Sexism and Women in Video Games: Anita Sarkeesian goes to bat for girls Page 7

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  • MrTomFTW Moderator 11 Mar 2013 13:11:15 36,277 posts
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    This may come as a shock to you SL68, but you're sexist. And pretty creepy to boot.

    There is appreciation of the female form, as men we're wired that way, but when you're appreciating it as a thing for possession rather than for the person and dismissing those who are saying "Errrr, Hang on there a mo..." as whiners...

    Well I don't think I'd be happy to see you anywhere near my daughter, let's put it that way.

    I totally called it.
    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • sanctusmortis 11 Mar 2013 16:27:21 9,590 posts
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    pauleyc wrote:
    That's surprisingly topical: Father hacks 'Donkey Kong' for daughter, makes Pauline the heroine.

    Interesting is that he also did something similar for The Legend of Zelda, creating a "pronoun patch" that changes Link's gender. I have to admit, considering the series' title I always thought Link was actually a girl named Zelda...
    Inevitable dumb Men's Rights Activists reaction

    QOTD: “This is a slap in the face to all men out there,” says Mike Walls, leader of a men’s rights gaming group called the Mr. Pac-Men, “This father is doing a complete disservice for his daughter and is essentially brainwashing her into becoming a feminist.”

    “In fact, I would not be surprised if he was a feminist himself considering he did not give any real thought into what this hack would do for men across the globe. He is setting men’s rights back a bunch of years with his actions,” Walls continues, “Why can’t his daughter just respect that Mario is only doing his job?”

    Yes, because why should she see that the gender of the character makes no difference to the game at all? ONLY A MAN CAN SAVE PEOPLE!
  • pauleyc 11 Mar 2013 16:33:33 4,384 posts
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    I wish people would look up the definition of feminism before throwing the word around.

    That said, I wouldn't expect anything less from Play4Real, especially after that Wainwright debacle last year. :-)
  • King_Edward 11 Mar 2013 17:02:35 11,454 posts
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    To ease my gullible mind, that's satire, right? Nobody really made Samus a man?
  • JinTypeNoir 11 Mar 2013 23:02:25 4,365 posts
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    Hey wait a minute, isn't it possible for men to be feminists? In a "trying to help out women" way? What's wrong with that?

    I would think, just like everything else, there are good feminists and bad feminists, and it has little to do with whether you have balls or not.
  • Deleted user 11 March 2013 23:08:35
    sanctusmortis wrote:
    pauleyc wrote:
    That's surprisingly topical: Father hacks 'Donkey Kong' for daughter, makes Pauline the heroine.

    Interesting is that he also did something similar for The Legend of Zelda, creating a "pronoun patch" that changes Link's gender. I have to admit, considering the series' title I always thought Link was actually a girl named Zelda...
    Inevitable dumb Men's Rights Activists reaction

    QOTD: “This is a slap in the face to all men out there,” says Mike Walls, leader of a men’s rights gaming group called the Mr. Pac-Men, “This father is doing a complete disservice for his daughter and is essentially brainwashing her into becoming a feminist.”

    “In fact, I would not be surprised if he was a feminist himself considering he did not give any real thought into what this hack would do for men across the globe. He is setting men’s rights back a bunch of years with his actions,” Walls continues, “Why can’t his daughter just respect that Mario is only doing his job?”

    Yes, because why should she see that the gender of the character makes no difference to the game at all? ONLY A MAN CAN SAVE PEOPLE!
    You...do know that it's a joke news site, right?
  • ED209 11 Mar 2013 23:23:04 505 posts
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    MrTomFTW wrote:
    Well I don't think I'd be happy to see you anywhere near my daughter, let's put it that way.
    Can we log this as an official isotope of Godwin's Law.

    "As a Eurogamer discussion grows longer the accepted range of proximity to MrTomFTW's daughter approaches infinity (assumed position at start of discussion: 'adjacent')"

    Samantha Janus?

  • JinTypeNoir 11 Mar 2013 23:29:05 4,365 posts
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    Someone posted a tumblr of all those damsels in distress and...wow, I can't even get to the bottom of the page, there's so many. It just goes on and on and on. I see a lot of games where it would be easy to think of some other lazy reason for the hero to be motivated too. (And surprisingly a lot of modern games.)

