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#1 Edited by mrangryface (771 posts) -

You know the group, the one that:

A.) Realizes its a problem

B.) Realizes that most people that speak out against it on the internet are nothing more than armchair activists intent on projecting the image of an enlightened individual. Realize that if you started speaking out against it in earnest you would be one of them since you're not ACTUALLY committed enough to make the sacrifices to properly make a statement.

C.) Would like to talk about a game without it coming up every single time

D.) Realizes that this attitude in general reflects a complete detachment from the issue anyway so anything you say on the issue aside from the obvious is ill-informed.

#2 Edited by Brendan (7512 posts) -

Have you ever considered that your thought process in D probably colours your perception of people unfairly, leading to B?

Its easy to accept your own apathy if you take the world view that everyone are posers anyway.

#3 Posted by Tarsier (1052 posts) -

if you want to know why the current conversation is all about these kind of things, and why it has seeped into the video game community and everywhere else for that matter.. i believe this has a lot to do with it: http://www.idealsmatter.com/en/en/component/content/article/65-healthy-life/240-too-much-estrogen

people are asleep, thye have too much estrogen, theyre being poisoned constantly, and they distract themselves with these dinky little problems and get emotional and post about it all day on the internet.. they dont want to research the true evil that is surrounding them. they dont want to become aware of it or accept it. so instead they throw a tantrum on a forum about the amount of dark skinned people in their video games and movies, or the amount of buff female heroes, or whatever the fuck else. i know there are people who choose not to get involved because they know better... and if youre one of those then i give you a skin slap on the palm.

#4 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

What?

I believe games and art in general is reflective of the author and to a lesser extent, the social mores of the time. I believe art imitates life rather than life imitating art, as such 'perpetuating' a stereotype does not work if the stereotype does not appear in life. I believe the presentation of a character who is X and does Y does not extrapolate to the author stating that anyone who is X must also do Y, not without more evidence presented. I also believe that while some games have sexist depictions or are very informed by traditional gender roles, absolutely no mainstream games have advocated misogyny, as the advocacy of hatred and the subhumanity of women is something you might only see in H-games. Hell, even in most H-games I'd think they recognize women as people.

So I don't know if I fit into your thing. I'm certainly not ill or misinformed. Unless you're referring to actual cases of sexism or harassment within the industry, which I have no idea the prevalence of, but I know the solution is the police and the courts rather than twitter.

#5 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -

What?

I believe games and art in general is reflective of the author and to a lesser extent, the social mores of the time. I believe art imitates life rather than life imitating art, as such 'perpetuating' a stereotype does not work if the stereotype does not appear in life. I believe the presentation of a character who is X and does Y does not extrapolate to the author stating that anyone who is X must also do Y, not without more evidence presented. I also believe that while some games have sexist depictions or are very informed by traditional gender roles, absolutely no mainstream games have advocated misogyny, as the advocacy of hatred and the subhumanity of women is something you might only see in H-games. Hell, even in most H-games I'd think they recognize women as people.

So I don't know if I fit into your thing. I'm certainly not ill or misinformed. Unless you're referring to actual cases of sexism or harassment within the industry, which I have no idea the prevalence of, but I know the solution is the police and the courts rather than twitter.

Hmm it seems we actually have the same opinion on that. Who have thought that. Ok except for the hentai games think because if you look at their releases each month more than 50% are about rape and other misogynistic stuff.

#6 Edited by HatKing (5559 posts) -

I'm pretty passionate about the issues, but I hate the mentality of internet forums so much that I vowed months ago to not talk about it here. Or in any comments section. I write about it elsewhere, and that's proven far more constructive and rewarding. And talk to people face-to-face, which is even more rewarding.

Also, armchair activist is such a shitty, judgmental term. If you're talking about the issue, attempting to inform, you're not an armchair activist.

#7 Edited by Dark (356 posts) -

@darji said:

@brodehouse said:

What?

I believe games and art in general is reflective of the author and to a lesser extent, the social mores of the time. I believe art imitates life rather than life imitating art, as such 'perpetuating' a stereotype does not work if the stereotype does not appear in life. I believe the presentation of a character who is X and does Y does not extrapolate to the author stating that anyone who is X must also do Y, not without more evidence presented. I also believe that while some games have sexist depictions or are very informed by traditional gender roles, absolutely no mainstream games have advocated misogyny, as the advocacy of hatred and the subhumanity of women is something you might only see in H-games. Hell, even in most H-games I'd think they recognize women as people.

So I don't know if I fit into your thing. I'm certainly not ill or misinformed. Unless you're referring to actual cases of sexism or harassment within the industry, which I have no idea the prevalence of, but I know the solution is the police and the courts rather than twitter.

