Aegeri's forum posts

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#1 Edited by Aegeri (110 posts) -

@make_me_mad said:

How about an actually good video responding to Tropes v. Women? They're not hard to find.

Loading Video...

While I don't agree with some of the ways that her argument is phrased and presented, I have to say there are so many good points in this video that I can't help but agree with many of them. I actually have come to really dislike the overall argument that "Damsel in distress trope is inherently and automatically sexist" and instead I prefer to frame the argument about "Female characters more frequently than men in video games, have no agency in the game". Agency - or how much the influence the character has to affect their own fate - I feel is more important than bringing things down to a base (and crude) discussion about if trope Y means game X is sexist.

In some ways, Zelda in particular demonstrates agency considerably in helping Link in the final battles and in Ocarina of Time as the persona Sheik. The problem is of course that in two examples, Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, the moment Zelda shows herself as the "princess" she loses all agency immediately and ceases being a relevant part of the game in both cases (until again, the very end). I think that was a more valid and productive point of discussion (and interesting), then simply trying to list games where male protagonist X rescues female character Y = SEXIST as Anita's video is trying to make out.

The problem I have with Anita's arguments isn't that I feel they are wrong, it's that I feel she isn't putting them in a persuasive or comprehensive way. It's rather like the video that Patrick linked above, which I felt was incredibly bad in a similar way. It's listing off games from a basic google search, without trying to really think about what the overall argument in context is actually about. I mean seriously, his first example is a random game about a Kangaroo. Really? This is rather similar to what I feel Anita did in her first video, which was simply make a list of games, declare them problematic and move on. Without a deeper discussion, she isn't making a persuasive argument or really getting to the heart of the issue with how female characters are represented in games (which again, IMO is a lack of agency).

It becomes too easy to write off the problems with female characters being objects to be rescued or generally lacking agency in video games, because Anita makes the core argument too easy to be ignored. People just write her off and don't address the actual substance of the argument - even though there is plenty to address (which the above video does). It's too easy to distract from it by throwing out piles of red herrings, without considering the wider overall context such as when developers have to battle to just have a woman as the protagonist in the first place today (not in the 1980s). Or when someone from a high profile studio declares that female leads are "Tough to Justify".

It's the context today about how women as protagonists with their own agency (which is, generally speaking what I think of by this) are perceived, how they are treated as characters and how developers have uphill struggles to convince publishers a heroine like Lara Croft (the recent reboot, which was an awesome positive step forward) is worth backing. However, it's not as simple as just having a female character as the lead and that automatically means they are a positive example of agency for a video game character. You only have to look at Metroid: Other M to see how problematic the treatment of female protagonists can be.

This is why I find the video Patrick linked and to a lesser extent the one above somewhat disengenuous. Yeah you can point to a bunch of older games from the bygone era to show that women were protagonists, maybe even frequently. However, when they are relying on female Kangaroos and obscure games that never made it outside of Japan to make this point, it shows how Anita has allowed the discussion to zoom by so the forest is missed to focus on individual trees. Individual trees don't tell you anything, but when you look at the whole forest and see that only a few trees a certain way and everything else is a pine tree that *does* tell you something.

It tells you that you're in a pine forest. That's really the predominant problem today, is that many games don't bother representing women and when they do, they are frequently nothing more than objects to be rescued or lack any of their own agency. It's how Ocarina of Time turns Zelda from a character that many assumed was male before the "big reveal" and then seconds later, all of her agency is suddenly removed once it's obvious Sheik is Princess Zelda. It's why links like the above show that publishers think it's a massive risk to even *have* women as protagonists in the first place. They can certainly be sexualized objects, or there as a part of the plot but as the actual lead of the game? It's widely regarded as being doomed and publishers are adverse to it.

Consider most games that allow for a female protagonist, such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Saints Row and so on. How many of these games are RPGs with customizable options? How many games that are designed with a specific narrative or character in mind actually have a female protagonist today? Once you start thinking about that, put it together with the context cited in the links above (and there are certainly more) and it makes sense. The message here is the problem with sexism in the games industry: You can be an object for a narrative (damsel in distress being an example), an option in games along with other males (usually only a couple of choices in comparison, such as fighting games and others as the video above points out such as with Peach) or just plain not represented at all anyway (many action games, such as Team Fortress 2 which can produce infinite hats, robots and zombie skins, but not female character options).

And when it becomes time for a female character to be the star in their own video game? Publishers today quietly shuffle their feet and state they aren't really interested, because people don't see women as viable protagonists.

