#351 Posted by mtcantor (965 posts) -

@jadegl said:

@bestusernameever said:

@mtcantor said:

@humanity said:

@sergio said:

@sooty said:

If people are gonna get all annoyed about the damsel in distress thing you're a bit late to the party, I'm pretty sure silent movies in the very early 1900s depicted women tied to train tracks.

This was actually used in her video as an example of the trope.

Sadly all she did was point it out as being a trope.

Isn't that the whole purpose of the video series? To point out the tropes?

Not really, I am more interested in the explanation or background to these trends. If you said many game characters rescue women, here's a woman in an old movie in the same position, and leave it at that, who cares? If you went on to explain that this trope is because of story limitations or something that is proven to connect with a broad amount of people, maybe digging deeper would make me interested in this series. But as it is, receiving 100,000 dollars for a low production youtube series just says scam to me.

It would be a scam I guess if she asked for that amount and delivered nothing after a long period of time, and also didn't keep her backers informed. But she didn't. She asked for a much smaller amount and her supporters gave her above and beyond what she asked for. According to other sources, she also kept backers informed of where money was going and what exactly she was doing, and I haven't seen anyone who actually supported the kickstarter complaining. It's just people who had a problem from the very beginning and wouldn't have given her a penny anyway.

Again, no one is blasting other kickstarters for this same thing happening. I already mentioned Jeff Cannata putting up a kickstarter for his new show and within one day he had triple the amount that he was asking for. Is he running a scam? Can people who are not backing it complain of the quality or the time he takes to make it when the first video is aired? Will they? Probably not.

I'm saying it's a scam to me, obviously not the ones getting what they paid for.

Calling something a scam implies that the scammers are somehow trying to defraud you. She isn't. We have already established that she is giving everyone who gave her money exactly what she promised them. It is not a scam by any definition of the word.

There is no need to denigrate her by calling her a scammer. You don't like what she has to say, and you don't see any value in it. Fine. Then don't watch it. I think it's pretty clear that a good amount of smart, mature gamers in this forum are actually pretty impressed, or at least intrigued with this video, and look forward to seeing what she has coming next.

Our medium is not above honest and informed outside criticism.

#352 Edited by JadeGL (1042 posts) -

@bestusernameever said:

@jadegl said:

@bestusernameever said:

@mtcantor said:

@humanity said:

@sergio said:

@sooty said:

If people are gonna get all annoyed about the damsel in distress thing you're a bit late to the party, I'm pretty sure silent movies in the very early 1900s depicted women tied to train tracks.

This was actually used in her video as an example of the trope.

Sadly all she did was point it out as being a trope.

Isn't that the whole purpose of the video series? To point out the tropes?

Not really, I am more interested in the explanation or background to these trends. If you said many game characters rescue women, here's a woman in an old movie in the same position, and leave it at that, who cares? If you went on to explain that this trope is because of story limitations or something that is proven to connect with a broad amount of people, maybe digging deeper would make me interested in this series. But as it is, receiving 100,000 dollars for a low production youtube series just says scam to me.

It would be a scam I guess if she asked for that amount and delivered nothing after a long period of time, and also didn't keep her backers informed. But she didn't. She asked for a much smaller amount and her supporters gave her above and beyond what she asked for. According to other sources, she also kept backers informed of where money was going and what exactly she was doing, and I haven't seen anyone who actually supported the kickstarter complaining. It's just people who had a problem from the very beginning and wouldn't have given her a penny anyway.

Again, no one is blasting other kickstarters for this same thing happening. I already mentioned Jeff Cannata putting up a kickstarter for his new show and within one day he had triple the amount that he was asking for. Is he running a scam? Can people who are not backing it complain of the quality or the time he takes to make it when the first video is aired? Will they? Probably not.

I'm saying it's a scam to me, obviously not the ones getting what they paid for.

That makes no sense. You are attributing criminal motivations to someone you don't know and have never met based on the fact that she had a successful kickstarter. She has put out one video of the 20+ that she is planning to make and you can already see it's a scam. Guess what? I would call it a scam when it actually appears to be a scam, like no videos coming out, pissed of backers coming forward, and videos that look like they were done in a dirty bathroom.

Moderator
#353 Edited by Sergio (2581 posts) -

Focusing on how much she made says nothing of the quality of the content of her work. Only people who can really gripe about that are those who donated to her kickstarter and feel she's not delivering on her promise to produce these videos. She expanded the number of videos she was originally going to make when she exceeded her goal. Arguing that she doesn't need the amount she actually earned to produce her videos is the same as those who complained about the Skull Girls' indiegogo drive. You don't know her production costs; if and what she may be paying herself.

#354 Edited by HistoryInRust (6601 posts) -

@mtcantor said:

@bestusernameever said:

@jadegl said:

@bestusernameever said:

@mtcantor said:

@humanity said:

@sergio said:

@sooty said:

If people are gonna get all annoyed about the damsel in distress thing you're a bit late to the party, I'm pretty sure silent movies in the very early 1900s depicted women tied to train tracks.

This was actually used in her video as an example of the trope.

Sadly all she did was point it out as being a trope.

Isn't that the whole purpose of the video series? To point out the tropes?

Not really, I am more interested in the explanation or background to these trends. If you said many game characters rescue women, here's a woman in an old movie in the same position, and leave it at that, who cares? If you went on to explain that this trope is because of story limitations or something that is proven to connect with a broad amount of people, maybe digging deeper would make me interested in this series. But as it is, receiving 100,000 dollars for a low production youtube series just says scam to me.

It would be a scam I guess if she asked for that amount and delivered nothing after a long period of time, and also didn't keep her backers informed. But she didn't. She asked for a much smaller amount and her supporters gave her above and beyond what she asked for. According to other sources, she also kept backers informed of where money was going and what exactly she was doing, and I haven't seen anyone who actually supported the kickstarter complaining. It's just people who had a problem from the very beginning and wouldn't have given her a penny anyway.

Again, no one is blasting other kickstarters for this same thing happening. I already mentioned Jeff Cannata putting up a kickstarter for his new show and within one day he had triple the amount that he was asking for. Is he running a scam? Can people who are not backing it complain of the quality or the time he takes to make it when the first video is aired? Will they? Probably not.

I'm saying it's a scam to me, obviously not the ones getting what they paid for.

Calling something a scam implies that the scammers are somehow trying to defraud you. She isn't. We have already established that she is giving everyone who gave her money exactly what she promised them. It is not a scam by any definition of the word.

There is no need to denigrate her by calling her a scammer. You don't like what she has to say, and you don't see any value in it. Fine. Then don't watch it. I think it's pretty clear that a good amount of smart, mature gamers in this forum are actually pretty impressed, or at least intrigued with this video, and look forward to seeing what she has coming next.

Our medium is not above honest and informed outside criticism.

Nailed it.

Also, it cannot be stressed enough that she didn't request a hundred-thousand dollars. She pitched it as a six thousand dollar venture, money for the games and the research and the equipment necessary for the production she wanted to make.

#355 Posted by Sergio (2581 posts) -

Man, I wish I wasn't always notified when my comment is so deeply nested in a reply that has nothing to do with what I said.

#356 Edited by chrissedoff (2244 posts) -

@sergio said:

@deadmoscow said:

I wonder if the reason that so many men are so opposed to Sarkeesian's videos is because they've been experiencing gender-biased narratives from video games their entire lives and suddenly hearing a different point of view is difficult because cognitive dissonance can be an uncomfortable experience? New information can be seen as threatening, especially when it forces you to consider privileges that you may be unaware you have. Is it really so uncomfortable to realize that your gender might, just *might* be given some preferential treatment in terms of game narratives?