Hmm it seems we actually have the same opinion on that. Who have thought that. Ok except for the hentai games think because if you look at their releases each month more than 50% are about rape and other misogynistic stuff.

This is true, however the Japanese government lets this sort of thing run around in their media because they attribute this to the lower rate of 'rape' in their country. I have NOOO idea if allowing this type of media does infact make a difference or if its the culture that is different (I have heard people saying that its just as prevolent, japanese women are less inclined to go to police over the matter apparently.) That's apparently the reason they allow such media anyway.

#8 Edited by Darji (5295 posts) -

@dark said:

@darji said:

@brodehouse said:

What?

I believe games and art in general is reflective of the author and to a lesser extent, the social mores of the time. I believe art imitates life rather than life imitating art, as such 'perpetuating' a stereotype does not work if the stereotype does not appear in life. I believe the presentation of a character who is X and does Y does not extrapolate to the author stating that anyone who is X must also do Y, not without more evidence presented. I also believe that while some games have sexist depictions or are very informed by traditional gender roles, absolutely no mainstream games have advocated misogyny, as the advocacy of hatred and the subhumanity of women is something you might only see in H-games. Hell, even in most H-games I'd think they recognize women as people.

So I don't know if I fit into your thing. I'm certainly not ill or misinformed. Unless you're referring to actual cases of sexism or harassment within the industry, which I have no idea the prevalence of, but I know the solution is the police and the courts rather than twitter.

Hmm it seems we actually have the same opinion on that. Who have thought that. Ok except for the hentai games think because if you look at their releases each month more than 50% are about rape and other misogynistic stuff.

This is true, however the Japanese government lets this sort of thing run around in their media because they attribute this to the lower rate of 'rape' in their country. I have NOOO idea if allowing this type of media does infact make a difference or if its the culture that is different (I have heard people saying that its just as prevolent, japanese women are less inclined to go to police over the matter apparently.) That's apparently the reason they allow such media anyway.

Yeah and I do not know how accurate it is but rape is a big sex fantasy not only in Japan. And maybe it does prevent a lot of cases who knows. Japan is maybe the most liberal Country in terms of sex. I am not even against it I am just saying that the stuff in Video games we talk about here is not misogynistic at all.

#9 Edited by RenegadeDoppelganger (395 posts) -

So the only people interested in exploring sexism in games are either a) out to make a name for themselves or b) being poisoned by estrogen? Are you guys for real.

OP you acknowledge that this is a problem yet you don't want it coming up in discussions about games and also don't like people who are willing to talk about it because you feel like they have ulterior motives. Where is the appropriate place to have these discussions then and who do you think should be having them?

Sexism in games is generally getting worse, not better and the longer the gaming audience ignores the subject or stays complacent the worse it's going to get.

#10 Posted by Dark (356 posts) -

@darji: Oh hell no, its hard to find a game that flat out 'hates' women. Something that is based in history such as the dark ages IMO can get away with some amount of oppression due to the fact that, that is how things where. People are getting VERY touchy over this subject when honestly I don't see it being all THAT bad, its easy to twist the damsel in distress story into being any sort of way you want. The issue I find these days is people who cry misogynist often times seem to spout misandry when they begin to argue, 2 wrongs don't make a right sadly enough.

#11 Posted by dr_mantas (1691 posts) -

Every time a topic about it starts, I know it will end up the same way. It's a vicious circle.

No one's mind has ever been changed by an internet argument.

#12 Edited by Darji (5295 posts) -

@renegadedoppelganger said:

So the only people interested in exploring sexism in games are either a) out to make a name for themselves or b) being poisoned by estrogen? Are you guys for real.

OP you acknowledge that this is a problem yet you don't want it coming up in discussions about games and also don't like people who are willing to talk about it because you feel like they have ulterior motives. Where is the appropriate place to have these discussions and who do you think should be having them. Sexism in games is generally getting worse, not better and the longer the gaming audience ignores it or stays complacent the worse it will get.

How the hell does it get worse? Please explain. We have more and more female character, we get better and better stories like the last of us even storytelling is games is still in its first steps. But how does get sexism in games worse. Please explain.

@dark I don't know. If you get points for raping women and are represented as a hero who rapes women and makes them their sex slaves as a happy ending I think this is pretty misogynistic. But I would never say this stuff should not exist since it is all fantasy. For the rest I totally agree with you^^

#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (34601 posts) -

I believe the presentation of a character who is X and does Y does not extrapolate to the author stating that anyone who is X must also do Y, not without more evidence presented. I also believe that while some games have sexist depictions or are very informed by traditional gender roles, absolutely no mainstream games have advocated misogyny, as the advocacy of hatred and the subhumanity of women is something you might only see in H-games. Hell, even in most H-games I'd think they recognize women as people.

