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New FeministFrequency video

This one is about women as decorations in video games — brace yourself for pixelated raciness.


Some people are complaining that this episode is problematic…and they aren’t the usual adolescent-minded gamers who are offended that a woman dares to criticize their games. In this case, a number of sex workers are annoyed with the one-dimensionality of Sarkeesian’s portrayal of prostitutes — they are “prostituted women”, rather than women with agency of their own, contributing to the derogatory portrayal of sex workers in general.

I’d encourage anyone with better knowledge of this point of view to contribute. Otherwise, there are women on Twitter who are discussing it.

Comments

  1. says

    My only quibble is that what she expressed way near the end – that you can do all these things to men as well, but they’re not sexualized objects – should have been up front. A lot of the “you can kill female stripper NPCs without any consequence” also happens with killing male NPCs.

    I know how “whataboutthemenz” that sounds, which is why I’m so loath to bring it up, but it seemed a little bit bizarre to complain at length about something that affects every NPC in the game equally.

  2. leftwingfox says

    My only quibble is that what she expressed way near the end – that you can do all these things to men as well, but they’re not sexualized objects – should have been up front.

    I find that about a lot of her videos; she gives the strong version of the argument first, and then the qualifications after. I’ve gotten to the point where I trust if I keep watching, my objections are almost always addressed.*

    *I’m about half-way through watching it, and one of these objections is forming. I’ll see if she addresses it.

  3. says

    @leftwingfox:

    I write analytic products, so I was taught Bottom Line Up Front. These videos are very BLUF. The major overall point comes first, followed by the substantiation, followed by alternative analysis.

    But yes, I spent about five minutes watching with that objection in my mind before she said exactly what I realized her point was going to be.

  4. leftwingfox says

    Yep.

    Ok, my quibble went unaddressed this time, so here it is: her use of the phrase “prostituted women”.

    I think it’s a minor quibble because given the audience, it’s useful to remind people that prostitution is often a false choice foisted upon women by economic necessity and sexism.

    Still, I think it’s ultimately a patronizing phrase that leads to policies treating women as victims, rather than active participants in a crooked system of economic coercion and patriarchy. We need to change the system so sex work is not a desperation choice of income (better welfare systems, guaranteed income), and also not a criminal subclass to be alternately exploited and prosecuted, rather than regulated and even respected.

  5. Alverant says

    Makes me glad I haven’t played those games. Well except for Duke Nukem 3D, but I was young and foolish and didn’t know any better. I would have liked to see some solutions to the problem though. It’s hard for someone to give up an otherwise great game because of one problem.

    I gave up anime pretty much for the same reason. Who knows how much great anime I missed, but the fanservice got to be too excessive and condescending.

  6. says

    One thing that’s been annoying me on a few sites I visit are ads for various MMOs that always feature scantily-clad women in their multiple ad images. I find it a bit creepy. If they showed male characters at all in the banner ads, I probably wouldn’t be as disturbed, though I’d probably still rail against some of the so-called “armor” they put women into.

    But it’s not just the 100% women thing, it’s also the fact that the banners look like pin-ups, rather than a game advertisement. Why aren’t these women shown fighting monsters, exploring dungeons, or otherwise doing something? The obvious answer that leaps to my mind for all of this: It’s not marketed towards people who want an adventure, it’s marketed towards people who want to play dress-up with an obedient female figure.

  7. HidariMak says

    Aside from the “HERE IS HOW WOMEN ARE OBJECTIFIED THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMING (and men)”, there was one other point that I found irksome. Yes, some of the adverts for those in the business of buying arcade machines in the 80s and early 90s featured images which used women to sell the product. Most people never saw that though. I had a Sega Saturn (was a fan of the 2D shooters from Japan), and don’t recall seeing the print ad which used an attractive woman among the ads that I did see, but I don’t see all ads released for a console in all markets. And yes, scenes which involve the underworld often include strip clubs, be it in video games, movies, TV series, or whatever. And a few of the hundreds of NPCs in games which last for anywhere from 10 to 60 hours might be at the level used by marketing to sell a product. You also might see a slightly titillating image for a few seconds in a game that takes hours to reach. But isn’t this all awfully selective?

    Seriously, you could use the same selective approach to launch many of these same criticisms against Disney movies. That’s not to say that some video games cross over this line far more brazenly. But I can’t help but notice more padding to her argument than what’s needed for a valid argument.

  8. says

    It wasn’t the “raciness” I find objectionable, so much as the violence. I knew in an abstract way that you can have virtual sex with the women-shaped pixels in some of these games and then murder them, but I hadn’t actually seen it before. Quite viscerally shocking.

    Yes, you can shoot male NPCs in Vice City, I guess, but can you also have sex with them? It’s the juxtaposition of those two roles for the women NPCs that troubles me.

  9. Infophile says

    @7 HidariMak:

    What does it matter if not all people saw a given advertisement? Unless the ad was considered and rejected before being shown to anyone, it’s still an example of trying to sell games or arcade machines using women as superfluous decoration, regardless of whether every gamer saw it, or only gamers in South Korea who read print magazines saw it.

    And do Disney movies typically fall into the trap of using women purely as decoration? They really don’t have a tendency to be written with a purely male gaze in mind. Plus, a big difference between games and movies is that games allow you linger on the fanservice, while for movies brief glimpses are soon gone, not allowing the full effect to be taken in (of course, more enduring fanservice in movies still poses a problem here). So even if a scene might be small in a game, it being there at all enables players to focus on it as long as they want (barring cutscenes, of course, but those are only a small number of what’s being talked about here).

    Additionally, a big part of the problem isn’t just what is there, but what’s not there. And the big “not” here is character. These women are purely objectified, and the game doesn’t treat them as full humans but only as sex objects. Take The Witcher 2, for instance, which has fanservice aplenty. There are prostitutes in it, who have no character beyond allowing a meaningless sex scene, and there are romanceable characters who the main character can have sex with. Both result in explicit scenes, but only the former is an example of this trope (and was thus shown in this video, while the latter wasn’t). There’s a big difference between a sex scene with Nameless Prostitute and a sex scene with a character you know well.*

    *None of this is to say the latter is completely problem-free. It can still run into huge problems with aiming for the male gaze over the female gaze, for instance.

  10. frog says

    And then there is as always the overlapping issue of agency, which I think gets at the heart of the distinction.

    Can any of the female NPCs fight back? At least some of the male ones can.

    leftwingfox@4: I think that may also explain the term “prostituted women.” In the context of the game worlds, the prostitute NPCs are strongly implied to be without agency–they’re just there. There’s no backstory (as real people have) to suggest whether they’re prostitutes because they like the job, or because they’re destitute and it’s the only source of income, or because someone has their family at gunpoint. All of those things could be inferred from dialogue (such as it is) and the stereotype scenarios where they appear, but the games treat them as passive objects, which makes the phrase “prostituted women” tolerably accurate.

    She does bring up the particular problems with how POCs are presented (and implies similar with other white-but-exploited groups such as Russian immigrants), but notes that is beyond the scope of this particular video. Which is to say, I think she notes that most of the prostitute characters are strongly implied to be unwilling/unhappy participants in their jobs, but declines to address that in particular as being slightly off track from the overall point of how those characters are treated by the gameplay dynamic.

  11. says

    @frog:

    Some female NPCs fight back. I remember a game (maybe Vice City?) where I jacked a car from a woman, and she came by, ripped the main character out of the driver’s seat and began beating him up.

  12. Chaos Engineer says

    And yes, scenes which involve the underworld often include strip clubs, be it in video games, movies, TV series, or whatever. And a few of the hundreds of NPCs in games which last for anywhere from 10 to 60 hours might be at the level used by marketing to sell a product. You also might see a slightly titillating image for a few seconds in a game that takes hours to reach. But isn’t this all awfully selective?

    That’s the nature of the project, isn’t it? The purpose of the videos is just to name common sexist tropes and provide examples to help identify them.

    You have to do this rest of the work yourself: How commonly are these tropes actually used? Are they rarely used, or are they so common that they’ve become cliche’d and a symptom of lazy writing? Even if they’re a symptom of lazy writing, why do lazy writers choose to rely on them, instead of going to different cliche’s that are just as lazy but not as sexist?

    Seriously, you could use the same selective approach to launch many of these same criticisms against Disney movies

    The early Disney movies are incredibly sexist. I mean, their first three movies with woman protagonists were “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Cinderella”. Their common element is that the heroine’s role is to sit around and wait for a man to solve her problems for her. In two of the three, she’s literally comatose while she waits. (Some of the movies do have strong female characters in minor roles, but they’re not the characters the audience is encouraged to identify with.)

    I think you have to go all the way to “Mulan” (1998) to find a woman protagonist who has an agenda other than “finding a good husband”. But Disney has been doing better in recent years; “Brave” and “Frozen” and the “Once Upon A Time” TV series all do a good job of avoiding sexist tropes.

  13. cartomancer says

    As a gay man who also plays video games, I sometimes get curious as to what the experience of the straight male audience must actually be like with these kinds of sexualised portrayals of female characters and extras. I find it difficult to imagine playing a game and simultaneously being turned on by it, much less having a good subset of the onscreen characters designed specifically to appeal to me sexually. The closest I ever came was Dragon Age Origins, which not only has an incredibly sexualised male character in Zevran Aranei, but also male prostitutes available at the brothel in the main city. This, of course, struck me as a complete novelty. It’s really not the same as the gendered opposite, which is closer to ubiquitous. I didn’t find it arousing like I find porn or attractive people in person arousing. I wonder – do straight male gamers actually get turned on by these portrayals while they’re playing, or do they simply register them as culturally and personally affirming wallpaper to accompany the rhythms of life?

    Also, the male characters in most games vary a lot more in terms of appearance, age and attractiveness than the females. Even if there are some characters whose looks I find consonant with my sexual preferences, there are many more I don’t. Female characters tend to be much more uniformly young, slender, and in conformity with conventional standards of beauty.

    None of which is to say that I wish there were a lot more sexualised male portrayals in games, and that’s what equality would ideally look like. I’m just curious as to what it’s like being one of the ones for whose benefit the culture is configured.

  14. Alverant says

    @Bronze Dog
    I hear ya. Many MMOs use that trick. Neverwinter had a busty female cleric with a “cleavage window” in her armor. Even Star Trek Online pulled that stunt (I expect better from that series). I think the worst is League of Angels. Hold on, the worst was Scarlet Blade, but I’m not seeing ads for that game anymore (thank goodness).

  15. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Chaos Engineer @ 13

    I think you have to go all the way to “Mulan” (1998) to find a woman protagonist who has an agenda other than “finding a good husband”.

    Even with Mulan, the happy ending is that she finds a good husband and thereby succeeds in not dishonoring her family. The whole “saving China from the Huns” thing was just a means to an end.

  16. cartomancer says

    Pondering what I just said, I suppose I should say that my secret suspicion is that the people who are traditionally supposed to “benefit” from having this culture of sexualised female portrayal – the straight male demographic – might not actually benefit at all. Do they really want all this in their games, or is it just what the industry and the marketing people put there because they think it’s what the target demographic wants? Do they expect games to titillate them, and get angry when they don’t, or do they not care either way?

  17. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ Alverant

    Sexism is Star Trek’s worst failing IMO. TNG was pretty unabashedly sexist, especially in the first 2-3 seasons. Voyager started off OK but then fell off the wagon pretty hard with the way they handled 7 of 9. DS9 and Enterprise are better and definitely less sexist than most TV but still had their cringe-worthy moments.

  18. toska says

    Cartomancer,

    Speaking as someone who is not a straight male, I get the impression that these elements aren’t necessarily there to turn anyone on so much as to reassert sexual power. For example, one of the featured clips on the video showed a scene in which the main character was supposed to fight pimps and steal prostitutes to give to his boss. Many of the other scenes also included prostitutes saying phrases like, “You’re so handsome, I’ll give it to you at a discount/for free.” I think the purpose of a lot of these scenes (though probably not all) is more to stroke the ego of the player and make him feel sexually powerful, but not necessarily horny.

    But I’ve never played these scenes as a straight male, so I could be totally off base.

  19. says

    @18
    Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm,

    You could make a good argument for the portrayal of lgbt people is at least as bad. It was limited to evil Kira from the mirror universe where everyone good is evil and vice versa. There is also one tng episode about gender-less aliens that some of whom have gender which they experience in heterosexual ways and all discussion of gender is in heterosexual terms.

  20. pocketnerd says

    Thus Spake Zaracartomancer, #17:

    Pondering what I just said, I suppose I should say that my secret suspicion is that the people who are traditionally supposed to “benefit” from having this culture of sexualised female portrayal – the straight male demographic – might not actually benefit at all. Do they really want all this in their games, or is it just what the industry and the marketing people put there because they think it’s what the target demographic wants? Do they expect games to titillate them, and get angry when they don’t, or do they not care either way?

    Part of the answer might be found in Gone Home, a critically-acclaimed indie game. I can’t discuss the plot without getting into spoiler territory — and really, you want to play this game. Seriously, go buy it — it’s well worth $20 of your hard-earned dollars. I’ll wait.

    Back? Okay, great. Now, where was I? Oh, right. Gone Home is a critically-acclaimed indie game, but nearly a year after its release, the Steam forum still boils with hatred from dudebros who are absolutely furious at the existence of a game that is (1) about women, (2) critical of patriarchy, and (3) dares to discuss female sexuality without making it serve men.

  21. Alverant says

    I don’t know about Enterprise with those “decontamination scrubs”. They lost me after the first season so I can’t say too much about it. I like to think TNG improved as they progressed like putting Troi in a real uniform and take that test so she could command the Enterprise. Crusher also had her turn in the big chair and did pretty well. But you’re right, there was sexism which stinks and shouldn’t be there. I blame the writers. Sadly I don’t think if they did a series with the reboot cast it would be much better.

    I think part of the problem is that Star Trek is an ideal in addition to being shows, books, games, etc and they are always going to fall short of the ideal. We should strive for the ideal while being aware that sometimes we will fail.

  22. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    michaeld @ 20

    There was also the episode where Dax encountered the wife of a former host and struck the relationship back up. I thought it made a pretty strong statement because it was a taboo relationship for the Trill for reasons unrelated to them being the same gender. At the same time, the DS9 regulars were concerned but only because Jadzia was going to get hurt no matter how it worked out.

    And yes there is that TNG episode which was definitely a clunker. It was very binary. I particularly remember Riker being completely stumped by the concept of gender neutral pronouns.

  23. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    More on topic

    Do they expect games to titillate them, and get angry when they don’t, or do they not care either way?

    This isn’t about getting angry when a game doesn’t titillate but it is about getting angry when a game doesn’t treat female characters the way the player expects: The Last of Us. One character is a 14-ish year old girl who the main character has to keep safe. There’s a period in the game where you’re accompanied by a man with a boy about the same age who is much less confident than the girl. The girl is better with weapons and much less prone to panic. There are many dudebros who found this to be a game breaking bug.

  24. John Horstman says

    @leftwingfox #4: I, too, found the frequent use of the phrase “prostituted women” rather jarring. I think frog has it in comment #11, as Sarkeesian also uses the phrase “sex workers” several times. I’d have to go back and watch again, paying particular attention to when she’s using each phrase, but I think it’s likely that she’s only and specifically describing women who are (at least deduced to be, is not overtly stated to be) coerced and exploited, or in the case of this trope specifically, not even really characters so much as furniture using the phrase “prostituted women”.

    @Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao #12: Do the health-meter-boosting prostitutes ever fight back, though? I played a fair bit of GTA 3 (no others in the series), and I only remember gang/mafia members fighting back when I carjacked them; everyone else just ran/cowered. Of course, I also played the game trying to minimize the amount of killing I had to do, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t the intended path given the number of game mechanics that actively encourage murder. Anyway, the point is about how the sexually-objectified women, specifically, are presented; that is distinct from an argument that ALL WOMEN IN GAMES are sexually objectified, which was not made in this video (and to which your example of some women fighting back would actually offer a counterpoint).

    @cartomancer #14, #17: As far as I can tell, toska has it exactly. The images aren’t necessarily supposed to be sexually arousing at the time/in that context (though they might be), they’re there to stroke the (presumed straight male) player ego, using gendered sexual power norms as a vector to do so (hence so very many discounts, free services, oh-wow-you-made-the-prostitute-come moments, etc.).

  25. says

    @7

    #NotAllAdvertisements

    You know what my one problem with these videos is? That assholes like you always have to tell me their one problem with these videos. This woman has taken a lot of shit from a lot of people, and she’s consistently made enlightening, challenging, and interesting videos on a subject nobody else dares touch.

    She didn’t raise your one pet point in a 20 minute video? So what? Who the fuck are you? Instead of voicing your “one problem” with these videos, show us you can do better yourself. If you can really one-up her, do it. Until then, I’m going to support someone with a lot more courage, dedication, and expertise than the collective works of this “one problem” comment thread.

  26. David Marjanović says

    Neverwinter had a busty female cleric with a “cleavage window” in her armor. Even Star Trek Online pulled that stunt (I expect better from that series).

    The boob window in the armor of Klingon women is canon. It’s in TNG somewhere.

    *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk*

    I don’t know about Enterprise with those “decontamination scrubs”.

    Absolutely, there is fanservice in Enterprise, and T’Pol gets to provide most of it. The other attempts at sexism, though, are just comical: at one point, T’Pol climbs out of a hole, and two (!) men hold her hands even though she very obviously doesn’t need that…

    I like to think TNG improved as they progressed like putting Troi in a real uniform and take that test so she could command the Enterprise.

    At least before that, every woman in TNG is a female-coded stereotype. Guinan is a woo aunt; Troi is a woo aunt that provides fanservice; Dr. Crusher is a mother figure; and the admiral who shouts Cpt. Jean-Louc Picâde down for not having killed all the Borg is quite simply a bitch – fitting the stereotype with a precision to which no woman has gone before.

    In contrast, aliens are male by default; in particular, God the whole Q Continuum is male.

    (Rant inspired by this one.)

  27. David Marjanović says

    Absolutely, there is fanservice in Enterprise, and T’Pol gets to provide most of it.

    …eeeeeh… now you’ve guessed my sexual orientation. *looks at floor* It seems likely that Trip and Archer perform the same function; they (Trip especially) get to be decontaminated again and again, and they’re both rather muscular.

    But even so, compare their underwear to T’Pol’s. *headshake* What she’s wearing isn’t as dangerous as a boob window in armor, but it isn’t any more useful.

  28. cartomancer says

    Actually, thinking about it, there’s one game I have played which casts this whole decorative prostitute women trope in a very telling light. That game is the 2004 Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.

    VtMB has most of these tropes in it. There are prostitutes on street corners you can hire, there is a strip club where you can watch strippers and get lap dances, there is a seedy low-budget porn shop with a peep show in the basement (where, at one stage, you have to kill an enemy infiltrator disguised as a performer), and there’s plenty of using people as disposable resources, killing them and throwing them away.

    The thing is, though, that in VtMB you play a vampire. A big part of the story is that you are a cursed and abhorrent creature of the night who preys on humanity and regards them as cattle or commodities. When you hire a prostitute, you don’t have sex – you drain her of blood to feed your unholy hunger. And in game resource terms it’s actually a much costlier way of refilling your blood meter than just waiting round the back of a nightclub and attacking a drunk guy taking a piss behind the bins. Actual sex is at best an irrelevance, and most of the other vampires see it as a vestigial weakness of humanity. Exactly these sorts of exploitation mechanics the video discusses are used to tell a punk-Gothic horror story about arrogant supernatural predators trying to supplant and dominate us.

    Which doesn’t entirely excuse the game. It still makes cheap appeals to titilation and the seediness of the environment, and I suspect a lot of people find the vampire fantasy somewhat of a power trip fantasy and ignore the more tragic elements such as humanity loss, isolation and getting screwed over by your own kind that are also in there. Some of the sexual elements struck me as gratuitous.

    But it is very telling that the mechanics and tropes of a game openly and explicitly about predatory inhuman monsters are so very, very similar to the mechanics and tropes of so many other games about ostensibly heroic human characters interacting with other humans.

  29. leftwingfox says

    @frog and John Horstman: I agree, which is why I termed it as a quibble. I just find the phrase problematic in how it’s used in discussions about prostitution in general, so even though it narrowly applicable here, I still wanted to point that out.

    Still, it’s a quibble. It’s another solid piece all around.

    I can’t help think, from a completely selfish standpoint, just how harmful those early images of women as sex objects selling the games in the 80′s and 90′s has been to gamer culture as a whole: the whole system has forced out real women and relationships for images of unattainable sex objects.

    Also her point about how these choices are defined by the programmers, and how interactivity rewards or punishes player actions in the game is especially relevant. Plenty of people seem to justify in-game sexism via the lore and logic of the game, absolving the creators of those fictional worlds from creating those in the first place.

  30. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    At least before that, every woman in TNG is a female-coded stereotype.

    Even with Troi taking the bridge officer’s exam she predictably has a great deal of trouble with the engineering portion of it.

    Also, every time they encounter an assertive female character, it’s met with raised eyebrows and an air of bemusement.

  31. Alverant says

    And who can forget the Robin Hood episode of TNG.

    IIRC, the trouble Troi was having with the engineering portion was the part where there was a radiation leak and she would have to send Geordi, one of her friends, to his death to fix it. The problem wasn’t with engineering per se, but giving an order that will kill someone she cares about.

  32. says

    Sarkesian is exagerrated and also highly unfair in her critique of video games. First of all the entire video games industry is based on tropes. you got the conan the barbarian muscle bound-sword carring-barbarian or the gym going-6 pack carrying marine on one side and the big boob female on the either side. thats the classic trope. in the fantasy world males need to be violent/semi stupid good looking males,women need to be sexy good looking women. that is valid on both sides. She’s also very unfair. She doesn’t like half naked women in video games while not noticing the main male character has armor plating showcasing his pectoral muscles as well as his abdominal six pack. which is also the main point of a video game:transitioning us into a fantasy world we do not live in reality. in reality not that many people look like arnold swarteneger and slay dragons. the same time not that many women look like kate upton.

    and her critique of realistic games depicting underground worlds is plainright dumb. yeah that’s what’s happening in the underground world:prostitution. the video games aren’t creating the problem nor are they bravadoing it. they are just making a realistic setting that’s all. let’s ban charles dickens for portraying the harsh world of orphans in 19th century london because that promotes violence against kids.or let’s all ban rap music because ya’ll know that is why crimes happen in american neighborhoods.

  33. leftwingfox says

    Pazvante Chiorul: Wow. What insightful points that have never been made a million times over. I know i’m convinced.

    *wanking motions*

  34. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    IIRC, the trouble Troi was having with the engineering portion was the part where there was a radiation leak and she would have to send Geordi, one of her friends, to his death to fix it. The problem wasn’t with engineering per se, but giving an order that will kill someone she cares about.

    Issuing an order that would kill a subordinate did end up being the solution to the problem but there was still much ado made about how she was bad at the technical stuff.

  35. nerok says

    @34 leftwingfox

    I love that insightful rebuttal where you address nothing he said. I also like that you include a sexual and gendered insult, calling him a wanker at the end. Typical loser male! Can’t get laid! Of course you didn’t think twice about that, did you?

  36. Galactic Fork says

    Pazvante Chiorul #33

    Sarkesian is exagerrated and also highly unfair in her critique of video games. First of all the entire video games industry is based on tropes. you got the conan the barbarian muscle bound-sword carring-barbarian or the gym going-6 pack carrying marine on one side and the big boob female on the either side. thats the classic trope. in the fantasy world males need to be violent/semi stupid good looking males,women need to be sexy good looking women. that is valid on both sides. She’s also very unfair. She doesn’t like half naked women in video games while not noticing the main male character has armor plating showcasing his pectoral muscles as well as his abdominal six pack. which is also the main point of a video game:transitioning us into a fantasy world we do not live in reality. in reality not that many people look like arnold swarteneger and slay dragons. the same time not that many women look like kate upton.

