As an aside to conference organizers: the 15-20 minute conference talk is a tried-and-true format that works really well — you might think about scheduling more of those. If you’re thinking about the expense of bringing in more speakers, don’t: use more local volunteers, and have the Big Names do multiple sessions: a solo talk, a panel discussion, an interview. It all works out. The nice thing about the shorter talks is that they demand that you focus on one single point and deliver it efficiently.
Anita is the very picture of bravery through all this madness. Even though I’ve seen her TEDx talk (several times) about the initial firestorm and been following her harassment for years, it still blows my mind that the fury is so intense. “What the fuck is wrong with people,” is all I can muster. Well, that, and sending money to Anita and supporting Rebecca on Patreon.
Usernames! → smart says
The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory doesn’t even come close to explaining it.
Oh no, she’s expressing opinions while being a woman again!
For some reason, I read, “don’t: use more local volunteers,” as, “don’t use more local volunteers,” and I was thinking, “hell, has gone all evil?” But, no, I just fail at reading colons is all.
On topic, I like her point about her being turned into a folk demon. This isn’t something you see in rationalist movements. Take Ray Comfort, he’s clearly our “enemy,” ideologically speaking, but you don’t find atheists taking his arguments and spinning him into some vile monster who’s out to get us (at least, you don’t find many atheists doing this… there are probably some who do, now that I think of it). He’s just another ignorant creationist spreading the same old nonsense. He seems dishonest, but he’s not a monster.
On the other hand, take the Christian reaction to atheists – we’re angry, we hate them, we want to steal their faith away, we want to round them up and put them into camps. You can find all of those accusations and more, simply for not believing in their god. Sure, atheists don’t always stop at mere disbelief, and some atheists can be pretty openly hostile toward the religious, but their response to us is the same no matter how we approach the issue: Post a billboard informing atheists that they’re not alone, and you’ll get the same reaction as if you put a pissy rant on Youtube about how theists are all sheeple. True, not all Christians react this way, nor is it only Christians, but it’s telling that it’s mostly the evidence-poor communities who act this way.
If your response to criticism is to demonise the critic rather than show how they’re wrong (and I mean show how their actual argument is wrong, not how a strawman version of their argument is wrong (because there are so many people claiming that not pointing out the good tropes invalidates Sarkeesian’s argument, despite the fact that her point is that the negative tropes exist and are common, not that they’re the only tropes that exist)) then you’re probably on the wrong side of rationality.
Apparently I was so concerned that PZ had gone evil, that I censored him out of my first paragraph, in #3. That’ll teach you for going all evil, PZ, that’ll teach ya!
She’s so right. When women are harmed by men they are told it never happened and that if it did, it wasn’t that bad and/or she deserved it. This is even expanded to include non-violent forms of harm due to sexism like the pay gap. Sure women aren’t paid the same as men, but we don’t deserve to be or choose not to according to sexists everywhere. Our “estrogen vibe” is blamed for that too. If we dare to complain about any for of sexism we’re the real problem and we need to be shut up ASAP, under threat if necessary.
…but why are feminists so angry?
A Hermit says
To be fair Athywren reading colons takes a lot of practice, I only trust my gastroenterologist and that haruspex in the next cave over to do it properly.
On her last point, to believe women when they tell you about their experiences, obviously this will be impossible to the hyperskeptics who I used to believe were simply a strawman conjured up by the religious, but there’s a way for even them to understand it.
There are places on the internet where people assume I’m a woman, and I don’t correct them because it’s no more or less wrong to me than assuming I’m a man. In those places, I get very different responses than in places where people assume I’m a man.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the hyperskeptic wannabe vulcans like to engage in social experiments online, so here’s an experiment for them:
1) Identify as a woman somewhere online.
2) Disagree with a popularly held belief in the same way that you normally would – no feigning irrationality for the sake of getting into what you might consider to be the female character, as that would taint the results.
3) Record the responses.
4) Compare those responses to the type you usually get.
Of course, I’m not really convinced that many would learn much from that, either, but maybe it might get through to some of them.
A Masked Avenger says
You make some excellent points in your comment, but I would be careful not to get too self-satisfied. Rebecca Watson is not being demonized by Christians, but by “rational” people in the “skeptic community,” including such all-important thinky-leaders as Dawkins himself. We do do it. Perhaps less than Christians do, perhaps not–I don’t have any data on that. But we do do it.
