fantasies, male or female, have their place in fiction.

    What I am tired of is this accusatory look people give to anyone who dares write a woman in need of rescue. As if every story about any woman has to be a commentary on every woman. And as if a male fantasy of being a sexually appealing woman’s hero is some sick perversion that is no longer acceptable.

    Also…

    “the lameness of the gobshite apologists “

    Hello to you too Strawman Matt.

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      I think the difference would be that literature doesn’t overwhelmingly feature porn for women. If you’re put off by female-targeted pornography but want to build a shelf or read about men doing things then literature as a whole isn’t putting up a barrier to you getting books about shelves or men – you know there’s a place for you within literature.

      By contrast computer games are overwhelmingly full of crap women characters. 50 Shades of Gray is exceptional, women in armoured bikinis stood next to men in plate armour in games is de rigueur. A woman looking at the face (or indeed chest) presented by video games would have good cause to think that there wasn’t a place for them within gaming.

      Also, you can write games about women needing rescuing, but you’ve got to be aware of the context. It’d be lovely if we didn’t arrive at things with society’s baggage, but we do – so you can write that game, but to avoid it being lumped in with all the other ‘damsels in distress’, you’ve got to take care to do it in such a way that doesn’t link the character’s gender to their state/role, etc etc. Embracing Godwin’s Law a la Half Life’s crates, if you were a non-anti Semitic author in Germany 1933 who waanted to write a book with a Jewish villain, you’d be aware you’d have to take pains to point out that the villain’s Jewishness is incidental to his villainry if you didn’t want it to be assumed to be anti Semitic due to the context.

      • f69 says:

        The fact that most games are made for men does not oblige anyone to stop making them. And it doesn’t give anyone the moral right to attack them. If a woman can’t find a game that she likes it is unfortunate but not a good reason to imply Irrational Games is bad for making Bioshock the way they did.

        Instead of saying, “You guys make games for men. Great, now make some for women.” What is being done is mocking or insulting games for men and the male gamers that like them.

        Your Jew example is extreme. Even so. If someone wrote a story with a Jewish villain with no malice towards Jews for being Jews (and it’s evident from the text). But it’s misinterpreted as racist for no good reason. Then it’s a problem with the those people in the audience, not the author.

        • Nogo says:

          Howbout we make games for people?

          And please stop pretending you know what appeals to all men.

          • jrodman says:

            I was once mailed a promo for some style magazine for men — Details perhaps?
            It was glossy and had photos of women in various poses with huge block letters

            “WHAT KIND OF MAN DOESN’T LIKE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN?”

            Considering I’d come out of the closet the year or so before and just moved to San Francisco, I found this fairly amusing. I wondered if I could finally give the company the solution to their quest.

    • iainl says:

      Do you live in some bizarro world where the nature of 50 Shades Of Grey isn’t a running joke, then?

      • f69 says:

        Do you understand context? 50 Shades of Grey is a joke because it’s badly written. But no one comes out and says, “Woman’s sexual fantasy = bad.”

        Dead or Alive on the other hand is blamed not for being stupid and shallow but for the fact of being sexualized, which in itself is deemed reason enough.

        • Dark Nexus says:

          Because it’s been used as a selling feature for DoA in the past?

    • jorygriffis says:

      The absolute biggest reason the facile and sexist Dead or Alive series is so often called out is, as is somewhat referenced in the video, most of the female characters are supposed to be teenagers–several of which are younger than eighteen. It’s practically pedophilia.

    • jrodman says:

      Because all men want lots of cleavage in their games, so games with lots of cleavage can be accurately described as “games for men.”

      Right?

      WELCOME f69!

  27. choconutjoe says:

    I really wish we could all have an honest discussion about this stuff without reducing everything to dichotomous ideologies.

    It would also be nice if we could stop calling each other gobshites.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      I think (hope?) the more reasonable discussion tends to get exhausted in smaller gatherings. These larger public airings of opinion only seem to galvanize people just itching to fire off a good epithet or two at some nebulous stereotype they dislike.

  28. HisMastersVoice says:

    I find the video rather pointless. Sure, it might be mildly amusing, mostly because of the slapstick gags and the word “fuck”, but the core message is getting lost. It may be making a good point, it even manages to actually include mostly reasonable examples of the problem (except that Bioshock part, come on), but as soon as it starts to actively ridicule people who, let’s say, like to look at virtual breasts, it just falls off the rails. Yeah, John may consider the “tits of GTFO” crowd to be worthless gobshites, but unless someone decides the only way to fix the issue is to take those people to the woods and shoot them in the back of the head, we need to talk to them. And we need to make sure they hear what is being said. Ridicule won’t get you there, it’ll just antagonize them.

    So once this guy decides he’s not going to actually try and do something sensible with those six minutes, it all becomes a weird sort of self high five-ing between him and people who don’t have to watch the video because they realize the issue exists.