Maybe not explicitly, but the real trouble is when it's lying largely undetected within the subtext. I don't have anything on sexism, but I do have some other decent examples:

  • Assassin's Creed III pretty much advocates killing people because of political differences. Although it never outright says this, that's pretty much the entire point of the game.
  • Duke Nukem 3D is really racist. Like, really REALLY racist. You're playing as an Aryan superman mowing down people of a different race than your's because of claims of miscegenation (claims that take a while to verify, so until then, it's presumably for shits and giggles).

These types of things have to be worrying on some level, due in part to lurking underneath the surface.

#14 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Get new friends.

#15 Edited by kindgineer (2485 posts) -

I find the idea that some believe sexism exists to be offensive in itself. Gaming has been, and still moderately is, a male form of entertainment. Yes, more women are becoming part of it, but men are still the standing majority. Arguing that a damsel in distress story is sexist is borderline ignorant. It's part of a common male fantasy to take the stage as that hero, and there is literally nothing wrong with that. That's similar to a feminist shouting at women for liking a man to buy them drinks.

I think the issue with sexism in video games lies within the community itself trying to shuffle together an act that doesn't exist, or at least doesn't exist at the severity in which they imply. I believe the industry as a whole needs maturity; but it would be silly to denounce it's complicated nature, and begin to accuse innocent acts of fantasy as an offensive action. I still hold the door open for ladies, let them cut in line, and other gentlemanly actions. I do not do this to show my superiority (that doesn't even make sense), nor do I do it to demean their equality. That said, I enjoy playing video games where I am saving a woman in distress. I get a greater feeling of triumph, and for the lack of a better word: manliness, when it is a female over a male. I just do, and this sort of movement is trying to make something innocent into an evil.

#16 Posted by Dark (356 posts) -

@darji: oh don't misunderstand, I am not saying rape in games is by any means a fully acceptable act. However if people raping someone in some random Japanese game stops them from raping someone for realsies, I morally have no issue with it. I am just weird like that but to be clear I aint shouting praise to the makers of H games with rape in them, world would be probably better without them.

#17 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@dr_mantas: I've changed my mind based on Internet arguments. They just have to be quality arguments.

@dark: Actually in the ancient world or the low Middle Ages (which are commonly referred to as 'the dark ages' which is ... Unpopular at this point in historiography), at that point in history women are actually idolized, especially in Christian lore. Women were the gentle sex, the lovers of men and children and the most representative of the teachings of the 'prince of peace', our old buddy Jesus. They weren't allowed in government of course, because how could these innocent creatures defend the realms of Christendom against the brutal Germanic tribes? (The stigma on women then was still the old Roman stigma; slutty promiscuous women distracting the great men of Rome from greater achievements. You see the celibate monks leaning this way, probably for obvious reasons).

The actual invention of the knightly codes of chivalry were there to stop barons and landed knights from raping the attractive womenfolk of their villages and burghs, because it pissed off the women's families and led to peasant revolts and all sorts of problems. And actually, before the time when those Germanic tribes were Christenized, you can see a sort of prototype of the modern women, they argued and stood up for what they thought, they travelled to war and did backbreaking labor because the dark forests of what's now modern Germany didn't allow societies to 'coddle' their women like they did in Roman basilicas.

(Can you tell I've been reading about late period Rome recently?)

@renegadedoppelganger: "Sexism in gaming is generally getting worse"

Oh yeah? Show me the raw data.

#18 Posted by Dark (356 posts) -

@brodehouse: I stand corrected, however I was more trying to put across there is times when it can be 'correct' if done right and tastefully, a hard balancing act to be sure.

#19 Edited by KentonClay (176 posts) -

I think gamers are incredibly quick to have a knee-jerk reaction to any sort of criticism about a game deeper than a simple commercial review (And hell, a good lot of them can't even manage to keep civil about those) And it makes some sense; this industry's been under attack by "outsiders" for some time, and the natural instinct is to close ranks and beat off anything that could possibly be seen as a threat.

But with games becoming more and more mainstream, it's ludicrous that we can't have civil discussions. There are people on this very forum who act as though any form of criticism is not only an attack on the individual game that's being criticized, but an outright assault on the entire industry and the very concept of free speech. That is utter paranoid insanity.

But I suppose that's just the state of the community right now. We'll grow out of it. Maybe.