    I don't think anyone could argue, even if they don't think the overwhelming commonness of it is sexist, that games could be just a tiny bit better by thinking of more original motivations for our heroes. That way, when the games that do come along that use the trope, it will be there for a good reason.
  • ED209 11 Mar 2013 23:40:29 505 posts
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    JinTypeNoir wrote:
    Someone posted a tumblr of all those damsels in distress and...wow, I can't even get to the bottom of the page, there's so many. It just goes on and on and on.
    Man, it's made me sick to the stomach seeing all the depraved sexism ingrained in our gaming culture, as represented by that carefully cataloged Tumblr:



    Edit: Further image added for context. Ban this sick filth!

    "Miss Sookie, Flying Hamster (2010)"


    Edited by ED209 at 23:42:56 11-03-2013

    Samantha Janus?

  • IMO 11 Mar 2013 23:43:15 5,211 posts
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    But surely, the desire to prevent someone you care about from coming to harm is one of the most powerful motivations of all?

    I definitely think that it's overused and tired, but, especially when the story is not the main focus, it provides easy justification for the player's actions.
  • sanctusmortis 11 Mar 2013 23:45:53 9,590 posts
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    @meme yes. That quote's funny and quotable, though, because I see it every day on Tumblr... It's such an accurate copy of what is known as "mansplaining".

    The big giveaway on that article for people should have been the group's name...

    Edited by sanctusmortis at 23:48:10 11-03-2013
  • JinTypeNoir 11 Mar 2013 23:51:45 4,365 posts
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    Certainly, but why not vary it a bit? Have girls rescue guys, guys rescue other guys, girls rescue girls more often. Family members, friends, important people, mystical beings whose very existence supports the planet, etc.

    I'm not one to say the trope needs to go away. I just think for as little as most of these games concentrate on story, they could also easily find another way to provide motivation and we would care about the same amount.

    It's stuff like ICO and Prince of Persia where it shouldn't change, because those both have more involved stories and despite what you may or may not think it does to the image of females, it is ultimately intertwined with the atmosphere and themes of those games. (Also, if you're going to remake Double Dragon, not changing the opening is more of an argument for respect to the original than perpetuating tropes.)

    Otherwise, just a tiny bit of forethought could help bring about some nice changes and variety in games, and I don't see why there's such a hullabaloo about that.
  • ED209 12 Mar 2013 00:02:44 505 posts
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    God help us. Society has gone too far. No way back now.

    It's...

    too...

    late...



    Edited by ED209 at 00:03:20 12-03-2013

    Samantha Janus?

  • GuiltySpark 12 Mar 2013 04:32:01 6,279 posts
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    JinTypeNoir wrote:
    Hey wait a minute, isn't it possible for men to be feminists? In a "trying to help out women" way?
    Stop implying that women need your help, you chauvinistic pig.

    Get bent.

  • sanctusmortis 12 Mar 2013 10:05:15 9,590 posts
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    You get a lot of male feminists. Just not militant ones.
  • JinTypeNoir 12 Mar 2013 23:06:20 4,365 posts
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    Has anyone played Dokuro on the Vita? Yesterday when I went to a game shop to reserve Castlevania, I played a bit of it and Soul Sacrifice on Vita test play stations. I skipped the story scenes because there were people all around who looked interested in playing and didn't want to hog the station.

    So my question, does the portrayal of the princess of that game get any better, or is she characterized as mentally retarded or under some sort of brainwashing curse? I mean, at first I thought she was okay because she stops when its clearly dangerous, but that was just a tutorial. It seems for the rest she wanders left no matter the danger to her, completely ignoring anything like a mindless lemming. So you play the skeleton guy doing everything to stop her from hurting herself. Checkpoints come in the form of flowers that she stoops to pick up.

    Dokuro seemed like a pretty solid puzzle game, though from what I played, I was slightly put off that the game didn't seem as creative as its visual depictions of scenes and characters was. But I kept wondering if this was Exhibit A of a game that would be improved by rethinking the premise a bit. It is not so much a question just of the damsel in distress trope being taken a worrying extreme, its just that say, well, Lemmings had a great reason the Lemmings all marched to their doom. That's what lemmings do. It is not required, but it is advisable to make the visual cues somewhat more believable to the situation. When Mario steps on turtles, they can come out of their shells or hide in their shells. That's why their visual representation was chosen to be a turtle, because it communicates that possibility to the player. In Dokuro, I don't see how the damsel in distress helps the game in any way; it just kind of makes it bizarrely morose and moronic.

