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 »

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  1. aceofspudz says:

    I don’t really see the big deal about tits in games. As far as I can tell, complaining about them is a quick and easy way to qualify your exquisite progressiveness.

    Or in the case of the video above, homosexuality. lol!

  2. Wedge says:

    I’m so confused… there is an official console gaming magazine and it is staffed by intelligent beings able to express humour and opinions. What an odd country you people live in.

  3. Schrefu says:

    Step 1: A disconcerting trend in gaming industry and community was identified.
    Step 2: Public awareness was raised.
    Step 3: ???
    Step 4: The trend was stopped and reversed.

    So, what is step 3? Let me put some thoughts of mine out there:

    Vote with your wallet and do not buy games with offensive content. This will send some message to game developers and publishers. I say “some” because it might be the wrong message: “The game did not sell well, it needed more sexual content.” It’s like the saying goes: “Violence, if it doesn’t work, you need more of it”. Somehow this is how the brain seems to instinctively work by default and it needs a pretty big jarring jolt before considering other approaches.

    Vote with your wallet and do buy games without offensive content. This will send a much more clear message: “Why did this game sell so well, but not ours? Oh, because it has less offensive content.” Beware though, the default mindset might produce the conclusion “We copy that successfull game but add sexual content so ours will sell even better.”

    Repeat these two for long enough, and eventually it’ll work. I’d say this is the minimalist approach, “I do not like being complicit, but can’t be arsed to be more active about this subject.” All you have to do, is abstain from playing every hyped game out there. Yes, that can be hard, not sharing the play experience with your friends, BUT DANGIT STOP BEING SUCH A CRYBABY AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE, and explain your reason to your friends… then go and find another fun game to play together.

    Or, you know, become more active and actively do stuff. I cannot help you there though, I’ve got enough other stuff going on and I’m already going with the above ;)

    • maxi0 says:

      I’ve watched the video three times now, including once with my esteemed ladycompanion. Between us we can not decide whether or not it’s intended as a parody.

      Regardless, the ensuing response has been both hilarious and predictable. I’m hoping for at least another 8 pages of self-righteous nonsense before the well runs dry.

  4. Misticatol says:

    I don’t know about anyone else.. but I went through all the games I have either owned or played and actually enjoyed and only found 2 of about 50-60 that exploit women in a sexual way. GTA4 and Soul Calibur 4, and GTA4 is supposed to be satirizing american culture. And that’s really it, so maybe this guy just plays some pervy games..

  5. LionsPhil says:

    This was far, far, better than expected.

  6. Dobleclick says:

    Funny: After reading this article I stumbled across another article from IGN Spain (I’m from Spain) dedicated to the “25 hottest babes in videogames”.

    http://es.ign.com/feature/2316/top-25-tias-buenas-videojuegos

    Uhm, so yeah…

  7. Mario Figueiredo says:

    My only beef with this story is the use of “spoilt, privileged gobshite apologists”. Not only that, but we don’t even have any qualification of who these people really are. Kinda makes you fearful of saying anything in defense of this or that. I’m surprised so many replied to this article. You spoilt, privileged gobshite apologists!

    I’m all for attacking apologists, but lower the tone a bit and wait for it to happen. A priori qualification (aka preconception or prejudice) doesn’t look good on your journo resume. I suppose you can say a spoilt, privileged gobshite apologist warned you.

  8. Jason Moyer says:

    “Seriously what is wrong with me, why am I like this?”

    Yes, having a biological disposition towards the appreciation of tits signifies there is something wrong with somebody. I find the need to objectify women or include shallow romances in videogames to be hilariously silly, but jesus. Then again, the people who seem to be the most vocal about including lame pandering romance crap in games are the same people who enjoy reading Harlequin novels (hint: they don’t have Y chromosomes).

  9. Laurentius says:

    I approve John’s bringing this up. It’s really important for video games. Shame that instead writing pieces about sexism in video games, John Walker is more eager to write thousends hollow words in defense of Rab Florence and his whole self serving mess. Seriously Florence might be the niceset guy in the world but his Eurogamer article is atrciously stupid and even have some really sexsit overtones with sadisticly throwing this woman writer to Interent wolves.

    • CarrotyMrTaters says:

      Note that RobF’s story he features the example of 1 woman and 1 man, so actually in your (Laurentius) view he’s pushing egalitarian overtones. Not to mention that the journalist herself (or her legal advise team) caused the uproar by threatening to sue for nonexsistent slander, therefore throwing herself to the (often sexist) internet wolves.

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    harvb says:

    Best Breakdown yet, loving it.

