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#1 Edited by 4f3f4324f342 (115 posts) -

Edit: This post is now locked because it apparently "went downhill" I found many of the comments to be informative and see the locking as classic censorship. I responded to most people individually by pm on their comments. if I havn't responded to you feel free to PM me.

Thanks to those who commented constructively for and against it made it more interesting for me.

I would like to note and perhaps I should have been clearer. Women do have issues with how they are portrayed with media, but to say they are the only victims is wrong. Both groups are victims. I do not consider myself an MRA. My main argument is that Klepek should make comments on how game media portrays both sexes not just females.

Klepek Vs Males

Warning: my grammar sucks.

Firstly let me say, I love Patrick Klepek, I love worth Reading and I think he is one of the greatest additions to the Giant Bomb staff. However, Sometimes I read through his worth reading and have to shake my head in disappointment. He is very deep and insightful, however when it comes to the issue of feminism he jumps on the “Women are Victims” bandwagon and chooses not to look deeper at the issues surrounding gender roles. By only talking about female issues/Homosexual issues in gaming we ignore the problems that plague straight male stereo types in games.

What am I talking about?

Recent research into male and female behaviour showed that 5 times out of 5 females give more concern to female issues then male. This is not surprising what is surprising is 4 times out of 5 males give more concern to female issues then males. This means that a very small minority of people are looking out for men’s issues. The feminist world is full of half-truths as they claim victimhood for male oppression. For example they will claim that men get paid more than women, yet neglect to inform people that 99% of work place deaths are men (one of the many appropriate reasons men get paid more). The half-truths are rampant throughout society and it disappoints me that such a deep thinker as Patrick Klepek does not address them. Addressing only female issues victimises them and is unfair to males and Giant Bomb users.

Instead of complaining about Patrick’s bias towards gender roles in games I am going to look at some of the core issues that plague men in the world of gaming.

The disposable male

Patrick recently posted some articles about “The Castle Doctrine” in which Cameron Kunzelman attacks The Castle Doctrine for being an unethical game. One of the reasons it’s unethical you cannot play as a female. Let’s get down to brass tact’s on this one, Jason Rohrer argued that his decision to only be able to play as a male was a socially informed one. He argued that in the 90’s (when this game is set) it was the Male’s role to ensure that a family’s home was safe, even if this meant his own death or injury. It’s not just the 90’s however, in every time period men had to protect females. The Castle Doctrine is a parody of this, I mean it doesn’t matter if you are weak or shy away from violence if you are male you must protect female. The only issue I see is that the attackers can only be male which assumes that females are never perpetrators of violence. This is something I will talk about later.

Donkey Kong with a Male Protagonist

In Donkey Kong, you play the role of Jumpman in his attempt to rescue a Damsiel from Donkey Kong. Many feminists jump up and down about how this portrays females as weak and unable to look after themselves. I actually see this from the other side I mean think about it seriously think about it. You are a working man dressed in overalls having to risk life and limb avoiding barrels and pits so that you can rescue a lady. When you get to the end of the path you face a giant gorilla that is twice your size. Often you will die, that is the nature of the game. If you win or lose the female gets to live and the male has to die. We should have female protagonists to prevent men from unnecessary death. How many men's lives have been lost in order to save one lady?

Why should all this matter, well it’s to the male disadvantage that he risks his life for others. I stated earlier that 99% of work place deaths are males as we take on more dangerous jobs. I have stated this to a few female feminists and their response is that it’s because men are “stupid”. So now not only do we have to protect females but we also don’t get any respect for it because by protecting females we are being oppressive. The times haven’t changed and women do not risk life and limb to rescue males. If someone broke into my house I would stand up to protect my wife even if it meant my death so that she could live.

In conclusion I don’t expect games to change away from the social agreement with the disposable male. I really just think that males should be respected for their sacrifices and games should not be criticised more having male only protagonists. Male only protagonists are a reflection of how society actually is and the male only protagonist should remain. Unless of course women start becoming more disposable and sacrificing themselves for men.

