The Feminist Debate: No Room For Individualism?

It’s a topic that’s been bugging me for quite some time. Not because I’m not willing to make the blog (what do you call this?), but because there has been quite a lot of heat about this subject, and I feel like I’ve been quite the victim of one side of a multi-layered discussion, and it’s usually the side that thinks it’s all black and white.

Just to not keep you in suspense, this is to try to get this out before a certain feminist “gamer” (quotes intentional) brings out the next part of her series that will leave me old and gray by the time she’s done with it. Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time. Why? Because, like the rest of her series so far, she's probably looking to give us the visual definition of what a "hit piece" is (if so, keep up the good work, Anita; you're doing a HELL of a job)! We all know the drill by now, and we shouldn't be that surprised or shocked by it. Maybe shocked that she's somehow still relevant (no clue why I bothered looking myself, though this blog has more to do with what people thought of Quiet than with Sarkeesian's latest feminist clown misadventure).

But what I’m concerned with, before Miss Sarkeesian comes out with her latest rant, is how people react to criticism of her thoughts. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it seems to have since snowballed into another form of criticism in the game industry that isn’t so black and white. Let me give you a few pointers of what I’ve experienced on NeoGAF anymore. First off, whenever her name comes up, it sparks the worst out of people. As in, if I even so much as to try to say this is not the person that should be representing female gamers in this topic because of how she goes about presenting her “facts” and then forms baseless opinions around them, I get called out as being a concern troll, and in at least two cases, banned for about a month’s time. Really? Here’s the deal: she’s a smart person. I get that. I also get that this is a sensitive topic to a lot of people and you can get in trouble if you even say a letter about your opinion wrong.

But, to me, that’s a big problem we have right now. When has it become okay to make people to, in order to call themselves for more pure female protagonists that don’t look like they were a stripper before taking on their current job, you had to agree, word for word, with who they’ve christened as a savior to the cause? When has one person become so championed, that any mistake, error, or misstep she’s made has been either ignored, forgiven, or taken as a plus because “hey, she’s bringing it up, so that makes it okay”? When did she become a person that we are never allowed to challenge the credibility on, especially when there are several pieces of evidence that you can make a reasonable case against her knowledge of the topics she talks about, even in the most civil of ways? What has Anita done that’s so great that any and all criticisms against her are met with the same terms, and accusations that they really don’t care, or that they are for the “male patriarchy”? When, and how, did it get this bad that we can’t even be a feminist gamer without agreeing one hundred and ten percent with a particular person? Of course, not all people have said this, so it’s not directed at those people, but in reality, those that are ”crazy for Anita”, for lack of a better phrase, kind of want you to think that they, as well as Anita, speak for all feminist gamers with their words. Those that disagree with any of it risk being called any bit of hysteria in the book.

But along with my questions of why does she keep bringing up the hate campaign she got put through several months ago as the go-to point as if it happened yesterday, or how people keep thinking that it’s a fair representation of how all male gamers that disagree with anything Anita says act, there is something about the recent issues about this topic that goes beyond anything that Anita has done or said. Aside from many people that think that she’s an utter clown that shouldn’t be talking on behalf of every feminist gamer in the world, there is another problem that some other gamers, who might’ve never even heard of Anita, or have never tuned their frequency to any feminist, have brought up that we have trouble trying to explain.

This came about, in my mind, to when Hideo Kojima revealed a female character for Metal Gear Solid 5 called Quiet. I’m sure you’ve heard of her by now, and we all know the intentions that Hideo has for the character.

Or do we? This goes to my biggest concern at the moment about this subject. How conservative have we become to this matter? Here’s what I mean by that, and please spare me the melodrama when I go to explain this, because it, too, has become so transparent that you might as well make the argument out of thin air.

Yes, I do get tired of seeing over proportioned females (who, as I said, probably was a pole dancer prior) in games, and the same tired clichés when game makers are uninspired (yes, sadly, Anita is correct in the Damsel cliché getting overdone at times) to create new stories at all, much less with female leads or females in prominent roles (I’m convinced that you don’t necessarily have to have the female be playable for her to have a lot of significance in a game’s story as a strong willed character). I’m fine with some sort of change happening to where we have believable characters for both genders (c’mon, guys, not all males are as “macho” or “manly” as you see in games like Call of Duty).

However, I see a huge problem when we go too far the other way and disallow any woman to dress or act the way they want to. I say that because I believe a female is also an individual, and there are different types of females out there, and each deserve to be explored. I’ve known females to actually want to dress in sexy attire and show off. I’ve seen females who want to be conservative. I’ve seen females who do get over their head, as many males do. I’ve seen females be dumb, smart, caring, physically strong or weak, etc.

