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#1 Posted by IanYarborough (152 posts) -

I sometimes wonder if there's a reactionary element in games journalism against so much of the story and character content in video games being, frankly, somewhat shallow and puerile. The games industry, games press and core gamers are all male dominated, and I suspect some journalists of having a defensive overreaction in an attempt to compensate for this. I think we can all agree that gratuitous bloodshed, boobs, cursing, guns, violence against women and violence against tigers is bad. Having said that, if properly contextualized, these all have the potential to be very powerful moments or elements in games. The onus is on each individual game to justify its choices. I get the whiff of throwing the baby out with the bathwater with this in the sense that a journalist shitting on a particular game is, in actuality shitting on the industry as whole's inability to, well, grow up. I understand the frustration, but I find it a bit misguided.

#2 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Violence against tigers is bad only if the tigers are female. Fuck male tigers.

#3 Posted by upwarDBound (654 posts) -

Games are art. Such puerile drivel and barbarism has no place in such a dignified medium.

(Really hoping you didn't take that seriously)

#4 Edited by Mikemcn (6980 posts) -

This reminds me of what people said after Leigh Alexander attacked Twisted metal. For some reason, but I don't think you're referring to that so i'll just move on....

#5 Posted by GunstarRed (5115 posts) -

I'd totally shoot a tiger in the face.

#6 Posted by Dagbiker (6964 posts) -

To what are you referring to? But generally I agree.

#7 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4706 posts) -

I agree with the OP, but what the hell brought this on?

#8 Edited by DVombatus (79 posts) -

@IanYarborough said:

I think we can all agree that gratuitous bloodshed, boobs, cursing, guns, violence against women and violence against tigers is bad.

With the exception of gratuitous violence against women, why is that list always bad? It can be over done sure, but that doesn't mean the items on that list always need contextualization.

Sometimes "tits because tits (or dick because dick in GTA)" is great.

Everything has its place at the gaming table.

#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

'Reactionary Feminism' would be a terrible website.

#10 Posted by Turambar (6733 posts) -
@Dagbiker said:

To what are you referring to? But generally I agree.

Probably Tomb Raider.
#11 Posted by wemibelec90 (1622 posts) -

Sure, violence or cursing or even sex have the power to make a very meaningful moment in a game. Of course, it's hard for that to ever happen when most game creators just overuse them for the sake of enticing what they think is the "core gamer" to their product. Very rarely do developers seem to care about making the violence in their game actually mean something.

#12 Posted by Turambar (6733 posts) -
@DVombatus said:

@IanYarborough said:

I think we can all agree that gratuitous bloodshed, boobs, cursing, guns, violence against women and violence against tigers is bad.

With the exception of gratuitous violence against women, why is that list always bad? It can be over done sure, but that doesn't mean the items on that list always need contextualization.

Sometimes "tits because tits (or dick because dick in GTA)" is great.

Everything has its place at the gaming table.

You can call it a gender power imbalance or something when Dicks can be played for laughs quite easily but Tits generally can't.
#13 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@DVombatus said:

Sometimes "tits because tits (or dick because dick in GTA)" is great.

Everything has its place at the gaming table.

Sometimes you get dicktits.

#14 Posted by PSNgamesun (406 posts) -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlA3Fa5bgig

#15 Posted by DVombatus (79 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@DVombatus said:

@IanYarborough said:

I think we can all agree that gratuitous bloodshed, boobs, cursing, guns, violence against women and violence against tigers is bad.

With the exception of gratuitous violence against women, why is that list always bad? It can be over done sure, but that doesn't mean the items on that list always need contextualization.

Sometimes "tits because tits (or dick because dick in GTA)" is great.

Everything has its place at the gaming table.

You can call it a gender power imbalance or something when Dicks can be played for laughs quite easily but Tits generally can't.

If laughs are your intent, all that means is that you have to work harder if breasts are supposed to be "the punch line".

The main problem I see with the whole situation is that the people in charge of where, when, and how to use not just female nudity, but ALL nudity are almost exclusively men. The majority of games are created from the male point of view and that has a major impact on everything we see in our games and ideas we have in our gaming culture.

#16 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2679 posts) -

Oh, just watch the most recent 'Jimquisition' at The Escapist. No need to talk about it here.

#17 Posted by PenguinDust (12491 posts) -

In other words, "penis guilt".

#18 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

I'm assuming that you're talking about how whenever we hear about a female finding herself the subject of scrutiny in the game industry, the initial defense seems to always be "I'm being treated like this because I'm a woman".