  29. Solidstate89 says:

    Thank you for reminding me about what an amazing word Gobshite is.

  30. Dances to Podcasts says:

    A common mistake people make is to come up with as many examples as possible to support their case and then finding that they get attacked on the validity of their weakest example, while the others are ignored. It’s always best to stick with just a few good ones.

    The Bioshock discussion is an example of this. The dress the girl wears is based on something common for the period that’s referenced and those often did have cleavage. It makes sense for her to wear something like that.

    A better example would be something like my norn mesmer in Guild Wars 2. She’s from the icy cold part of the world and she runs around the snowy wintery landscape in a miniskirt. I feel cold just playing her. Probably the opposite of what the developers aimed to achieve.

  31. Eddy9000 says:

    Great video and article, and as usual when sexism in gaming media is reported on here the comments made by other people articulate points much better than I ever could (I usually sit at my keyboard open mouthed thinking ‘how can I even begin to argue against that level of ignorance’).

    As I’ve not got anything better to add I’d like to introduce some levity by starting a poll on how many pages the comments will run to.

    I’m going to go for 7 pages.

  32. John Walker says:

    What an amazing number of people opting in to being insulted! Hilarious.

    If you’re not an apologist for sexism, then you can probably safely assume that you’re not getting called names. But if you desperately need to be called a name then contact me directly and I’ll think of something inventive just for you.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      I’m sorely tempted to take you up on that offer, just to see how inventive it actually would be.

      Edit:

      More seriously, I think the insult hurling from the start is counter productive. IMO, it poisons the ensuing discussion from the start, and immediately puts people it even marginally applies to on the defensive – including those whose opinions could otherwise be changed (such as the people who are not active apologists, but do not understand why it’s wrong).

      I’m all for the public shaming of that stance in this case, or heading off the unfortunately predictable reaction, but in a way that actually might trigger a desire to change instead of a defensive reaction. Save the insults for later, when the real stupid shows itself.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I think the kindest interpretation is that you have a lot of people who are very defensive of their own ignorance and lack of empathy. Because unless something affects me personally, it’s probably not important and I don’t care about it and you should stop talking about it too because I don’t want to hear it.

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        Or because ‘gobshite apologists’ doesn’t have a clear meaning and could be interpreted as anything, from people shouting ‘sexism, hell yeah, and more tits’ to those who do not automatically take someone’s opinion on the subject as gospel.

    • f69 says:

      If every example in the video is inarguably sexist to you then I am a “apologist for sexism”.

    • Gnarf says:

      “then you can probably safely assume that you’re not getting called names.”

      I would guess that most people just thought the “gobshite” part of your post was pathetic and that it wasn’t that much about who in particular you was calling gobshites.

  33. Fatikis says:

    It is amazing how stupid these people are.
    Females have boobs. Get over it.

    His entire argument about strawman was a strawman argument.

    Females are no more objectified than men.
    Half a second of actually thought instead of bullshit and you would realize it.

    If sexuality scares you so much you can’t have boobs in a game means you have a problem.

    Real women have tits. Get over it. Women dress like that. It would be sexist to purposely hide their boobs.

    Laura Croft is hot ZOMG sexism. I mean it could be do to the fact that she is athletic. It is rare to see a heavy out of shape woman going through tombs.

    And it isn’t even like you mandatory have to stare at the characters breasts. Look away. Problem solved.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      “Females are no more objectified than men”

      ……really? I mean, really? You actually believe that?

      I mean, sure, if you don’t account for how often it happens to women compared to men….. or the average depth of objectification women experience compared to men…..

      Which basically leaves you with “it happens to men too, so it’s the same!”

      • Fatikis says:

        Yes men are just as often objectified. Socially we have been trained that it doesn’t matter.

        And yeah do you have some sort of statistic how often it happens to females?
        because otherwise you are just making things up.

        Never mention all of the giant hulk muscle characters. Pretty much in every game now.

        And females have breasts in a game is not in any way sexist. Females have boobs.
        Get over it.

        • Robert says:

          Men are objectified to the template of an alpha male. Pushed into roles that brim with self-confidence, coolness, ‘badassness’, hero, antihero, someone who deserves respect.

          Woman are objectified to the template of a sexdoll. A subservient creature to said alpha male. A form with significant less self-respect and distinctly getting less respect.

          Tits are fine. But it would be nice if women can command respect ingame, instead of being the person carrying the tits.

        • jorygriffis says:

          To copy and paste what I think was a rather striking wall of text once typed by our own John Walker:

          “I feel compelled to react to one particular theme: That men are poorly represented in gaming too. They are. Men in games are often represented as huge, muscled heroes, essentially weapons of war with biceps, gruff and focused and all-powerful. It’s not an accurate representation of men at large, indeed not. Because it’s a power fantasy. It’s aspirational (as much as very many men may have no desires to be anything like that). It’s about being big, and strong, and in control. Oh boo hoo. Yes, it is daft, and cliched, and tiresome. But to compare it to the default representation of women in games – either huge-titted, scantily clad sexual fantasies, or helpless, pathetic and weak – is deeply erroneous. And yes, of course there are exceptions to both, although I can immediately think of vastly more exceptions for the better presentation of men than I can women.”