    This is your response? Honestly? OK. Sooo for men, the fantasy is to be a strong powerful world saving dude. And women get to be big boobed and… And what other qualities do women get to be in these fantasies?
    See that’s the deal. The men are portrayed often as male power fantasies. Are women portrayed as female power fantasies? Very very very seldomly. If you’ve been watching the videos with comprehension, you’d see that these tropes all serve to portray women as accessories or motivation for the male power fantasy. So basically they are a male sexual fantasy.
    Even when a woman is portrayed as powerful, this is superimposed with making her hyper sexual. So it’s just another form of male sexual fantasy.

    and her critique of realistic games depicting underground worlds is plainright dumb. yeah that’s what’s happening in the underground world:prostitution. the video games aren’t creating the problem nor are they bravadoing it. they are just making a realistic setting that’s all. let’s ban charles dickens for portraying the harsh world of orphans in 19th century london because that promotes violence against kids.or let’s all ban rap music because ya’ll know that is why crimes happen in american neighborhoods.

    Yeah, it’s common knowledge if you fondle a stripper during a lapdance, she’ll go home with you. Such a realistic depiction that in no way puts real strippers in danger if people like YOU somehow think this is realistic.
    And also, sure they don’t create the problem, but it seems weird that all these guys find way to make these places soo important to the story. The one where the home base just HAPPENED to have its entrance in a strip club dressing room. So real.

  37. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Pazvante Chiorul @ 33

    The difference is the men aren’t idealized for the benefit of women; they’re idealized for the benefit of stroking male egos.

    Also, the point of the video was using women as background decoration so that’s what she talked about. Criticizing her for not talking about something completely irrelevant to her point is ridiculous.

    which is also the main point of a video game:transitioning us into a fantasy world we do not live in reality.

    the video games aren’t creating the problem nor are they bravadoing it. they are just making a realistic setting that’s all.

    Are they realistic or fantasy? You can’t have it both ways. You don’t get to change the narrative from one sentence to the next.

  38. Chaos Engineer says

    She doesn’t like half naked women in video games while not noticing the main male character has armor plating showcasing his pectoral muscles as well as his abdominal six pack. which is also the main point of a video game:transitioning us into a fantasy world we do not live in reality.

    [...]

    yeah that’s what’s happening in the underground world:prostitution. the video games aren’t creating the problem nor are they bravadoing it. they are just making a realistic setting that’s all..

    I’m having trouble following your logic. Is it “Video games aren’t supposed to be realistic, so every video game needs to have gratutiously-placed musclebound men and scantily-clad women” or is it “Video games are supposed to be realistic, and brothels exist in real life, so every video game needs to have at least one brothel.”?

    Actually, your whole post seems a bit incoherent, almost like you’re just throwing out random complaints just for the sake of complaining. Do you have some kind of personal grudge against Anita Sarkeesian?

  39. nerok says

    @38 Seven of Mine

    The difference is the men aren’t idealized for the benefit of women; they’re idealized for the benefit of stroking male egos.

    This is trotted out a lot. Any instance of overdeveloped hunk males is just a “male power fantasy”. Even though hunk males are used to advertise to women and is in shows and media targeted to women.

    What would something “idealized for the benefit of women” look like? Could you give some examples? Could you then compare and contrast to point out how that differs from what exists in games?

    Conversely, at what point is a sexy female character a “female power fantasy”? Or is sexiness not included in female power fantasies according to you? Do you think sex appeal is devoid in male power fantasies?

    Extra credit if you can pull this off without being hypocritical.

  40. says

    @galactic fork-37

    To start out with i would appreciated if you would stop putting words in my mouth and apply the same dishonest tactic like william lane craig in debates. this is an atheistic blog and i expect discussions based on evidence and not dishonest, stupid debate tactics.

    ” OK. Sooo for men, the fantasy is to be a strong powerful world saving dude. And women get to be big boobed and…”

    I never said that.You are putting words in my mouth.You are dishonest

    My innitial comment that everyone can see at 33 referred to the physical aspect of men and women not the power structures in games. You can still be a big boobed woman and get to save the world in a video game. Aspect has no bearing. Also if you would actually play video games and not just find out about them from sarkesian videos you would know that physical appearance has nothing to do with ingame power. you can be depicted as a frail women while at the same time launching fireballs and carrying swords the size of your body(mostly mmorpgs like wow)

    “And what other qualities do women get to be in these fantasies?”

    the same qualites as men do. they are stereotypical characters of any fantasy: they live a normal life only to discover one day that they are the only one who can save the world form the 200 foot dragon. they suddenly learn martial arts and fire ball throwing and in some cases weapon shooting and they are off to save the world. on the way they gather a bunch of secondary characters they use to highlight their personality. and that’s about it. there is no real difference between video games with female main characters and those with men main characters. play tomb rider. see if it’s any different than a male main character fantasy game.

    ” See that’s the deal. The men are portrayed often as male power fantasies. Are women portrayed as female power fantasies? Very very very seldomly”

    Again that is not what my initial comment adressed. It simply adressed a visual aspect not a power aspect. And yes women are portrayed as female power fantasies. They look good, shoot guns, wield weapons, and do destructive spells just like men. In most games with very rare exceptions women can do the same things as men.But you would only know that if you actually played video games

    ” Such a realistic depiction that in no way puts real strippers in danger if people like YOU somehow think this is realistic. ”

    This is the part I realise you are lacking intellect. You somehow think that if a video game shows a strip club women would suffer in real life. Not because poverty pushes them to prostitution. Not because they come from disorganized families. Not because law enforcement is ineffective. nooo..it’s the video games. You apply the same logic as the NRA when they blame school shootings on violent video games. Literally the same logic. It’s not the dumb gun legislation and the lack of psychiatric treatment causing school shootings and it’s not a presence of a violent gun culture. It’s video games. Despite all evidence points in another direction

    ” The one where the home base just HAPPENED to have its entrance in a strip club dressing room. So real. ”

    no video game has a home base in a strip club. you just pulled that out your ass. most video games use strip clubs and sex scenes as side quests or optional quests and even secret quests. the main storyline is still killing the dragon and slaying the bad guy.like i said start playing video games.

  41. leftwingfox says

    I love that insightful rebuttal where you address nothing he said. I also like that you include a sexual and gendered insult, calling him a wanker at the end. Typical loser male! Can’t get laid! Of course you didn’t think twice about that, did you?

    You’re right. I’m sorry. I meant to compare his post to intellectual masturbation. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

    But hey, I’ve got time. Let’s fisk.

    Sarkesian is exagerrated and also highly unfair in her critique of video games.

    Define “fair”. Its not her job to provide both sides of the argument for you. She’s making her case, she doesn’t have to provide the counterpoint. Hell she actually points out the opposing cases and explains why many of those aren’t relevant given the cultural framework those narratives call upon.

    First of all the entire video games industry is based on tropes. [...] the same time not that many women look like kate upton.

    Snipped because it’s all one argument: Both are objectified, so they’re both the same.

    First, that’s not what she’s actually arguing here. She’s talking about women as sexual set decoration, not about body types. So this entire argument has nothing to do with her argument. That’s an “F” on the assignment right there.

    Second, It has been pointed out many times that there is a big difference between the male power fantasy of playing a buff dude, and a heterosexual male sexual fantasy about looking at scantily clad women. In both cases, the target audience are straight dudes.

    As opposed to something like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SskmNdww6e0

    and her critique of realistic games depicting underground worlds is plainright dumb. yeah that’s what’s happening in the underground world:prostitution. the video games aren’t creating the problem nor are they bravadoing it. they are just making a realistic setting that’s all.

    Oh yes… “Dishonoured” is SUCH a “realistic setting”.

    Anita makes it clear that Game designers have a choice as to what they include, and what they leave out.

    Like children.

    That’s not very realistic, is it? In GTA, There should be mothers with stroller, little kids getting out of school. Why if this game were “realistic”, shouldn’t you be able to plow through the school crossing at 3:30pm? Watch mothers scream as the newborns bounce off the hood of your Camero?

    Killing a child? Unacceptable. Shoot a plot-relevant NPC? Game over. But kidnapping a hooker and trying her to the railway tracks in Red Dead Redemption? That’s an achievement.

    let’s ban charles dickens for portraying the harsh world of orphans in 19th century london because that promotes violence against kids.or let’s all ban rap music because ya’ll know that is why crimes happen in american neighbourhoods.

    NO-ONE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT BANNING! This is a discussion, not a call for legal action. This is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF CENSORSHIP, you twit!

    There, happy now nerok?

  42. Chris J says

    @nerok:

    Cultural context matters a great deal. In a world where men are the dominant gender, a sexy man is powerful because of the control he can exert, a sexy woman is arm candy (or just labeled a whore if they were trying to be a female James Bond). They’re only the same if you ignore literally everything else beyond the word “sexy.”

    This is trotted out a lot. Any instance of overdeveloped hunk males is just a “male power fantasy”. Even though hunk males are used to advertise to women and is in shows and media targeted to women.

    I don’t think you’d find a majority of women who think Duke Nukem is a sexy beast, unless you just look at women in the Duke Nukem games themselves. The strange thing about “hunk men” as sex fantasies is that they often aren’t, but men think they are.

  43. says

    @seven of mine

    ” The difference is the men aren’t idealized for the benefit of women; they’re idealized for the benefit of stroking male egos.

    really? do you have any facts to back that thing up? For example even in video games directed specifically towards women like the barbie games(the video game) or the make-up games men are depicted as muscular blond-blue eyed characters while girls are still depicted like victoria secret models-and these are games targeted specifically at women. i wonder why…maybe because women also like beauty and like to envision themselves as beautiful? and maybe they should get the right to choose and not have some know it all guy tell them what they are allowed or they aren’t allowed to like.

    “Are they realistic or fantasy? You can’t have it both ways. You don’t get to change the narrative from one sentence to the next. ”

    sarkesian in her videos describes a wide variety of games ranging the realistic to the fantasy. i was expecting you could understand from the context that the mafia games were considered the realistic games while the dragon ones fantasy..my expectations were too high. i will make sure to spell it out nex time

  44. leftwingfox says

    What would something “idealized for the benefit of women” look like? Could you give some examples? Could you then compare and contrast to point out how that differs from what exists in games?

    Bishonen. Yaoi. You’re welcome.

  45. says

    Re: the sex worker complaints.

    It seems to me that they’re objecting to something Sarkeesian didn’t say. She’s not objecting to sex work, but to the video game portrayal of sex work. When she talks about the problems of commodification, she’s not talking about the real world, where people perhaps buy services, but about the video game world where you indeed buy a person, as illustrated by the fact that in several of these games, you then have the option of killing the prostitute with little consequence.

    I don’t think Sarkeesian is criticizing sex work as such, but rather the dehumanising way that some video games portray sex workers. If I’m missing something, I’m open to being corrected.

  46. says

    Pazvante Chiorul #41

    no video game has a home base in a strip club. you just pulled that out your ass.

    9:45
    Granted, she say “burlesque club”, but unless you’re suffering from terminal pedantry, I think you’ll agree that the distinction is irrelevant. It’s a club where scantily clad women dance for the pleasure of men.

  47. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    nerok @ 40

    This is trotted out a lot. Any instance of overdeveloped hunk males is just a “male power fantasy”. Even though hunk males are used to advertise to women and is in shows and media targeted to women.

    When game developers are pressed about appealing to a female audience, the standard response is that it doesn’t make sense in terms of sales. So, you have game developers themselves more or less telling you that the characters are designed to appeal to what they consider to be their primary audience, i.e. not women.

    Also, show me evidence that musclebound, aggressive, machine gun toting dudebro is something that women generally find attractive. I’m sure some women do, but I’d be very surprised to discover that’s such a large demographic that game developers are specifically catering to it.

    What would something “idealized for the benefit of women” look like? Could you give some examples? Could you then compare and contrast to point out how that differs from what exists in games?

    More or less the opposite of what actually exists in video games. Attractive men who treat women like people and not ambulatory sex toys and trophies.

    Conversely, at what point is a sexy female character a “female power fantasy”? Or is sexiness not included in female power fantasies according to you? Do you think sex appeal is devoid in male power fantasies?

    Again, show me evidence that women fantasize about being treated like ambulatory sex toys and trophies utterly devoid of personality or agency. You’re equivocating between “sexy” and “sexualized and objectified.”

    Extra credit if you can pull this off without being hypocritical.

    Extra credit for the preemptive dismissal.

  48. says

    @leftwingfox

    you are one snobish individual

    ” Its not her job to provide both sides of the argument for you. ”

    right. so its okay to notice only white on black racism while ignoring black on jew and black on latino and latino on black racism. wouldn’t it be cool to tackle all racism at once??wouldn’t it be cool to tackle all tropes at once?wouldn’t that solve the problem completly and a lot more exhaustive? but that’s asking for too much from you…keep intelectually masturbating

    ” Snipped because it’s all one argument: Both are objectified, so they’re both the same.

    First, that’s not what she’s actually arguing here. She’s talking about women as sexual set decoration, not about body types ”

    right women as sex decorations are bad… men as sex decorations are supposed to be ignored per your previous point that she doesn’t have to give my side of the story. Wouldn’t the logical conclussion be that any human being used as sexual decoration would be wrong? Wouldn’t that be the real debate? Oh but i forgot that if you analyse the problem from all sides we would reach the conclussion that human beings as sex objects in video games are bad which might make us look a bit anti-sexual

    ” Second, It has been pointed out many times that there is a big difference between the male power fantasy of playing a buff dude, and a heterosexual male sexual fantasy about looking at scantily clad women. In both cases, the target audience are straight dudes. ”

    no there is no difference. stop you and your small group of people decide what women want to see. there hasn’t been any study about how women want men to be portrayed in video games. stop stating as fact what women want or don’t want to see. you are simply using your personal oppinion as fact when in reality it is just YOUR PERSONAL OPPINION. and btw even in video games directed specific at women men are still portrayed as muscular beings. You know what that is. Because maybe just maybe a lot of women LIKE MEN WITH BIG MUSCLES and its not your job to tell them what they are allowed not like and not like.

    “But kidnapping a hooker and trying her to the railway tracks in Red Dead Redemption? That’s an achievement. ”

    yeah compared to the hundreds of thousands of male characters you shoot, blow up, murder,assasinate, torture and obliterate. NRA logic right there. because you shoot people in video games that makes you more violent in real life. Oh and btw you actually get achievement points in most video games for the number of things you kill. Does that mean that video games encourage hunting and school shootings? Do you want to ban all violence in video games or just that violence directed at women?

    ” NO-ONE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT BANNING! This is a discussion, not a call for legal action. This is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF CENSORSHIP, you twit! ”

    it’s a call for banning certain elements while ignoring others. video game producers might take what she says seriously. and there are some video game producers who have bowed to this type of logic, for example blizzard was forced to cancel a female with big boobs from their upcoming moba games because of a feminist organization. funny thing is that character had full clothing on. but hey let the anti sexual movement prosper.

  49. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    For example even in video games directed specifically towards women like the barbie games(the video game)

    Your point, such as it is, refutes itself with this sentence. Games directed at women = barbie.

  50. leftwingfox says

    If I’m missing something, I’m open to being corrected.

    I think it’s primarily the repeated use of the phrase “prostituted women”, as it implies prostitution is something done to women, ultimately minimizing/erasing the agency of sex workers who chose willingly to become prostitutes/strippers/etc. It’s a phrase that tends to be used by anti-sex-work activists.

    Again, given that the characters in games are cations of the developers, and _have_ no agency (or character, or backstory, or motivations outside stereotypes and scripting), it may well be appropriate for games specifically, it just spills over into policy arguments outside of gaming tropes.

  51. Nick Gotts says

    it’s a call for banning certain elements – Pazvante Chiorul@49

    When you have to blatantly lie to make your argument, it’s obviously a very weak one.

  52. keinsignal says

    Wow, this thread moves fast. I was just about to make the point Seven of Mine made about “even in video games directed specifically towards women like the barbie games” because holy cow, have that sentence stuffed, mounted, and hung on the wall, we are done here.

    However, just so I can feel like I’m contributing something to the conversation, here’s a great video about games that actually are written for, by, and overwhelmingly played by women. I found it enlightening, anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV8AM1ciS4I

  53. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I don’t think Sarkeesian is criticizing sex work as such, but rather the dehumanising way that some video games portray sex workers. If I’m missing something, I’m open to being corrected.

    That may have been her intention (I’m at work and can’t watch the video yet) and yet they may still have a point that she’s inadvertently invoked harmful stereotypes and tropes in doing so, if only by careless wording. Let’s see how she responds to it.

  54. says

    @nick-53

    “When you have to blatantly lie to make your argument, it’s obviously a very weak one.”

    right…you presume sarkesian doesn’t want these elements removed from the video games. yes she does want them banned. then why is she criticizing them. oh i forgot it’s not called banning it’s called “removal”. just like “states rights” isn’t a code words for anti-gay legislation.btw i wouldn’t necessarly care if these elements were remove since the gameplay doesn’t revolve around them. they just add a certain sexual flavour to a video game that is all. if the game designer would want a male brothel where women could do the same as men in women brothels i would be very fine with that.

  55. says

    frog @13:

    As I recall, there are scantily clad female NPCs in Shadow Warrior that will fire back if attacked. However, they are stationary and are not exactly powerful.

  56. says

    Pazvante Chiorul @ 56:

    She thinks games would be better off without this sort of content. If you think that means she wants their removal mandated by law, I think you better make that case. “Banning” is a word that actually means something.

  57. says

    “Your point, such as it is, refutes itself with this sentence. Games directed at women = barbie. “-response to comment 50

    oh yes the same old age discrimination. a woman past 18 is not allowed to play dress up games while it is completly fine for a 30+ guy to play play vidoe games slaying dragons. it is wrong for women have the same fantasies they had as when they were little while it is perfectly fine for grown men to have childish fantasies. and you were supposed to be the politically correct one. btw i didn’t designate barbie like games as women games. game producing companies designate them as such since they are directed at women and have a high woman population.

  58. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Pazvante Chiorul @ 56

    you presume sarkesian doesn’t want these elements removed from the video games. yes she does want them banned. then why is she criticizing them.

    So, since you’re criticizing Sarkeesian, that must mean you want her banned from Youtube, right?

  59. Galactic Fork says

    I never said that.You are putting words in my mouth.You are dishonest

    My innitial comment that everyone can see at 33 referred to the physical aspect of men and women not the power structures in games. You can still be a big boobed woman and get to save the world in a video game. Aspect has no bearing. Also if you would actually play video games and not just find out about them from sarkesian videos you would know that physical appearance has nothing to do with ingame power. you can be depicted as a frail women while at the same time launching fireballs and carrying swords the size of your body(mostly mmorpgs like wow)

    First you can’t separate the physical aspect from the power structure. Because the Tropes in the videos are a mixture. It’s not simply Female character design. It’s how women are portrayed in general throughout the whole of the idustry.. It’s tropes, which includes the power structure. So trying to separate them avoids the issue.

    MMORPGS allow you to make your own character, so the main character isn’t actually a character but a blank slate. And yes you can give specific examples, but this is trends throughout the whole industry.

    the same qualites as men do. they are stereotypical characters of any fantasy: they live a normal life only to discover one day that they are the only one who can save the world form the 200 foot dragon. they suddenly learn martial arts and fire ball throwing and in some cases weapon shooting and they are off to save the world. on the way they gather a bunch of secondary characters they use to highlight their personality. and that’s about it. there is no real difference between video games with female main characters and those with men main characters. play tomb rider. see if it’s any different than a male main character fantasy game.

    Do you know what percentage of women make up actual protagonists? It’s a very very small percentage.

    And if you’d noticed, it’s not only player characters, it’s about NPCs as well. Look at the damsel in distress tropes in the last videos. In many many games the only women, or the most prominent women are the ones who get captured to give men motivation. If you saw the earlier videos, you saw the long long long list she gave just of women who were killed so their husband would have motivation. There is also kidnapping. So common. Men get crappy things to happen to them in these games, too, but they are offset by other men in the game and throughout the video game industry. Any offset for women is uncommon. Yes they exist, but it’s very uneven, which is the purpose of these videos. To have a more even portrayal.

    Again that is not what my initial comment adressed. It simply adressed a visual aspect not a power aspect. And yes women are portrayed as female power fantasies. They look good, shoot guns, wield weapons, and do destructive spells just like men. In most games with very rare exceptions women can do the same things as men.But you would only know that if you actually played video games

    In most games really? Do you want to make a list of games even with female playable characters, much less with them doing “everything a man can?”

    This is the part I realise you are lacking intellect. You somehow think that if a video game shows a strip club women would suffer in real life. Not because poverty pushes them to prostitution. Not because they come from disorganized families. Not because law enforcement is ineffective. nooo..it’s the video games. You apply the same logic as the NRA when they blame school shootings on violent video games. Literally the same logic. It’s not the dumb gun legislation and the lack of psychiatric treatment causing school shootings and it’s not a presence of a violent gun culture. It’s video games. Despite all evidence points in another direction

    I’m not sure if you quoted what you meant to quote. That was a response to you saying that the portrayal was realistic.
    One of the games shown in this video has a minigame that if you fondle the stripper during a lapdance without the bouncer seeing, she’ll go home with you.
    I was implying that if someone thought that was realistic, they might try in real life, and assault a stripper. I have no idea what all that stuff you said above is in response to. I was mocking your implication that it’s realstic…

    no video game has a home base in a strip club. you just pulled that out your ass. most video games use strip clubs and sex scenes as side quests or optional quests and even secret quests. the main storyline is still killing the dragon and slaying the bad guy.like i said start playing video games.

    Well, you just proved you didn’t watch the video (or at least didn’t actually pay attention)… It showed the game that did that. (It was the Saboteur).

    FInallly, I would like to point out I do play video games. I’ve played them since we had an Atari 2600 when I was a kid. Currently I have a PS3, a PSP and a 3DS. I am in the middle of Gungnir for the PSP, and Tales of Xillia for the PS3, which I might remind you hast 2 protagonists. The man in a full set of clothing, and the woman was put in a miniskirt and a tube top in a fantasy setting. And she is deity born to human form, but the designers still decided to dress her like that. Definitely for the womenz. I’m tempted to spend money on the PSN for real clothes for her.

  60. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Pazvante Chiorul, all about that self-refutation today. You’re starting to give off some powerful Poe vibes.

  61. says

    @comment sixty

    ah no. but compared to just expressing her oppinion sharkesian and others also lobby gaming companies and threaten with boycots and negative press. she actually wants these elements removed . i do not want sharkesian removed. i am not meeting with youtube representatives to discuss the removal of sharkesian form youtube. she meets with video game executives and talks about removal of these elements form video games

  62. says

    it’s a call for banning certain elements while ignoring others. video game producers might take what she says seriously.

    If I convince you to change your behavior, that doesn’t mean I’ve “banned” your previous behavior. Assuming that we’re not going to legally ban sexist portrayals in video games, what other method, besides criticism and argument, do you propose for this to happen?

    If you’d like to change your wording to something other than “banned” this would be a good time to do so.

  63. mikeyb says

    Obviously there are all kinds of blatant objectification of women that are clearly wrong. But I hesitant to say that objectification per se is bad. I think objectification is just a human trait. Men objectify women and vice versa. Objectification is a normal part of fantasy as well as appreciation of things like art. Obviously there are some pretty obnoxious forms of objectification, but getting rid of it altogether would be to get rid of part of our human nature. When we look at a mountain, a painting, the sky, etc. what are we doing but objectifying. I think the key is recognizing when objectifying is going on and what the role it is playing, becoming more educated so some forms of objectifying – not just the opposite sex, but animals, other people and cultures etc, become less appealing. But we’re not going to get rid of objectification per se, since it is part of human nature.

  64. thetalkingstove says

    In most games with very rare exceptions women can do the same things as men.But you would only know that if you actually played video games

    Er…what? A huge number of games don’t feature women as playable characters. They don’t even get the chance to do *anything*, let alone the same things that men do. The idea that video games are full of equality with ‘very rare exceptions’ is ludicrous.

    Because maybe just maybe a lot of women LIKE MEN WITH BIG MUSCLES and its not your job to tell them what they are allowed not like and not like.

    a. ‘Women go crazy for muscles’ is a cliche, and not a particularly accurate one. Some women like big biceps, some women couldn’t care less.

    b. Who here is telling women what they can and cannot like?
    Criticising tropes in video games is neither controlling personal taste nor a call for censorship.

  65. says

    Pazvante Chiorul @64

    but compared to just expressing her oppinion sharkesian and others also lobby gaming companies and threaten with boycots and negative press. she actually wants these elements removed.

