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It’s almost always Muscle Man and Buxom Chick, isn’t it?

Here’s a kickstarter project to look at sexism in video games.

This is a project by a woman, Anita Sarkeesian, who likes video games and wants to see them improve, but as she says, “many games tend to reinforce sexist and downright misogynist ideas about women.”

Some of you will say that is an outrageous claim! Cite evidence! No, it can’t be true!

OK, evidence: she’s made a screen cap of youtube comments on her video. CASE CLOSED. It’s not just raging misogyny, it’s also screaming racism and stark raving idiocy.

I think we all better contribute to her kickstarter. The problem is worse than she made it out to be, and I think she needs a few million dollars. (Oh, and her blog is very good, you ought to read it.)

(via Lousy Canuck)

P.S. The definitive reply to asshole commenters has been created.

Comments

  1. Rip Steakface says

    Oh hell yeah, I see so many horrible depictions of women and of minorities in video games still. It’s a medium that’s very similar to comics in a number of ways.

  2. laurentweppe says

    It’s not just raging misogyny, it’s also screaming racism and stark raving idiocy.

    It’s Youtube comment section: there’s really no use to start pilling up pleonasms.

  3. capnxtreme says

    #3, I know exactly how you feel. Words cannot describe how disappointed I am as an avid gamer. I hate just being associated with these bottom feeders. It’s the worst of gamers and the worst of Youtube commenters in one place, which calculates out to a level of misogynistic ass-hattery that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

    The silver lining, if you want to call it that, is that it very conveniently proves the entire point of the video.

  4. 'Tis Himself says

    Thanks for posting both those videos. The Thank You Hater video is also very good.

  5. Anri says

    Video: “Guys, there’s really a lot of sexism, some of it worryingly violent, in popular culture.”

    Comments: “NO THERE ISN’T NOW MAKE ME A SAMMICH BFOUR I RAEP YOU BITCH!”

    …own goal, anyone?

  6. says

    “many games tend to reinforce sexist and downright misogynist ideas about women.”

    Damn straight they do.

    Even the games that get it right with the protagonist– I’m specifically thinking of the latest Bioware games here– fuck it up SPECTACULARLY with the supporting characters.

    Female Commander Shepard? Totally badass and not presented as wank material*. Her female crew mates, though? Miranda, for instance? *headdesk!*

    Same goes for Hawke in DA2.

    *sigh* We just can’t win.

    *You can’t even make her boobs bigger!

  7. Alverant says

    On a related note I want to mention “Extra Credits” on Penny Arcade http://penny-arcade.com/patv/show/extra-credits which is a (near) weekly show talking about games and the game industry.

    They did episodes about racism*, sexism, sexuality, harassment, etc in games in addition to what it’s like to be working in the games industry. They even did a two parter about game addiction where one of the writers talks about his own struggle with his addiction to WoW.

    And for those who are interested in the science and “the bigger picture” they did episodes about gamification, the skinner box, uncanny valley, singularity, ARGs, etc.

    *Season 3 episode 13 “Call of Juarez: The Cartel” the names for most of the other videos are more “obvious” to the layperson about what it is. The game in this episode is an example of bad design and racism which could have easily been avoided.

  8. Matt Penfold says

    The BBC website recently had an article on sexism in computer gaming which can be found here.

    Warning: Do not read if you do not want to become really pissed of with how fucking awful humans can be. Thankfully there are no comments.

  9. throwaway says

    Gah! I feel so helpless over this. There’s no way to get through to these vile when they’re not even approaching the topic honestly. Then those who do approach the topic honestly (as in they really are that bigoted and fuckwitted in reality) are incredibly stubborn to acknowledge even minor points and are incredibly icky to deal with (even over the Internet.)

    What pisses me off about the so-called ‘trolls’ is that, while they can sit comfy in their chairs thinking it doesn’t really matter if they portray beliefs they don’t actually hold, it lends credence to those misogynists who DO hold those beliefs through weight of sheer numbers. I’m at a loss in deciding which are worse.

    Then again, I could be wrong about the proportion of trolls vs. actual practising misogynists. Maybe the chorus really isn’t trying to sing off-key. No matter the origin it’s still a din that is hard to shout down, so I just try to live my (real) life and recognise sexism/racism/ableism when it happens, and try to pick up on it when I thoughtlessly perpetrate it myself.

  10. Gregory Greenwood says

    We were talking about this on the endless thread a little while ago in the context of a truly horrifyingly misogynist game trailer that completetly failed to convey the character of the franchise it was supposed to be advertising, and ultimately achieved little other than stir up a hornets’ nest of misogynists when people began to crtiticise its obvious sexism.

    The industry (and it would appear, a substantial chunk of its fanbase) is riddled with misogyny, racism and homophobia to varying degrees. As someone who enjoys games, I find it very depressing that the industry seems to have so little interest in tackling these problems.

    As noted upthread, even when Bioware took a stand to be more inclusive of homosexual gamers in its Mass Effect franchise, the game still conspired to have a heinously peurile depiction of female characters. Even Tali and Liara – both alien characters – were heavily sexualised, and the genetically engineered Miranda character was the worst offender of all, even with the flimsy attempt in the plot to justify the character design as being a reflection of the idea that her body morphology was engineered that way on a whim of her abusive, controlling industrialist father.

    Hopefully, this kickstarter, and the other individuals and groups who are trying to push back against the misogyny and other forms of bigotry ingrained in the gaming industry, will begin to make headway soon.

  11. Moggie says

    Thanks. Pledged.

    I was tickled that her example of a game which doesn’t use these tropes was Portal 2. Ok, it’s a great game, and contains nothing (that I remember) which would be troubling to a woman player. Still, of the two female characters, one is mute and barely visible, and the other is a murderous psychopath. Not every game has to provide role models, but still…

  12. radpumpkin says

    Biggest mistake on the internet: Reading youtube comments. Don’t do it. For the sake of your sanity, do not venture into that territory. Imagine all the biggest idiots in the world being locked into some sort of competition regarding who the biggest and loudest moron of the bunch happens to be. Youtube is simply their mode of entry into this competition. Yeah…the internet is in dire need of dipshit fumigation.

    And as Alverant (13) mentioned, Extra Credits is worth checking out. This one in particular is very topical, and absolutely worth checking out.

  13. Rip Steakface says

    We were talking about this on the endless thread a little while ago in the context of a truly horrifyingly misogynist game trailer that completetly failed to convey the character of the franchise it was supposed to be advertising, and ultimately achieved little other than stir up a hornets’ nest of misogynists when people began to crtiticise its obvious sexism.

    What game? I want to know so I can avoid getting it.

  14. says

    Gregory:

    Even Tali and Liara – both alien characters – were heavily sexualised…

    Not only that, but Tali (at least) is supposed to be really young– like not yet considered to be an adult by her people in the first game– which just adds to the creep factor.

    *sigh*

    I think that the last couple of Fallout games were pretty okay on the misogyny front, but I could be misremembering ‘cos I loved them so much.

  15. ckitching says

    Not every game has to provide role models, but still…

    What have you got against Chell? Didn’t you see her science fair project? Her potato battery was the only one still operating.

  16. ischemgeek says

    Given when I’ve seen online, not at all surprised. I’ll promote the site on my facebook page since I won’t have enough cash to donate for a few months (finishing up grad studies = tight funds)

  17. illithid says

    You can take screenshots of Youtube comments to prove that there’s a global pandemic of any -ism. Compare the total likers and dislikers to the number of views, and you see that even people who care enough to log into their accounts and click a thumb must be a minority of viewers.

    Without condoning this orgy of hatred, you can see why it has erupted from the context of the video. Here’s an attractive girl, vastly more privileged than these “losers” who have no future and can’t just marry to be set up for life with a stable income, complaining about how downtrodden she is and expecting to be paid to play video games. There’s any number of worthy causes that go unfunded (remember “Dear Muslima”?), but here is this girl expecting to be paid so she can give us her opinion on video games.

  18. Gregory Greenwood says

    Rip Steakface @ 19;

    It is the trailer for Hitman: Absolution. I include a link so you can judge for yourself why I consider the trailer (and the associated comments) so hideously misogynist, but I would urge you not to watch it. This stuff cannot be unwatched after the fact, and trust me, you will wish that you could…

  19. Gregory Greenwood says

    illithid @ 23;

    Here’s an attractive girl, vastly more privileged than these “losers” who have no future and can’t just marry to be set up for life with a stable income, complaining about how downtrodden she is and expecting to be paid to play video games. There’s any number of worthy causes that go unfunded (remember “Dear Muslima”?), but here is this girl expecting to be paid so she can give us her opinion on video games.

    Don’t mindflayers usually suck someone else’s brains? This one seems to have done it to its self…

  20. says

    Loved the “definitive reply to asshole commenters” and left this comment on YouTube in response:

    Ha ha ha ha ha!

    Still, it’s just a tiny bit sad to think of the messy work this video will inflict on innocent county coroners across the country, as they have to collect the apoplectically-deceased wankers out of their mothers’ basements, extended index fingers frozen in rigor mortis because their last act of posting a misspelled insult was infarctally cut off in mid-poke. And the collection of the bodies will be complicated by the pants being tangled down around the ankles. Sad, sad, sad!

    Is “infarctally” a word? Probably not.

  21. Gregory Greenwood says

    Audley Z Darkheart (liar and scoundrel) @ 20;

    Not only that, but Tali (at least) is supposed to be really young– like not yet considered to be an adult by her people in the first game– which just adds to the creep factor.

    Yup – that adds a whole new dimension of creepyness to proceedings. Even though you can only strike up an intimate relationship with Tali from the second game onwards (which is still only set a couple of years after the first one), even in the first game her character design is pretty unambiguously sexualised.

  22. Rip Steakface says

    I think that the last couple of Fallout games were pretty okay on the misogyny front, but I could be misremembering ‘cos I loved them so much.

    IIRC they did okay. I think they didn’t commit misogyny so much as depict it. Lots of female slavery and sex slavery is depicted, the latter of which is particularly bad in New Vegas (though, then again, it IS Vegas after the apocalypse – debauchery and evil is to be expected).

    Women aren’t really seen differently from men in most contexts in it, and indeed, Fallout takes place in an America where the 1950s and all its gender stereotypes didn’t end for 120 years. Almost no women are objectified (this is much worse with the various nude mods available for the games, along with skimpy armors that are available as mods… oh well, blame horny misogynistic gamers -.-), and of the ones that are, only are objectified in an in-game context (e.g., they’re a prostitute).

    Even the clothing options aren’t too bad. Anything Pre-War obviously depicts clothing as it was in the endless 1950s of the fascist pre-War America (so lots of enforced skirts and such), but armor is universally good. The only armors that are chainmail bikinis in any way are Raider armors, and that can be explained away with the fact that Raider armor sucks, and that Raiders are raping, murdering psychotic fucks, so obviously the male Raiders (who are the leaders) would force the female Raiders to wear these ridiculous outfits.

    Other armors are all completely non-sexualizing. Combat armor for men and women is completely non-distinct (hips are slightly bigger for female armor… that’s it). Power armor basically makes you into a walking tank, so it’s already impossible to sexualize (both armors have a lot of extra protection in the chest for the heart, so it ends up looking slightly like there’s some curves in the male armor!).

    Yeah, Fallout does surprisingly well, now that I think about it. Fallout’s only failing for any visitors here is its huge amounts of gore… but it is a post-apocalyptic setting and a video game. Gore is to be expected.

  23. Rip Steakface says

    Don’t mindflayers usually suck someone else’s brains? This one seems to have done it to its self…

    Maybe xe’s just a poor sod (of any other race – I’m guessing human) who got hir mind flayed by another illithid.

    Nah, probably giving too much credit there.

  24. Rip Steakface says

    so obviously the male Raiders (who are the leaders) would force the female Raiders to wear these ridiculous outfits.

    I just realized how horrible that sounded. Strike that comment.

    For one, it’s wrong. Violet is a Raider (okay, Fiend, but who was the last Raider you saw in New Vegas? exactly) leader in the game. Second, I’m implying the women can’t defend themselves, even with energy weaponry. Derp.

  25. sc_b1f76f2e5374b26d2f1e9acac73fd8f2 says

    <blockquote cite="Here’s an attractive girl, vastly more privileged than these “losers” who have no future and can’t just marry to be set up for life with a stable income,

    So…women should just STFU and marry some rich asshole rather than want to create independent and meaningful lives for themselves?

    I see…so only men should get paid to play video games?

    I’m so glad you’re here to tell us how to live our lives! I’d be lost without you, hater!

  26. sc_b1f76f2e5374b26d2f1e9acac73fd8f2 says

    Epic blockquote fail, my apologies to all, especially our mindflayer overlord!

  27. throwaway says

    illithid:

    Here’s an attractive girl, vastly more privileged than these “losers” who have no future and can’t just marry to be set up for life with a stable income, complaining about how downtrodden she is and expecting to be paid to play video games.

    You are a lying fucking weasel. Apologies to weasels.

    Why is the attractiveness important to these strawwomen that are hypothetically insulted by Anita? It’s all in your own pinsized cranium, that’s why.

    Your claim that her motives are disingenuous is unfounded, given her track record of, you know, actually producing videos that highlight sexism which affects society.

    If you’re trying to persuade anyone in the real world then snap out of your fantasy.

  28. Rip Steakface says

    New Vegas gets points for having its villian’s mysogony front and center as his status as horrible monster.

    Which villain, House or Caesar? Each are villains in their own little different ways (though killing House is considered evil – don’t ask me). House is an autocratic narcissist who basically seems like the God-Emperor of Mankind if he got stuck in life support before the Horus Heresy (Greg Greenwood should get that one). Caesar is… well, fucking Caesar. He’s a slaver, vicious butcher, and refuses to allow women serve in his armies.

  29. illithid says

    So…women should just STFU and marry some rich asshole rather than want to create independent and meaningful lives for themselves?

    I didn’t say they should, I said they have the option. And it’s a fact of life that many of them use it. See Hitsch et al (2005), if you doubt me, which shows that income is a major factor in women’s choice of partners.

    I see…so only men should get paid to play video games?

    Reviewers working for a publication is a different story altogether, and I don’t think recruiting some women has produced anything like the same reaction.

    The fact that this feminist pop culture critic can make a living out of complaining about how downtrodden she is says a lot about how actually downtrodden she is.

  30. Amphiox says

    You can take screenshots of Youtube comments to prove that there’s a global pandemic of any -ism.

    Illzit misses the point again. That this is the lead in to its comment tells us much about its fundamental character, or lack thereof.

    Here’s an attractive girl, vastly more privileged than these “losers” who have no future

    And the Illzit knows this HOW? It can figure just from someone’s pseudononymous internet comments the entirety of that person’s social circumstance? Illzit is clairvoyant it seems.

    and can’t just marry to be set up for life with a stable income

    You are aware that MEN can completely free to do this, too, are you? And that MEN do this and have done this commonly enough that it is a fucking cliche, you pathetic moron?

    but here is this girl expecting to be paid so she can give us her opinion on video games.

    Read (and listen) for comprehension, you pitiful fool.

    First, she is ASKING for donations. When one ASKS for donations, one DOES NOT “expect” to be paid. That is why one ASKS.

    Second, the money she asks for is FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE PROJECT, not herself.

    Third, she is a pop-culture critic. This is her job. This project is part of her job. Why shouldn’t she be expecting to be paid for doing her job? Is that something only blue collar working menz are entitled to do?

    How typical of your odious brand of misogyny that you would MAKE UP LIES about a woman you disagree with in an attempt to discredit her in your own eyes.

    Pathetic.

  31. sc_b1f76f2e5374b26d2f1e9acac73fd8f2 says

    Almost forgot:

    “Here’s an attractive girlwoman…”

    FIFY.

  32. says

    illithid said:

    The fact that this feminist pop culture critic can make a living out of complaining about how downtrodden she is says a lot about how actually downtrodden she is.

    Wow. Have you actually watched a single video of hers? Did you even watch the Kickstarter video? If so, you’d know that they are not about “how downtrodden she is.” They are professionally produced, informative and entertaining videos on sexism in media. And she’s apparently not making a living out of it, hence the need to do a Kickstarter project to fund it. If you’re not interested, fine, but that’s no reason to outright lie about what she’s doing.

    Frankly, you sound like part of the reason she’s doing it.

  33. Amphiox says

    I didn’t say they should, I said they have the option. And it’s a fact of life that many of them use it. See Hitsch et al (2005), if you doubt me, which shows that income is a major factor in women’s choice of partners.

    And you, in your pitiful blinkered oblivious way, think is is a privilege women have over men, when it is in fact a side effect of the fact that they don’t have the privilege of having as much ability to support themselves WITHOUT getting married, and not that long ago, didn’t of ANY.

    Income is a major factor in women’s choice of partners BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CONSIDER IT AS A FACTOR. They have to face the spectre of rejecting a suitor they otherwise really favor because of economic concerns.

    Men get the privilege of NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT THIS IS AS MUCH.

    It is so typical of your pathetic misogyny that you would, time and again, point out a undeniable aspect of MALE privilege, and dishonestly twist it to make it appear to be privilege for women, when it IS NOT.

    You are pitiful.

  34. says

    Caeser: he didn’t just not let women serve in his forces…all women were used as either slaves or prizes to reward his soldiers. As Boone says slave basically means systematice rape under Caeser which is why he mercy killed his wife when she was captured.

  35. tdisen says

    Donated.

    I’m a big online gamer, and the prevalence of casual bigotry of all kinds upsets me regularly.

  36. Amphiox says

    The fact that this feminist pop culture critic can make a living out of complaining about how downtrodden she is says a lot about how actually downtrodden she is.

    Yep. Another typical misogynist silencing tactic. Women who are just privileged enough to have the privilege of being able to safely speak up against male privilege are hypocrites for speaking up about privilege, because they have the privilege to speak up about privilege. Only the women even more unprivileged, who don’t even have the privilege to speak up safely about privilege, are entitled to speak up about privilege. But of course, they CAN’T, as they don’t have that privilege.

    Resulting in convenient, comforting silence for Illzit’s tender man-ears.

    And, once again, with deliberate LIES, twisting it into a personal attack. She’s NOT complaining about how downtrodden she is, and neither is that her job, you pitiful excuse for a facsimile of an ethical human being, she is complaining about a GENERAL PHENOMENON that affects MANY people, many worse off than she is.

    Because, you know, like a normal, psychologically healthy, ethical human being, she has EMPATHY, and can sympathize with how OTHER PEOPLE are unfairly treated.

    Empathy being something you, Illzit, evidently only have for individuals with the right type of genitalia.

  37. Rip Steakface says

    Caeser: he didn’t just not let women serve in his forces…all women were used as either slaves or prizes to reward his soldiers. As Boone says slave basically means systematice rape under Caeser which is why he mercy killed his wife when she was captured.

    Ah, see, House did have that creepy girl-bot. Very, very weird. And non-consensual.

    Isn’t the Brainsucker quarentined to TZT? Squash him he’s worth good XP

    Damn it, I took the Skilled trait. I only get 90% XP. Can I get the kill?

  38. radpumpkin says

    Caeser: he didn’t just not let women serve in his forces…all women were used as either slaves or prizes to reward his soldiers. As Boone says slave basically means systematice rape under Caeser which is why he mercy killed his wife when she was captured.

    I’m not sure if Caesar can be called a true villain. Yes, his methods are despicable, but his legion has brought order to the wasteland. Contrast this to the NCR, which is much more agreeable in terms of ethics, but also crumbling under bureaucracy and general ineptitude vis-a-vis ensuring stability. This is something I really love about the game; no faction is the clearly the good or bad guys, just different philosophies with varying shades of grey (some shades may be considerably darker than others).

  39. illithid says

    You are aware that MEN can completely free to do this, too, are you? And that MEN do this and have done this commonly enough that it is a fucking cliche, you pathetic moron?

    You seriously don’t know anything about anything. You’re like a comically awful boxer who swings a flurry of punches, every one of which go well wide of the target. Men have virtually no power in this aspect. The statistics don’t show any positive correlation whatsoever between income and desirability to men, and it even appears to be a turn-off beyond a certain amount. For desirability to women, there’s a large and positive correlation with income. Facts like this won’t go away just because you find them politically inconvenient.

  40. says

    In illithid’s world, privilege only exists on a personal level. If not every last member of a group has access to an advantage, it doesn’t exist for that group as a whole. The fact that some men are losers means that male privilege does not exist. And of course, the fact that some women have it pretty well means that misogyny doesn’t exist.

    Reminds me of redneck racists who claim that racism doesn’t exist because they sure aren’t doing too well, certainly not better than those black rappers and basketball players.

  41. says

    Caeser ran a dictatorshup of genocide and institutionalized rape…and his stated motive is basically because he could and you don’t think he’s a villian!? What order did he bring when he wages war against everyone? Is the order of being a slave order? What the fuck is wrong with you? How at the fuck is even institutionalizing rape at any level worth “order”. The Legion was just another unusually large gang of raiders. Everything they brought order to prfevent from such raiders they did themselves. The Khans and Boomers were more civilized

  42. oddree says

    Your “evidence” is beyond weak. I hate to tell you this PZ but sexist comments about a women who wants to make a project about how video games are sexist does not constitute proof that video games are sexist. It is only proof that some people who comment on posts about projects about sexism are sexist.

  43. Rip Steakface says

    I’m not sure if Caesar can be called a true villain. Yes, his methods are despicable, but his legion has brought order to the wasteland. Contrast this to the NCR, which is much more agreeable in terms of ethics, but also crumbling under bureaucracy and general ineptitude vis-a-vis ensuring stability.

    Caesar is a monster. Slavery? Brutally crucifying those who don’t live up to his insanely strict “morals” (he’s a lot like a Christian… appropriate, considering he’s associated with Mormons)? How about the systemic rape of all female slaves in the Legion? It’s bad. Really bad. At least the NCR tries.

    Caesar is a close approximation to many fascist leaders throughout history (not to Godwin here). Charismatic and intelligent, but ruthless and incredibly cruel. Didn’t Mussolini make the trains run on time too?

  44. shala says

    I think that the last couple of Fallout games were pretty okay on the misogyny front, but I could be misremembering ‘cos I loved them so much.

    In fact, in Fallout 3 your optimal choice of gender for your main character is female due to the Black Widow perk in combination with the majority of enemies being male.

    I’m not sure if that makes 3 particularly good at combating misogyny though…

    New Vegas at least is definitely a step in the right direction.

  45. says

    radpumkin:

    This is something I really love about the game; no faction is the clearly the good or bad guys, just different philosophies with varying shades of grey (some shades may be considerably darker than others).