I think Ms. Sarkeesian nailed it in the video in the OP: all humans tend to do it when fundamental aspects of world-view are challenged. Skeptics run into a lot of this with believers, because we spend most of our time, well, challenging fundamental aspects of their world-view. But to the misogynists among us, the inferiority of women is fundamental, like the sun rising, and challenges to that view make them feel like the world is turning upside down. And they’d rather believe that Rebecca Watson goes out by night with a cape and scissors, to castrate all teh menz, than believe that one of their fundamental beliefs happens to be wrong.
@A Masked Avenger, 8
That was basically my point, though I might’ve mangled it in trying to express it in a way that those supposed rationalists would recognise.
I wasn’t saying (or at least didn’t intend to say) that this is what Christians do, that it’s all or only Christians who do this, nor even that atheists and skeptics are immune to it – obviously we’d see an awful lot more of it from our side if we were to replace Ray Comfort with a famous Muslim apologist – but that doing it is, at the very least, a red flag for irrationality in the group that’s doing it; that, if you find yourself doing it over an issue, you should take that as a sign to step back and examine your position more closely.
Jeff S says
Bravo to Anita. This is talk is an absolute ass-kicking.
I’m so glad that she has made this talk/video, because you cannot watch it without feeling both sorry for her, and really fucking impressed by her.
This makes her stand apart from the fake online persona of her crafted by 4channer/#GamerGaters.
She’s a real gamer, she’s a real feminist, she’s a real women, and she’s fucking right about sexism being a problem in video games.
Maybe some of the people who have fallen for the hoaxes/bullshit said about her will see this video and think “….wait a minute…..I’m wrong.”
One time, a games critic I respect said he agreed with Anita Sarkeesian, but felt that she was too “bombastic” in her approach. That particularly annoyed me, because it felt like it was buying too much into the whole folk demon view of Sarkeesian, even if it wasn’t buying into it completely. My personal impression of Sarkeesian is that she is very measured, even moderate. She’s just embedded in a culture where even measured feminism is considered radical.
Agreed on both the quality of the talk and the format. I tend to think the best talks are either 5-10 minutes or 15-20 minutes.
In writing, the best article lengths are usually 15-20 pages as well.
CaitieCat, getaway driver says
Even where I disagree with her, I cannot but do so respectfully, because by far the greater majority of what she does is spot-fucking-on. And her bravery is amazing. Just amazing. She both inspires and intimidates me: I want to write about gaming, but I’m honestly terrified of getting the kind of reaction she does.
lakitha tolbert says
I thought this essay was appropriate and worth reading: http://jonstonechannel2.tumblr.com/post/99246356388/why-bother-with-gamergate
CaitieCat, getaway driver says
After watching the video, I’m struck by the fact that at least some – maybe half? – of the visible men never applaud or cheer. Absolutely there are many who are, too, because #NotAllMen, as we are so often told.
But on the left side (looking out), at the inner end of the rows, the men on the aisle are pretty much still throughout, and a few on the right side – it’s hard to see further back, but there are definitely a significant percentage of the men who went to this talk by Anita Sarkeesian who are less than pleased about listening to her.
I also found it endearing that she’s got apparent stage fright. I recognise all the signs, having it rather seriously myself; I’ve been acting and directing in community theatre since 1999, and am known for being the worst case of stage fright ever to go on and do it anyway. I even sang, a capella, in the middle of a play. I threw up before I went on, but I went on. Anyway, she’s got all the signs – sweaty palms, catch in her breathing, eyes down even when she’s not looking at her prompter, and a couple of verbal tics that say to me that she was reformulating thoughts on the fly – and it’s just somehow endearing to me to see that someone who puts together such polished videos, and provides such excellent analysis, can also have the very ordinary frailty of stage fright.
It also makes me respect her bravery even more deeply: to be the subject of so much debilitating personal abuse, and stage fright into the bargain, and still go on? That’s amazing. Anyone ever tells you a woman can only be courageous in defence of her children, point them to Anita Sarkeesian. That women has metaphorical intestines that could lift real elevators.
fat ass rush Is bombastic If I was to try to describe her style I would say it is more concretely academic with just enough thoroughness to make a good trial lawyer proud, point for point. With the lack of an overtly emotional delivery She is kind of overwhelming .