    It’s not censorship. It’s not banning anything. It’s people exercising their freedom of speech and conscience.

    It’s also a game company’s right to ignore or respond critically. If doing so affects their bottom line, well them’s the breaks of living in a free society. Tough.

  66. thetalkingstove says

    sharkesian

    That’s not her name, by the way. Not even close. Or is that supposed to be a joke?

  67. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    When we look at a mountain, a painting, the sky, etc. what are we doing but objectifying.

    I’m fairly dismayed that this needs to be pointed out but…

    Mountains, paintings and the sky AREN’T PEOPLE.

    *headdesk*

    But we’re not going to get rid of objectification per se, since it is part of human nature.

    You’re going to need to provide some evidence that the status quo is necessarily the right and proper way for things to be because that’s just the way they are.

  68. leftwingfox says

    @leftwingfox

    you are one snobbish individual

    Feel free to imagine me smirking smugly. ‘Cause I totally am.

    ” Its not her job to provide both sides of the argument for you. ”

    right. so its okay to notice only white on black racism while ignoring black on jew and black on latino and latino on black racism. wouldn’t it be cool to tackle all racism at once??

    For one, those aren’t exactly equivalent. The power to institutionalize prejudice matters a lot. So you know, when white guys run the government, the businesses, the law enforcement, and mass media, what they say about black people matters a wee bit more than what black people say about anyone else. Similarly, when the bulk of games are designed by dudes for dudes, the messages they spread about women tend to matter a bit more than what some feminist says about men.

    I also don’t believe you’re interested in tacking it “all at once”. I think you’re more interested in not tackling it at all.

    right women as sex decorations are bad… men as sex decorations are supposed to be ignored per your previous point that she doesn’t have to give my side of the story.

    Ok, how many games allow you to buy men for sex? How many games have male strippers in the background, or dudes in tongs offering themselves to you? Which games have mini-games where you can ogle a dude’s package for xp? Examples please, because I sure don’t think I’ve seen any game where guys occupy the same role of sex toy.

    Wouldn’t the logical conclussion be that any human being used as sexual decoration would be wrong? Wouldn’t that be the real debate? Oh but i forgot that if you analyse the problem from all sides we would reach the conclussion that human beings as sex objects in video games are bad which might make us look a bit anti-sexual

    No, the logical conclusion is that the number of women used as sexual decoration compared to men is massively lopsided, and reflect our sexist cultural attitudes towards women as being primarily sex objects for men.

    no there is no difference. stop you and your small group of people decide what women want to see. there hasn’t been any study about how women want men to be portrayed in video games.

    Why do you need a study? There are plenty of women artists, writers and storytellers who are VERY happy to show you what they find hot, romantic and sexy. Lots of tumblrs, deviantArt blogs, fan pages, and the like to give you all you need.

    stop stating as fact what women want or don’t want to see. you are simply using your personal oppinion as fact when in reality it is just YOUR PERSONAL OPPINION. and btw even in video games directed specific at women men are still portrayed as muscular beings. You know what that is. Because maybe just maybe a lot of women LIKE MEN WITH BIG MUSCLES and its not your job to tell them what they are allowed not like and not like.

    I’m not. I’m _listening_ to what women have been saying about what they like to see in guys. Have you?

    yeah compared to the hundreds of thousands of male characters you shoot, blow up, murder,assasinate, torture and obliterate. NRA logic right there. because you shoot people in video games that makes you more violent in real life. Oh and btw you actually get achievement points in most video games for the number of things you kill. Does that mean that video games encourage hunting and school shootings? Do you want to ban all violence in video games or just that violence directed at women?

    You’re shifting the goalposts here. Your argument was that these games were depicting “gritty reality” by allowing prostitutes to be buyable, touchable or killable.

    Here’s the thing, when you kill the “bad guys” in a game, they are armed and trying to shoot back. Most games don’t let you kill civilians. If women are equal combatants, armoured and armed like their male counterparts in a combat situation, would I have any problem with shooting them? No. And neither does Anita, who pointed out in the “Damsel in Distress/Women In Refrigerators” videos that she was specifically not talking about fighting games or combat games where women were equal participants in the violence. You’ll also notice that in talking about GTA V, she doesn’t actually complain about the fact that you can run down the women civilians/pedestrians on the street, just the specific intersection of _sexual violence_ which again is predominantly aimed at women.

    In fantasy or sci-fi games where male and female characters are equally likely to be warriors, you are just as likely to kill women as you are to kill men, and she hasn’t made a video about that being a problem. If women were added to Battlefield in practical, realistic combat gear, It’s not the feminists who would be complaining.

    it’s a call for banning certain elements while ignoring others. video game producers might take what she says seriously. and there are some video game producers who have bowed to this type of logic, for example blizzard was forced to cancel a female with big boobs from their upcoming moba games because of a feminist organization. funny thing is that character had full clothing on. but hey let the anti sexual movement prosper.

    Once again, IT’S NOT A CALL FOR A BAN. It’s a call to think about and question the sorts of messages the games put out individually, and what the predominance of those tropes in games say about our culture as a whole.

    Also, lol, cite please. Last I saw was the art director apologizing that games don’t give messages, so get off his back about the characters in battle-bras and high heels. Nothing about a “banned character”.

  69. says

    When we look at a mountain, a painting, the sky, etc. what are we doing but objectifying.

    Those things are literally objects.

  70. says

    The “base in a burlesque club” is quite real. I’ve played it. I still own it (The Saboteur). The game also came with a special code included, that allowed you to make it so that the women in the burlesque club were all topless. And added special “get away from the Nazis” places that were brothels. Which went alongside the “get away from the Nazis” move that involved grabbing a random woman and kissing her. And the trophy that went with doing that FIFTY TIMES. And that was in the game whether you used the code or not.

  71. says

    mikeyb #66

    Obviously there are some pretty obnoxious forms of objectification, but getting rid of it altogether would be to get rid of part of our human nature. When we look at a mountain, a painting, the sky, etc. what are we doing but objectifying.

    Except those thing are actually objects. The ability to objectify is certainly part of human nature, but that doesn’t mean we have to practice it, especially in regard to other human beings.

    Is your point really just that objectification of objects isn’t a problem? If so, I agree, but it’s completely irrelevant for the discussion in this thread. Otherwise, I have to invite you to explain yourself more clearly.

  72. says

    -answer to 67

    ” Er…what? A huge number of games don’t feature women as playable characters. They don’t even get the chance to do *anything*, let alone the same things that men do. The idea that video games are full of equality with ‘very rare exceptions’ is ludicrous. ”

    there are about 5 million video games. a lot of them are from the 80′s and early 90′s when they were directed totally at men. the newer ones mostly have deep female characters that can preety much do the same things as men. for example the mmorpgs where female characters do the same as male characters. the industry is changing to include women,blacks,latinos,jews,muslims as equals to white men. the most popular game today on the planet league of legends has very powerfull female characters that have simmilar abilities to men.

    “‘Women go crazy for muscles’ is a cliche, and not a particularly accurate one. Some women like big biceps, some women couldn’t care less. ”

    you are twisting my words to make them something they are not. i never said that “women go crazy for muscles” as in “all women go crazy for muscles”. i specifically said a lot of women like muscles and they do according to most studies. most studies show that women like men who take care of themselves.

    ” b. Who here is telling women what they can and cannot like?
    Criticising tropes in video games is neither controlling personal taste nor a call for censorship.”

    i wasn’t referring to sharkesian. i was reffering to the guy i was responding to.

    “That’s not her name, by the way. Not even close. Or is that supposed to be a joke? ”

    nope. i have bad name memory. and she has a complicated name for me to remember.

  73. says

    For whoever it was that was trotting out the “but men are idealized/sexualized too!” canard, this article is a pretty decent takedown of that notion. In particular, look at the Joe Phillips pinups of male superheroes, and contrast that to how those heroes are normally portrayed.

    And then take a look at how female superheroes are normally portrayed. If you like, you can take a look atr pinups of those characters, and play “spot the difference.” Usually it’s “the fan pinup adds a little more attention to ensuring that nipples and camel toe are visible.”

    Male characters are generally idealized (though they’re idealized in different ways, with different shapes and personalities, which is less common for female characters). The idealization is not, however, typically sexualized. They’re not dressed in clothes meant to accentuate exaggerated sexual features, camera angles don’t linger on their tight asses or bulging crotches. They’re allowed to take action poses, not just posing like models for the person behind the camera.

  74. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    nope. i have bad name memory. and she has a complicated name for me to remember.

    Too bad this thread isn’t completely littered with examples of her name spelled correctly…

  75. thetalkingstove says

    the newer ones mostly have deep female characters that can preety much do the same things as men.

    That’s just not true. Most new games do not have ‘deep female characters’. Some do. Not most. Far from it.

    i specifically said a lot of women like muscles and they do according to most studies. most studies show that women like men who take care of themselves.

    Sure. Studies. Also, ‘take care of themselves’ does not mean ‘jacked up like the Rock’.

  76. Tethys says

    Pazvante

    but compared to just expressing her oppinion sharkesian and others also lobby gaming companies and threaten with boycots and negative press.

    Lol, wut? Your issue is that she is actually trying to change the horrible way women are depicted in video games, rather than just documenting it? The horror! Whatever will you do if you can’t beat up, rape, and kill prostitutes in GTA? Help, help, you’re being oppressed!

    she actually wants these elements removed . i do not want sharkesian removed. i am not meeting with youtube representatives to discuss the removal of sharkesian form youtube. she meets with video game executives and talks about removal of these elements form video games

    Again, I fail to see any harm in removing violent rape and murder of women for points from video games.

    It is apparent however that you have trouble distinguishing between an actual person, (Anita Saarkesian) and elements in a video game. I assure you that the game code will not be upset if it does not exist.

  77. mikeyb says

    People of course are subjects bus as physical things are objects too. So we can describe people in subjective and objective ways (as objects not accurate). We do it all the time and not necessarily in sexual ways. He has nice eyes, she has a nice smile, you’re looking really great now that your working out. Now unless you’re willing to ban all reference to people in these ways, I don’t know how we’re going to eliminate referring to people in ‘objective’ ways. Any why is this all bad. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is objectively beautiful to one person will not be the same to another. And noticing a persons ‘objective’ features (subjectively of course) does not necessitate making the person into an object or denying their subjective characteristics. I just see this as unavoidable as a human and fail to see how this could be a priori necessarily bad. I wasn’t saying anything more controversial than that.

  78. cartomancer says

    One aspect of this that wasn’t covered, I think (and probably rightly so, given the need to keep a half-hour piece tightly focused) was the growing popularity, perhaps even ubiquity, of these kinds of “sleazy” and “gritty” settings in games. Especially open-world type games. I think it says something quite important about the games industry and its market that there are so very many games where the ambient setting is one of grim urban decay, crime, corruption and social dysfunction. Indeed, the video opened my eyes to just how many such games there are these days. I knew there were one or two, but the fact one can list upward of a dozen massively popular modern games that include sex clubs, prostitutes, drug-runners, gangsters and street crime really surprised me. What is it about these settings that modern games designers and some gamers find so appealing?

    I suppose it’s a similar sort of attraction one sees in hard-boiled crime novels, film noir and dystopian sci-fi. I can see how a sort of tragic reveling in a society gone deeply wrong might be pleasantly cathartic, and I can also see how it might be an opportunity to indulge in taboo behaviour and the thrill of the forbidden without consequences. All from a safe standpoint as a viewer of fictional stories, rather than a true participant. I suppose that our post-global-crash age is also heir to deep rivers of cynicism and pessimism about society, so it’s doubtless part of the zeitgeist.

    There clearly are problems with glamourising such real social evils as gang violence, forced prostitution, gun culture, drug running and the like. I don’t doubt that. But it seems to me that the biggest problem here is not that we have a hugely popular culture focused on an aesthetic of urban decay, but rather that the people making the games that service this aesthetic are so painfully parochial and unimaginative in the stories they tell and the games they make. It seems to all be about these swaggering, macho-to-the-point-of-camp-parody gunslinger types carving out a niche in the power hierarchy. What about a game where you play a poor single parent, living in the slums, trying to organise local families to resist gang violence and clean up their area? Or get the hell out of it? Or even get lured into the violence and end up tragically killed. Or what about a corrupt police officer trying to hide his indiscretions from his superiors? Or playing as a homeless man caught up in something he shouldn’t have seen and trying to escape with his life and talk his way out of getting murdered as a witness? There are plenty of compelling narratives to tell that evoke the sleazy, dysfunctional unfairness of this aesthetic, but we never get to see any of them.

  79. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    mikeyb @ 80

    Because noticing that someone has “nice eyes”, etc. is totally equivalent to what we’re talking about here.

  80. says

    Pazvante @33:

    Sarkesian is exagerrated and also highly unfair in her critique of video games.

    She’s not exaggerated, nor is it unfair.

    First of all the entire video games industry is based on tropes.

    Yeah, that’s apparent. In some cases, especially the sexual objectification of women–that’s not a good thing. It’s something that needs to change.

    you got the conan the barbarian muscle bound-sword carring-barbarian or the gym going-6 pack carrying marine on one side and the big boob female on the either side. thats the classic trope.

    That’s not the same fucking thing. Both are objectifying, but only the women get sexually objectified, which is exactly what happens with women everywhere else.

    in the fantasy world males need to be violent/semi stupid good looking males,women need to be sexy good looking women. that is valid on both sides.

    There’s no reason either of these things *need* to be this way. Video games could easily reflect the diversity one finds in humanity. In fact, to appeal to the broadest audience, video game makers *ought* to diversify, rather than appeal to small portion of their target audience.

    She’s also very unfair. She doesn’t like half naked women in video games while not noticing the main male character has armor plating showcasing his pectoral muscles as well as his abdominal six pack. which is also the main point of a video game:transitioning us into a fantasy world we do not live in reality. in reality not that many people look like arnold swarteneger and slay dragons. the same time not that many women look like kate upton.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!
    Snorfle.
    You said “transition us into a fantasy world we do not live in reality”. *You* don’t live it, but here on planet Earth, women live with the reality of being sexually objectified every fucking day. Video games reflect that reality. People like myself want that to change, both in video games and in meatspace. Women can be rendered beautiful without sexualizing them, just as men are.

    You’re ignoring the difference between highlighting a man’s six pack versus highlighting a woman’s breasts or midriff. The latter is sexualized. The former is not.
    Oh, and see above re: sexual objectification.

    Also, I find this to be relevant. Yes, Kelly Thompson is talking about comic books, but this portion is relevant to video games:

    2. Clothing

    As readers of superhero comics we call ALL agree that most superheroes, both men and women, are subjected to the incredibly unforgiving spandex, latex, leather, etc. Spandex (etc.) is skintight and leaves little (if anything) to the imagination, but women are simply not dressed the same way that men are. Men, almost universally are covered from head to toe, while women are regularly subjected to: swimsuits, thongs, strapless tops, tops with plunging necklines, stiletto heels, boob windows, belly windows, thigh highs, fishnets, bikinis, and – apparently all the rage lately – costumes unzipped to their stomachs, etc. This is not equality.
    [...]
    Let’s look at ten of the (arguably) most popular marquee superheroes – Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash, Captain America, Wolverine, and Thor. Every single one of them are covered – almost literally head to toe. The most flesh you’d see on any of them are Thor and Wolverine’s arms. Scandalous!

    And now let’s look at ten of the most popular marquee superheroines: Wonder Woman (strapless swimsuit, sometimes a thong, sometimes heels), Catwoman (regularly unzipped, frequently heels), Ms. Marvel (swimsuit, sometimes a thong, thigh high boots), Storm (strapless swimsuit, thigh high boots, sometimes heels), Batgirl (fully covered, sometimes heels), Black Widow (regularly unzipped, sometimes heels), Invisible Woman (fully covered – for now at least), Black Canary (swimsuit, sometimes a thong, fishnet stockings, sometimes heels), Rogue (as of late – constantly unzipped), and Power Girl (boob hole, swimsuit, sometimes a thong, sometimes heels).
    [...]
    Of those ten women, only one has been consistently covered up the way her male counterparts are – Batgirl. The rest have been (or are being) subjected to a series of costumes that are quite frankly, bizarre. That make no sense for what they do, or who they are. And I’ve left off many of the worst offenders – the Star Sapphires and Psylockes of the bunch. You’ll note I’ve also left off characters like Emma Frost/The White Queen, who you can actually make an argument for dressing provocatively. And that’s where we get to the why. Why do these costumes make sense? When a male character has a crazy revealing costume it’s for a reason. Namor sometimes wears a Speedo. But that makes a certain amount of sense both from a job perspective (he lives in the ocean and is nearly invulnerable) and from a character perspective (he’s a known lothario and braggart who seems like he’d enjoy showing off his body). Similarly, Emma Frost’s insanely sexy costumes (she frequently wears what is essentially lingerie to fight crime) make a certain amount of character sense (she’s an extrovert that constantly trades on her looks and makes no attempt to hide this) and now that she can also turn into a diamond, she can be nearly indestructible when she desires and she likes to show off her pretty diamond skin, so the more skin available, the better as far as she’s concerned. And so like Namor, Emma makes some sense. But Emma doesn’t makes sense if she’s standing next to Storm in a strapless swimsuit and thigh highs, Rogue with her costume unzipped to her stomach, and Psylocke in a thong swimsuit. It’s as if Namor, Wolverine, Cyclops, and Colossus were all wearing swimsuits. What sense would that make?

    Again, you can like to see things this way until the cows come home. You can personally love those sexy costumes and think they’re wonderfully designed and never want it to change, that’s your prerogative, but let’s not pretend it’s equal, okay?

  81. says

    answer to comment 71-the leftfox

    ” For one, those aren’t exactly equivalent. The power to institutionalize prejudice matters a lot. So you know, when white guys run the government, the businesses, the law enforcement, and mass media, what they say about black people matters a wee bit more than what black people say about anyone else. ”
    right…all white people run the government and all white people have money and power. a white orphan living on a New York street has more chances in life than oprah winfrey and the daughter of beyonce and jay z combined. all white people are helping each other and all of them including the ones that die from lack of healthcare,including the million that are homeless including those that are too poor to buy food. all of us whites are responsible for the crimes of george bush and all of us whites are descendends of slave masters. also we all know that jews run the world and they always help each other out. keep ignoring all of the victims of interracial violence between black,latinos,jews,muslims as well as white victims of racial violence.

    “I also don’t believe you’re interested in tacking it “all at once”. I think you’re more interested in not tackling it at all. ”

    i do not necessary consider sexuality in video games a problem. like i said if women want women eye candy lobby for men brothels to be added along with male strippers.

    “You’re shifting the goalposts here. Your argument was that these games were depicting “gritty reality” by allowing prostitutes to be buyable, touchable or killable. ”

    you are lying and putting words in my mouth. i was simply responding to your comment saying it is wrong for a prostitute to be tied up on the railways while ignoring the thousands of dead people in the same video game.

    “If women are equal combatants, armoured and armed like their male counterparts in a combat situation, would I have any problem with shooting them? No ”

    but most women are armored and armed. this is why people are shooting are them. if women weren’t armored and armed it would be a very boring video game to shoot at someone who dies in one shot. that is not the point of ta video game.in this video sharkesian mainly disagrees with background women being sexual objects ad also implies that violence against women in video games translates in violence against women in real life. which is the same argument the nra uses to say shootings in video games translate to shootings in real life. which has never been proven.

    “, just the specific intersection of _sexual violence_ which again is predominantly aimed at women. ”

    yeah and them she implies that the sexual violence translates into real life sexual violence. without any evidence. btw only sexual violence is wrong?isn’t gun violence supposed to be wrong to in video games? doesn’t that also translate in real life? isn’t the nra right that guns do not kill people video games kill people? btw if women want females raping men in video games i have no issue with that…..

    ” If women were added to Battlefield in practical, realistic combat gear, It’s not the feminists who would be complaining. ”

    neither would the players.

    “Also, lol, cite please. Last I saw was the art director apologizing that games don’t give messages, so get off his back about the characters in battle-bras and high heels. Nothing about a “banned character”. ”

    i’ll give the link later. have to search the blizzard forum for it.

  82. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Obviously there are all kinds of blatant objectification of women that are clearly wrong. But I hesitant to say that objectification per se is bad. I think objectification is just a human trait. Men objectify women and vice versa. Objectification is a normal part of fantasy as well as appreciation of things like art. Obviously there are some pretty obnoxious forms of objectification, but getting rid of it altogether would be to get rid of part of our human nature. When we look at a mountain, a painting, the sky, etc. what are we doing but objectifying. I think the key is recognizing when objectifying is going on and what the role it is playing, becoming more educated so some forms of objectifying – not just the opposite sex, but animals, other people and cultures etc, become less appealing. But we’re not going to get rid of objectification per se, since it is part of human nature.

    I think you’ve hit on an important problem: that the word “objectification” is habitually used in a way which is basically meaningless aside from conveying disapproval and a weak connotation of “sexuality-inflected.”

    The one coherent definition I’ve seen is something like “Treating a person as a thing to be used for your benefit without regard for their desires.” Which most of your examples don’t fall under (for obvious instance, a mountain IS an object), but the general attitudes about certain groups of people suggested by how we are invited to interact with representations of them in video games (which are presented as a simulation of interacting with actual people, at various levels of realism) do. And in fact other than the vocabulary problem, your objection here is kind of pointless….

  83. Chaos Engineer says

    oh yes the same old age discrimination. a woman past 18 is not allowed to play dress up games while it is completly fine for a 30+ guy to play play vidoe games slaying dragons. it is wrong for women have the same fantasies they had as when they were little while it is perfectly fine for grown men to have childish fantasies.

    OK, quick refresher: Barbie games are specifically marketed to young children; they’re not intended to be deep/complex enough to hold the interest of adults. The “dress-up” game for adults is “The Sims”. I think that game tends to be played more by women, but it’s got a sizable male following as well.

    So let’s look at your claim:

    men are depicted as muscular blond-blue eyed characters while girls are still depicted like victoria secret models

    This isn’t true of the “Sims” box art, or the default characters, and based on my experience it isn’t true of the majority of downloadable user-created content either. (That’s not to say that there’s no content like that; just that it’s only a small fraction of what people choose to create.)

    Here’s some marketing art: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-stCt2friUFg/UOr7qtqHGlI/AAAAAAAAANI/5wAa1d_ipSM/s1600/The-Sims-2-the-sims-2-815237_1024_768.jpg. The characters are a bit more fit than what you’d find in the general population, but other than that they’re a pretty diverse lot.

    I have to say it again: It really sounds like you’re throwing out random complaints just to have something to complain about. Do you have personal issues with Anita Sarkeesian? Has she been stalking and bullying you? Would you like to talk about it?

  84. nerok says

    @42 leftwingfox

    Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

    Intent isn’t magic.

    Define “fair”. Its not her job to provide both sides of the argument for you.

    She’s downright deceptive a lot of the time, whether from personal ignorance or to better make her point.

    Watch mothers scream as the newborns bounce off the hood of your Camero?

    Ever play Carmageddon?

    @43 Chris J

    I don’t think you’d find a majority of women who think Duke Nukem is a sexy beast, unless you just look at women in the Duke Nukem games themselves. The strange thing about “hunk men” as sex fantasies is that they often aren’t, but men think they are.

    I don’t think you’d find a majority of men who think women should look like sticks with two balloons on them either, but those caricatures are always counted as “for men”. But then adding nuance would be mansplaining, right?

    @48 Seven of Mine

    Also, show me evidence that musclebound, aggressive, machine gun toting dudebro is something that women generally find attractive.

    If this is the standard you want to be judged, I have never seen evidence that the sexist caricatures of women are something men find attractive. It’s the way we’re marketed to. There’s always an assumption in these arguments that is what men want and it influences men. But apparently women are above such things when it comes to what they’re targeted with? Maybe they’re just better people.

    More or less the opposite of what actually exists in video games. Attractive men who treat women like people and not ambulatory sex toys and trophies.

    This is such a generalisation it’s hard to respond to. It just presumes this skewed view of games, ignores all examples to the contrary (as does Sarkeesian) and makes some vague muddled answer to my original question. So you’re confident men want stupid sexist caricatures, but women all want deep meaningful characters?