The problem here is that we have found a solution to the over-sexualized female character in games: do what some third world countries want to do to their females. Let’s cover up every single part of their body except for their eyes so they can see what they are doing when they are doing the housework. Because those females don’t deserve the right to even be seen as a person, let alone an individual. We don’t even look anymore to if the sexiness adds anything to the character we’re talking about. And the worst thing is that we’ve become so closed minded that we can’t even listen to any other maturely made points of view (not talking about the craziness I describe about the “crazy for Anita” or the “psychotic against Anita” blowhards).

Take Quiet, for example. Hideo wanted to create a sexy character. That sexy character got your attention, did it? But what about her personality? Maybe she likes to be sexy because she’s strong willed, and not a single person is going to tell her that she has to dress a certain way. Maybe she dresses a certain way because it makes it better for her to move when she has to. Did we ever stop to think that it’s just within a character’s personality to want to let their hair down and just be themselves, even if that means not wanting to wear a lot of clothes. Of course, I’d be tired if every female character in games did that. That would be not only misogynistic, but also unrealistic. But when it’s within the context of a character to act or be a certain way because they choose to do that, and not because someone, whether it be a man towards a woman, or a boss to an employee, or whatever else, told them that’s how it had to be or else, then it should be acceptable. The reason why the sexiness of someone like Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2 works is because, from what we see out of the character, you would expect her to want to be sexy and glamorous. And she’s not one to be taken lightly, either. If you’re a female that can kick ass like Rikku or Lara Croft or Lightning can do in a game, then hell, you can dress as skimpy or as conservatively as you want.

Of course, that could get a lot of cat calls from some men as we saw in a stream of a Street Fighter 4 playing recently, with condemnation that it even happened. To some degree, condemnation makes sense, but like all issues, there is the other side. When did it not become okay for a male to be attracted to a female, whether it be made from pixels on a screen or a canvas or made out of flesh and bone, and to not show some form of vocal or visual appreciation for it? Of course, some people can get very carried away with it, but look at it this way: those very same people might be cat calling also because they respect females. They respect what they can do, and why they feel comfortable showing off. They respect “the better half” as some people like to call them. This is because, at the end of the day, they are very much like any other person. If a particular woman doesn’t want them, then a male who has heard that will still probably admire them, but won’t overdo it as much, assuming they overdid it at all. I adore the looks of a character like Chun-Li, for instance. She has very sexy legs, and I love how they designed her looks. However, at the same time, I usually pick her when playing Street Fighter because I love how lightning quick she is with her attacks. It’s hard to kill what you cannot catch, and I’ve always gravitated towards speed more than anything in fighting games. Simply put, I would respect that woman’s looks, but also her ability, and it’s the ability that makes the individual.

There’s also the point of where strength comes from, and what kind of strength one has, and how they get it. Take the new Tomb Raider, for example. Lara is scared to death at some of the things she sees. And she could’ve let the fear overcome her ability to push on. However, her strength comes because she’s faced with fear, and she’s not going to let her fear stop her. She is shown to be able to overcome her fear. That, to me, shows real strength through character and determination. Not necessarily physical, but the will to overcome and survive in the face of adversity, and if you’re willing to do what you have to do to protect yourself or those you care for, or you’re fighting for. This is what is instilled in a lot of military soldiers. It’s not the macho “I’m not scared of anything” BS that everyone thinks it is. It’s the will to push on despite you being scared out of your wits, and overcoming what bothers you (you don’t think the US Armed Forces, some of the bravest men and women on the effing PLANET, aren’t moved by what they see at places like Iraq and Afghanistan?).

Hell, if you want a clear cut example of this type of female that doesn’t back down despite her fears, just read a Sailor Moon manga, or watch the Anime (those manga moreso…or wait for the new series to present itself this winter). And not just view it, but really watch throughout the series as Usagi/Serena develops from a scared human being to a brave warrior who shows her bravery through what she ends up doing and how she doesn’t let her fear stop her, either (I should know: I have been writing SM fanfiction for years and love to further the inner strength of the female characters even more; one of my stories makes a battle between Moon and one of her arch enemies very personal, and she has to fight her own rage and temper to not do something out of character for her…but enough shameless plugging *cough*SiverProjectSaga*cough*).