    • jorygriffis says:

      Aaargh!!!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Are you saying those things Lara Croft is famous for are… muscles?

      • D3xter says:

        Are you saying that a “woman’s woman” with all the self-determination in the world, lots and lots of money, her own mansion and a butler, an athletic physique and desirable by anyone, who travels around the world doing as she pleases while not having to listen to anyone, looting tombs and devastating temples of old civilizations all the while shooting dinosaurs with handguns is somehow all bad because she happens to sport a pair of tits, which a majority of women do too?

        She’s basically the female version of Batman.

        What I also never understood about this supposed male “power fantasy” thing is how apparently every male is supposed to feel better about himself by seeing all these male characters, despite likely never having even a part of the qualities of the likes of Batman while female characters with similar qualities (rich, attractive, powerful, headstrong, intelligent etc.) e.g. Lara Croft, Catwoman are apparently also only made for men and makes women feel “inferior”, or at least that’s how that argument went.

        • jrodman says:

          I forgot the part where every time they upgraded batman’s model in the next game they were sure to give him bigger boobs.

  34. CommanderZx2 says:

    Doesn’t this all make the major asumption that women don’t like seeing beautiful women in games? I know a girl that actually has a larger porn collection than most men.

    She uses nude pictures of female mass effect characters as a desktop wallpaper even!

    • tungstenHead says:

      Of course women like seeing beautiful women (and men! rawr) in games. The thing is, women like seeing ugly women (and men! whoof) in games too. Women like seeing intelligent women, women that are stupid, women struggling with a cacophony of emotions, women who are cool and have it together, women that are competent, women that have to overcome their failings, women in love with strong men, women in love with weak men, women in love with women, women in love with children and their parents and themselves. They like women who hate men, women that hate women, women that hate children, their parents and themselves. They like women they can relate to. They like women they can aspire to. They like women they can look down upon. They like all kinds of women.

      And heck, men like all those kinds of women too.

      The problem is that many of those women are not created and represented in games. The women in games are often one-note: beautiful. And that’s fine! It’s great that there are beautiful women in games. I like ‘em, you like ‘em, your girl acquaintance likes ‘em, I bet even stodgy ol’ John Walker likes ‘em (no offense). But wouldn’t it be better if women were more than just beautiful?

      The problem with the tack that most of these anti-sexism arguments and diatribes take is that they’re often presented or perceived to be saying, “Stop that nonsense!” That puts up hackles and creates animosity and anger. Truth is, it’s (sorta) okay for this stuff to be made. What is really wanted is, “Do this other thing. It’s better! Do more things; do different things. It’s better!”

      As is always the case, make MORE art. Make NEW art.

      To specifically address what you’ve said though, CommanderZx2, remember that sometimes women do things that suppress women. Just because a woman does something doesn’t mean it isn’t sexist against women. If people are over for dinner and the hostess specifically asks the other female guests to help her in the kitchen so the men can have a chat without the ladies bothering them, that’s still sexist. The Madame of a brothel can be an incredibly misogynistic individual. A female serial killer that targets women specifically is no less a nightmare to other women than a male serial killer. To be clear, I’m not saying anything foul of your friend. She’s undoubtedly a fine person and I don’t doubt that she likes more than just beautiful women. Women are subject to cultural norms and inertial just like men are is all I want to point out with ludicrously hyperbolic examples.

  35. Azriel says:

    *sigh* this shit again. What is funny is that this is a good example of all that is wrong with this bullshit. The girl seemed sensible and ok with games that have *shock* sexy women, while the guy seemed like a typical white knight offended on her and womens behalf. And that is the problem, its more white knight assholes pushing this than actual women. You know, I do NOT want games to become a soap box for every persons political agenda, I have the bullshit politically correct stuff that is already in games.

    Ok, here is the thing, games are entertainment, not political statements. This may come as a surprise, but there is NOTHING wrong with creating games catering to certain demographics like strait males. There are games that only cater to females and nobody is demanding they change them to draw in men. Strait males are the biggest demographic that traditionally are the ones that will spend the most money on games.

    So he wants to use dismiss straw man arguments, lets use some straw man arguments. First, the arguement that points to the esa finding that 50% women play games. Bzzzzt! wrong, that questionare they gave included ALL digital games, facebook games, mobile games, etc. If it only asked if they play hardcore type games, it would be way, way smaller I bet. Probably the same as its been, less than 10% maybe more, who knows. I do agree that there is more women playing hardcore games that before, but not by those bullshit numbers. All you have to do is go to any gamestop and see what the ration of men to women is to get a better idea of how many women are playing.