The 15-20 minute format demands much greater effort on the part of the speaker, which might be why it is so effective. As my research advisor once joked, “I need a couple of weeks to prepare for a 15 minute presentation, a couple of days for an hour-long talk, but if time is unlimited, I can do it without any preparation at all.” Over the years, I’ve found that to be very true.
congenital cynic says
Well, I don’t play any computer games, so I know next to nothing about this. I did watch one of her videos and was shocked at the level of violence and the abuse of women. But isn’t the basic issue not really about games, but about the way a lot of males are raised in western culture? Some combination of home life and the prevailing culture in which they are embedded. And that the games are secondary. Because they already lack the value system that would make them see women as people deserving respect.
This morning on the radio I was listening to stories about pimps getting young teens into prostitution, and how if they didn’t do what they were told, the pimp would beat them up. I guess I grew up in Pleasantville, but I just can’t get my head around how a man could beat up a woman. I played rough sports (rugby, hockey) and have had to punch guys who were not able to be “talked down” and who were out of control (usually drunk), and had to restrain people when I was a campus policeman, but I can’t imagine anything that would make me feel more shame than if I punched a woman. And punching them out in a video game, while not “real”, still has a person displaying the wrong behaviour.
Just going to go away and shake my head. I don’t understand dudebros.
Applying critique to video games under the wider context of our culture is exactly what Anita’s doing. Note that the tropes she’s analyzing are generally not exclusive to video games – horror movies and series like Game of Thrones, for example, use gendered violence a lot to stablish their edgy cred.
And dudebroz can’t have it because they want their vidya games to be taken seriously enough that they don’t feel like losers for spending an inordinate amount of time and money on them, but also not taken seriously enough to be criticized like any other significant cultural piece.
Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says
congenital cynic @ 18
Games are part of culture, yo.
NateHevens. He who hates straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied men (not really) says
Yeah, I noticed that, too. I keep hoping it’s them thinking that clapping during a speech is impolite, since they do applaud at the beginning and we don’t see the audience at the end, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do applaud at the end.
But then again, these are dudes. So they could also simply not be happy to be listening Anita Sarkeesian.
I think Sarkeesian’s videos are actually pretty anodyne. She says “this occurs a lot” and shows a few dozen examples. I think “wow, I didn’t realise this was so common”. What’s there to disagree with?
Especially the “cherry-picking” argument floors me. She’s showing the examples *on screen*. She’s not saying *all* depictions of women are like this – after all, there are lots of different tropes – but she’s showing many, many examples.
Maybe Kathy Sierra has a point with her Koolaid Theory. Certainly the haters have a big issue with femfreq getting funded by donations.
Tony! The Queer Shoop says
The day you start reading colons is the day we should begin to worry that you’ve succumbed to Teh Woo.
Welcome to the People With Two Brain Cells to Rub Together Club.
Tony! The Queer Shoop says
I wonder if the critic would have said the same thing if it were a man making the same arguments Sarkeesian does.
Some people just aren’t into applauding during a talk, let alone whooping and hollering, either preferring not to cut in to the limited time, or because their cultural upbringing just didn’t include that. For myself, I might join in with applause during the talk in my restrained British middle-class way, but spontaneous applause before the end just isn’t the way I was brought up to behave in talks. Political rallies, maybe.
Marcus Ranum says
I am thrilled at the progress we, as a society, have made on the gay marriage issue; the work there is not done (by a long shot) but there’s progress — including the bitter shouting tears and threats of a vocal minority that are losing their privilege. I hope that we can trigger a similar turn-around on the topic of feminism, with a similar time-frame, and similar success. I notice there are many commonalities, including the mis-use of arguments about free speech, the use of straw-person caricatures, direct attacks against outspoken individuals, etc. The enemy’s arsenal is the same because those are the weapons that work on the battlefield of ideas and, seriously, if “photoshopping someone’s head onto porn” is the kind of argument that’s accessible to one side, I’m pretty confident that eventually that side will lose.
We still have a lot of work to do!! In the meantime I will continue to support and fund Anita Sarkeesian, Amanda Marcotte, etc. They are SJ warriors FTW.
Marcus Ranum says
Well, I don’t play any computer games, so I know next to nothing about this. I did watch one of her videos and was shocked at the level of violence and the abuse of women. But isn’t the basic issue not really about games, but about the way a lot of males are raised in western culture?