    At least not from the snippet I played.
  • MightyMetalMonkey 13 Mar 2013 11:44:52 599 posts
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    neilka wrote:
    SL68 wrote:
    Is Eurogamer a gigantic lair for trolls and spam
    Yes

    SL68 wrote:
    Or is it the simple case "scare away newcomers if they don't accept the hive mind"?
    Yes
    That seems to have nailed it.
    Now time to invoke Godwins law and get the thread closed...
    So... what they are saying is that men are gaming Nazis ?
  • JinTypeNoir 26 Mar 2013 09:02:33 4,365 posts
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    So, Anita doesn't seem to have posted the next part of her Tropes vs. Women and as far as I know doesn't seem to have a schedule for the things. In the meantime, a lot of people have been posting responses to her video.



    I think this is the best one, because its respectful and a more well-rounded view of the whole issue. While it may reach a bit in certain areas, I think it does a good job of showing how one-sided Anita's video can be and is more logical.
  • CosmicFuzz 26 Mar 2013 09:10:38 21,240 posts
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    Typical woman can't even finish something properly. No doubt a man will have to save the day, as usual!

    What's your thoughts on Heroes Reborn? Read my TV musings here.

  • Tonka 27 Mar 2013 11:48:43 19,840 posts
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    @JinTypeNoir You have completely misunderstood the purpose of what Feminist Frequency is doing.
    She is spotlighting female stereotypes and tropes in videogames.

    Calling her video one sided is like complaining about lack of elephants in a documentary about sharks.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • JinTypeNoir 27 Mar 2013 12:02:26 4,365 posts
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    I said how one-sided it can be, not that it is. Sometimes Anita's video was well-rounded too. One-sided means she is not taking into account other parts of the issue, not one-sided as in only talking about women is one-sided. Obviously, the focus is on women. However, if you are examining the tropes, then I think you need it more thoroughly than she does. So for instance, not all games that employ the trope use it in the same amount of laziness as others that do and if part of the argument is that it relegates women to passive roles, then she needs to address to the poorly argued segment that a woman, even if she plays an active role, can be "damseled" whenever she needs to be rescued and this has the same effect of negative portrayal. While that is an interesting idea, it needs more explication, because it is a complex claim that does not simply follow logically from her argument. Maybe she will do so and other such things in the second segment.

    And have you seen my posts in this thread? I haven't attacked Anita unduly or been disrespectful to what she is trying to do.

    A large part of the aim of this video, as proposed by Anita herself, is to promote a healthier image for women. In order to be more successful at that, her arguments need to be well-rounded, so that people who are actively trying not to be convinced can be softened up a little.

    So get off my back, Tonka. This is not an "Anita is completely wrong" or "Anita is completely right" binary issue.

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 13:05:23 27-03-2013
  • SomaticSense 27 Mar 2013 12:54:43 7,040 posts
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    Jin's right.

    It's not that she is right or wrong, it's that she has been given a stack of money to create a 'well-researched' vidoc in which suggests she's done very little actual research and outright ignores any evidence which may contradict her arguments. This makes it clear she has an ulterior motive as a committed feminist and is obscenely biased as a result.

    Some of what she says was indeed true of pre-90s gaming, but is largely irrelevent now. She also ignores the fact that using her qualifications of sexism the male gender is equally misrepresent (the bald space marine obssessed with violence, for example). And also that there are an overwhelming majority of games now that feature empowered women that are treated as equals to their male counterparts.

    She ignores a lot of valid arguments against her viewpoint on the issue, which suggests that all this is just in order to get those educational grants rolling in and to make a name for herself.
  • SomaticSense 27 Mar 2013 13:02:14 7,040 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    @JinTypeNoir You have completely misunderstood the purpose of what Feminist Frequency is doing.
    She is spotlighting female stereotypes and tropes in videogames.

    Calling her video one sided is like complaining about lack of elephants in a documentary about sharks.
    What a ridiculous metaphor.
  • King_Edward 27 Mar 2013 13:04:31 11,454 posts
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    Nonsense. Women are as poorly realised, objectified, and disposable as they've always been. A few token examples of well realised women means very little.

    Comparing Space Marines to damsels is completely missing the point. Both are adolescent male power fantasies. A damsel is disempowered by her situation, a space marine in empowered by his gun (penis), which he uses to conquer any obstacle, and rescue his woman.