    The second argument, changing traditional male games to appease female gamers will bring them flooding in. Um no, not really. From my experience, many women (not all) have different tastes than men in games. A lot of people (mostly white knights) will say this is a sexist remark, but its not, men and women usually have different interest in the types of games they play. Most seem to like games like farmville, the sims (which I like myself btw) and other mobile/online games. Its a million dollar industry catering to women and you know what? There is nothing wrong with that either. Men and women are just different. There are many women who like hardcore games, but the most like facebook. I am sure some extremem white knight or femist will scream that its because of social conditionaing and they are brainwashed by society in which they will be “saved” whether they want to or not by these extreme groups.

    Personally, I am just sick of it all, keep your political bullshit agendas out of games.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      “there is NOTHING wrong with creating games catering to certain demographics like sexually frustrated straight males who are the basis for the “think with their penis” stereotype.”

      FTFY

      “All you have to do is go to any gamestop and see what the ration of men to women is to get a better idea of how many women are playing.”

      That is a horrible, horrible metric to use. It’s what we in the industry call a biased sample.

      • Azriel says:

        Sex sales, get over it.

        How the hell is that incorrect? Its a GAMESTORE that sales GAMES. If I want to know who and how many people are drinking from the well, I go the the well and see. Women who are playing games, have to get the fucking games from somewhere. How is that biased in any way? Oh, nice btw how you basically accuse anybody who like sexy women as horny teenagers. Its a power fantasy, having attractive women (men are also sexualized) to look at is kind of the idea. The groups who want to make women sexless objects with no breasts and act exactly like men are the real sexist in my mind.

        As for the 2009 nielson report, I cannot find anything about the FPS comment. I did find they used the same rigged questions where they include everything that has games in it to scew the results. If you have a link to actual source I would love to see it.

        You know, I have no problems with games catering to women, men, gay, strait…etc. I DO have a problem with some assholes shoving their political views down everybodies throat and try to be the censor police. Let developers create what they want, its entertainment and it should not have to go through a fucking peer review.

        • jrodman says:

          You seem to think that somehow games are entirely separate from politics. Unfortunately it isn’t and never has been true. Politics is part of our lives and present in nearly every form of discourse. It’s essentially the parts we disagree about.

          That games are typically sexist isn’t something that is acceptable to just live with , and talking about it isn’t censorship.

          That this all makes you so angry (to the extent that your spelling seems to have fallen apart entirely) means you should get help.

    • John Walker says:

      Actually, by a Nielsen study in 2009, for FPS it was 20%. So yeah, just the one in five. Ignore them lot!

  36. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Personally I’m more entertained by moralizing Ivory Tower shitheads.

  37. Shortwave says:

    All I can say is.. Half the people I game with are women, none of these women identify themselves as “girl gamers” but simply gamers as any male in my group does.. Out of all the men in our group only one of them has ever had an issue with being a juvenile sexiest whenever he got drunk and well, we don’t really invite him to our games anymore because he’s generally just an annoying drunk constantly and when he was being sexiest he was only doing it in an attempt to troll.. None of these women in our group have once ever complained about sexism in games.. They play male characters, female characters.. They understand that some games will have insanely large breasts that jiggle around, but in retrospect a few of these women also have insanely large breasts that jiggle around.. Do they think that more of the women should have realistic body types? Well.. I sort of wish I had some of the male body types that are featured in every game I can remember playing to sort that whole concept out! I’m very much not a beefy hunky body builder type kind of guy.. Lol.

    So again to revisit this entire concept of women being looked at and treated unfairly in video games.
    I simply don’t freakin’ get it.. At all.. Why is this even a thing? : /

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Try asking your female friends what their opinion is instead of voicing it for them.

      • Shortwave says:

        They laughed at it and told me to “shut up and focus on the game”. They’re not here voicing their opinion because they don’t actually care. Lol. I guess that was my point.

        All I can base my opinion off of is from the actual women I know who game and well yea, there it was.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Well I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that this is a thing because the women you game with aren’t game playing female Moses’ whose opinions represent the absolute truth about the portrayal of women in gaming?

      • Shortwave says:

        I’m not sure if there is an absolute truth on the topic.
        Some people simply care about things more than others it seems like.

        Usually -ugly- people in games are generally the bad guys..
        Am I to believe all -ugly- people in the world are bad now? Lol.
        No. Am I an ugly person? Yup.. Do I give a shit? Nope.

        Everything is subjective, screw it.

        Either way, in the end of the day all the women I game with don’t even validate that this is even an issue in there minds, that’s all I can say.

  38. Jamesworkshop says:

    http://www.dsogaming.com/news/weekly-skyrim-gallery-november-4th-10th/

    considering what gamers seem to actually want, i would say most developers show quite some restraint

    • Phantoon says:

      So niche groups are representative of everyone as a whole, and; women don’t like to see men sexualized ever?