I’ve talked about how people got it all wrong with the criticisms of Samus’ characterization in Metroid: Other M for years, but I think the desire to want individualism in female characters instead of just the opposite extreme fits the game like a glove. All the complaining about her emotions over Sector Zero and the Ridley encounter, and no talk about one particular aspect: what do you think she does after said outbursts? Do you think she just goes and runs like a coward? In the words of Dean Ambrose, NOPE! Right after she sees Anthony, a friend of hers, nearly get killed by Ridley’s hands, she stands up and fights because she has something worth fighting for, and she can overcome her fear. She regains her composure after seeing who she considered a friend sacrifice himself because she’s not going to let that man’s sacrifice be in vain. In short, the critics of Other M were all wrong because we don’t understand why people fight. Again, many of the brave men and women fighting for our freedoms are far from impenetrable, and they can get just as moved at things that you would never think they would be. In short, we saw Samus be a brave woman against countless alien monsters and pirates. Other M just showed us WHY she’s so brave: she’s got something to fight for, and she isn’t afraid to show her fear or her heart, but isn’t going to let it stop her from fighting because she has that big heart.

Isn’t that what we should ask for in a female protagonist, or a female character? Someone who has that much free will and be comfortable in their own skin. Hell, isn’t that what we’ve been asking for out of some characters in games like COD! We get it out of an iconic character, and we see that she is an identifiable character, and we instead shun that aspect because she was, GASP, an individual who was comfortable enough to tell us she’s scared and yet overcome it and find the strength to fight what she fears. So much for even getting into individualism in game characters if we can’t even follow our desires to have it.

Of course, there is going to be the idea that we must always consider the gender of the game designers, and if it’s a male making a “sexy” female character, even a well-respected game designer like Hideo Kojima (someone who’s made conservatively dressed female characters in the past) will get shunned because “that’s his fantasy”. Ignore the calls for those game designers to make different types of females in their games to cover the types of females (and males, for that matter) that we see in real life! No, can’t have that at all. We can’t even concern ourselves with perhaps that female in Crysis just didn’t feel comfortable in that armor, and decided to shed it despite the danger it might present her. Men can’t create individuals with different types of emotions, traits, personalities, and skins, apparently (hell, knowing Kojima, there could be some fourth wall breaking intentions with Quiet’s sexualization).

And isn’t that what is missing from this discussion about patriarchies and misogyny? The freedoms that people have as being individuals to be who they choose to be, and to accept and adapt to the consequences that come with such choices? Tell me in any of Anita’s videos so far has she brought up individuality, or the morals that some females have, or how some females don’t mind being sexy (or looking the part). Of course, you probably cannot. Even in the trope I said she was correct to some degree in, she overdoes her condemnation of that, and she only brought up where such over usage doesn’t count when she got called out on it by responders (all without bringing up that she was called out). When used right, a plot device like that can be used to further character development because it shows the player that a person has something that they care about or is willing to fight for, and the person who got abducted might’ve not been a slouch, either (there’s a such thing as being blindsided or overwhelmed as I’ve stated in previous blogs). Proof that she really didn’t think of those aspects out of the box in her first video: check out her Tumblr page, where some examples are actually scenarios she brings up where the trope’s usage isn’t a problem (Aerith’s capture by Shinra is listed on her Tumblr, yet she brings up a “getting her back into the action” rescue that Beyond Good And Evil did in her third DiD video which wasn’t on the Tumblr page…which is a scenario that the Aerith capture would certainly apply given what role in the story she plays, even in…well, you know).

We right now are not even concerned about that aspect of the discussion? We’re only concerned about, “not the right armor? Game maker is misogynistic!” or, “showing a bit of skin (let alone a lot)? Throw that sexist male who made her into the street!” I’m sorry, but that’s the way I’ve been seeing this entire argument going down to right now. Those that are like me that would love a more realistic debate about individualism among females in games are being drowned out by the extremism on either side, and those that just want us to agree with who I see as a clown…that I’m still, for some odd reason still finding out and wanting to discuss her videos for some reason. Maybe because I’m still hopeful that she will actually make an argument that’s based on absolute facts about a game, regardless of how valid said point is. And maybe I’m still hopeful that a serious argument for individualism in game characters finally surfaces instead of this desire to have either one extreme or the other.

I’m fine with a sexy female if it adds to the experience and immersion in a game, just as much as I like the more conservative females in games. The problem is that, until we can move on from the extremism and “agree with our sacred leader or else” mentality that we seem to have right now, we’ll never have what we should have: a discussion about females in games being truly equal. The other extreme is just as misogynistic as the one people are arguing against. When have we become so blind that we don’t see that point?

Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!

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Edited by Tom_Scherschel

Holy shit that's a lot of text, but I would love to engage you on this. First, two bits of preamble.

First off, do you identify as female? I think that's important to establish when you are attempting to speak on behalf of women in several points throughout your essay. For the record I do not, so consider that regarding everything I have to say on this topic.

Second, if you want people to take your argument or yourself seriously, as a person trying to have a level-headed, even discussion, don't put things like "gamer" and "facts" in quotes, indicating that you mean exactly the opposite. It's probably also not advisable to refer to a painstakingly researched and professionally edited/presented 30 minute video as a rant, or to say that the opinions offered at the end of said video are baseless when they are clearly based around the preceding 25-ish minutes of information. Don't refer to your subject as "an utter clown". Things like that might cause people to prejudge your intentions.

But really your essay isn't about Anita Sarkeesian as much as it is about how in your view people sharing her opinions are shutting down any attempt to bring an alternate perspective to the conversation. So how do you go about presenting that point? Starting with a comparison to the way certain Muslim sects force their women to dress is not great. Why did you bring that up? What video game is presenting a female character in that way? Can you give a single example of a game where the designers added more clothes to the female characters out of a concern they would otherwise be oversexualizing them?

Then you move on to Quiet and the uproar over her ludicrous character design when that character is so clearly indefensible. When we see Solid Snake in that trailer he is covered from the neck down, which would make sense in the desert where a white guy would have to worry about sun burn, as well as cold nights. Quiet is a sniper who's job is to lay flat on the ground as she shoots at things, and she's wearing track pants and a bikini top. It is patently ridiculous, clearly fan service, and yet you run right past the obvious to make an argument for how in some very specific conditions it could make sense as an expression of her sexuality.

There are two problems with this. First of all, Quiet is not a person. She is a character, created by a man, without any thoughts or desires of her own. So whether or not she likes to feel sexy shouldn't really enter into the conversation. If you want to talk about whether or not Kojima wants her to feel sexy, that's a separate issue which the character design answers for us; yes he does, and all the time. Second is that it's not like there aren't dozens of examples of this kind of sexual free spirit character you argue should be allowed to exist. In fact, scantily clad over-sexed female characters are the norm, not the exception. So what are you arguing for? That the status quo should be allowed to be...the status quo?

Your remarks about cat calls is just weird. A man doesn't have the right to objectify a woman he finds attractive, which is what a cat call does. It doesn't say "you look beautiful" it says "wanna fuck?" You not understanding that undercuts everything else you say.

To wrap this up, basically your argument is "female characters should be allowed to be sexy, if that fits the character, and we shouldn't call a female character shallow just because of her physical appearance. She might like dressing like that!" Here's the thing: there is no shortage of this portrayal of females in games. It is the norm. You are railing against an oppression or censorship that simply does not exist. What Anita and the "crazy for Anita" people are pointing out is that there should be room for normally proportioned female characters, who dress like a normal woman you might see walking down the street, who aren't constantly victimized by the game or the characters in the game they are in. Even when a game kind of achieves this, as in your example of the new Tomb Raider, the death animations are basically snuff films that undercut all the other good things in the game. I've got to be honest, it's not hard to believe you've been banned in other forums for "disagreeing with Anita" when right at the top you dismiss and demean her so casually. It's great that you like sexy female characters, but no one is trying to take that away from you. I think you need to understand that video game characters aren't people, with their own wants and desires, they are ciphers designed to project emotions or themes, or have emotions projected onto them. They are there to fulfill a narrative or gameplay purpose, not find fulfillment in life. In that case, when nearly every representation is an unattainable, unrealistic presentation that in most cases is sidelined or brutalized, what is the messaging being conveyed to gamers about feminine worth? THAT is something you could compare to middle-eastern women covered from head to toe.

Posted by mrfluke
Posted by Aetheldod

This is exactly what I think (but never been able to put in such cohesive wording ^^) , people really have lost the ability to judge as you say characters as individuals in an effort to be seen as a "progressive/antimisogynist faminist" , aslo individuality does not only apply to the characters but to us as well D:

Good write up

Posted by Hailinel


There are two problems with this. First of all, Quiet is not a person. She is a character, created by a man, without any thoughts or desires of her own. So whether or not she likes to feel sexy shouldn't really enter into the conversation. If you want to talk about whether or not Kojima wants her to feel sexy, that's a separate issue which the character design answers for us; yes he does, and all the time. Second is that it's not like there aren't dozens of examples of this kind of sexual free spirit character you argue should be allowed to exist. In fact, scantily clad over-sexed female characters are the norm, not the exception. So what are you arguing for? That the status quo should be allowed to be...the status quo?

jected onto them. They are there to fulfill a narrative or gameplay purpose, not find fulfillment in life. In that case, when nearly every representation is an unattainable, unrealistic presentation that in most cases is sidelined or brutalized, what is the messaging being conveyed to gamers about feminine worth? THAT is something you could compare to middle-eastern women covered from head to toe.