    This, exactly. Caesar was an example of how ruling with an iron fist can lead to stability, without allowing anyone any measure of freedom.

    For what it’s worth, I fucking hated the NCR, too. I aligned myself with Mr House.

    Rip:

    I think they didn’t commit misogyny so much as depict it. Lots of female slavery and sex slavery is depicted, the latter of which is particularly bad in New Vegas (though, then again, it IS Vegas after the apocalypse – debauchery and evil is to be expected).

    Depicting misogyny isn’t the problem– especially considering how it was handled in game– and (unless I’m mistaken, it’s been a while), there were both male and female sex slaves and prostitutes.

    Plus, you know, Fisto (for all of those robosexuals out there).

    Illy:

    The fact that this feminist pop culture critic can make a living out of complaining about how downtrodden she is says a lot about how actually downtrodden she is.

    Shorter illy: Herp a derp! Derp derp derp!

  46. mythbri says

    Topic: Religion inherently puts women at a disadvantage, and even abuse.

    illithid: Women are totes privileged because sex is magic and women on welfare lie.

    Topic: Academic freedom violations, like this professor who spoke up about the realities of PSA tests for prostate cancer.

    illithid: Women are totes privileged because BREAST CANCER and what about the menz?!

    Topic: Sexism in video games – not safe for women to talk about without bringing misogynist assholes out of the woodwork.

    illithid: Women are totes privileged because they are pretty and can make videos and marry to get money, which this 2005 study of ONLINE DATING completely proves definitively for every woman of ever demographic.

    YAWN.

  47. Rip Steakface says

    Your “evidence” is beyond weak. I hate to tell you this PZ but sexist comments about a women who wants to make a project about how video games are sexist does not constitute proof that video games are sexist. It is only proof that some people who comment on posts about projects about sexism are sexist.

    It does constitute proof that gaming has an infectious subculture of misogynist, privileged fucks like you. The whole point of the project is for someone to go and collect evidence and present it in an easily digestible format.

    Besides, the rampant objectification of women in games (we’re as bad as comics) along with the tropes she mentions being the norm indicates that video games right now ARE sexist. Watch the damn video, you Emperor-forsaken fuck.

  48. Rip Steakface says

    Depicting misogyny isn’t the problem– especially considering how it was handled in game– and (unless I’m mistaken, it’s been a while), there were both male and female sex slaves and prostitutes.

    Plus, you know, Fisto (for all of those robosexuals out there).

    Nah, depicting misogyny isn’t a problem at all. It’s really a solution, if anything. Portray misogynists as evil and maybe people will pick up on feminism through pop-cultural osmosis. It’s like subliminal messaging, except overt and for a good cause.

    And like you said, there were male and female sex slaves and prostitutes. I distinctly remember wandering into the lower Brimstone club and being greeted by a male prostitute in “full” BDSM gear. I’m sure someone will like that, but count me personally out.

    Robosexuality, eh?

    Ugh, I couldn’t stand Mr. House. He’s an autocrat who has the guise of being benevolent. I think he has way more ulterior motives than he lets on to a simple being like the Courier. I keep comparing him to the God-Emperor of Mankind for a reason: the God-Emperor had about 200 years of great conquest for humanity, stretching out an empire across the entire galaxy… then his right-hand man rebelled out of nowhere and fucked everything up for another ten millennia.

    The NCR is faulty, but that’s better than an autocrat with no oversight. Let people make mistakes. Otherwise, you get Brave New World.

  49. radpumpkin says

    Caeser ran a dictatorshup of genocide and institutionalized rape…and his stated motive is basically because he could and you don’t think he’s a villian!? What order did he bring when he wages war against everyone? Is the order of being a slave order? What the fuck is wrong with you? How at the fuck is even institutionalizing rape at any level worth “order”. The Legion was just another unusually large gang of raiders. Everything they brought order to prfevent from such raiders they did themselves. The Khans and Boomers were more civilized.

    I’m by no means denying that (I did say his methods were despicable, didn’t I?), but this is par for the course in the wasteland. The order he brings is that of the legion, iron discipline in face of perceived barbarism. This was of course why he and his legion were in the game, a contrast between the much more agreeable NCR (and House, to a lesser extend), who have their own problems and agendas. Think of this in terms of the story, not individual philosophies and/or actions.

  50. illithid says

    I’m by no means denying that (I did say his methods were despicable, didn’t I?), but this is par for the course in the wasteland. The order he brings is that of the legion, iron discipline in face of perceived barbarism.

    Ave! True to Caesar!

  51. vaiyt says

    @illithid:
    “The statistics don’t show any positive correlation whatsoever between income and desirability to men”

    …because men are supposed to pick the pretty women, not the sucessful ones. Which means women are pressured to be pretty instead of sucessful.

    And this is female privilege how?

    Have you thought about the women who are NOT conventionally attractive? Have you thought about the women who want to have goals of their own instead of hanging on and depending on a more sucessful man? Of course not, you’re a fucking narcissist, you think everything is about your loser self.

  52. says

    By the way, Anita Sarkeesian has a Master’s degree in social and political thought and did her MA thesis on the role of women in science fiction and fantasy television. So in addition to the evidence from the videos she has already made, I think it’s pretty clear she isn’t simply a “girl” who wants to “complain about how downtrodden she is.”

  53. illithid says

    Look, I’ve interacted with genuinely downtrodden folk before, men and women. They’re embittered by years of being treated like shit. They can hardly speak a sentence without their bitterness coming through.

    This smiley, attractive, educated middle class girl is not even remotely downtrodden, and is highly privileged compared with those “losers” and “deadbeats” (who would be called such independently of their misogyny).

  54. Rip Steakface says

    I’m by no means denying that (I did say his methods were despicable, didn’t I?), but this is par for the course in the wasteland. The order he brings is that of the legion, iron discipline in face of perceived barbarism.

    The Wasteland is indeed full of despicable methodology, from the horribly unethical science of Big MT to the BoS’s anti-Ghoul sentiments (even for the Lawful Good BoS of the Capital Wasteland!). However, the NCR is still better in an ethical sense. Its governmental problems will be sorted out with more effective leadership. Can you say President Courier?

  55. vaiyt says

    My character of choice in FONV is a woman with ridiculously high strength and charisma. She is capable of solving most problems with diplomacy… and when that fails, time to punch bad guys into piles of gore.

  56. says

    Hey illithid, are you ever going to get it through your thick head that nobody is saying Sarkeesian is “downtrodden”?

  57. illithid says

    By the way, Anita Sarkeesian has a Master’s degree in social and political thought and did her MA thesis on the role of women in science fiction and fantasy television.

    So she’s intelligent and educated as well as attractive. She’s more privileged than these guys by a factor of a hundred. And yet she has the barefaced cheek to go on about how oppressed she is. No wonder we get these eruptions of envy-filled hatred.

  58. Rip Steakface says

    Caeser was not par the course….even the worst of the Capital Waste Land were better than him

    As I recall, individual Raider bands were about as bad as him, you just don’t see it as much or on as large of a scale. I believe you said earlier that the Legion is just a really big band of Raiders, which is completely true. Caesar is Cook-Cook with delusions of grandeur.

  59. says

    And yet she has the barefaced cheek to go on about how oppressed she is.

    Great blistering hell, you’re a moron.

  60. Rip Steakface says

    So she’s intelligent and educated as well as attractive. She’s more privileged than these guys by a factor of a hundred. And yet she has the barefaced cheek to go on about how oppressed she is. No wonder we get these eruptions of envy-filled hatred.

    I believe you’re mistaking “hard working and won the life lottery” (for being able to afford an education and being conventionally attractive) for privilege. Privilege is a completely different concept.

  61. mythbri says

    @illithid #65

    “Look, I’ve interacted with genuinely downtrodden folk before, men and women. They’re embittered by years of being treated like shit. They can hardly speak a sentence without their bitterness coming through.

    This smiley, attractive, educated middle class girl is not even remotely downtrodden, and is highly privileged compared with those “losers” and “deadbeats” (who would be called such independently of their misogyny).”

    Your assumption that Ms. Sarkeesian is talking about sexism because she is downtrodden is noted, and dismissed. Your continued use of the word “girl” to refer to Ms. Sarkeesian is noted, and makes you a jerk. Your use of the words “losers” and “deadbeats” to refer to – who, exactly? The “genuinely downtrodden folk” you’ve interacted with? The people who left the comments on Ms. Sarkeesian’s YouTube video? Be more clear in your idiocy, please.

  62. says

    Oh and let’s not forget the Long Game. The NCR can ellect a new preisdent…we see that The Legion is held together by Caesers charisma and fist. He established no good plan for sucession or the contionuation of his Legion after his death despite being chronic. The Legion isn’t about establishing order it is all about Caeser. With Caeser dead the order collapses and the Legion tears itself and everyone near it appart.

  63. says

    I’m really surprised that the usual “waaaaah you’re besmirching the honor of gamers!” whiners haven’t shown up here to derail.

    Amphiox:

    And you, in your pitiful blinkered oblivious way, think is is a privilege women have over men, when it is in fact a side effect of the fact that they don’t have the privilege of having as much ability to support themselves WITHOUT getting married, and not that long ago, didn’t of ANY.

    He probably thinks “Ladies’ Nights” are discrimination against teh menz, too, when all they are is a way to use drunken female customers as bait to get more paying male customers into the clubs. MRAs scream like stuck pigs when even a little of the shit society pours over women’s heads splashes onto them.

    And, Illithid, stop fucking calling Sarkeesian a “girl,” you belittling asshole. Also, look up the word “intersectionality.” There are different kinds of privilege.

    Radpumpkin:

    I’m not sure if Caesar can be called a true villain. Yes, his methods are despicable, but his legion has brought order to the wasteland he made the trains run on time.

    FTFY.

    Right, Oddree, this is the only evidence, anywhere, of sexism in gaming. Also, objecting to sexism makes YOU the sexist. /eyeroll

  64. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Her female crew mates, though? Miranda, for instance? *headdesk!*

    Haven’t played, but from what I’ve read Miranda is a bit of a deconstruction of the “fantasy fulfillment woman” thing. She was engineered to be “perfect” (from a relatively fucked-up viewpoint) and has the traumas and insecurities that you’d expect to go with this.

  65. radpumpkin says

    The Wasteland is indeed full of despicable methodology, from the horribly unethical science of Big MT to the BoS’s anti-Ghoul sentiments (even for the Lawful Good BoS of the Capital Wasteland!). However, the NCR is still better in an ethical sense. Its governmental problems will be sorted out with more effective leadership. Can you say President Courier?

    I’m glad you recognized all of those! Fallout 3 was a bit too black/white with with the cartoonishly evil Enclave, and hideously goody BoS. Most players tend to overlook that all factions in the Fallout universe have some major baggage, and New Vegas definitely showed much more of this than F3 (also Obsidian’s writing being pretty damn good by industry standards). Now back on topic, yes, the NCR is without a doubt less brutal than the legion, but they also have some dark sides to them. For one, their entire presence in New Vegas is part of their military expansion. They also send the player on assassination missions, some outposts are poorly equipped to the point of being cannon fodder, and they cannot keep convoys save – much less civilians. It was never my contention that the legion isn’t ethically bankrupt, but that “villain” is the wrong word for them in the context of the story.

  66. says

    Rip:

    The NCR is faulty, but that’s better than an autocrat with no oversight. Let people make mistakes. Otherwise, you get Brave New World.

    Oh, I’m not interested in the least harmful outcome, I’m interested in the most entertaining outcome. And for me, that was Mr House.

    As an aside, Mr Darkheart sided with Yes Man.

    illy:

    She’s more privileged than these guys by a factor of a hundred. And yet she has the barefaced cheek to go on about how oppressed she is.

    LOLwut?

    Shorter illy: Herp a derp a doo!

    (We get it, asshole, really. You have a massive inferiority complex and instead of looking at where you screwed up, you’d rather be angry at people who are more successful than you.

    It must burn your ass that she has the gall to have a Master’s degree, doesn’t it? Whomp whomp.)

  67. says

    A huge part of the problem is that the industry tends to think – “male gamer, but maybe we can get some women to play”. You would get the same result if it was Playboy trying to attract more female readers. This isn’t to say that the problem doesn’t exist, just that there is a reason for it, and that, even when trying to avoid the more obvious problems, design will get them nailed for making X too big, Y too small, or Z too non-covering, or.. something, anyway.

    It kind if makes me hope they never make a game based on the “Fate of the Jedi” books. The whole story of the lost tribe of the Sith, which show up in the Fate books starts with one nut case who hates aliens, hates the red skinned, tenticly Sith race, and thinks the true Sith should be a) as human as possible, b) anything but reddish and c) absolutely flawless, so institutes a eugenics program that lasts 5,000 years to produce only beautiful people. The cries of misogyny from the first trailer anyone ever saw from a game, based on that history, would probably shatter windows. But, then, I stated something similar before. That something it prevalent doesn’t mean that something can’t exist *ever*, for a clear reason, but because it is prevalent, its pretty much seen as unjustifiable, no matter the reason. Which, for me, is just… well, its like listening to hard line feminists scream at a stripper, because the just can’t comprehend that someone would *choose* such a profession.

  68. radpumpkin says

    Ing, “villain” is a term for the story. New Vegas does not have any clear villain, because each of the three main factions could fill that role. The legion is despicable, yes, but it is not the villain of the story.

  69. Rip Steakface says

    For one, their entire presence in New Vegas is part of their military expansion. They also send the player on assassination missions, some outposts are poorly equipped to the point of being cannon fodder, and they cannot keep convoys save – much less civilians. It was never my contention that the legion isn’t ethically bankrupt, but that “villain” is the wrong word for them in the context of the story.

    I don’t say the NCR is that great either. They really remind me a lot of the United States in the late 1800s (which is probably exactly what Obsidian was going for). They have potential to be great, but there’s still bad shit going on.

    Assassination missions are kinda expected in a war. The NCR and its various enemies (the BoS, the Khans, House, the Families, Caesar) need to either be disposed of or turned to their side. I don’t see how killing Caesar, Papa Khan, the BoS, House or Big Sal is any different than assassinating an enemy general in wartime.

    The poor supplying and protection is partially BECAUSE of the Legion and the other enemies I mentioned above (Fiends are the worst). With help from the God-Courier (seriously, ze’s way too good at what ze does), the NCR secures its supply routes and becomes much more functional. Seems pretty nice, right?

    Villain is probably the wrong word in terms of story. Complete monster is still correct. They are merely one of many sides, but they are by far the darkest.

  70. says

    Azkyroth:

    Haven’t played, but from what I’ve read Miranda is a bit of a deconstruction of the “fantasy fulfillment woman” thing. She was engineered to be “perfect” (from a relatively fucked-up viewpoint) and has the traumas and insecurities that you’d expect to go with this.

    You’re not entirely wrong, but it struck me as an excuse to have an insanely sexualized woman on the ship. Miranda’s background made her a little less flat* than just having a buxom, bossy crewmate, but it’s still no excuse to fall into that trope.

    All I can say is, she annoyed the hell out of me.

    *Snerk!

  71. Rip Steakface says

    Also, Radpumpkin, there’s four sides. There’s NCR, Legion, House and Wild Card – that is, the Courier steps in for Mr. House and rules Vegas hirself. Of course, I think that Mr. House is a better choice than Wild Card (the Courier is good, but House is unfathomably intelligent), but I can’t stand autocracy, which is what Legion and House stand for. Democracy is messy, but it’s better than House.

    Oh, I’m not interested in the least harmful outcome, I’m interested in the most entertaining outcome. And for me, that was Mr House.

    …Yes, seeing those securitrons roll up and tell Kimball to get the fuck out was pretty damn funny.

  72. radpumpkin says

    Villain is probably the wrong word in terms of story. Complete monster is still correct. They are merely one of many sides, but they are by far the darkest.

    Yes, that’s what I was going for, but you expressed it much better and succinctly. Thanks!

    Audley,
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates Miranda! Yes, she’s a Bond Girl, and she annoyed the hell out of me. I didn’t like ME2 because of its idiotic story, but she certainly didn’t help. Wait, does that place me in the minority of male gamers who hate overly sexualized females in games for no reason other than fanservice?

  73. says

    I wasn’t a gamer, and then the online Doctor Who “Worlds in Time” flash animated game came out… Good news! It’s totally not-sexist! And I’m a sucker for puzzle games.

    Hey Illithid, you dumbfuck. Provide us with your definition of “privilege” or shut the fuck up.

  74. winstonsmith says

    I don’t want to come across as denying that video games are or can be misogynistic, as they absolutely are, but as both a feminist and a Halo fan, I have to wonder about the inclusion of Halo somewhat prominently in this video.

    The female characters in Halo that are featured prominently – Cortana, Halsey, Kat, Keyes and Dare don’t seem to me to fit into any of the female archetypes that are common in video games. Halsey is portrayed as a brilliant scientist and ruthless leader, Kat is one of the leaders of the squad in Reach, Keyes is a Captain in the fictional space Navy, dying heroically, and aside from a love sidestory in ODST, Dare is a Naval intelligence officer. None of these women are sexualized as far as I can remember – though I admit that it may just fade into the background for me. I just don’t see Halo as being part of the problem, and after reflecting on the roles of characters like Halsey(as a high ranking Naval intelligence officer and head of R&D in the game’s universe) they might even be part of the solution – which is pretty awesome to see from a mega blockbuster franchise like Halo.

  75. Rip Steakface says

    Wait, does that place me in the minority of male gamers who hate overly sexualized females in games for no reason other than fanservice?

    Actually, an appreciable number of my (male) Steam friends hate having overly sexualized Ms. Fanservices in games. Most of them give a really simple reason (“just polygons…”), though. A few do say “it’s annoying as hell, I want a decent character, not a pair of tits.”

  76. Rip Steakface says

    @winstonsmith

    Most of them aren’t sexualized, actually. There is one that is.

    Cortana.

    Cortana is CONSTANTLY sexualized. Didn’t you notice the model change she got for Halo 3 where they gave her a gigantic bust? Or how about her constant portrayal as nude (but lacking nipples or genitalia)? Or sheesh, the sheer amount of Cortana Rule 34?

  77. says

    radpumkin:

    Wait, does that place me in the minority of male gamers who hate overly sexualized females in games for no reason other than fanservice?

    Are you sure you’re really a dude? I mean, you could just be one of those over-privileged “pretty girls” who is pretending to be a guy just to stick it to poor schmucks like illithid.

    Or something. Trying to keep up with illy’s idiotic logic is making my brain hurt.

    I liked ME2 more than the first, but that was mostly because the game play itself was cleaner, the inventory system was much more streamlined*, and no more fucking Mako. However, I found 3 to be the most satisfying because I loved pulling everyone together and the pacing of the story was just right. I also didn’t seem to have as much of a problem with the ending as most people did, even though it strongly reminded me of the end of an episode of Cowboy Bebop.

    *Pet peeve: Needlessly complex inventories!

  78. Amphiox says

    She’s more privileged than these guys by a factor of a hundred. And yet she has the barefaced cheek to go on about how oppressed she is. No wonder we get these eruptions of envy-filled hatred.

    Illzit continues with its pathetic lies. It knows NOTHING about how privileged “these guys” are. It doesn’t even know WHO they are. And it thinks it can actually quantify their privilege relative to hers?

    And it continues the odious lie about “how oppressed she is”, once again trying to sickeningly unethical tactic of silencing the message by attacking the messenger.

    She is talking about misogynistic portrayals of women in video games, you pitiful piece of slime. Women in GENERAL. This has already been explained to you, but you apparently have, pathetic liar that you are, chosen to deliberately ignore it.

    Welcome to the fapwit club, fapwit.

  79. radpumpkin says

    A few do say “it’s annoying as hell, I want a decent character, not a pair of tits.”

    I find it even worse if it is somehow combined into a single entity, for example Alyx Vance from Half-Life. She is a good character, smart, capable, not in constant need of being rescued, etc. Yet at the same time she serves as fanservice to the player, being overly attached to the non-character that is Gordon, showering him with affection for no reason other than completing a simple task, and so on. My opinion of her shifts constantly between complacent acceptance and annoyance. She does have her moments though, like the end of EP2.

    Are you sure you’re really a dude? I mean, you could just be one of those over-privileged “pretty girls” who is pretending to be a guy just to stick it to poor schmucks like illithid.

    *unzips pants* Yeah…pretty sure. Re ME2, I liked it as a sci-fi shooter, but disliked it for its story (which got hyped to epic proportions). Some characters were great (Mordin), others shit (Miranda), and others I had no idea why they even existed (Jacob). Well, in the end it just wasn’t my type of game…

  80. julian says

    As an aside, Mr Darkheart sided with Yes Man.

    Best npc in the game. Also kinda very creepy.

  81. Amphiox says

    Ironically, it has been suggested that Mass Effect is provided one of the best, most nuanced, non-misogynistic portrayals of a female character in any video game in recent memory, if not ever.

    That character is the female Commander Shephard (the player character if you choose to make her female).

    The reason for this is that 1) Commander Shephard plays essentially the same, aside from romance options, regardless of gender, and 2) the voice actress for the female version provided what many considered to be a superior performance than the voice actor for the male version.

    In other words, they created one of the best, non-misogynistic, interesting, and compelling videogame female characters, by accident, by ignoring gender entirely, and just trying to write a compelling character.

  82. says

    Illithid: Using the word ‘privilege’ is not enough to describe a problem any more than the word ‘physics’ answers a test question on a physics exam.

    What makes it a good descriptor is context and specificity. Ten minutes on google scholar with any of the cognates of the idea will give you thousands of academic papers which describe a series of real world phenomena which give the word ‘privilege’ a context. The same search with intersectionality will give you a sense for relative privilege, context-bound and situational privilege.

    When people use it around here, for the most part, they’re using it in that context (to describe a well-tested set of phenomena which we’ve most all read about.) You seem to be aware of economic privilege (the ‘losers’ you’re talking about.) I’d be surprised if you didn’t in this economic climate, but that’s only part of the problem.

    Try reading about other kinds of privilege; it’ll both help you describe economic privilege problems and give you a context for the discussions here.)

    Also, it’s not a race to discover whose situation is worse. If she chooses to use her economic privilege to discuss a problem she shares with other people who don’t have that economic privilege, at least she’s trying to help. Better she does it if she has the resources, than (as another poster pointed out) to leave it for people who do not.