      Because niche groups aren’t, and women think about sex too.

      • Jamesworkshop says:

        The modders are a small group but the nexus and steamwork, doesn’t suggest a niche of audience.
        If you mod it, they will come
        (takes on a whole new meaning in this context)

        As for what women may or may not like, more women alive than it’s possible for me to know what it is that they think, i don’t see where i talked about women not liking sex or not wanting to see idealized sexual portrayals of the male form.

        men have been sleeping with women
        men have been sleeping with other men
        women have been sleeping with other women

        2.2 million years for recognizable humans, of very consistent sex, both in theory and in practice, so i’m fairly confident that humans have a well established and well founded desire for sexual activity, no mattter what label we might use for them

        I supposed maybe not asexuals but that’s just splitting hairs

        • D3xter says:

          I too have to express bewilderment at this “niche” categorization if that is how he meant it.
          Aside from the usual Call of Duty douchebaggery, articles like “Hitman: Absolution Artist Reveals Stunning, NSFW Character Renders” and “Photos From Sony’s Assassin’s Creed III Party” with rather suggestive pictures are right there at the top for this months most popular gaming articles: http://n4g.com/channel/all/home/all/monthshottest/

          e.g. for instance check the comments and amounts of “Agrees” in this article to see what the majority of people buying games thinks: http://n4g.com/news/1114696/photos-from-sonys-assassins-creed-iii-party

          Methinks some people have spent too much time sheltered away on RPS and have decided to block out the entirety of the industry for John’s factual and undisputable opinions.

    • MDefender says:

      Trying to draw comparisons between the TES modding community and the rest of humanity doesn’t work. You’ll give yourself a headache before even undertaking the effort.

  39. Phantoon says:

    Can we just agree all sexism is bad and no one is more or less at fault for anything they do or do not do because of gender?

  40. Cryo says:

    You know your audience too well, John. Jesus Christ. Just kill all the nerds and burn the internet down already.

  41. elmo.dudd says:

    Was it intentional that they introduce Strawman Matt, and then use a strawman by how they link multiple perspectives together into one person so they can treat them all as equally fallacious? If so, risky meta-play. If not, well at least the level of discourse hasn’t gone much further down.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Yep. I hate the internet. Might get a net-jab for the long winter ahead. :P

    • Snargelfargen says:

      “Was it intentional that they introduce Strawman Matt, and then use a strawman by how they link multiple perspectives together into one person so they can treat them all as equally fallacious?”

      I’d say so, the video comes across as a satire of the state of discourse as a whole in the gaming community.

      Also, thanks for the idea of a strawman stuffed with strawmen. A… MatryoshkaMan? Russian Strawman?

      • elmo.dudd says:

        If it is that degree of satire, I think Mr John Walker here just got played by the very video he loved so much he made a news post about it.

        • Furiku says:

          Actually, I thought it might be satire adressed to people like Mr. Walker throughout.

          Let me make my case:
          0:25 making fun of feminist rhetoric as well as “gurrl gamers”: “Well, speaking as a girl gamer, I can say that it’s X, who needs a Y chromosome, right ladies?”

          1:40 rant about Hero’s Wrath where he talks about boobs starts with an impossibly musculated male chest, which gets ignored the following seconds concentrating all on the women.

          2:20 “It’s even worse now, they say the dress is transphobic and your preachy tune is trying to impress girls cause you can’t get laid.” is obviously a jab at Mr. White Knight

          2:40 Talk about Bishock Infinite, starts by saying it is an “intelligent franchise” that features “history, literature and politics”, then goes on crystalizing that there’s the slightest wisp of breasts as a main issue to get indignant about, that barely anybody in the comments here can even follow and only people like Mr. Walker would, he then goes on to make smug tunes with his mouth to increase the hilarity of the argument presented by Mr. White Knight

          3:00 “I’m not trying to eradicate boobs, they’re perfectly normal” … “but maybe we could make them optional” e.g. see the contrast displayed between the two statements

          3:15+ the hilarity of pixellated breasts and “turning them off by default” gives previous statement even more credence highlighting the irony of “not trying to eradicate boobs” even further

          3:37 his friend Strawman Matt comes by with perfectly valid and arguable arguments, he decides to ignore them all and slaps him instead, also look at his facial expression during this entire section

          4:15 he asks his friend Alice, the only female who gets a chance to speak about the issue in the video about the “objectification of women in video games” and she nods her head and says that it doesn’t bother her. He then goes on with the obvious response to women who don’t agree with Mr. Whiteknight
          “You’re only saying that because you’ve internalized the opression of the patriarchy, right?” (also more feminist rhetoric being made fun of) and she tells him to sort himself out, since he is talking rubbish