Quiet is a character, but well-written characters have personalities, motivations, justifications, desires, and needs. Maybe Quiet wears what she does because it's her choice. That she is a fictional character created by a man is not a reason to disregard her characterization.

Posted by Tom_Scherschel

@hailinel: Any personality, motivation, justification, desire, or need that Quiet "feels" is because her creator, in this case a man, gave them to her. Same with her "choices". Everything about Quiet, or any character, is a result of a choice made for them by someone else. They have no agency, because they are not real.

Edited by mrfluke

@hailinel said:

@tom_scherschel said:

There are two problems with this. First of all, Quiet is not a person. She is a character, created by a man, without any thoughts or desires of her own. So whether or not she likes to feel sexy shouldn't really enter into the conversation. If you want to talk about whether or not Kojima wants her to feel sexy, that's a separate issue which the character design answers for us; yes he does, and all the time. Second is that it's not like there aren't dozens of examples of this kind of sexual free spirit character you argue should be allowed to exist. In fact, scantily clad over-sexed female characters are the norm, not the exception. So what are you arguing for? That the status quo should be allowed to be...the status quo?

jected onto them. They are there to fulfill a narrative or gameplay purpose, not find fulfillment in life. In that case, when nearly every representation is an unattainable, unrealistic presentation that in most cases is sidelined or brutalized, what is the messaging being conveyed to gamers about feminine worth? THAT is something you could compare to middle-eastern women covered from head to toe.

Quiet is a character, but well-written characters have personalities, motivations, justifications, desires, and needs. Maybe Quiet wears what she does because it's her choice. That she is a fictional character created by a man is not a reason to disregard her characterization.

and not to mention a simple google search, shows that females do dig the quiet character, and kojima has said there is justification for why the quiet character is how she is.

but you wont see videogame news acknowledge that.

Posted by Tom_Scherschel

@mrfluke: I don't think that 7 or possibly 8 women doing Quiet cosplay can be taken as an indicator that "females do dig the quiet character". I'm not saying they don't, but that example is too small a sample to draw any conclusions.

Posted by Hailinel

@hailinel: Any personality, motivation, justification, desire, or need that Quiet "feels" is because her creator, in this case a man, gave them to her. Same with her "choices". Everything about Quiet, or any character, is a result of a choice made for them by someone else. They have no agency, because they are not real.

Fictional characters ultimately do what their creators write for them, but a well-written, fully-fleshed character has all of those things. They behave as real people, or relatively close to real. To simply write anything a character says or does off as "because that's what the creator made them do" is reductive.

Posted by Sinusoidal

Sarkeesian is only still relevant because people keep talking about her. The discussion has moved beyond her simplistic views that any depiction of a woman in a video game that's less than realistic is automatically sexist. Sexism is a big problem in this industry, but it's not being fixed by pointing it out in minute detail over and over and over.

Online
Posted by Tom_Scherschel

@hailinel: How is it reductive? Can Quiet make any decisions, like "do I feel like dressing sexy today?" Of course she can't. Because she isn't real. She is a character whose actions are controlled by her creator. She may have all of the traits you listed, but she didn't get them from a lifetime of experience and decision making. She got them because Kojima decided those were the traits he wanted her to have. When the OP is arguing that maybe Quiet is dressing that way as a way to express herself, I'm pointing out that Quiet has no 'self' to express. Whatever she is expressing is being channeled through her from her creator.

But this is tangential to the OP's overall point. He's asking why wanting sexy characters is antifeminist, and the answer is it's not. But attacking a woman who is simply pointing out that it would be nice to have SOME women in games that don't fit that mold is antifeminist.

Posted by Tom_Scherschel

The discussion has moved beyond her simplistic views that any depiction of a woman in a video game that's less than realistic is automatically sexist.

Find me a source of Anita Sarkeesian saying anything like that and I'll buy you premium membership for a year.