#20 Edited by EXTomar (4125 posts) -

As a side topic but there is often a lot of injustice that is out there "in plain sight".

It is the 50th anniversary of the "Birmingham Campaign" including the influential "Letters from a Birmingham Jail". When I ask my parents and grandparents about this time the most striking thing is that they had no clue how bad it was in the south until the whole thing busted open. They talk about how until then they just assumed it was idyllic and that any one down there wanted to be there and were generally happy. This turned into shocked and outrage when it was exposed how bad it really was.

So I'm not entirely surprised when situations like this popup and people assume there is no problem because they don't see it. People were ignoring serious societal issues as racial equality, why would people automatically see something as minor as video games? Back in the 90s when I worked in the industry the handful of women were all in "art" with only one actual engineer while the production team was all men. This happened for years, project after project until I left. Today I look at things like Twitter and Tumblr and other places that have "follow" features and noticed that I only had a handful of professional women which hasn't changed dramatically since 2005~. None of those people I worked with were wrong or being bad nor do I believe that anyone today is wrong or being bad but I patently reject the notion there is no problem because have I seen it and still feel it.

#21 Posted by JasonR86 (9374 posts) -

I'd imagine bringing attention to yourself and your views on the topic that makes you so awkward and uncomfortable would make you even more awkward.

#22 Posted by Dark (356 posts) -

@extomar: The real question with women in the creation of gaming is, are there women developers lining up and waiting for their turn to get into development and being turned away in favor of a man? The early days of game development was male oriented as they where the majority of people interested in the subject, now is different of course. Not to say that women AREN'T interested in game development but there seems to be a much greater ratio of men interested thus the development of games being very male heavy.

I however haven't seen any recent data that states otherwise, if there was something around saying otherwise I would change my tune pretty quick.

#23 Edited by Xymox (2024 posts) -

@kentonclay said:

it's ludicrous that we can't have civil discussions.

I think we will grow out of it. But for now the sexism-in-gaming craze is still very young and suffers from massive confirmation bias and frequently confuses empathy and adolescent teenage boy fantasies with sexism - which is pretty much like attacking chick lit for being sexist towards men. It's good that the topic is raised however.

I recently went through Heavy Rain, and it's probably the first game ever that's made me feel "Uuh, this is kind of messed up". In that game there's a female character who seems (and I don't know if other people have had that same experience or if I missed something) to be placed there only to basically play nurse, become a potential love interest for the protagonist, and get into one "almost-getting-raped" scene after the other. Like, that was literally the extent of her character. But is that sexism, or just absolutely terrible writing?

#24 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@extomar: Do you believe there is a problem because women were being kept out of these positions or skill sets, because they weren't aware of them, or because they didn't want to do them? If it's the former, women are uniquely being excluded from engineering courses and employment, then absolutely I will be banging that drum with you. If women are unaware of these engineering positions and thus can't receive them, why do you believe this applies to women but not men? Lastly, if it turns out they're not in these positions or fields because they didn't choose to study or pursue a career in them, why do you feel women's choices are a problem? If the situation were reversed, if men as a group were not interested in engineering, would you consider that a 'problem'? Even though it's their choices, would you overrule their desires and passions for your preferred outcome? Why would you do so for women? Why are their choices so problematic, why does ideology overrule freedom for women?

#25 Edited by Clonedzero (3720 posts) -

From the developer side? Well thats not really my problem. Yes it sucks if female developers are treated wrong or harassed, they should take it up with HR, not bitch about it on twitter. Bitching about it on twitter doesn't solve anything that make you look like a liability to hire.

In the games themselves? Well yeah. I'd like females to be in more prominent roles, not forced into it, make a character female cus it fits, not just to have a female character. I think we're having more and more lately, so I'm not that concerned about it personally. Better writing in general helps out alot.

Bitching about a female character in a post-apocalyptic setting almost getting raped by a gang of evil bandit people is just dumb. Since that probably would happen. It was crazy that people were bitching about Lara getting beat up in tomb raider. She's fighting evil bandit dudes and shit, of course she's going to get beaten up. It's not trying to portray violence against women thats ridiculous. She's a badass who's fighting evil bandits. You don't need to try and pull some deep meaning behind the violence.

Sexy characters are fine. Hell characters who are pretty much nothing but a sex object is fine as long as you treat them like a sex object. If you try and have a serious character and have them look like a sex object, thats terrible.

Honestly, i think alot of this "sexism in games" is mostly just poor writing, which is at least improving as we move forward. Again, the whole female developers thing, not my problem. Thats their thing, it sucks and i hope they get treated better, just don't do twitter campaigns because if im running a studio i would not want to hire anyone regardless of their gender who shittalks co-workers on twitter for anything.