    It’s always this dualism. If Dragon Age has a beefcake character it’s a male power fantasy, even though it’s one of the games most openly pandering to a female audience. If there’s a sexy female character she’s just a male sex fantasy, because women don’t identify with that. They’re above it somehow. But men aren’t. If anything, this recurring discussion is evidence of how we treat each other differently.

  85. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Pazvante Chiorul @ 84

    btw if women want females raping men in video games i have no issue with that…..

    Well, aren’t you magnanimous?

    ” If women were added to Battlefield in practical, realistic combat gear, It’s not the feminists who would be complaining. ”

    neither would the players.

    So, there’s no overlap between feminists and Battlefield players?

    Also, the internet is full of examples of male players losing their shit over female characters who don’t conform to the tropes we’re talking about here.

  86. thetalkingstove says

    If this is the standard you want to be judged, I have never seen evidence that the sexist caricatures of women are something men find attractive

    Look at any ‘hottest women’ lists. It’s slim women in bikinis. Look at ‘hottest men’. It’s not full of pro-wrestlers, weightlifters and bodybuilders, is it?

  87. Chris J says

    I don’t think you’d find a majority of men who think women should look like sticks with two balloons on them either, but those caricatures are always counted as “for men”. But then adding nuance would be mansplaining, right?

    You want nuance? Sexist depictions of women may be hyperbolized as “sticks with two balloons on,” but they aren’t in reality. There are well documented examples of how female bodies are warped or twisted in ways that almost seem natural because of how common they are. For comic book examples, look at the tumblr eschergirls. For real life examples, look at pretty much any behind-the-scenes look at how model shoots are photo-shopped.

    All of these pieces of art are justified as when men want. And male consumers complain when those pieces of art are changed to be more natural, or even just challenged. Sorry dude, but the evidence speaks for itself.

  88. Chris J says

    @nerok:

    But apparently women are above such things when it comes to what they’re targeted with?

    No. What we’re saying is that you are wrong when you say that big muscular hulks are targeting women rather than men.

  89. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    nerok @ 87

    I have never seen evidence that the sexist caricatures of women are something men find attractive. It’s the way we’re marketed to.

    And where do you suppose game developers got the idea that it’s what men want?

    But apparently women are above such things when it comes to what they’re targeted with? Maybe they’re just better people.

    Show me where someone made this argument.

    This is such a generalisation it’s hard to respond to. It just presumes this skewed view of games, ignores all examples to the contrary (as does Sarkeesian)

    Provide us with examples to the contrary and then show us that those are as plentiful as the representations Sarkeesian highlights.

    So you’re confident men want stupid sexist caricatures, but women all want deep meaningful characters?

    Show me where I said anything of the sort. The fact is, women are overwhelmingly presented as stupid sexist caricatures in video games. It may not be something most gamers would cite as a reason they buy a game but it doesn’t seem to be driving them away as evidenced by the fact that developers keep returning to those themes over and over and over and over and over and…….

    It’s always this dualism. If Dragon Age has a beefcake character it’s a male power fantasy, even though it’s one of the games most openly pandering to a female audience.

    You have yet to demonstrate how this panders to a female audience.

    If there’s a sexy female character she’s just a male sex fantasy, because women don’t identify with that.

    You’re still equivocating “sexy” with “sexually objectified.” These are not synonyms.

  90. says

    Pazvante @49:

    right. so its okay to notice only white on black racism while ignoring black on jew and black on latino and latino on black racism.

    First off, this has nothing to do with the discussion.
    Secondly, even if we were talking about racism, the discussion of one form of racism =/= “not ok to talk about other forms of racism”. More than likely not discussing other forms of racism isn’t relevant to the discussion at hand.
    Thirdly, I seriously doubt you understand racism. Yes, I’m being a deliberate snob here bc you’ve been an asshole.

    right women as sex decorations are bad… men as sex decorations are supposed to be ignored per your previous point that she doesn’t have to give my side of the story.

    The men are not sex decorations though. The games are marketed *to* men. Unless you think the majority of gamers have been and continue to be homosexual men (and if you do, you better bring some evidence to back that up), you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    http://www.academia.edu/771473/Marketing_of_Video_Games_in_the_Cultural_Economy
    Video games have, all from the start, been marketed as a toy for boys. In that sense games have been gendered as male, of having male technicity (Dovey and Kennedy 2006), as most technology. They have also been marketed as toys for kids. The main audience for games are thought to be in the upper teens. But, as has been argued in several places (e.g. beck and Wade 2004), the generation that grew up with games in the 70s has today grown up. There are also ample of evidence that this generation continue playing games. This means that the average age of gamers are increasing, the first generation keeps growing and every generation after them also adopt this medium

    This↑ is called evidence to back up my position. It is accompanied by a citation. You should try it out. Your comments could use a *lot* of citations.

    Because maybe just maybe a lot of women LIKE MEN WITH BIG MUSCLES and its not your job to tell them what they are allowed not like and not like.

    Do you have evidence to back this up?
    And why are you discounting the fact that women have issues with the portrayal of female characters in video games?

    it’s a call for banning certain elements while ignoring others.

    What, are you 12? You were told this has nothing to do with “banning” anything, yet you stuck your fingers in your ears and pretended that’s what is being discussed. Either address the fucking words on the fucking screen or go the fuck away.

    (BTW, I’ll preempt you here and state that I like to fucking use fucking coarse words and if you have a problem with that, you can fucking whine elsewhere. There are significant points I’m making amid all the harsh words. If you can’t parse that, then you have a far greater problem with reading comprehension than I thought.)

    This is not a call for banning anything. It’s a desire for the manufacturers of video games to stop sexualizing female characters and to stop treating them as window dressing. Clearly you do not want this to happen. You want manufacturers to continue doing what they do, all while ignoring the desires of many of the women who make up 48% of gamers.

    I’m starting to realize that you aren’t even good enough to argue dishonestly. You’re so ignorant on this subject that you really should STFU and go educate yourself. It’s hard to argue with someone this ignorant who is so convinced they’re right.

  91. says

    @86 chaos engineer

    well your post has to be filled with the most amount of logical falacies i have ever seen

    “OK, quick refresher: Barbie games are specifically marketed to young children; they’re not intended to be deep/complex enough to hold the interest of adults. ”

    you are putting words in my mouth. i never said they were meant to be deep. all i said is they were directed at women that is all. and they are directed primarly at women

    ” The “dress-up” game for adults is “The Sims”. I think that game tends to be played more by women, but it’s got a sizable male following as well. ”

    i never said anything to the contrary.

    ” This isn’t true of the “Sims” box art, or the default characters, and based on my experience it isn’t true of the majority of downloadable user-created content either.”

    you are putting words in my mouth again. i was refering to the barbie games not to the sims games which i did not even bring up. willima lane craig is that you?

    ” I have to say it again: It really sounds like you’re throwing out random complaints just to have something to complain about. Do you have personal issues with Anita Sarkeesian? Has she been stalking and bullying you? Would you like to talk about it? ”

    so because i disagree with her points and bring counter arguments i have something personal against her…nice logic.

  92. cartomancer says

    I get rather tired of people trying to claim that the standard male characters one sees in films, games, comics, etc. are just as sexualised and just as sexually objectified as the females. Clearly they are not.

    I know what sexualised (nothing wrong with that) and sexually objectified (problematic) pictures of men look like. You can find millions of the former on the internet’s many fine gay porn sites, and some of the latter on the same. That’s probably your best port of call to pick up how it’s done, because it’s one of the very few parts of modern culture where the sexualised male image is celebrated and promoted. The tote bags for shops like Abercrombie and Fitch or Hollister, or Calvin Klein underwear models, are perhaps the next best thing if, for some unfathomable reason, gay porn isn’t your bag. Our culture has a rich and established visual language of male sexualisation – it just doesn’t see the light of day in very many places.

    Superman, Conan, those iconic Frank Frazetta novel covers, King Arthur, even Chris Hemsworth as Thor… none of those are like that. Virtually nobody in video games is like that – not Master Chief from Halo, not Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, not Solid Snake, not that objectionable thug Kratos from God of War, none of them. Dragon Age’s comic relief elf assassin Zevran is about the only one I can think of. He’s an outrageous mediterranean lothario stereotype whose every other word is about how much of a sex-crazed bisexual he is (and the ones inbetween are mostly about how he was raised in a brothel by prostitutes!). Very few men find Zevran an ideal they would wish to emulate, though he does work as a shallow sexualised fantasy.

  93. Chris J says

    @Tony!

    Actually… counter citation to the idea that games have always from the start been marketed towards men (arcade games at least). It’s a long but fascinating read at how arcade games marketed towards adults randomly started to market only towards boys, and that marketing shaped both the consumption and the game development environment.

  94. says

    @nerok #87

    Intent isn’t magic.

    I’m not convinced you understand what that statement means. If you did, you wouldn’t say it in response to a genuine apology and clarification.

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, typical arguments by the MRA/don’t change fuckwits. The MRA shit is dismissed for the misogyny it is. Those who keep saying “we have always done it that way”, should remember that an important aspect of any quality system is continuous improvement, and if your story lines/misogyny never changes, there is no improvement. What needs to continually be reassessed is how women are portrayed, and create a goal toward even and less misogynic treatment. That is improvement. Why not try it out?

  96. says

    Pazvante:

    nope. i have bad name memory. and she has a complicated name for me to remember.

    I don’t have any issue with someone having a bad memory. I forget things too. If I’m going to talk about someone and I don’t know how to spell their name AND I’M USING A COMPUTER, I’ll go look it up. I’ve given you the correct spelling above. Please copy/paste it next time you refer to her.
    Also, please learn to blockquote. Your comments are difficult enough to read on their own.

    To blockquote: [blockquote]copy/paste the words you want to quote here[/blockquote]
    When you utilize this function, do not use brackets (as I’ve done above) use the greater than/less than signs.

  97. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Tony: to make the text for it, do the following: &_lt_; &_gt_; without the _s. :) Makes < and > respectively.

    Note that if you do a Preview you’ll have to retype them in manually.

  98. says

    Pazvante:

    btw if women want females raping men in video games i have no issue with that…..

    (Thanks to Seven of Mine for pointing out the above idiocy, as I missed it.)
    I would have massive problems with anyone being raped in video games, whether men do it or women.

    Non consensual sex is one of the most vile, abominable actions humans have even done to one another. It needs to stop. People making comments like you did above need to understand that normalizing rape is not a good thing. You’re treating rape like it’s not a big deal. It dehumanizes people (primarily women) and strips them of the basic humanity. It reduces them to objects that exist for the desire of the rapist (who is usually male).

  99. says

    Pazvante:

    well your post has to be filled with the most amount of logical falacies i have ever seen

    The most? Really?
    I’m calling you out here.
    Pick 3 fallacies you think Chaos Engineer made @ 86 and explain how they are logical fallacies.

    ****

    Azkyroth @103:
    Thank you.

  100. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    75
    Pazvante Chiorul

    -answer to 67
    the most popular game today on the planet league of legends has very powerfull female characters that have simmilar abilities to men.

    And what do you see in their splash art? Butts and Boobs poses breaking spines. There’s only a couple of women playables that aren’t sexually objectified for the male gaze. Listen to their quotes. Why does Janna (who, for those that don’t play is a wind goddess type mage support) talk about being a sex phone sex worker? That makes no sense. Why did the evil plant Zyra (keeping it simple for those who don’t play) have a sneak peak that was speficially naked like this when she looks nothing similar to in-game models? Explain Morgana or Nidalee, who swings around her spear like a stripper.

    Do you know where women treated better than sexual objects happened? Later on, when the community made it’s voice heard on some issues. Specifically, IronStylus (who is completely awesome) working on characters fixing things like a woman from a frozen tundra in a CHAIN MAIL BIKINI! And bonus, Nidelee’s model for her French Maid skin even has a visible clit before her re-model. Here’s a thread discussing it, which includes her other skins with the same details. I saw those models before they were changed and it was disgustingly clear.

    There’s still more sexual objectification issues than not. Ever tried to play those characters as a women? Other players make horrid sexist jokes that sexualize you, wanting to play along as killer slut. It’s awful and they get nastier when you tell them to stop. It’s full on male fucking fantasy.

    I could go on but you’re dumber than a box of rocks so why bother. I suggest you stop now. I’ve played League for years. I was on discussion forums about these issues.

    ——————————————-
    95
    Pazvante Chiorul

    @86 chaos engineer

    “OK, quick refresher: Barbie games are specifically marketed to young children; they’re not intended to be deep/complex enough to hold the interest of adults. ”

    you are putting words in my mouth. i never said they were meant to be deep. all i said is they were directed at women that is all. and they are directed primarly at women

    Words have meanings. Women are adults. Girls are not. Just like sexy doesn’t mean sexually objectified. There’s a fucking difference. If you must continue at least use words correctly and learn how to blockquote. You’re making yourself painful to read before I can even grasp how stupid you’re being.

  101. says

    @94-tony

    oh watch out tony didn’t like the discussion i was having with another member so i better be careful cause he is going to act like a white knight and save him by using mean words and logical falacies. wow such mature. wow such argument skills.

    ” First off, this has nothing to do with the discussion.”

    i was actually having a discussion with leftwingfox and it does have a relevance to the discussion i was having with him.

    ” Secondly, even if we were talking about racism, the discussion of one form of racism =/= “not ok to talk about other forms of racism”. More than likely not discussing other forms of racism isn’t relevant to the discussion at hand.”

    it is relevant to the discussion i was having with THAT specific user. Not with you tony. if you feel ignored and want me to notice you just say it. i can talk to you. if you would put your stupidity aside we can even have a rational discussion

    “Thirdly, I seriously doubt you understand racism. Yes, I’m being a deliberate snob here bc you’ve been an asshole. ”

    racism is very simple actually. it means discrimination based on race. see how simple that was…

    ” The men are not sex decorations though. The games are marketed *to* men. Unless you think the majority of gamers have been and continue to be homosexual men (and if you do, you better bring some evidence to back that up), you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    you are putting words in my mouth tony. that is a very dishonest tactic. i never said games are directed at homosexuals.all i said said naked men are as much sexual objects as naked women. that is it. And you would be surprised tony but video game companies market the games as much to women as they do to men. they all want money from women.

    ” This↑ is called evidence to back up my position. It is accompanied by a citation. You should try it out. Your comments could use a *lot* of citations.”

    right,…clogging the comments sections with walls of text definetly contributes to the discussion. a link would have sufficed

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/tech/gaming-gadgets/female-gamers/

    “And why are you discounting the fact that women have issues with the portrayal of female characters in video games? ”

    not all women tony.this is where you are wrong. there hasn’t been a comprehensive study about what women want in video games but since the number of women in video games s rising companies will most likely start to ask questions. and it very hypocritical of you to ask for sources when you make sweeping generalities without giving a source. sarkeesian doesn’t represent all women. not even close. you are a hypocrite tony. and a very bad one too.

    “What, are you 12? ”

    i don’t think i am older than you.

    ” You were told this has nothing to do with ”

    you seem to very misguided tony. i do not think i am supposed to listen to what a random user form the internet tells me. if you do that and most likely you do i advise you to avoid certain dangeorus websites. your stupidity might get you in trouble one day

    “. Either address the fucking words on the fucking screen or go the fuck away.

    (BTW, I’ll preempt you here and state that I like to fucking use fucking coarse words and if you have a problem with that, you can fucking whine elsewhere. There are significant points I’m making amid all the harsh words. If you can’t parse that, then you have a far greater problem with reading comprehension than I thought.) ”

    oh no tony used the f word. what an i going to do. bu ho hohoho. i will just go cry in a corner because tony is such a mean bully….
    you are the the first person i have seen dedicating an entire paragraph to a cuss word and be proud of it.lol. my neurons have burned simply by reading this paragraph

    ” There are significant points I’m making amid all the harsh words. ”

    SIGNIFICANT POINTS-hahahhahahahahah lol.i literaly laughed out loud when i red this. you are either a troll or a frustrated individual suffering from lack of attention.

    ” This is not a call for banning anything. It’s a desire for the manufacturers of video games to stop sexualizing female characters and to stop treating them as window dressing. Clearly you do not want this to happen. ”

    i do not want sexualization removed form video games. i stated that repeatedly. nothing wrong with sex and sexualization. like i said i do not oppose male sexualization either.

    “all while ignoring the desires of many of the women who make up 48% of gamers. ”

    i have the same article in front of me right now. nowhere in the article does it say that women want what you want tony. you are lying and being dishonest again.

    ” I’m starting to realize that you aren’t even good enough to argue dishonestly. You’re so ignorant on this subject that you really should STFU and go educate yourself. It’s hard to argue with someone this ignorant who is so convinced they’re right.”

    says the dishonest individual who does not even read his own links.

  102. says

    105-tony

    Non consensual sex is one of the most vile, abominable actions humans have even done to one another.

    so is shooting people with guns. you want guns banned form video games to? btw i wasn’t referring to having male rape portraied in a positive light. the rapist could be the bad guy.i was simply saying that sexual themes should not be avoided in video games as they are not avoided in other art mediums. you want to have a male rapist as a bad guy-i am fine with that. i should of been more specific in that post though. my bad

  103. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “Pants Choral,” you’ve been instructed on how to fucking quote properly, down to the point of outright handholding. Start fucking doing it.

  104. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    For fuck’s sake. Pun intended.

    Rape is violence, not “sexual themes.”

    You’re just dotting every t and crossing every i, aren’t you?

  105. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    109
    Pazvante Chiorul

    so is shooting people with guns. you want guns banned form video games to? btw i wasn’t referring to having male rape portraied in a positive light. the rapist could be the bad guy.i was simply saying that sexual themes should not be avoided in video games as they are not avoided in other art mediums. you want to have a male rapist as a bad guy-i am fine with that. i should of been more specific in that post though. my bad

    Let’s try this again: that’s NOT what we are talking about! Sexual themes is not the same as treating women across the board as full model fleshlights. That fact you’re so insistent on sexually ONLY being treating women this way, portrayed this way says a whole lot about you. And it ain’t pretty.

  106. says

    @107 jal

    to refer to the first part of your comment you are exagerating and lying. first of lol has a large female population both as progamers and casual gamers that does not have a issue with these types of characters. and also riot is quite quick to respond to fan requests and i haven’t seen that many regarding female characters. on twitch tv right now there are dozens of women playing lol without an issue. like i said let the women gamers themselves decide what you want. i am also a lol player the community can get bad sometimes but the game itself isn’t sexist.

    Words have meanings. Women are adults. Girls are not. Just like sexy doesn’t mean sexually objectified. There’s a fucking difference. If you must continue at least use words correctly and learn how to blockquote. You’re making yourself painful to read before I can even grasp how stupid you’re being.

    i think the comment i made was very clear if you read the discussion. also using insults and ad hominems tell me more about you that you would like me to know.

  107. Amphiox says

    It’s always this dualism. If Dragon Age has a beefcake character it’s a male power fantasy, even though it’s one of the games most openly pandering to a female audience.

    1) beefcake characters ARE male power fantasies. They ARE NOT any form of pandering to a female audience whatsoever. Woman after woman have come out said explicitly that those kinds of male character do NOT appeal to them.

    3) Dragon Age does NOT, in any way shape or form even REMOTELY panders to a female audience. All it does is pander slightly less to a male audience than its average competition.

    That fact that you even think that Dragon Age panders to woman, or that beefcake male characters are sexually objectified for women tells us only that your opinions on these questions is disturbingly warped.

  108. says

    I don’t know how we’re going to eliminate referring to people in ‘objective’ ways. Any why is this all bad. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is objectively beautiful to one person will not be the same to another. And noticing a persons ‘objective’ features (subjectively of course) does not necessitate making the person into an object or denying their subjective characteristics.

    This hurts the part of my brain that knows what “objective” means.

    Objective ! = objectifying. Two different concepts.

    “Objectively beautiful” is a non-thing. Beauty is a subjective quality. That’s what “in the eye of the beholder” means. Subjective ! = objective.

    Okay? Let’s review: I have breasts. That’s an objective fact. You think they’re beautiful. That’s a subjective evaluation. You disregard my agency and desires in favor of using me for your benefit. That’s objectifying. Got it?

  109. says

    azkyroth-111

    For fuck’s sake. Pun intended.

    Rape is violence, not “sexual themes.”

    yes so is shooting people with guns and blasting them with lasers and cutting them with swords.

    jal-112

    Let’s try this again: that’s NOT what we are talking about

    there is no we. i was having the discussion with another user not with you. if you do not get enough attention at home there are websites dedicated to that

    “That fact you’re so insistent on sexually ONLY being treating women this way ”

    i think you are lying intentionally. i have stated about a dozen times in my comments i do not oppose male sexualization and do not have anything against male sexualization in video games. i do not understand why you have to lie to make your point. also your phrase doesn’t make sense

  110. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    113
    Pazvante Chiorul

    @107 jal

    to refer to the first part of your comment you are exagerating and lying. first of lol has a large female population both as progamers and casual gamers that does not have a issue with these types of characters. and also riot is quite quick to respond to fan requests and i haven’t seen that many regarding female characters. on twitch tv right now there are dozens of women playing lol without an issue. like i said let the women gamers themselves decide what you want. i am also a lol player the community can get bad sometimes but the game itself isn’t sexist.

    Excuse me, just because they’re chill girls doesn’t change a damn thing. I’ve been on those forums for years and I know it’s just not the same 5 women bringing up these issues. I AM a woman gamer who plays the game. Did you not read my post?

    It’s not the 10 people battle field that’s sexist, you twit. I’m talking specifically how women characters are designed, marketed and treated by people, both players and makers.

    i think the comment i made was very clear if you read the discussion. also using insults and ad hominems tell me more about you that you would like me to know.

    The fuck it was clear. Yeah, I insult you, so what? Those aren’t ad hominems. You seriously need to learn what words mean. There’s google and dictionaries online. Try them, for fucks sake.

  111. says

    i was simply saying that sexual themes should not be avoided in video games as they are not avoided in other art mediums.

    You’re absolutely right. In the same vein, like all other media, games should not be immune from criticism when they portray women as little more than fuck dolls.

    The issue here isn’t “sexual themes” at all.

  112. says

    Chris J @97:
    Thanks for that link.
    It shattered more than a few assumptions I had about video games, such as:

    This, Bogost says, is one of the fundamental problems with the way people view video games today. The most popular titles — stuff like Candy Crush, Draw Something, Bejeweled — are excluded from being ‘real games,’ both by those within and outside of video game culture. What that leaves is what he describes as infantile adolescent power fantasy games, which are possibly a minority game experience, but they’re the “loudest.” So even if video games as a whole aren’t a gendered medium, even if there’s diversity in content and players, the stereotype persists outside of video game culture.

    I definitely didn’t view Bejeweled as a video game and I fucking love the game. I tend to view games like Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, or Mortal Kombat as video games. Or rather, I did, until reading that article.

  113. Al Dente says

    I notice that almost every time someone refutes Pazvante Chiorul xe whines “you’re putting words in my mouth.” Well, maybe if the asshole learned to write the English gooder then people wouldn’t try to turn hir words into something comprehensible.

  114. says

    120-al dente

    Well, maybe if the asshole learned to write the English gooder then people wouldn’t try to turn hir words

    my irony meter just went through the roof

  115. Tethys says

    Dense troll

    also using insults and ad hominems tell me more about you that you would like me to know.

    JAL did not use an ad hominem argument. She pointed out that you keep making false equivalencies such as sexy =/= objectified, and you are difficult to read because you lack enough courtesy to use the fucking blockquote function, thus you sound very stupid.

    An ad hom would be “You are stupid so everything you say is wrong.”

  116. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    116
    Pazvante Chiorul

    jal-112

    Let’s try this again: that’s NOT what we are talking about

    there is no we. i was having the discussion with another user not with you. if you do not get enough attention at home there are websites dedicated to that

    This thread is an open one and I’ve read all the comments, I’m free to comment to any of them. Nowhere, nohow is any commenter here talking about removing sexy and/or sexual themes from video games. It’s about treating women like people in games, instead of props for straight men.

    “That fact you’re so insistent on sexually ONLY being treating women this way ”

    i think you are lying intentionally. i have stated about a dozen times in my comments i do not oppose male sexualization and do not have anything against male sexualization in video games. i do not understand why you have to lie to make your point. also your phrase doesn’t make sense

    *sigh*
    I’m aware you’re fine with beefcake, but that is not in the same league as the treatment of women as only sexual objects.