Edited by Hailinel

@hailinel: How is it reductive? Can Quiet make any decisions, like "do I feel like dressing sexy today?" Of course she can't. Because she isn't real. She is a character whose actions are controlled by her creator. She may have all of the traits you listed, but she didn't get them from a lifetime of experience and decision making. She got them because Kojima decided those were the traits he wanted her to have. When the OP is arguing that maybe Quiet is dressing that way as a way to express herself, I'm pointing out that Quiet has no 'self' to express. Whatever she is expressing is being channeled through her from her creator.

But this is tangential to the OP's overall point. He's asking why wanting sexy characters is antifeminist, and the answer is it's not. But attacking a woman who is simply pointing out that it would be nice to have SOME women in games that don't fit that mold is antifeminist.

Yes, she can make decisions because she, as a character, could make the decision to dress herself in a certain way. That you insist that she isn't real and that everything that happens is because of the creator, which is true, is also reductive because you lack the willingness to immerse yourself in the fiction of the world. I'd hesitate to say that you lack imagination, but that's what your reactions seem to indicate. You don't see the characters as people, but automatons just going through motions. I have to wonder if you feel the same way when you read a book or watch a movie.

Edited by egg

What's the first image from?

edit: Nevermind, figured it out aww by myself.

Posted by Junkerman

@darkpower: Consider editing out the part about her flannel shirt. Sarcastic quips are awesome, but when you're entering a debate about such a sensitive topic, in a medium like an internet forum where knee-jerk reactions are the norm, you're going to want to present your debate in as nonpartisan a method as possible. The key to good writing, making such a topic as yours interesting enough so people read it all the way through before responding, is to make your passion and personality -as well as your message and information- the reason people are reading. Everyone has an opinion, why do they need to listen to yours? Charisma.

I dont have any easy solutions, but you seem well spoken and your position is sensible and educated enough, just try to filter out any flippant remarks, attack your opponent's topics and beliefs, not your opponent themselves.

Edited by darkpower

@tom_scherschel: To answer some of your questions easily:

1. I only used those in quotes when talking about Anita, because I've seen little to tell me that she knows what games she talks about, and has done little to convince me otherwise. The way she has conducted herself about certain issues has given me little else to call her than a clown. Until she convinces me otherwise, then yeah, in my mind, she's the clown in the debate that has more gray area than she lets on.

2. Since you used the term, the mindset of Muslim countries was used to present an image that many will be familiar with seeing, and then go from there. If thinking about that makes you feel uncomfortable, then you got exactly the feeling you should have there. You probably want those countries to get their act straight, yet, what do you think we're heading by our inability for middle ground.

3. Not saying cat calls can't be offensive. Saying that they are not by definition, and some women want the attention. Simple as that.

4. As I pointed out, we don't know anything about Quiet's personality yet, and we probably won't know until the game comes out. What about her makes her feel like it's necessary to dress like that? Does it liberate her? Does she think that the bulk of the clothes puts her at a disadvantage? What does she justify that decision with? Take the Rikku similarity. That could be fan service, too, but the way her character is, you could see someone like her making that sort of decision because of her being so carefree and liberal about what she does and how she does it.

The "self" is what actually makes it immerse. We want to be drawn into worlds in games, and to do that, you need to have believable characters. That means no two characters should be exactly the same. I think a better question would be what would you have against women in general dressing that way. If you saw someone who was dressed like that, what would you think of them? How would you react, and how would that affect your perception of the world?

And what you're saying about self and "hand of God" is actually addressed in the blog since I knew someone would actually try to make.

Posted by NUCLEAR_CHIRON

You beat the straw man you created. Congratulations.

Posted by JasonR86

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Posted by darkpower

@darkpower: Consider editing out the part about her flannel shirt. Sarcastic quips are awesome, but when you're entering a debate about such a sensitive topic, in a medium like an internet forum where knee-jerk reactions are the norm, you're going to want to present your debate in as nonpartisan a method as possible. The key to good writing, making such a topic as yours interesting enough so people read it all the way through before responding, is to make your passion and personality -as well as your message and information- the reason people are reading. Everyone has an opinion, why do they need to listen to yours? Charisma.

I dont have any easy solutions, but you seem well spoken and your position is sensible and educated enough, just try to filter out any flippant remarks, attack your opponent's topics and beliefs, not your opponent themselves.

Done!

You beat the straw man you created. Congratulations.

What straw man? Have you seen some of the commentators just going off on anything that could be considered even remotely misogynistic? TotalBiscuit's opinion about the Crysis female solder (forget which Content Patch it was) was just another factor in my motivation for this (and I respect the guy, too).