I have gamer cred. So, here’s one issue: games are an interactive media, not a passive experience like television. Part of the magic of gaming is the involvement and buy-in that the player gets from interacting with through the game – the satisfaction of in-game success is the hook and is, in fact, the reason many gamers prefer interactive content to passive experience. This is critical, because many gamers will complain loudly (myself included!) if a game doesn’t give the player adequate and interesting choices — a strict linear script removes the gamer’s sense of agency; they feel like they may as well be watching a movie. And that’s the problem: often the gamer chooses to kick the prostitute. They go out of their way to kick the prostitute. The gameplay may give them a choice to kill or not kill and they exercise agency to see what happens. It’s not entirely a popular culture experience where you can sit back and say “that’s how popular culture is” because you make the choices in line with the options, which do reflect popular culture. Key words: you make the choices.
There are many “open worlds” games and I’ve played a lot of them. The beauty and wonder of those games is that they present you with a wide range – an open world’s worth – of choices. And you can be a complete shitbag, if you are a complete shitbag. Or you can try to do the right thing. Hey, what can I say, I usually play a paladin. But that’s not popular culture; the pleasure of the game is that you construct yourself and your world. Kant had something to say about that.
Jennifer Lawrence’s point about how even her friends made the choice to obviate her choice by looking at the pictures — is incredibly profound. It cuts straight to the meaning of making a choice: do we want to act morally even in a situation where we can, with impunity, not? It’s the same with a game. If you kick the prostitute, you can tell yourself that you didn’t really hurt a person (which is true) but I can tell you with equal truth that you’re apparently the kind of person who’d kick a prostitute if you were in a situation where you could do it with impunity. In this way, games and internet anonymity can hold a really ruthless mirror up to us.
I’m not a perfect person by a long shot, but I used to feel silly because I stopped playing Wing Commander at the mission where I was expected to drop the Temblor bomb on Kilrah and commit xenocide. I thought it was a nasty trick to play on the customer, to put them on a plot-course where you had no choice but to commit genocide – and then I realized that I had the choice of walking away from the game entirely and not buying any more of the series because the plot-line had ended for me. With other aspects of popular culture – Game of Thrones, From Dusk Till Dawn, whatever wretched piece of shit Hollywood gacks up for you to consume: you do have a choice. You can walk away, change the channel, read a good book, exercise your precious thin free will.
Marcus Ranum says
(BTW, I used to have a gamer buddy who was a wooey buddhist vegan type. He played what he called “gandhi DOOM” — in which you try to run the entire level of the first-person shooter without hurting any of the monsters, because the monsters are probably reincarnated lawyers and killing them is unfair… That always used to crack me up.)
While i do think she is sincere and has a genuine critique of the industry, i don’t like her methods. Her kickstarted was from two years ago and she only produced about a third of her videos. I don’t believe she is a been playing games since she was five and worst of all she took a jab at FemShep!
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
Ahh, you go and spoil your delivery with misogynist talking points, also, like them, presenting no evidence to back up your claims. D+
A little of-topic, but it might be worth putting in a plug for Nethack here. The player needs to get an amulet from the depths of a dungeon, and ascend to win the game. It’s very hard to win. Released in 1987, it’s one of the older games around, with correspondingly little emphasis on graphics. I mention it because it doesn’t suffer from the sexist tropes that many other games do. It is one of the few games where choosing a female character is effortlessly built into the game, and can be advantageous (male characters cannot lay eggs when they are polymorphed into dragons). The ease with which it handles gender is surprisingly important to me (that is, even I am surprised at how much this means to me).
Drawing on Marcus’s #28, it has an amazing array of choices for the gamer, and with the dungeon being randomly created each time, your strategy needs to be tweaked each time. Some people who can play far better than I can try to run through in pacifist mode, that is try to get through without killing monsters unnecessarily. Disclaimer here: I can’t even contemplate that level of play.
But you wouldn’t have any trouble believing a man who said that, would you? Do you have any idea how entrenched, and how obvious, your sexism is?
A Hermit @6
Okay, you owe me a new keyboard now.
Well, maybe. I mean, people said the same things seven years ago about pretty much every atheist who ever criticized religion, and the most visible atheists were all men.
It’s hard not to notice, though, that gamergate mostly targets women. There are plenty of progressive games critics who are men too (even gamergaters say so), and yet they’re clearly not as big targets as the women are.
Tony! The Queer Shoop says
She said her initial plans with the Kickstarter funds was to create five videos.
