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Gender Diversity / Politics in games (was Tropes Vs. Women)

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Things like racism and homphobia you're always hearing about, but misogyny is something that barely gets noticed. I'm not discluding myself from that ignorance btw, it's only relatively recently I've learned more about social attitudes towards women and gender inequalities. The way things are at the moment is an embarassment.

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I can't really decide how worried to be by the toxic internet & gaming culture: I have a feeling that most of the misogynist, anti-social justice shitheads are only really fighting their bullshit fight online, whereas people who oppose them tend to actually do things to change the situation (vote, protest, donate to kickstarters). That said, obviously the internet is a part of real life now, and real people get hurt and harrassed. I think it also really harms young men's attitudes and development (the culture rather than games themselves, I'm not Keith Vaz).

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Well the minority always need to be heard - no matter what seemingly crazy notions they may have; it's what makes changes and how a good democratic society work. She's going about it in the right way too - I've got no problems with this, at-least it seems to be informed.

Personally I don't think that sexism *within* video games is a problem but I'm a man so it's perhaps not as easy for me to see. Games on the whole are made up of many, many stereotypes male and female alike and I don't see the harm in most of them (except for some terrible clothing and script choices). If this series is just to point out the generic characteristics and sexy nature of most of the female cast then it doesn't seem remotely interesting to me (as they're blindingly obvious). What I want to know is how Samus's image is exactly damaging society. I struggle to see a direct correlation.

Now on the otherhand; mic chat is not acceptable and is a much bigger problem, not just for women but for pretty much everyone who isn't a heterosexual white male. Kids/chavs spouting off under anominity racial, homophobic and definitely sexist abuse *is* a problem. If you can tie the two together then it'll be interesting.

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I am very curious about this. With the exception of the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrific Fat, Ugly or Slutty, there has been very few attempts at investigating and exposing the extremely loud misogyny of, for want of a better term, the computer game community (or Xbox Live, if you prefer) that hasn't either devolved into abject misandry or portrayed the clear minority as a rampant majority (and thus betraying any semblance of awareness necessary in an unbiased investigation).

I can't help but wonder whether the responses Sarkeesian has been awarded with will temper her journalistic integrity or prompt an equally stupid "I can shout louder because my cause is just" video. The BBC magazine article discussing the abuse she has received certainly didn't do anything besides point and laugh at the cuntish gamers, and proclaim all of them are cunts.

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While I deplore the abuse that's been directed at this project, I do struggle to see the point of it a bit.*

There's not a lot to be learned from stereotypes. The whole point of them is they pretty much advertise their intended message right on the surface.

Still at least one of the vids will be celebrating good female characters in games.

(*Plus anything that uses the word "tropes" is obviously terrible.)

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So no-one else think she did all this stuff herself to make megabux then? It's certainly worked.

What I want to see is a kickstarter to get geek stereotpes removed from popular media full stop. We can start with those fuckbags on Big Bang Theory.

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(*Plus anything that uses the word "tropes" is obviously terrible.)

My final MA thesis had the word 'trope' in its title :(

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So no-one else think she did all this stuff herself to make megabux then? It's certainly worked.

No. No one makes megabux from Kickstarter, especially when you factor in how much Kickstarter and Amazon take from the overall pledge. Also, film production is much more expensive than most people realise.

I do think she has picked an easy topic. It's easy to build a reputation with [arguably justified] vitriol, and no one would or could reasonably argue if she made a spineless series without being accused of misogyny. What I want to see is a genuine, decent and fair series.

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While I obviously don't condone any abuse, I imagine that at least some of the ire thrown at this project stems from the fact that it's got to be one of the most ridiculous Kickstarter projects I've ever seen - and that's saying something. Honestly, asking for money for a series of videos about about sexism in videogames? The problems with this are:

1) Why on earth do you need to do this as videos? A blog would be just as effective, and on the plus side could be skim-read for whatever banal points they have to make rather than sat through.