#26 Posted by Jagos (4 posts) -

*sigh*

Unless someone has some actual talks with writers and developers about actual sexism, ie discrimination of women in video games, I'm taking that as a moral viewpoint that has no basis in video games.

I mean, honestly... Does anyone realize WHY we rescue people in games? Has anyone been Claire Redfield saving Leon Kennedy as they escape a zombie filled town with other survivors? Does anyone question Leon Kennedy saving Jill Valentine in RE6?

How about Yuna saving herself from a marriage to a dead man? Where exactly is the sexism that people just automatically see from games that were developed with entertainment in mind? If you're opposed to women dressing sexy, that's your issue. If you think that women are treated poorly in games, you should look at how many men die in comparison to women. Honestly, I'd like a little more than faith based beliefs when there are technological considerations, story limitations, and traditional stories spanning to the Greeks that can explain this "gap" a little better.

#27 Edited by KentonClay (176 posts) -

I feel that most people who deny sexism in games is any sort of issue because it's "just fiction" live in a magical fantasy land where socialization doesn't occur and where people are 100% free to form their own opinions and personalities from the moment of birth without heavy pressure and expectations from the society in which they live. It's the same attitude that leads people to honestly believe that "people just pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" is an effective solution to poverty, and this myth of absolute autonomy seems to be especially popular in certain parts of the United States.

In reality, our worldview is always going to be coloured by our surroundings. In fact, one of the principal ways in which we define ourselves is in the way we fit into those surroundings, and nobody will ever fully escape the values, personality, and outlook they formed when they were young and impressionable and saw much of the world through the lens of fiction and media.

Girls want to be princesses because that's what Disney taught them they should want to be. When American television was introduced to Fiji, rates of eating disorders (Which were utterly unheard of there) and mental health problems for teenage girls skyrocketed because they couldn't possibly be as "perfect" as they were being taught they needed to be in order to be successful.

#28 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -

@xymox said:

@kentonclay said:

it's ludicrous that we can't have civil discussions.

I think we will grow out of it. But for now the sexism-in-gaming craze is still very young and suffers from massive confirmation bias and frequently confuses empathy and adolescent teenage boy fantasies with sexism - which is pretty much like attacking chick lit for being sexist towards men. It's good that the topic is raised however.

I recently went through Heavy Rain, and it's probably the first game ever that's made me feel "Uuh, this is kind of messed up". In that game there's a female character who seems (and I don't know if other people have had that same experience or if I missed something) to be placed there only to basically play nurse, become a potential love interest for the protagonist, and get into one "almost-getting-raped" scene after the other. Like, that was literally the extent of her character. But is that sexism, or just absolutely terrible writing?

In my game she also was the only one who actually found out the location where the boy is being held and also saved the day there. I think Madison was a great female character. Also you need to see these scenes in a context. It is more possible that women getting raped or sexual assaulted so all Heavy Rain did was showing a more realistic picture of the society and world we live in.

#29 Edited by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@kentonclay: "Disney made little girls want to be princesses".

Let me stop you right there. You are making the same mistake everyone else does when it comes to meme theory. And that's what you're talking about here. In your theory, the meme "little girls like princesses" passes and propagates in society because society prescribes it. In practice, the meme "little girls want to be princesses" proliferates because there is something about the meme that the audience finds quality in. People don't tend to do things because they're told to, they do them because they see some quality in them. There is something about the meme itself that makes it propagate while "little girls like to play baseball" does not. These memes don't latch on and actually capture people's imaginations because they're told to have them capture their imaginations, they do so because they have some quality that makes them more effective than their competitors. It's social evolution, and little girls' fascination with royalty is the apex species of our social era.

Once again, art imitates life. Life does not imitate art. If there was nothing about being a princess that connected to little girls, they would think it as dumb as baseball.

Your Fiji example actually elaborates this. American television is introduced, and immediately the 'gotta be thin' meme proliferates and expands and selects out all the pre-existing social memes of the area, like a foreign species entering an ecosystem and just dominating the flora and fauna, irreparably altering development. You can look at it from a simple 'they're just taking orders from the TV' but it's more complicated than that. Some memes propagate and some get selected out by memes that for some quality within the meme, make it superior.

#30 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -

I feel that most people who deny sexism in games is any sort of issue because it's "just fiction" live in a magical fantasy land where socialization doesn't occur and where people are 100% free to form their own opinions and personalities from the moment of birth without heavy pressure and expectations from the society in which they live. It's the same attitude that leads people to honestly believe that "people just pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" is an effective solution to poverty, and this myth of absolute autonomy seems to be especially popular in certain parts of the United States.