Personally I can't blame them; it must be easy to think that way if you work in this business. That said, usually when these things happen I find myself thinking that if a male employee had said or done the same thing, the internet would still rage at them, because it's the internet, and you've gone and fucked up. The feminism defense always seems like something out of a bad 80's television show.

#19 Posted by Dagbiker (6964 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Dagbiker said:

To what are you referring to? But generally I agree.

Probably Tomb Raider.

I realize he was referring to womb raider, but i meant the Journalists

#20 Posted by phantomzxro (1571 posts) -

i would say the focus of this topic is tomb raider and hit-man. I see your point and I'm sure some will overreact to things of this nature but you can't act like oh if they contextualize it its all good. There is no perfect system out there so offenses will happen on both sides of this issue and in time we will find a balance when more and more people give input into the way games are made.

#21 Posted by Turambar (6733 posts) -
@Dagbiker said:

@Turambar said:

@Dagbiker said:

To what are you referring to? But generally I agree.

Probably Tomb Raider.

I realize he was referring to womb raider, but i meant the Journalists

I had to google that title to see if there was porn by that name already or not.  It was just a bit too perfect.  (It came out in 2003)
#22 Posted by pyromagnestir (4291 posts) -

I do not agree with your list of what is always bad. Some of those things are quite good.

Online
#23 Posted by IanYarborough (152 posts) -

@PenguinDust: Perfect.

#24 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

I agree with what the OP is saying (or I think I do, you were kinda vague). I felt this way about the reaction to the Hitman Trailer after seeing this: http://critdamage.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/quit-pretending-there-isnt-videogame.html

It's an interesting perspective but I think that people should stop pointing that finger at games and point it at society. The content of games and the things used to market games are a reflection of what appeals to our culture, they aren't the cause.

#25 Posted by IanYarborough (152 posts) -

I was indeed thinking about the recent Tomb Raider / Hitman / Far Cry 3 dust-ups; but I was also thinking about a recent talk I saw about whether or not the holocaust was a suitable topic for fiction. There is a school of thought that the holocaust just should not be used in any type of artistic work, that it's too big and too important to be sullied in that way.

I disagree with this notion. The work of art (yes, video games can be art) validates or invalidates the attempt. If you use rape or the holocaust in a crass, cynical way, then you justly deserve failure. If treated with some sensitivity and respect, you have a moving, impactful piece of work.

The burden then is, on the creators. If they want to play with that fire, so be it.

#26 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4706 posts) -

@dennisthemennis said:

I agree with what the OP is saying (or I think I do, you were kinda vague). I felt this way about the reaction to the Hitman Trailer after seeing this: http://critdamage.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/quit-pretending-there-isnt-videogame.html

It's an interesting perspective but I think that people should stop pointing that finger at games and point it at society. The content of games and the things used to market games are a reflection of what appeals to our culture, they aren't the cause.

Man. Fuck that guy.

Just. Fuck that guy.

#27 Posted by tourgen (4465 posts) -

I am so tired of listening to people bitch and wring their hands over sex and violence in media.  Go out and create something to help turn the tide if you really think it's a problem worth spending time on.  If it's any good people might make it worth your while.

#28 Posted by Flawed_System (388 posts) -

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

#29 Posted by BisonHero (6432 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

@dennisthemennis said:

I agree with what the OP is saying (or I think I do, you were kinda vague). I felt this way about the reaction to the Hitman Trailer after seeing this: http://critdamage.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/quit-pretending-there-isnt-videogame.html

It's an interesting perspective but I think that people should stop pointing that finger at games and point it at society. The content of games and the things used to market games are a reflection of what appeals to our culture, they aren't the cause.

Man. Fuck that guy.

Just. Fuck that guy.

How so?

#30 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

#31 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@tourgen said:

I am so tired of listening to people bitch and wring their hands over sex and violence in media. Go out and create something to help turn the tide if you really think it's a problem worth spending time on. If it's any good people might make it worth your while.

That's a pretty unfair statement to put out, much along the lines of "Go out and eat something if your starving" or "Go out and make more money if you're poor"

If there was equality in management roles and other positions of power, then the hand waving defense of "Make more art" would work, however the world doesn't work that way yet.