She only produced a third of her videos? Come again?
Tony! The Queer Shoop says
I’m seconding echidna @33. You have absolutely no reason not to believe Sarkeesian if she says that she’s been playing games since she was five. You’ve clearly absorbed some sexist beliefs about women and video games. You ought to have that checked out. I suggest a long regimen of self-examination, followed by a period of listening and shutting up.
Ryan Cunningham says
Well what do you know? Look at that. The very conspiracy theories Anita mentioned in the video show up right here here for all of us to see. Thanks for making Anita’s point for her, creep!
It’s been proven somewhere that the more money a kickstarter gets over its original asked-for sum, the longer it takes for them to finish the project. Anita’s project is nothing out of the ordinary as far as that goes.
She only produced a third of her videos? Come again?
If you pull the little string in Ranzoid’s back he says “Math is hard”.
As one would expect. It is quicker to complete a small project that a big one. As an engineer who has overseen some large, high profile projects, I can say that the bigger a project is, the more time needs to be taken in advance planning before work commences. So not only does more money (i.e. widening the scope of the project) delay the finish of the project, it also delays hitting the first milestones.
Marcus Ranum, @28
It was actually *fascinating* watching the response to Spec Ops: The Line, given that this was basically the entire premise of the game. So many people put it back on the game: “the game made me [spoiler redacted], and then condemned and emotionally-tortured me for doing it.”
No, the game didn’t make you [spoiler redacted] any more than the situation made Walker do it. You could have quit. You could have turned off the game in disgust. Walker could have gone home once he established the 44th were still in the city.
Instead player and character attempted to be a hero exactly the way First Person Shooters have taught us to do so: by always moving forwards and killing everything that shoots in our direction. Spec Ops: The Line simply showed us the horrifying consequences of playing a shooter.
I sometimes get the feeling the critics of Spec Ops are the same ones who supported gamergate: not the vile misogynistic sociopaths who founded it, but the defensive gamers who don’t seem to be able to percieve the difference between constructive criticism of gaming and an attack on the medium.
Yes, the ‘heroic protagonist’ in a standard shooter is actually likely to only make matters worse, yes continually portraying women in games as naught but things to be ogled or murdered is a problem, but the people pointing these things out aren’t Fox News. They’re not attackingi> anyone. They’re not trying to condemn or censor or take games off of shelves or call you a loser for playing them. They’re trying to encourage the industry to be better, to be deeper and more interesting.
I think that is why so many seemingly otherwise reasonable people were pulled into defending the gamergate crap. Criticism was interpreted as an attack and responded to as such. And that is a very typical gamer attitude: the “hardcore gamer” community has always felt somewhat under attack by moral guardians and the media, so tell them journalists/feminists/social justice warriers are attacking them and they go nuts.
Why don’t critics like yourself ever watch her video’s?
Simply from watching the examples she picks in her video’s I can tell that not only has she been playing games since she was young, but that she owned a Nintendo console rather than a Sega or Sony. (I was a Playstation kid myself)
Seriously? For the love of…
Her video’s are about trends, prevelance, frequencies of occurance of specific plot devices. Y’know: tropes. It’s in the goddamn name.
Yes, I can pick out specific examples I have problems with too. Heck, I’ll do it now! She included Borderlands 2, an extremely gender-accessable game, in her Damsel in Distress video.
That doesn’t mean she’s wrong, it doesn’t mean she hates Borderlands 2, it doesn’t mean she thinks Borderlands 2 is misogynistic. It means Borderlands 2 used a trope.
And that’s fine: heck, I’d argue that Borderlands 2 would be a worse game had it not used that trope in that place. It was essential to the story as a whole. But that’s missing the point. The problem is not, and never has been, that a single game used a trope.
The problem is (and always has been) that *lots of games* use the same trope, often without thinking and without any pressing reason for using that trope. She pretty explicitly states this at the start of EVERY ONE OF HER VIDEO’S.
I disagree here. Where are the photoshopped pornographic photos of Dawkins? Where are the rape threats directed at Hitchens and his family? Atheists get a lot of hate thrown at them, and a lot of the supervillian conspiracy theories too, but I would never classify their hate mail as the same things as what Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn have experienced.
You might have missed it, but I was referring to an instance when someone I respected merely called Anita Sarkeesian “bombastic”.
