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  1. #3101
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    She gave an example of a game doing these kind of things right in the video itself.

    I think that we are long past the point of simply pointing out the obvious. What the discussion needs right now is constructive feedback instead of vilification.


    Are we past that point? Looking at the comments on twitter over the past few weeks and any comment thread(even this one) about these videos show you we have a way to go for people to wake up to the fact that this shit is rife in video games and well should be changed.

    are commercially more successful than "Her", "Moon" or "American Psycho"


    If you look at their box office figures maybe, but These films have a whole shelf life of people buying them on DVD and keep watching them when they get re-released on cinema. Shawshank Redemtion was a bomb now it is one of the most commercially successful films. Just looking at what's popular in the weekend is a terrible way to go about things and probably one reason a lot of media sucks and doesn't get made.

  2. #3102
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Again, it's easy to pick apart why one specific example may not completely fit, but the whole point is to show the sheer number of them all doing the same thing. Of course every game is different so there'll be some context inserted here and there with each one, but that doesn't change the point.

    It's also worth noting that a couple of the Bioshock 2 devs have on Twitter pointed their regret for including that sequence/s since this latest video was released.
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  3. #3103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesday View Post
    Yup! Agree whole heartedly! Whenever she decides to use Bioshock she seems to feel a burning need to miss the point and over simplify. I'm not a fan of hers, nor a detractor. My main issue with her is that her feminism is too gentle.

    Video games are horribly, massively, embarrassingly sexist, on the whole.

    And we defend them here with ifs and buts and Yes Wells.
    She make a few mistakes, but I think pointing them don't add much.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesday View Post
    Video games are horribly, massively, embarrassingly sexist, on the whole.

    And we defend them here with ifs and buts and Yes Wells.
    Yea, well.. but Sturgeon Law. 90% of all these games are already terrible, sexism is only one of the ways these games are terrible.

    One of the less sexist games you can find is Witcher. Like you can't label porn sexist, you can't label the "softcore porn" card collection in Witcher sexist. Is just what it is, a sex power fantasy in a power fantasy. They did what they did on purpose, to make males and lesbians happy. So no sexism,just sex.
    Last edited by Tei; 28-08-2014 at 02:15 PM.

  4. #3104
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    I always found the witcher a bit weird as it obviously has drawn playboy images in it, yet it also has far better romances (the two fleshed out ones) then any of hte bioware games.

  5. #3105
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    Again, it's easy to pick apart why one specific example may not completely fit, but the whole point is to show the sheer number of them all doing the same thing. Of course every game is different so there'll be some context inserted here and there with each one, but that doesn't change the point.

    It's also worth noting that a couple of the Bioshock 2 devs have on Twitter pointed their regret for including that sequence/s since this latest video was released.

    Which sequence? The spear gun? or the stripper ghost? Or the dead bodies Sarkeesian says are fetishized on the bed?

    As a developer I guess you can apologize generally and hope it all goes away, but no one is exactly going through Bioshock 2 right now and counting all the horrible things done to men as a backdrop and comparing to horrible things done to women as a backdrop.

    Once again though, arguing about Bioshock 2 doesn't help anything. It is the game I knew best from her video. There is a Sarkeesian BUSTED video going around showing how she completely misrepresented whichever Hitman as well by actually abusing women who when actually left as a backdrop, as they would be by most gamers, made a statement about women's issues. I've never played that game so I took her word for it until I saw that video. (I am not going to link it because it starts with righteous nerd rants against her that are just not necessary).

    That Far Cry 3 prostitute beating by pimp moment was weird too. It happens once, it is horrible, and.... I don't even know what to make of it today. It certainly isn't backdrop for the sake of backdrop, it is supposed to tell you something about these people. (Maybe even play into that whole, civilized savior parody whatever crap). But, for a feminist video to talk about that and ignore all the other weird stuff going on in that game seems to be trying too hard to find what she wants.

    There are lots of easier games to point to as other people here have pointed out. Assassin's Creed 2 got its just desserts for being designed for dudebros. GTA probably too, but GTA is a special case of being a game about being reprehensible which I guess is why she is willing to talk about central mission sequences with violence toward women.

    The trouble for me is that she points out these things occur in games as backdrop, but I get the feeling if they were not there and yet it was a scene of poverty and violence, we would be getting videos about how videogames ignore some of the most frequent and horrible violence against important victims. Sarkeesian even talks about how frequent domestic violence is at a couple of points in her video.