It's also unfair to close off segments of the gaming population by saying, "That triple 'A' action game throws a minority under the bus? Well play a small budget casual puzzle game instead." People of all types want to feel represented, respected, and fairly treated in their media. They don't want to be segregated to the small sub section of games that doesn't treat large parts of the gamer populous as disposable targets.

Think of all the games you have played. Now, I know next to nothing about a person on the internet, but do a quick tally. How many games have you played were there that you feel your race/gender/sexually/nationality was exploited or misrepresented? If the number is very small or zero, then congratulations, you're speaking from a position of privilege!

#32 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

It's exactly the same thing:

When a girl shows some skin it's a sexual fantasy for male players.

When a guy around in a loin cloth killing people with swords on chains it's a power fantasy for male players.

Both of these are setup to please male gamers!

#33 Posted by JoeyRavn (4964 posts) -

I don't see how this topic could be of any use, to be honest. I'll just say that "feminism" is neither an insult nor an extremist ideology, as many here would like it to be. Claiming that the latest Tomb Raider is "torture porn" is not being feminist, it's being a moron.

#34 Posted by S0ndor (2716 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

@Turambar said:

@Dagbiker said:

To what are you referring to? But generally I agree.

Probably Tomb Raider.

I realize he was referring to womb raider, but i meant the Journalists

Raiding women's wombs is definitely uncool.

#35 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5227 posts) -

@JoeyRavn said:

I don't see how this topic could be of any use, to be honest. I'll just say that "feminism" is neither an insult nor an extremist ideology, as many here would like it to be. Claiming that the latest Tomb Raider is "torture porn" is not being feminist, it's being a moron.

Yeah, feminism can really just mean you don't want husbands to beat their wives.

Online
#36 Edited by Turambar (6733 posts) -
@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

Because they are both male fantasies.
#37 Edited by Flawed_System (388 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

No, it's not. The term 'eye candy' refers to something that is sexually pleasing to the eye. Given the fact that Kratos is not sexually pleasing to a large portion of the audience he cannot be considered 'eye candy'.

"1. a person or people considered highly attractive to look at, often implying that they are lacking in intelligence or depth"

There's a lot of depth to his character, he shows some modicum of intelligence, and he certainly is not "highly attractive to look at". Now take a character like Sonia from Ninja Gaiden II for example. Most would consider her attractive to look at, she lacks intelligence, and her character has no depth.

I want to reiterate that I said 'often' and 'not always' in my original post. Are you claiming that developers don't cater to men when they model a female character in a game?

#38 Posted by Dagbiker (6964 posts) -

@Flawed_System said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

No, it's not. The term 'eye candy' refers to something that is sexually pleasing to the eye. Given the fact that Kratos is not sexually pleasing to a large portion of the audience he cannot be considered 'eye candy'.

"1. a person or people considered highly attractive to look at, often implying that they are lacking in intelligence or depth"

There's a lot of depth to his character, he shows some modicum of intelligence, and he certainly is not "highly attractive to look at". Now take a character like Sonia from Ninja Gaiden II for example. Most would consider her attractive to look at, she lacks intelligence, and her character has no depth.

I want to reiterate that I said 'often' and 'not always' in my original post.

How is there more depth to Kratos then Samus Aran, or even Chie Satonaka? All he ever did was get pissed because his wife died, and then from that point kill every thing.

#39 Posted by Sergio (2080 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

Because they are both male fantasies.

Pretty sure I don't fantasize about wearing a loin cloth.

#40 Edited by Turambar (6733 posts) -
@Sergio said:

@Turambar said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

Because they are both male fantasies.

Pretty sure I don't fantasize about wearing a loin cloth.

Pretty sure the idea of the macho he-man with bulging muscles is very much a male power fantasy at its roots.
#41 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@Sergio said:

@Turambar said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

Because they are both male fantasies.

Pretty sure I don't fantasize about wearing a loin cloth.

It's a power fantasy for many male gamers.

#42 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@Salarn said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

It's exactly the same thing:

When a girl shows some skin it's a sexual fantasy for male players.

When a guy around in a loin cloth killing people with swords on chains it's a power fantasy for male players.

Both of these are setup to please male gamers!

so when a male is wearing almost nothing, its a power fantasy for male players, but when a female is wearing almost nothing its a sexual fantasy for male players. thats crazy.

talk about double standards. if i started claiming every scantly clad female video game character was a female power fantasy where women want to be sexy strong chicks i'd be called a sexist douche, but when you do the SAME thing with male characters, you're the one in the right?

really?