Or some people actually agree that there is sexism in some games, but not to the degree that Anita does. For example, I've played DmC, and unlike Anita, I didn't see anything misogynistic about it, as she's said on twitter. Some of us try to critique her work for what it is, without pulling any punches because she's a woman. And I chose those words specifically because anyone who has the nerve to criticize her will have their words twisted to make them the villain, so I expect someone to do so here and prove my point. You ignore this possibility and simply assume we can't handle the truth as seen through Anita's eyes. She's not infallible.

I don't think @deadmoscow is trying to describe men who are respectfully and rationally expressing disagreement with Sarkeesian's videos with that comment there. It sounds like s/he's talking about the legions of guys who are ranting about how she should shut up, that the idea at the foundation of her videos--that popular culture can and does reinforce harmful/outmoded gender roles--is fundamentally wrong and that expressing those views publicly is an attempt to attack and subjugate men. If I have him/her right, then I think that's totally nailed it: why would people freak out and lose their tempers this much if they were comfortable with hearing a perspective that challenges, rightly or wrongly, things they've grown up to see as normal?

#357 Posted by deadmoscow (286 posts) -

It's kind of hard to argue with the numbers. Out of fourteen games in the Mario "core" series, thirteen involve a female character being kidnapped and stripped of power. Only one game even allows you to play as a female character, and that one was really only a happy accident. Thirteen out of fourteen games not allowing you to play as a female protagonist is pretty explicitly a biased representation of gender, there's no "degree" involved. This is not a matter of opinion - women are under represented in games.

@sergio said:

Or some people actually agree that there is sexism in some games, but not to the degree that Anita does. For example, I've played DmC, and unlike Anita, I didn't see anything misogynistic about it, as she's said on twitter. Some of us try to critique her work for what it is, without pulling any punches because she's a woman. And I chose those words specifically because anyone who has the nerve to criticize her will have their words twisted to make them the villain, so I expect someone to do so here and prove my point. You ignore this possibility and simply assume we can't handle the truth as seen through Anita's eyes. She's not infallible.

#358 Posted by EnduranceFun (1116 posts) -

Women aren't under-represented, that implies they aren't present at all.

So what if a female is captured? If she's being dis-empowered, okay, how does that prove anything about women or their perception? I fail to see your point here about how Mario is enforcing misogyny against womyn.

#359 Edited by coakroach (2493 posts) -

Probably could have covered both parts of the trope in one video if she kept it a bit more concise.

The structure is a bit too essayish, dont really need all those examples and affirmation of the same points over and over when you're using video as a format.

I think i'll keep an eye on the series, hopefully some of the other tropes she covers will benefit from her academic approach.

#360 Edited by LackingSaint (1992 posts) -

@endurancefun said:

Women aren't under-represented, that implies they aren't present at all.

So what if a female is captured? If she's being dis-empowered, okay, how does that prove anything about women or their perception? I fail to see your point here about how Mario is enforcing misogyny against womyn.

Yeah, honestly the Super Mario Bros series as an example seems like a moot point, as it's essentially always the same classic story retold in different ways. Plenty of the Mario side-series which Anita arbitrarily dropped out have strong female characters, but yes, the SMB series is pretty traditionalist. But complaining about that is like complaining that most classic fables are misogynist; they're just very classical stories being retold. "Damn this patriarchy for always casting Goldilocks as a thief and a lech."

Online
#361 Edited by Fallen189 (5322 posts) -

I found it incredibly boring and a lot of the "Arguments" seem tired and dated. People get too offended by ANYTHING nowadays, it's stupid. Someone at work kicked up a fuss because I called her "Darling" and my boss (Who's also female) said it was stupid and sent me on my way.

I know that Anita needs to try to be at the forefront of this neo suffragettes movement, because they need some kind of figurehead to use as marketing or whatever, but...eh. Seems like this has been done before ad infinitum

#362 Posted by Animasta (14820 posts) -

@sergio said:

Man, I wish I wasn't always notified when my comment is so deeply nested in a reply that has nothing to do with what I said.

I turned that shit off LONG ago, you should do the same

#363 Edited by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -

@endurancefun said:

Women aren't under-represented, that implies they aren't present at all.

So what if a female is captured? If she's being dis-empowered, okay, how does that prove anything about women or their perception? I fail to see your point here about how Mario is enforcing misogyny against womyn.

the implicit idea is this: like all forms of media and entertainment, games do not exist in a vacuum. they are a reflection of the society that produces them, just like books, movies, music...even something as primal as food is a reflection of the culture that produces it.

now, with that in mind- if one looks at the early history of videogames, one will notice that the 'damsel in distress' is pervasive. and this can be approached from various perspectives- an entertainment history one (as the video says, this was well established by myth and film), a societal one, a semiotics one (games were simple, so designers needed to use a design language that would require little explanation or complexity to be expressed), and as is the video in question's perspective- one with respect to women's role.

to paraphrase heavily- sarkeesian is saying if you look at the way women appear in early video games, whether explicit or implicit, their objectification and simplistic portrayal says SOMETHING about how women are treated in the real world. the extent, validity, and credibility of these claims are open to argumentation...but no one can deny that women have a skewed representation in videogames. and that consequently begs the question...why is that?

#364 Edited by rebgav (1442 posts) -

The problem with the Mario and Peach relationship is that their entire relationship is defined by Mario saving Peach. That's it. You can extrapolate all you like and create narrative where it doesn't exist, but at the end of the day Peach exists to be kidnapped and saved and that's it.

Yep, because they're videogame characters. In a very real sense, Peach does only exist to be kidnapped and rescued - because it's the plot of a videogame. Goombas exist to get stomped on, Yoshi exists to give his life for yours whenever you misjudge that jump and Mario exists to save the day. They are simple, extraneous ciphers whose only reason to exist is to provide audio-visual feedback for your manipulation of the core mechanics.

#365 Edited by EnduranceFun (1116 posts) -

@mellotronrules: All true. My objection would be on the implication that these are more than simply a representation of reality, like any fiction. Games are male-focused because it's a largely male industry, for example. I also don't think there is any negative side to these games and the way they portray tropes. Anita herself is mostly stating facts about the tropes and not saying they are harmful.

#366 Posted by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -

@mellotronrules: All true. My objection would be on the implication that these are more than simply a representation of reality, like any fiction. Games are male-focused because it's a largely male industry, for example. I also don't think there is any negative side to these games and the way they portray tropes, Anita herself mostly is stating facts about the tropes, not saying they are harmful.

right- well, tropes exist for a reason- they're easy, they're accessible, and they're simple. and they're everywhere...games aren't 'guiltier' than any other form of entertainment. but i do think it's important to be reminded that the tropes are still there from time to time, and to question where they come from and what they mean. and you're absolutely right that games are male-focused because it's traditionally been a male industry. but that's why new perspectives are so valuable- not only are the demographics shifting (more girls are gaming than ever before), but it also shows you just how monotone old games were in many respects. and it also shows the enthusiast crowd how their hobby or passion might be perceived by external forces. i'm sure many don't care, but i for one enjoy external perspectives on my hobbies, as it brings me closer to an understanding of why it is i love the things i do, and how they might be improved.

#367 Edited by EnduranceFun (1116 posts) -

@mellotronrules: Yeah, the video has value, though I feel it is being over-stated. That's a whole other issue altogether.

As I said in my first post in the thread, I found it enjoyable, if overly-simple and ending on a sour note. Sort of a layman's approach to games history, from a female perspective, is interesting if you separate the video from its hype or any other preconceptions.

#368 Posted by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -

@mellotronrules: Yeah, the video has value, though I feel it is being over-stated. That's a whole other issue altogether.