  83. thepint says

    Thanks for posting about this, PZ. This is going in the (sadly overstuffed) file of topics my friends and I plan to tackle when we get our nerd girls’ podcast up and running by the end of the summer, as well as for more panels we plan to submit to the local nerd cons. It’s an extremely worthwhile project to back – video games are an excellent way to broach the topic of sexism in a medium that a lot of people are going to be familiar with (and considering the number of head-desk worthy stories about sexism in geek culture, we need more of these projects!).

    illithid – why don’t you do us all a favor and just go fuck yourself with a rotting porcupine already?

  84. winstonsmith says

    I’m wasn’t sure they did modify her for Halo 3 as much as you suggest, but after going back and looking at screenshots, they definitely did make some changes, and regardless of whether the Halo 2 – 3 changes were substantial and intentionally sexual, looking at those made for Halo 4 definitely are.

    I’m also not sure she is nude, indeed, I’m fairly certain she is supposed to be wearing some sort of suit. If they were to include nipples or genitalia, that seems to me like that would be far more sexual than giving her the image of Halsey.

    As to the rule 34, that only speaks to the misogyny of the gamers themselves.

  85. Gregory Greenwood says

    Rip Steakface @ 37;

    House is an autocratic narcissist who basically seems like the God-Emperor of Mankind if he got stuck in life support before the Horus Heresy (Greg Greenwood should get that one).

    Yes, I definitely see the parallel.

    —————————————————————-

    @ 59;

    Ugh, I couldn’t stand Mr. House. He’s an autocrat who has the guise of being benevolent. I think he has way more ulterior motives than he lets on to a simple being like the Courier. I keep comparing him to the God-Emperor of Mankind for a reason: the God-Emperor had about 200 years of great conquest for humanity, stretching out an empire across the entire galaxy… then his right-hand man rebelled out of nowhere and fucked everything up for another ten millennia.

    The NCR is faulty, but that’s better than an autocrat with no oversight. Let people make mistakes. Otherwise, you get Brave New World.

    ***GEEK-OUT WARNING GEEK-OUT WARNING*** – ALL NON-GEEKS NOW HAVE 1 MINUTE TO REACH THE SHELTERS – GEEK-OUT WARNING GEEK-OUT WARNING***

    The Emperor is, in a sense at least, well intentioned (he does believe that his actions are the only way to save mankind, afterall), but his approach to doing what he thinks needs to be done is beyond hideous, and is thematically totally at odds with his (literally) gilded appearance and the personality cult that surrounds him (the obvious messianic parallels also being wholly intentional on the part of the authors).

    In many respects, the Heresy era’s Emperor is a fictional embodiment of the straw atheist ideas of the creationists and assorted other godbots we sometimes run across here on Pharyngula – he correctly identifies religion as an obstacle to human potential and a threat to the species’ survival, but he goes about tackling it with, of all things, a genocidal interstellar war called (one assumes ironically) the Great Crusade, that is prosecuted by what basically amounts to fanatical, posthuman atheist templar that carry a message of ‘deconvert or we will crush your military, execute your leadership and occupy your world/burn your planet to a crisp’ (unles you are a non-human civilisation, whereupon we will exterminate you on a point of principle) – essentially a ‘how to’ manual on how not to do atheism. Though, that said, in the short story The Last Church from the Tales of Heresy compendium, the Emperor character does make his case for opposing religion rather well, right up until he burns down the church and leaves the last priest on Earth to burn with it, that is…

    It is actually a rather interesting depiction of the character that makes the rebellion of Horus less of a black and white issue, and also goes some way to explaining why the Warmaster finds such a relatively substantial support base even though his new ‘allies’ are heavy on the brutality, creeping, Lovecraftian eldritch horror, and blood rituals.

    And of course, the Post-Heresy Emperor stuck on the Golden Throne is also an interestingly ambiguous character – is he still remotely guiding his people, or is he merely a glorified psychic battery for the Astronomicon, and the High Lords of Terra now rule the Imperium entirely? It gets all the more interesting when you consider that the Emperor originally intended that the Primrach Magnus, his own genetically modified clone-son, should sit the Golden Throne and suffer that fate in his stead…

    ***THIS IS YOUR ALL CLEAR NOTIFICATION – GEEK LEVELS ARE RETURNING TO NOMINAL, IT IS NOW SAFE TO EXIT THE SHELTERS – THIS IS YOUR ALL CLEAR NOTIFICATION***

  86. says

    Amphiox:

    Illzit continues with its pathetic lies. It knows NOTHING about how privileged “these guys” are. It doesn’t even know WHO they are.

    It seems to me that illy assumes that all male gamers are basement-dwelling losers who are lacking in both education and social skills and therefore are less “privileged”* than Anita Sarkeesian. Otherwise the argument makes no sense.

    *For illy’s complete misunderstanding of the term, anyway.

  87. Rip Steakface says

    In other words, they created one of the best, non-misogynistic, interesting, and compelling videogame female characters, by accident, by ignoring gender entirely, and just trying to write a compelling character.

    That’s the problem in a lot of fiction, really. Female characters are written as females before being characters. Same goes for QUILTBAG or non-white characters (which is how a lot of great black characters are written). Indeed, Mass Effect has two examples of good QUILTBAG characters in ME3 from Lt. Cortez and Samantha Traynor, who are gay and lesbian respectively. *Nothing* is made of the fact that they are LGBT, they’re just people.

  88. carlie says

    Ooo, “Thank you hater” has Noel Clarke in it!

    I’m really tired of people saying oh, it’s just youtube comments, don’t worry about it. Oh, it’s just reddit comments, of course they’re like that. Those are still people who are writing those things, people you have to interact with every day. Why is it ok that there are places that have been entirely given up to the misogynist/racist/shit contingent? Why not point out how much they suck and how they really aren’t acting like decent people?

  89. says

    Me:

    It seems to me that illy assumes that all male gamers are basement-dwelling losers who are lacking in both education and social skills and therefore are less “privileged”* than Anita Sarkeesian.

    Also, since all illy can do is conflate economic privilege with privilege in general, I would like to point out how fucking expensive it is to play videogames regularly– not just for the hardware, but with new games at $60 a pop*, all of the DLC at an additional cost, charges for online accounts, etc etc etc, it gets real pricey real fast.

    If my assumption is right and illy thinks that (male) gamers are basement dwelling orcs, where are these “losers” getting all of this money from**?

    *Also: fuck you, Bioware for making the goddamned PC version of ME3 as expensive as the Xbox 360 version.

    **I do know that it is possible to game frugally, but in the past illy has been quite obsessed with poor people having nicer things than xe does, so I doubt it really matters to the illster at all how much someone spends on videogames.

  90. Amphiox says

    It seems to me that illy assumes that all male gamers are basement-dwelling losers who are lacking in both education and social skills and therefore are less “privileged”* than Anita Sarkeesian. Otherwise the argument makes no sense.

    Indeed so. That much was pretty clear from the beginning. That its bigotries are multi-directional in nature is hardly surprising. Misogynists are almost always bigots in at least a few other spheres as well, since all forms of bigotry are manifestations of the same fundamental lack of ethical character.

    It should, of course, be also noted that “basement-dwelling” isn’t a lack of privilege at all. To actually have parents who are willing and capable of taking care of you such that you can live at home in your parents’ basement and not have to work for a living, and spend your time of leisure activities such as video games is an advantageous privilege.

    A lack of education similarly is only a lack of privilege if you do not have the opportunity to get educated. If you had the opportunity to get educated, but chose not to take advantage of it, that is not a lack of privilege. In fact, the fact that you can survive despite choosing not to take advantage of educational opportunities because of the largesse of others, such as parents supporting you, is an advantageous privilege.

    Similarly, a lack of social skills is not a lack of privilege unless it arises because of some illness or disorder or social circumstance beyond your control that prevents you from gaining those skills. If you have that opportunity, but choose to refuse to take advantage of them, you do not have a lack of “privilege”. And indeed, the fact that you can survive and thrive in society without those social skills, because you have other support mechanisms in place, is an advantageous privilege.

    Hey Illithid, you dumbfuck. Provide us with your definition of “privilege” or shut the fuck up.

    The fapwit of course has no idea what “privilege” means. When it first came around spewing is misogynistic blatherings, several of us pointed out to it the concept of unrecognized privilege. Instead of learning what privilege actually means as an intellectually honest person might do, it simply appropriated the term and tried to throw it back at us in its typical lying, distorted fashion.

    Virtually every single time it has tried to claim “privilege” for women in a counter argument, it has actually used an example that is in fact a direct consequence of lack of privilege for women.

  91. vaiyt says

    Caesar is pretty much the worst choice. If much, I’d complain the developers didn’t resist making one of the sides obviously evil.

    Of course, if you’re a man, you can concentrate on the “order” he brings and ignore that he treats half of his population as lower than dirt.

  92. says

    Amphiox:

    That its bigotries are multi-directional in nature is hardly surprising. Misogynists are almost always bigots in at least a few other spheres as well, since all forms of bigotry are manifestations of the same fundamental lack of ethical character.

    A correlation to crank magnetism?

    I think illy’s problem (which illy will never address), is he mistakes having nice things and a job as the only indicators of a person’s privilege, instead of looking at privilege as a mulch-faceted concept.

    But, you know, whatevs. If illy would rather whine because sometimes gasp! attractive women point out misogyny and most gasp! male gamers aren’t the type of person he can look down on, I’m just going to continue to yell “herp a derp!” at the stupidity.

  93. Rip Steakface says

    Though, that said, in the short story The Last Church from the Tales of Heresy compendium, the Emperor character does make his case for opposing religion rather well, right up until he burns down the church and leaves the last priest on Earth to burn with it, that is…</blockquote.

    You know, I was actually cheering the Emperor on as he deconstructed the priest's poor arguments. That was one of the better arguments for atheism in fiction that I've seen. Then, of course, the Emperor burns down the church and kills the priests. Damn Thunder Warriors.

    he correctly identifies religion as an obstacle to human potential and a threat to the species’ survival, but he goes about tackling it with, of all things, a genocidal interstellar war called (one assumes ironically) the Great Crusade, that is prosecuted by what basically amounts to fanatical, posthuman atheist templar that carry a message of ‘deconvert or we will crush your military, execute your leadership and occupy your world/burn your planet to a crisp’ (unles you are a non-human civilisation, whereupon we will exterminate you on a point of principle) – essentially a ‘how to’ manual on how not to do atheism

    You know, one of the funniest things I see reading the Heresy novels is the very fact that an explicitly atheist society calls anything supernatural or anti-Imperium “heresy.” Not to mention there’s the Word Bearers – what other connotation of “word bearer” is there but a religious one (though, obviously, they’re not followers of the Imperial Truth, being Emperor-worshipers until they fall to Chaos).

    It does astound me that a being as ancient and powerful as the Emperor would not know better than to be so “with us or against us.” He’s 50,000 years old, how the fuck does he not know there’s room for nuance?

  94. illithid says

    Several people have asked for a description of what I mean by “privilege”. I already gave a perfectly objective example of massive privilege on the part of the young woman. About a specific definition I could say more, but much as I’m tempted, I’ll resist the invitation to play ball.

    It’s quite simple. Who is being more oppressed by society? A group whose members are known as “losers”, “deadbeats”, “basement-dwellers”, etc., who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder? (Exactly the kind of slogans right-wingers like to use against blacks.) Or this educated young woman, Anita Sarkeesian?

  95. Rip Steakface says

    Caesar is pretty much the worst choice. If much, I’d complain the developers didn’t resist making one of the sides obviously evil.

    I think they made an evil character/faction and then tried to add some “oh, but they’re not useless!” aspects so he’s not so obviously evil. For me though, they were obviously evil from the outset, as soon as I met them in Nipton.

    Of course, if you’re a man, you can concentrate on the “order” he brings and ignore that he treats half of his population as lower than dirt.

    BUT TEH CARAVANZ!!!11!one!

  96. laurentweppe says

    Female Commander Shepard? Totally badass and not presented as wank material*You can’t even make her boobs bigger!

    That’s because Bioware did it for you
    *

    Same goes for […] DA2

    I’m sorry but Bianca is one of the most badass female protagonist in all fiction.

    ***

    We were talking about this on the endless thread a little while ago in the context of a truly horrifyingly misogynist game trailer that completetly failed to convey the character of the franchise it was supposed to be advertising

    Bub but but…
    He close the eyes of the violent whorish killer nun he brutally beat to death seconds before.
    See, he’s caring, and remorsefull, and he’s such a nice guy at heart.
    [/sarcasm]

    ***

    even with the flimsy attempt in the plot to justify the character design as being a reflection of the idea that her body morphology was engineered that way on a whim of her abusive, controlling industrialist father.

    Come on: that’s the most believable part of her character: I’m totaly convinced that the day technology allows it, we will see at least one rich narcissic dude paying a fortune to make a female quasi-clone of himself and giver it/her the looks of his favorite sexual fantasy.

    ***

    Not only that, but Tali (at least) is supposed to be really young– like not yet considered to be an adult by her people in the first game– which just adds to the creep factor

    At least Tali is a young adult autonomous enough to take care of herself during her pilgrimage. Liara is presented as a precocious teenager who during ME1 has zero social skills and becomes loyal toward Shepard to the point of starting her own personnal crusade because Shepard is her first crush.
    When you think about it Liara Chien Fidèle whose life revolves around her Shepard-chan is waaaaaay more creepy than Tali. At least Tali manage to have a non-Shepard-centric existence when Shep is not around.

  97. Rip Steakface says

    It’s quite simple. Who is being more oppressed by society?

    Wrong answer.

  98. radpumpkin says

    It’s quite simple. Who is being more oppressed by society? A group whose members are known as “losers”, “deadbeats”, “basement-dwellers”, etc., who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder? (Exactly the kind of slogans right-wingers like to use against blacks.) Or this educated young woman, Anita Sarkeesian?

    Ooh, I know! Neither! Am I right? Tell me I’m right, for the sake of my fragile (admittedly male, not particularly basement dwelling loser) ego.

  99. mythbri says

    @illithid #118

    Congratulations on stepping up your terms when you refer to Ms. Sarkeesian, although I can’t imagine that you’re much older than she is. Didn’t you mention that you’re only coming on 30? She’s not that young compared to you. Or you could also use her name. This is not to minimize your progress – but these are tips if you want to be taken a little more seriously.

    The rest of your comment is more problematic, in that it indicates that you don’t understand how to talk about privilege in the way that it is discussed in this context (which you brought up, by the way – no one else here mentioned privilege at all before you mentioned it). If you want to make privilege an issue in every comment thread you join, then I suggest you take the advice that others have offered you and do some reading. Seriously. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

  100. ChasCPeterson says

    In the asocial sciences, there’s a shitload of specialized jargon, but most of it exists for a good reason: it’s more precise and accurate than available vernacular words could be.
    Sociologists instead take already perfectly good existing vernacular words and redefine them more precisely for their own academic uses, then insist that everybody else should not only know what they mean in their more specialized sense, but should only use it that way themselves. It’s perverse.

  101. says

    laurentweppe:

    I’m sorry but Bianca is one of the most badass female protagonist in all fiction.

    You win everything. Here, take it!

    That’s because Bioware did it for you

    Wow, I hadn’t even noticed. At least Bioware didn’t give her Lara Croft bewbz, I guess.

    illz:

    A group whose members are known as “losers”, “deadbeats”, “basement-dwellers”, etc., who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder?

    As much as you try ever so hard to be a defender of teh menz, illy, you’re failing miserably. I don’t know where you’ve been for the post few years, but gaming has become mainstream. Way less people down their nose at a guy who buys the latest Madden and plays with his dudebros on the weekend, as opposed when I started gaming in the early 90s.

    So, in other words, your bigotry is showing– we know exactly how you feel about gamers and it’s yet another example of what a sad sack of shit you are.

  102. illithid says

    I’m not talking about gamers. I play games myself and wouldn’t define myself as part of this category.

    I’m speculating — not implausibly, I think — that the majority of ferocious comments came from this element. They’re the most embittered subgroup of the gaming community.

    I started gaming in the early 90s too, so go fuck yourself.

  103. says

    ill:

    Who is being more oppressed by society? A group whose members are known as “losers”, “deadbeats”, “basement-dwellers”, etc., who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder? (Exactly the kind of slogans right-wingers like to use against blacks.) Or this educated young woman, Anita Sarkeesian?

    I also find it HIGHLY amusing that you think that you can pick a gamer out of a lineup, so to speak. I mean, when I walk into a room and introduce myself, it’s kind of hard to miss that I’m a woman– the breasts, pregnant belly, and my first name are all dead giveaways– but no one would know that I choose to play videogames unless it came up in conversation.

    Same thing goes for the guys that I know. You know that they’re men right off the bat, but you wouldn’t know what their hobbies were unless you talked to them first. It’s not like gamers are marked in some way, you idiot.

    It’s a difference between who you are and what you like to do in your free time. So nice try, but no dice.

  104. says

    Not to distract from this discussion, but I was prompted to write my own post on the topic of Sarkeesian, sexism in video games, and why illithid is clueless. So, thanks for the inspiration!

  105. Drolfe says

    Re: Miranda, I think her dialogue and story (her sister, father, etc.) could all have been less off-putting if she wasn’t shot (in the cinematic sense) in such fan-service-y/ objectified/ sexist ways. She’s always poking her hips and shot from the butt or her boobs are end-capping some scene, or the aforementioned Bond-girl functionally-nude silhouettes, panning up her body etc. It’s basically every scene she’s in is shot in the most sexualized way. Add to that her goofy uniform. It seems so unnecessary too, like it’s there *just* as a sop to the masturbating audience. (I.e., her suit could be more like Shep’s or even Liara’s. Adepts don’t have to be naked; Jacks’s ME2 outfit is ridic in this sense, too.)

    I could sort of ‘get’ EDI being as ‘fembot’ as she was, but the faux high heels? Why?! Are the high heels what permits Eva to consistently outrun even a charging vanguard Shepard. Argh.

    (I missed driving around on alien worlds, and is something I really missed in the sequels.)

  106. says

    ill:

    I’m speculating — not implausibly, I think — that the majority of ferocious comments came from this element. They’re the most embittered subgroup of the gaming community.

    So, in other words, you have no evidence that the commenters are of any particular group, yet you want to paint them all as less privileged than Anita Sarkeesian? No evidence. Not one shed to back up your argument. At all. Whatsoever.

    HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHA! You really are the dumbest piece of shit ever, aren’t you?

    Sorry, dude, you lost this game a long fucking time ago. Just give it up.

  107. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Sociologists instead take already perfectly good existing vernacular words and redefine them more precisely for their own academic uses, then insist that everybody else should not only know what they mean in their more specialized sense, but should only use it that way themselves. It’s perverse.

    Given “work” and “energy” (not to mention “peril” and “hazard” in law) it’s probably a little late for that argument, but I’m certainly inclined to agree.

  108. says

    Also:

    I started gaming in the early 90s too, so go fuck yourself.

    Are widdle illy’s fee-wings getting all hurty ‘cos he has no argument to back up his poor, sad widdle rage? Being all angwy for no reason sucks, doesn’t it, little duckie?

    Give me a second, ill, and I’ll call the WAAAAAAAAAAH-mbulance for you! I haven’t seen such a case of hurt fee-fees in days! Maybe you should have a lie down, just to be safe.

  109. d(thunk) over d(MQG) = SQRRAWK! says

    Illithid:

    Aww, the poor menz!

    While some of them may, may, be less privileged on some unrelated front, they are using the privileges *they* have to oppress women and others. In this discussion, the hateful gamers are much more priviliged.

    Learn to distinguish, ill-brained.

  110. says

    Several people have asked for a description of what I mean by “privilege”. I already gave a perfectly objective example of massive privilege on the part of the young woman. About a specific definition I could say more, but much as I’m tempted, I’ll resist the invitation to play ball.

    Okay, fuckwit. Apparently we really have to start from zero with you.

    Provide your definition of the word “definition.”

  111. Alverant says

    Illi, I’m going to give you some quotes from Will Rogers for you to dwell on and hopefully take to heart.

    Never miss a good chance to shut up.

    After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

    #18 radpumpkin, thanks for the direct link. They do several social-oriented shows each season. Too many to list here. I think the best thing for people to do is browse the tabs and see which ones look interesting. I only explained about one title because someone may think it’s just a review of the game when it goes so much deeper into how the developers messed up and how easily some mistakes could have been fixed. They should have given the episode a better title, but what can you do.

  112. says

    Sociologists instead take already perfectly good existing vernacular words and redefine them more precisely for their own academic uses, then insist that everybody else should not only know what they mean in their more specialized sense, but should only use it that way themselves. It’s perverse.

    Okay, Mr. Lazy Fucking Whiny Peterson, do you have a better suggestion for the word used to describe the phenomenon of “privilege”? At least in that particular case, the academic meaning is extremely close to the original meaning of the word, i.e., Latin, “special law.”

    Note also that these terms tend to come up in discussions of sociological phenomena, such as sexism.

    Are you only able to google scientific jargon? If someone showed up in a thread about DNA coding for various eye colors in fruit flies and complained that they couldn’t follow all the scientific jargon, would you sympathize and hold their hand and explain it all to them, or would you tell them to suck it up and use their fucking dictionary??

    Goddamn Chas, shut the FUCK up for once in your fucking arrogant life! Shit, I don’t fucking care if schmucks like Illithid say stupid motherfucking shit, but from so-called regulars like you, with an alleged capacity to learn and absorb new ideas, it is just too disappointing for words. STOP YOUR FUCKING WHINING ALREADY. IF YOU CAN’T REFRAIN FROM WHINING ABOUT SOCIOLOGY TERMS ON THREADS HAVING TO DO WITH SOCIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS THEN DON’T FUCKING COMMENT.

  113. illithid says

    So, in other words, you have no evidence that the commenters are of any particular group, yet you want to paint them all as less privileged than Anita Sarkeesian? No evidence. Not one shed to back up your argument. At all. Whatsoever.

    Hate to disappoint you, but I do have evidence, as usual. For starter, about 20% of men in their 20s are living at home with their parents. It’s inevitable that if we restrict ourselves to gamers, the percentage is going to be even higher. Embittered gamers and it’s higher still. Hateful, embittered gamers who resent being told they’re privileged, higher still. Quite plausibly above the 50% level.

  114. throwaway says

    illzithead:

    It’s quite simple. Who is being more oppressed by society?

    If it really is that simple then why do you allude to the wrong fucking answer?

  115. illithid says

    Give me a second, ill, and I’ll call the WAAAAAAAAAAH-mbulance for you

    That’s really funny because everyone says it! Which makes it funny. You’re so cool for being so funny for reminding everyone of what everyone says.

  116. says

    Hateful, embittered gamers who resent being told they’re privileged, higher still.