Posted by RockyRaccoon37

3. Not saying cat calls can't be offensive. Saying that they are not by definition, and some women want the attention. Simple as that.

WOWZERS

Posted by darkpower

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Then you don't have to read it, to be quite honest! I'm flattered that you took the time to read it, even if you didn't agree with the style or the substance. Or perhaps you're one of the people that those two quotes called out.

But I got to ask: you think the topic is tired, yet you clicked knowing the topic of discussion beforehand?

Posted by darkpower

@darkpower said:

3. Not saying cat calls can't be offensive. Saying that they are not by definition, and some women want the attention. Simple as that.

WOWZERS

You haven't met some of the women I have, then. Trust me, those that welcome them are out there.

Edited by JasonR86

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Then you don't have to read it, to be quite honest! I'm flattered that you took the time to read it, even if you didn't agree with the style or the substance. Or perhaps you're one of the people that those two quotes called out.

But I got to ask: you think the topic is tired, yet you clicked knowing the topic of discussion beforehand?

It's because I'm an asshole. You'll figure that out the more you're here.

Posted by PandaBear

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower said:

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Then you don't have to read it, to be quite honest! I'm flattered that you took the time to read it, even if you didn't agree with the style or the substance. Or perhaps you're one of the people that those two quotes called out.

But I got to ask: you think the topic is tired, yet you clicked knowing the topic of discussion beforehand?

It's because I'm an asshole. You'll figure that out the more you're here.

You put up a blog post on a site driven by a community of gamers and you DON'T want feedback? Fuck man, post it on your bedroom wall and whenever someone challenges your opinion just go up to it, read it and know how righteous you really are. You make big claims, you gotta back them up ... the article is too vague. Who banned you? Who is oppressing you? Why?

Posted by Hailinel

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower said:

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Then you don't have to read it, to be quite honest! I'm flattered that you took the time to read it, even if you didn't agree with the style or the substance. Or perhaps you're one of the people that those two quotes called out.

But I got to ask: you think the topic is tired, yet you clicked knowing the topic of discussion beforehand?

It's because I'm an asshole. You'll figure that out the more you're here.

You put up a blog post on a site driven by a community of gamers and you DON'T want feedback? Fuck man, post it on your bedroom wall and whenever someone challenges your opinion just go up to it, read it and know how righteous you really are. You make big claims, you gotta back them up ... the article is too vague. Who banned you? Who is oppressing you? Why?

There's constructive criticism, and then there's...not. Jason's criticism was less than constructive.

Posted by darkpower

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower said:

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Then you don't have to read it, to be quite honest! I'm flattered that you took the time to read it, even if you didn't agree with the style or the substance. Or perhaps you're one of the people that those two quotes called out.

But I got to ask: you think the topic is tired, yet you clicked knowing the topic of discussion beforehand?

It's because I'm an asshole. You'll figure that out the more you're here.

You put up a blog post on a site driven by a community of gamers and you DON'T want feedback? Fuck man, post it on your bedroom wall and whenever someone challenges your opinion just go up to it, read it and know how righteous you really are. You make big claims, you gotta back them up ... the article is too vague. Who banned you? Who is oppressing you? Why?

You responded to HIM, yet you seem to direct this to me while being all hysterical.

You might've misunderstood the point I made, which was directed to him and him alone, since he said that he thought the topic was tired. Why would he click on any topic that was titled with something like my own if he didn't care for it? More to the point, when in any of what I said even remotely tied to me not wanting anyone to read it? And, I kind of backed them up via what games I brought up and in me talking about the American Armed Forces.

Even if you don't think those are valid points, not sure where your hysterics came from.

Posted by JasonR86

@hailinel said:

@pandabear said:

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower said:

@jasonr86 said:

@darkpower:

"Yes, you know who she is, and you might know what she’s releasing next: something about “Mrs. Dude Character” with a preview picture that suggests she’s going to invoke a very popular franchise for the umpteenth time."

Can people really not handle people talking critically about something they like? Really? Grow up y'all.

"Maybe it because we’re too worried about angering the “crazy for what’s-her-face” crowd and getting banned from forums for having an individual opinion (yes, individualism can exist in feminism, too…if you let it) to let the debate about individualism happen!"

UGH. I can't deal with your writing dude. I like me some snark don't get me wrong. But I can only take so much. Your writing is just obnoxious. No offense. Well maybe take offense I don't care. But with such a HUGE post and such obnoxious writing about a tired topic that I've heard all the sides I need to hear I can't handle the thought of reading anymore then I did.