As I said in my first post in the thread, I found it enjoyable, if overly-simple and ending on a sour note. Sort of a layman's approach to games history, from a female perspective, is interesting if you separate the video from its hype or any other preconceptions.

for sure. i also think she has a tendency to oversimplify, and i didn't find the HD remake section particularly valid, but on the whole she used a lot of primary sources (a lot of in game footage to prove her points), and i think that's the strongest thing she has going for her.

i'm eager to see how the subsequent videos are- i think early games are particularly easy to critique, as they're relatively simple and representative of a culture that's 30(ish) years old. the closer she gets to current trends and/or recent games, i think the more difficult her task will become.

#369 Posted by EnduranceFun (1116 posts) -

@mellotronrules: I can easily see this video series go off the rails with the amount of videos, hopefully the huge amount of extra time and money means that there's no big downturn in quality. This may have been the easiest part of the project to produce. I'm intrigued to see what comes of it all in the end - it's free so you can't complain.

#370 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior said:

@spaceinsomniac said:

[edit] Actually, forget waiting for you to provide a link, I found it myself. In this blog post where she responds to a ridiculous list of things that automatically make you a rape supporter, she responds to each one of them. Here is the quote that is almost certainly what you're talking about:

He defends the physical abuse of women on the grounds of “consent.”

Annnnnddd...pretty much all the sex I actually enjoy is now categorized as supporting of rape. Pinning, dominating, spanking, struggle for dominance, consensual roleplaying. All of it, abuse, no matter how much I say I like and want it, no matter that I consider it not just enjoyable but a requirement in any long term relationship I will ever have, how hard I get off on it, or how much the tender "rock me gently" stuff bores the fuck out of me. Any man I would want to be with is by default a rape supporter.

Meaning that she's being told by feminists that she's not allowed to enjoy even slightly rough sex, even though she herself has requested it, and any man who would agree to her wishes is automatically a rape supporter.

Might that be what people are twisting around to become a claim of "she has out wright said women that are domestically abused by their partners have better sex"?

No thats not it, I can't find the original reddit thread she posted, but here is what she wrote in it duder.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/08/22/woman-defends-the-beating-of-women/

But I'm done with this thread, all it does is make me hate the majority of GB users, no more like the vocal minority.

I'm sorry to hear that you're done with the thread. Seems to be a healthy mix of opinions here, and some good debate.

But for you or anyone else who would like to read her defense of "her defense of beating women"--including the part where several self-proclaimed feminists "defend the beating of women," then please do read on. It's a little on the long side, so I'm putting it in a spoiler tag.

http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-means-war.html

Look at this hypocrisy from FTB

over one of hundreds of comments I've made over the last two years concerning domestic violence:

I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.

Here is the response from FTB (complete with photo of man's head exploding) to such a comment made by an "enemy":

So, if you’re annoyed at a woman, that justifies hitting her? In fact, you should hit her early in your annoyance, lest you beat the living shit out of her later when you’re reallymad? Of course, the fault will be hers for annoying you, not yours for having the physicality of a grown man but an infant’s mastery of your emotions.

And here,

from the comments:

I wonder if she has ever say gone out to lunch with that couple? If she has, I wondered if she noticed that the wife cowered like a fucking sheep when her husband spoke. I wonder if she just so happened to notice that the poor woman’s husband spoke for her, talked down to her, criticized her, all while she sat there and took it. Did she react when he made a swift movement? Does she carefully and painfully choose her words to avoid his wrath?

Okayyyy.... so a woman chasing her boyfriend from room to room, screaming insults and profanity, throwing heavy objects at him (in front of their infant, no less) while refusing to allow him to exit the situation is a clear sign that she's living in terror of him. Huh.

But it was the response to

THIS comment

that really told me who we're dealing with:

Normally I would say that violence towards women is never justified, however, I did see my dad hit my mom twice. He stayed and put up with her because of me, and every few years she would get in one of these moods where she would ride his ass and tell him what a loser he was for not making enough money, losing his hair, or whatever, put her finger in his face, scream at him, shove him, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until he would beg her to stop because he was about to snap, which only encouraged her. She got off on it. He would try to go for a walk to get away from her before he lost it, and she would grab him and keep on and on, until he would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then he would snap. He said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. He felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but she wouldn’t let him. I can’t fault him for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been her.
Go ahead and tell me I’m evil. I can take it. I think violence against women is deplorable, and I wouldn’t put up with it myself, and would tell anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out. But I can also understand why someone would snap if they were incessantly poked and prodded and then reacted accordingly.

Wow, an almost identical (if more embellished) situation to the one I described, so you'd expect a TON of exploding heads, right? Oh wait, but that comment came from a "friendly", and is therefore "different":

Your mother was the one being abusive. Men are victims of domestic violence too, not as often, but it still happens. I do not know often women act like this in the US or around the world, but reported domestic violence case statistics say that men are more likely to be a the abuser.
I don’t think it was right of your father to hit her, because I don’t think that hurting anyone is okay. But I think he was justified to fight back.
That kind of situation is not what GWW is advocating though. And even if that’s -all- she was advocating I’d still encourage her to change her stance and encourage the men to get help instead of hurting the women they are with.

Um, wow. And this guy's mom didn't even throw anything at his dad, but somehow the commenters at FTB are prepared to accept that she was the abusive one! Couldn't they tell she was terrorized and cowed, living in such fear of his wrath that she barely spoke without permission?

And if we're to apply the same rules here as were applied to me, relating a situation you've observed means you advocate for it. This must be the case, since me attempting to have a frank, meaningful, grown-up discussion of the complexities of domestic violence--you know, how it goes down in the real world among real people, as opposed to how it goes down in Feminist Theory--is the same as me advocating beating women.

Therefore I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you, about how absolutely no heads exploded over this guy's domestic violence apologia! Look, here's another understanding comment:

Your mother was the abuser in this situation. Hitting her was probably not the *best* solution, but I certainly am not going to fault your father for it in this case.

I can't believe these three commenters at FTB are advocating for men being allowed to beat their wives! Where are the bits of brain and skull all over the place from everyone's heads exploding? Nary a fragment to be seen, which means they must not only be excusing violence against women, but actively supporting and encouraging it! Where is the outrage? If there's no outrage, that's exactly the same as endorsement!

Since nobody replied to you, I'll say good job sir. I'm glad there's somebody out there with similar views to mine that isn't afraid to post about it (and in a good way too).

#371 Edited by JZ (2343 posts) -

Video games are good, people should play them.

#372 Edited by mrfluke (5661 posts) -

@jz said:

Video games are good, people should play them.

this is the ultimate bottom line opinion that i agree with and will side with

#373 Posted by DarthOrange (4100 posts) -

@jz said:

Video games are good, people should play them.

I concur.

#374 Edited by deadmoscow (286 posts) -
@rebgav said:

Yep, because they're videogame characters. In a very real sense, Peach does only exist to be kidnapped and rescued - because it's the plot of a videogame. Goombas exist to get stomped on, Yoshi exists to give his life for yours whenever you misjudge that jump and Mario exists to save the day. They are simple, extraneous ciphers whose only reason to exist is to provide audio-visual feedback for your manipulation of the core mechanics.

I disagree with this. Games do not exist in a vacuum, and they contain symbols that represent more than a collection of pixels that follow game mechanics. Your argument is reductionist, and fails to realize that while Princess Toadstool exists as a collection of pixels on your screen generated by a computer, she also represents a woman. The representation of that woman is, time and time again, divorced from any agency enjoyed by the male characters.