    Umm, who cares whether they resent it or not? They’re privileged as a gender; not (necessarily) as individuals. If they’re too dim to understand this concept then it’s not surprising that they’re resentful. They’re probably resentful about a lot of things. That says nothing at all about Ms. Sarkeesian, her project, or the legitimacy of doing it.

  117. ChasCPeterson says

    Dear Sally: Please be sure to shout orders at me more often; thanks.

  118. throwaway says

    Hate to disappoint you, but I do have evidence, as usual. For starter, about 20% of men in their 20s are living at home with their parents. It’s inevitable that if we restrict ourselves to gamers, the percentage is going to be even higher. Embittered gamers and it’s higher still. Hateful, embittered gamers who resent being told they’re privileged, higher still. Quite plausibly above the 50% level.

    Your ‘evidence,’ it’s a little lacking in the substantiated and correlated department.. I’ll grant you those statistics, IF you can associate the alleged status of gamer menz to the systemic oppression of gamers for being simply menz. (As you can see, women aren’t being systemically oppressed for choosing to engage in activities, it has EVERYTHING to do with their gender and nothing more. That you don’t get that isn’t surprising at all. It’s just pitiful.)

    Me, I won’t boo-hoo for the poor men who think their video game obsessions are what lead to “oppression”, because that’s not quite the entirety of the issue affecting young white menz. I will also not excuse their bitterness and mistreating of women online due to supposed ‘oppressive’ circumstances. All things being equal, if a gamer guy living at home and a gamer girl living at home happen to go out in the real world and try to rise above their lot in life, guess which one will have an easier go at it.

  119. illithid says

    If it really is that simple then why do you allude to the wrong fucking answer?

    Ooh-hoo! Counter-intuitive! Kind of like special relativity, only instead of time ticking slower as clocks move faster, it’s wimminz getting fewer privileges as their wages get higher!

    In the theory of relativity, you can’t travel faster than the speed of light, no matter how much energy you put in. In the theory of patriarchy, it’s the same, only you can’t get more privileged than those overweight World of Warcraft addicts that have penises.

  120. says

    ill:

    For starter, about 20% of men in their 20s are living at home with their parents. It’s inevitable that if we restrict ourselves to gamers, the percentage is going to be even higher. Embittered gamers and it’s higher still. Hateful, embittered gamers who resent being told they’re privileged, higher still. Quite plausibly above the 50% level.

    I’m sure you have site for all of your assumptions, then.

    Come on, your fucking opinion isn’t evidence, it’s just your fucking opinion.

  121. illithid says

    I said it was a not implausible speculation.

    Would you like to ban not implausible speculations? Congratulations, you just wiped out all intelligent life in the universe!

  122. says

    I’ve had the comments on Youtube effectively killfiled for the better part of a year. It’s done wonders for my sanity.

    … Until I remember that I’m just sticking my head in the sand regarding the depths of human indecency. I’m truly ashamed to be a male sometimes.

  123. Matt Penfold says

    It’s quite simple. Who is being more oppressed by society? A group whose members are known as “losers”, “deadbeats”, “basement-dwellers”, etc., who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder? (Exactly the kind of slogans right-wingers like to use against blacks.) Or this educated young woman, Anita Sarkeesian?

    Oppressed but not so oppressed they cannot access the Internet and leave vile comments on YouTube. I think your definition of oppressed is flawed. But then you have already told us that you regard being able to communicate with other people to be totally unimportant, which suggests you make pig-shit look like the least viscous liquid around.

  124. omnicrom says

    So Illithid I’ve been trying to follow you’re argument and haven’t gotten it. What exactly are you trying to say?

    Are you trying to argue that because there are men who are looked down upon in society that male privilege doesn’t exist? Because that’s wrong, Men are paid more on average, language uses masculine adjectives (IE Manly) to glorify and feminine adjectives (IE Girly) to demean, and men are usually given a pass over women when they are sexually promiscuous or stupid or violent. The fact there are deadbeat men in the world doesn’t change the fact that the male gender has an edge over the female gender.

    Are you arguing that the majority of the people making absolutely horrible comments are probably just angry and don’t mean it? Isn’t that a form of male privilege? Would you say the same thing if a man set up a kick-starter to look at how men are treated in media focused on women and they got thousands of angry aggressive comments for it? Don’t just dismiss this second question if you really are trying to justify these comments, if the shoe were on the other foot would you still wear it?

    Are you trying to say that Anita Sarkeesian should not talk about the problems of Sexism because she is not a downtrodden woman held back by sexism? What sense does that make? I’m a white male, can I not also be angry about sexism in games (and I am), can I not be angry about racism towards blacks if I’m not black, can I not be angry about problems with our justice system if I’m not a felon?

    I’m seriously wondering what you’re arguing. I’m almost certain I disagree with you on the issue, but I’m not sure unless I actually can tell what your issue is Illithid.

  125. throwaway says

    illshithead:

    n the theory of patriarchy, it’s the same, only you can’t get more privileged than those overweight World of Warcraft addicts that have penises.

    Women get it on ALL fronts, especially in the male dominated gaming culture. What you’re talking about is what men do to other men (belittle them for not fitting a gender stereotype.) I can’t recall a time I’ve heard a woman casting aspersions at a man for his choice in gaming as an activity, especially while participating within that medium. It never seems to come from that side. So yes, the male WoW addicts and game nerds are victims of patriarchy at some level, but then on the totem pole of privilege beneath them you will see women (as players and as characters.)

    It seems you’re decrying the expectation that men are to be contributing and functioning members of society, however that’s deigned by patriarchal influences. It’s good that you recognise this, as that means you’re at least a half-way ally against sexism. Come on, cupcake, make the next step and fit everything together, and see the ugly world for what it is (sans your mansplaining and irrationalizations) and what it means to be a woman depicted as secondary in all functions in society.

  126. vaiyt says

    @illithid

    Man is a lower difficulty setting in life compared to Woman. That some people play badly even in the Man difficulty, doesn’t change the fact Woman is more difficult.

    But of course, you can go to youtube, where you can spew embittered rhetoric and rape threats to a woman and find sympathy in thousands of other idiots just because you’re a man and she’s a woman. Then complain that YOU’re the victim.

  127. Matt Penfold says

    I’m seriously wondering what you’re arguing. I’m almost certain I disagree with you on the issue, but I’m not sure unless I actually can tell what your issue is Illithid.

    He has been posting on other threads here. His position would seem to be: Wiminz sux, Menz rules. I’m the victim of sexism coz no one will give me a job I am not qualified for.

  128. says

    … who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder?

    Hmmmm, you know, these angry “basement dwellers” have the time and the money to play videogames and watch YouTube videos. How can these poor downtrodden sods manage?

    For instance, if we assume that illy is correct about some of them:

    … about 20% of men in their 20s are living at home with their parents. It’s inevitable that if we restrict ourselves to gamers, the percentage is going to be even higher.

    Means that they come from a family that has enough money to support them and their gaming habit, even though they’re unemployed (and not contributing to the overall family budget). Must be pretty awesome to have parents that 1) earn enough money to feed you/clothe you/pay for your hobbies when you’re well into adulthood and 2) don’t mind doing so.

    In fact, it sounds way better than actually going out there, earning your Master’s degree, then attempting to fund a project to actually study sexism in videogames.

    I’m with Matt. These guys aren’t that oppressed– they’re just angry at having their privilege challenged.

  129. omnicrom says

    @154

    Ah.

    So in other words when he talks about “Losers who live with their parents” and tries to say that since some men have it bad there is no such thing as male privilege he’s being partially autobiographic?

    If so does he have a point other than the “Women suck, men are the real people who need our support” which is very wrong?

  130. Matt Penfold says

    If so does he have a point other than the “Women suck, men are the real people who need our support” which is very wrong?

    Not that I have seen.

  131. says

    Chas: a counter example for you. I’m a developmental biologist, and a whole bunch of key words in my field — induction, competence, determination, etc. — were openly stolen from psychology, and their meanings radically altered by the context. Every field modifies the language to suit their needs.

  132. mythbri says

    @illithid, in general

    Seriously, you need to stop derailing and making this all about your “male privilege doesn’t exist” hobby-horse. Just because you lack the discipline to educate yourself about privilege as it is used in this context and therefore lack the willingness to have an honest, good-faith discussion doesn’t mean that you’re making any kind of reveltory points here. You’ve done this on three separate threads now, and you’ve been warned off of one. Why don’t you shut up and let others have an on-topic discussion while you vent inn TZT.

  133. illithid says

    As for this complaint about sexism against women in video games. What does it even mean? There’s not enough female characters? Because I remember even as far as 20 back there was a tonne of playable female characters (Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, to name but a few examples).

    Or is it about women in video games having unrealistic body types? Because so do most of the male characters.

  134. Matt Penfold says

    omnicrom,

    A little more background on illithid.

    Elsewhere he has told us he has been trying to get a job as programmer, but without success. He blames this lack of success on politically correct employers who want to be seen to avoiding discriminating against women demanding what he calls “soft skills”. When asked what these skills were it turned out that he meant communication skills, being able to talk to colleagues and clients. He has said he does not regard being able to communicate well as important, or even regard it as a skill at all.

    He is still unable to work out why he has been unable to get a job as a programmer.

  135. says

    Matt:

    I’m the victim of sexism coz no one will give me a job I am not qualified for.

    Well, of course. Because interviewers are all looking for those soft, feminine skills (according to illie: the ability to communicate effectively) as opposed to his hard, manly computer programming skillz*. It’s a conspiracy, Matt! Ladies are slowly taking over middle management and HR positions so they can force employees to focus on a different skill set, which will make macho men more feminine and then we can take over the world one cubical at a time! Jesus, man, I thought you were on the Feminist Illuminati mailing list.

    (But at the same time, he disparaged office workers in general, even though he wants an office job. Totes confusing.)

    *Which he can’t back up with a degree. Considering that he is in direct competition for those jobs with people who at least have a Bachelor’s, I have no idea why he’s whining so hard.

    If candidate X has a degree and interviews well, one would assume that they would outperform candidate Y who has no degree and feels the world owes him.

  136. says

    remember the thing about the loud and the rude, is that it’s not because they are many that they are noticed, it’s because they are loud at rude, that they are noticed. There are more good guys out there than you are willing to admit.

  137. illithid says

    Man is a lower difficulty setting in life compared to Woman. That some people play badly even in the Man difficulty, doesn’t change the fact Woman is more difficult.

    No. It is EXACTLY the opposite. I already gave the example of being able to marry to achieve financial security. There’s other examples, such as male-dominated professions involving worse conditions (such as being out in the cold as opposed to inside a warm room), requiring higher technical skills, and offering almost no possibility for lateral movement (as nobody wants to take a non-skilled steelworker, whereas anybody can move from secretary to human resources and so forth).

  138. says

    @160

    I think I used this example in another thread, but have you ever noticed that the default character in “create-a-character” modes is a white male? Because we’re the default, of course.

    Re: body image, yes, everyone in videogames has an unrealistic body type, but that’s kind of like saying sexism doesn’t exist in popular culture because there are bikini models. Or… what?

    You just don’t get it, dude. One wonders if you ever will.

  139. RFW says

    Not to excuse or justify sexist stereotyping in video games, but keep in mind that the size-shape sexism inveighed against here has a very long history that predates video games by decades.

    Look at the cover illustration of nearly any pulp SF magazine from the 1940s or so: the men, if any, are lean and muscular; the women are shapely and buxom. (There are also octopoid monsters, but why a cephalopodistical organism is interested in mating with a placental mammal beats me.)

    A cultural phenomenon with that long a history isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And it wouldn’t be helpful to produce video games with opposite stereotyping involving muscular demanding amazons and little skinny wimps of men whom the Amazons boss around.

  140. Amphiox says

    It’s quite simple. Who is being more oppressed by society? A group whose members are known as “losers”, “deadbeats”, “basement-dwellers”, etc., who receive absolutely no sympathy from anyone and are told to grow a pair, man up, better themselves, work harder? (Exactly the kind of slogans right-wingers like to use against blacks.) Or this educated young woman, Anita Sarkeesian?

    Illzit the fapwit continues to perseverate on this pitiful piece of dishonest misdirection, and continues to fap out more lies.

    1) Anita Sarkessian’s status is IRRELEVANT to the point at hand. The fucking QUEEN OF ENGLAND could have been the one posting this, and EVERY. SINGLE. POINT. WOULD. STILL. BE. VALID. A MAN could have made that video and every. single. point. would. still. be. valid.

    2) Still calling gamers “losers”, “dead-beats” and “basement-dwellers”, words which the fapwit introduced to this discussion incidentally. Continued multi-bigotry noted. Yes indeed these are words right-wingers use against blacks. And it is only YOU, fapwit, who are using them here, against gamers whom you DON’T EVEN KNOW.

    3) Oppression is about denial of opportunity, fapwit. If the opportunity was available to you, and you freely chose not to take it, or you tried to take it and failed on your own merits, you are not oppressed.

    4) The deliberately dishonest use of the word “oppression” for misdirection purposes is also noted.

    Utterly pathetic.

  141. Matt Penfold says

    I have played Oblivion and Skyrim, two excellent role-playing games which are very popular. One key to their success is the ability to mod the games. The case of both games one of the first mods has been one that removed the modesty underwear from characters in the game, closely followed by a mod that increases the breast size and reduces the waist size. Not all characters mind. Just the female ones. You get to see the breasts and pubic hair of the women in the game, but not the cock of any of the men.

  142. radpumpkin says

    I’m speculating — not implausibly, I think — that the majority of ferocious comments came from this element. They’re the most embittered subgroup of the gaming community.

    I started gaming in the early 90s too, so go fuck yourself.

    Fancy that, as have I. See, my experience with online interaction tells me that people are idiots, and will continually try to out-idiot each other. Don’t blame their behavior on social problems, be the real or (more likely) imaginary. Idiots only become bigger idiots if you give them a soapbox to stand on, and the vicious cycle of out-idioting continues, not that we should tolerate their behavior or anything…

  143. Amphiox says

    I already gave the example of being able to marry to achieve financial security.

    Still perseverating on ANOTHER PITIFUL LIE, fapwit.

    Men are JUST AS FREE to marry to achieve financial security. Women do it more often BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CHOICE.

    This is an example of women have LESS PRIVILEGE, fapwit.

    There’s other examples, such as male-dominated professions involving worse conditions (such as being out in the cold as opposed to inside a warm room), requiring higher technical skills, and offering almost no possibility for lateral movement (as nobody wants to take a non-skilled steelworker, whereas anybody can move from secretary to human resources and so forth).

    These are professions, fapwit, with systemic barriers that PREVENT WOMEN FROM EVEN ENTERING THEM EVEN IF THEY ARE QUALIFIED. Whereas in female dominated professions there are ALMOST NO systemic barriers that prevent men, who want to, to enter them. In fact men in these professions are typically afforded greater prestige, respect, and advancement opportunities than women. Male secretaries and male nurses earn equal or MORE than their female counterparts, and get promotions MORE EASILY.

    This is ANOTHER EXAMPLE of you, fapwit, deliberately twisting an example of male privilege to make it seem like the opposite in your pitifully dishonest mind.

  144. Amphiox says

    Or is it about women in video games having unrealistic body types? Because so do most of the male characters.

    The unrealistic body types of female characters in video games are specifically designed to titillate male gamers.

    The unrealistic body types of male characters in video games are specifically designed to be wish fulfillment for MALE gamers.

    That you can even utter a statement that implies the two are equivalent tells us yet more about your pathetic lack of fundamental ethical character, fapwit.

  145. fernando says

    I have a very optimistic view of the future regarding gender discrimination.

    Many years ago most people even doubt that women were real human beings, believing that women were nothing more than a vessel for carrying babies in the womb.

    Other people view women like child that should be protected, and do what the men (father, husband)say to do.

    Religions always see the women has impure and the tool of the damnation for men.

    Women didn´t have right to vote, legally was always behind the men in all the situations, etc.

    Today women have the same (more or less, because this is a work in progress) rights has men, and this situation of gender descrimination in games and pictures is no more than another obstacle that we, defenders of a true egualitary society, need to overcome.

    So: instead of only cry in the net against gender descrimination act against it, and don´t suport a company or politic that have a descriminative point of view (sexual, politic, religious or other) against some other human being

  146. Amphiox says

    I’m with Matt. These guys aren’t that oppressed– they’re just angry at having their privilege challenged.

    These guys are hardly oppressed AT ALL. They are fracking gentlemen of leisure, living off their parents’ fortunes or their inheritance, spending all their time on recreational activities of their choice, with sufficient resources to indulge in those recreational activities as much as they want, with no need to get a job or worry about surviving without a job.

    These guys are among the most privileged of the privileged in our society, excepting only the privilege of enormous wealth.

    That society recognizes their privilege and expresses mild (among the mildest forms imaginable) disapproval of how they are using their privilege (because that is where nearly ALL the negative stereotypes of them come from – that they have obvious privilege and are “wasting” that privilege in “frivolous” activities) does NOT make them oppressed.

    It just means they don’t have the additional privilege of societal approval on top of all the other privileges they enjoy.

  147. illithid says

    Which aren’t there to titillate male gamers.

    Oh, and we can’t have that. The Victorians didn’t get everything wrong.

  148. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and we can’t have that. The Victorians didn’t get everything wrong.

    The point is going so far over the top of your head it is no wonder you are having problems seeing it.

  149. Amphiox says

    Today women have the same (more or less, because this is a work in progress) rights has men, and this situation of gender descrimination in games and pictures is no more than another obstacle that we, defenders of a true egualitary society, need to overcome.

    Remember, fernando, that NONE of this would have ever come about if it were not for people speaking out against gender discrimination, and REFUSING TO BE SILENCED. Not just actively protesting, but spreading the word whenever and wherever possible, in all mediums available to them.

    “Crying” on the internet is one such medium.

    If we fall silent, there is no guarantee these hard-won victories will hold. There are forces very active in society that would like nothing better than to roll all these gains back, as our fapwit troll amply demonstrates.

    There are people posting on these threads who have been fighting this fight longer than you or I have probably been alive. A statement like “instead of only cry in the net against gender descrimination act against it” will NOT be received very well.

    Fair warning.

  150. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    For everyone who is responding to Illithid:

    I believe it was the Real Scientists thread where he gleefully informed us he’d have no problem taking advantage of a desperate woman in order to get laid.

    Illithid is a predator. Worse, he’s a predator that whines that his targets aren’t making it easy for him. You know why no one wants to fuck you, illithid? It’s because you give off creepy, rapey vibes so badly that they come through in everything you write. I can’t tell you how glad I am that women have enough sense of self preservation to stay the fuck away from you.

    You are a loser, and you are a deadbeat. It’s not because women are oppressing you. It’s because you’re a loser and a deadbeat. That simple.

  151. Amphiox says

    Oh, and we can’t have that. The Victorians didn’t get everything wrong.

    Still deliberately missing the point, fapwit.

    Pitiful.

  152. Amphiox says

    The point is going so far over the top of your head it is no wonder you are having problems seeing it.

    He is using the wrong head.

  153. fernando says

    Amphiox

    Yes, you are right.
    I was wrong and a fool in desmissing the net has a tool against descrimination.

    To all the people that use the net has a tool in the continuous figth for human rights, i want to say: sorry for my words and keep the good job! :)

    Thank you very much, for your fair warning, Amphiox.

  154. Pteryxx says

    Is there a Debunking MRA Bullshit reference out there, like the sites for debunking creationist bullshit? Illithid’s going right down the MRA talking-points bingo card and it’s boring.

  155. omnicrom says

    Okay Illithid. You gave an example to show how good women have it, and your example is that women can marry men to get money? Are you at all aware of how spectacularly badly you’ve just damaged your credibility? You are saying that women can achieve financial success by RELYING ON A MAN. You are arguing against male privilege by invoking sexist rhetoric about how lucky women are because they just have to sleep with a guy to get some cash. Stop and think, can you imagine why noone respects what you say when you say something blatantly sexist to dismiss sexism?

    Also you want an example of Sexism in video games? Well people have given examples in Mass Effect and talked about the reason men have the muscular Adonis body-type and women the wispy sexy-hot body-type. Those are good examples Here’s another example: Metroid.

    Have you ever played Metroid? Metroid made a splash because it turns out the tough power-armored wearing bounty hunter at the end of the first game is revealed to be a woman. In the majority of games her gender isn’t an issue, she’s a woman who fights evil bugmen space pirates. Then they made Metroid: Other M which portrayed Samus as a whiny, weepy, emotionally insecure woman always on the edge of breaking down and crying and is desperately trying to seek the approval of her male commanding officer. This is sexist. It’s doubly sexist because Samus and this commanding officer had their relation completely retconned, when she has flashbacks to him in another game she remembers liking him for treating her as an equal.

    Sexism completely derailed Metroid. It’s not the NUMBER of female characters, Metroid has a tiny cast and up until Other M it didn’t have gender issues in my mind. The problem is how those female characters are portrayed. Here are a few rules of thumb: Is the female character only there as a love interest? Does she exist only to be captured and rescued? Is she strictly inferior in gameplay to the male characters? Is she given noticeably less attention than the male cast? You just might have sexism.

  156. mythbri says

    @Pteryxx #183

    It would be worth the search if illithid were producing any kind of coherent argument. That is not what illithid is doing. illithid is derailing by bringing up the question of how privileged women are compared to teh menz. It’s like a particularly unintelligent brick wall.

  157. illithid says

    No. It would only be sexism if women MUST rely on a man. But that isn’t the case. What is true is that women have the OPTION to rely on a man. If they don’t like it, they always can work for only slightly less wages on average (slightly higher wages if they’re single and in their twenties). There might a reasonable explanation for that gap in pay, but in any event, it’s closing. Then there’s the inconvenient reality that female-dominated fields are so much cushier, so much easier. Unless you think being charming in a comfortable warm room is harder than working with machinery in a cold, mangy factory.

  158. Pteryxx says

    mythbri: yeah, it’d be nice to go “Debunked here [link]” and be done with the derail. I just don’t know of a reference page for it.

  159. illithid says

    Then they made Metroid: Other M which portrayed Samus as a whiny, weepy, emotionally insecure woman always on the edge of breaking down and crying and is desperately trying to seek the approval of her male commanding officer. This is sexist.

    Oh noes, a dislikable character in a sample size of one!

  160. says

    Oh noes, a dislikable character in a sample size of one!

    Hey, at least it’s a sample size of one, unlike your example of “basement dwellers” who need to “man up” and are so pathetic, which you caqn’t back up at all.

    Derp a herp!

  161. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    It’s no woman’s fault that you’re unemployable, Illithid. It’s your own damn fault for failing.