In reality, our worldview is always going to be coloured by our surroundings. In fact, one of the principal ways in which we define ourselves is in the way we fit into those surroundings, and nobody will ever fully escape the values, personality, and outlook they formed when they were young and impressionable and saw much of the world through the lens of fiction and media.

Girls want to be princesses because that's what Disney taught them they should want to be. When American television was introduced to Fiji, rates of eating disorders (Which were utterly unheard of there) and mental health problems for teenage girls skyrocketed because they couldn't possibly be as "perfect" as they were being taught they needed to be in order to be successful.

I call Bullshit on that. We are still animals with animalisitc instincts and you can find such a behavior a lot in the world of animals. When women rather want to become teacher or nurses it is not because they were conditioned to but because of their "motherly" instincts of protecting and caring. You want another example? People in Sweden or Norway did some experiments with babies that had no prior preference of toys and while the girls rather went to puppets boys rather went with their eyes to logical and technical stuff like cars and that right form their birth on.

#31 Edited by GreggD (4442 posts) -
  • Duke Nukem 3D is really racist. Like, really REALLY racist. You're playing as an Aryan superman mowing down people of a different race than your's because of claims of miscegenation (claims that take a while to verify, so until then, it's presumably for shits and giggles).

Duke Nukem was meant to be a parody of 80's action heroes, like Arnold. And you're killing extraterrestrials who in no way look human, except for their bipedal nature. So no, I'm gonna say you're wrong here.

#32 Posted by Video_Game_King (34601 posts) -
#33 Posted by Clonedzero (3720 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

I believe the presentation of a character who is X and does Y does not extrapolate to the author stating that anyone who is X must also do Y, not without more evidence presented. I also believe that while some games have sexist depictions or are very informed by traditional gender roles, absolutely no mainstream games have advocated misogyny, as the advocacy of hatred and the subhumanity of women is something you might only see in H-games. Hell, even in most H-games I'd think they recognize women as people.

Maybe not explicitly, but the real trouble is when it's lying largely undetected within the subtext. I don't have anything on sexism, but I do have some other decent examples:

  • Assassin's Creed III pretty much advocates killing people because of political differences. Although it never outright says this, that's pretty much the entire point of the game.
  • Duke Nukem 3D is really racist. Like, really REALLY racist. You're playing as an Aryan superman mowing down people of a different race than your's because of claims of miscegenation (claims that take a while to verify, so until then, it's presumably for shits and giggles).

These types of things have to be worrying on some level, due in part to lurking underneath the surface.

Yeah, a game set during a war based on political beliefs with the main character playing as an ASSASSIN has you murder people for political reasons? MY GOD!

#34 Posted by Aelric (401 posts) -

Frankly, my concern is more in the advancement of fiction, but that allies itself with the feminist side of the argument. As I've aged (I'm 32), I've just gotten sick of the tropes. The leather bikini girl and the typical helpless woman/buffed out dude concept are boring these days. The sexualization of both men and women is fiction is...well...likely never to go away. As we become a slowly more and more sexuallized society, particularly an egalitarian sexuallized, the idea of helpless women becomes the idea of boring fiction. Ideas like "The Princess who saved herself" is more appealing to me, the idea of a strong woman using aspects besides breast size and who are immediately depowered when the villain arrives. That isn't to say those tropes are totally inadmissible, but they are plainly overused, and in a dynamic forum like games there is the option to do new things, so let's update the fiction instead of being some holdover of old ideas.

When I was a 15 year old boy, I really wanted to see T & A. Now, I find other aspects of a woman attractive, both in the direct form of attraction and in fiction. One thing that I think many people don't understand is that it's not about the blanding of fiction, making everyone a grey blah-fest. Women and men both can be sexuallized in fiction in any form and not be offensive, as long as it's an actualy asset to the fiction, but when it's a woman with her tits out for no other reason than putting her tits out, I just find it boring.

#35 Posted by GreggD (4442 posts) -
#36 Posted by Video_Game_King (34601 posts) -

@greggd:

None of that's particularly apparent from the beginning of the game. Hell, some of them are mostly defenseless (IE taking a dump or something) when I shoot them down.

#37 Posted by Jagos (4 posts) -

@aelric: "I've just gotten sick of the tropes."

So you've gotten sick of storytelling that's been around since ancient Greece?

" The leather bikini girl and the typical helpless woman/buffed out dude concept are boring these days."

And I'm very glad that no one is using them so it seems we agree on that.