Males are the predators

What do the following game franchises all have in common? Far Cry, Crysis, Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, Super Mario Brothers, F.E.A.R, Grand Theft Auto, Batman Arkham Asylum, Just Cause, Deus Ex, uncharted, and Infamous. The majority (if not all) of the low level enemies/grunts are Males. Whenever you have to fight a female it’s an intellectual boss type character (For example Poison Ivy or Halequin). As soon as you have to physically punch this character it can all of a sudden lead to politicians and people of importance crying misogyny. But the real problem is the continual perpetuation of males as predators.

The predator male was quite apparent to me as I played through Tomb Raider

A recent study into sexual assaults at college universities found that .5% of males were predators on campus. This means that the overwhelming majority of men are great kind people. This image has been distorted by the media and public perception. Go read some news articles about teachers having relationships with students in schools. Whenever it’s a male teacher he is labelled as a sexual predator or rapist. If it’s a female teacher then it’s seen as an underage consensual relationship. The problem with having males as the enemies is that it strays away from the truth of who commits acts of violence. 50,000 women in America are victims of domestic violence each year whereas 60,000 men are victims of domestic violence usually from women (I will provide the link to this study). These games that show men as predators really put more fear into women about men and teach men how to behave as men. It is a destructive message but one that is often used. It implies that women would not involve themselves in violence for pay but men would.

Bethsheba however is a totally different story; it was really refreshing to have common enemies as female. Going into a bandit camp usually meant taking out both male and female bandits. This was a refreshing thing to walk into as man was no longer the enemy. The bandits were the enemy, not men, bandits! I could then feel that I was attacking a group of people that truly were a bad bunch.

Conclusion

Those were just two examples of how men are discriminated against in video games. We can’t simply let female gamers claim victimhood in gender bias. For every claim made by feminists there is an equal one to be made for males.

I really don’t want games to change to pander to a particular gender, male or female. I want stories to be told and worlds to be explored. I just believe if you are going to look into gender issues give it an equal look. My hope is that Patrick Klepek chooses to investigate deeper into gender issues in gaming and that we get deeper considerations into gender roles.

Endnotes:

Other male video game Issues that could be expanded upon:

- Man is slave to a women’s needs

- Making games for a male demographic is sexist yet making games for a female demographic is not

- Females only appear as smarter or more intellectual in games

- Sexy women is objectification, but Sexy ab ripped men is not

- Dead Island’s riptides Zombie Bust (What if it had been a man’s torso?)

- Supply and Demand (How the larger demand of male gamers affects what is in them)

- Men having to do the dirty work (Men having to kill and maim)

- Men not having the option of simply staying put helplessly and asking for help

Probably all I can think of at the moment.

Sources:

GirlWritesWhat

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcmnLu5cGUGeLy744WS-fsg

Paul Elam

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkhakammPmSa4EvMPhEVN-g

Warren Farrell

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pPGijYBaVE

Women being half the problem of domestic violence:

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/97/5/941

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

http://www.menweb.org/battered/nvawsurv.pdf

#2 Posted by falserelic (5329 posts) -

Tell that to some of the guys in prison...

#3 Posted by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

I don't understand why you need to have an opinion on this silly topic. I respect your opinion, but I don't understand the need to have and express it?

Why is it that as a straight white male, whenever I see Klepek talk of out his ass I simply skim past the bull until he's talking about games again, and then continue reading peacefully?

#4 Edited by Tarsier (1056 posts) -

you did it right.

id like to wager also, that the reason for this extreme bias and epidemic of militant feminism seen in patrick and much of the gaming community and world is because of the poisoning of the food supply. google estrogen mimmickers like BPA.

#5 Edited by ThunderSlash (1555 posts) -
#6 Edited by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

Well said. Completely agree. He also seems to constantly mistake sexual objectification for sexism.

@jouseldelka: Yeah, how dare people have an opinion on something and express it (in a civil manner) on a message board.

Seriously, dude?

#7 Posted by Spuirrel (82 posts) -

Please let this thread get locked before more MRAs come out of the woodwork.

#8 Posted by Abendlaender (2764 posts) -

Well, I got a chuckle out of it.