  11. paddymaxson says:

    I don’t want to appear to be promoting anything (I’m a fan but not involved in the production of it), but if you enjoyed this video, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the podcast that Jon “Log” Blyth and some of his games journalists friends do, Regular Features. http://regularfeatur.es

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    Surlywombat says:

    From this point on, anyone who says they have read all the comments on this story is probably lying.

  13. vash47 says:

    “the gobshite apologists who will inevitably appear in the comments acting like the spoilt, privileged gobshite apologists they are.”

    Quality games journalism there.

  14. Very Real Talker says:

    I really don’t care about vidya tits, really I don’t as I can’t get excited by it, but I also don’t care if videogames do not cater to women enough… as a male playing videogames made by other men I really don’t see why I should care if they are not female friendly enough. Maybe it is because unlike some other I don’t think video games should be the definitive human expression of art, I just want to make stuff explode and explore interesting settings, I think that people who are furious or think that they should do something because video games are not doing anything (or enough) to advance feminism is just a sign that you need to take a step back from your life and seriously reconsider it.

    also that dude in the video was insufferable, privilege this and privilege that (the fact that he is complaining about something so trivial like vidya boobs automatically makes the privilege argument invalid in my opinion), also lol at “it’s true that men built this world, but it is shit”

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Amazing. It’s like someone asked you to paint a picture of the problem, and you decided to make it a self portrait.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I think you should take a moment to consider that other people like things that you do not, and that is why they might have different opinions on this topic. About half of them are female.

      Seriously take a moment, because it sounds like it’s a new concept to you.

    • tungstenHead says:

      “… I just want to make stuff explode and explore interesting settings…”

      This is why you should care! This right here!

      Bigger market = bigger explosions.

      Better written female characters = better stories = more interesting settings.

      Women getting involved in making games = more games = more explosions = more settings.

      If that little bit I quoted from you is true, Very Real Talker, I don’t see how you can afford to sit on the sidelines anymore. You’ve already got skin in this game, man. Heck, if you don’t care about video game tits, then there’s nothing you might even be at risk of losing. Your winning move, Talker? Side with the feminists.

      • Very Real Talker says:

        I would argue that something as visually and explosion intensive as videogames benefit more from a male sensibility…. now of course talented women are working in the industry (strictly under male guidance) but I don’t think more women would make games better (at the very best they could make video game writing more interesting, but only if female writer worked alongside men and under the supervision of a talented man writer), and also pushing and wah-ing to have more women in the industry seem stupid to me.

        Also declaring yourself a feminist when halo 4 was a project lead by a middle aged woman that has the power to perma ban men if they misbehave online is like declaring yourself a supporter of the allies vs the axis, the battle has already been won, it’s like wanting to keep bombarding germany to this day and age

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          jrodman says:

          “strictly under male guidance” ?
          For real?

          You came in kinda late to troll this thread.

  15. Faxanadu says:

    So, it’s almost 10 pages of comments.

    Lets say, the err, “feminist side” would somehow “win”. What would happen?

    We’d be given an option to turn off boobs? Yeah, right, and free ponies for everyone.

    It’s easy to understand the hatred, it’s born out of fear. Out of fear for how we usually deal with things enough people dislike.

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      Nogo says:

      I’ll give you a hint: this isn’t about boobs. It’s about the thing game developers keep attaching them to. So ya, if we ‘won’ we’d have many different types of boobs attached to many different types of characters that, crucially, resemble real people. Instead we get boobs for the sake of boobs. Which is lame. Why would anyone want that all the damn time?

  16. freduardo says:

    I find it pretty amazing how new everybody seems to think this argument is when it gets trotted out every week. Showing boobs is bad, it objectifies women, make them ladies cover up. Equality FTW (which is apparently to say: everybody needs to wear baggy turtlenecks and cargo pants and the game’s story should literally not be able to tell the difference between a male and female character). I’m not saying it’s a bad argument, but more feminism DID continue to happen after the ’70s sex-negative stuff.

  17. Leonard H. Martin says:

    I’m sure this argument would be stronger if any women actually wrote for RPS. Why aren’t there any women writing for RPS regularly?

    • Branthog says:

      “I’m sure this argument would be stronger if any women actually wrote for RPS. Why aren’t there any women writing for RPS regularly?”

      What is the proper female to male writer ratio that must be maintained on a video game site? Or is it maybe okay to just hire people whose writing and coverage you find compelling and not be concerned with any other aspect?

  18. Branthog says:

    To be honest, I don’t give a flying fuck about this topic anymore. The exhaustive navel-gazing over it is tiring and there are far more imperative problems to concern myself with than having this discussion for the on hundred thousandth time for the benefit of shitty “game journalists” that don’t know of any other topic to trot out when they want to pretend to be “real journalists durp”.