    You keep insisting we want sex out of games, when in reality no one is saying that. You only think of these images and portrayals of women as sexual objects as sexy. Removing such harmful portrayals equals removing any sexiness from games to you. Meaning you can’t imaging treating women as people, yet still being sexy.

    I. am. not. lying. It’s not my fault you’re a victim of dunning-krueger supporting the status quo.

  117. says

    117-jal

    Excuse me, just because they’re chill girls doesn’t change a damn thing. I’ve been on those forums for years and I know it’s just not the same 5 women bringing up these issues.

    right. their oppinion doesn’t matter. only yours does. btw according to this riot employee

    http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3155456

    10% of lol players are women. 10% of 70 million that’s about 7 mil women. if they really wanted a change they could get it and they could easily have their voice heard. maybe they really like th egame the way it is.

    It’s not the 10 people battle field that’s sexist, you twit. I’m talking specifically how women characters are designed, marketed and treated by people, both players and makers.

    that’s not what you said.

    The fuck it was clear. Yeah, I insult you, so what?

    well it sort of shows you are an uneducated, dumb person who resorts to insults when running out of arguments. it also shows the blog moderation policies aren’t that good. did your parents educate you to cuss like that or did you learn that form the internet?

  118. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    well it sort of shows you are an uneducated, dumb person who resorts to insults when running out of arguments.

    Pot, meet fucking kettle.

  119. mikeyb says

    @115 Grechen. I get it. I guess I should have known my comments would create confusion. I was just trying to say that we think of ourselves in both objective and subjective terms, so it is natural to refer to others in both objective and subjective terms. Probably should have posted it somewhere else.

    Anyway below is a fascinating you tube lecture by philosopher Shelly Kagan which discusses the body (object) theory vs the personality (subject) theory – two common but contrasting ways of viewing ourselves.

  120. says

    Pazvante:
    Learn to blockquote.

    oh watch out tony didn’t like the discussion i was having with another member so i better be careful cause he is going to act like a white knight and save him by using mean words and logical falacies. wow such mature. wow such argument skills.

    White Knighting? Wow. Another term I doubt you understand. And again with logical fallacies. Point out which fallacies I made and why they’re logical fallacies.

    i was actually having a discussion with leftwingfox and it does have a relevance to the discussion i was having with him.

    I must have missed the spot where leftwingfox (nice of you to get the ‘nym correct, btw) indicated their preferred pronoun choice.

    it is relevant to the discussion i was having with THAT specific user. Not with you tony. if you feel ignored and want me to notice you just say it. i can talk to you. if you would put your stupidity aside we can even have a rational discussion

    Hey, I’m just trying to match my stupidity with yours. It’s very difficult to do. You make it look so easy. I’ll keep trying though. Perhaps I’ll get it right one day.

    racism is very simple actually. it means discrimination based on race. see how simple that was…

    Noooo, that’s not what racism means. You’re not completely wrong, but you’re far from correct.

    you are putting words in my mouth tony. that is a very dishonest tactic. i never said games are directed at homosexuals.all i said said naked men are as much sexual objects as naked women. that is it. And you would be surprised tony but video game companies market the games as much to women as they do to men. they all want money from women.

    You use the phrase “putting words in my mouth”, yet you don’t use it right. I’m not putting words in your mouth. I’m speculating on your hard to follow thought processes.
    Let’s look at my statement again:

    The men are not sex decorations though. The games are marketed *to* men. Unless you think the majority of gamers have been and continue to be homosexual men (and if you do, you better bring some evidence to back that up), you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Nowhere did I say this is what you think. Try reading for comprehension again.

    right,…clogging the comments sections with walls of text definetly contributes to the discussion. a link would have sufficed

    When its relevant to a discussion, blockquoting text is perfectly fine.

    not all women tony.this is where you are wrong. there hasn’t been a comprehensive study about what women want in video games but since the number of women in video games s rising companies will most likely start to ask questions. and it very hypocritical of you to ask for sources when you make sweeping generalities without giving a source. sarkeesian doesn’t represent all women. not even close. you are a hypocrite tony. and a very bad one too.

    I never said she did.

    you seem to very misguided tony. i do not think i am supposed to listen to what a random user form the internet tells me. if you do that and most likely you do i advise you to avoid certain dangeorus websites. your stupidity might get you in trouble one day

    It’s called a courtesy you fuckwit.

    oh no tony used the f word. what an i going to do. bu ho hohoho. i will just go cry in a corner because tony is such a mean bully….
    you are the the first person i have seen dedicating an entire paragraph to a cuss word and be proud of it.lol. my neurons have burned simply by reading this paragraph

    Yes, I’m proud of not being afraid to use coarse language. And you don’t know what a bully is either. Hint: There is no power disparity between either of us.

    i do not want sexualization removed form video games. i stated that repeatedly. nothing wrong with sex and sexualization. like i said i do not oppose male sexualization either.

    What about female objectification?
    That’s not the same thing as sexualization and that’s a big problem in video games and men are not sexually objectified.

    i have the same article in front of me right now. nowhere in the article does it say that women want what you want tony. you are lying and being dishonest again.

    Nope, I’ve listened to many women state this. I’ve been at Pharyngula many years, and heard from many women who play video games. The vast majority want less sexism and misogyny in video games.

    so is shooting people with guns. you want guns banned form video games to? btw i wasn’t referring to having male rape portraied in a positive light. the rapist could be the bad guy.i was simply saying that sexual themes should not be avoided in video games as they are not avoided in other art mediums. you want to have a male rapist as a bad guy-i am fine with that. i should of been more specific in that post though. my bad

    No. No form of rape is fine. Period. Rape is not a sexual theme. Its about power.

    And what is your deal with talking about “banning”? No one is talking about that. We’re criticizing the decisions made and expressing a hope that video game manufacturers will make changes on their own.

  121. Tethys says

    Any mods available to insult and use bad words at dense troll? Seems that in addition to not knowing what words mean, and ignoring the actual experience of a woman in favor of his opinion of what women should think, ze is deeply injured by being referred to as a stupid asshole and wants protection from the bad words and mean horde.

  122. says

    Pazvante:

    there is no we. i was having the discussion with another user not with you. if you do not get enough attention at home there are websites dedicated to that

    This is a public blog. You’re not having a private discussion with one commenter fool.

  123. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Yes, I’m proud of not being afraid to use coarse language. And you don’t know what a bully is either. Hint: There is no power disparity between either of us.

    PLEASE, fucking PLEASE, tell me we aren’t trying to redefine “bullying,” too, into something that can only “properly” exist in the presence of an Approved Official Institutional Power Disparity.

    As it happens, you’re not bullying here, but for demographics-unrelated reasons.

  124. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    125
    Pazvante Chiorul

    117-jal

    Excuse me, just because they’re chill girls doesn’t change a damn thing. I’ve been on those forums for years and I know it’s just not the same 5 women bringing up these issues.

    right. their oppinion doesn’t matter. only yours does. btw according to this riot employee

    http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3155456

    10% of lol players are women. 10% of 70 million that’s about 7 mil women. if they really wanted a change they could get it and they could easily have their voice heard. maybe they really like th egame the way it is.

    That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sexually objectify women. Popularity doesn’t prove shit. And you’re fooling yourself if you think they could get Janna clothed with different lines. The current employees and vast majority of their player base wouldn’t stand for it. Their in the minority, even if every league playing woman wanted it changed, (they dont: hello Chill Girls and internalized sexism!)–it wouldn’t. Welcome to the Patriarchy.

    It’s not the 10 people battle field that’s sexist, you twit. I’m talking specifically how women characters are designed, marketed and treated by people, both players and makers.

    that’s not what you said.

    I said the creators and the players controlling the characters are sexist. I didn’t say their modern DOTA map (originally a Warcraft 3 mod) was sexist. It’s three lanes with monsters on it. Calling that sexist would be stupid.

    The fuck it was clear. Yeah, I insult you, so what?

    well it sort of shows you are an uneducated, dumb person who resorts to insults when running out of arguments. it also shows the blog moderation policies aren’t that good. did your parents educate you to cuss like that or did you learn that form the internet?

    Cussing and insults don’t indicate being less educated. Also, this is a rude blog, it’s allowed: read the rules before commenting. Calling me dumb for insulting you is really hilarious since you can’t even capitalize, express or punctuate written English well.

  125. says

    10% of lol players are women. 10% of 70 million that’s about 7 mil women. if they really wanted a change they could get it and they could easily have their voice heard. maybe they really like th egame the way it is.

    Right. If there are women gamers and if games are a certain way, then women gamers must be okay with that, even if you’ve got examples of women gamers objecting to these things right in front of you. It’s certainly not as if voicing objections to the sexual objectification of women in video games might be part of a process to change video game culture.

    You must be a troll. I refuse to believe that a human being could be this fucking stupid and still remember to breathe regularly.

  126. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It’s certainly not as if voicing objections to the sexual objectification of women in video games might be part of a process to change video game culture.

    Oh, he understands that completely. Why do you think it bothers him?

  127. says

    Pazvante:

    did your parents educate you to cuss like that or did you learn that form the internet?

    Ha ha.
    You foolish ignoranus (thanks to Inaji for introducing me to this word).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profanity

    The term “profane” originates from classical Latin “profanus”, literally “before (outside) the temple”. It carried the meaning of either “desecrating what is holy” or “with a secular purpose” as early as the 1450s CE.

    ‘Curse words’, ‘swear words’, ‘profane words’–these are categories of words that are taboo for religious reasons.
    THIS IS AN ATHEIST BLOG.

  128. says

    123-jal

    This thread is an open one and I’ve read all the comments, I’m free to comment to any of them.

    no you haven’t. you did not read the conversation i was having with that user i take out quotes and take them out of context

    It’s about treating women like people in games, instead of props for straight men.

    i’ve never said anything to the contrary

    I’m aware you’re fine with beefcake, but that is not in the same league as the treatment of women as only sexual objects.

    You keep insisting we want sex out of games, when in reality no one is saying that.

    i have no idea what beefcake is and i never mentioned it. show me one comment where i mention the word beefcake.all i said is that sex should be in video games both for male gamers and female gamers. you want to take out naked women from video games simply because they do not fit your worldview.

    You only think of these images and portrayals of women as sexual objects as sexy. Removing such harmful portrayals equals removing any sexiness from games to you. Meaning you can’t imaging treating women as people, yet still being sexy.

    thats a logical fallacy. you are considering human beings depicted as sexual objects to be harmfull portrails. simmilar to how people want the porn industry banned. there is nothing wrong with humans beings symbolizing sex. that goes for both male and female. like i said before you want to have a male brothel filled with brad pitt looking guys in it in a video game i am fine with that. but do not take out naked women simply because you are feeling that all women are depicted as sexual objects.

  129. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    136
    LykeX

    You must be a troll. I refuse to believe that a human being could be this fucking stupid and still remember to breathe regularly.

    He maybe, but considering my experience in the League of Legends community, he fits right in.

    See, in League they have this reporting system where people report others for various offenses and is voted on by other players to determine if they should be punished. Overwhelmingly, homophobic and racist things get punished, as Riot (the game making company) proudly exclaims. Notice how sexism isn’t fucking included? This is the kind of player we’re dealing with. One who gladly, approvingly lets the majority rule and doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

  130. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    What I mean, briefly, is that I apologize if I misread you, but if you intended to imply that “bullying” “is” [ought to be] subject to the kind of limits on which behavior by whom to whom terms like “racism” are…you/they can’t have that one; I still need it. Otherwise, carry on.

  131. A. Noyd says

    mikeyb (#66)

    Men objectify women and vice versa.

    Objectification is about dehumanization and removal of power. Women don’t have the power in this world to objectify men as men (sexually or otherwise). White women can objectify men of color as men of color. Straight women can objectify gay men as gay men. Rich women can objectify poor men as poor men. But women’s objectification of men doesn’t work without some other power imbalance that puts (a particular group of) women above (a particular group of) men.

    Women don’t objectify men very much in fictional worlds, either. Even in our fantasies, men get to be subjects. They’re portrayed as having agency and mattering as people. Whole stories written for women will revolve around the deliberate choices of men. Consider the revoltingly popular Fifty Shades trilogy. The male character is the one who makes all the decisions. He even controls when and what the female character eats. He’s portrayed as sexy because he controls everything, which is the opposite of being a sex object.

    (#80)

    I don’t know how we’re going to eliminate referring to people in ‘objective’ ways.

    Objectification is treating someone as a nice pair of eyes, not noticing they have a nice pair of eyes.

  132. Galactic Fork says

    thats a logical fallacy. you are considering human beings depicted as sexual objects to be harmfull portrails. simmilar to how people want the porn industry banned. there is nothing wrong with humans beings symbolizing sex. that goes for both male and female. like i said before you want to have a male brothel filled with brad pitt looking guys in it in a video game i am fine with that. but do not take out naked women simply because you are feeling that all women are depicted as sexual objects.

    It is quite possible to portray people in sexual ways, even pornographic ways without reducing them to sexual objects. The fact you equate being sexual with being a sexual object says something.

  133. Suido says

    This just in, Pazvante Chiorul (oh look, I spelled it correctly, first time!) has been found to be more dense than osmium.

    1. Repeated inability to spell Sarkeesian correctly while discussing her work, via a medium that allows pausing while typing out your comments so you can check such things. Copy and paste, how the fuck does that work?

    2. Repeated inability to provide citation for facts, such as women liking muscle bound hulks. Also, hiding behind vague terms to avoid being pinned down on any such opinions. Many, most, some… citation and clarity fucking needed, or you’re just being a weaselly, snivelling little brat.

    3. Repeatedly claiming others arguments suffer from logical fallacies, but never actually explaining which logical fallacy is being used..

    4. Repeated confusing of whether video games are supposed to be realistic or fantasy, and how that relates to the real world, escapism and/or gritty gaming.

    5. Repeated assumptions about banning. From the person who cries constantly that other people are putting words in hir mouth, the frequent assumptions about others’ motives are conspicuous.

    6. Complete, and I can only assume, willful ignorance of the backlash against video games that do break these tropes and portray women as equal to or more powerful than men.

    There’s a whole internet of information at your convenience, but I suppose if you can’t even get a person’s name right, what hope of you getting anything else right?

    0/10. Will comment again when Pazvante Chiorul (oh look, I spelled it correctly again, how the fuck did I manage that? I must respect them as a person enough to put in the effort to get their name right) demonstrates some evidence of arguing in good faith, putting effort into researching and understanding the topic (citing studies would be a nice start) and thinking critically about others’ opinions, rather than hiding behind semantics and gotchas.

    So, unlikely in the near future. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

  134. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    139
    Pazvante Chiorul

    no you haven’t. you did not read the conversation i was having with that user i take out quotes and take them out of context

    This makes no sense. Are you saying I didn’t read the publically avaible conversation, easily accessed by scrolling up? Or that I read it and quotemined you?

    It’s about treating women like people in games, instead of props for straight men.

    i’ve never said anything to the contrary

    Everything you’ve said contradicts that.

    i have no idea what beefcake is and i never mentioned it. show me one comment where i mention the word beefcake.all i said is that sex should be in video games both for male gamers and female gamers. you want to take out naked women from video games simply because they do not fit your worldview.

    It doesn’t matter that you didn’t use that exact word. It has a defined meaning, which has been used by other people in this thread. Look it the fuck up.
    And as a woman, naked women are a part of my worldview–I just have to look down.

    You only think of these images and portrayals of women as sexual objects as sexy. Removing such harmful portrayals equals removing any sexiness from games to you. Meaning you can’t imaging treating women as people, yet still being sexy.

    thats a logical fallacy. you are considering human beings depicted as sexual objects to be harmfull portrails. simmilar to how people want the porn industry banned. there is nothing wrong with humans beings symbolizing sex. that goes for both male and female. like i said before you want to have a male brothel filled with brad pitt looking guys in it in a video game i am fine with that. but do not take out naked women simply because you are feeling that all women are depicted as sexual objects.

    1.) What fallacy?
    2.) This has nothing to do with porn, you clueless twit. We aren’t advocating for no sex or women in niqabs.
    3.) It’s not a “feeling” that women are depicted as sexual objects. That’s their entire purpose.
    4.) It’s not just that women are naked. Seriously, we’re not prudes railing against how dare they show some ankles. You don’t understand the problem at. all.
    5) Having male strippers in one game or even every game does nothing to solve the problem. It’s not a matter of ratio. Even if this happens (snort), when men are pumped up handsome and naked, they aren’t dehumanized like women are.

  135. A. Noyd says

    leftwingfox (#71)

    Once again, IT’S NOT A CALL FOR A BAN. It’s a call to think about and question the sorts of messages the games put out individually, and what the predominance of those tropes in games say about our culture as a whole.

    Who would even enforce a ban? Sheesh. I haven’t even seen anyone calling for a moratorium. That would at least be technically feasible, if extremely unlikely to happen.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Tony (#119)

    I definitely didn’t view Bejeweled as a video game and I fucking love the game.

    I count Bejewelled as a video game, but I’m inclined to spitefully disqualify Candy Crush because it’s so obviously not designed around gameplay. Passing the vast majority of levels depends on luck and power ups rather than skill or strategy. The “game” is designed to frustrate unlucky people into buying power ups for real world cash, and it guarantees everyone will be unlucky at some point.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Suido (#146)

    Repeated inability to provide citation for facts, such as women liking muscle bound hulks.

    Speaking of which, has anyone linked these Hugh Jackman magazine covers yet?

  136. nerok says

    @90 Chris J

    You want nuance? Sexist depictions of women may be hyperbolized as “sticks with two balloons on,” but they aren’t in reality. There are well documented examples of how female bodies are warped or twisted in ways that almost seem natural because of how common they are.

    And the men used in advertising are both on steroids and photoshopped. But we’re supposed to shut up and hit the gym so we too can enjoy the male “power fantasy”.

    What we’re saying is that you are wrong when you say that big muscular hulks are targeting women rather than men.

    Which just dodges around the question. When hunks are used to advertise or pander to women, why is that different than when slender women with huge tits are used to do the same to men? Why is it that you try to cop out every time I mention something appealing to women, but when the same thing is done toward men it’s a sign of the systemic culture problem men have?

    @93 Seven of Mine

    And where do you suppose game developers got the idea that it’s what men want?

    From the same place that says hunks appeal to women?

    Show me where someone made this argument.

    It’s the implied argument each time the issue is dodged.

    Provide us with examples to the contrary and then show us that those are as plentiful as the representations Sarkeesian highlights.

    The number of games without identifiably human protagonists alone rivals the amount of games with them if not exceeds it. Examples to the contrary include many of the supposed dumb damsels, Peach, Lara Croft, Zelda, Chun Li all have featured as deeper playable characters with as much personality and agency as their male counterparts in the games. Somehow we always return to gaming infancy to claim Peach is a helpless pointless character and then compare that with Mario’s development as a character much later. If you make a straight same-era comparison the picture is different. This theme recurs.

    The fact is, women are overwhelmingly presented as stupid sexist caricatures in video games.

    The history of games is built on stupid caricatures. The vast majority of games aren’t deep stories and they aren’t full of complex characters, they’re full of stock characters and bit players to provide a shallow framework to hang a GAME on.

    You have yet to demonstrate how this panders to a female audience.

    It’s possibly the single most openly pandering game when it comes to women and alternative sexualities, the devs have been straightforward about it and you can find all you need to know with a few google searches.
    Once again you’re acting as if women are just beyond being appealed by something as simple as ripped male characters, while also heavily suggesting men are.

    You’re still equivocating “sexy” with “sexually objectified.” These are not synonyms.

    I agree, and I think this is a recurring problem in the “culture critique” of games. I think Sarkeesian routinely dismisses female characters that are sexy by claiming they’re sexually objectified. Perhaps in your own resistance to see any male character as being eye candy for women you can see some of the resistance people who play games have to having characters they appreciate be dismissed in this way?

  137. says

    129-tony

    well you are dumber than i initially thought you were.i still do not know if it is genetical or if you pacticed in your case.

    White Knighting? Wow. Another term I doubt you understand

    i do

    I must have missed the spot where leftwingfox (nice of you to get the ‘nym correct, btw) indicated their preferred pronoun choice.

    that wasn’t about a pronoun. you did not even read the conversation you little idiot. you just like to troll

    Hey, I’m just trying to match my stupidity with yours. It’s very difficult to do. You make it look so easy. I’ll keep trying though. Perhaps I’ll get it right one day.

    you really are dumb. must be geneticaal you have a natural tendency towards stupidity. one of your parents must be really fucked up. who do you resemble the most tony your mother or your father so i know which line of your family is responsible for an idiot like yourself

    Noooo, that’s not what racism means.

    it actually does to most people. but since you are the natural exponent of stupidity…you know…but by now i do not have any expectations towards you so…you really are incurrable.

    You use the phrase “putting words in my mouth”, yet you don’t use it right.

    i do. you keep saying i say things i do not actually say just to prove your point. if you are too stupid to realise that we.. lets just say i would not be surprised.

    When its relevant to a discussion, blockquoting text is perfectly fine.

    but it was not relevant to the discussion. and in general you are not relevant to any discussion.that is no one here talks to you and you have to interfere in other peoples conversations.

    It’s called a courtesy you fuckwit.

    towards you-haaaaaaaaahahahaha. lol. i value my toilet paper more than i do you

    Yes, I’m proud of not being afraid to use coarse language. And you don’t know what a bully is either. Hint: There is no power disparity between either of us.

    there is a power disparity between us tony. because if i would use my full insulting arsenal i would probably get banned very quickly. you know 2 nasty words and think you know how to insult. i could probably insult you in 2000 words and not repeat myself. if you want to see how i insult give me an unmoderated platform where we could talk so i can eviscerate you verbally to my full potential. the only reason i am not doing it here is because i do not feel the need to.also this is not what this blog is about.

    What about female objectification?
    That’s not the same thing as sexualization and that’s a big problem in video games and men are not sexually objectified.

    then start objectifying men. make video games for women where men strip for them. heck if its good i would even buy the game

    Nope, I’ve listened to many women state this. I’ve been at Pharyngula many years, and heard from many women who play video games. The vast majority want less sexism and misogyny in video games.

    right ….but the link that you gave had nothing to do with that. it just stated women played video games.why did you give the link in the first place if it had nothing to do with your comment.

  138. says

    White Knighting? Wow. Another term I doubt you understand

    i do

    Well, I’m sure glad we got that settled. Thanks for your clear and unambiguous explanation on this point, I especially appreciate the references and examples you cited; those made it much easier to see your point.

  139. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ nerok

    The number of games without identifiably human protagonists alone rivals the amount of games with them if not exceeds it.

    Apparently naively, I thought you mean female characters who aren’t stupid, sexist caricatures when I asked you to list examples and show that they’re as plentiful as the caricatures. And your response is non-human protagonists. Jesus fuck.

  140. nerok says

    @152 Seven of Mine

    Apparently naively, I thought you mean female characters who aren’t stupid, sexist caricatures when I asked you to list examples and show that they’re as plentiful as the caricatures. And your response is non-human protagonists.

    No, you can tell from the part where the paragraph continued, after you stopped reading.

    I’m glad you found a way to dismiss what I said and go straight for the righteous indignation response in lieu of having to bother writing a real reply. Have a nice evening.

  141. says

    Pazvante:

    “White Knight” (also known as “Internet White Knight”) is a pejorative term used to describe men who defend women on the Internet with the assumption that they are looking for a romantic reward in return.
    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/white-knight

    What woman was I defending? Also, I don’t comment here looking for romantic rewards (and if I did, it wouldn’t be from a woman).

    then start objectifying men. make video games for women where men strip for them. heck if its good i would even buy the game

    Depicting men in sexually objectifying ways doesn’t solve the problem of sexually objectifying women. I would like to see video game manufacturers *stop* sexually objectifying women in video games.

    ____

    From the commenting rules:

    VI. Courtesies:
    Use the HTML tags listed below the comment box. In particular, use <blockquote>”quoted words”</blockquote> when quoting someone.

    Blockquoting is a courtesy to the commentariat in general, not just myself. It makes your comments easier to understand. Based on the continued formatting of your comments, you don’t seem to care about making your comments more comprehensible.