#9 Posted by falserelic (5329 posts) -

Thinking about it you could send this to Patrick as a message, just to hear what he has to say.

#10 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -

Well said. Completely agree. He also seems to constantly mistake sexual objectification for sexism.

To be fair, most people use those two terms interchangeably without thinking about the context they're used in. It's kind of like plot and story. They used to mean something different, but they mean the same thing in today's lexicon.

#11 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3557 posts) -

@dr_zox:

I find some of the men's rights movement viewpoints quite interesting--the concept of the disposable male especially--but ultimately I feel that many aligned with such groups can be just as blind / dismissive to issues that affect the opposite sex as the feminists that they oppose.

But when someone devotes at least a moderate portion of their time fighting for their ideal representation of a particular gender, what are the chances that representation is objective truth? What are the chances that person should be speaking on behalf of an entire gender? And most importantly, why should anyone care what they think?

To quote an older reply of mine concerning the topic:

I also think it's ridiculous for anyone to say that the God of War trophy--bros before hos--IS sexist, as if it were a matter of objectivity rather than subjectivity. I can see someone being offended by it, but I can see people being offended by a lot of things in God of War. This is especially true when it comes to the character of Kratos, as he has always been a complete asshole to everyone throughout the history of the series. Should women be an exception? Should Kratos show women nothing but respect? Would that be true to the character? Are the sex scenes in GoW misogynistic? Should the game feature more female enemies for Kratos to brutally murder alongside the male enemies, or should there not be any female enemies at all? Which is more sexist?

Anyone care to give their opinion on these questions? Does anyone really feel that there is a singular objective truth that can be used to correctly answer these questions?

That's my problem with many feminists, and that same issue can certainly apply to the men's rights movement, which is why I personally don't identify with either.

#12 Posted by biggiedubs (493 posts) -

Yep, you're right. Your grammar sucks.

I know that, probably, the vast majority of what you said is true, but I could probably cherry-pick a counter argument, backed up with statistics, for every single point. Then you could find more evidence to back yourself up, etc etc, which, to your credit, you at least addressed in your piece.

It's a vicious cycle. One that keeps going until people have the empathy to say, 'yeah, you've got it hard too.' Pieces like this, and the great swathes of people responding to feminism stuff on youtube, seem so inflammatory and selfish to me. That they never once stop and think, 'wait, maybe that person does have it harder than me.'

You seem incredibly annoyed at this surge of feminist writing, and none of being aimed at men's rights, but if they only want to look at women's rights, why should they write about anything else? Just because you want them to, doesn't mean that they should.

Also, men absolutely have the option to stay put helplessly and ask for help. Whether or not you feel comfortable doing so in consideration to what they've been taught by society and pop culture, and whether or not anyone will listen, is another story entirely though.

#14 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3557 posts) -

@dr_zox:

I'll also quote this old post of mine, as it tackles my other main issue with the current trend of viewing video games through a feminist lens.

I'm now convinced that the problem many feminists have with video games is aggression and violence. There is no place for their view of positive female characters in modern action games.

The protagonist = Man with boobs, which means a woman who uses aggression and violence to solve problems.

Supporting role = Only there to help the man, has no real agency of her own.

Plot element = Woman becomes an object that only exists to give the man a goal, or motivation.

Supporting enemy = Encourages violence against women, man with boobs, makes women look bad.

Primary antagonist = Encourages violence against women, man with boobs, makes women look bad.

So yeah, as long as your game is violent, you literally can't help but being accused of sexism in one way or another. I'm convinced this is the sort of thing that led to the PAX panel about all of this going too far. Developers can't put a female or minority character in their game without that character being immediately placed under a microscope by every shitty game blogger on the internet looking for page hits, and that IS a problem.

Speaking of that PAX panel, what ever happened with that?

#15 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Uh-huh. I don't care either way the only reason why I follow this feminism/men's rights movement thing is because it's so damn entertaining.

That's some awesome fucking entertainment value.

#16 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1539 posts) -

I want more gay men in video games.

#17 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

Klepek vs tamales

#19 Posted by Abendlaender (2764 posts) -

Uh-huh. I don't care either way the only reason why I follow this feminism/men's rights movement thing is because it's so damn entertaining.