    Have you ever considered that the reason people call you ‘loser’ and ‘deadbeat’ has nothing to do with women, and more to do with the fact that it’s TRUE? People can be remarkably perceptive, you know.

  162. mythbri says

    @Pteryxx #188

    Since illithid has given no impression of a vague understanding of what privilege actually is, I would suggest that they go here:

    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/faq-what-is-male-privilege/

    And then here:

    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/faq-female-privilege/

    This is, of course, assuming that illithid is actually interested in engaging in meaningful debate about the linked topics or the actual topic of the OP. So far, this does not seem to be the case.

  163. omnicrom says

    @187 Illithid

    Do you even listen to yourself? You’re saying that “Women have an advantage because they can marry rich men” is not sexist because women don’t HAVE to? That’s your definition of sexist? Something is sexist only if it both a) degrades women and b) is absolutely universal? No wonder you don’t think there are issues of sexism since your definition applies to nothing in reality. The fact that you think that it’s a reasonable lifestyle option for women to marry rich men for cash demonstrates your own sexism clear as day.

    Also what’s your snipe at female wages mean? You list exactly one group where women are paid more than men (If your source is accurate and you haven’t earned that privilege pony up where you got those numbers). Does that mean that the wage gap is solved? Well of course not because you say it’s still closing a second later.

    Oh and you say that the gap in pay is because what? Women decide not to marry a rich man and therefore accept that they have not met their potential and are okay with reduced pay? Is that what you’re seriously saying? And you seriously can’t figure out how demeaning that is to women?

    Then you go about how the Poor Menz have so much worse jobs and make a stab and being “Charming”. But your context is off, if you really were so gung-ho about fighting for better conditions in male dominated industries what are you doing here spewing sexism? Why aren’t you arguing for better universal working conditions? But you aren’t, you’re using the fact that Blue-Collar jobs have poorer working conditions than White-Collar jobs as another piece of ammunition to attack women. I can’t imagine you’d be in favor of improving work conditions in all sectors, after all you’ve made it abundantly clear you hate women and believe equal rights to be a zero sum game that men have to “Win”.

  164. Pteryxx says

    mythbri: Thanks. illithid won’t, but any lurkers who think ‘e makes a lick of sense can.

  165. says

    mythbri:

    This is, of course, assuming that illithid is actually interested in engaging in meaningful debate about the linked topics or the actual topic of the OP. So far, this does not seem to be the case.

    No, don’t expect our little illie to click on any links– like garlic to a vampire.

  166. Knabb says

    illithid: Would you care to explain how, exactly, it is that women consistently have the option to marry into wealth and not work when that relies on them having men to marry* who have enough money to support two people. If men are at all oppressed financially, then there aren’t many who fit that description, and ergo that option is incredibly limited. If that option isn’t limited, then a great many men have enough money for two people, and economic oppression of men is utter horseshit. Or, possibly, men are just a much larger population than women, and as such women can just pick the richest men and the option exists. Guess which of these is supported by the data? It sure as hell isn’t a population size discrepancy. It sure as hell isn’t a vast amount of easily to marry men with enough money for two people. Funny, how that seems to leave marrying into wealth as an “option” that most women really don’t have. Funny how that seems to leave working as the only real option. Given the significant pay discrepancy in favor of men, women having economic privilege doesn’t look too likely, does it?

    *I’m assuming that non-heterosexual relationships are just being ignored in your idiotic thesis.

  167. Azuma Hazuki says

    Somewhat more on-topic…does anyone remember Final Fantasy 6, or 3 as it was called when released here? This was one of my first games, and both the lead characters are women. Strong ones, too, able to use almost all the heavy weapons and armor, and the only natural magic users in the game, barring Genjuu infusion. Yes, Celes did get a bit soppy in the endgame, but still.

    This and Super Metroid (and to a lesser extent FF4/2 with Rydia who completely stole the show) were some of my early exposures to gaming, and they were feminist in the best way possible: without even trying to make a point of it. Samus Aran especially isn’t (or wasn’t…bloody Other M!) going around shouting “RAWR I AM WIMMIN HEAR ME RAWR!” She was doing what she had to do, as no one else could do it, all by herself, in one of the best games in history.

    I kind of fell off the gaming bandwagon about 10 years ago, and my few modern glimpses into it do show a lot of misogyny and sexism, but even so, it hasn’t been all bad. Maybe we need to get the new generation onto emulators :)

    PS: Guardian Legend (NES) and Valis 4/Phantasm Soldier are two other options :)

  168. says

    I strongly suspect Illy exudes misogyny palpably in meatspace, too. I wonder how many women hiring managers have picked up on it, plus his raging sense of resentful entitlement, and realized instantly that this asshole might be an active danger to his female colleagues?

    RFW:

    Not to excuse or justify sexist stereotyping in video games….

    Which you go ahead and do with BUT BUT BUT TRADITION!!!

    A cultural phenomenon with that long a history isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And it wouldn’t be helpful to produce video games with opposite stereotyping involving muscular demanding amazons and little skinny wimps of men whom the Amazons boss around.

    Yes, because the only two body types women have are fuckbot and “muscular demanding amazon,” while the only two types men have are bodybuilder and “little skinny wimp.”

    Also, fuck you for once again mocking people who don’t fit into society’s rigid gender ideals, as you did the other day with your slimy “I won’t make a joke about manginas” bullshit in a discussion about trans people.

    Fernando:

    I have a very optimistic view of the future regarding gender discrimination.

    Because you’re not on the receiving end of it. Ooooh, we let teh wimminz vote! How radical! Christ, I hate this rationalization. The only reason oppressed groups GET any rights is because they “cry” about them, not because benevolent rich white d00dz magnanimously bestow them upon us.

  169. furiouslysleepyfuriously says

    Delurking to say that yes, there is rampant misogyny in video games (as I’m sure is news to no one) and I’ve personally seen it turn women away from videogames that they would otherwise enjoy.

    Heck I’m a man and I enjoy looking at hot women just as much as the next guy but I still can’t play some games without cringing. (Being a fan of fighting games is a little painful. I’m looking at you, Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur, and even Street Fighter really, though Chun Li is kickass. And why, SkullGirls, why? Fortunately, RTSs are awesomely non-gendered. Well, except for the story elements — like in Starcraft 2, where future Terrans the almost cartoonishly sexist and ‘macho’. Why have we still not moved past Rico’s Roughnecks?)

    There’s a lot I don’t understand about how *isms work in society: I’m still looking for actual evidence on how (and how much) media reinforces social prejudices (any pointers on what to read would be great) but I can say for sure that women are worse across all possible game genres. And the more humans a game has, the worse its portrayal of women. And it’s been pissing me off since Mario.

    So yeah, thanks for the link. Donated, and looking forward to the series.

  170. Island Adolescent says

    I really like the gameplay and smooth animation of Skullgirls, but I cannot look at that game without cringing, which makes playing it all the more awkward. I pretty much have to ignore the hyper-sexualization to play it, but then I feel bad for forcing myself to ignore something like that.

    It’s awful when a well-constructed game (in the gameplay department) ruins the experience via rampant sexism.

    Don’t even get me started on the sheer amount of sexism in Japanese manga and anime, especially those that target 13 – 18 year olds. Holy hell is it puke-inducing. If it wasn’t for manga like Japan Tengu Party Illustrated I would never even glance through that sea of grotesqueness.

  171. mythbri says

    @furiouslysleepyfuriously #200

    Regarding how and how much media reinforces social prejudices: my opinion is that it’s a reciprocal system. Media feeds off of social prejudices and a lot of the ways social prejudices are depicted in the media actually reinforces them.

    I’m not sure about a good resource for video games, but you will be able to find a lot of examples of social prejudices in other media (like television). Below is a link to the page for the Bechdel Test at TV Tropes – I think it’s an interesting read.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/TheBechdelTest?from=Main.TheBechdelTest

  172. says

    Have you ever played Metroid? Metroid made a splash because it turns out the tough power-armored wearing bounty hunter at the end of the first game is revealed to be a woman. In the majority of games her gender isn’t an issue, she’s a woman who fights evil bugmen space pirates. Then they made Metroid: Other M which portrayed Samus as a whiny, weepy, emotionally insecure woman always on the edge of breaking down and crying and is desperately trying to seek the approval of her male commanding officer. This is sexist. It’s doubly sexist because Samus and this commanding officer had their relation completely retconned, when she has flashbacks to him in another game she remembers liking him for treating her as an equal.

    Sexism completely derailed Metroid. It’s not the NUMBER of female characters, Metroid has a tiny cast and up until Other M it didn’t have gender issues in my mind. The problem is how those female characters are portrayed. Here are a few rules of thumb: Is the female character only there as a love interest? Does she exist only to be captured and rescued? Is she strictly inferior in gameplay to the male characters? Is she given noticeably less attention than the male cast? You just might have sexism.

    Oh god. For reference this gets entirely insane in Other M where Samus has all her tools…but can only use them with the EXPRESS permission of General Lord Cockhaver Mcdouchenipples.
    This goes to it’s absurd horror where Samus runs through a high hazard condition unprotected, despite HAVING such protection (basically streaking through a reactor core) because Cockhaver didn’t specifically tell her ‘hey why don’t you put on some of that protective ware you have!’

  173. Jem says

    There’s other examples, such as male-dominated professions involving worse conditions (such as being out in the cold as opposed to inside a warm room), requiring higher technical skills, and offering almost no possibility for lateral movement (as nobody wants to take a non-skilled steelworker, whereas anybody can move from secretary to human resources and so forth).

    wow. Just, wow. How do you manage to twist an example of male privilege into the opposite of what it is?

    You basically pointed out the problem yourself that male-dominated professions require higher skill. Women are discouraged from these fields, and typically ‘feminine’ work is less valued by society and underpayed even when it is a skilled profession (teaching, nursing etc). Here, have some stats about income disparity.

  174. Island Adolescent says

    Other M sounds terrible. I’m starting to be glad I missed out on playing it.

  175. illithid says

    You basically pointed out the problem yourself that male-dominated professions require higher skill. Women are discouraged from these fields…

    Yeah, keep dreaming. I was watching the Susskind lectures on physics quite recently. People attend just for fun — not as part of an accredited sheepskin that they think they are “expected” to work toward. Not a single woman in the audience. They simply don’t have much enthusiasm toward technical and impersonal fields, I’m afraid.

  176. says

    Other M sounds terrible. I’m starting to be glad I missed out on playing it.

    it’s what you get when you contract out to people best known for their jiggle physics

    Yeah, keep dreaming. I was watching the Susskind lectures on physics quite recently. People attend just for fun — not as part of an accredited sheepskin that they think they are “expected” to work toward. Not a single woman in the audience. They simply don’t have much enthusiasm toward technical and impersonal fields, I’m afraid.

    Oh shut the fuck up.

  177. says

    illie:

    … not as part of an accredited sheepskin that they think they are “expected” to work toward.

    And this is why you’ll never ever ever get a job in your field.

    Whomp whomp.

    They simply don’t have much enthusiasm toward technical and impersonal fields, I’m afraid.

    And you gather this from a sample size of one group of lectures? Weren’t you just chastising someone else on this thread for doing the same thing?

    I suppose being pushed out of the the sciences from an early age has absolutely no impact on girls and women as they start to choose their education and their careers. We just can’t handle those tough, manly (higher paying) jobs!

    It’s a lot like you, illie. You can’t cut it in a technical field, either. So sad.

  178. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Illithid the predatory misogynist still insists on blaming women for his own failings.

    Dude, it’s not their fault you fail at human society. It’s not their fault you’re a disgusting unemployable deadbeat sack of feces. Stop projecting. Stop blaming others. I don’t give a tin shit if you rot for the rest of your miserable deadbeat life, but stop trying to drag women down with you.

    You said you would gladly take advantage of a woman who was desperate enough to offer sex in return for a fucking PLACE TO LIVE in that other thread, and I’m never going to let you or anyone else forget it.

    You’re a pathetic failure and a predator, and the only upside to you as a person is that you also apparently fail at being a predator.

    May you remain unemployed and miserable forever, and may no one come to your funeral.

  179. furiouslysleepy says

    @mythbri #200

    I’m aware of the Bechdel Test, and TvTropes is of course awesome. (I mean, seriously, just look at this page. It’s cost me days.)

    What I’m asking for is the evidence due to which sociologists believe that common tropes in media (any media) cause the consumers of that media to ‘internalize’ those tropes. There must be work done that documents how consuming various types of media affects a population, but I can’t find it. Maybe I’m googling wrong.

    The closest things I have found are (1) stereotype threat and (2) rather tenuous connections of violent video games with real-life violence. But the existence of stereotype threat does not show how stereotypes are established in the first place.

  180. says

    @TLC called it at him being a predator complaining about the pray actually running. No one should have to be subjected to his personality.

    It reminds me fo the dread and face palming I had when ME3 (a game series known, lets be honest, for it’s story not for game play) was establishing MULTIPLAYER!….and that the MULTIPLAYER affected the story in a big way to encourage/strong arm people into playing it if they wanted to do well in the story mode. First hour I lost interest in my new game for the day because some stranger was screaming “cunt” at me

  181. mythbri says

    *Sniffs* I smell smug asshole in here. Oh, hello illithid. Still believing that anecdotes prove everything, huh? Still believing that your personal experience of everything ever is more important to a discussion that’s not about you than facts and citations? Still believing that everything that disappoints you in life is the result of you being oppressed by the evil wimmins?

    Uh-huh. Let me know when your tune changes.

  182. says

    What I’m asking for is the evidence due to which sociologists believe that common tropes in media (any media) cause the consumers of that media to ‘internalize’ those tropes. There must be work done that documents how consuming various types of media affects a population, but I can’t find it. Maybe I’m googling wrong.

    You of course are aware of the intelligence test that blacks did poorly one when told ti was a test of intelligence, but did well at when told it was a sportsmanship test? Or you know the whole black/white doll preference studies?

  183. Rip Steakface says

    Other M sounds terrible. I’m starting to be glad I missed out on playing it.

    It’s incredibly rare that I actively dislike a movie or game as I experience it. Typically, I’m a victim of Fridge Logic, to borrow the trope term (basically, you get up during the game/movie/show to grab something to eat from the fridge and suddenly realize something dumb in the media and say “wait a minute!).

    I actively disliked Other M while playing it. The gameplay was not Metroid. The story SUCKED. There was absolutely horrible sexism that I picked out *before* I started coming here and educating myself about feminism (mostly about how Samus, a previously strong and independent character [her occupation was raiding a planet and fucking up everything before blowing it up – how cool is that?] turned into a soft and needy pwecious wittle goil before Adam Cockhaver). It’s a bad game. Full stop.

    Every other game in the series is great, though. Super Metroid is one of the best games of all time.

  184. illithid says

    And you gather this from a sample size of one group of lectures? Weren’t you just chastising someone else on this thread for doing the same thing?

    I suppose one charitable interpration is that it was a relatively old audience. A younger audience might have female representation that’s higher than zero.

    I suppose being pushed out of the the sciences from an early age has absolutely no impact on girls and women as they start to choose their education and their careers.

    Who is pushing them out? Teachers? The New World Order in their black helicopters? Give some concrete examples of teachers encouraging female students not to do science.

  185. Rip Steakface says

    Save for drummed out of continuity the only way they can salvage the story from Other M in future games is to reveal that they used the prelude events of Fusion to implant an obedience command/chip in her brain.

    Nope. Fusion is AFTER Other M. It’s Metroid -> Metroid II -> Prime series -> Super -> Other M -> Fusion.

  186. Rip Steakface says

    So yeah, I don’t just expect Nintendo to drop Other M from continuity, I demand it. They don’t need that kind of absolute shit on their records. The Metroid series up to this point has been lucky with a lack of bad games (even Hunters wasn’t terrible, just average).

    Unfortunately, the ending cutscenes/artwork in a few of games that sexualize Samus still exist in many of them. The first three have Samus in a bikini (really not that bad, considering they’re 8 bit and then 16 bit… not enough detail to be titillating) and the last two Prime games featured that horrid Zero Suit Samus, along with Zero Mission and Fusion. Annoying. As. Hell.

  187. mythbri says

    @furiouslysleepy #211

    Ah – then I’m not sure where to point you. I found two items with a brief Google search about reinforcing stereotypes.

    http://www.kff.org/entmedia/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=14516

    http://www.agendasetting.com/newsletter/USA.pdf

    BUT I also had the germ of an idea, inspired by some of the links that popped up. As far as media creating stereotypes, why not look at propaganda material? Some of it was billed as entertainment, after all, and it either created or rigidly enforced racial stereotypes in the case of anti-Semitic propaganda in 1940s Germany, and also during the beginning of film history with Birth of a Nation. Looking at historical examples could be very helpful to demonstrate proof of concept.

  188. illithid says

    May you remain unemployed and miserable forever, and may no one come to your funeral.

    Never said I’m unemployed or miserable, but this is quite a reaction. I wouldn’t wish this fate on anybody — even somebody with a track record of real crime, not the imagined crime of hurting people’s feelings on the Internet.

  189. says

    Who is pushing them out? Teachers? The New World Order in their black helicopters? Give some concrete examples of teachers encouraging female students not to do science.

    Black helicopters, ha. Funny. Because the existence of patriarchy is as mysterious and un-evidenced as chem trails.

    In a new survey, 40 percent of women in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — report that they were discouraged from their career choices, typically in college and often by their professors.

    Is it work, being as stupid as you are? I mean, I’m positive it took me less time to find that study than it did for you to type out those stupid-ass sentences above.

  190. says

    Never said I’m unemployed or miserable, but this is quite a reaction. I wouldn’t wish this fate on anybody — even somebody with a track record of real crime, not the imagined crime of hurting people’s feelings on the Internet.

    You’ve got your crime wrong. Think about it.

  191. Rumtopf says

    Thank you for posting about this, PZ. I showed my support for Anita, as a fellow gamer c:

  192. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Illithid, you’ve shown yourself for what you really are plenty of times. A predatory misogynist whose only saving grace is that he fucking sucks ass at even that.

    Every single self-pitying post you make shows us all what an irredeemable shit you are. And make no mistake, it’s been shown time and again by people far smarter than you are that the bullshit you spew causes actual harm. Even if YOU’RE just a piece of shit whose incompetence makes him ‘harmless’, there’s probably a date rapist reading everything you say right now and thinking “Right On, Brother!” to himself. That’s you, Illithid. Brother-in-Arms to rapists and wife-beaters everywhere.

    Never said I’m unemployed or miserable,

    Bullshit, you say it in every other post you make. It’s called ‘reading between the lines’, idiot.

    May you die alone and unloved.

  193. illithid says

    @mythbri , #191:

    Since illithid has given no impression of a vague understanding of what privilege actually is, I would suggest that they go here.

    That’s called “question-begging”. I’ve already explained why I don’t buy it. If there’s an argument on the website that you find especially compelling, I’ll be glad to take a look at it.

  194. says

    Ing:

    ….and that the MULTIPLAYER affected the story in a big way to encourage/strong arm people into playing it if they wanted to do well in the story mode.

    Pfffft. I completely ignored all the multiplayer shit and I did just fine. From what I can tell, it was totally pointless.

    illie:

    Give some concrete examples of teachers encouraging female students not to do science.

    *snort!*

    This coming from someone who can’t back up a damned thing he says ever.

    But, I’ll be charitable (I won’t even be a total douche and google that for you): here’s a PDF that touches on the basics.

  195. says

    Illie:

    Never said I’m unemployed or miserable

    Really? You didn’t whine on and on a few days ago about how you’ve had two job interviews but you didn’t get the jobs because 1) you don’t like all this “soft skill” havin’ business and 2) you don’t have a degree in anything.

    Or am I confusing you with another asshole? It’s entirely possible.

  196. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    You’re not, Audley. It was the same asshole. I remember that endless privileged whine-festival very well.

  197. says

    :/ I just love it when people bad mouth sociology for using specific terms. Thanks, fellas. Remind me to diss your specialties a little.

    I also love it when people get angry because they have to learn teamwork, in addition to programming. Exactly what did you think was going to happen when you got hired? Planning on developing the entire OS/database/application yourself?

    Professional jobs in programming require you to deal with others, interact with previously existing code and coders, marry random bits of code which has been organizes according to someone else’s idea of order, etc. Then soft skills that were being complained are essential to getting hired and staying hired. Why should your employer have to humor your ass?

  198. Brownian says

    Illithid, don’t take too much guff from the people here.

    I, for one, am grateful for people like you.

    As long as you’re our competition, people like me don’t have to do much to get ahead in life.

    I don’t fault you for blaming everyone else for your failures either. Frankly, a good look in the mirror would be psychologically devasting for someone of your myriad deficits. Denial’s the only chance you have.

    How’s the job hunt going?

  199. says

    That’s called “question-begging”. I’ve already explained why I don’t buy it. If there’s an argument on the website that you find especially compelling, I’ll be glad to take a look at it.

    You have to demonstrate that you understand it, at least in its essential elements, before you can dismiss it. You haven’t done that.

    For instance, if you truly understood the concept, then, assuming that accepting it does indeed constitute begging the question, as you claim, then you should be able to explain which conclusion involved is actually an assumed premise.

    Okay… go!

  200. Brownian says

    I remember his little cry fest too.

    Then again, I recall that the sub-human formerly known as Hyperon was an unrepentant liar, too.

    Whatever, the point still stands. I’d look way less awesome if this man didn’t exist, and for that I’m grateful.

  201. says

    TLC:

    You’re not, Audley. It was the same asshole. I remember that endless privileged whine-festival very well.

    Thanks, Coyote. I didn’t think I had illie confused with someone else, but we’ve had a frustrating influx of complete fuckbuckets the past couple of days.

    *cough cough*Joey!*cough*

  202. mythbri says

    @illithid #228

    Awwwww – you missed me trying to get you to be intellectually honest. Admit it!

    You say that you “don’t buy it.” I think that in order to discard something, you should understand its premise. Nothing you’ve said in three threads (and the Real Scientists thread was a doozy) makes me believe that you actually understand what privilege is in the way that it’s being discussed here. Seriously. I don’t care if you agree with the concept or not. You don’t seem to understand it, and the “arguments” that you’re trying to make absolutely reflect that. I mentioned upthread that you’re embarrassing yourself with these “arguments”. I really mean that. If you don’t think that your understanding might be lacking (the second link in particular), nothing in those links will make any difference. I do think that they’re worth your time, though. I wouldn’t have linked to them at all if I didn’t think so.

    If nothing else, you should work to understand the concept of privilege so that you can argue cogently, because right now you’re just pathetic.

  203. John Morales says

    [meta]

    illithid:

    That’s called “question-begging”

    No, it ain’t.