    ____

    but it was not relevant to the discussion. and in general you are not relevant to any discussion.that is no one here talks to you and you have to interfere in other peoples conversations.

    The material I quoted shows how comic book artists draw women in sexually objectifying ways. Which is the same way in which women are depicted in video games. The sexual objectification of women occurs throughout multiple forms of media. I could have chosen to make my point with music videos. I thought that you would be able to see the similarities between the depiction of women in comics and the depiction of women in video games. I thought perhaps that would lead you to see that women are sexually objectified in video games, and that this is not a good thing. I was clearly wrong.

    Oh, and several people have responded to me, so you’re lying when you say “no one here talks to you”. In addition this is a public blog. Anyone is free to comment on anything they like. If you want a private conversation that no one else can comment on, you’ve come to the wrong place.
    But you’ve long since established that you’re here to troll. You can’t format your comments for shit, you’re ignoring the points people are making, you fail to back up your assertions with evidence, you claim others are lying about you when such is not the case (no one has put words in your mouth), you lie yourself (you told JAL that she hadn’t read the whole thread, even after she told you she did), and you demonstrate a lack of understanding of logical fallacies (you keep claiming people are committing them, yet you have yet to show which fallacies and how they’ve been committed)

    ____

    that wasn’t about a pronoun. you did not even read the conversation you little idiot. you just like to troll

    I was making the point that you do not know the gender of leftwingfox, so you shouldn’t assume that xe is male. You said:

    i was actually having a discussion with leftwingfox and it does have a relevance to the discussion i was having with him.

    Him is a pronoun.

    ____

    why did you give the link in the first place if it had nothing to do with your comment.

    48% of gamers are women. Many of these women take issue with the sexism in video games. You’re dismissing their concerns. You’re also dismissing the concerns of the male gamers who also take issue with sexism in games. All bc you’d rather not see the status quo change.

  142. Al Dente says

    Pazvante Chiorul @150

    well you are dumber than i initially thought you were.i still do not know if it is genetical or if you pacticed in your case.

    Pot meet kettle.

    White Knighting? Wow. Another term I doubt you understand

    i do

    Citation needed.

    you [sic] really are dumb. must be geneticaal [sic] you have a natural tendency towards stupidity. one [sic] of your parents must be really fucked up. who [sic] do you resemble the most tony your mother or your father so i know which line of your family is responsible for an idiot like yourself[?]

    You’d look much less like a fuckwit if you used correct English, especially when you’re pretending to be mentally superior to someone who can write proper English.

    You use the phrase “putting words in my mouth”, yet you don’t use it right.

    i do. you keep saying i say things i do not actually say just to prove your point. if you are too stupid to realise that we.. lets just say i would not be surprised.

    No, fuckwit, you don’t use the phrase “putting words in my mouth” correctly. People are refuting (that’s a big word which means explaining how you’re wrong) your arguments and you’re whining about them “putting words in your mouth.” What the term actually means is to interpret what someone said so that the words mean what you want and not what the speaker wanted. However since you’re such a poor writer and since you keep shifting the goal posts people have to guess what you’re actually trying to say at any particular instance.

    When its relevant to a discussion, blockquoting text is perfectly fine.

    but it was not relevant to the discussion. and in general you are not relevant to any discussion.that is no one here talks to you and you have to interfere in other peoples conversations.

    You must be new to the internet. Otherwise you’d know that this is a public blog and any fuckwittery you spew can be commented upon by anyone. You’re not having a private conversation, you’re in a public debate. You can toss out comments and people can explain how fucked up they are.

    there is a power disparity between us tony.

    There certainly is. Tony is much more intelligent than you are, a better writer, and has a greater understanding of the concepts of sexism and sexual objectification than you do.

    because if i would use my full insulting arsenal i would probably get banned very quickly.

    No, shit for brains, you can use any insults you want as long as they’re not sexist, racist, ableist, or otherwise punching down. You have to work at being banned here. Being boring, which you’re starting to be, will get you banned, not tossing out “fuck” or “shit”.

    i could probably insult you in 2000 words and not repeat myself.

    I sincerely doubt this. You’re not intelligent enough and your English isn’t good enough for you to have that sort of vocabulary.

    What about female objectification? That’s not the same thing as sexualization and that’s a big problem in video games and men are not sexually objectified.

    then start objectifying men. make video games for women where men strip for them.

    How about not objectifying anyone? Or is that concept too complex for you?

  143. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    nerok @ 153

    No, you can tell from the part where the paragraph continued, after you stopped reading.

    I’m glad you found a way to dismiss what I said and go straight for the righteous indignation response in lieu of having to bother writing a real reply. Have a nice evening.

    I didn’t stop reading, shithead. You listed the stock handful of examples of strong women. I knew you would do this when I asked for examples, so I asked you to also show that those are at least as common as the sexist caricatures. And all you could come up with to show prevalence is non-human protagonists.

  144. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerok and Pazvante Chiorul, why are you scared shitless about a minor change in the philosphy of gaming? Actually treating women like real people, your equals? Analyze your “reasons”, then dig deeper for your real reasons. Is it that you don’t think women are your equals? Then why should anybody listen to a bigot?

  145. nerok says

    @154 Tony

    48% of gamers are women.

    I am assuming this number is pulled from this study (although it’s quoted as 47%)?
    http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf

    There is no breakdown of gender in what types of games are played, and if you look at the overall types of games played it’s at around 42-47% Puzzle, Board, Game Show, Trivia and Gard Games. That is, games with no protagonists or characters at all. Those are also the game types you’ll see marketed to women a lot of the time, and with an ear to the grapevine the kind of games a majority of women play (though clearly not exclusively).

    You could easily claim this is because they feel excluded from the story driven end of the market.

    I point it out because I feel the statistic is misleading if it doesn’t show what they’re actually playing. Any market based argument is worthless if only a sliver of women play or are interested in the types of games being critiqued (story or at least protagonist driven ones). Again, I’m not making a definitive statement of how it breaks down, this is a cautionary comment about how the numbers are used in arguments.

  146. nerok says

    I didn’t stop reading, shithead. You listed the stock handful of examples of strong women.

    Then you missed the point by a mile. I cited the specific characters used to claim women are portrayed negatively and pointed out that they all have grown into equals in newer games.

    I knew you would do this when I asked for examples, so I asked you to also show that those are at least as common as the sexist caricatures.

    Clearly you are so focused on your rhetoric you can’t stop to read what I’m saying. “As common” is another bullshit trap you’ve laid out where you get to decide what counts and what doesn’t. I just showed you that the commonly used examples in favour of your position all contradict the very trope they’re supposed to represent.

    But apparently they’re branded for all time as “sexist caricatures” because of NES era games where the comparative protagonist hero male had all the depth of the pixels that made up their sprite.

    And all you could come up with to show prevalence is non-human protagonists.

    And yet again you misunderstand or outright misrepresent what was said. Go back and read it, but this time try to read what I said, instead of what you assume I would say.

    @157 Nerd

    why are you scared shitless about a minor change in the philosphy of gaming? Actually treating women like real people, your equals?

    Have you stopped beating your wife?

    It’s a fair question, is it not?

  147. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s a fair question, is it not?

    What are you scared shitless about loser?

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and epsilon male Nerok, you won’t be able to scare me. I’m a 60+year old bald male, and have dealt with idjits like you since grade school…

  149. nerok says

    What the fuck are you on about?

    It’s one of the oldest examples of a loaded question that exists. Don’t even pretend like you fine fellows of skepticism and arguments didn’t figure that out on your first read. Are you just cashing in on opportunities to be offended?

    I showed you exactly the same courtesy in that question you showed me. If you’re that upset, maybe you shouldn’t act like an asshole first?

  150. Sassafras says

    As a woman that actually does find large, muscular guys appealing, it irritates me to no end when people use the stupid “BIG MUSCLES = OBJECTIFICATION/SEXUALIZATION” argument. The men in games are NOT presented for my sexual enjoyment (or that of any other person attracted to men). Men in games may be big and muscular but they are rarely showing off much skin and when they do, the camera doesn’t linger on their bodies the way it does to women. There are no jiggle physics for guy’s packages and butts. When there’s a sex scene, it doesn’t focus on how hot the guy’s big muscles are, it focuses on the woman’s body. The framing of eroticism in games makes it clear that it’s for the enjoyment of straight men and straight men only, and YOU KNOW IT. It’s completely disingenuous to pretend that men in games are put there to titillate women.

  151. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I showed you exactly the same courtesy in that question you showed me. If you’re that upset, maybe you shouldn’t act like an asshole first?

    OH, you mean your days worth of trolling was real, and you have a real definable purpose you care to share with us loser? Your approach has been that of an MRA/PUA fuckwit. Don’t like the tag, get off the arguments they use.

  152. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Again Nerok, what the fuck are you scared shitless about if the gaming community starts treating women characters as real people, approved of by the 48% of women who game?
    Why are you afraid of the question. And why are you still here….

  153. BeckyEscalator says

    Well… Honestly, I recognize one of those Twitter names from the time I dared ask “What about women who want to leave the industry?” and they and several other accounts started throwing accusations at me ranging from “You want prostitutes to be murdered!” to “Your ex-husband must have left you for a sex-worker because clearly you’re jealous of us.”. It was bizarre. I had men try to explain to me that dating was terrible because it didn’t guarantee them sex and “feminist” sex workers agreeing with them. They flip out at the slightest criticism of the idea that sex is a commodity. They’re either very privileged sex workers trying to defend their place or they’re sock puppets.

  154. nerok says

    @ Nerd

    I’m not sure if you’re acting out some deep emotional pain right now, but you come in to make a bullshit question only designed to insult and antagonize and you’re then so very wounded to have me point out how disingenuous you’re being you just go into rant mode?

    Maybe it’s because I’m not white? You just hate white people, don’t you? Can you explain why you’re so afraid of us? Are you getting it yet? Do you see how you’re acting yet?

  155. says

    nerok:

    What the fuck are you on about?

    It’s one of the oldest examples of a loaded question that exists. Don’t even pretend like you fine fellows of skepticism and arguments didn’t figure that out on your first read. Are you just cashing in on opportunities to be offended?

    I showed you exactly the same courtesy in that question you showed me. If you’re that upset, maybe you shouldn’t act like an asshole first?

    You’ve been arguing with people who oppose the continued sexual objectification of women in video games. Ending that would be a minor change in the games and would be treating women better. You appear to oppose those. Nerd’s comment is not a loaded question. Yours is.

  156. nerok says

    @169 Tony

    You’ve been arguing with people who oppose the continued sexual objectification of women in video games.

    And somehow you go from having a discussion about games and to what extent this critique is true or fair, to saying this shows I hate women and don’t see them as equal and would oppose “the continued sexual objectification of women”?

    That is some fucking twisted logic. I either agree with everything she says, even if she’s wrong, or I hate women. That’s fair, if you’re all racists for telling me I’m wrong.

    This is fucking ridiculous.

  157. gmacs says

    I hear ya. Many MMOs use that trick. Neverwinter had a busty female cleric with a “cleavage window” in her armor. Even Star Trek Online pulled that stunt (I expect better from that series). I think the worst is League of Angels.

    Shit, has anyone here played League of Legends? That’s a really popular one, and most of the female characters have sexualized costumes. Not all are sexualized, and I expect that has something to do with various artists being involved in their development. However, I have seen female characters start off with appropriate-looking armor and gear, but when they did redraws with splash-art, they took away armor and cloth from Ryven’s costume. They even gave her the fucking “smokey-eyed” look.

    I will say, however, that the sexism does not extend as much to the back stories of the characters, nor to their combat abilities. Most of my favorite characters were female, and there were some a-fucking-mazing female tanks. But come on. Wouldn’t women living in the arctic have some covering on their chests, arms, and legs?

    I haven’t played the game in months, who knows what they’ve got going now.

  158. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Maybe it’s because I’m not white? You just hate white people, don’t you? Can you explain why you’re so afraid of us? Are you getting it yet? Do you see how you’re acting yet?

    What I see is that you are telling us by your evasions you are a misogynist, who doesn’t believe women are his equals. If you didn’t believe that, you would have no trouble answering a reasonable question, on why you are scared shitless about women being treated as equals in computer games….
    Why can’t you answer the question. Because we both know the answer. Time for you to fade into the bandwidth.

  159. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is fucking ridiculous.

    Yes, why are you still here? Afraid of admitting to the blog you have issues?

  160. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Sassafras @164:

    It’s completely disingenuous to pretend that men in games are put there to titillate women.

    This!

    As a nearly 52-year-old woman who has been playing computer games since 1990, it is staggering to me that nerok and Pazvante Chiorul can be so dishonest. I also find it sad that they cannot grasp that women have been speaking up about disliking the sexual objectification of women in computer games for a very long time but our voices and opinions are ignored, dismissed, or censured. In worse case scenarios, the women who raise these issues, such as Anita Sarkeesian, are subjected to rape threats, death threats, and online abuse.

  161. nerok says

    @173 Nerd

    If you didn’t believe that, you would have no trouble answering a reasonable question
    Why can’t you answer the question. Because we both know the answer.

    You never answered my question either, so I guess we know how you treat your wife.

    Do you like being on the receiving end of your own abuse? If you have some genuine handicap as far as empathy goes please say so.

  162. says

    nerok:
    The crux of what Anita Sarkeesian is discussing is the sexual objectification of women in video games. Most of the people in this thread agree with her that this is a problem and would like to see video game manufacturers end this practice. You, along with Pazvante, are arguing against this. Your arguments are in favor of continuing the sexual objectification of women in video games. Your misogynistic arguments are not in favor of equality for women.

  163. says

    Men respect women don’t get bent out of shape about having the opportunities to treat women as objects instead of people reduced, nerok.

    Of course you’ll pretend it’s all about freeze peach.

    You’re transparent, though.

  164. Akira MacKenzie says

    Tethys @ 79

    Lol, wut? Your issue is that she is actually trying to change the horrible way women are depicted in video games, rather than just documenting it? The horror! Whatever will you do if you can’t beat up, rape, and kill prostitutes in GTA? Help, help, you’re being oppressed!

    I suspect that Pazvante, with his rants about “anti-sex,” is afraid that if video game producers no longer give him virtual women to spank-off to, he’ll lose his only sexual outlet.

  165. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do you like being on the receiving end of your own abuse? If you have some genuine handicap as far as empathy goes please say so.

    How am I abusing you, other than demanding to hear WHY you keep arguing from a misogynist stance. What are you afraid of, if you are equal to women, and your computer games have that as a story line? You are scared shitless about something. Admit it to yourself and go away, or admit it to us and continue posting…..

  166. nerok says

    @164 Sassafras

    Men in games may be big and muscular but they are rarely showing off much skin and when they do, the camera doesn’t linger on their bodies the way it does to women. There are no jiggle physics for guy’s packages and butts.

    Given how massively overdeveloped the guys in the games are there’s not much to jiggle. Since I apparently need to spell things out, the ridiculous male stereotypes aren’t supposed to jiggle.

    As for skin, pretty much any hulk not in powerarmor is half naked.

    When there’s a sex scene

    A subset of a subset of a subset of games that would include a sex scene. Upon which we lay the entirety of games.

    It’s completely disingenuous to pretend that men in games are put there to titillate women.

    What I’m getting out of this discussion is that only broad strokes that support the narrative count. Male hunks put in games even when explicitly for women (and gay men) don’t count. That the classic damsels in distress all graduated into becoming real characters and getting prominent spots or their own games doesn’t count. Throwaway female NPCs in games are evidence, but throwaway male NPCs aren’t. The overwhelming focus on killing men in games is irrelevant because you can kill women in GTA. Samus is suited up to kill like Master Chief, but she doesn’t count. Deep female characters you can find all the way back in mid 90s games don’t count.

    All of gaming is monolithic and hates women and gamers do too.

    The fact that this is presented in this black and white cherrypicking way, that a long history of good female representations in games are sidelined and rendered pointless or mischaracterised to make a point, is why people who play games feel the need to correct the image.
    Much like a “there’s no room for women in sports” narrative would and should face pushback.

    This is not, and I frankly cannot understand how people jump to this conclusion, an outright denial of any issues with the presentation and purpose of women in games.

    Pointing out that the representation of men in games is also ridiculous, over the top, cliché and a caricature is also not denying issues, it’s presenting a more accurate picture where women aren’t singled out to be poorly represented, but rather as indicative of a hobby that half the time doesn’t have a narrative to begin with, and the other half uses it as a thin framework to hang a game. Games as a whole have teething issues at this point on a number of issues. Violence is one. The game Spec Ops: The Line made waves just because it dared question the unthinking point and shoot philosophy that’s ruled games for a decade. Narrative based games are getting torn to shreds for “not being games”.

    This is a turbulent time for the entire hobby, as it grows and matures, and I think it’s clear we’re quickly getting better and richer games. Bioware is a massive company and has explicitly set out to deal with this in blockbuster games. It’s not exactly swept under the rug.

  167. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think they have crossed a line with the comments to Nerd.

    Don’t worry about me. I’m laughing at the transparency of the misogynist hiding his bigotry….
    All it means is that Nerok hasn’t been discussing like a civilized person, where they could be wrong, but rather preaching like a rabid True Believer™, where they are absolutely right.

  168. Pete Newell says

    Wow. Them are some stubborn stupid people. Or deliberate trolls. I dunno. I’m not up to this shit right now.

    As always, I admire the hell out of those of you who are still rubbing their noses in it.

    You folk are doing work just as important as Anita Sarkeesian is.

    Thank you.

    The dickheads you have to argue with – who almost certainly know who and what they are – can suck it.

  169. nerok says

    @176 Tony

    You, along with Pazvante, are arguing against this. Your arguments are in favor of continuing the sexual objectification of women in video games.

    I’m really not sure where your dishonesty begins at this point. Perhaps my post above clears it up for you. If you’re still on this track after this, I can’t see a reason other than that you’re pissed off I don’t kowtow to your opinions.

    I think they have crossed a line with the comments to Nerd.

    I answered his hate in kind and I’m the one crossing the line? It’s great to know tribal dynamics are more important here. If you truly think misogyny is bad, perhaps you’ll understand why I don’t take it lightly when some jackass starts insinuating I hate women because I dare disagree on the topic of the gaming industry. I found it distasteful when he started and it’s beyond insulting at this point. You seem to agree with him that it’s just a casual insult to be thrown around and I really have to wonder what the fuck is wrong with both of you.

  170. A. Noyd says

    Sassafras (#164)

    The men in games are NOT presented for my sexual enjoyment (or that of any other person attracted to men). Men in games may be big and muscular but they are rarely showing off much skin and when they do, the camera doesn’t linger on their bodies the way it does to women.

    Yep, yep. If male characters in games and comics were exaggerated to appeal to gay men they way female characters are exaggerated to appeal to straight men, we’d see stuff way closer to the art on this [VERY NSFW] blog. (Hit “Articles plus anciens” to see older posts.) I mean, obviously non-porn games would feature fewer giant, naked erections, but those would be not-very-subtly implied. Like in this [still NSFW] pic or this [still NSFW] pic.

    And most of the characters on the above blog, while hypersexualized, are portrayed as active, aggressive, protagonist types. In terms of (implied) role, they’re way better off than sex objects like Sarkeesian is discussing.

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can’t see a reason other than that you’re pissed off I don’t kowtow to your opinions.

    Dissent by bigotry isn’t really dissent. It is pretending you have a message of equality–NOT.

    I don’t take it lightly when some jackass starts insinuating I hate women because I dare disagree on the topic of the gaming industry.

    Why are you “daring”. Or are you really misogynic? Only you know, and only you can be honest with yourself. Your facade is exposed here, so you may as well vanish into the bandwidth. Your word is toast, since you won’t answer a simple question about your motives….

  172. nerok says

    @186 Nerd

    I’ve explained my position in more detail, a post you chose to ignore. You’ve now continually harassed me by accusing me of being something truly distasteful for a dozen posts, and even though I’ve tried showing you, repeatedly, just how fucking vile I think you are being, you don’t care and continue.

    I’m feeling a bit nauseous to be honest.

    I’m not sure what would compel you to treat someone like this. I can only hope you have some sort of problem that inhibits your social cues or makes you want to hurt people. It’s a better thought than this being who you are.

  173. Tethys says

    The overwhelming focus on killing men in games is irrelevant because you can kill women in GTA.

    I quite specifically stated the problem was with the raping and murder of prostitutes in GTA

    We aren’t discussing violence in games, we are discussing the sexism prevalent in video games.. Murder is a fairly equal opportunity crime, which very few people will ever be subject to IRL.

    Rape however is experienced by 1 in 4 women IRL. Sex workers have an even higher incidence of rape and are also much more likely be assaulted or killed than the general population.

    In light of those abysmal statistics, it is not asking much to not to depict rape as a strategy to get ahead in video games. Greater creativity in female character development, with costumes that are appropriate for climate and vigorous physical activity is not going to destroy gaming.

  174. nerok says

    @188

    I quite specifically stated the problem was with the raping and murder of prostitutes in GTA

    You’ll note I said women, not prostitutes. There are a lot of arguments made, this one was not specifically from here and belongs in the context it was presented.

    We aren’t discussing violence in games, we are discussing the sexism prevalent in video games.

    The relevance is tied into the argument made in that post.

    In light of those abysmal statistics, it is not asking much to not to depict rape as a strategy to get ahead in video games.

    This is a really strange argument when you’ve just objected to me bringing up violence. Violence is as real as rape and is MUCH more commonly a way to get ahead in games. Murder is the key mechanic of some of the most popular and most played games out there. Can you really say a call to eliminate prostitutes from GTA can be separated from the rest of the glorified violence?

    Not to mention killing prostitutes is an open world choice on the part of the player (as is the train hogtie achivement in RDR), unlike the violence, which is the central part of the game and unavoidable.

  175. says

    nerok:

    Given how massively overdeveloped the guys in the games are there’s not much to jiggle. Since I apparently need to spell things out, the ridiculous male stereotypes aren’t supposed to jiggle.

    You still don’t get it. In meatspace, women are sexually objectified all the time. They’re reduced to sex objects and treated as if they exist for no other purpose than to serve the needs of heterosexual men. The patriarchal power structure that’s in place across the globe supports this. There is no equivalent structure of oppression whereby men are routinely victimized and reduced to sexual objects who exist solely for the desires of women. Misogyny and sexism manifest in a variety of ways, including the depiction of women in video games. Women are all too often treated as props in video games. Or they’re objectified sexually just as they are in meatspace.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_objectification
    Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person merely as an instrument of sexual pleasure, making them a “sex object”.

    Men don’t get treated like this to any degree close to what women do. They aren’t reduced to cock n balls, or asses. They aren’t reduced to body parts without agency. All those examples in Sarkeesian’s video…how many times have you seen men in the exact same situations as the women? Where are the background male characters who do nothing but serve the needs of a woman (or a man)? Where are the male characters with cameras depicting big packages or big buttocks? Where is the lingering camera shot showcasing a man’s muscled legs and panning up to his crotch and lingering there? Where are the 360° shots of shirtless men, capturing every detail of their musculature and serving no purpose other than titillation? Again, even if you can find examples, it doesn’t happen to the degree it does to women. Nor is it reflected in the way men are treated in meatspace. It’s not reflected in other forms of media like movies, comic books, or music videos. Men simply aren’t sexually objectified to any great degree. Women are sexually objectified in every media all the damn time.

    Moreover, as Sarkeesian points out, the treatment of female background characters in video games leads to a spillover effect:

    In terms of the second question – “do sexualized images of women impact how other women are perceived?” – the answer is again a resounding “yes,” at least for men. Specifically, in one study researchers randomly assigned men to view sexualized or neutral images of women. They were then told that they would have to rate the female experimenter for a task unrelated to the images. When the men had just viewed sexualized images of different women, they rated the experimenter, even though she was modestly dressed, as less competent and intelligent.

    These studies are important because every time someone sees a sexualized image of a woman (which studies show are far more frequent than those of sexualized men), this likely is detrimental to how women are perceived.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-big-questions/201106/the-sexual-objectification-spillover-effect

    Why are you arguing against this? Why are you so intent on keeping the status quo like it is?

  176. Tethys says

    WTF? How in blazes is it possible that you keep skipping right over the problematic raping part, even after I explicitly spelled it out?

  177. nerok says

    @190 Tony

    Why are you arguing against this?

    I’m not.