2) Even if we assume that a video series is required, just fucking do it with a webcam. There's no need for RED cameras to achieve a bokeh effect.

3) I literally cannot imagine a more boring concept for a video series than a daring expose of sexist "tropes" in videogames that we've all known have been there for decades. Oh shit, are they going to talk about Lara Croft's tits?! Videogames' biggest controversy of 1997 revealed!

Two years ago, they either wouldn't bother making this, or just do it off their own back like a sane person. Kickstarter has done some good stuff, like letting Tim Schafer et al make a game we all want, but it's also opened the floodgates for people who feel entitled to beg to the world for actual money to fund whatever vanity shit they've had an idea for.

Unfortunately, in this instance a bunch of internet wankers acted like internet wankers and so attracted a million white knights desperate to defend the most dull product of feminism in ages and therefore lent the whole project a level of credibility it absolutely doesn't deserve.

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As to sexism online I was only recently re-exposed as to it on WoW. I decided on rolling a female character. This might have been a bit of a mistake. The amount and variety of abuse I encountered while learning the ropes was pretty surprising and while some of it was understandable, who wants to be stuck with a noob on a dungeon run who keeps drawing by accident when you've got ten years under your belt? But some of it was really dreadful stuff, and I could imagine my mother, or partner or friend's daughters coming across this and thinking 'fuck this shit, I'm going back to Angry Birds.'

And it's weird, when my friend called them out on it there was a different reaction depending if he said "hey, be cool this is (user names) first character" or "hey, be cool this is HIS first character."

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I am very curious about this. With the exception of the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrific Fat, Ugly or Slutty, there has been very few attempts at investigating and exposing the extremely loud misogyny of, for want of a better term, the computer game community (or Xbox Live, if you prefer) that hasn't either devolved into abject misandry or portrayed the clear minority as a rampant majority (and thus betraying any semblance of awareness necessary in an unbiased investigation).

I can't help but wonder whether the responses Sarkeesian has been awarded with will temper her journalistic integrity or prompt an equally stupid "I can shout louder because my cause is just" video. The BBC magazine article discussing the abuse she has received certainly didn't do anything besides point and laugh at the cuntish gamers, and proclaim all of them are cunts.

Shit, I +1'd you by accident. if anyone can fix that, holler.

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On 14/06/2012 at 10:32, joeplus said:

Interesting that this thread's now about whether the video will be good or not, the specifics of its theme and finances, kickstarter, etc.

Not the rape threats, they're not the issue. No, it's more important to establish how good this woman's video will be before we wake the fuck up and realise that videogames have a culture problem.

I reckon the rape threads and other threats pretty much prove her point. Also the recent bro-haha over Mass Effect 3 and it's sexuality. So it's a-OK and quite normal for me to play as fem-Shep and have lesbian relationships in the game but putting in the option of Manshep having gay relationships is so controversial it creates a letter writing shit storm?

There seems to be this massive entitlement complex by some in the community that unless all content is tailered to this one segment then it's a sign of all that's wrong in the world. As if there aren't enough games out there allowing bro s to mow down ho s. Not enough, apparently EVERY game has to appeal to young men (preferably white) and anything that questions this is the cue to whine like a Skywalker.

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I am very curious about this. With the exception of the sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrific Fat, Ugly or Slutty, there has been very few attempts at investigating and exposing the extremely loud misogyny of, for want of a better term, the computer game community (or Xbox Live, if you prefer) that hasn't either devolved into abject misandry or portrayed the clear minority as a rampant majority (and thus betraying any semblance of awareness necessary in an unbiased investigation).

What sort of things do you mean?

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Interesting that this thread's now about whether the video will be good or not, the specifics of its theme and finances, kickstarter, etc.

Not the rape threats, they're not the issue. No, it's more important to establish how good this woman's video will be before we wake the fuck up and realise that videogames have a culture problem.

I imagine that we're talking about the quality of the video because it's a more interesting topic than the astonishing and jaw-dropping revelation that people on the internet are cunts.