". As we become a slowly more and more sexuallized society, particularly an egalitarian sexuallized, the idea of helpless women becomes the idea of boring fiction."

Define "sexualized". Because if the only thing that you're upset about is someone's style of dress, then usually you can decide on alternate costumes that a person can wear in a game. But if you're trying to say that we only have Damsels in media, I can refer you to recent games where that's not the case.

" Ideas like "The Princess who saved herself" is more appealing to me, the idea of a strong woman using aspects besides breast size and who are immediately depowered when the villain arrives."

Then we can point you to the game called "Metroid" where a badass bounty hunter actually can save herself and the galaxy as a woman. Or Parasite Eve where a girl saves the day with her magic and guns. Or games like Alan Wake that say how his wife complete his personality by making up for his weaknesses. Ya know... Different tropes that show how a person isn't defined by just being a Damsel based on a wiki page.

" That isn't to say those tropes are totally inadmissible, but they are plainly overused, and in a dynamic forum like games there is the option to do new things, so let's update the fiction instead of being some holdover of old ideas."

That's why there's inversions, subversions, and parodies. But what you're criticizing is narrative and storytelling. Tropes are nothing more than plot devices and there are so many ways to tell a story.

" Now, I find other aspects of a woman attractive, both in the direct form of attraction and in fiction."

Then why do you define a woman merely by if she falls into a trope page and don't look at her holistically?

#38 Posted by JoeyRavn (4886 posts) -

I really don't understand the point of this thread besides bashing the so-called "awkward groupd in Sexism in Games argument". But, oh, boy. Doesn't this topic scream "I'm part of the status quo!".

Seriously, I don't see the point of this topic. @mrangryface didn't even bother to properly introduce his "logic"... or even comment on it afterwards.

#39 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@aelric: I think it's worth noting that while the 'typically masculine' ideals of strength, independence, daring, etc... In female characters we think these as acceptable replacements for 'typically feminine' ideals of compassion, kindness and empathy. What I'm concerned about is the complete lack of those feminine ideals as a replacement for masculine ideals. You can be strong and independent in exchange for not being compassionate or gentle, or you can both, and this is true of both genders... But it seems like 'merely' adhering to these more traditionally feminine mores is considered unacceptable, and I find that a little questionable. Why are we so quick to brush off these qualities in exchange for qualities that have been associated with masculinity?

It's actually something I'm interested in Ms. Sarkeesian to get to, her "Chicks with Dicks", female characters who are merely masculine gendered people with lady parts. She doesn't like women who are too feminine, she doesn't like women who are too masculine, I'm really interested to see what she actually thinks is a good representation of women. I wonder how much this uberfemsch looks and acts like her.

#40 Posted by GreggD (4442 posts) -

@greggd:

None of that's particularly apparent from the beginning of the game. Hell, some of them are mostly defenseless (IE taking a dump or something) when I shoot them down.

There's a woman trapped in a pod in the first level.

#41 Posted by KentonClay (176 posts) -

@brodehouse: "People don't tend to do things because they're told to, they do them because they see some quality in them."

I tend to simplify my points on forums because I'm not going to write whole essays on sociology if I'm not getting credit for it. Anyways....

While you're correct, social acceptance and conformity is an incredibly strong value. People are willing to follow authority figures to pretty scary lengths (See: Milgrim experiment) and are willing to blatantly lie even on completely anonymous surveys with answers that they think will be more socially accepted.

And if humans ONLY stuck with concepts that resonate with them on a fundamental biological level, then fashion wouldn't have changed so much over the course of time. "Girls wear dresses" and "girls wear makeup" and "girls have long hair" and "girls like pink" aren't concepts with any inherent value, in fact some of them are relatively new. We've made them up, and people stick with them in order to fit in.

#42 Edited by Video_Game_King (34601 posts) -

@greggd:

*sigh* Why didn't I remember that?

I still think the game's pretty racist, though.

#43 Posted by Xymox (2024 posts) -

@darji said:

@xymox said:

I recently went through Heavy Rain, and it's probably the first game ever that's made me feel "Uuh, this is kind of messed up". In that game there's a female character who seems (and I don't know if other people have had that same experience or if I missed something) to be placed there only to basically play nurse, become a potential love interest for the protagonist, and get into one "almost-getting-raped" scene after the other. Like, that was literally the extent of her character. But is that sexism, or just absolutely terrible writing?

In my game she also was the only one who actually found out the location where the boy is being held and also saved the day there. I think Madison was a great female character. Also you need to see these scenes in a context. It is more possible that women getting raped or sexual assaulted so all Heavy Rain did was showing a more realistic picture of the society and world we live in.