    Why are you so intent on keeping the status quo like it is?

    I’m not.

    I already wrote a long post about it. I suggest you read it. Since you seem to need handholding, the takeaway is not that games are beyond criticism. I don’t think inaccuracies, lies by omission or misrepresentations of fact are okay in the service of a greater good. Perhaps that’s the point of contention.

  178. Azuma Hazuki says

    The thing is, you can do sexy without it being exploitative.

    As much as it was meant for kids (supposedly…nightmare fuel abounds!) Sailor Moon as a series, the manga under Takeuchi’s own control especially, manages to pull this off. There is lots of art of Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Moon in tasteful but very obviously sexual poses, including one where he’s conked out sound asleep and she’s wide awake and has a huge “doesn’t matter, had sex, love him lots and lots” smile on her face, looking right at the viewer. There’s some of her in lingerie. And Takeuchi-sensei does seem to like drawing pretty women draped over one another surrounded by flowers…

    It even plays with a lot of common tropes, such as the butch Haruka (more androgynous than butch in manga) arguably being a bit subby toward her femme partner Michiru, or hyper-feminine and insecure Makoto being close to six feet tall and strong enough to clean-and-jerk a 300-pound youma over her head un-transformed. Quiet, geeky Ami has a hidden scary side and is fairly obviously a lesbian. And for all her whining and early incompetence, Usagi herself is incredibly strong-willed and even manages to save villains from themselves more than once.

    This is the quintessential girl power series, a giant coming of age story. It says “There’s lots of ways to be a woman: tall, short, smart, strong, straight, and gay. Which you are doesn’t matter: stand up for what’s right, protect your friends and loved ones, and always remember even bad people started out innocent.”

    The girls are growing up and dealing with normal girl things, even though they’re haunted by memories of a past life full of tragedy and a present one where they’ve all seen things that would drive lesser women insane and died at least once each. And they’re still dealing with first crushes, heartbreak, insecurity, some questioning their sexual orientation (Haruka tends to do that to you…), and even a potential time paradox caused by relationships.

    This is how you do sexy without it being exploitative…well, mostly. The uniforms are ridiculous. But at no time do you ever get the impression that any of the characters are just fanservice, or one-dimensional. Relationships if not actual sex drive practically this entire story, from Beryl’s jealousy all the way out to the bizarre villains of SuperS.

  179. says

    nerok:

    I’m really not sure where your dishonesty begins at this point. Perhaps my post above clears it up for you. If you’re still on this track after this, I can’t see a reason other than that you’re pissed off I don’t kowtow to your opinions.

    No, your comment didn’t clear up anything.
    You still display a lack of understanding that sexual objectification of women in meatspace is an huge problem that continues to occur around the world and actively harms women and girls.
    You still display a lack of understanding that the selfsame sexual objectification of women and girls in meatspace is reflected in all forms of media, including video games.
    You still appear to believe that men are sexually objectified in ways similar to women.
    You still display a lack of understanding that Sarkeesian, and most of us in this comment thread oppose the continued sexual objectification of women in media and all other aspects of society.

    Your continued lack of understanding of this very real problem of sexism and misogyny that women and girls face angers me beyond belief. People like you normalize this shit by treating it as if its not a big deal. You help foster an environment where women are routinely victimized at the hands of men. If you’re not going to be part of the solution-and it’s clear you’re not-get the fuck out of the way. The only thing you’ve added to the discussion is one more misogynistic fuckwitted opinion. We’ve heard enough of those around here. I’m goddamned sick and tired of this shit. I’m sick of women and girls being treated like this. I’m sick of people like you who normalize this. I’m sick of people like you who are so invested in the status quo that you refuse to stop supporting it. I’m sick of people like you who fail to show compassion and empathy for women and girls. Basically, I’m sick of people like you, you misogynistic shitstain.

  180. nerok says

    @191 Tethys

    WTF? How in blazes is it possible that you keep skipping right over the problematic raping part, even after I explicitly spelled it out?

    The last paragraph of the post you’re replying to directly references said part. How is it possible you can’t see that? Everything I said there is contingent upon your post and your argument. You jumped onto a point you thought I made, I pointed out I didn’t address that point, and then followed up your argument on problematic rape by putting it in the context of the larger issue of violence and asking you how you could separate it, giving specific examples of how that judgment call works in the context of violence in games.

    I’ve now recapped the post for you. If you have questions or calls for clarifications, please ask them, instead of implying I never read your post.

  181. Pteryxx says

    not that I want to get into it with this guy, but this:

    Given how massively overdeveloped the guys in the games are there’s not much to jiggle. Since I apparently need to spell things out, the ridiculous male stereotypes aren’t supposed to jiggle.

    isn’t even true, as is plain to see with boxers or NFL players in slow-motion replay. Muscles are still soft tissue and big muscles jiggle plenty.

  182. A. Noyd says

    Tethys (#188)

    Greater creativity in female character development, with costumes that are appropriate for climate and vigorous physical activity is not going to destroy gaming.

    Am I the only one that had trouble telling apart a lot of the games Sarkeesian covered in this video? Gosh, it’s almost like relying on sexist tropes destroys creativity.

  183. says

    nerok @192:

    I don’t think inaccuracies, lies by omission or misrepresentations of fact are okay in the service of a greater good. Perhaps that’s the point of contention.

    You have failed to show inaccuracies, lies by omission or misrepresentation. Perhaps you *think* you’ve done so, but it hasn’t shown in your posts in this thread.

  184. nerok says

    @194 Tony

    I see you are content to continue calling me misogynist and blaming me for the state of the world. You do this by deliberately misunderstanding every single post I make, taking disagreement as wholesale denial of issues and taking my interest in the topic and expanding on the shallow criticism Sarkeesian gives as an attack on women.

    I’ve tried to make you understand that this makes as much sense as me calling your out for your racism and antisemitism, but you really don’t seem to get it.

    Whatever script you have rolling in your mind that keeps snapping what I say back to your imagined enemy, you need to find a way to deal with it. I’m now going to go throw up and down more anti-anxiety pills since it’s apparently not sinking in how much your insane hyperbole and insults hurt.

  185. ck says

    Re: “Prostituted women”
    To be fair to Ms. Sarkeesian, at least one of the games mentioned, Saints Row 3, does have women in it that probably only could be defined as “prostituted”. There is one mission where you have to steal shipping containers on a boat filled with women being sold into prostitution. Frankly, far too much of that game seemed like they were trying to be shocking for the sake of being shocking (i.e. bringing in a porn star to be voice talent in the game and advertising this fact).

    Strangely enough, Saints Row 4 disposed of virtually all of the worst misogyny that had defined the series up until then. I still couldn’t say the game is completely free of it (there’s still a lot of scantily-clad women that don’t even have male equivalents in-game), but it’s certainly less overt.

  186. says

    Gosh Nerok, from your reaction to people applying the “misogynist” label to your comments, you’d almost think you believe that there was something shameful about being a misogynist.

  187. says

    nerok:

    I see you are content to continue calling me misogynist and blaming me for the state of the world.

    You’re right. I should be more precise. Your support of misogyny and sexism is disturbing. Better?
    Also, I haven’t blamed you for the state of the world. I blame you for continuing to support it.

    You do this by deliberately misunderstanding every single post I make, taking disagreement as wholesale denial of issues and taking my interest in the topic and expanding on the shallow criticism Sarkeesian gives as an attack on women.

    It’s comments like this that make me doubt that you understand where most of us have been coming from. “Shallow criticism”? Her criticism was spot on and in depth, as well as well sourced (she cites 12 sources here). Her video was far from shallow.

    I’ve tried to make you understand that this makes as much sense as me calling your out for your racism and antisemitism, but you really don’t seem to get it.

    No it doesn’t. There’s evidence here in this thread of your support for the continued misogyny in video games. There is no evidence in this thread of racism or antisemitism on my part (pretty sure there’s no evidence of that anywhere).

    I’m now going to go throw up and down more anti-anxiety pills since it’s apparently not sinking in how much your insane hyperbole and insults hurt.

    I am genuinely sorry you’re having anxiety problems.
    That does not change the fact that based on what you’ve written in this thread, I do not feel I’ve engaged in insane hyperbole. Insults sure. But I feel those have been deserved.

  188. HidariMak says

    What does it matter if not all people saw a given advertisement? Unless the ad was considered and rejected before being shown to anyone, it’s still an example of trying to sell games or arcade machines using women as superfluous decoration, regardless of whether every gamer saw it, or only gamers in South Korea who read print magazines saw it.

    No argument there. Such things shouldn’t also be in movies, music, TV series (especially prime time), books, etc. But it is in all of these things, including video games. Many games are not guilty of this sort of thing, and many of the incidents which made the “examples” segment of her video are no more common in the game than they have been in multiple TV series, books, movies, music, etc. This video is supposed to be about the problem of sexism in video games, but her approach is almost as heavy handed as Jack Thompson’santics when video games dare attain the theater movie equivalent of an ‘R’ rating.

  189. Galactic Fork says

    @Nerok 181

    What I’m getting out of this discussion is that only broad strokes that support the narrative count.

    Male hunks put in games even when explicitly for women (and gay men) don’t count.

    They do count, but are very rare and are offset by many many MANY men who have multiple facets.

    That the classic damsels in distress all graduated into becoming real characters and getting prominent spots or their own games doesn’t count.

    Again, it’s not that they don’t count, It’s that they are very rare. And really aren’t always an improvement. You mentioned peach… You honestly think Super Princess Peach was a positive depiction of women? Using her feminine emotional powers of crying torrents of water, or fiery anger… yeah, let’s use that.

    Throwaway female NPCs in games are evidence, but throwaway male NPCs aren’t. The overwhelming focus on killing men in games is irrelevant because you can kill women in GTA.

    This line shows you aren’t really getting what people are saying. OK. Let’s look at the focus on killing men in games. It has nothing to do with them being men. You don’t kill them because they’re men, you kill them because in the context of the game they are enemies. This enemyness has NOTHING to do with their gender. Look at Mass Effect. There were many female enemies, Human ones specifically. I’m not counting the Asari because they aren’t technically female, they’re non-gendered, but all happen to look female. But there were still human women as badguys and you fought them. Nobody sounded alarms because it had nothing to do with their gender. There was actually annoyance by some that there were no character models of the females of other alien races, neither as NPCs, teammates, nor as enemies.
    The female NPCs in this video are sexualized to the point their existence in the game is specifically about their gender. And the violence against them in these examples were about their gender.

    Samus is suited up to kill like Master Chief, but she doesn’t count. Deep female characters you can find all the way back in mid 90s games don’t count.

    OK. Samus (metroid), Lara Croft (Tombraider), Jade (beyond good and evil), Aveline (Assassin’s Creed: Liberation), Nilin (Remember Me), and Chell (Portal). I have listed a few somewhat deep, not overly objectified and sexualized female protagonists over the last few years (I kept Samus even with the new obsession with her Zero Suit). You name 10 more. And I will name 50 men in the past 5 years.

  190. Galactic Fork says

    Messed up the blockquotes!! Crap! That first line screwed up! Everything in the first level of quoting but the very first line is mine. The second level is Nerok. Shouldn’t be too confusing. Sorry.

  191. Tethys says

    Can you really say a call to eliminate prostitutes from GTA can be separated from the rest of the glorified violence?

    Gee, look at how troll responded to “Rape of prostitutes for bonus points is a problem.”

    Perhaps you would have less anxiety if you pull your head from your ass and engage with the actual issue raised, rather than your extraneous bullshit?

  192. nerok says

    @208 Tethys

    Gee, look at how troll responded to “Rape of prostitutes for bonus points is a problem.”
    Perhaps you would have less anxiety if you pull your head from your ass and engage with the actual issue raised, rather than your extraneous bullshit?

    I responded by acknowledging the great amount of violence that figures in games, violence that includes sexual violence. I pointed out that the issue of violence at large vastly eclipses sexual violence in games, something that has only a few instances of existence in mainstream games (unlike murder which is everywhere) and in the most known instances this exists at all, it is optional.
    You’re somehow turning that into me attacking women, attacking rape as a phenomenon and adding with more insults, instead of seeing that for what it is, an agreement that also acknowledged the greater issue of violence.

    Now, in what seems to be Pharyngula spirit, I must accuse you of sweeping the issue of violence under the rug. I must accuse you of being an apologist for murderers, a stooge for the military industrial complex that supports the increased desensitization to violence in our culture and for aiding and abetting the murder of millions of innocent civilians in wars all over the world, wars that are routinely trivilalized and made into entertainment, where you kill people for bonus points.

    Why do you refuse to acknowledge this? Do you hate humans so much you want to see them murdered?

    If this seems like an absolutely insane line of attack on your person, it is. But it’s clearly part of the forum culture here, so I feel compelled to oblige.

  193. Tethys says

    HidariMak

    Such things [using sexualized female bodies to sell things] shouldn’t also be in movies, music, TV series (especially prime time), books, etc. But it is in all of these things, including video games. Many games are not guilty of this sort of thing, and many of the incidents which made the “examples” segment of her video are no more common in the game than they have been in multiple TV series, books, movies, music, etc.

    This is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    You agree that this sexualized depiction of women is widespread and problematic, but it’s just the way of the world and we shouldn’t try to do anything about it?

  194. Tethys says

    Oh do shut up nerok. Your determination to ignore the rape and sexism is tedious.

  195. barbaz says

    I find it interesting that Ms. Sarkeesian goes a long way to explain why sexualized NPCs are objectified. 99% of all NPCs are objects, especially according to the definition given in the video. So… sexualized NPCs are NPCs, thus they are sex objects?

    BTW, here is an interesting article about computer games that says that the problem of sexism goes wayyy deeper than the obvious sexism as shown in the video above: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-sexist-video-game-problems-even-bigger-than-breasts/

  196. Galactic Fork says

    barbaz

    I find it interesting that Ms. Sarkeesian goes a long way to explain why sexualized NPCs are objectified. 99% of all NPCs are objects, especially according to the definition given in the video. So… sexualized NPCs are NPCs, thus they are sex objects?

    BTW, here is an interesting article about computer games that says that the problem of sexism goes wayyy deeper than the obvious sexism as shown in the video above: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-sexist-video-game-problems-even-bigger-than-breasts/

    Just so you know, this is the 5th video in a series. The first 3 were about damsels in distress. The 4th was the Ms. Male Character. So yeah, we know the problem goes deeper. This video was about just one aspect of the problem. And only the first part of addressing “women as background decoration”

  197. k1k1 says

    ‘no video game has a home base in a strip club’

    I’m playing GTA V at the moment, and last night I got to the part where Trevor decides to set up his home base in the strip club.

    So yeah, that never happens, apart from in the most famous and successful game of the century.

  198. markd555 says

    #114

    It’s always this dualism. If Dragon Age has a beefcake character it’s a male power fantasy, even though it’s one of the games most openly pandering to a female audience.

    1) beefcake characters ARE male power fantasies. They ARE NOT any form of pandering to a female audience whatsoever. Woman after woman have come out said explicitly that those kinds of male character do NOT appeal to them.

    3) Dragon Age does NOT, in any way shape or form even REMOTELY panders to a female audience. All it does is pander slightly less to a male audience than its average competition.

    That fact that you even think that Dragon Age panders to woman, or that beefcake male characters are sexually objectified for women tells us only that your opinions on these questions is disturbingly warped.

    See #96
    Seriously? Dragon Age? Are we even talking about the same game? Dragon Age #1 / Origins. That game. Have you played it????

    Zevran is not a beefcake. He is a submissive slim elf pretty boy male prositiute, that you can “raise” to either continue to be a groveling submissive, or rehabilitate him from his life of abuse as you take him as your lover, either playing as a male or female lead.

    Please point me to the “Beefcake” part.

    Hell yes Dragon Age panders to a straight female audiance, females that like watching male x male sex, lesbians, and also the male gay audiance. And CIS dudes.

    What we really need to do is support games like Dragon Age (#1 at least) that have strong female leads and gender balanced support characters, non-cis relationship choices, and relationships from a female perspective.
    Why the hell are we criticizing it and games like it?

    Also more Otome games that are being translated for western audiances would be a great step.

    Support of quality progressive media always works better than simply cirticizing the old. Money talks.
    The “potential lost sales” boycott of demographics that are not even targeted in the first place (because of sexisim) does not speak to these companies.

    And now we have people ciritcizing Mulan because she had a CIS wedding after proving she could do anything a man could do, defeating an army, saving her country, ect… it’s all moot because of her choice to marry AFTER all that? Really people? That is your target of scorn?

    There is terrible sexist media
    There is neutral media
    There is progressive quality media taking steps in the right direction that still might have some problems
    Then there is the *perfect* social message media…. Protip: it doesn’t exist, and if it did, it would likely suck and not be entertaining.

    Let’s pick our fights trash the terrible things, not trash things that are making progress but not 100% perfect – but better yet, support the GOOD things that are happening.

  199. Anton Mates says

    Infophile,

    Take The Witcher 2, for instance, which has fanservice aplenty. There are prostitutes in it, who have no character beyond allowing a meaningless sex scene, and there are romanceable characters who the main character can have sex with. Both result in explicit scenes, but only the former is an example of this trope (and was thus shown in this video, while the latter wasn’t). There’s a big difference between a sex scene with Nameless Prostitute and a sex scene with a character you know well.*

    I’d actually point to the Witcher series as having the most de-objectified sex workers I’ve ever seen in a commercial game. There are two or three prostitute “secondary characters” with well-rounded personalities and complex motivations, who do positive things for the protagonist but don’t sleep with him, and are important social/political players in their local communities. (Carmen, Margot and Margarita are the ones I’m thinking of.)

    Even the nameless (well, they have names but they don’t really matter) background prostitute NPCs tell jokes, haggle, comment on local news, and generally sound as intelligent and multidimensional as the average peasant or shopkeeper NPC. And it’s clear that the ones who sleep with you are doing it because it’s their job and you’re a decent customer, not because they’re uncontrollably horny or overawed by your man-powers.

    That’s not to say the Witcher games don’t have fan-service out the ass, and the first game in particular took “sexual conquest as a minigame” to a ridiculous level. But on the particular point of their depiction of sex workers, I think they do pretty well.

    It can still run into huge problems with aiming for the male gaze over the female gaze, for instance.

    Speaking of games catering to the (straight) female gaze, don’t a lot of the bishie protagonists qualify? Like Link, or the 500 pretty boys in Final Fantasy? They’re not as common as the Barbie-doll female characters, of course, and usually they’re not sexualized in equally problematic ways. But I’m pretty sure Square consciously designs its male protagonists with a female audience in mind.

  200. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    markd555 @ 216

    And now we have people ciritcizing Mulan because she had a CIS wedding after proving she could do anything a man could do, defeating an army, saving her country, ect… it’s all moot because of her choice to marry AFTER all that? Really people? That is your target of scorn?

    The point was that, even AFTER saving China from the Huns, Mulan still needed the wedding in order to avoid dishonoring her family. Being herself wasn’t enough. Saving the fucking country wasn’t enough. Oh, you convinced a man to marry you? Now you’re cool.

    Also, way to pluck out a completely tangential observation and treat it like someone is actually basing an entire argument around that example.

    Let’s pick our fights trash the terrible things, not trash things that are making progress but not 100% perfect – but better yet, support the GOOD things that are happening.

    How about we point out problems wherever we see them instead of giving certain things a pass just because there are other, worse things?

  201. A. Noyd says

    k1k1 (#215)

    ‘no video game has a home base in a strip club’

    I’m playing GTA V at the moment, and last night I got to the part where Trevor decides to set up his home base in the strip club.

    While we’re at it, let’s add Saint’s Row 2 to the list of games with a strip club home bases that Pazvante doesn’t believe in. You build one up at the main base as you progress, and most of the individual dwellings have stripper pole upgrades available to install. One pole for the main base is either in your big bad boss office or right outside (I forget which).

    I mean, the constant, raunchy approval of the home base strip club kind of worked out for my character because she looked like a dyke, but that was just chance. The game would have imposed the same script even if I’d designed her to look like she loved dick more than all the wives at a Married Men Named Richard Convention put together.

  202. markd555 says

    The point was that, even AFTER saving China from the Huns, Mulan still needed the wedding in order to avoid dishonoring her family. Being herself wasn’t enough. Saving the fucking country wasn’t enough. Oh, you convinced a man to marry you? Now you’re cool.

    Good try, but the Emperor rewarded her publicly for her service, and practically the entire country and Emperor bows to her *before* any wedding plans or talk. The goal of the movie was not for her to get married. If it was her conservative mother’s goal, that is still not the overall tone or goal of the movie.

    How about we point out problems wherever we see them instead of giving certain things a pass just because there are other, worse things?

    No problem there! Go for it, and good luck.
    But saying Mulan’s accomplishments are void due to marriage or her goal was marriage, or that Dragon Age does not pander very close to equally for all tastes is wrong IMHO.

    And I will still state that supporting progressive media that have greater choices in sexuality for women and non-CIS people is more helpful to the cause. I’ll go right on doing that.

  203. k1k1 says

    The courtesans in Assassin’s Creed are pretty cool; true, they often seem to be getting captured so Ezio can rescue them or killed so he can avenge them, but they are also one of the three ‘factions’ allied to the Assassins, and they regularly play an active part (both in terms of gameplay and the plot) in the fight against the Templars.

    Also, to my recollection, in both Brotherhood and Revelations the majority of assassins that I recruited were women. That’s what I thought was so weird about Ubisoft’s recent protestations about the lack of female assassins in Unity.

  204. cartomancer says

    Zevran? Slim and submissive? He was muscular (too muscular for an elf, I thought), gratingly egotistical, unappreciative of emotional overtures and independent-minded to the point of distraction! Also, he was never a prostitute, he just grew up in a brothel because his mother was a prostitute! And, surprise surprise, he has a leather fetish. Because that’s not stereotypical at all.

    The real problem I had with Zevran is that he was the only character you could have a gay relationship with, so they took every single opportunity they possibly could to have him emphasise how he’s into women as well. Also they took pains to communicate, as ostentatiously as possible, that he’s just in it for the sex, and doesn’t do commitment. The message seemed to be that male same sex attraction in a character is only tolerable to mainstream audiences as a facet of rampant, indiscriminate and above all comical nymphomania. His distaff counterpart – Leliana – was, by contrast, a fairly balanced and well-rounded character whose sexual proclivities were only a minor facet of who she was. And it really annoyed me that they deliberately put in four romanceable characters – two male, two female, two straight, two bi – so that the same-sex romance options were available to mixed-sex characters as well, but not the other way around. Exclusively gay characters are far, far less common in this sort of game than bi ones, and for just this reason.

  205. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Good try, but the Emperor rewarded her publicly for her service, and practically the entire country and Emperor bows to her *before* any wedding plans or talk. The goal of the movie was not for her to get married. If it was her conservative mother’s goal, that is still not the overall tone or goal of the movie.

    Bullshit. The movie begins with her being a dishonor to her family because she can’t get to the matchmaker ritual on time. She’s a dishonor because she won’t keep her mouth shut when her ailing, elderly father gets sent to certain death. She’s cast out of the army for failing to be male. She only avoids execution because she’d once saved Shang’s life. When she learns of the impending Hun attack, nobody listens to her, including Shang. And at the end, the ultimate pay off is that Shang turns up and accepts an invitation to dinner.

    We won’t even get started on the fact that the way she’s supposed to pass herself off as male is by being lewd, crude and aggressive.

    But saying Mulan’s accomplishments are void due to marriage or her goal was marriage…is wrong IMHO.

    Good thing I didn’t say that, then.

  206. says

    Congratulations Nerok and Pazvante, you’ve both managed to turn a topic about the continued sexual objectification of women into one about how men are also sexually objectified. You’ve successfully “whataboutthemenzs”ed this topic.

    Now go away and let the adults talk about stuff that matters – the continued sexualization of women in video games and media.

  207. procrastinatorordinaire says

    Bullshit. The movie begins with her being a dishonor to her family because she can’t get to the matchmaker ritual on time. She’s a dishonor because she won’t keep her mouth shut when her ailing, elderly father gets sent to certain death. She’s cast out of the army for failing to be male. She only avoids execution because she’d once saved Shang’s life. When she learns of the impending Hun attack, nobody listens to her, including Shang.