#375 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4569 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior said:

@spaceinsomniac said:

[edit] Actually, forget waiting for you to provide a link, I found it myself. In this blog post where she responds to a ridiculous list of things that automatically make you a rape supporter, she responds to each one of them. Here is the quote that is almost certainly what you're talking about:

He defends the physical abuse of women on the grounds of “consent.”

Annnnnddd...pretty much all the sex I actually enjoy is now categorized as supporting of rape. Pinning, dominating, spanking, struggle for dominance, consensual roleplaying. All of it, abuse, no matter how much I say I like and want it, no matter that I consider it not just enjoyable but a requirement in any long term relationship I will ever have, how hard I get off on it, or how much the tender "rock me gently" stuff bores the fuck out of me. Any man I would want to be with is by default a rape supporter.

Meaning that she's being told by feminists that she's not allowed to enjoy even slightly rough sex, even though she herself has requested it, and any man who would agree to her wishes is automatically a rape supporter.

Might that be what people are twisting around to become a claim of "she has out wright said women that are domestically abused by their partners have better sex"?

No thats not it, I can't find the original reddit thread she posted, but here is what she wrote in it duder.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/08/22/woman-defends-the-beating-of-women/

But I'm done with this thread, all it does is make me hate the majority of GB users, no more like the vocal minority.

I'm sorry to hear that you're done with the thread. Seems to be a healthy mix of opinions here, and some good debate.

But for you or anyone else who would like to read her defense of "her defense of beating women"--including the part where several self-proclaimed feminists "defend the beating of women," then please do read on. It's a little on the long side, so I'm putting it in a spoiler tag.

http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-means-war.html

Look at this hypocrisy from FTB

over one of hundreds of comments I've made over the last two years concerning domestic violence:

I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.

Here is the response from FTB (complete with photo of man's head exploding) to such a comment made by an "enemy":

So, if you’re annoyed at a woman, that justifies hitting her? In fact, you should hit her early in your annoyance, lest you beat the living shit out of her later when you’re reallymad? Of course, the fault will be hers for annoying you, not yours for having the physicality of a grown man but an infant’s mastery of your emotions.

And here,

from the comments:

I wonder if she has ever say gone out to lunch with that couple? If she has, I wondered if she noticed that the wife cowered like a fucking sheep when her husband spoke. I wonder if she just so happened to notice that the poor woman’s husband spoke for her, talked down to her, criticized her, all while she sat there and took it. Did she react when he made a swift movement? Does she carefully and painfully choose her words to avoid his wrath?

Okayyyy.... so a woman chasing her boyfriend from room to room, screaming insults and profanity, throwing heavy objects at him (in front of their infant, no less) while refusing to allow him to exit the situation is a clear sign that she's living in terror of him. Huh.

But it was the response to

THIS comment

that really told me who we're dealing with:

Normally I would say that violence towards women is never justified, however, I did see my dad hit my mom twice. He stayed and put up with her because of me, and every few years she would get in one of these moods where she would ride his ass and tell him what a loser he was for not making enough money, losing his hair, or whatever, put her finger in his face, scream at him, shove him, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until he would beg her to stop because he was about to snap, which only encouraged her. She got off on it. He would try to go for a walk to get away from her before he lost it, and she would grab him and keep on and on, until he would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then he would snap. He said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. He felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but she wouldn’t let him. I can’t fault him for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been her.
Go ahead and tell me I’m evil. I can take it. I think violence against women is deplorable, and I wouldn’t put up with it myself, and would tell anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out. But I can also understand why someone would snap if they were incessantly poked and prodded and then reacted accordingly.

Wow, an almost identical (if more embellished) situation to the one I described, so you'd expect a TON of exploding heads, right? Oh wait, but that comment came from a "friendly", and is therefore "different":

Your mother was the one being abusive. Men are victims of domestic violence too, not as often, but it still happens. I do not know often women act like this in the US or around the world, but reported domestic violence case statistics say that men are more likely to be a the abuser.
I don’t think it was right of your father to hit her, because I don’t think that hurting anyone is okay. But I think he was justified to fight back.
That kind of situation is not what GWW is advocating though. And even if that’s -all- she was advocating I’d still encourage her to change her stance and encourage the men to get help instead of hurting the women they are with.

Um, wow. And this guy's mom didn't even throw anything at his dad, but somehow the commenters at FTB are prepared to accept that she was the abusive one! Couldn't they tell she was terrorized and cowed, living in such fear of his wrath that she barely spoke without permission?

And if we're to apply the same rules here as were applied to me, relating a situation you've observed means you advocate for it. This must be the case, since me attempting to have a frank, meaningful, grown-up discussion of the complexities of domestic violence--you know, how it goes down in the real world among real people, as opposed to how it goes down in Feminist Theory--is the same as me advocating beating women.

Therefore I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you, about how absolutely no heads exploded over this guy's domestic violence apologia! Look, here's another understanding comment:

Your mother was the abuser in this situation. Hitting her was probably not the *best* solution, but I certainly am not going to fault your father for it in this case.

I can't believe these three commenters at FTB are advocating for men being allowed to beat their wives! Where are the bits of brain and skull all over the place from everyone's heads exploding? Nary a fragment to be seen, which means they must not only be excusing violence against women, but actively supporting and encouraging it! Where is the outrage? If there's no outrage, that's exactly the same as endorsement!

This has nothing to do if women beat their boyfriends/husbands, I'm such pointing out that your hero is a bit crazy, and maybe you should double think about quoting her in the future to prove your pathetic little points.

Stop trying to justify domestic violence against women, stay classy bro =)

#376 Posted by mrfluke (5661 posts) -

tagging @patrickklepek to this thread and running away. i have no interest in participating in this, but i know Mr Klepek would be interested to see the debates that probably went on here.

#377 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (4218 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac said:

@bourbon_warrior said:

@spaceinsomniac said:

[edit] Actually, forget waiting for you to provide a link, I found it myself. In this blog post where she responds to a ridiculous list of things that automatically make you a rape supporter, she responds to each one of them. Here is the quote that is almost certainly what you're talking about:

He defends the physical abuse of women on the grounds of “consent.”

Annnnnddd...pretty much all the sex I actually enjoy is now categorized as supporting of rape. Pinning, dominating, spanking, struggle for dominance, consensual roleplaying. All of it, abuse, no matter how much I say I like and want it, no matter that I consider it not just enjoyable but a requirement in any long term relationship I will ever have, how hard I get off on it, or how much the tender "rock me gently" stuff bores the fuck out of me. Any man I would want to be with is by default a rape supporter.

Meaning that she's being told by feminists that she's not allowed to enjoy even slightly rough sex, even though she herself has requested it, and any man who would agree to her wishes is automatically a rape supporter.

Might that be what people are twisting around to become a claim of "she has out wright said women that are domestically abused by their partners have better sex"?

No thats not it, I can't find the original reddit thread she posted, but here is what she wrote in it duder.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/08/22/woman-defends-the-beating-of-women/

But I'm done with this thread, all it does is make me hate the majority of GB users, no more like the vocal minority.

I'm sorry to hear that you're done with the thread. Seems to be a healthy mix of opinions here, and some good debate.

But for you or anyone else who would like to read her defense of "her defense of beating women"--including the part where several self-proclaimed feminists "defend the beating of women," then please do read on. It's a little on the long side, so I'm putting it in a spoiler tag.

http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/08/this-means-war.html

Look at this hypocrisy from FTB

over one of hundreds of comments I've made over the last two years concerning domestic violence:

I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.

Here is the response from FTB (complete with photo of man's head exploding) to such a comment made by an "enemy":

So, if you’re annoyed at a woman, that justifies hitting her? In fact, you should hit her early in your annoyance, lest you beat the living shit out of her later when you’re reallymad? Of course, the fault will be hers for annoying you, not yours for having the physicality of a grown man but an infant’s mastery of your emotions.