Internet wankers make sexual threats towards women because they know women will be offended by that. They don't make sexual threats towards men because they know men don't give a shit. I'm not saying this means that women shouldn't be offended by sexual threats, but I'm saying it's just the nature of the beast. They are out to cause the maximum amount of offence possible. And no amount of hand-wringing blogs or forum posts (of which there are thousands) is going to change that.

I'm not saying there's not a sexist side to the wider gaming community - because there obviously is - but in this case I imagine that heads were mainly turned by the ridiculous nature of the Kickstarter than the actual basic content. If she'd just written some blog posts about sexist "tropes" in videogames I'm sure it would have immediately sunk into obscurity as it's such a banal topic.

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I'm not saying there's not a sexist side to the wider gaming community - because there obviously is - but in this case I imagine that heads were mainly turned by the ridiculous nature of the Kickstarter than the actual basic content. If she'd just written some blog posts about sexist "tropes" in videogames I'm sure it would have immediately sunk into obscurity as it's such a banal topic.

My head was turned due to the venom as part of the response. My initial reaction a while back was "meh, things are getting better". I was so so wrong judging by the response she got and it reminded me of the demonisation of female Bioware staff and the treatment of Jade from UbiSoft.

But hey, I've learned some new terms of abuse! Ovendodger. I still can't decide whether that was a remark about her not being in the kitchen or a comment on her possible Jewish heritage. Either way I read that and thought 'gee, the community has really covered itself in glory. I bet that's her told!' (It was Ovendodger that inspired me to post this topic.)

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Let's just sacrifice him as a warning to the others, they'll get the drift...

aris1.jpg

Seriously though, the things he's been getting away with for years now makes me more ashamed of being a gamer than the empty threats do.

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I'd considered donating just as a stance on people's behaviour towards her, but I'm seeing now she might not need that. She's already about 20 times over her rather modest $6000 goal.

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I'd considered donating just as a stance on people's behaviour towards her, but I'm seeing now she might not need that. She's already about 20 times over her rather modest $6000 goal.

I guess that's the justice from the pile on to silence her. The Streisland Effect in full swing. I'm betting a load of people donated just to spite the uglies.

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That's not even the half of it though.

Yeah, we're kind of missing the part where it's "Internet wankers make sexual threats and racist, and generally misogynistic comments towards women because said women choose to discuss the portrayal of women in games, or about the potential for offering players the option to dial down action scenes in games, or lead a development studio, or in some other way exist within the industry and choose to make their voice heard".

But I'm sure that men in the same position get exactly the same response, right Comrade? John Walker and Peter Molyneux and Cliffy B are regularly accosted by tens of thousands of bile-filled, vitriolic comments attacking them as people, threatening and insulting them for merely existing, every time they make any sort of statement, right?

Right?

(Now, as to the merit of the project itself, I leave that up to you. But to pretend that the only issue is the type of attacks that are directed at women within the industry, while ignoring the sheer prevalence, volume and precise targetting of them, is disingenuous to say the least)

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I think this is worth posting:

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igXz_hXKUcE

I'm loving his contrarian points. His patronising laugh and above all his pre-judgement of the series without seeing a single episode.

A lot of his arguement seems to be "I'm not interested in this shit so why should it be made? (And plus I have an interest in a niche hobby but I'm not uncool enough to make noise about it!)"

He makes a valid point about the self interest in such projects although again these projects are so niche I don't think they're being shoved under everyone's nose.

My counterpoint would be that these docos have only gotten the exposure that they have because of some people being so upset about their mere existance that some have crossed the line and directly threatened the authors while trying to get the projects shut down.

But here's the thing. As much as I don't agree with his view he gets a thumbs up for stating his opinion without resorting to threats of sexual violence. He's not vandalising the authors web page or trying to get the project cancelled. His point is that in his opinion the games industry is a-ok. That's his right.

Good thing he isn't a chick though, otherwise people might be down on him for being so strident and hey, why isn't he fetching me a brewski from the kitchen?

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