    (Such ignorance!)

  204. says

    Brownian: I think you’re probably awesome without the comparison. I’ll be taking a ticket for the ghey sex queue, now. Do we have to bring our own assless chaps, or can we buy them there?

  205. Brownian says

    Mouthyb, you’ll have to talk to Promotions for that. I don’t sweat the small stuff.

  206. says

    Audley: Sorry, I got distracted by the thought of leather chaps and was redundant.

    Brownian: If there’s not a booth selling them, I might set one up selling fine leather and rubber goods. It’s bound to pay more than this teaching gig.

  207. illithid says

    I don’t fault you for blaming everyone else for your failures either. Frankly, a good look in the mirror would be psychologically devasting for someone of your myriad deficits. Denial’s the only chance you have.

    For somebody who claims to be so successful, you sure do trash-talk a lot! I wonder: why could that be? Why is it that you’re so angry, so prone to lash out? Why is your favourite hobby to try to inflict suffering? Could it be that you’re just a “manager” — one of the most notoriously bullshit non-professions in the economy? You’ll never be respected as a real man? A pep-talk here, a wisecrack there…you don’t really have to do much, do you? Kind of shallow and futile, your existence, isn’t it? And that’s the origin of these wells of hatred.

  208. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    For somebody who claims to be so successful, you sure do trash-talk a lot! I wonder: why could that be? Why is it that you’re so angry, so prone to lash out? Why is your favourite hobby to try to inflict suffering? Could it be that you’re just a “manager” — one of the most notoriously bullshit non-professions in the economy? You’ll never be respected as a real man? A pep-talk here, a wisecrack there…you don’t really have to do much, do you? Kind of shallow and futile, your existence, isn’t it? And that’s the origin of these wells of hatred.

    Projection. Also, Brownian’s crack is fucking killing me.

    You can tell he’s hitting close to the mark because it provoked this silly tirade.

    Hint: At least he’s, you know, EMPLOYED.

    Loser.

  209. says

    I was watching the Susskind lectures on physics quite recently. People attend just for fun — not as part of an accredited sheepskin that they think they are “expected” to work toward. Not a single woman in the audience. They simply don’t have much enthusiasm toward technical and impersonal fields, I’m afraid.

    Laura Bassi? Caroline Herschel? Rosalind Franklin? Maria Goeppert Mayer? Gail Gulledge Hanson? Lisa Randall? Jocelyn Bell Burnell? Mary Katherine Gaillard? Marie Curie? Those “theys”?

    I think you’ve made this thread sufficiently about you and your ignorance, Illithid, and it’s time for you to fuck off. You are henceforth confined to TZT. Posting anywhere else will get you banned for stupidity.

  210. says

    mouthyb:

    Audley: Oooooo! Mechandising ideas! :D

    Let’s see: chaps, jock-straps, bottles of water (it’s a long queue!)… all we need now is for Brownian to pose giving the thumbs up, so we can slap his purdy face all over ourthe product!

    illie:

    Could it be that you’re just a “manager” — one of the most notoriously bullshit non-professions in the economy?

    You know, idiot, if you don’t respect management to a certain degree, you’re never gonna get that job that you’re totally unqualified for.

    Assholes may get hired, but rest assured that those assholes have strong interview (soft) skills.

    You’ll never be respected as a real man?

    Awwwwe, now we’ve resorted to gendered slurs ‘cos we’ve got nothing else to contribute. Somebody’s widdle fee-fees got all hurt all over again. :(

    A pep-talk here, a wisecrack there…you don’t really have to do much, do you?

    Those damned “soft” skills strike again! Illie, don’t be jealous of Brownian’s wit and charm. It’s unbecoming.

  211. furiouslysleepy says

    @Ing #214

    You of course are aware of the intelligence test that blacks did poorly one when told ti was a test of intelligence, but did well at when told it was a sportsmanship test? Or you know the whole black/white doll preference studies?

    Yes, that first one is called stereotype threat, I believe. What I’m saying is that there’s a difference between “Having negative stereotypes about a group affects that group negatively” and “Casting groups purely as supporting characters in media creates/reinforces negative stereotypes about that group in society.” I mean, this is pretty universally accepted in sociology, so I’m sure there’s plenty of proof, but I’m just not familiar enough with the field to dig up actual papers.

    The reason I’m looking for papers is because it strikes me as interesting how exactly portrayal in media affects stereotypes. If every woman is shown as unnaturally hot and dressed for hotness, what is the actual outcome of that? Do men (and women) ‘learn’ what a hot woman looks like? Or is it at a cruder level, and people only ‘learn’ that as a woman your first priority is to be hot, because only then will anyone listen to you? Probably both. So then some studies should exist that show that men who looked at a lot of Renaissance paintings rated that body type as more attractive. Maybe I should be looking at psych and not sociology…

    @mythbri #221

    That’s a great idea! Propaganda is of course known to be effective, or no one would do it. And there’s been plenty of research in advertising, which is propaganda’s more innocuous-sounding cousin. Still, I feel like some straight-up studies must surely exist.

  212. illithid says

    Hint: At least he’s, you know, EMPLOYED.

    So am I, just not as gainfully as I’d like. But to someone of my Bohemian bent, it’s hardly a source of worry, all told. Read “The Conquest of Happiness” by Russell. He recommends a course of action of even going to the extent of eking by with life of the lowest means if it’s the only alternative to prostiuting yourself before a company whose work you don’t find important and which gives you no “inner satisfaction” whatsoever. That idea might be quite foreign to a mediocirty like Brownian who goes straight to comparing wallets.

    Anyway…my point has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, I think. If I were a girl finding difficulty getting full-time employment, how likely do you think it is that they’d resort to these dick-measuring tactics of trying make her feel inadequate?

  213. laurentweppe says

    In many respects, the Heresy era’s Emperor is a fictional embodiment of the straw atheist ideas of the creationists and assorted other godbots we sometimes run across here on Pharyngula

    The Heresy era’s Emperor is a fictional embodiment of the not-at-all-imaginary randoid atheists with a fucked up hypertrophied superiority complex we sometimes run across on the english speaking web

    Here, I corrected it for you.

    ***

    Indeed, Mass Effect has two examples of good QUILTBAG characters in ME3 from Lt. Cortez and Samantha Traynor, who are gay and lesbian respectively. *Nothing* is made of the fact that they are LGBT, they’re just people

    Appart from the fan-service.
    I mean, frankly, the whole “Oh, Commander, may I take a shower in your bathroom and keep the door open while you’re here and I’m throwing hints as heavy as anvils at you?”
    Granted, the galactic apocalypse as begun so there may not be enough time to do some old fashioned flirting, but come on, don’t pretend that the whole thing was not fanservice.

    ***

    I could sort of ‘get’ EDI being as ‘fembot’ as she was, but the faux high heels? Why?! Are the high heels what permits Eva to consistently outrun even a charging vanguard Shepard. Argh.

    Argh yes: I remember that part: “Why is charge not working here? Fucking scripted scenes >_<"

    ***

    Oh god. For reference this gets entirely insane in Other M where Samus has all her tools…but can only use them with the EXPRESS permission of General Lord Cockhaver Mcdouchenipples.

    The stated reasons are that Samus, being a bounty hunter/Mercenary is still bound to follow orders and regulations from the millitary as it is her main employer and that Adam is making the not-so-unreasonnable assumption that if he lets her go at full strength, she will tear the station appart (remember: Là où Samus passe, les planètes trépassent).
    Which would have been a perfectly valid ploint point if not ruined by the level design as you later state.

    Anyway, speaking of Metroid, one thing which annoys me is how they managed to have Samus going from being six feet three without here armor in Super Metroid to being obviously tinier than the male characters in recent games.
    What the fuck? Did someone thought that their consummer base would start feeling insecure if the female protagonist in one of their series was taller than most guys and decided that it was prudent to shrink her?

    ***

    Oh, and by the way: what is the TZT?

  214. vaiyt says

    o boy

    “I already gave the example of being able to marry to achieve financial security.”

    1) men have most of the wealth/power.

    2) men are encouraged to being sucessful on their own and provide for both spouses – which means women are encouraged to give up their ascension in exchange for a life of dependency.

    3) as if it were so easy. Rich bachelors on demand! What a wonderful world must Bizarro Earth be!

  215. says

    Audley: I’m pretty sure someone in another thread threatened to sell Scotch and/or tea in the queue. We should probably get someone with a hotdog stand.

    On topic: I live for the day when Melons McGee is not the default model for female video game characters. We (women) get the message from those characters, and so do the massive streams of teenage boys and men I run into on TF2, who insist on characterizing a win as reap/rpea/raep, and telling me what they want to do to me because I use a female surname.

  216. Pteryxx says

    furiouslysleepy:

    What I’m asking for is the evidence due to which sociologists believe that common tropes in media (any media) cause the consumers of that media to ‘internalize’ those tropes.

    That’s not going to be easy, because stereotypes are already enforced by adults on infants, and children show internalization of some stereotypes by first grade. “Girls are bad at math” shows up in first and second grade, for instance. It’s difficult to separate the effects of *media* from *culture* when the kids have almost no control over what media they consume at such a young age.

    I’d suggest starting with the black/white doll study mentioned above:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_and_Mamie_Clark#Doll_experiments

    Research is ongoing:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-05-18/us/doll.study.parents_1_white-children-black-parents-black-children?_s=PM:US

    And research that shows the stereotype of pink for girls is internalized as early as age two:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8752535/Girls-prefer-pink-from-age-two.html

    In teens and adults it’s hard to separate correlation from causation: those with sexist attitudes tend to be more comfortable with sexist media, so seek it out, which reinforces the sexist attitude and so forth. It’s easier to demonstrate the reverse effect: having just one media example of a character that breaks stereotype can reduce internalized stereotyping in the viewers. (I swear I’ve seen that shown in stereotype-threat research but I’m too darn tired to find it in my stash right now, sorry.)

  217. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    So am I, just not as gainfully as I’d like. But to someone of my Bohemian bent, it’s hardly a source of worry, all told. Read “The Conquest of Happiness” by Russell. He recommends a course of action of even going to the extent of eking by with life of the lowest means if it’s the only alternative to prostiuting yourself before a company whose work you don’t find important and which gives you no “inner satisfaction” whatsoever. That idea might be quite foreign to a mediocirty like Brownian who goes straight to comparing wallets.

    Anyway…my point has been proven beyond reasonable doubt, I think. If I were a girl finding difficulty getting full-time employment, how likely do you think it is that they’d resort to these dick-measuring tactics of trying make her feel inadequate?

    So long, Asshole! And remember… it’s not women’s fault that you’re a deadbeat sack of shit. It’s your fault for being a deadbeat sack of shit.

  218. says

    (I’m not trying to get illie banned or anything, oh no.)

    Illie:

    If I were a girl finding difficulty getting full-time employment, how likely do you think it is that they’d resort to these dick-measuring tactics of trying make her feel inadequate?

    1) Woman. We are (and have been) talking about adults, shitstain. Stop infantilizing women.

    2) Brownian didn’t mention his paycheck or what he does for a living at all. Dude, your insecurities are showing badly. So sad. :(

    3) Uh, yeah. putting aside the fact that you totally fabricated what Brownian said, women can be every bit as rude and cruel as men can.

    Do you think you’re only dealing with men here?

  219. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Oh, and if you’re such a ‘bohemian’ and it’s so much better for you to work for peanuts than ‘prostitute yourself’ (boy I hate how you use that term, you privileged little failure of humanity), then you have absolutely nothing to whine and cry about, do you?

    Oh wait…

  220. says

    It is weird that the woman working at the local GameStop convinced me to pre-order Lollipop Chainsaw like 45 minutes ago? It is all huge boobs in tiny outfits, and also zombies and chainsaws. Maybe it is less sexist if it is self-aware and sort of mocking?

  221. Brownian says

    For somebody who claims to be so successful, you sure do trash-talk a lot! I wonder: why could that be? Why is it that you’re so angry, so prone to lash out? Why is your favourite hobby to try to inflict suffering? Could it be that you’re just a “manager” — one of the most notoriously bullshit non-professions in the economy? You’ll never be respected as a real man? A pep-talk here, a wisecrack there…you don’t really have to do much, do you? Kind of shallow and futile, your existence, isn’t it? And that’s the origin of these wells of hatred.

    I think you just earned me another raise by being you. Thanks!

    (By the way, was that your best shot at psychological profiling? You really are at the far left of the curve with regards to people skills. I mean, that was a swing and a miss by a wide margin. I can see why you can’t get a leg up.

    Think along the lines of professional analytical work, like the kind you might like to do (though I get paid much more than the salary you were talking about). What’s really awesome is that I don’t even have the educational background for it. It’s just that the kinds of things people like you do aren’t that hard at all, even without training, and if you’re someone well-rounded with a host of other skills like me as well, you’re much more valuable to managers than a handful of, well, yous.

    But do keep fanning the air. Talk about being a ‘real man’ some more. I do love me a nice summer breeze.)

  222. Rip Steakface says

    Appart from the fan-service.
    I mean, frankly, the whole “Oh, Commander, may I take a shower in your bathroom and keep the door open while you’re here and I’m throwing hints as heavy as anvils at you?”
    Granted, the galactic apocalypse as begun so there may not be enough time to do some old fashioned flirting, but come on, don’t pretend that the whole thing was not fanservice.

    …I didn’t actually play the lesbian scenes, so I didn’t know about that particular bit of fanservice. I played a male Shepard who romanced Liara.

    Anyway, speaking of Metroid, one thing which annoys me is how they managed to have Samus going from being six feet three without here armor in Super Metroid to being obviously tinier than the male characters in recent games.

    Thanks for reminding me. That’s going to stew for the day now. Fuck, my cousin is a six foot three woman!

    The Heresy era’s Emperor is a fictional embodiment of the not-at-all-imaginary randoid atheists with a fucked up hypertrophied superiority complex we sometimes run across on the english speaking web

    …Hm. Yes, he is, except he’s far more statist (Randroids are corporatist – different concept, same result) and he’s way fucking better at arguing for atheism than most of those assholes. Reading The Last Church made me feel most excellent as the Emperor deconstructed that priest’s arguments. Almost like one of those apocryphal “Christian student lolpwns athiest profesorrr!!!11!” stories in reverse, except with good arguments.

  223. Jem says

    There’s another study which I’m sure everyone here would be interested in (if you don’t know it already), however I’d left my damn notes on it at uni and can’t find it online.

    Basically women performed worse in maths tests when they were given a form to fill in before the test with a question worded to ‘remind’ them of their sex. Without this reminder that they are female before the test their performance was significantly better.

    The study also tested mixing conflicted stereotypes by getting groups of asian women (women are discouraged from math, asians encouraged). They performed significantly better when reminded by the pre-test form that they are asian, and worse when they were reminded that they’re women.

  224. Amphiox says

    If I were a girl finding difficulty getting full-time employment, how likely do you think it is that they’d resort to these dick-measuring tactics of trying make her feel inadequate?

    Hilarious.

    Women have posted on Pharyngula similarly stupid things, re creationism and so forth, and have been treated with the exactly same sort of fierce response.

    Regulars have posted poorly thought-out things, and have been met with exactly the same sort of ferocious response. The fapwit was a direct and avid spectator to one such example, but seems to have drawn all the wrong lessons from the that.

    PZ’s own daughter has posted pro-life opinions on prior threads, and received just as fierce a response.

    (And more specifically, as opposed to just the generalities above, how typical that he automatically assumes that a reference to employment is a “dick-measuring” tactic, as if only males are entitled to derive self-worth from their jobs.)

  225. Brownian says

    If I were a girl finding difficulty getting full-time employment, how likely do you think it is that they’d resort to these dick-measuring tactics of trying make her feel inadequate?

    Are you kidding? With your talk of receptionists and how easy is it to marry a man for money, trying to make women feel inadequate is all you fucking do here, you repulsive piece of shit.

    Well, that and whine about what a piece of shit you are and how pieces of shit like you don’t get any respect.

  226. Brownian says

    Basically women performed worse in maths tests when they were given a form to fill in before the test with a question worded to ‘remind’ them of their sex. Without this reminder that they are female before the test their performance was significantly better.

    Jen, that tendency is called ‘stereotype threat’ and there are a few studies like that.

  227. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Who is being more oppressed by society?

    Sorry, evidence needed for any claim by someone like you….Where is your citation liar and bullshitter??? Nothing has changed from previously, no citation, you are lying and bullshitting….

  228. Brownian says

    That idea might be quite foreign to a mediocirty like Brownian who goes straight to comparing wallets.

    Jesus, you really do suck at this.

    But now that you’ve explained how much the abstract pleasures of life mean to you, I trust you’ll pop back into that other thread in which you complained about how little you could expect to make and admit you were just trying to score cheap points because youre a stupid, lazy, dishonest hack.

  229. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang,get back from visiting the Redhead, try to catch up, and reply to a post before PZ TZT’ed the fuckwits ass. Ignore #270, unless you want to get the idea of why it is stupid…

  230. mikee says

    illithid,

    I realise PZ has probably removed you by now but I think you are wrong in suggesting only women have the option to find a big strong man to look after them.
    Perhaps you could find a nice rich woman to look after you? After all all it would take is spending several hours making yourself look manly, and the rest of the day fawning over them to make sure they see your value – cooking and cleaning for them, hanging off their arm as a trophy, engaging in witty conversation etc.

    Or does that sound just a tad patronising? If so, then why do you think it is ok to recommend this to another person just because she is a woman?

    There are men and women who are happy to find a successful man or woman to look after them. I suspect there are very few people on this blog like that. Although there are a range of people from various backgrounds commenting on here, some vastly less privileged than others, one trait that seems very common here are independence and the desire to make their own way in the world and make it a better place. Your “advice” therefore is completely insulting, identifying women’s default position as a trophy to hang off a mans arm.
    Sexist does not even begin to describe that attitude!

  231. Jem says

    Jen, that tendency is called ‘stereotype threat’ and there are a few studies like that.

    Ah, yes, thank you.
    I only learned of it recently (blaming my young age) and thought it was worth a mention here.

  232. laurentweppe says

    …I didn’t actually play the lesbian scenes, so I didn’t know about that particular bit of fanservice. I played a male Shepard who romanced Liara

    You don’t have to play the lesbian scene: if your Shep is a woman, once Traynor come up to “play chess”, she starts trying to get into Shep’s shower and bed wether you like it or not.

    (It’s kinda like Liara who start crushing hard after Shepard even if you play it merelly polite toward her)

  233. says

    but no one would know that I choose to play videogames unless it came up in conversation.

    Well, obviously, everyone he knows that plays (or thinks is a real gamer) goes out of the house wearing an, “All you base Are belong to us!”, tshirt, so he really does think you can tell from what someone looks like. ;)

  234. says

    Jacks’s ME2 outfit is ridic in this sense, too.

    Well, seeing as I can keep what happens in life apart from a game, so don’t mind some of the fanservice so much… I find it both annoying, and amusing that your, “she really likes you”, optional costume for Jack seems to be, “Put some clothes on!” lol

  235. Rip Steakface says

    You don’t have to play the lesbian scene: if your Shep is a woman, once Traynor come up to “play chess”, she starts trying to get into Shep’s shower and bed wether you like it or not.

    Like I said, haven’t played a female in ME3. I’m running through the series as a female character over this summer break.

  236. ibyea says

    Man, Other M had to go ruin one of Nintendo’s three flagship franchise. None of those three series had particularly bad game in their entry until this one, and it turns out to be the one with female protagonist. The voice acting sucked, the story sucked, and Samus’ character was screwed over. Before this entry, her gender didn’t matter. Now it focused on some motherhood crap. And is it me, or did the relationship between Samus and Malkovich seem abusive?

  237. Alverant says

    Responding to illi isn’t going to change his mind or make him realize what a whiner he is. Yelling at him is an exercise in futility only serves to wind people even tighter. Unfortunately his attitude seems to be common in a lot of male gamers. Now we are trying to change that but as you can see we have a long way to go.

    I say ignore him. Don’t let him push your buttons. It may be the only way for him to learn that his attitude is unacceptable.

  238. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    Alverrant: You missed the part in TZT where Illithid had a tantrum at Brownian and posted this:

    Anyway, I really don’t want anything more to do with this blog. I thought a season “grand finale” would be apt. Naturally, you’re just a minor character. On the Illithid Show — oh look, I did a Brownian! Nah, you’re puffed up enough already, and I’m not going to play into your hands by coining that word.

    Of course, I believe he’ll stick this flounce like I believe in the love of jesus, but it sure was fun.

  239. Brownian says

    Ah, yes, thank you.
    I only learned of it recently (blaming my young age) and thought it was worth a mention here.

    Oh, it most definitely is worth bringing up, Jen.

    I apologise if that came across as a put-down. I just thought I’d share the term for it with you, in case you or others wanted to look into it more.

    I think it’s fascinating research.

    I say ignore him. Don’t let him push your buttons. It may be the only way for him to learn that his attitude is unacceptable.

    Alverant, as the aptly nymed The Laughing Coyote mentioned, I managed to push his buttons on TZT quite handily, though I really should give Illithid most of the credit.

    All those bullets in his feet are from his own guns.

  240. johnmarley says

    Wow. Having read illithid’s bloviations, and the progressively less patient replies, I have to agree with Audley. The only rational response to it is to point and laugh.

    Herp derp, illy!

  241. Amphiox says

    Ah, but Alverant, sometimes we want the trolls wound tighter. The things they say can be quite entertaining, and the discussions generated around what they say most illuminating. No one was trying to convince him of anything since that first thread he polluted.

  242. The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa) says

    I note, however, that illithid is gone, PZ has said ‘take it to TZT’, some people would like to get back on topic, and I’m not a videogamer.

    Shutting up….. now.

  243. Rip Steakface says

    Man, why did illithid have to disrupt our intellectual discussion about the evils of the factions in Fallout New Vegas? I liked comparing Caesar to Mussolini.

  244. says

    @Rip Steakface

    well like I said the real flaw with claims of Caeser’s “nobility” (or perhaps that’s too generous and we’ll go with “usefulness”) is that The Legion is held together by him and is all about him. There’s no plans for succession or transference of power. When Caeser dies that “order” is presumably going to disappear into infighting.

  245. Moggie says

    mouthyb:

    I also love it when people get angry because they have to learn teamwork, in addition to programming. Exactly what did you think was going to happen when you got hired? Planning on developing the entire OS/database/application yourself?