    So, she picks out a few examples that may not really be good examples or in the context of the game to make the point that there is violence against women in the background of incredibly violent games. That is apparently bad if there isn't a direct critical commentary made about it, but then she ignores any of the direct commentary on women in the actual plots of said games (Far Cry 3 had a world of odd and confusing depictions of violence against and by women in the main plot).

    She has valid points, but her selection really makes her video seem grasping.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 28-08-2014 at 02:58 PM.

  6. #3106
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    Misnomer-- I think there might be a value in pointing out the objectionable parts of otherwise not terribly sexist games. See, if you point out that part ofManpower Manly's Cuntshooter IV is sexist, that reflects only on something we already knew was sexist. However, Sarkeesian wants to show that our culture falls into sexism (in this case, using women as objects that are destroyed in a kind of emotional shorthand) even without meaning to. If a game that was never meant to be misogynistic uses prostitutes as these sorts of objects, then that is evidence of how normal this sort of objectifying laziness is.

    I don't consider Far Cry 3 (whatever its faults) to be a sexist game, and I certainly don't think it was written to be sexist. That just makes it stranger that it has, completely unproblematised, these sexist elements.

    (Edit: Also, the problem is not that games talk about domestic violence. The problem is that games gravely misrepresent domestic violence and violence against vulnerable women. Sarkeesian says as much in her video, but I don't remember exactly when. . .)
    Last edited by Grey Cap; 28-08-2014 at 03:25 PM.

  7. #3107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey Cap View Post
    If a game that was never meant to be misogynistic uses prostitutes as these sorts of objects, then that is evidence of how normal this sort of objectifying laziness is.

    In as short a time as possible, convince me this person is villainous/reprehensible. Oh and because our main mechanic is violence, make this happen on the fringes of society where people with beliefs condemned by mainstream culture are more likely to appear and justify atypical violence by the player character.

    Is it really that shocking that prostitutes exist or are used in that sort of setting?

    Yes, it is lazy to always resort to this, but it is a trope in the sense that WW2 shooter or space marines is a trope. Even drug trade and usage is a trope in those situations. It is a justification for violence through an overused setting. Since the main mechanic is violence and we have limited justifiable situations for violence in our culture, we should expect to see these tropes. Maybe women as victims should be used less? It seems odd to ask for more victims to include children and the elderly, but that is probably fair if the point is an efficient villainy trope.

    Still, it is important to note that these villainy and violence tropes make inherent logical sense to the player not because they are common and acceptable in the everyday world, but because they are not. This is where Sarkeesian's point is paradoxical. If domestic violence is too common to work as a villainy trope, are video games sexist for using it as a quick identifier for evil?
    Last edited by Misnomer; 28-08-2014 at 04:26 PM.

  8. #3108
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    I think Grey Cap have a good point.

    Misnomer also have a very solid logic.

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  9. #3109
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    Yes, it is lazy to always resort to this, but it is a trope in the sense that WW2 shooter or space marines is a trope. Even drug trade and usage is a trope in those situations. It is a justification for violence through an overused setting. Since the main mechanic is violence and we have limited justifiable situations for violence in our culture, we should expect to see these tropes. Maybe women as victims should be used less? It seems odd to ask for more victims to include children and the elderly, but that is probably fair if the point is an efficient villainy trope.

    Plus there are many gross things that we are not seeing in games ie. antisemitic imaginery and rethoric and samehow we can go by without it ( at least I hope it is common sentiment) so imo it can be done and our games won't break apart.

    Still, it is important to note that these villainy and violence tropes make inherent logical sense to the player not because they are common and acceptable in the everyday world, but because they are not. This is where Sarkeesian's point is paradoxical. If domestic violence is too common to work as a villainy trope, are video games sexist for using it as a quick identifier for evil?
    Yeah, but how about trying to do this things less in games, like in a really substational number less, and then worring that we will have villains in 90% of games bashing cats on the wall or pissing on carpets. Sarkeesian presents in her videos what is important to her about current state of gaming and not aiming to fix everything that is wrong in gaming and in society in one shot and just because her aim is narrow doesn't mean is less valid. I don't get this "repair everything that is wrong with whole world or your point is invalidieted" attitude.

  10. #3110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
    In as short a time as possible, convince me this person is villainous/reprehensible. Oh and because our main mechanic is violence, make this happen on the fringes of society where people with belief condemned by mainstream culture are more likely to appear and justify atypical violence by the player character.

    Is it really that shocking that prostitutes exist or are used in that sort of setting?