That's some awesome fucking entertainment value.

This is almost hypnotizing. I feel angry, sad, happy, grossed and weirded out at the same time.
Can't....look....away.....must......crush......capitalism....

#20 Posted by A_Dog (743 posts) -

my god.

" For example they will claim that men get paid more than women, yet neglect to inform people that 99% of work place deaths are men (one of the many appropriate reasons men get paid more). "

yes because more men work physical jobs. the issue of unequal wages is when men are paid more for the same work as women.

"A recent study into sexual assaults at college universities found that .5% of males were predators on campus."

i don't see how this could be proven. did they just ask men if they were sexual predators? did they ask women? unreported sexual assault is a huge issue.

"This means that the overwhelming majority of men are great kind people."

fucking lol. what a great guy, he isn't a rapist!

#21 Edited by RawText (27 posts) -

It should probably be noted that 'sexism' in games is done for marketing reasons. I'm sure there are some storytellers out there that would love to have women as low-level enemies in equal numbers as the men. But if you ever bring that up to the higher-ups/publishers, they'll shut you down in two seconds.

It doesn't sell. And it brings the wrong kind of attention. I wish it could be done, but in today's... political climate of hunting down anything you possibly can and branding it politically incorrect, the guys who wanna make money have to be careful.

Granted, this is a nobody's bullshit assumptions, so I could be completely wrong.

#22 Posted by jimmyfenix (3829 posts) -

Theres so much stupid in this thread from both sides of the argument.

#24 Posted by Taku128 (793 posts) -

Won't someone think of us oppressed men??????!? Mens rights!!

#25 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

a lot of your points are really dumb sorry!

Do you even know what Donkey Kong is going to do with Paulina when he kills Jumpman? It's not going to be baking, I'll tell ya that.

#26 Edited by Bollard (5255 posts) -

I think the OP put his points across really well and fairly, and I do think he actually has a point. Well done, even if most people shit on your post.

#27 Edited by Pr1mus (3811 posts) -

@animasta: Is there some quality FanFic i can read on that subject? This is highly relevant to my interests!

Online
#28 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

There is much aggressiveness in this thread. You guys should go bust a nut or something.

#29 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@pr1mus said:

@animasta: Is there some quality FanFic i can read on that subject? This is highly relevant to my interests!

There is one but it actually IS about baking

#30 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7051 posts) -

Contrary to popular internet belief, men are not in danger of extinction. Society is still pretty much male dominant in almost every aspect.

#31 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

Yeah...no. Men are at a point in video games where they can be pretty much anything. Female characters are usually stuck to a few overused roles.

#32 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1839 posts) -

siiiiiiiigh

long protracted fart noise

#33 Edited by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

BAAAAWWW BEING A MAN IS SO HARD WHY DO YOU THREATEN ME WITH YOUR FEMINISM BAAAAAAWWWWW

#34 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

Let's just get back to playing games yo.

#35 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4594 posts) -
@a_dog said:

my god.

" For example they will claim that men get paid more than women, yet neglect to inform people that 99% of work place deaths are men (one of the many appropriate reasons men get paid more). "

yes because more men work physical jobs. the issue of unequal wages is when men are paid more for the same work as women.

He has a point, although it's not explained very well. Warren Farrell has researched the wage gap in great detail and published his findings in his book "Why Men Earn More." Shockingly, when variables are controlled to produce the exact situation you're talking about, women and men are paid the same. The reason it looks like men are paid more has to do with more men working physical, life-threatening jobs than women. That's simplifying it somewhat, but the wage gap that some people like to tout doesn't really exist.

@dr_zox:

I find some of the men's rights movement viewpoints quite interesting--the concept of the disposable male especially--but ultimately I feel that many aligned with such groups can be just as blind / dismissive to issues that affect the opposite sex as the feminists that they oppose.