    The purely technical side of programming is easily self taught, and yet it still has intellectual cachet, so you get a lot of amateur programmers convinced of their own genius. Companies should jump at the chance to have the benefit of their undocumented, near-unmaintainable output, you know? I used to be one of those myself, until college taught me the importance of being able to work with others. At the moment, I’m modifying code written by an ex-colleague who never learned that lesson, and it’s a painful slog.

    Improbable Joe:

    It is weird that the woman working at the local GameStop convinced me to pre-order Lollipop Chainsaw like 45 minutes ago?

    Dude. If someone suggested I’d like a game with “loli” in the title, I’d worry about why.

  246. 'Tis Himself says

    Ing,

    I know next to nothing about Fallout 3. However I do know one thing, Caesar is not spelled with an “e” as the penultimate letter.

  247. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Himself, Ing does pretty well at not showing it, but is not physically wired for consistent spelling.

    (Unless it changes the sense of something, quibbling about it is kinda at best pointless and at worst mean)

  248. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Also xe isn’t talking about Fallout 3, xe’s talking about Fallout: New Vegas. :) (Which I haven’t played, unlike 3, and therefore can’t say anything intelligent about. But I did think at first that xe was talking about Roman history, which made me super confused!)

  249. gravityisjustatheory says

    Audley Z Darkheart (liar and scoundrel)

    Not only that, but Tali (at least) is supposed to be really young– like not yet considered to be an adult by her people in the first game– which just adds to the creep factor.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve played the game, but isn’t the reason Tali is considered “not a adult” because in her culture, you don’t become an adult until you’ve completed your rite of passage (the Pilgrimage).

    She’s clearly physically and emotionally mature enough to leave her society and go on a solo quest to find something to aid her people.

    And it’s not as if she is presented as looking under age. In human terms, her body is adult, and her face is – well, I don’t know, but judging by her feet, I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually looked like this: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/001/384/Atrapitis.gif

  250. dvizard says

    That video games are sexist, is blatantly obvious since Lara Croft appeared in the videogame world. (And so are many Hollywood action movies, by the way… I would argue that even romantic comedies are maybe not sexist in an insulting way, but tend to enforce traditional role models at least.)

    The real point is that the customer makes the games. Developers will produce what they expect the customers to buy, and the customers are mainly young adolescent men. Young men are interested in fast cars, big guns and sexy girls, and that’s what’s gonna sell best.

  251. Moggie says

    The real point is that the customer makes the games. Developers will produce what they expect the customers to buy, and the customers are mainly young adolescent men. Young men are interested in fast cars, big guns and sexy girls, and that’s what’s gonna sell best.

    From a 2012 Entertainment Software Association article about player demographics:

    * The average player age is 30.

    * Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%), and are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics.

    * Of the most frequent game purchasers, 52% are male and 48% are female.

  252. Le Havre en Chêne says

    Audley:

    Same goes for Hawke in DA2

    Yeah the supporting character thing in DA2 really pissed me off as well. Even the female character (Aveline) who is the least representative of a stereotype is portrayed later in the game as unable to cope without a strong man in her life. Not impressed.

    DA: Origins got it right though, on the whole, especially some of the in-party chats about sexism and the role of women. That was a nice touch.

  253. laurentweppe says

    Even the female character (Aveline) who is the least representative of a stereotype is portrayed later in the game as unable to cope without a strong man in her life.

    She perfectly capable to cope without a man: her marrying Donnic is optional: you can pretty much keep her single.

  254. Drolfe says

    And here’s a jumping off point where Mass Effect again “gets it right”. When we’re finally introduced to Krogan females they aren’t depicted with with industry-standard dysfunctional/inexplicable dimorphism as seen in e.g. Blizzard titles.

  255. carlie says

    Maybe it is less sexist if it is self-aware and sort of mocking?

    Sadly, no. When it really reinforces the same sexism, it doesn’t even matter if they meant to be mocking of sexism, it still has the same negative result.

  256. furiouslysleepy says

    @Pteryxx #258

    The doll study is actually exactly why I’m looking for this evidence. The only clear implications of that study are that you don’t need to explicitly tell kids that black people are inferior in order of them to be racist. A number of other things could happen:

    1. The could pick up indirect cues from their parents — see how their parents (and society) treat black people with just that little extra edge of wariness or condescension — and internalize that. Children pick up a lot of social attitudes this way, so it wouldn’t be surprising. (I know that mother was horrified, but unconscious racism is a thing.)

    2. They pick it up from their peer group, rather than their parents.

    3. It’s a cognitive bias of the human brain — if you grow up with mostly white people and everyone you know and admire is while, you tend to mistrust black people because you outgroup them.

    4. They pick it up from the media, because children at 5 have already been exposed to a lot of media, of course.

    In reality it’s probably a combination of all these factors. The fact that black children see white children as a little bit superior rules out (3) accounting for the full effect, but it probably still has some effect.

    There’s of course tons of research in this general area, and a lot of it is extremely interesting. I realize it is hard to isolate, but I would still be surprised if the effect of media specifically has not been studied using experimental psych tools.

    In the meantime, here’s a survey of stereotype threat reduction: http://reducingstereotypethreat.org/reduce.html. Pretty interesting, and it seems to be easier to beat than I would have imagined, actually.

  257. says

    Even the female character (Aveline) who is the least representative of a stereotype is portrayed later in the game as unable to cope without a strong man in her life. Not impressed.

    ??

    She was plenty able to cope– she had problems with her love life and that was pretty much about it. She was a widow and unsure of courtship, which I feel actually worked. When it came to being in charge and kicking ass, she was just fine.

  258. says

    Somewhat more on-topic…does anyone remember Final Fantasy 6, or 3 as it was called when released here? This was one of my first games, and both the lead characters are women. Strong ones, too, able to use almost all the heavy weapons and armor, and the only natural magic users in the game, barring Genjuu infusion. Yes, Celes did get a bit soppy in the endgame, but still.

    ahh, yes indeed. too bad the FF series is so inconsistent regarding sexism. Some games have some awful shit in them (like the rapey pimp from ff7), some are great.

    I really enjoy how gender is a non-issue in fallout games (elder scrolls too), and also want to point out how lovely silent hill was back in the day. especially SH3, that was amazing (and the logical conclusion to the series, I don’t know why they kept making them after that).

    I have started replaying old games so I don’t know much about whats coming out next or recent titles other than skyrim. I felt like a tool for ditching cable television but still paying into another part of the media industry. I don’t really feel like I am missing anything. video games are something that no one really needs, or ever really needs.

  259. coyotenose says

    patrick jlandis @ #9,

    You know who ELSE is Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost?

  260. says

    skeptifem:

    … also want to point out how lovely silent hill was back in the day.

    Well, the first did hinge on the worn out “dad saves his daughter” trope*, but I did adore Cybil. I feel like she wasn’t in it nearly enough.

    *Depending on the ending, I suppose.

  261. anotheratheist says

    Typical feminist/left-wing ideology and logic. Instead of producing sexism-free video games they rather make videos complaining about the sexism in video games. Because you know the evil capitalists will forgo billions of dollars in profit just to reinforce sexist stereotypes.

  262. says

    You’re saying that game developers must reinforce sexist stereotypes in order to make the kind of money they do now? That not as many people will buy and play games if they’re not sexist?

    Goddamn, I’m glad I don’t believe that.

  263. vaiyt says

    Japanese game companies in general have a bad track record with sexism and racist stereotypes.

    Someone earlier in the thread mentioned Samus. IMO, the worst depiction of Samus is the one in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where she becomes a pin-up model when she loses her armor.

    Even her presentation image in the SSBB official site is a classic comic T&A thrust.
    1.bp.blogspot.com/_1I7KiCuAU4k/STwwIq1k5cI/AAAAAAAADt0/-qXxH3iomCw/s400/smash_bros_brawl_samus_zero_suit_samus.jpg

  264. says

    Because you know the evil capitalists will forgo billions of dollars in profit just to reinforce sexist stereotypes.

    Yeah, forget all of those puzzle games and whatnot that have become popular over the past few years– we must have T&A to sell games!

    I’d bet dollars-to-donuts that game companies could actually get more people to play if they focused on gameplay and character development instead of fan service. But what to I know? I’m just one of the fuzzy pink lady brained feminists who would rather whine than actually do something.

  265. Amphiox says

    Somewhat more on-topic…does anyone remember Final Fantasy 6, or 3 as it was called when released here? This was one of my first games, and both the lead characters are women. Strong ones, too, able to use almost all the heavy weapons and armor, and the only natural magic users in the game, barring Genjuu infusion. Yes, Celes did get a bit soppy in the endgame, but still.

    Yes. FF6 is one of my favorite games, and that is one of the reasons (though not the main one, which is that the game, in all aspects of presentation, story, gameplay and execution, was simply awesome*).

    Even here, though, we have Terra ending up only being able to find emotional fulfilment in surrogate motherhood, and Relm haveing aspects of the manic-pixie-dream-girl stereotype, in addition to what you describe with Celes in the latter half of the game. (Which is also the part of the game where the focus shifts to her and she becomes the lead).

    *everything except the godawful programming of the game code, replete with the weirdest imaginable bugs, some of which were utterly game-breaking, but that’s not something a casual gamer will ever notice.

    Some of the older RPGs are relatively good with this. I think part of the reason is that the older sprite technology really didn’t make all that easy to sexualize anything from a visual perspective.

    Other examples:

    Phantasy Star I and IV had Alis and Alys respectively.
    Chrono Trigger had Ayla and Lucca (YMMV on Marle).
    Final Fantasy V had Lenna, Faris, and Krile.
    Tales of Symphonia had Raine (though Sheena and Colette were both fanservice in different ways).

    On the other hand FFIV, though otherwise an excellent game, was utterly awful on this front.

  266. Amphiox says

    Typical feminist/left-wing ideology and logic. Instead of producing sexism-free video games they rather make videos complaining about the sexism in video games.

    Ah, so Sarkeesian isn’t entitled to exercise her first amendment rights and speak her mind unless she’s a game programmer? And even in that case, she is ONLY entitled to express herself through the medium of a videogame and not in any other fashion?

    I suppose then, instead of doing what she did, Rosa Parks should have become a bus driver? And instead of protesting and letter writing campaigns, the suffragettes should have staged a coup, declared themselves dictators, and then gave women the vote by fiat?

    Your transparent attempt to silence is noted, anothermisogynist.

    Here’s your courtesy porcupine.

  267. vaiyt says

    My Chrono Trigger team of choice is always Crono, Ayla and someone else. Ayla is fucking awesome, and Falcon Strike is the best tech in the game.

  268. anotheratheist says

    Amphiox by all means please keep talking. The more you talk the more you expose your dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy.

  269. Moggie says

    Amphiox:

    Ah, so Sarkeesian isn’t entitled to exercise her first amendment rights and speak her mind unless she’s a game programmer? And even in that case, she is ONLY entitled to express herself through the medium of a videogame and not in any other fashion?

    Yes, that’s how it works. Presumably anothermanchild is the scourge of movie reviewers, because the only legitimate way to critique Prometheus is to spend $120m remaking it.

  270. w00dview says

    Amphiox by all means please keep talking. The more you talk the more you expose your dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy.

    Woah, well done there. You completely refuted the central tenet of Amphiox’s argument. We might as well just stop discussing sexism in videogames now, cause anotheratheist has all this shit figured out! THREAD OVER.

  271. Drolfe says

    When you consider it, it’s pretty impressive that #306 didn’t contain the words moocher or looter as you would expect from an “argument” of this sort. Not that ‘Another’ is a Randroid, merely sounding like one.

  272. laurentweppe says

    does anyone remember Final Fantasy 6, or 3 as it was called when released here? This was one of my first games, and both the lead characters are women. Strong ones, too

    Terra was a psychological wreck.
    Sure, she was pretty much a walking, breathing, nuclear arsenal, who could take on the last boss by herself, but in term of personality, she’s a nevrotic, submissive, meek, unassartive girl who spend two third of the game causing more than fixing trouble.
    *
    It’s not necessary a bad thing in terms of plot: many games made by Sakaguchi (the older FFs, Lost Odyssey more recently) often play with the idea that the protagonist does not need to become stronger, but need to deal with his/her inner demons before being able to face whatever evil overlord/outworldly demon serves as the main villain.

  273. Rey Fox says

    The more you talk the more you expose your dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy.

    Aww look, it knows some big words and can even put them in the right order!

  274. says

    Moggie: I’ve been taking programming classes and the final assignment this last semester was to take a bunch of previously existing code (from a freeware game) and figure out how to improve both the code and the art. I chose to make Frankencode from several sources for a particular set of animations.

    It gave me a great deal of appreciation for team work (I had to figure out how three people had reasoned through code to marry up those segments.)

    It’s amazing to me how many ‘lone wolves’ there are in my classes.

  275. anotheratheist says

    I don’t have everything figured out but here is some food for thought. When I go to the newsstand half of the space is occupied by magazines specifically aimed at women. Nearly all of these magazines promote sexist stereotypes some to a horrific extend. (Fun fact: a lot of the editors-in-chief of these magazines are women.) Yet I don’t see any woman raising money to make videos about the sexism in these magazines. Curious isn’t it?

  276. says

    There is this thing called google. If you used it, you would discover that many women have long been protesting the sexist stereotypes in those magazines.

  277. Drolfe says

    many women have long been protesting the sexist stereotypes in those magazines

    WUT?! Unpossible! (Argument from ignorance, the prelude to argument from incredulity!)

  278. says

    When I go to the newsstand half of the space is occupied by magazines specifically aimed at women. Nearly all of these magazines promote sexist stereotypes some to a horrific extend. (Fun fact: a lot of the editors-in-chief of these magazines are women.)

    Umm, yeah. That’s because women’s magazines for the most part make money off of encouraging women to feel insecure– about their bodies, about their wardrobes, about their choices in boyfriends/pets/home adornment/cooking, etc.– and an excellent way to do that is by telling them they don’t live up to sexist stereotypes. A lot of women do protest that, but mostly they just stop buying it and silently pine for the days of Sassy magazine.

    And yeah, a lot of the editors-in-chief are women. Women are not immune to the desire to make money off the insecurities of other women.

  279. says

    Yet I don’t see any woman raising money to make videos about the sexism in these magazines. Curious isn’t it?

    Wait, now suddenly making videos is a legitimate form of protest? Judging by your comment at #306, I would think the only way to protest sexist magazines would be to become a magazine publisher.
    Did you change your mind in the span of 2 1/2 hours, or is that just how bad your memory is?

  280. RFW says

    @ 253 FuriouslySleepy says:

    If every woman is shown as unnaturally hot and dressed for hotness, what is the actual outcome of that?

    The outcome is varied. Ugly but realistic-minded people find loving mates and live happily ever happy. The weak-minded have conniptions because they aren’t shaped like the photoshopped beauties in the media, and go to extraordinary lengths before lapsing into a cesspool of despair and sorrow.

    Incidentally, the cult of unrealistic beauty isn’t confined to women these days. The David Beckhams of the world have a lot to answer for. Little do the suckers realize that the magnificent six packs some men sport in the media owe their definition to the deft application of eye shadow. Other anatomical deficiencies are easily compensated with a rolled up pair of socks strategically positioned. [Which reminds me of a B. Kliban cartoon, an ad touting BigBalls™ to improve one’s seaside appearance.]

    Such aberrations used to be confined to the shallower end of the gay community, but seem to have gone mainstream in recent years.

  281. Amphiox says

    Yet I don’t see any woman raising money to make videos about the sexism in these magazines. Curious isn’t it?

    It’s easy not to see when one doesn’t bother to make the effort to look.

  282. Amphiox says

    The more you talk the more you expose your dishonesty and intellectual bankruptcy.

    How cute. The troll is practicing cargo-cult identification of intellectual dishonesty and bankruptcy. Imitating the words that others use with no understanding of their meaning.

    Yes, troll, do keep talking.

    You are quite amusing.

  283. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    Instead of producing sexism-free video games they rather make videos complaining about the sexism in video games. Because you know the evil capitalists will forgo billions of dollars in profit just to reinforce sexist stereotypes.

    You know, I think it’s even slightly stupider than usual that there’s no role for the consumer in your dumbass argument. You know what I do to help out while I complain about the sexism in video games? I don’t buy shitty sexist video games. (I also buy non-shitty-sexist-video-games, which helps too but is contingent on me having money.) There ya go.

    The weak-minded have conniptions because they aren’t shaped like the photoshopped beauties in the media, and go to extraordinary lengths before lapsing into a cesspool of despair and sorrow.

    Yay! Victim-blaming! It’s totally weak-minded to take the messages your culture sends seriously! Also to have psychological disorders! Y’all could be just like me, if you’d just toughen up, stop having conniptions, and belieeeeeve in yourself!

  284. Amphiox says

    Terra was a psychological wreck.
    Sure, she was pretty much a walking, breathing, nuclear arsenal, who could take on the last boss by herself, but in term of personality, she’s a nevrotic, submissive, meek, unassartive girl who spend two third of the game causing more than fixing trouble.

    This is true.

    But in that same game, so was Locke. So was Sabin. So was Shadow. So was Cyan. (And Celes became one for a while)

    It was equal opportunity psychological wreckage.

    All of them got better by the latter third of the game. Complex character growth in a video game, who’d have thunk it?

    And in the next FF game, so was Cloud.

    You don’t really get FF games after FF5 where all the main characters aren’t, or become, psychological wrecks of one kind or another.

  285. Amphiox says

    Yet I don’t see any woman raising money to make videos about the sexism in these magazines. Curious isn’t it?

    Wait, now suddenly making videos is a legitimate form of protest? Judging by your comment at #306, I would think the only way to protest sexist magazines would be to become a magazine publisher.
    Did you change your mind in the span of 2 1/2 hours, or is that just how bad your memory is?

    See now, THIS is an example of intellectual dishonesty, those words that anothermisogynist uses but doesn’t understand the meaning thereof.

    I would imagine that hypocrisy is also a word the meaning of which anothermisogynist doesn’t comprehend.

  286. Amphiox says

    And yeah, a lot of the editors-in-chief are women. Women are not immune to the desire to make money off the insecurities of other women.

    In societies stratified by privilege, individual members of underprivileged classes can and do accrue benefit to themselves by pandering to the privilege of the dominant classes, and exploiting the lack of privilege of other members of their own class.

    The incentives to do so can be very powerful. Not every individual is willing to be a martyr for their class, nor even identifies with their class. Nor should every individual be expected to.

    In fact, in most societies stratified by privilege, the ruling classes set this up deliberately. Keep the underclasses divided amongst themselves, so they’ll not unite and threaten the privileges of their rulers.

  287. Amphiox says

    but in term of personality, she’s a nevrotic, submissive, meek, unassartive girl who spend two third of the game causing more than fixing trouble

    In the backstory, Terra was enslaved like a puppet with some of the applied phlebotinum of the setting for the first two decades of her life and turned into a living weapon.

    The first scene of hers where she acts neurotic, submissive, meek, and unassertive occurs immediately after the slave crown is removed for the first time. It is literally the first time in her entire life that she has been allowed to have an independent thought of her own.

    Not necessarily any counterpoint to the thread topic (story-wise, someone made the decision for the character to have this backstory to be female), but it is internally consistent with the game’s story.

    But one could, in fact, quite legitimately, interpret Terra’s character arc in FF6 as a metaphor for a woman’s journey from enslavement to self-empowerment (though there’s still that finding emotional worth and purpose in surrogate motherhood thing at the end).

  288. anotheratheist says

    Coming back to the magazines: Yes you see feminists producing magazines for women. It’s a tiny niche market. I wonder why.

    Just out of curiosity I googled the feminist pro porn manifesto:

    http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2010/05/our-porn-our-selves-and-the-sex-positive-pro-porn-campaign.html

    So essentially if a woman decides to become a stripper that is her choice and we should not judge her for doing that. But if she decides to design a video game that caters to the same sexist stereotypes that’s not okay. Or is it still okay because she is a woman and not a man?

    WE who want a world in which pornography is simply a sex toy enjoyed [], without being considered sick, twisted, wrong or mentally ill.

    Why exactly does this only apply to pornography and not to video games?

  289. vaiyt says

    I don’t know. Terra is not the token chick and her ending is not portrayed as an ideal.

    Also, remember that the character seeking fulfillment in romance is a man, and when Celes is in need to be rescued, she just shanks her captor with a knife. XD

  290. Just_A_Lurker says

    Well, I’m late to this as usual. Thank you TLC and others to smacking down ill-wit’s bullshit. It was bad enough on the last thread dealing with him.
    ——

    I don’t have much to add, just that I’m a female gamer and I much appreciate this effort. All efforts and conversations about this topic help. There are so many games that I want to like but just have to give up on due to the sexism. There are games I straight out refuse to deal with because of sexism. Same issue with comics.

    The game I’ve been playing lately is League of Legends. It’s a F2P game. The company, Riot, claims that they can in fact change the toxic shit their players do in game, unlike other game companies. So they have certain rules and a Tribunal in place. People can get reported and banned for saying slurs and things like “I just raped you!”. However, it’s slow going. There are so many assholes in the games, it’s draining. Much of the community doesn’t care about these things and is toxic so having a player voting system on bad behavior isn’t working quite well. There’s also the issue that it takes a lot to get to the Tribunal (lots and lots of reports) and how slow it’s turn around is.

    Riot has said they would be stricter in punishments than the player base currently is and I really wish they would just take it over. I’d love it if Riot had people banning toxic players instead of relying on the racist, sexist assholes in the community to do it for them.

    There’s hope but mine isn’t that high yet. Too much shit rolling down yet. But it’s awesome to see the push back and be apart of it.

    Fun Fact: A Rioter, IronStylus, actually tweeted this video to help raise money for it. IronStylus has had some great comments on the sexism issue on the Forums. Not perfect, of course, with a few towing the line defensive comments but overall he’s helpful and gets it.

    There are some great characters in League of Legends but often the women are treated poorly. Janna, a support wind mage particularly. I’d love to play her but can’t stand her. Her joke is about the 1 800 sex lines and is actually a come on. They had to fix one of her skins (i.e. you pay money to unlock a different look for characters) that literally showed everything but her nipples and pubic hair. It was the previous version of the Tempest Janna. There’s also Nidalee, an awesome badass like a women George of the Jungle but of course she’s mostly naked and does a stripper pole dance.

  291. says

    So essentially if a woman decides to become a stripper that is her choice and we should not judge her for doing that. But if she decides to design a video game that caters to the same sexist stereotypes that’s not okay. Or is it still okay because she is a woman and not a man?

    Bigotry = the perpetuation of (usually unflattering) stereotypes about a group which do not necessarily apply to individual members of that group

    Sexism = bigotry as it applies to the sexes

    Any choices individual women make about how to behave and look = choices individual women make for themselves

    Hope that clears things up for you. If you still can’t tell the difference between an individual choice and the perpetuation of a stereotype, I can’t help you.