And here,

from the comments:

I wonder if she has ever say gone out to lunch with that couple? If she has, I wondered if she noticed that the wife cowered like a fucking sheep when her husband spoke. I wonder if she just so happened to notice that the poor woman’s husband spoke for her, talked down to her, criticized her, all while she sat there and took it. Did she react when he made a swift movement? Does she carefully and painfully choose her words to avoid his wrath?

Okayyyy.... so a woman chasing her boyfriend from room to room, screaming insults and profanity, throwing heavy objects at him (in front of their infant, no less) while refusing to allow him to exit the situation is a clear sign that she's living in terror of him. Huh.

But it was the response to

THIS comment

that really told me who we're dealing with:

Normally I would say that violence towards women is never justified, however, I did see my dad hit my mom twice. He stayed and put up with her because of me, and every few years she would get in one of these moods where she would ride his ass and tell him what a loser he was for not making enough money, losing his hair, or whatever, put her finger in his face, scream at him, shove him, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until he would beg her to stop because he was about to snap, which only encouraged her. She got off on it. He would try to go for a walk to get away from her before he lost it, and she would grab him and keep on and on, until he would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then he would snap. He said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. He felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but she wouldn’t let him. I can’t fault him for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been her.
Go ahead and tell me I’m evil. I can take it. I think violence against women is deplorable, and I wouldn’t put up with it myself, and would tell anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out. But I can also understand why someone would snap if they were incessantly poked and prodded and then reacted accordingly.

Wow, an almost identical (if more embellished) situation to the one I described, so you'd expect a TON of exploding heads, right? Oh wait, but that comment came from a "friendly", and is therefore "different":

Your mother was the one being abusive. Men are victims of domestic violence too, not as often, but it still happens. I do not know often women act like this in the US or around the world, but reported domestic violence case statistics say that men are more likely to be a the abuser.
I don’t think it was right of your father to hit her, because I don’t think that hurting anyone is okay. But I think he was justified to fight back.
That kind of situation is not what GWW is advocating though. And even if that’s -all- she was advocating I’d still encourage her to change her stance and encourage the men to get help instead of hurting the women they are with.

Um, wow. And this guy's mom didn't even throw anything at his dad, but somehow the commenters at FTB are prepared to accept that she was the abusive one! Couldn't they tell she was terrorized and cowed, living in such fear of his wrath that she barely spoke without permission?

And if we're to apply the same rules here as were applied to me, relating a situation you've observed means you advocate for it. This must be the case, since me attempting to have a frank, meaningful, grown-up discussion of the complexities of domestic violence--you know, how it goes down in the real world among real people, as opposed to how it goes down in Feminist Theory--is the same as me advocating beating women.

Therefore I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you, about how absolutely no heads exploded over this guy's domestic violence apologia! Look, here's another understanding comment:

Your mother was the abuser in this situation. Hitting her was probably not the *best* solution, but I certainly am not going to fault your father for it in this case.

I can't believe these three commenters at FTB are advocating for men being allowed to beat their wives! Where are the bits of brain and skull all over the place from everyone's heads exploding? Nary a fragment to be seen, which means they must not only be excusing violence against women, but actively supporting and encouraging it! Where is the outrage? If there's no outrage, that's exactly the same as endorsement!

This has nothing to do if women beat their boyfriends/husbands, I'm such pointing out that your hero is a bit crazy, and maybe you should double think about quoting her in the future to prove your pathetic little points.

Stop trying to justify domestic violence against women, stay classy bro =)

Wait, didn't you leave? I could have sworn that you said something about that.

Well, since you're still here, how about one more quote from my "hero" girlwriteswhat.

http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/03/transcript-of-those-privileged-blue.html

In the school attended by my friend's son, games like dodgeball and tag have been prohibited, because they encourage aggression and lead to bruises. The new, PC mantra, "We don't keep score here, we are all winners," stifles boys' natural competitiveness, and turns even sports into an exercise in going through the motions as pointless to boys as all that open-ended cutting and pasting and rote memorization. And when those boys then turn tovideo games to exercise the hardwired skills, learning styles and interests more common to them--hands on "doing", achievement, competition and score-keeping--that have been fully excised from the school environment, they're written off as lazy time-wasters.

#378 Posted by OfficeGamer (1120 posts) -

It's like, yo, princesses and mistresses have been getting kidnapped in folklore and ancient tales since fucking ever, why blame one of the MANY mediums that used that trope? Why not blame Braveheart for having Gibson's gal kidnapped and her throat slit? Or blame the Germans as a whole for their folklore tale about Broomhilda, or blame Shrek, god damn it.

She doesn't understand reason and she just wants attention for her extremist feminist ways and more views and more cash, so I shouldn't be reasoning with her, this discussion shouldn't exist in the first place because the other party lacks sense or reason, but you guys are discussing it ANYWAY, and I couldn't resist wasting my time as well so I posted this. Fuck.

So what if a female is captured? If she's being dis-empowered, okay, how does that prove anything about women or their perception? I fail to see your point here about how Mario is enforcing misogyny against womyn.

It's the same thing as Man-ogyny when Jason's brothers were captured in FC3 and he was dis-empowered at the beginning, mang. All dem games enforcing manogyny and misogyny. Also if you find any game where a child is kidnapped, that's called....wait for it..... childogyny.

#379 Posted by haffy (681 posts) -

I don't really understand this. She's pointing out the cliches that happen in video games, but ignoring the over representation of strong female characters in games compared to real life. If women were more prominent in science, sports, history, exploring or leadership roles and being under represented in games, it would be understandable. But they aren't.

#380 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6116 posts) -

@haffy said:

I don't really understand this. She's pointing out the cliches that happen in video games, but ignoring the over representation of strong female characters in games compared to real life. If women were more prominent in science, sports, history, exploring or leadership roles and being under represented in games, it would be understandable. But they aren't.

Oh shit haffy, you so sexist. Hope you're prepared for the upcoming shitstorm my friend.

#381 Edited by SlashDance (1864 posts) -

@officegamer said:

It's like, yo, princesses and mistresses have been getting kidnapped in folklore and ancient tales since fucking ever, why blame one of the MANY mediums that used that trope? Why not blame Braveheart for having Gibson's gal kidnapped and her throat slit?

I think it's way worse if a movie does that. It's completely unfair to criticize Nintendo for making Zelda or Peach one-dimensional, when the focus of these games is clearly not on story and every other character, male or female, is also totally one-dimesional. Same goes for every other game cited in her video.

She should talk about games that do focus on storytelling, that have great, complex and growing male characters, but still portray women as one-dimensional, fragile damsel in distress. To be honest, I can't think of a single example... but she would get my attention if she could prove that this was a thing that video games do.

Every game that I trully loved story-wise has had amazing female characters. I'm just gonna name a few, off the top of my head.

  • Beyond Good and Evil
  • The Longest Journey
  • Baldur's Gate
  • Planescape : Torment
  • KOTOR
  • Max Payne 2
  • Mass Effect
  • Broken Sword
  • Final Fantasy VI
  • Silent Hill 2
  • MGS 3
  • Baten Kaitos
  • Lost Odyssey

I'll stop but that list can keep going for miles. I have nothing against this lady (I didn't even know about here before this video, reading about the shitstorm was as untertaining as it was depressing), but I'm not gonna agree with her stupid points just to defend her from bad Internet people. Also this doesn't look like it cost $160 000 to make. Maybe it's a really fancy green screen, I don't know.