I agree with you. What you're seeing erupt between so called MRAs and gender feminists is this arms race to martyrdom. Each side feels like they've been slighted (justified or not) by society, and neither side wants to admit that other people have been dicked over by "The Man" as well. That's where a lot of the infighting comes from. I personally can't imagine the cognitive dissonance that is caused by gender feminists having to acknowledge that men have it hard as well. Like the video with the redheaded woman @thedudeofgaming posted, what you see is a person who cannot see outside of their own bubble long enough to acknowledge the suffering of others. Her plight as an educated, single, white woman is so severe that she must take the streets and silence any who oppose her doctrine of victimhood and oppression.

And the same can be said of MRAs on Reddit and other such male-centered spaces. There's a lot of men out there hurting for various reasons, just as there's a lot of women out there hurting as well. What angers me the most about this topic is that some psychos (on both sides) managed to get a hold of some vulnerable, impressionable people and warp their perspective on the world. To the point where women are suspicious of every man they encounter (secret rapist/abuser/et cetera), and to where men don't want to get married or have children because of the horror stories surrounding divorce and custody.

Kinda wish these people would leave my video games out of it, though.

#36 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11477 posts) -

Oh wait, people with these viewpoints exist? I always thought that the "RAR KLEPEK STOP TALKING ABOUT SEKZISM" was just the product of a bunch of assholes on our boards, but apparently there's a formal movement? What.

#38 Posted by OGinOR (314 posts) -

Just...gross.

You'll forgive me since I live in Portland, but, do people actually believe this MRA nonsense elsewhere? And women still sleep with them? Really?

#39 Edited by Rainbowkisses (472 posts) -

I follow the story on Anita Sarkeesian in the same way I would follow the story on Kim and Kanye's baby. It is dumb, entertaining fun.

Edit: Why do you have entire youtube channels listed in your citations? It's fine if you want us to check them out, but you shouldn't call them sources.

#40 Posted by Uranium (31 posts) -

]

This is pretty much your argument.

#41 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4578 posts) -

Help help I'm being oppressed, everyone come see the violence inherent in the system

#42 Posted by wjb (1638 posts) -

I stopped reading after "bandwagon" in reference to feminism.

"Dear Patrick's wife: please have more sex with your husband so he can stop it with this nonsense."

#43 Posted by Nicked (246 posts) -

I think you're making some significantly flawed statements.

1) "Klepek vs Males" isn't an accurate portrayal of his coverage. I'd bet that he would agree with the broad points you are making here, AND I think that arguing in favor of more diverse roles for women helps solve the problem you have with generic enemy NPCs almost exclusively being male.

2) "we also don’t get any respect for [protecting people] because by protecting females we are being oppressive" is not really true. Policemen, firemen, and male soldiers get a lot of respect. Being a protector or rescuer is understood as honorable and noble. Maybe I am misinterpreting what your point is here though.

3) ".5% of males were predators on campus. This means that the overwhelming majority of men are great kind people." I do not know what your specific definition of "predator" is, but regardless there's a logical fallacy here, which should be apparent. I do generally think that you're making a good point about men as predators, but statements like the one I've quoted delegitimize your argument.

4) "If it’s a female teacher then it’s seen as an underage consensual relationship." This is not true in the eyes of the law, is it? Culturally we might try to applaud a 13-year-old boy for sleeping with an adult teacher, but it's not as black and white as to make it de facto wholly consensual or acceptable. I.e. a female teacher would still be charged with statutory rape in this scenario, right? You're heading towards making an interesting point with this, but you've oversimplified the issue.

5) "Endnotes". You are making false arguments here with no critical analysis. Again it's not as black and white as "Man is slave to a women's needs". "Sexy women is objectification, but Sexy ab ripped men is not": another gross oversimplification. "Dead Island’s riptides Zombie Bust (What if it had been a man’s torso?)": but it wasn't a man's torso, was it?

To be fair I know you're trying to just start a conversation with these endnotes, but they're presented as factual statements when they are not accounting for the whole picture and I feel this detracts from the more reasonable, broader arguments you're making. You need to stop oversimplifying if you want to be taken seriously.