    Yes, it is lazy to always resort to this, but it is a trope in the sense that WW2 shooter or space marines is a trope. Even drug trade and usage is a trope in those situations. It is a justification for violence through an overused setting. Since the main mechanic is violence and we have limited justifiable situations for violence in our culture, we should expect to see these tropes. Maybe women as victims should be used less? It seems odd to ask for more victims to include children and the elderly, but that is probably fair if the point is an efficient villainy trope.

    Still, it is important to note that these villainy and violence tropes make inherent logical sense to the player not because they are common and acceptable in the everyday world, but because they are not. This is where Sarkeesian's point is paradoxical. If domestic violence is too common to work as a villainy trope, are video games sexist for using it as a quick identifier for evil?
    She addresses this at the end of the video with the argument that if games routinely include fictional or even outright fantastical features anyway (dragons, anti-gravity, cosmic horrors, what have you) surely it's possible to find a way to quickly paint your setting as gritty/hardcore/crapsack that does not require women as perpetual victims without agency?

    I don't think Sarkeesian is arguing that the trope does not work - the point is that its ubiquity is harmful towards women, because they are shown as helpless objects of abuse far, far, far more often than men. This gives a pretty warped, limited and unpleasant image of women in general - because they're almost always depicted in this way - which does little to solve the problems we have with regards to gender and may even perpetuate them.

  11. #3111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naramsin View Post
    Yeah, but how about trying to do this things less in games, like in a really substational number less, and then worring that we will have villains in 90% of games bashing cats on the wall or pissing on carpets.
    That misses the point doesn't it. Does our culture really justify violence (especially lethal) in response to someone torturing an animal or peeing on carpet?

    No, you can make them a villain that way, but not a villain who will die by the player character's hands type villain.

    There is certainly a problem with too many games needing violence as their core mechanic, but her criticisms of easy grittiness are at least less valid because it actually makes sense. Much in the same way that claiming the use of "war" as trope that should be removed from games is seen as less valid. You don't really gain anything by removing that background trope. It neither makes war stop existing nor does it change the suitability of violence in that situation.

    In competitive multiplayer games, how many times do you see violence toward women simply as a backdrop? Very very rarely and usually only in hybrid MP/SP type games. Why? Possibly because your motivation to violence in simply winning the game against people being violent towards you. You can pick up the Dead or Alive and boob plate/sexy armor discussions there, but backdrop sexualization and victimization of women is largely absent.

    As a thought experiment, take a game like the Sims and add violence to it. What setting is necessary to make that not just a sadistic rampage?

    More games without violence as their core mechanic is a noteworthy goal, but she doesn't really discuss that in her video either. It isn't about Sarkeesian needing to fix everything in the world, it is about her criticism actually being grounded in the material she is criticizing.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 28-08-2014 at 04:50 PM.

  12. #3112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stijn View Post
    I don't think Sarkeesian is arguing that the trope does not work - the point is that its ubiquity is harmful towards women, because they are shown as helpless objects of abuse far, far, far more often than men. This gives a pretty warped, limited and unpleasant image of women in general - because they're almost always depicted in this way - which does little to solve the problems we have with regards to gender and may even perpetuate them.
    Again, it is very easy to find a story about real war today that uses the phrase "women and children" killed. Just go find any Gaza reporting. Generally in western culture we still find killing these victims to be more reprehensible largely because they are assumed to be helpless.

    Listen to Sarkeesian's statistics about women and assault ratios. They are victims of physical abuse and sexual abuse far more often than men.

    So if I create a "realistic world" in my game set in the largely unseen seedy underbelly of society, I should ignore domestic violence and violence toward women because it disproportionately makes women out to be victims. Therefore, by not showing it we are avoiding perpetuating it?

    That makes no sense to me.

    Neither does the solution "set everything in fantasy or sci fi worlds" make sense to me either if we ever think gaming can be serious art.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 28-08-2014 at 05:04 PM.

  13. #3113
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    I expect that simply switching the genders of perpetrator/victim around in most of these games (and altering the dialogue accordingly) would result in a chorus to the effect that the game is proof of the nazi feminist hatred of men. Certainly such violence wouldn't pass unremarked or be dismissed as trivial.
    Last edited by Lethe; 28-08-2014 at 05:10 PM.

  14. #3114
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe View Post
    Sarkeesian's productions may ultimately be more notable for the opposition they have produced than their actual content, but when it comes to the simple question of whether to stand with her, against her, or on the sidelines -- it's no question at all.
    An interesting point, there definitely are quite a few people who, in that regard, seem quite eager to expose their own peculiar brand of idiocy. I would argue there are more places to stand, but that's not really important.