Hmm, interesting. At that point it's more like using the medium to raise awareness, which is great, because this is something that's rarely dealt with. Perhaps it isn't the developer using a kind of "powerless female" "trope" that's the real issue but rather what it shows on screen. As in, you can't walk into a room without feeling "Yup, that guy's probably a dick. I know where this is going" which is a direct result of some men thinking that women solely exist for the purpose of getting them off.

#44 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1564 posts) -

Complicated issue. Lots of knee-jerk reactions.

Frustrated that some people are using it as a shield to deflect other complaints, or to personally profit, which in the end will only hurt the issue being realistically dealt with.

#45 Posted by ShaggE (5982 posts) -

@greggd:

*sigh* Why didn't I remember that?

I still think the game's pretty racist, though.

They also shoot down his ship (to which Duke quips "Those alien bastards are going to pay for shooting up my ride.") in the first seconds of the game.

Duke is an action hero, not an affirmative action hero, sir! :P

#46 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@kentonclay: Yes, I agree that social pressure and conformity are parts, but much like genes, these ideas are mutating small differences, and those that are more 'effective' advance. Fashion is a great example; in any era there is a trend, and there are mutations on that trend, and one of them will be successful and select out their rivals, and become the new trend. This isn't a matter of some top-down oligarchy of They Picked It, Now We Do It, it's much more democratized. This is why 'high' fashion seems so esoteric and removed. It's been designed top down rather than evolved bottom up.

So that little girls CONTINUE to like being princesses however many years after that Nazi bastard croaked tells me less that they like princesses because they're told to, and more that something about being part or a monarchic bloodline with unlimited privilege connects with modern girls. I can't imagine what. :D

These kind of evo-psych discussions I find super interesting. Best I heard was the idea of how a culture's food sources influence their 'preferred' forms of government.

#47 Posted by Video_Game_King (34601 posts) -

@shagge:

Was this all in some introductory cutscene that I somehow skipped? I just remember beginning on a rooftop and going down into the streets to shoot up pig people.

#48 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Who fucking cares? For god sakes people give it a rest.

The xbone canceled it's DRM, so I guess we have to go back to the everybody is a horrible sexist issue. Durning GDC Carrie was like "why is this an issue? It's never been a problem"

#49 Edited by oraknabo (1426 posts) -

I try to avoid these discussions on here, because even though they can get pretty deep at times, they're rarely productive, but I think it's REALLY IMPORTANT to realize that there are a number of different discussions going on at the same time that seem to get lumped together way too easily.

The first--and IMO, most legit--discussion is the one that #1reasonwhy represented, the issue of the treatment of women in the actual industry as game makers and journalists. There is no reason, no matter what the history of games or the demographic makeup of their audience, that the industry can't treat women equally as employees and leaders within the industry. Sure, it's impossible to control the idiots in the audience that might think women can't make good games, but there's absolutely no excuse for any hostility from within the industry itself. Women should feel comfortable in their professional roles, be treated with respect from their coworkers and have the same opportunities afforded to males.

Next, there's the discussion of how women are portrayed in games. I think this is a reasonable thing to be discussing, but the issue has been almost completely taken over by Anna Sarkeesian who (I think) undermines herself with conspiracy language and cherry picking facts to build her arguments. I also think that, as long as people are being civil and not threatening harm and rape, they have as much right to take an opposing position. The biggest problem here is that you're not discussing clear-cut issues like professionalism and workplace equality, but interpretations of content in a work of entertainment.

While one person may see dangerous connections and patterns in totally unrelated games, others might find ways that the same content is justified in the context of the work itself. No one is ever going to agree on this stuff and trying to put pressure on creators to censor themselves on things they had no issue creating in the first place is almost always going to lead to problems. Your best option if you disagree with the content of any piece of entertainment is not to buy it. Hopefully it will fail. If if still garners enough attention to be successful, you should probably just accept the fact that you're not a significant part of that specific work's audience and put your money into things you do agree with. There are plenty of things in this world I don't like and don't spend my money on, but I don't spend a lot of my time and energy trying to harass people that do like them.

There are also a number of discussions of the treatment of gays and transgender individuals that seem to often share the same space as these issues. I won't talk about any of those in detail because the OP is specifically about sexism, but it does seem to complicate a discussion about sexism when other people are simultaneously arguing about the definition of sex and gender right next to you

#50 Posted by Phished0ne (2430 posts) -

@shagge:

Was this all in some introductory cutscene that I somehow skipped? I just remember beginning on a rooftop and going down into the streets to shoot up pig people.

@24 seconds "Damn those alien bastards are going to pay for shooting up my ride"