          4:30 “If this video doesn’t cure sexism, it’s your fault you smelly cow!”, as a sign to how he thinks his selfimportant video will change anything about the situation, or even moreso human nature itself and in the same step he is actually being really sexist by calling her a cow because she doesn’t agree with his extremist view on the issue

          4:35 “I’m too lazy, nervous and apologetic to be a crusader” – another jib at Mr White Knight
          Then he goes on to list all the hilariously stupid examples of non-issues this argument has come up in the gaming media this year, “Girlfriend Mode”, “Booth babes at Expos (paid models)”, “Team Ninja’s Teenage Tit Physics”, “Hitman Absolutions Sexy Nun Trailer” etc. then goes into the more hilarious made-up examples ending with “the world we built is shit” (presumably because of all these non-issues, to contrast this the video shows an atomic explosion e.g. an actual problem where millions of people died to help the non-extremistic viewer draw a parallel to put “boobs in video games” in perspective, and something that isn’t a non-issue still looming over our heads)

          5:35 the video ends by literally saying he is able to “talk like a pompous dick about privilege” (despite being the exact group that is supposedly privileged in this discourse) and that he can look people in the face and tell them “oh shut up, you don’t know what it feels to be part of an opressed minority” (despite him not being part of that minority).
          She goes on to correct his argument “women are kind of a majority” and he closes with “oh will you shut up and let me save you woman!”, this entire part could be an analysis of every other article Mr. Walker writes for this prestigious publication.

          I hypothesise that this is a deeply satirical piece on the White-Knighting going on in Gaming Journalism circles masterfully designed to go over said peoples heads, since they are so deeply entrenched in their beliefs and Mr. Walker fell right for it.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            That was a masterfully pedantic reply.

            The video isn’t condemning the debate or the opinions of commentators. .At most, it mocks those who assume they can speak for women without asking them their opinions first.

            John Blythe does get serious towards the end. He’s an unwilling participant in the debate. He’s complicit, because he plays games that are a part of the problem, hence he is part of the problem. In his own words, we built this world and it is shit.

            Yes, I’m paraphrasing. I’ve had several too many glasses of wine to transcribe a youtube video for this absurd discussion.

  42. TechnicalBen says:

    In all honesty, the industry is usually doing us all over. We should stop arguing about who get’s it the worse and work together to do better.

    As in, the next time someone says “women are objectified in games” I’ll say “yes, that’s why I don’t buy those games. Let’s suck it to the man… um, the corporation.” But alas, I guess it will fall on death ears because I’m a guy, so I can’t possibly sympathize or help, just make things worse (oh no! Another stereotype :( ).

    Gah. Hole, me digging…

  43. Xaromir says:

    i don’t care anymore.

  44. Xzi says:

    People might hate me for saying this, but there is zero point in discussing this any more than we already have. There’s only one thing that any company recognizes as having a true voice, and that’s money. No matter how loud or obvious you attempt to make your moral outrage, developers/publishers just won’t care unless their profits drop significantly due to the way they portray women. It’s a catch-22, of course, because if you declare yourself or a group to not be buying a game due to its portrayal of females, then there will inevitably be at least a few people who buy it just to spite you.

    So, does it suck? Yes. Is it likely to change any time in the next 20 years? No.

    Really, the best hope for gaming, in regards to this issue and in general, has been and will continue to be the indie scene. Bottom line: support the games and developers you like, and don’t support the ones you dislike. That’s the most any one of us can hope to do with our voice.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Pack your bags and go home everybody, Xzi says sexism isn’t worth discussing.

      • Xzi says:

        You can discuss it all you want, but to what end? That’s all I’m asking. Discussion is one thing, inciting a positive change in gaming is entirely another. Most of the time it really isn’t worth discussing, because we just end up angry at one another for having a few degrees of difference in our opinions, rather than getting angry at the developers who are responsible for the sexism in the first place.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Sorry to be so trite, but: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
          So there. I learnded that quote from playing Modurn Warfare.

        • Focksbot says:

          “You can discuss it all you want, but to what end?”

          To convince other people not to buy this crap.

          Look, I was really looking forward to Arkham City. The misogyny that several reviewers justly highlighted put me off it. I was going to pay full price on launch and now I probably won’t even bother getting it on budget. I expect I’m not the only one.

          That’s the power of sensible, persistent dialogue on the subject. You and others might get suck of it, but incrementally, it has an effect. Gradually, games developers will realise it’s costing them sales, not gaining them, as the audience of people put off by sleaze outnumbers those suckered in by it.

          • D3xter says:

            Don’t worry, i’ll buy a second copy next time it is slightly on Sale and gift it to someone to make up for you, since it was a rather brilliant game with its only downside being GFWL.

            I think I already have like 3 copies of Arkham Asylum, once Retail and twice from different Digital Distribution services.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          “You can discuss it all you want, but to what end? That’s all I’m asking.”

          To enact change and to educate others about the issue.