The point of videos like the damsel in distress trope discussion is *where* this attitude comes from in the industry. It comes from the ingrained sexism in the games industry that regards women as secondary options, sexual objects or window dressing to sell games at a booth. Arguing that she misses X, Y and Z games is willfully missing the overall context of the point that is being made. That point is how overall the games industry treats female characters and views them in games. As many many more links could easily readily establish, it's obviously not viewed very well whatsoever.

#2 Posted by Aegeri (110 posts) -

Not interested in more DLC for ME3 now and won't be buying any that they release. I appreciated having the EC to fix the god awful original endings, but it doesn't change that I am no longer invested or interested in ME as a franchise anymore.

#3 Posted by Aegeri (110 posts) -

Every time someone calls XCOM: Enemy Unknown an "RTS" (real time strategy) game I die a little bit inside. It's a TURN based strategy game. It's the complete god damn opposite of an RTS.

Excuse me while I go and weep in the corner now.

#4 Edited by Aegeri (110 posts) -

The question is, what will they do to ensure this isn't just yet another generic FPS (minding, that's how they sell these things - by being extremely well crafted but incredibly generic FPS games). I honestly can't say I care for the unlock system in Call of Duty MP either, so that leaves me thinking this is another CoD game I won't be buying. But again, they could do something really cool and unexpected, I just don't think they will. Personally, I am holding out for CoD: American Civil War. Spending around a minute or so reloading your rifle to take another shot will make for some thrilling multiplayer!

#5 Posted by Aegeri (110 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

I removed "Camwhore" from the headline. It's not important. Moving on!

Way to destroy your artistic integrity by changing the article Patrick. Do you feel terrible about what you have done to your art? Do you?

#6 Edited by Aegeri (110 posts) -

"Clarity" isn't really what I wanted. What I wanted was the ending to be redone, taking into account what you did over the game and giving ME3 the epic conclusion it deserves. Instead we'll probably get some more copy and pasted cutscenes (with your choice of color) to expand out the mess of the ending (bearing in mind most of what they have to clarify happens regardless of what you choose or want to do) and probably little else. Hopefully they will expand the conversation with the Star Child so that isn't as stupid as it is now (but I doubt it).

I'll give it a go and see if it grows on me when it comes out, but I'm unlikely to be satisfied with this and Bioware sure aren't getting any more money from me for future DLC. I will say I am impressed this DLC is free, but that does lead me to think they won't be getting a lot of voice actors back and similar to really flesh it out. We'll have to see on that point obviously, but I would have rathered paying for something more substantial like Fallout 3s Broken Steel if that is what it took.

Wait and see.

#7 Posted by Aegeri (110 posts) -

What is going to interest me, is if the gaming sites that have been crapping on people wanting a new ending and protesting it as "Destroying art" (among other nonsense) are going to say that in their review of Biowares ending "Clarifying" DLC. Will they give it low scores and protest it as destroying art? Or will they do what I think they will, rave about how much it improves the ending and give it high scores?

Because we're going to fast find out who the giant hypocrites in the gaming press are pretty soon.

#8 Edited by Aegeri (110 posts) -

@PhishedOne No, it's not a twist: It's something the series has logically supported and built up over numerous conversations. The Geth are fully explained in ME3 as the ones who did not start the Morning War with the Quarians: They fought an entirely defensive battle against the Quarians (who were the indisputed asshats/aggressors). This contradicts and utterly destroys the starchilds arguments, because the Geth actually ALLOWED the Quarians to escape, when they could have fully exterminated them with ease after the war. So not only did the Geth have no interest in continuing the war beyond that, they also didn't even bother wiping out their creators (the indisputed aggressors of the war) while they were at it. Javik also tells us that the starchild is full of shit, because the AI synthetics created in his cycle were getting their ass handed back to them by the protheans. You know who changed that? The reapers. In fact in both cases, it's the arrival of the reapers that enable these synthetics to exterminate or win against their organics. Remember that in ME3 the Geth were getting their ass handed to them by the Quarians, once again it's the reapers ensuring that synthetics prevail. The concept that AI will rise against their creators is one I don't dispute: But the star childs logic they are inherently going to win or that they will want to win is absolute nonsense. It's completely and 100% utterly contradicted by what happens in the Mass Effect games and historically (when you ask Javik).

#9 Posted by Aegeri (110 posts) -

@mutha3 Not to mention, that ME3 and ME2 actually spend a good chunk of their story SUBVERTING the concept that AI will always destroy their creators - especially for a Paragon Shepard. This makes the final part of the game even more pants on head stupid.

#10 Posted by Aegeri (110 posts) -

@Sooty If you're sick of it now, imagine what it will be like when the announce the DLC to change the ending will cost money. It's going to be hilarious.

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