    Aside from the first video, I haven't seen any of her work, but as I've said throughout: if these discussions prompt additional games to be made and released which are more in line with the wishes and expectations of people who are currently confronted with a dearth games interesting to them, then everybody stands to gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
    So if I create a "realistic world" in my game set in the largely unseen seedy underbelly of society, I should ignore domestic violence and violence toward women because it disproportionately makes women out to be victims. Therefore, by not showing it we are avoiding perpetuating it?
    This matter of real world violence vs. violence in media was brought up before, when a poster advertising a new season of some TV show from the United States showed a female corpse in, if I recall correctly, a pool environment. Suffice to say, the discussion prompted people to disagree as much as they do in this one focussed on games, but the point you made was brought up there as well: if people were to make an accurate reflection of real world violence in media you'd probably end up with more rather than less female victims.
    Last edited by Tritagonist; 28-08-2014 at 05:12 PM.
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  15. #3115
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    As a thought experiment, take a game like the Sims and add violence to it.
    Why? I just set my sims on fire, delete the pool ladder or every door from house, I doesn't have to imagine it. :)

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    No, you can make them a villain that way, but not a villain who will die by the player character's hands type villain.

    There is certainly a problem with too many games needing violence as their core mechanic, but her criticisms of easy grittiness are at least less valid because it actually makes sense. Much in the same way that claiming the use of "war" as trope that should be removed from games is seen as less valid. You don't really gain anything by removing that background trope. It neither makes war stop existing nor does it change the suitability of violence in that situation.
    But she's not making point about war in games but about "violence against women as a background" in games and seriously let's not go far fetched on this. She's made well documented point and I firmly belive that geting rid of this shit in 95% of games would only change them in really minimal way I also belive that there is really no point in opening discussion about war in games or "if you get rid of violence against woman that whout about poverty , is it next ?" yaddi-yadda.

  17. #3117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naramsin View Post
    But she's not making point about war in games but about "violence against women as a background" in games and seriously let's not go far fetched on this. She's made well documented point and I firmly belive that geting rid of this shit in 95% of games would only change them in really minimal way I also belive that there is really no point in opening discussion about war in games or "if you get rid of violence against woman that whout about poverty , is it next ?" yaddi-yadda.
    I am not really worried about you censoring everything bad about the world in some slippery slope context. It is more that you seem to think that censoring the bad parts of reality out of games will somehow make reality better.

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    It is more that you seem to think that censoring the bad parts of reality out of games will somehow make reality better.
    First I don't consider abstaining of using "violence against women" as a background and filler as censoring bad parts of reality out of games. For me this is argument made in bad faith, did you even watch a video ? She made example about Papa and Yo, game that don't shy out of childern abuse but want to make a point about it and don't use it as a throwaway filler. Now not every game has to be Papa and Yo but we are not talking one or two games here but uncountable barrage of games that use this type of imaginery.
    Second, I don't know if it will make reality better but I'm sure it won't make it worse and because I don't see what games might loose by limiting "violence towards women as background" I am all for doing it.

  19. #3119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
    So if I create a "realistic world" in my game set in the largely unseen seedy underbelly of society, I should ignore domestic violence and violence toward women because it disproportionately makes women out to be victims. Therefore, by not showing it we are avoiding perpetuating it?

    That makes no sense to me.
    Yes, but in the real world, there's the flipside where some women are not victims of abuse, and where those that are have lives beyond being victims. Or handle their abuse differently than being rescued by mostly male game protagonists. That side is not represented well, or at all. Women are still depicted in an extremely one-dimensional way, and that is a problem.

    My mentioning of dragons and cosmic horrors was not necessarily to imply that game worlds should always be fantastical so as to avoid depicting abuse and such. It's also a reminder that games are a creative medium. There's more ways to create a believable, realistic world without resorting to these tropes that might parallel contemporary society to some extent, but only in a lopsided way.

    There's many things that can be used as an indicator of the world being shit besides abuse of women. Yet for some reason the latter is chosen so often that it sticks out. That is problematic.

  20. #3120
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I think the main point she was making is that it is not about the women, the women are objects as you say in the villains plan a horrible short hand to make the player want to kill the villian. Well that storyline is troubling anyway, but why do all games have to have violence as the main thing. I mean your peeing carpet thing, well there was a whole film about a guy going on a quest because his carpet got peed on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Lebowski I've never seen anyone do that in a video game.

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