    Edited by King_Edward at 13:05:19 27-03-2013
  • urban 27 Mar 2013 13:18:10 10,893 posts
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    I love how it's only men debating this topic in this thread.
  • SomaticSense 27 Mar 2013 13:20:41 7,040 posts
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    There are far fewer examples of damsel in distress games nowadays compared to games like Bayonetta, TR, or Borderlands. How many games now have playable and massively powerful females avatars? A damn sight more than a few token examples.

    Gaming's sexism problems come from the overt sexualisation of females (evident in pretty much 99% of games with female characters, including those I listed above), not from the largely out dated DiD plot trope. If her arguments revolved around that then I'd be with her all the way, as that is actually prevalent in modern games and is a lot more damaging as well.
  • JinTypeNoir 27 Mar 2013 13:26:24 4,365 posts
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    I agree that in this issue, men should be in the background, in order to spotlight just had how bad the portrayal of women in games has been. Really, the only way male issues come into light with this is how they affect said portrayal.

    I understand what people are getting at when they say that men are also badly represented as characters in gaming with an equal array of destructive stereotypes. I get that it would be better if we had more Leisure Suit Larrys and Gabriel Knights and Marios and Kyle Hydes and so on to provide a balance, not to mention other races. Whether the space marine is a male power fantasy (I understand this argument, it is just one I have a hard time connecting, because its not something I ever fantasize about, because I have never wanted to look or act like these protagonists) or not, some gamers don't like that either. I get it.

    However, three things to keep in mind:

    1) There aren't hundreds of years of history of bad portrayals to fight an uphill battle against for men.

    2) Men typically don't have as many issues dealing with sexism in the real world. Boyish or manly are generally seen as positive adjectives, for strength, pluck or an adventurous spirit. While girly is a synonym for weak, to name just one example that games link to, even if not consciously or with no bad intentions on the creators' parts.

    3) Since a lot of games are created by men who don't have first hand access to what it is like to be a woman, it behooves us to listen to women when they make reasonable requests about they want to be portrayed.

    Because let's face it, one or two years back, I think it was an Activision article that mentioned that there are an ultimatum within the company to avoid female protagonists in order to ensure sales. I think we can all agree that needs to change.
  • Dangerous_Dan 27 Mar 2013 13:47:53 2,175 posts
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    King_Edward wrote:
    Nonsense. Women are as poorly realised, objectified, and disposable as they've always been. A few token examples of well realised women means very little.

    Comparing Space Marines to damsels is completely missing the point. Both are adolescent male power fantasies. A damsel is disempowered by her situation, a space marine in empowered by his gun (penis), which he uses to conquer any obstacle, and rescue his woman.

    Every non-played character in a video game is objectified to a certain degree. Objectification is not exclusive to the female body. A grunt who gets killed in a FPS is also objectified. He's just a lump of virtual meat for the grinder which is the protagonist's gun.

    By the way a woman who's a CEO and who gets dated by a man who's only looking at her bank account would also objectify her. There is that evil rumor that a woman could objectify in that way a man as well. What I'm saying here is that objectification is everywhere around us and we all do it. It seems that that's the way the human brain is wired and it's that way for a reason or several.

    I don't see why females are the disposable characters in video games - Mario rescues the princess, Link does so with Zelda, ... If anything it's the exception when they play a disposable role.

    Male power fantasies, yep, in part that's true, I'd say. I sense that you conclude that male power fantasies are bad, because... . Well, whatever your reason, I'd say it serves a cathartic purpose. It contains masculine qualities like aggressiveness, strive for power and so on in a virtual environment. Qualities which would be disruptive to social cohesion the way our society is organised.
  • JinTypeNoir 27 Mar 2013 14:10:38 4,365 posts
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    Dangerous_Dan wrote: It contains masculine qualities like aggressiveness, strive for power and so on in a virtual environment.
    *beep beep beep* This is a message from the Committee of Gender Entanglement. We still haven't found out whether this is biologically true, or a perception caused by society encouraging us to think that.
  • King_Edward 27 Mar 2013 14:20:10 11,454 posts
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    SomaticSense wrote:
    There are far fewer examples of damsel in distress games nowadays compared to games like Bayonetta, TR, or Borderlands. How many games now have playable and massively powerful females avatars? A damn sight more than a few token examples.
    That's an interesting set of examples. Debatably all three contain damsels. Certainly Angel and Lilith in Borderlands 2. Debatably Sam in TR, and Bayonetta herself.

    You should remember that this was only the first installment of the series. Other issues like sexual objectification will no doubt be in later episodes.
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