          “Most of the time it really isn’t worth discussing, because we just end up angry at one another for having a few degrees of difference in our opinions, rather than getting angry at the developers who are responsible for the sexism in the first place.”

          Yeah man, why can’t we all, like, get along and stuff.

          Seriously, you seem to have good intentions, but I think you should consider what your reaction would be if this was a topic that you actually felt strongly about. It’s easy to dismiss a debate as pointless when you don’t really care about it.

          • Xzi says:

            I never said I didn’t care. I’ve made my views on the subject well-known throughout many different online forums. And that’s just it, this conversation has been had thousands of times, yet we still see women wearing nothing but metal thongs into battle. That’s because the only real option we have to change any business practice is to be discerning customers. Our discussions mean nothing as long as games with scantily-clad damsels in distress continue to rake in millions in profit.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            Well, yeah some comments on the web aren’t going to instantly change the world. It takes years, decades even. I’ve learned quite a bit through comment threads such as this, and I expect others do as well.That’s what people do, they exchange ideas with each other and occasionally reevaluate their beliefs. It sucks that the tone of the discussion always escalates, but it’s not really in human nature to disagree politely, especially on the internet. Sounds like you need to take a break from it.

  45. rockman29 says:

    Wow…. this guy’s video here you posted about women and gaming is spot on…

    I also watched their videos on sex in videogames and Final Fantasy XIII/XIII-2…. spot on videos too!

    I appreciate the bluntness of his videos and I completely agree with him!

    Thanks RPS, full of win with these videos, great job by OXM.

  46. TaroYamada says:

    Oh look, it’s another John post from up there on his Ivory tower. Drop your religions/atheistic moral standards! Join the Church O’RPS, moral truths be here!

  47. Lenderz says:

    That was really rather good, I used to immencely enjoy reading Brooker and John “Log” Blyth in PCZone back in the formative days of my gaming life. It’s a real shame that print publications lost the “edginess” that the early PCZone had, able to deftly both cover some serious topics and also offer complete irreverence at the same time.

    I dare say we will never see another “Pants” award in the main stream media, which was posted next to the score of poor games and was a literal symbol of a pair of disgustlingly stained y-fronts. Nobody would be that brave or honest (and perhaps childish) but I thought it was both brilliant, edgy and funny at the time.

    Shame we lost them both to consoles, didn’t realise Log had ended up at OXB, but I am glad he is still writing about games.

    Edit – I didn’t mention the subject matter, but girl gamers = great fun generally.

    Sorry I was in the grip of nostalgia.

  48. dE says:

    Something I’ve noticed in all these comment sections about this surefire-pagehit-generator machine of a topic:

    The snide remarks about clothes always struck me as a bit old fashioned. A lot of the “white knights” in these kind of discussions come across as mysogynists in disguise to me. Their issue isn’t with objectified gender, it’s with the concept of “unbefitting” attire. They instantly jump at the sight of revealing clothes and claim sexism and objectification.
    Worse: They think by doing that, they’re helping women.
    Even worse: They think women are actually in need of helping.

    Ah, the Brigade is frothing at the mouth already. Let’s rub it in some more, shall we? No gender needs help in this issue, as no gender is weaker or less powerful than the other. All Genders are socially and culturally discriminated, the social mechanisms in desperate need of fixing.

    But: No gender needs dictacting what kind of clothes are and aren’t acceptable. Don’t camouflage your distaste with visual representations by saying it’s sexism. It’s not. The sexism is in the context of the matter and a lot more complicated than “ZOMG BOOBIES. DAMN SEXISTS!?!?!!!! CAN’T DEAL WITH IT, COVER THEM!”.
    Examples:
    Women in revealing attire at an electronical expo? Not sexism. The sheer concept of “boothbabes” as marketing? Sexism. Beach Volleyball in bikinis? Not sexism. The actual rule for female athletes to wear bikinis in Volleyball? Sexism. Unless each and every participant actual wants to wear that out of her own will (which seems unlikely but is possible).

    And with that, in the best spirit of the satirical video, some elements echoed, some disputed, all strawmaned, meta-trolling with a strawwoman in a strawman, lacking the strawtransgender and the strawnongender, the bullshit bonfire is lit.

    • jorygriffis says:

      Forgive me for saying so, but you seem a bit confused.

    • Ich Will says:

      Or, and bear with me now, maybe they aren’t white knighting at all.

      No seriously, bear with me!

      Maybe, just maybe for some men, they don’t want to feel like a pedophile playing the current game – perhaps controlling a girl in her teens wearing nothing but a bikini with a personality as 1 dimensional as a real doll makes them feel like a sex pest.

      Or, and here’s another theory, it’s OK for white men to be offended at other white men being racist against black men. It’s OK for Christians to be offended at other Christians who indulge in anti-muslim activities and it’s OK for men to be offended at other men being sexist.