#382 Edited by PillClinton (3352 posts) -

So I only watched about half the video and barely read any of this thread, but all I really have to say is: Freedom of Speech, people! She's exercising her right to discuss something that is a thing and exists, without directly attacking or hurting anyone else in the process. Criticize all you like, but these calls for her to just 'shut the fuck up already; this isn't a real issue; no one cares' are pretty damn ignorant.

#383 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4569 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac said:

Wait, didn't you leave? I could have sworn that you said something about that.

Well, since you're still here, how about one more quote from my "hero" girlwriteswhat.

http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/03/transcript-of-those-privileged-blue.html

In the school attended by my friend's son, games like dodgeball and tag have been prohibited, because they encourage aggression and lead to bruises. The new, PC mantra, "We don't keep score here, we are all winners," stifles boys' natural competitiveness, and turns even sports into an exercise in going through the motions as pointless to boys as all that open-ended cutting and pasting and rote memorization. And when those boys then turn tovideo games to exercise the hardwired skills, learning styles and interests more common to them--hands on "doing", achievement, competition and score-keeping--that have been fully excised from the school environment, they're written off as lazy time-wasters.

I would of felt rude not replying when you put so much effort into your post, yeah that's a great point she made one that pretty much half the world says, BRING BACK BULL RUSH! But she still advocated domestic violence so it doesn't really matter I still think shes an idiot and why are you replying to me with her words, don't you have opinions yourself?

#384 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

$6000 for this stuff is pretty funny, for one I could record better quality using my phone, two it doesn't cost money to research something like gaming sexism, three, I've seen better produced content that cost $0 on YouTube.

I mean christ, it's not like she's doing a psychological research project having to gather up people and stage something like the Zimbardo experiment.

As for the content I really don't care, I just don't see where the money went. The damsel in distress complaints are just scraping the bottom of the barrel.

#385 Posted by rebgav (1442 posts) -

@rebgav said:

Yep, because they're videogame characters. In a very real sense, Peach does only exist to be kidnapped and rescued - because it's the plot of a videogame. Goombas exist to get stomped on, Yoshi exists to give his life for yours whenever you misjudge that jump and Mario exists to save the day. They are simple, extraneous ciphers whose only reason to exist is to provide audio-visual feedback for your manipulation of the core mechanics.

I disagree with this. Games do not exist in a vacuum, and they contain symbols that represent more than a collection of pixels that follow game mechanics. Your argument is reductionist, and fails to realize that while Princess Toadstool exists as a collection of pixels on your screen generated by a computer, she also represents a woman. The representation of that woman is, time and time again, divorced from any agency enjoyed by the male characters.

Blatantly untrue. To insist that Peach is representative of women is to imply that the creators intend to make a statement about women in general through their depiction of Peach, which is clearly and plainly false. Mario is not representative of men anymore than he is representative of Italians, or fat plumbers. Is Ms. Pac-Man representative of women? Is Bandage Girl representative of women? Is Dr Fetus representative of unborn children? Is Scooby Doo a scathing indictment of the cowardice inherent to gluttonous talking dogs?

You can drag any one-dimensional character into a context in which it isn't designed to function and insist on inflating it with artificial meaning, it's easy to do because there is no substance there to begin with.

#386 Edited by Azurath (352 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@deadmoscow said:
@rebgav said:

Yep, because they're videogame characters. In a very real sense, Peach does only exist to be kidnapped and rescued - because it's the plot of a videogame. Goombas exist to get stomped on, Yoshi exists to give his life for yours whenever you misjudge that jump and Mario exists to save the day. They are simple, extraneous ciphers whose only reason to exist is to provide audio-visual feedback for your manipulation of the core mechanics.

I disagree with this. Games do not exist in a vacuum, and they contain symbols that represent more than a collection of pixels that follow game mechanics. Your argument is reductionist, and fails to realize that while Princess Toadstool exists as a collection of pixels on your screen generated by a computer, she also represents a woman. The representation of that woman is, time and time again, divorced from any agency enjoyed by the male characters.

Blatantly untrue. To insist that Peach is representative of women is to imply that the creators intend to make a statement about women in general through their depiction of Peach, which is clearly and plainly false. Mario is not representative of men anymore than he is representative of Italians, or fat plumbers. Is Ms. Pac-Man representative of women? Is Bandage Girl representative of women? Is Dr Fetus representative of unborn children? Is Scooby Doo a scathing indictment of the cowardice inherent to gluttonous talking dogs?

You can drag any one-dimensional character into a context in which it isn't designed to function and insist on inflating it with artificial meaning, it's easy to do because there is no substance there to begin with.

I haven't really been following all this dumb shit, but this is the best argument I have heard against the video and a lot of these arguments in general....

Not saying anyone is right or wrong, but this is very convincing for the side saying that this is people trying to make something out of nothing.

#387 Edited by Dylabaloo (1573 posts) -

@mellotronrules said:

@endurancefun said:

Women aren't under-represented, that implies they aren't present at all.

So what if a female is captured? If she's being dis-empowered, okay, how does that prove anything about women or their perception? I fail to see your point here about how Mario is enforcing misogyny against womyn.

the implicit idea is this: like all forms of media and entertainment, games do not exist in a vacuum. they are a reflection of the society that produces them, just like books, movies, music...even something as primal as food is a reflection of the culture that produces it.

now, with that in mind- if one looks at the early history of videogames, one will notice that the 'damsel in distress' is pervasive. and this can be approached from various perspectives- an entertainment history one (as the video says, this was well established by myth and film), a societal one, a semiotics one (games were simple, so designers needed to use a design language that would require little explanation or complexity to be expressed), and as is the video in question's perspective- one with respect to women's role.

to paraphrase heavily- sarkeesian is saying if you look at the way women appear in early video games, whether explicit or implicit, their objectification and simplistic portrayal says SOMETHING about how women are treated in the real world. the extent, validity, and credibility of these claims are open to argumentation...but no one can deny that women have a skewed representation in videogames. and that consequently begs the question...why is that?

Well it's quite clear why that's the case. Demographics for games are predominantly male, games almost always fulfil the "Power Fantasy" experience, giving us extreme power to play with. It's also important to take into account that developers are by in large male also. So there was little point back then to make games for an audience which wasn't there, it's just bad business. Unfortunately this led to easy objectification of women simply as a goal or reward, as it conveys that power fantasy experience perfectly. We must also take into account that male protagonist often times had about as little character development as their fellow females, its this generation that games have really started to mature story-wise.

Jenova chen (Of That Game Company: Journey, Flower) has a very interesting D.I.C.E talk about how games still almost exclusively use the power fantasy trope and how through Journey he tried to make something different, a truly co-operative experience that defied what a video game is. Because of the interactive nature of this medium it is easy to tap into these basic motivations to play, be the best, save the world (Or Galaxy), save the city, protect the girl. It will be a slow way forward before this medium really matures into something more and it will not be easy if The Walking Dead is any indication. (All the complaints about it not being a "Game".)

Loading Video...

#388 Edited by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@deadmoscow said:
@rebgav said:

Yep, because they're videogame characters. In a very real sense, Peach does only exist to be kidnapped and rescued - because it's the plot of a videogame. Goombas exist to get stomped on, Yoshi exists to give his life for yours whenever you misjudge that jump and Mario exists to save the day. They are simple, extraneous ciphers whose only reason to exist is to provide audio-visual feedback for your manipulation of the core mechanics.

I disagree with this. Games do not exist in a vacuum, and they contain symbols that represent more than a collection of pixels that follow game mechanics. Your argument is reductionist, and fails to realize that while Princess Toadstool exists as a collection of pixels on your screen generated by a computer, she also represents a woman. The representation of that woman is, time and time again, divorced from any agency enjoyed by the male characters.