    Mulan was born into a society where the role of a woman was narrowly defined. All the things you talk just served to illustrate the obstacles she faced not only fighting the foreign army, but also within her own society.

    the ultimate pay off is that Shang turns up and accepts an invitation to dinner.

    Shang came to her as an equal. He asked her to dine with him. At the beginning of the movie, Mulan would have been expected to marry whoever she was told to marry. At the end, she has agency.

    We won’t even get started on the fact that the way she’s supposed to pass herself off as male is by being lewd, crude and aggressive.

    She was being taught how to be masculine by a small dragon based on his understanding of human behaviour.

  208. opposablethumbs says

    121
    Pazvante Chiorul [hush]​[hide comment]

    17 June 2014 at 6:36 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    120-al dente

    Well, maybe if the asshole learned to write the English gooder then people wouldn’t try to turn hir words

    my irony meter just went through the roof

    Sorry to go back to a trivial point from way up-thread, but I thought the way Pazvante Chiorul so eagerly leapt to demonstrate how incredibly stupid he is was just too funny. I would have thought it was too good to be true, were it not for the fact that his other posts strongly suggest that yes, he really is this much of an idiot.

  209. says

    JFC, the fact that the phrase “jiggle physics” is recognized and used in the industry really ties a bow around the whole problem, doesn’t it?

    For the “but muscles!” folks: is there similar effort put into sinew physics, to realistically model the movement of those big muscles under tight, sweat-glistening skin? What about pouch physics to ensure that certain bulges always move in realistic ways while male characters run or jump or recline?

  210. leftwingfox says

    Welp. That happened.

    As soon as Pazvante Chiorul said:

    right…all white people run the government and all white people have money and power.

    I knew this was going to be fruitless. It’s not worth arguing with someone who thinks that was a good argument. So I decided to go see “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ instead.

    And then I come back to see nerok’s “Ever played Carmageddon?”.

    Did you honestly think that was a useful argument? I try to point out how designers have a choice about what is acceptable behaviour in game where you can buy and kill a prostitute, but can’t run over children, and you point out a completely different game where you can run over children?

    I suspect this is where a lot of the criticism of Anita being “unfair” comes from. She criticizes a sexist element in a game, they point out where the game isn’t sexist. She points out 50 games where you rescue the damsel in distress, they find one game with a male hostage, so it’s all equal. Great big honking false equivalence fallacies.

    Btw, Tony: Actually, I am a (mostly) straight white male. I understand where you’re coming from, but it might be best not to accuse someone of potentially mis-gendering when you don’t know yourself. ;)

  211. Jackie the wacky says

    Let’s see, so far we have defenders of misogynist tropes in video games claiming:

    Sexual objectification of women in video games isn’t a problem.

    What about teh menz? (Because they either cannot see or pretend they cannot see the difference between a male power fantasy and sexual objectification. Here, let me help with that: http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/)

    Sexual objectification of women in video games is a problem, but we can’t ever change it, so shut up already.

    and of course,

    Institutional racism and axis’es of privilege do not exist.

    I’m so close to a Bingo.

    Come on sexism apologists! Step up your game. I want my Bingo!

  212. geekgirlsrule says

    I think if we were talking actual sex workers the language would be different, but these are fictional characters created by dudes solely for titillation, not sex workers with agency and the freedom to make their own choices (however limited by economics, or not, they may be). None of these characters chose to be sex worker, they were created by horny dudes to be visual stimulation for other dudes with a complete and utter lack of agency.

  213. throwaway says

    Don’t forget the ‘appeal to worse problems’ spot, Jackie! Nerok is plaintively playing that trope to a ‘T’ in their latest comment. It’s a red herring sundae full of begged questions and equivocation justified by ‘tu quoque’. It’s the usual.

  214. Becky Escalator says

    Pteryxx @196:

    That’s true and there’s actually a gif going around on Tumblr right now showing that Dreamworks actually used muscle jiggle in How To Train Your Dragon 2. It’s the same as the way jiggle physics is usually used but they use it on a bicep in the context of ogling an attractive man.

  215. Sassafras says

    nerok at 181-

    Given how massively overdeveloped the guys in the games are there’s not much to jiggle. Since I apparently need to spell things out, the ridiculous male stereotypes aren’t supposed to jiggle.

    Au contraire. (SFW)

    Game designers don’t spend any time on jiggle physics for men not because big muscles don’t jiggle, but because as I said, they are not displaying men’s bodies for sexual appeal the way they are women’s bodies. They don’t even spend time learning how muscles actually work, much less try to present them in a sexy way!

    As for skin, pretty much any hulk not in powerarmor is half naked.

    Which ones, Kratos? The occasional other fantasy barbarian? Because almost all male protagonists are fully clothed.

    Besides which, my actual point that you glossed over was that men’s bodies are not presented to the player in a sexual way. As I said, the camera doesn’t linger over man-asses and pecs like it does over woman-butts and boobs. Men without their shirts on is not automatically sexual, so comparing the occasional topless male hero to erotically posed and jiggling half-naked women is a false equivalence.

    What I’m getting out of this discussion is …

    … A ridiculous caricature of what people are actually saying. But hey, good job lecturing me, the supposed target of all this beefcake, on why it still counts as being sexual even though I’m telling you it’s not.

  216. Jackie the wacky says

    Thanks Throwaway.
    BINGO!

    Sassafrass,
    Who’d have thought that someone defending sexist tropes would ‘splain what women find attractive to women? Clearly, we are not fit to decide these things for ourselves. Don’t worry, ladies. The defenders of sexist tropes will tell you what makes you tingle in your naughty bits. We needn’t worry our little fembrains about these things.
    …but objectification of women in games and media don’t effect how people think of and treat actual women. I’m sure there is another reason entirely for our agency and ability to know what we find attractive to be dismissed entirely.

    Brave defenders of sexist tropes: Take a long hard look at yourselves. You are why these tropes are problematic. They reinforce existing sexist attitudes toward women. They make assholes like you happy, because they provide you with an environment that reflects your fucked up attitudes toward women. That’s why you don’t want these tropes to go away. You like and buy into them irl.

  217. says

    Yes, lets all concern ourselves with the 2% of prostitutes that choose it and have a variety of other options (usually bc they are white and from middle to upper class backgrounds) in order to obscure the nature of prostitution generally. Greeeeat idea. Most prostituted women would leave if they could, but they can’t because economic opportunity, substance abuse, pimps, etc. God I get sick of people paying lip service to the “I’m so *empowered* by my *agency* because I choose to do something everyone else is forced into!” shit. Sex work changes nothing about patriarchy or the gender dynamics within it. There are tons of studies about how johns think about prostitutes, and they have extremely misogynistic ideas about women. That is what enables them to purchase sex. People who see the humanity of women aren’t down with paying for something that should be freely given out of enjoyment. Paying for sex complicates consent in so, so many ways.

    I prioritize women who don’t have a choice in the matter, every time, and they are absolutely the majority of prostituted women.

  218. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    skeptifem: 2%? Interesting number.

    I prioritize the rights of women myself, including the right to work safely, and organize as workers. I also don’t blame sex workers for the fact that misogyny exists, because that’s misogynist and victim-blaming. Nice derail, though, and always good to see people happily ignoring and throwing the sex workers they claim to be so concerned about under the bus. Purity politics among misogynist feminists: always a good time.

  219. says

    Does anyone else find themselves suspecting that if the issue under discussion was Arabs/Muslims being portrayed only as terrorists in video games our new friends would be complaining? That since some Arabs/Muslims are terrorists in the real world then there’s nothing wrong with portraying them as nothing but terrorists in video games?

  220. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And I will still state that supporting progressive media that have greater choices in sexuality for women and non-CIS people is more helpful to the cause. I’ll go right on doing that.

    You can “support” something without doing so uncritically. Games that get it right should be given praise for getting it right proportional to the extent they get it right, especially when the designers express an explicit interest in getting it right.

  221. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Bullshit. The movie begins with her being a dishonor to her family because she can’t get to the matchmaker ritual on time. She’s a dishonor because she won’t keep her mouth shut when her ailing, elderly father gets sent to certain death. She’s cast out of the army for failing to be male. She only avoids execution because she’d once saved Shang’s life. When she learns of the impending Hun attack, nobody listens to her, including Shang. And at the end, the ultimate pay off is that Shang turns up and accepts an invitation to dinner.

    We won’t even get started on the fact that the way she’s supposed to pass herself off as male is by being lewd, crude and aggressive.

    I took the portrayal of all these things as a pretty critical one, frankly. Did I miss something?

  222. Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally says

    HappiestSadist @ 237

    I also don’t blame sex workers for the fact that misogyny exists, because that’s misogynist and victim-blaming.

    Show where Skeptifem did this.

    Nice derail, though, and always good to see people happily ignoring and throwing the sex workers they claim to be so concerned about under the bus.

    How exactly does pointing out that many sex workers don’t choose to work in that trade equal “throwing sex workers [...] under the bus”? Focusing on the privileged few that do choose that work is, imo, throwing the women who are forced into it under the bus. And I agree with Skeptifem that their suffering and lack of agency must be a priority.

  223. Tethys says

    I think a discussion about sex workers and the way female sexuality is appropriated by and portrayed within our culture might be very helpful for the people who don’t understand the difference between sexy and sexualized/objectified, or think that we are objecting to adult content.

    It would certainly be more interesting than trying to engage with trolls .

    The documentary film American Courtesans is very well done, by actual sex worker Kirsten DiAngelo. Their stories are compelling and diverse.

    Watch here for free at Hulu.

  224. davekendall says

    @skeptifem

    Yes, lets all concern ourselves with the 2% of prostitutes that choose it

    I suppose it’s pointless to ask for the source of this statistic?

    God I get sick of people paying lip service to the “I’m so *empowered* by my *agency* because I choose to do something everyone else is forced into!” shit.

    Nice try at constructing a strawman argument to mock and dismiss sex workers though…

  225. Jackie the wacky says

    Yes, skepifem we are going to concern ourselves with the agency of all women, even the sex workers you’d like us to ignore.

    2%?

    Is that how you skepticism? You make up percentages in order to disregard women who do work you don’t approve of?

  226. Jackie the wacky says

    I want to know how many people here actually think coal miners just love working underground in dangerous, filthy conditions? Who thinks the people who wipe elderly people’s asses and change catheters all day all take that work out of a passion for care giving? Who believes that servers can’t wait to bring you food, get fallen arches and broken tendons in their wrists from carrying trays all for your shitty tips?

    You know alot of rich kids who can’t wait to grow up and do those jobs?

    …or are you aware that poor people often do work no one else will for very little money and less respect?

    How is that different from sex work taken because other opportunities are not available? Sex workers need support. They need unions. They need laws that protect them rather than criminalize them. They do not need to be treated as thought they are somehow less worthy than people in every other profession. Using their sometimes limited choices as an excuse to speak of them as if they are things to be acted upon instead of people making their own choices isn’t fair and it isn’t feminist. If you want to stop sex workers from being exploited, then work to stop them being exploited. Legalize and regulate their profession. Show them some fucking respect.

  227. Jackie the wacky says

    tim@238,
    I don’t want to speculate. Where you find misogyny, you also tend to find racism.

  228. logicalcat says

    @Cyranothe2nd

    Skeptifem says it right here, surprised you missed it.

    Sex work changes nothing about patriarchy or the gender dynamics within it. There are tons of studies about how johns think about prostitutes, and they have extremely misogynistic ideas about women. That is what enables them to purchase sex. People who see the humanity of women aren’t down with paying for something that should be freely given out of enjoyment.

  229. HidariMak says

    Tethys

    This is a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

    You agree that this sexualized depiction of women is widespread and problematic, but it’s just the way of the world and we shouldn’t try to do anything about it?

    No, that was never my point at all.

    I had played several of the games which were in her list. If a game offers literally dozens of hours of story to complete the mission, and you can be 10-20 hours into that story, having seen hundreds of the NPCs (non-playable characters), without seeing the one character interaction that was being objected to, with that one element being non-critical for the game completion, that places the game at a more family friendly level than other games out there.

    Let’s put it this way. Perhaps you wanted to organize a movement to protest “torture porn” movies, such as the Saw series, or the Hostel series. (Such movies have no appeal to me whatsoever, FWIW.) Would you call out those movies specifically, and others like them, to publicly criticize them? Or would you be critical of all movie series and franchises which have ever portrayed anything above a G rating, placing tamer fare such as the Harry Potter movies or the Star Wars movies on the same level as “House of 1,000 Corpses”? If you saw a popular movie that you considered to be rather decent, unfairly listed as being gruesome and twisted by an individual, how much credibility would such a person earn with you?

    In short, I’m all for calling out the bad examples. But what this video did was lump all content to contain even .01% of what she objected to with the worst of the bunch. If she’s not going to call out the worst examples, why should somebody who knows even less on the matter investigate dozens or hundreds of video games to find the smaller number which are an issue, to address it?

  230. Galactic Fork says

    HidariMak @248

    In short, I’m all for calling out the bad examples. But what this video did was lump all content to contain even .01% of what she objected to with the worst of the bunch. If she’s not going to call out the worst examples, why should somebody who knows even less on the matter investigate dozens or hundreds of video games to find the smaller number which are an issue, to address it?

    Which games specifically did you think were bad examples?

  231. says

    @HidariMak 248:

    I had played several of the games which were in her list. If a game offers literally dozens of hours of story to complete the mission, and you can be 10-20 hours into that story, having seen hundreds of the NPCs (non-playable characters), without seeing the one character interaction that was being objected to, with that one element being non-critical for the game completion, that places the game at a more family friendly level than other games out there.

    The issue at hand is that the programmers put that content into the game. The programmers and the producers decided “gee, we should put the ability for you to score hookers for points into this game.” They decided that brutal violence against women was worthy of an achievement point. They decided that their game needed sexual objectification of women.

    Why does a 10-20 hour game with hundreds of NPCs need sexist, violent material?

  232. cartomancer says

    Why go out of your way to have prostitution in a game at all? How does it improve or benefit the game or its storyline?

    Realism? Because prostitution exists in the real world? Granted, video game depictions of prostitutes are rarely very realistic, but it’s true, prostitution does exist in the real world. There was lots of prostitution in the American West in the 19th century, to pursue the Red Dead Redemption example. But you know what else there were a lot of? Saddle sores. Very realistic, your standard-issue saddle sores. People riding round all day in oppressive heat and cheap trousers got them all the time. Saddle sores were endemic. Quacks and doctors made a good living selling liniments and ointments for saddle sores. Also syphilis, but lets just focus on the saddle sores.

    So why doesn’t the game have a complex inner thigh chafing system? Why aren’t there stores all over its world selling saddle sore remedies? Could it be that this particular example of realism has been discarded as not being germane to telling dramatic stories? That it doesn’t convey the cultural messages the developers want it to? That it’s irrelevant to the story at hand? Likewise, Grand Theft Auto doesn’t have an in-depth system of realistic bank accounts and insurance policies, but it does have prostitutes. People aren’t interested in the niceties of banking or intercrural dermatology. So why are they so interested in the appearance of prostitutes? What do prostitutes add?

    If the answer is, as I suspect it is, an opportunity for crude and misogynistic adolescent sex sniggering, then why do we want that in our games? Why is that something to promote?

  233. says

    Jackie- its an estimate, based off of the fact that 89% of prostitutes want to leave the sex industry immediately. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13. 70-95% were physically assaulted, 60-75% were raped. 68% met the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder.

    http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2008/0608_ctip/docs/Prostitution%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

    At the absolute most you could say 11% choose to be there, but I know from reading enough stories of women who escaped that a lot of times the attitude of being “made for” prostitution or having no value outside of sex is a common coping strategy, so they did not want to leave because they saw no other future for themselves. A lot of women being pimped out have been so poorly treated that the small amount of affection their pimp showed them at the beginning is as close to ‘love’ as these girls have ever experienced, so they do not want out because they think that their pimp loves them and they don’t want to be abandoned. Very Young Girls is a documentary that shows what the average prostitute goes through, you can see the ambivalence about leaving prostitution because of how few people have ever cared for girls who end up forced into prostitution.

    If you look at the average condition of prostitutes you see economic desperation, misogynistic violence, and exploitation of vulnerable people for profit. I absolutely despise people who are lucky enough to have a choice in the matter who ignore what the average prostitute endures in her lifetime. They get offended that the average condition of prostitution is represented instead of their privileged reality. I absolutely despise the fact that the majority of women who get angry about their lack of agency being on display are white and have other economic opportunities, while women of color and poor women are disproportionately represented in prostitution.

  234. davekendall says

    @skeptifem

    Jackie- its an estimate, based off of the fact that 89% of prostitutes want to leave the sex industry immediately. The average age of entry into prostitution is 13. 70-95% were physically assaulted, 60-75% were raped. 68% met the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder.

    There are Kent Hovind arguments for Young Earth Creationism that have been less thoroughly debunked than some of the statistics you’re using here.

    That truly absurd age of entry into prostitution, in particular, should be laughable to anyone with a modicum of intelligence, grasp of basic numeracy, or slightest hint of skepticism.

    The big problem with the rest of these statistics is blatant selection bias, which is hardly surprising considering that the source is zealous anti-prostitution activist Melissa Farley, rather than a credible researcher. Almost all of the interviewees were either street workers in the most poverty stricken locations (e.g. Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside), or were selected from women using exit and drug rehabilitation services. The research carefully filters out any sex workers who could be considered remotely “privileged” (i.e. escorts and willing indoor workers), yet this is dishonestly presented as a balanced representation of women in the sex industry.

    Incidentally, even that research from Melissa Farley calculates the average age of entry into prostitution in the USA as 20, despite only examining street workers in San Francisco. If that doesn’t show how utterly absurd it is to claim that the actual age of entry is 13, I don’t know what does.

    The really embarrassing thing here, considering the presumably unironic use of “skeptic” in your user name, is that people have pointed out the problems with these statistics to you before (I rarely read this site and I’ve seen people do so a number of times), yet you’ve chosen to completely ignore the evidence.

    They get offended that the average condition of prostitution is represented instead of their privileged reality.

    Or maybe they get offended by the fact that you’re trying to smear and discredit them using blatant straw man arguments and misleading statistics?

  235. David Marjanović says

    I don’t have anything to say on the topic that hasn’t already been said, so:

    a bicep

    No. “Biceps” is the singular. Musculus biceps is “the two-headed muscle”.

    In case you’re wondering about the Latin plural, that’d be bicipites.

  236. says

    HidariMak @248:

    Let’s put it this way. Perhaps you wanted to organize a movement to protest “torture porn” movies, such as the Saw series, or the Hostel series. (Such movies have no appeal to me whatsoever, FWIW.) Would you call out those movies specifically, and others like them, to publicly criticize them? Or would you be critical of all movie series and franchises which have ever portrayed anything above a G rating, placing tamer fare such as the Harry Potter movies or the Star Wars movies on the same level as “House of 1,000 Corpses”? If you saw a popular movie that you considered to be rather decent, unfairly listed as being gruesome and twisted by an individual, how much credibility would such a person earn with you?

    This makes no sense. People who protest ‘torture porn’ are protesting that specific genre of films, not all violent movies. If someone is going to criticize a movie for being torture porn, they need to provide examples of that, and arguments that support their position.
    Please consider that a movie (or any product) being considered ‘decent’ doesn’t mean it is free from criticism.

    In short, I’m all for calling out the bad examples. But what this video did was lump all content to contain even .01% of what she objected to with the worst of the bunch.

    I’m not sure you understand the problem being addressed in the video.
    Anita Sarkeesian isn’t criticizing violence in video games. She is making specific complaints about the sexual objectification and sexualized violence of female NPCs in video games. And she did call out many of the worst offenders. But you don’t need to be a ‘worst offender’ to be criticized. Even a ‘mild offender’ is still an example. It doesn’t matter how much or how little the game portrayed female NPCs in sexually objectifying ways. What matters is if the games did so. Big or small examples. One NPC or 10 NPCs. 5 seconds of gameplay or 3 minutes. So yes, if a video game contains .01% of sexual objectification against female NPCs, it’s relevant to her argument.

  237. says

    Or maybe they get offended by the fact that you’re trying to smear and discredit them using blatant straw man arguments and misleading statistics?

    How is pointing out “hey most people doing this work are forced by circumstance or violence” smearing or discrediting anyone except the people who choose to be willfully ignorant of that fact???

  238. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Any chance you’ll respond to any of the other points davekendall made?

    Didn’t think so.

  239. davekendall says

    @skeptifem

    How is pointing out “hey most people doing this work are forced by circumstance or violence” smearing or discrediting anyone except the people who choose to be willfully ignorant of that fact???

    For a start, you haven’t presented credible evidence to back up your claim that the vast majority of sex workers are forced. Just claiming that something is a fact, and calling other people ignorant if they disagree, doesn’t make that the truth.

    It’s ironic that you accuse other people of being wilfully ignorant considering the absurdity of the 13 year old age of entry statistic. It doesn’t pass even the most casual scrutiny, yet you keep on using it despite people repeatedly explaining why it’s bogus. Where’s your skepticism when it comes to statistics like that?

    Here’s a reminder of what you actually wrote in this thread:

    God I get sick of people paying lip service to the “I’m so *empowered* by my *agency* because I choose to do something everyone else is forced into!” shit.

    This goes beyond simply making your point. It’s a blatant and highly dishonest strawman aimed at smearing and discrediting sex workers who argue for their rights.

    You paint willing sex workers as a vapid and selfish group of elite white women who don’t care about the suffering of the less privileged. In reality, this image falls apart as soon as you look at diversity of the international sex worker rights movement, and examine what they’re doing to help the most disadvantaged people in the sex industry.

    How does an organisation like SANGRAM, for example, fit into your world view?

  240. makomk says

    That truly absurd age of entry into prostitution, in particular, should be laughable to anyone with a modicum of intelligence, grasp of basic numeracy, or slightest hint of skepticism.

    For those who didn’t click through, 13 is an estimate of the average age at which underage kids start – that is, it’s what you get if you eliminate everyone over 18 before taking the average. It’s quoted all over the place as the average age at which women enter the industry even though it’s been repeatedly debunked because sensationalism beats facts.

    @skeptifem

    Sex work changes nothing about patriarchy or the gender dynamics within it. There are tons of studies about how johns think about prostitutes, and they have extremely misogynistic ideas about women. That is what enables them to purchase sex.

    A while ago I actually read some of the studies most commonly cited as proof that johns are especially misogynist. Turns out that the surveys didn’t bother with basic things like actually comparing the views of johns with the views of other men. They literally just found some johns, got them to express misogynistic views (with, I recall, quite a bit of prompting in some cases), and then asserted without evidence that those views were linked to them buying sex. Unfortunately, this total lack of evidence hasn’t stopped them being widely cited as proof sex work turns men misogynistic. Which specifc studies were you thinking of?

    @Cyranothe2nd

    How exactly does pointing out that many sex workers don’t choose to work in that trade equal “throwing sex workers [...] under the bus”? Focusing on the privileged few that do choose that work is, imo, throwing the women who are forced into it under the bus.

    For a start, there is no division between “the privileged few that do choose that work” and “women who are forced into it”. One of the main form of coercion used to argue sex work isn’t freely chosen is economic coercion: women choosing it because they don’t have any good alternatives open to them. Anti-sex-industry activists fight this through “end demand” laws and forced rescue programs aimed at putting an end to sex work. This doesn’t create new opportunities for the sex workers, it just forces them into jobs they’d already decided were worse but that the activists are happy with them being forced to do and because of this false dichotomy between “coerced” and “chosen” sex work, any worker who speaks out about their choices being taken from them and their life being made worse in the name of helping them gets dismissed as one of the “privileged few” who got to choose trying to screw over all the women who are “forced” into it. (When in fact, it’s exactly those women who are being harmed and speaking out.)

    It’s certainly possible to criticise coercion without throwing sex workers under the bus and without making sex worker activists angry, but the common narratives around sex work and coercion are pretty bad.

  241. makomk says

    Also, my apologies for the long and slightly belated comment, misremembered the date and didn’t realise it had been a couple of days since the previous comments.

  242. pocketnerd says

    Thus Spake Zaragregranzoni, #261:

    Thunderf00t’s rebuttal, just sharing

    Thunderf00t’s an idiot who doesn’t have enough sense to walk away from the table when he’s losing. Just sharing.

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