  49. maxi0 says:

    My problem with this article, the video and, indeed, this entire discussion, is that we’re hearing a great deal of hypothesis and opinion from a male majority, without much actual opinion from members of ‘the fairer sex’.

    If a market exists for female-focused games then great, someone should go capitalise. In the meantime, what genuine harm does objectification or fantasising in videogames do?

    Surely the discerning player of games is capable of distinction ‘twixt fantasy and reality, enough so that they park their brains in ‘notreal’ before hitting the ‘START’ button? Beyond that, who gives a flying monkey’s jobbie about anything other than whether it’s fun to play?

    I’m not going to waste my time being offended on behalf of women, I’m quite certain they’re allowed to do that all by themselves. In the meantime I’ll enjoy staring at their beautiful and varied forms, safe in the guilt-free knowledge that any nether-stirrings caused by such behaviour is entirely normal.

    Incidentally, I think too little emphasis is placed on the posterior in games. I’m more an ass aficionado than a breast buff, and feel my preferences are under-represented in videogamedom.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Thing is, what’s more concerning than the sexism in games itself, is the disproportionate backlash to any critique of it.

      Why do you feel the need to question the validity of the complaints? Does it really matter to you, whether I or any other posters here are male or female? If you’re interested in the debate, that’s great, but all I see is a rambling justification for your taste in video-games. That’s great man, and I’m sure there will always be games to suit your interests.

      Not intending to single you out here, but a lot of the backlash towards critiques of sexism assume that those critiques are actually an attack on the tastes of gamers. That simply isn’t true. John isn’t calling gamers gobshites. He’s calling apologists for sexism gobshites, those people who are simply unable to stand by idly while others talk about sexist things in games.

      In the same manner, criticism is often conflated with censorship. There’s a strange leap in logic, where someone sees an article mocking leather clad sex nuns, and concludes that the author wants all instances of sexy nuns removed. No, it’s just an article pointing out that sex nuns are cheesy cornball stereotypes and maybe, just maybe, the game developer could do a better job of it next time.

      • Furiku says:

        “Thing is, what’s more concerning than the sexism in games itself, is the disproportionate backlash to any critique of it.”
        It’s mostly about the intensity and increasing ridiculousness of said complaints. If some of you people would say your piece and shut up about it the other side would do the same. As these articles increase and try to include games like BioShock 2 and Deponia as well as other fan favorites, so will the “disproportionate backlash” of them.

        “but all I see is a rambling justification for your taste in video-games”
        Funny, that’s what a lot of people see when these kinds of white-knighting articles pop up everywhere too.

        “Not intending to single you out here, but a lot of the backlash towards critiques of sexism assume that those critiques are actually an attack on the tastes of gamers”
        They are, since everyone who doesn’t agree with them is apparently a spoilt, entitled gobshite apologist.

        “In the same manner, criticism is often conflated with censorship. There’s a strange leap in logic, where someone sees an article mocking leather clad sex nuns, and concludes that the author wants all instances of sexy nuns removed.”
        What else would you conflate it to exactly? It’s come to the point that EVERY SINGLE TIME a game has a character with bare regions north of their areolas people like Mr. Walker can’t abstain from louthmouthedly and selfimportantly declaring them filthy and horrid.

        You say that “it isn’t an example” against sexy leather-clad nuns, I dare you to find me another game containing sexy leather-clad nuns though, the message is conveys is that sexy leather-clad nuns are inherently bad. The same with the “tits” debate, “we don’t want to remove tits, we just COMPLAIN LOUDLY and blame the developers of crimes against humanity every single time they are used in any game at all”.

    • Nogo says:

      It’s kind of telling that you don’t think men are capable of being offended at games constantly telling them they just want overtly-sexual, subservient women. My personal relationships are based on more than ‘I like the proportions of your butt,’ so I don’t think it’s asking too much that the games I enjoy reflect that. I’m more than a lizard brain attached to a penis, thanks for noticing developers and writers.

  50. darkmouse20001 says:

    Bah, I’m not gonna lie, I like tits. And I like ‘em in games. Saving buxom wenches from a fate worse than death? One of the reasons I play games, ‘cos I get very little opportunity to do it in real life.

    People are certainly entitled to their opinions, but the feverish anti-boob mood in here is a little concerning. Most of the ‘gamers’ (I hate that term, I play computer games, its something I do amongst all the other things I do, it doesn’t define me) I know, both male and female, give very little thought to whether a female characters chest is larger than normal, or a male characters shoulder are bigger than his head, and just enjoy playing the game.

    Anyone that pays too much attention to boob size and gets outraged over it, probably has a problem.

    • Ich Will says:

      Back in the day, when the first (or second) tomb raider was released, I mightily enjoyed destroying endangered species and clambering/swimming/running through exotic levels.

      My wife just couldn’t see past the breasts. I tried explaining that it was her problem she was so outraged not mine for enjoying tits made of 8 polys….