Blatantly untrue. To insist that Peach is representative of women is to imply that the creators intend to make a statement about women in general through their depiction of Peach, which is clearly and plainly false. Mario is not representative of men anymore than he is representative of Italians, or fat plumbers. Is Ms. Pac-Man representative of women? Is Bandage Girl representative of women? Is Dr Fetus representative of unborn children? Is Scooby Doo a scathing indictment of the cowardice inherent to gluttonous talking dogs?

You can drag any one-dimensional character into a context in which it isn't designed to function and insist on inflating it with artificial meaning, it's easy to do because there is no substance there to begin with.

wait- so you're saying that implicit messages and/or ideas don't exist? you think the only ideas expressed are those that are explicit? i don't think anyone is suggesting miyamoto sat down and said, "i need a weak trophy of a character, so clearly this needs to be a woman. in fact, i'll use a woman from here on out- peach will become the poster child for my campaign against women." that's ludicrous. but i think it's equally ludicrous to suggest that the only valid interpretations of a character are those intended by the creators. the entire point of analyzing these tropes and patterns is to learn WHY these seemingly unspoken decisions are made. why did miyamoto choose a princess and/or woman to be the victim/trophy? probably because it seemed like the obvious choice- but WHY is it the obvious choice?

and that's the whole point- these are one-dimensional characters. they're women who's sole purpose for existing in the game is to be saved. that doesn't mean the developers are evil, that they intended it that way, and that games are therefore the last refuge of misogyny. but since there is a clearly established pattern, simply saying that because there wasn't explicit intention doesn't therefore mean the messages do not exist. that's not injecting meaning, that's seeing a pattern and attempting to understand why it's there.

#389 Edited by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -

@mellotronrules said:

the implicit idea is this: like all forms of media and entertainment, games do not exist in a vacuum. they are a reflection of the society that produces them, just like books, movies, music...even something as primal as food is a reflection of the culture that produces it.

now, with that in mind- if one looks at the early history of videogames, one will notice that the 'damsel in distress' is pervasive. and this can be approached from various perspectives- an entertainment history one (as the video says, this was well established by myth and film), a societal one, a semiotics one (games were simple, so designers needed to use a design language that would require little explanation or complexity to be expressed), and as is the video in question's perspective- one with respect to women's role.

to paraphrase heavily- sarkeesian is saying if you look at the way women appear in early video games, whether explicit or implicit, their objectification and simplistic portrayal says SOMETHING about how women are treated in the real world. the extent, validity, and credibility of these claims are open to argumentation...but no one can deny that women have a skewed representation in videogames. and that consequently begs the question...why is that?

Well it's quite clear why that's the case. Demographics for games are predominantly male, games almost always fulfil the "Power Fantasy" experience, giving us extreme power to play with. It's also important to take into account that developers are by in large male also. So there was little point back then to make games for an audience which wasn't there, it's just bad business. Unfortunately this led to easy objectification of women simply as a goal or reward, as it conveys that power fantasy experience perfectly. We must also take into account that male protagonist often times had about as little character development as their fellow females, its this generation that games have really started to mature story-wise.

well sure, i think that's one (arguably the most) essential component of the equation. but i think there are several other influences which led to the depiction of women we have in games of that era- technological limitations, cultural standards of the time, standards of game design, storytelling, east meets west considerations, etc. but sure, dudes making games for dudes is definitely a big piece. they're all interconnected. and you're absolutely right to note the simplistic take on male protagonists as well. that's why i'm most interested to see her views on contemporary games- they're far more complex, and consequently harder to examine.

#390 Posted by Griddler (3374 posts) -

@droop: Agreed. Most of the games she talked about are at least 10 years old, or otherwise games in which the story is irrelevant to the gameplay (eg. Mario, Time Crisis).

#391 Posted by Fattony12000 (7945 posts) -

I learned that Shigeru Miyamoto is a goddamn monster.

#392 Posted by DefaultProphet (616 posts) -

This was much better than I expected, given her previous work. I'm not just talking about her Bayonetta video, but many of her previous videos that just have extremely feminist viewpoints. The song "Baby It's Cold Outside" essentially being about rape, and the the fact that The Big Bang Theory is sexist because most of the characters are male being the two most ridiculous examples that I can remember.

This was much more measured, and while I didn't agree with all of it, I did agree with most. It is kind of sad that Toad has to join another Toad to rescue the princess yet again, when Nintendo could just come up with SOMETHING else that would allow Peach to join in on the action.

She did a good job.

Baby It's Cold Outside is totally rape culture are you kidding?

#393 Posted by rebgav (1442 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@deadmoscow said:
@rebgav said:

Yep, because they're videogame characters. In a very real sense, Peach does only exist to be kidnapped and rescued - because it's the plot of a videogame. Goombas exist to get stomped on, Yoshi exists to give his life for yours whenever you misjudge that jump and Mario exists to save the day. They are simple, extraneous ciphers whose only reason to exist is to provide audio-visual feedback for your manipulation of the core mechanics.

I disagree with this. Games do not exist in a vacuum, and they contain symbols that represent more than a collection of pixels that follow game mechanics. Your argument is reductionist, and fails to realize that while Princess Toadstool exists as a collection of pixels on your screen generated by a computer, she also represents a woman. The representation of that woman is, time and time again, divorced from any agency enjoyed by the male characters.

Blatantly untrue. To insist that Peach is representative of women is to imply that the creators intend to make a statement about women in general through their depiction of Peach, which is clearly and plainly false. Mario is not representative of men anymore than he is representative of Italians, or fat plumbers. Is Ms. Pac-Man representative of women? Is Bandage Girl representative of women? Is Dr Fetus representative of unborn children? Is Scooby Doo a scathing indictment of the cowardice inherent to gluttonous talking dogs?

You can drag any one-dimensional character into a context in which it isn't designed to function and insist on inflating it with artificial meaning, it's easy to do because there is no substance there to begin with.

wait- so you're saying that implicit messages and/or ideas don't exist? you think the only ideas expressed are those that are explicit? i don't think anyone is suggesting miyamoto sat down and said, "i need a weak trophy of a character, so clearly this needs to be a woman. in fact, i'll use a woman from here on out- peach will become the poster child for my campaign against women." that's ludicrous. but i think it's equally ludicrous to suggest that the only valid interpretations of a character are those intended by the creators. the entire point of analyzing these tropes and patterns is to learn WHY these seemingly unspoken decisions are made. why did miyamoto choose a princess and/or woman to be the victim/trophy? probably because it seemed like the obvious choice- but WHY is it the obvious choice?

and that's the whole point- these are one-dimensional characters. they're women who's sole purpose for existing in the game is to be saved. that doesn't mean the developers are evil, that they intended it that way, and that games are therefore the last refuge of misogyny. but since there is a clearly established pattern, simply saying that because there wasn't explicit intention doesn't therefore mean the messages do not exist. that's not injecting meaning, that's seeing a pattern and attempting to understand why it's there.

What I am saying is that you may unload any socio-political baggage you like onto a Mario or a Peach because they are empty symbols which aren't meant to function outside of their original context. Recontextualizing them is easy enough because the implied or stated hierarchy of the one-note characters in Super Mario Bros. is a function of the gameplay and has nothing substantive or meaningful to offer outside of being the visual presentation of an arbitrary set of game design choices.