The slide with the fuzzed-out photoshop porn images made me reach for the brain bleach. Fucking fuckity fuck. I don’t recall ever being a dumb enough kid to laugh at this stuff, and I was a dumb kid. Sarkeesian sure has a knack of putting together a bunch of things that in isolation are in merely horrible taste — but together can’t be dismissed as just a taste issue.
That struck me as well — and I had a sympathetic reaction to it (as in I started feeling the stage fright myself). I found it particularly interesting to see where she was flipping between stage-frightened extemporaneous speech and her solid video voice that I am more familiar with (which sounds great normally, but on stage, sounded slightly over-rehearsed). I haven’t seen an experienced speaker with quite such visible stage fright before.
Unfortunately, I got distracted by this new-to-me phenomenon. Happens to me; I used to do a lot of public speaking, and I took it as an art to practice and perfect, so sometimes I’d end a talk with lots of notes in my head about good tricks to copy / mistakes to avoid / shit that can happen that I have to be prepared for — but drawing a blank on what was actually said. Luckily this is a video so I can just put it back onto the viewing queue.
Ah, I see what you mean. Apologies for misinterpreting you.
The one thing Sarkeesian’s “critics” like to pull out as proof that she’s lying about being a gamer is a short b/w clip from a purported 2010 class thingie in which she says she’s not been into games much so she had to look up some stuff for the project she’s presenting, and later she mentions that she’d like to play more but she’s not that much into killing.
This is supposed to be evidence for her not playing games since she was five and not being a gamer. It’s possible. It’s possible she bullshitted on the b/w video, instead (if she was embarrassed about being a gamer, for example). More likely seems to be that she’s like many female gamers in that she loved the games she played as a kid, then got side-tracked (or actively discouraged) from gaming for years because girls-don’t-play-videogames, and only re-discovered her love for them around the time of the b/w video.
I’m just not sure her gamer cred is relevant. Either her critiques are sound, or they’re not. This is not a “Situated knowledge” type of situation where we’re talking about specific experiences in a particular cultural/socioeconomic space; this is a popular media-criticism type of situation.
shit. I should clarify, my comment about it not being about situated knowledge type of situation of course refers to the work in Tropes vs Women. This specific talk is of course partially about situated knowledge, but you’d have to be seriously invested in hating on Sarkeesian to deny that she does have the experience to talk about being a woman in gaming now, regardless of when you believe she started gaming.
Adam James says
This was awesome to watch. One of my major complaints with her Tropes v. Women series is that she’s too formal. Her presentation is polished and professional, but not approachable. She’s funny, witty and so much more likeable here (and in her older videos, as well). I think if she took that attitude in her videos it might help to bring down the defenses of male gamers, who might otherwise be put-off if they felt they were being lectured at. Like Oscar Wilde said: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
Marcus Ranum says
It doesn’t matter if she has gamer cred, or if she’s played the games, because the scenes that she points out are in the games, and her critique about their non-value to the plot is spot on. The only meaningful refutation of her analysis would have to argue either that the scenes weren’t in the games (nobody seems to be saying that) or that they weren’t gratuitous (not much argument there, either) so the rebuttals are focusing on ad hominem.
Saying “she didn’t play the games” is compounded stupidity because, what, did she just accidentally stumble onto those scenes because the whole game is nothing but those scenes? She’s making a very specific and accurate critique and anyone who games a fair bit will have seen a few of those scenes and – hopefully cringed a bit at them.
(I try to avoid fps’ unless you’re in a fairly fictionalized universe because I don’t like endless meaningless killing. I find my fun in other ways. Want a hard way to complete “dishonored”? Don’t kill anyone but completely incapacitate all opposition. I spent 4 hours on the Overseer Campbell map knocking out the entire night watch and stacking them in the same dumpster, giggling the whole time at the imagined scene where they regain consciousness..)
Marcus Ranum says
It’s been proven somewhere that the more money a kickstarter gets over its original asked-for sum, the longer it takes for them to finish the project.
Could that have anything to do with increased goals because of the increased funding? Because one person tackling a bigger project takes longer because the amount of work one person can do in a given amount of time doesn’t magically increase if they have more funding?
@A Hermit, 6 &Tony!, 23
Ah, ya great big bullying bullies! Mocking my inability to spot small punctuation marks. I have a low grammatomancy skill! :(
Well, actually, I “used to” “see” “auras,” so I already succumbed to it once and got better. Hmm… would that imply I still have antibodies providing a bonus to immunity, or would it be a susceptibility, in much the same way that an old knee injury makes you vulnerable to called shots to the leg?