#43 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@Salarn said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

It's exactly the same thing:

When a girl shows some skin it's a sexual fantasy for male players.

When a guy around in a loin cloth killing people with swords on chains it's a power fantasy for male players.

Both of these are setup to please male gamers!

so when a male is wearing almost nothing, its a power fantasy for male players, but when a female is wearing almost nothing its a sexual fantasy for male players. thats crazy.

talk about double standards. if i started claiming every scantly clad female video game character was a female power fantasy where women want to be sexy strong chicks i'd be called a sexist douche, but when you do the SAME thing with male characters, you're the one in the right?

really?

Is the female character in a position of power? Is she in control? Is the costume providing something to her other than making her look more physically attractive?

It's only a power fantasy if the character has power.

#44 Posted by DBagalot (159 posts) -

Agree with OP, as long as it's not overdone.

Also, Is there a song about Double Standards?

#45 Posted by Dagbiker (6964 posts) -

@Salarn said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Salarn said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Flawed_System said:

To be fair...women in games are often [but not always] there just to provide 'eye candy'.

how come when a girl in a game shows skin, its eyecandy and sexist, but you have a guy running around naked except for a loin cloth and two swords on chains, its perfectly fine. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING.

It's exactly the same thing:

When a girl shows some skin it's a sexual fantasy for male players.

When a guy around in a loin cloth killing people with swords on chains it's a power fantasy for male players.

Both of these are setup to please male gamers!

so when a male is wearing almost nothing, its a power fantasy for male players, but when a female is wearing almost nothing its a sexual fantasy for male players. thats crazy.

talk about double standards. if i started claiming every scantly clad female video game character was a female power fantasy where women want to be sexy strong chicks i'd be called a sexist douche, but when you do the SAME thing with male characters, you're the one in the right?

really?

Is the female character in a position of power? Is she in control? Is the costume providing something to her other than making her look more physically attractive?

It's only a power fantasy if the character has power.

#46 Posted by Sergio (2080 posts) -

I think I agree with the OP.

When people get hurt, they may grunt, maybe moan in pain, gasp for air when the wind gets knocked out of them. I know when I stub my toe on the coffee table, I do a quick intake of breath, followed by a profanity. So when people talk about her "orgasms" in Tomb Raider, I think it says more about those people than it does about the game or its developers.

I had been hearing a lot of outrage over the Hitman trailer, that I finally made time to watch it last night. I honestly don't see the sexualizing of violence towards women that these "journalists" are complaining about. Now I'll agree that putting female assassins in that garb is ridiculous. But it's equally ridiculous that the armor sets of women in WoW and other fantasy games (or even book covers) are impractical at best. However, Agent 47 beating them up and killing them is not about some deadbeat beating his wife, which we should all be against, but about one killer taking out a group of killers - they just happen to be women. I know people aren't arguing that women can't be assassins.

I feel many of the people complaining about it are just looking for a sensational story to drive more page views.

#47 Posted by crithon (3121 posts) -

I've been reading a lot of these articles and to be honest most of them are poorly written and then the message boards about them are just worse. This is a market, even if there was a feminist themed game, women may ignore it altogether just to play Just Dance for their Kattie Perry song.

#48 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

I have not played the Witcher, so I can only speak in broad strokes. Isn't he the freaking witcher? The unstoppable killer of things who doesn't take crap from anyone? Fully clothed or not, you don't mess with the witcher, he's in charge of any situation he enters.

Which would imply he's in a position of power.

#49 Posted by Spoonman671 (4595 posts) -
@Salarn said:

@Dagbiker said:

I have not played the Witcher, so I can only speak in broad strokes. Isn't he the freaking witcher? The unstoppable killer of things who doesn't take crap from anyone? Fully clothed or not, you don't mess with the witcher, he's in charge of any situation he enters.

Which would imply he's in a position of power.

Dude is being interrogated in those shots.
#50 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@crithon said:

I've been reading a lot of these articles and to be honest most of them are poorly written and then the message boards about them are just worse. This is a market, even if there was a feminist themed game, women may ignore it altogether just to play Just Dance for their Kattie Perry song.

It is a market, you're absolutely right, but why would anyone buy a product that marketed in a way that excludes them?

So when video games have women walking around underwear, make them secondary characters, completely helpless without men rescuing them, or nothing but trophies for characters to collect. We're basically telling them.

VIDEO GAMES: NOT FOR WOMEN

Thankfully it's improving, slowly, but there is a lot more ground to cover.