Mario began as a crude image of a fat mustachioed man in overalls but could have easily been a blue hedgehog, or a gecko, or a bobcat, a little girl, a ninja, a robot, even a skinless square boy and nothing else about his game would have to be altered to facilitate the change. Same goes for Peach, could have been some animal friends, Luigi, The Goonies - Hell, if Mario was bad enough he could have been saving the President - no change to the game, no change to the "story" of the game. If analysis of the game is based upon facts irrelevant to the game, if all meaning is brought to the game from external sources and not derived from the game itself, if intent is assumed even though it is clearly never observed then how valid or truthful can the analysis be? What can you learn from irrelevant, dishonest conclusions?

#394 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (4218 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior said:

@spaceinsomniac said:

Wait, didn't you leave? I could have sworn that you said something about that.

Well, since you're still here, how about one more quote from my "hero" girlwriteswhat.

http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/03/transcript-of-those-privileged-blue.html

In the school attended by my friend's son, games like dodgeball and tag have been prohibited, because they encourage aggression and lead to bruises. The new, PC mantra, "We don't keep score here, we are all winners," stifles boys' natural competitiveness, and turns even sports into an exercise in going through the motions as pointless to boys as all that open-ended cutting and pasting and rote memorization. And when those boys then turn tovideo games to exercise the hardwired skills, learning styles and interests more common to them--hands on "doing", achievement, competition and score-keeping--that have been fully excised from the school environment, they're written off as lazy time-wasters.

But she still advocated domestic violence...

She "advocated domestic violence," as did the feminists at the very blog you linked to in an attempt to discredit her. To quote that again:

I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.

Now this is CLEARLY an unhealthy relationship. There's no doubt about it. But it's extremely telling that you are telling me to "stop trying to justify domestic violence against women," when the point that she's trying to make is that society completely ignores domestic violence against men. To further illustrate my point:

Normally I would say that violence towards your husband is never justified, however, I did see my mom hit my dad twice. She stayed and put up with him because of me, and every few years he would get in one of these moods where he would ride her ass and tell her what a loser she was for being a lousy mother, gaining weight, or whatever, put his finger in her face, scream at her, shove her, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until she would beg him to stop because she was about to snap, which only encouraged him. He got off on it. She would try to go for a walk to get away from him before she lost it, and he would grab her and keep on and on, until she would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then she would snap. She said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. She felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but he wouldn’t let her. I can’t fault her for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been him.

How did it make you feel reading that? Did you want her to simply hit him once, or should she have picked up the nearest heavy object and beat the shit out of him? Perhaps you wanted to see him sent to jail for a very long time? No matter what you thought, I would imagine that you had a very different reaction than the first time you read that paragraph.

To be honest, without even thinking about it, I'd be guilty of the same reaction. Society has created a situation where we simply don't give a fuck about men being mentally or physically abused by women.

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I would absolutely say that no man should ever hit a women, but why should that be a one way street? Isn't that the very definition of the word sexist?

#395 Posted by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -
@rebgav said:

What I am saying is that you may unload any socio-political baggage you like onto a Mario or a Peach because they are empty symbols which aren't meant to function outside of their original context. Recontextualizing them is easy enough because the implied or stated hierarchy of the one-note characters in Super Mario Bros. is a function of the gameplay and has nothing substantive or meaningful to offer outside of being the visual presentation of an arbitrary set of game design choices.

Mario began as a crude image of a fat mustachioed man in overalls but could have easily been a blue hedgehog, or a gecko, or a bobcat, a little girl, a ninja, a robot, even a skinless square boy and nothing else about his game would have to be altered to facilitate the change. Same goes for Peach, could have been some animal friends, Luigi, The Goonies - Hell, if Mario was bad enough he could have been saving the President - no change to the game, no change to the "story" of the game. If analysis of the game is based upon facts irrelevant to the game, if all meaning is brought to the game from external sources and not derived from the game itself, if intent is assumed even though it is clearly never observed then how valid or truthful can the analysis be? What can you learn from irrelevant, dishonest conclusions?

well i would respectfully disagree, because not all symbols or signifiers are limited to the meaning intended by their creators. and i would argue there aren't any "empty" symbols. it isn't that simple. if symbols were "empty," they effectively wouldn't be symbols anymore- they'd be a visual cue without any words or concepts associated with them. but peach is clearly a woman, a princess, and a trophy, so she is symbolic of those concepts. i mean, she wears a pink dress for pete's sake- what do you associate the color pink with? and just because peach just as easily could have been a literal treasure chest, or physical trophy for that matter- doesn't mean analyzing her existence as women becomes irrelevant. she's still a woman, regardless of her monotone nature, and is therefore part of the collection of ideas we associate with the feminine. there's nothing "dishonest" about that- it's about the player implicitly identifying and understanding her as a woman on screen.

i mean, if you want to talk about implicit messages and symbols, and the disparate messages they send- take the confederate flag as an example. for many that's representative of southern culture, pride, and a sense of identity. but then for a whole other group it's representative of slavery, persecution, and second-class-citizen status. regardless of where you stand on the matter, both interpretations are "honest"- nothing is "irrelevant." and i'm not saying the peach thing is the exact same, because it isn't. BUT is it really that unthinkable that where you see simply a goal or game mechanic in peach, others might see a weakling princess?

#396 Posted by flasaltine (1823 posts) -

I think these videos make some good critical points about her previous work, but I'm looking forward to watching this new series and judging it on its own. It's a serious subject, so I hope she does a better job with things this time.

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Wow... Those videos weren't produced on $150k and provide a ton of more analysis than Tropes vs. Women. 0 times a much more analysis if you think about it mathematically. Also, all of his other videos are pretty great too.

#397 Edited by rebgav (1442 posts) -

It's no more unthinkable than people hearing the voice of Satan when spinning a vinyl record backwards. It's no more pertinent either. How you choose to interpret a cipher like Peach is very much your own choice, if you decide to lumber them with layers of meaning which aren't inherent to the specific object that you're examining and then take offence at your own creation, that's your burden. It's not for me to demonize or validate how you choose to spend your time.

#398 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (4218 posts) -

@sooty said:

$6000 for this stuff is pretty funny

YES! That's the correct criticism. It's absolutely ridiculous to criticize her for a random bunch of sex-negative feminists giving her 150 thousand dollars, because SHE DIDN'T ASK FOR IT.

At the same time, it's absolutely valid to criticize how she is spending that money that was given to her for the sole purpose of supporting her work. Still, as more videos are released, I'd MUCH rather people focus their debate on the content of those videos, and not just keep hammering on the same $6000 / $150k subject over and over, without saying anything that people don't already know.

#399 Edited by mellotronrules (1509 posts) -

@rebgav said:

It's no more unthinkable than people hearing the voice of Satan when spinning a vinyl record backwards. It's no more pertinent either. How you choose to interpret a cipher like Peach is very much your own choice, if you decide to lumber them with layers of meaning which aren't inherent to the specific object that you're examining and then take offence at your own creation, that's your burden. It's not for me to demonize or validate how you choose to spend your time.

but i think you're being unrealistic. you're telling me that when you see peach on screen, in addition to being a mechanic and/or goal, you don't identify or understand her as a princess or woman? if i flash a crucifix in front of your face, can you "choose" to not associate it with christianity? or if i wave the american flag, are you only seeing the colors red, white and blue, in addition to some stars and stripes?

and as far as metal records playing backwards go- there's a big difference between the interpretation of something as subjective as a reversed audio waveform, versus a human being with long blonde hair, a frilly pink dress and a high-pitched voice. while one can certainly argue the nonpresence of the lord of evil in the reversed playback of a wax platter- would you really contest that peach is a woman?

#400 Edited by mtcantor (965 posts) -

Considering how much actual honest debate I'm seeing on the internet about the role of female characters in games (ignoring all the trolls, children and idiots), I'd say she is very much accomplishing her goal.