I don’t get it. Why do you care enough to even have an opinion about this? What difference would it make, other than being an excuse to call her a liar?
Speaking as somebody who definitely has been playing games since the age of five – I used to play Repton and Bonecruncher (Holy fuck. I played that again recently on an emulator. You kill monsters and use their bones to make soap. Then you bathe with the bone soap. What the fuck was wrong with you, Superior Software?!) on a BBC Micron – I really haven’t had any issues with her arguments. Even if she’d never played a game in her life, her criticisms would still be valid, but it’s pretty clear that she was a damn, dirty nintendo player. Bloody consoles! *shakes a fist*
Marcus Ranum says
Why did anyone take Siskel and Ebert’s criticism of movies seriously? They hadn’t been watching movies since they were five!!!! For fuck’s sake!!!!
Adam James @50
Yes, I’m sure that’s the problem here. If only Anita were *nicer* about it all, she’d be getting fewer death and rape threats.
Just in case you’re not a troll*: Can you really not see how inappropriate it is to comment on a video of a presentation about serious long-term death-and-rape-threat-level harassment by saying the victim should act *more likeable*? You honestly think the person doing something wrong here is *Anita Sarkeesian*?
*On second thoughts, I’m kidding myself. No half-way decent human being could react like this.
I’m a game designer by trade. Anita’s videos do get seen here in the industry and judging by the straw poll I’ve taken around my studio, there’s a lot of sympathy for the points she makes about tropes.
I can’t speak for all devs or the industry as a whole, but there’s a lot of us here trying to do better. And we can’t abide those parts of the gamer community trying to drag 19th Century cultural mores into the 21st Century.
I don’t like your methods either. Particularly the way you turn up here making assertions not backed by evidence. What a coincidence!
She originally said she’d make five. She’s made five. And plans to make more. What’s your problem?
What you believe has nothing to do with what is true. And much as I love FemShep there are far worse crimes than labeling her a trope. Grow up, man!
Thinking on it, FemShep’s problem is that she’s another old movie and TV trope, the woman written as a man. Quite literally in FemShep’s case, since she speaks the exact same lines as DudeShep.
For an early example of that trope, see Honor Blackman in the Avengers TV show, who was originally intended to be, and was written as, a bloke.
I haven’t played games since I was five. (I was in my late ’20s when I started. Because poverty.) Now I work designing games and have shipped more than a dozen over the last twenty years. By misogynist logic I must be a ‘fake gamer’ who knows nothing about the subject.
So was Ripley of Alien. Yet, for me, she is a woman and a fantastic role model for women and girls. I often “talk like a man” in my tone of voice, etc., whatever the hell that means. I don’t think women have a particular way of talking, and neither do men. Individuals do. How would we have made Ripley “more like a woman?”
Sorry for being so harsh, but this is the kind of comment that really gets to me. I am not “feminine”, never wanted to be “feminine,” and hate the idea that women are expected to be “feminine” (read lacey, flowery, delicate, polite, smiling, etc.)
Sueinnm, that’s a good point and it reveals something about my own wonky programming and socialisation. If pressed I’d have to think hard about what ‘male dialogue’ constitutes.
I have been puzzling out this “feminine” thing myself. I am in no way a 10 on the girly/boyish (Boy =1, girl=10) scale I have in my mind. I don’t think most people are at either extreme but the socialization we internalize frequently pushes us towards one end or the other based on biases and our (many of us not all by any means) wish to not stand out. I loved Ripley and never once considered her not a woman.
I’ve played video games since atari days and certainly as a youngster enjoyed more *boy* things then *girl* (I’m talking stereo-typically) things too, but I also like floaty skirts (although so did the Celts so I don’t know they are all that estrogen-vibey :) ). I don’t get this dismissal of her gaming chops. I’ve played pretty much since there were video games to play. Colecovision was the first system I bought with my own money and I kept buying… sega, nintendo and playstation, +2&3 and I am looking at 4. I’ll admit I’ve never liked the Call of Duty/Navy Seals/GTA type of games but I still game. I don’t understand why the vocal *gaming culture* (Yes I know #notallgamers) is so busy trying to pretend I don’t exist or my gaming choices and/or history isn’t real? IMHO it’s the game industry that is so obviously trying to split games into gender categories. Was Zaxxon for girls or boys ditto Venture just to name the beginning for me.