Anyway, good post. I do tend to increasingly believe that game "journalists" have no meaningful understanding of gender representation, although I do think Patrick's work handles the topic with WAY more tact than most. Something tangentially relevant to this conversation is the interview piece where he was lambasted for only getting women's opinions. I thought that reaction was funny because interview subjects and guests on Giant Bomb are almost exclusively male. I only remember them having 1 female guest on their E3 shows this year and 0 in the past few years (from what I recall). In contrast to Patrick's all-female interview piece, no one bats an eye when they only talk to men. When the conversation is about gender, users here want both sides. When the conversation is about pretty much anything else it's A-OK if it's a sausage-fest Just something to think about.

#44 Edited by Milkman (16527 posts) -

Finally, someone on the internet taking feminism down a peg!

Also, maybe I missed something but Patrick didn't even take a position on this Castle Doctrine thing. If anything he implied that he didn't have any problem with it. So, if simply presenting an argument is enough to send you into this kind of tizzy, maybe just get off the internet.

#45 Edited by EveretteScott (1449 posts) -

@doubleboisterous: yer dum.

@uranium: Misandry does exist. Just because I figure by your post you don't agree with it doesn't make it any less real.

@oginor: I live in Portland as well. I don't see how this matters in this. It's also sad that you feel something is wrong with 'MRA'. People wanting equality for any gender, race, etc is a fine thing and shouldn't be shat upon just because there are idiots out there. Feminism has it's morons as well.

#46 Posted by Metzo_Paino (318 posts) -

I'm with Klepek.

#47 Posted by Icemael (6312 posts) -

"I'm a victim!"

"Well, I'm a bigger victim!"

"That's pathetic! It's obvious that only I am the victim! Let me explain why with misinterpreted statistics and outright lies!"

"Fuck you, I am a victim too! Let me ridicule you instead of providing an argument!"

"Well, let me respond to that by claiming that you can't be a victim since your life is easy and comfortable, even though mine is probably just as easy and comfortable!"

No pride, no self-respect on either side, only self-pity and ressentiment, only a desperate struggle to outperform the other in victimhood. Pathetic.

#48 Posted by OGinOR (314 posts) -

@everettescott: If MRA's wanted equality, they'd be called feminists. You can't "want equality for your group" when your group is the one in power. If MRAs advocated equality, they'd be looking to give up some power to women - and would then be feminists. See also; male privilege.

Portland, really? You sure you aren't in Beaverton or Lake Oswego or Hillsboro?

#49 Posted by EveretteScott (1449 posts) -

@oginor: I can't have this discussion with you anymore, I apologize. 'Privilege' was used and just yeah, I'm out.
Yes, I do live in Portland. I still don't see why this factors at all. This I will talk about as I'm curious why you first mentioned it.

#50 Posted by Undeadpool (4908 posts) -

Men "die" in videogames more because they are almost always the protagonists. That's part of the problem.

Men being attractive in videogames isn't the same as objectification, this is one of THE BIGGEST fallacies of this argument. It's not just how they LOOK (almost all player-characters and good NPCs in videogames are attractive to some extent, unless it's a specific trait that they're not), it's how they're framed, it's how the camera focuses on them (see: Sheva's introduction in Resident Evil 5 where the camera is basically focused ENTIRELY on her ass. A similar shot in Mass Effect 2 with Miranda, though to be fair: the latter is meant to be sexy). Also men are allowed to be ugly as player characters, see: Marcus in Gears of War VS Anya (though Gears also has Samantha Byrnes, but she's only in the game for seconds) or Varric in Dragon Age 2. Or ANY Horde character in World of Warcraft.

I don't think this issue is AS bad as some make it out to be (mostly people who don't actually care about the issue and just want to scream about something), but saying it's equally bad because men are featured in more games, and therefore have to "work harder" is essentially pretending these games just materialize into being fully formed. When devs like Naughty Dog or Irrational Games have to fight tooth and nail just to get a female character on the COVER (the latter famously failing to), or when a game like Remember Me has to fight to allow their female protagonist to have a male relationship because they're afraid males who play the game will "feel awkward" when their character kisses a man sends a clear sign.

Let's just get back to playing games yo.

That's LITERALLY the "price" you pay for being art. Otherwise it's merely a distraction.