  292. Amphiox says

    Why exactly does this only apply to pornography and not to video games?

    It does not. Both should be held to the same standard. Healthy sexuality, whether female or male, portrayed in either medium do not warrant criticism.

    Misogynistic and exploitative portrayals of women in either medium do.

    AND NO ONE HERE HAS SAID ANYTHING ELSE.

    So what the hell is your point, anothermisogynist?

  293. Anri says

    So essentially if a woman decides to become a stripper that is her choice and we should not judge her for doing that. But if she decides to design a video game that caters to the same sexist stereotypes that’s not okay. Or is it still okay because she is a woman and not a man?

    If you’re having trouble telling the difference between costuming and actions suited to being a stripper as opposed to ones suited to (for example) being a high-powered martial artist, or a knight or samurai, or a wild-west gun-toting sheriff, or a modern combat mercenary, or a AI-based space explorer then you’re probably not really perceptive enough to add anything positive to the conversation.
    There is no good reason for a female character to be a stripper other than the fact that she’s a stripper. If you think there isn’t some sort of imbalance here, make a quick count of all of the male main characters in video games who are strippers in addition to whatever else they do as heroes (or villains). Really, go ahead, count ‘em, we’ll wait.

    There’s nothing wrong with being a stripper. There’s plenty wrong being dressed up like one, and scripted to act like one, while the people doing the dressing and scripting insist they didn’t mean you to be one. There’s also a problem with the assumption that a majority of female characters are strippers, and that’s why they dress and act that way.

    People who aren’t actively trying to avoid understanding this don’t really have trouble doing so.

  294. Cipher, OM, Fighting Fucktoy says

    If you still can’t tell the difference between an individual choice and the perpetuation of a stereotype, I can’t help you.

    I think anotherasshole is beyond all help.

  295. Amphiox says

    So essentially if a woman decides to become a stripper that is her choice and we should not judge her for doing that. But if she decides to design a video game that caters to the same sexist stereotypes that’s not okay. Or is it still okay because she is a woman and not a man?

    And therein is revealed yet another example of anothermisogynist’s hypocritical intellectually bankrupt dishonesty. The automatic and false equating of a woman choosing to be a stripper with “sexist stereotypes”.

    Because we all know there is only ONE way to strip. And only ONE way to portray sexuality in video games.

    And of course, like all similar misogynists, it also tries the intellectually dishonest trick of diverting attention from the actual substance of the issue at hand and wank on the distinction of the gender of the person actually doing it, which has no relevance in any way to the point the rest of us are making.

    Anothermisogynist is apparently the type of person who would hold an apple in one hand, an orange in the other, and declare he had two bananas.

  296. Amphigorey says

    Oh for fuck’s sake. anotheratheist, go read Jean Kilbourne’s Can’t Buy My Love and don’t come back until you’re finished.

    Seriously. You think you’re raising hard questions, but they’ve all been thoroughly addressed elsewhere. Coming here and pretending that you’re some kind of iconoclast just makes you look dumb.

  297. anotheratheist says

    @ Gretchen

    No, I can’t. Just because you perpetuate a stereotype on a smaller scale does not mean you don’t perpetuate a stereotype at all.

  298. Just_A_Lurker says

    So essentially if a woman decides to become a stripper that is her choice and we should not judge her for doing that. But if she decides to design a video game that caters to the same sexist stereotypes that’s not okay.

    There is a goddamn difference you moron. The decision to become a stripper is personal and effects only her. It is also, often, influenced by outside sexist factors like society. So the way to deal with it is not to judge and dismiss the woman who has to deal with sexism due to her job choice, no matter the job, but to fight against the sexism. If that woman is or becomes a “chill girl” she will be called out on supporting sexism but no blame or shame is going to be given to her bases on her job choice. She’d be called out on her beliefs only in hopes of getting her to “take the red pill” and see sexism for what it is. There wouldn’t be pressure to make her change her job choice because that’s her fucking choice. Feminism and fighting sexism isn’t helped by taking away a woman’s right to choice and make her own decisions. Here at least.

    The video game is different because that is a product that both sexes enjoy as a past time. The sexist portrayal of strippers in it would generally be handled badly and would only serve to promote or keep the status quo of sexism. Which as a feminist I would protest against. Just like I do when such portayals happen in books, movies etc.

    There isn’t anything inherently wrong with being a stripper. It’s the sexist fucking society that causes issues with it. There are issues of women being forced into such a job due to not having other options and the fact that society has a horrible stigma and stereotype attached to women strippers. If having a stripper in game was handled correctly and you know treated the stripper as a person instead of just fan service and a fuck toy I wouldn’t necessarily be against it. There are other issues with the sexist message about body types/image sent to and enforced to women but that’s a separate issue in this.

    WE who want a world in which pornography is simply a sex toy enjoyed [], without being considered sick, twisted, wrong or mentally ill.

    Why exactly does this only apply to pornography and not to video games?

    1.) Video games, in general, are not used to stimulate, titillate or enhance sexual pleasure or acts in any way shape or form unlike sex toys. Video games are used as a hobby or past time by both men and women, yet it uses sexist bullshit that puts off, and frustrates gamers (of both sexes, yet mainly women). Porn has a similar issue with the denigration and objectification of women. In both cases, bullshit such as “mainly men watch it/play it” are given as a reason for such use of women as flesh and blood sex toys. Yet there are studies that show women and men disagree and dislike this portrayal. Even if this was true, that only men watch it/play it, it’s still fucking wrong for being sexist and degrading. Not to mention the issue with the base assumption that all men want this kind of portrayal of women and that it’s “only natural”.

    2.) No one here is fucking saying people are sick, twisted, wrong or mentally ill for playing video games. No one here is saying video games are inherently sick, twisted, or wrong. Porn has had that issue due to religious policing of sexual lives and fantasies. Feminists often call mainstream porn some of these things due to the issues with treatment and stigma of porn actors/actresses, and the fact that it promotes/portrays such shitting treatment of women. There are other issues here and is contentious.

    3.) Video games, unlike porn, doesn’t need to include sex or nudity. Women do not need to be naked or sexy for it to be a video game. The fact that it’s the women characters only that are treated this way is also a problem. It’s not an inherent factor for video games. Video games are about enjoyment of the story/location/system/characters. Video games don’t have to include such things but when it does, it should get them right. Instead of accepting the status quo and continuing with the sexist portrayal of women in it. It vastly decreases the enjoyment for many games and it just plain unacceptable.

    Sexism in general is unacceptable which is why such portrayals in video games, comics, book covers, magazines, movies etc is discussed and pushed back against.

  299. laurentweppe says

    In the backstory, Terra was enslaved like a puppet with some of the applied phlebotinum of the setting etc etc etc

    I never said that there was no good, internally consistent reasons for her being a osychological wreck. But since she was for over 70% of the game a psychological wreck, I have trouble calling her a strong character.

    (though there’s still that finding emotional worth and purpose in surrogate motherhood thing at the end)

    I have less problem with that part: even her teammates -who do treat her with more respect than the story villains- value her first and foremost for her enormous power: taking care of the kids is pretty much the first time in her entire life when people need her to do something else than blowing people up on the battlefield, so her growing more attached to the kids than Locke & co made sense to me.

  300. says

    Just because you perpetuate a stereotype on a smaller scale does not mean you don’t perpetuate a stereotype at all.

    Bull. Shit. The error of a stereotype is insisting that a perception of a group must apply to individuals, whether it accurately applies to them or not. An individual by him or herself choosing how to behave and look on his/her own cannot justify a stereotype. You do not get to foist the blame for sloppy thinking about a group on members of that group.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with being a stripper. What’s wrong is extrapolating from that to think that all women are good for being is being strippers, and/or encouraging others to extrapolate similarly. See how that works?

    No? I didn’t think so, but I’m done re-explaining it.

  301. Just_A_Lurker says

    Well, shit. Just read what Amphiox said. They said what I wanted to say much better.

    @ Gretchen

    No, I can’t. Just because you perpetuate a stereotype on a smaller scale does not mean you don’t perpetuate a stereotype at all.

    OMFG. How dense are you?
    What exactly do you think stereotype means? Do you think a black person shouldn’t eat watermelon or fried chicken because of the stupid stereotype? Is that your solution to oppression, to take away oppressed people’s choices? Do you not see how fucked up that is? You’re putting the blame and responsibility on those people that are being stereotyped and oppressed. YOU ARE NOT HELPING!

  302. says

    Sigh/ Another atheist’s flaw is insisting that one form of protest and ONLY one are valid. If some people make their own porn or do their own writing than everyone must make their own game. Ignoring that people are also bitching about porn and writing and insisting that everyone do one thing.

    So yeah, no sense in bothering addressing someone who is either moronic beyond reason or is playing dishonest games.

  303. says

    There is no good reason for a female character to be a stripper other than the fact that she’s a stripper. If you think there isn’t some sort of imbalance here, make a quick count of all of the male main characters in video games who are strippers in addition to whatever else they do as heroes (or villains). Really, go ahead, count ‘em, we’ll wait.

    Umm.. No, I agree that there are a billion ways to do this badly, and almost no ways to do it well, but its hardly an impossibility. Its not like you don’t find people all the time in the real world getting in trouble in some high end professional job, because their boss found out they did something “unsavory” as a side job, be it a doctor stripping on the weekends, or a baker doing home porn, etc.

    The problem with most games, movies, or just about anything else of the sort, is you have to compress everything down to a small time frame. This is either a decision based on how long the game is, how many cut scenes, and bits of information you can cram in, or even deadlines (especially if its some big company, and your have been advertising the thing already). Whole projects exist, in some cases, to try to “recover” vast swaths of game, where some of the data, and scripts, and even dialog, are there still, but had to be hacked to shit, to get it out the door. Back in the days of Isomorphics, the Ultima: Serpent Isle was intended to have multiple stories, vast cities, and a mess of added dialog. It just didn’t fit on the discs are the time. Even if you don’t intend to produce a crappy excuse for why your character strips, but happens to fight bad guys, odds are you haven’t got a chance it hell of explaining it in any sensible way, within the time frame available. And, if you actually tried something like creating a whole society where such things where relatively normal, no one that dislikes such content will see it as an attempt to define such a society, they will see it as, “Oh, you just did this so you could have an entire race of fanservice.”

    Basically, I doubt you can win, so long as there are idiots out there doing the same thing, without giving a frak about even trying to explain it.

  304. robertwilson says

    I work in the gaming industry now and while it’s something of a childhood dream I’m glad it came after I became a better sketpic/atheist and especially feminist.

    I could easily still be one of those who dismissed feminism as unnecessary or whiny without understanding just how simple it is (a movement for equality) and without realizing just how much my privilege got in the way.

    When I first started playing World of Warcraft I made up this image in my mind of how everyone I was going to meet was going to be rational, intelligent, science-minded/enthusiastic and so on. I was not in a good place in my life and so I projected onto this new social environment all the qualities I thought I had and therefore anyone who was also a gamer would surely have.

    The racism, bigotry and all sorts of other things I ran into casually helped shatter that illusion. I think that had I not shattered that illusion I would not later have also learned about misogyny and privilege in general at least not without some serious resistance and rationalization.

    So while I’m not in a position to do anything about it directly I do seek out the co-workers who think like I do and talk about this and while I still feel a pang of disillusion when I discover not everyone thinks like I do (though I think more progressively now than during the big disillusion) I am glad that my eyes are more open thanks to places like Skepchick and Pharyngula.

  305. karpad says

    Okay, so kind of diving in at the end of what I assume from a quick scan is a massive shitstorm of “guys who mean well no really and therefore want a cookie and a free pass” and the people who say “no, fuck your cookie. Being ostensibly feminist or feminist ally does not excuse your chosen hobby of having some utterly vile misogynist baggage. Don’t make excuses for those assholes who share your hobby. Condemn them. And stop whinging about ‘tone.’ It’s utterly patronizing and just makes you come off as a tool who thinks preserving the feelings of people who say hurtful shit is more important than preserving the feelings of people who are targeted by that hurtful shit.”
    Did I miss any of the high points that come up literally every time misogyny in comics/video games/fantasy or scifi literature/”Capital-C Cinema” comes up?

    setting that aside for a slight derail which can hopefully be addressed quickly:
    I have a friend who has taken to the whole beta test of the new Dungeons and Dragons edition. She went to their official forums and a search for orcs apparently lead to threads regarding a request for official rules for how to rape orcs.

    She was somewhat dismayed at this. As am I. We would like to know if anyone has any references for feminist friendly RPG fora, particularly ones which might have DnD related sub-discussion, it would be much appreciated.

    We now return you to your regular program, “yelling at blockheads,” already in progress.

  306. thepint says

    I have a friend who has taken to the whole beta test of the new Dungeons and Dragons edition. She went to their official forums and a search for orcs apparently lead to threads regarding a request for official rules for how to rape orcs.

    What. The. Fuck. Because when you’re participating in a beta test for the next edition of D&D, the most important thing the game creators can spell out in the official rules for you is how to rape orcs?!?

  307. says

    @thepint

    Well it’s not like D&D doesn’t establish Orcs as an inferior always evil race that are not granted the normal rules of decency (can be killed with impunity)

    I’ve heard it advised to just never introduce the natural dilemma of women and children in an orc camp because you will have some players vieing for old testament purging. Again why alignments can be bullshit.

  308. Anri says

    Its not like you don’t find people all the time in the real world getting in trouble in some high end professional job, because their boss found out they did something “unsavory” as a side job, be it a doctor stripping on the weekends, or a baker doing home porn, etc.

    Ah, yes I think I see your point – it’s not something that couldn’t be used as a legitimate background.
    I guess what I was trying to say is that if a character is (or was) a stripper, and liked it, and was willing and able to continue that sort of look and act without desperately compromising whatever else they were attempting to do with the plot… that’s reasonable.

    But the combination of the above factors would be, and therefore would be, fairly rare. Since it isn’t, there’s a problem. Since the problem exists along strongly gender-oriented lines, it’s safe to guess the problem isn’t so much lack of creativity as it is assumptions about the roles women ‘should’ have in popular culture.
    That’s all I was trying to say.

  309. says

    Anri:

    I guess what I was trying to say is that if a character is (or was) a stripper, and liked it, and was willing and able to continue that sort of look and act without desperately compromising whatever else they were attempting to do with the plot… that’s reasonable.

    No offense, but have you ever met a stripper? One of my good friends stripped for several years and trust me, you’d never know what she did for a living when she was off the clock (just like pretty much everyone else).

    So, having any sort of realistic stripper character means that if she wasn’t actually stripping at the moment, she wouldn’t have “that look”.

    So, there’s no reason to have a character who “looks like a stripper”, no matter what the combination of factors was, ‘cos, really, there is no such thing as “looks like a stripper”.

  310. Rey Fox says

    Why exactly does this only apply to pornography and not to video games?

    Well, to start with, I don’t wank to video games.

  311. Anri says

    No offense, but have you ever met a stripper? One of my good friends stripped for several years and trust me, you’d never know what she did for a living when she was off the clock (just like pretty much everyone else).

    A few times, yes, I have.

    So, having any sort of realistic stripper character means that if she wasn’t actually stripping at the moment, she wouldn’t have “that look”.

    Or, for whatever reason, was still interested in presenting that persona – but I get what you’re saying.

    So, there’s no reason to have a character who “looks like a stripper”, no matter what the combination of factors was, ‘cos, really, there is no such thing as “looks like a stripper”.

    Um, do I actually have to be specific about ‘dresses like a stripper’ to state ‘while they’re stripping’? Did that really throw you?
    I mean, if I were to say that someone dresses like an astronaut would you picture someone in a business suit? Because I suspect astronauts spend a lot more of their time in business suits than space suits. Most knights nowadays would also probably be in conservative suits as well – yet, I suspect if I said someone was ‘dressed as a knight’, you might picture someone in some form of steel armor.
    Heck, Spiderman almost assuredly spends more time in casual clothes typical to his demographic than tights… would you picture a guy in khakis if I were to say he was dressed up like Spiderman?

    I understand what you’re saying, and if you’d like me to phrase it differently, I’m happy to do so, but can I rest assured you understood what I meant?

  312. Moggie says

    robertwilson:

    So while I’m not in a position to do anything about it directly I do seek out the co-workers who think like I do and talk about this and while I still feel a pang of disillusion when I discover not everyone thinks like I do (though I think more progressively now than during the big disillusion) I am glad that my eyes are more open thanks to places like Skepchick and Pharyngula.

    Have you watched that Extra Credits episode about in-game harassment referred to up-thread? Since you work in the industry, it’d be good to hear your take on it.

  313. robertwilson says

    @Moggie 361

    I did watch it before and I remember 1. Liking it overall but 2. Thinking it could have been better in specific parts – I don’t remember exactly where though and I apologize because that’s as good as a non-answer.

    I will watch it again soon though and if I can put those thoughts back together I’ll post them here.

  314. robertwilson says

    Well it’s only 7mins long so I figured I might as well re-watch it right away.

    I liked the encouragement to deal with it head on but I did feel back then – and I still do – that they probably shouldn’t have added the qualifier that this is a small vocal minority. It felt a tiny bit defensive to me.

    Their solution number 1 struck me at first as avoiding the problem but I think I misunderstood it. As an industry response I think it is a good idea – but it requires some serious long term commitment, it wouldn’t change this generation imho, it would be the kind of thing that, if enforced, would teach new players to associate negative comments with negative consequences.

    However I think the psychology bit on bullying missed the point and it didn’t deal with privilege at all. And the “this isn’t us” is meant to be positive but it struck me as not dealing with the problem.

    I guess I find it positive but off-the-mark. I am very much looking forward to Tropes vs. Women Video Games. Granted it might not reach the EC-level audience but I wish EC could have dealt with the problems as I expect Sarkeesian will.

  315. Amphiox says

    Well it’s not like D&D doesn’t establish Orcs as an inferior always evil race that are not granted the normal rules of decency (can be killed with impunity)

    Deconstructing this premise is one of the main aspects underlying the major conflict in the webcomic “Order of the Stick”.

  316. furiouslysleepy says

    @RFW (#329)

    Ugly but realistic-minded people find loving mates and live happily ever happy. The weak-minded have conniptions because they aren’t shaped like the photoshopped beauties in the media, and go to extraordinary lengths before lapsing into a cesspool of despair and sorrow.

    1. The dichotomy between ‘realistic-minded’ and ‘weak-minded’ to the best of my understanding, has poor-to-no basis in psychology.

    2. Could the ‘weak-minded’ perhaps have other coping mechanisms? Maybe they stop consuming that media?

    Thanks for educating me I guess, I’ll just take your word for it. I mean I asked for papers and got only your wildly unscientific generalizations, but I guess you know best, I can stop looking now. I’ll just refer everyone to your comment on this blog instead.

    Finally, yes, sometimes men are portrayed sexually too. However, it’s still less (far less) work to be one of those men than to be one of those women. Also, most unrealistic portrayals of men in comics and video games are not sexual fantasies, as has been repeatedly pointed out, they are power fantasies. (Ask your female friends how many of them are attracted to Kratos, and then ask your male friends how many of them are attracted to Lara Croft.)

  317. Anri says

    Anri:
    So, you’re talking about the Zombie Apocalypse happening while she’s stripping? Seems a bit of a stretch.

    Although, if the first mission was to find her some real clothes, that could work. ;)

    …but the hero keeps saying “We don’t have time for that now!”

  318. says

    Its not like you don’t find people all the time in the real world getting in trouble in some high end professional job, because their boss found out they did something “unsavory” as a side job, be it a doctor stripping on the weekends, or a baker doing home porn, etc.

    Ah, yes I think I see your point – it’s not something that couldn’t be used as a legitimate background.
    I guess what I was trying to say is that if a character is (or was) a stripper, and liked it, and was willing and able to continue that sort of look and act without desperately compromising whatever else they were attempting to do with the plot… that’s reasonable.

    But the combination of the above factors would be, and therefore would be, fairly rare. Since it isn’t, there’s a problem. Since the problem exists along strongly gender-oriented lines, it’s safe to guess the problem isn’t so much lack of creativity as it is assumptions about the roles women ‘should’ have in popular culture.
    That’s all I was trying to say.

    Precisely. And, as I said, there is the problem of trying to fit in the back story properly, without having to throw it in the person’s face. It’s kind of the semi-problem I have with complaints about the character Jack from ME2. I see someone seriously messed up. Everyone else in the damn universe dresses in some sort of conservative, full body, get up, or more or less form fitting armor, but she looks like an accident in a tatoo parlor, combined with any scrap of clothing she could find, that didn’t look like everything else, and none of it binding anything, perhaps a bit too much so. Its the sort of thing someone might throw together who is a) trying to not be any of the rest of the universe, and b) not being “confined”. That she is athletic, and they opted for something other than a flat chest, is the only factors that really glare “fanservice”, and its right back to, “Yeah, OK, but.. why demand that they pick some form that isn’t athletic, flat as a board, or any of a long list of other attributes, instead, just because someone doesn’t get why she could possibly dress that way **because** of what she went through?”

    That it was done to play to men is only “one” possible answer, but I can see how she could get to there, which may even include other abuses, which led to her playing up the very weakness you attribute to the player population she is supposedly created for. Though, it would have made for an interesting scene to have had some idiot trying to see through the gaps in her clothes better, only to end up with a knife in his gut, along with a snide comment from her about how everything to her is a weapon. Its what I would expect from the character, as I interpreted her. The fact that, as an ally, I wouldn’t get stabbed trying to do the same thing.. well… lol

  319. sethra says

    @ #354:

    I play RPG at both MythWeavers (D&D and assorted systems) and the Palladium universe (Rifts). Rifts can get a bit in-your-face, but it’s in-your-face to everyone (not just women) and most of the mods take player harassment very seriously.

    MythWeavers has far more people and their open forums have some crappy stuff, but the individual games have been pretty cool. I haven’t run across a player yet who’s been a twit to me on account of me being a woman. A few stupid beginner blunders got me a few choice words about needing to learn more quickly, but there were no gendered slurs (implicit or explicit) in those comments. YMMV, of course. I think I might be privileged, though, in that I know mods on both boards and I tend to wind up gaming with people they know.

    Feminist Frequency is being discussed in the MythWeavers forum right now, and some of the reactions are fairly pathetic and/or whiny. It’s been interesting to follow.

  320. mwalters says

    Well, it’s not quite a few million dollars, but the project, with it’s original target of $6k, looks on-track to come it at around $150,000. Not too bad.