Anecdote- My Niece has been gaming since before she was five. Does Ranzoid@30 not believe girls game, even at a young age, or just not Antia?
Yeah, about that…
I have way too many hours playing Mass Effect, and I actually like Mass Effect 3, but if anything, she could have taken far more shots at it.
Do all the Asari, beggining with Matriarch Benezia need to have huge breasts? Or, you know, since they’re not human, even have breasts at all? And couldn’t Miranda and Jack find anything to wear that’s a bit more practical and actually provides some protection for combat? And do we really need all those strip clubs? And that’s just off the top of my head.
And that’s where the value of her videos comes in, at least for me. I now look at games differently (most of the time anyway), and often find myself wondering “really, is this really necessary?” And I actually cringe a bit at them. I didn’t notice those things before, but I do now, and I recognize them as bad and as something that we really need to get rid of.
Also, while I’m here, if you’re not into video games but would like know what the fuss is all about, you could do far worse than giving Mirror’s Edge a try, it’s only 5 bucks on Origin
sueinnm @ 60 and leebrimmicombe-wood @ 61
Tilda Swinton’s character (Mason) in “Snowpiercer” was originally written as a man as well but the director cast her in the role without changing any of the dialogue. I’d honestly like to see more of this, not less, because what we have now in most mass media is a perception by writers (mostly men, some women) that a female character must be written differently than a male character. They think female characters have confront only “women’s stuff,” which is one of the reasons why rape plots keep appearing everywhere. Male writers need to put the female character through something traumatic, so they default to rape rather than any of the 1000 other disasters that can befall a human being that they would use for a male character.
I’m all for more complex female characters in every medium, and for media that addresses issues that women relate closely to, but I’d like to start shredding the idea that “women’s issues” are some walled off strange land compared to the human issues men deal with that are common and everyone can relate to.
Adam James says
Presumably you understand that “male gamer” does not equate to “person who makes death and rape threats.” My comment was concerned with how she might have even greater success winning the minds of the former, not why her current tone is inciting the responses of the latter. Nothing she has ever done makes her deserving of threats against her life and safety, and nothing she could ever do would change the minds of people who think its OK to make those threats.
My point had to do with how she can do better at convincing gamers who might be on the fence: do they support more inclusivity, or do they defend the stays quo? The instinctual reaction is too often to defend ones tribe. Human beings are amenable to rational argument, but they are not always fully rational. Sadly, sometimes the way a message is presented is at least as important as its content. Her Tropes v. Women videos are excellent, but she sometimes seems a bit too rehearsed and almost professorial in them. Her earlier Feminist Frequency videos (and the one above) were much more off-the-cuff. It would be awesome if she could bring more of her personality to the Tropes vs. Women in Gaming series.
Dog Almighty says
Anita is my internet crush. Can’t help it, I find her brain extremely attractive.
Adam James @ 65
Are there gamers genuinely “on the fence”? Are there really people out there who are undecided don’t know if they want to make the gaming communities less hostile to women and minorities?
There are gamers who are unaware that gaming communities are hostile to women and minorities… I don’t think there are any (or, at least, not many) who are on the face as to whether they should be, though. It’s not really a question that requires much consideration.
Adam James @65
In a climate of death-and-rape threats, if you need *convincing* to support inclusivity , you’ll oppose it, no matter what.
If Sarkeesian were *more likeable* in “Tropes vs. Women” it would be: “if only she were more *professional* in her videos, she would convince more gamers on the fence”.
This. Her tone was carefully chosen to draw attention away from herself and towards the content – it’s an old news presenter technique that I learned in college.
chigau (違う) says
So, Sarkeesian needs to be more “likeable” and “approachable” in her videos?
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
What exactly do you mean? Here delivery was very good. Or is it your interpretation of her delivery, and the message the some men are male chauvinist pigs, that really needs the “work”.
chigau (違う) says
I think Delft is saying that Sarkeesian can’t win.
Whatever she says, she should gave said it differently.
Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says
Then Delft can’t offer constructive criticism. Which was my point. Either constructive criticism, with “how to” examples, or no criticism.
The Mellow Monkey says
Nerd of Redhead @ 74
Delft wasn’t offering criticism of Anita. Delft is responding to a tone argument put forth by Adam James and pointing out why it’s wrong.