Then you don't have to read it, to be quite honest! I'm flattered that you took the time to read it, even if you didn't agree with the style or the substance. Or perhaps you're one of the people that those two quotes called out.

But I got to ask: you think the topic is tired, yet you clicked knowing the topic of discussion beforehand?

It's because I'm an asshole. You'll figure that out the more you're here.

You put up a blog post on a site driven by a community of gamers and you DON'T want feedback? Fuck man, post it on your bedroom wall and whenever someone challenges your opinion just go up to it, read it and know how righteous you really are. You make big claims, you gotta back them up ... the article is too vague. Who banned you? Who is oppressing you? Why?

There's constructive criticism, and then there's...not. Jason's criticism was less than constructive.

I like to call it 'unique'.

Posted by mrfluke

@tom_scherschel: you are right, i dont deny that, but that link is also enough to debunk the generalization that all women despise this type of character design

(not directly calling you out here, im just saying a good bit of gaming journalists love to generalize when they have a stance on a subject)

Posted by Tom_Scherschel

@darkpower:

@tom_scherschel: To answer some of your questions easily:

1. I only used those in quotes when talking about Anita, because I've seen little to tell me that she knows what games she talks about, and has done little to convince me otherwise. The way she has conducted herself about certain issues has given me little else to call her than a clown. Until she convinces me otherwise, then yeah, in my mind, she's the clown in the debate that has more gray area than she lets on.

2. Since you used the term, the mindset of Muslim countries was used to present an image that many will be familiar with seeing, and then go from there. If thinking about that makes you feel uncomfortable, then you got exactly the feeling you should have there. You probably want those countries to get their act straight, yet, what do you think we're heading by our inability for middle ground.

3. Not saying cat calls can't be offensive. Saying that they are not by definition, and some women want the attention. Simple as that.

4. As I pointed out, we don't know anything about Quiet's personality yet, and we probably won't know until the game comes out. What about her makes her feel like it's necessary to dress like that? Does it liberate her? Does she think that the bulk of the clothes puts her at a disadvantage? What does she justify that decision with? Take the Rikku similarity. That could be fan service, too, but the way her character is, you could see someone like her making that sort of decision because of her being so carefree and liberal about what she does and how she does it.

The "self" is what actually makes it immerse. We want to be drawn into worlds in games, and to do that, you need to have believable characters. That means no two characters should be exactly the same. I think a better question would be what would you have against women in general dressing that way. If you saw someone who was dressed like that, what would you think of them? How would you react, and how would that affect your perception of the world?

And what you're saying about self and "hand of God" is actually addressed in the blog since I knew someone would actually try to make.

What would Anita have to do to convince you "she knows what games she talks about", as her talking in depth about the tropes found across dozens of games for over an hour doesn't seem to qualify? And again, referring to the subject you say you want to address fairly and evenhandedly as a clown communicates that you don't actually want to do any of that.

I'm not sure where I indicated that I was uncomfortable thinking about Muslim women being forced to cover up. I was asking where YOU see that happening in the realm of video games, which you haven't answered. This would be part of what the guy congratulating you on defeating the strawman you set up is talking about.

Cat calls are by definition offensive. It is reducing a complex person down to their looks, and whether they want the attention or not is not for you to decide. Simply looking attractive is not an invitation from a woman for your boorish behavior.

Regarding Quiet, you're being purposefully ignorant. If you can't look at that character and instantly see why it's ridiculous and objectifying then nothing I can say will convince you.

I'm not sure what your last paragraph about the self and no two characters being alike is supposed to be addressing. You are the one arguing that characters should be allowed to show as much skin as they (really, their creators) want, and I pointed out that that is exactly what is going on today. Reality is exactly as you wish it would be. What I said was why, since things are already the way you want them to be, is it so offensive to you that someone else might want SOME female characters to not look like perfect-10 sexed up pieces of meat?

I have no idea what the "hand of god" is in reference to, or where you address it.

Posted by Tom_Scherschel

@mrfluke: If you can find me a source of any games journalist from a major publication, or Anita Sarkeesian herself, saying that all women despise this type of character design, I'll buy you premium membership for a year.

You and other people in this thread are creating fake arguments to have something to rally against.

Posted by Sky007

Feminism wants to control women as they wish so it's a headache to both genders.

Edited by Darji

@tom_scherschel: Quiet is a character which is set in a world full of sexualisation no matter the gender. Look at Vamp or look at at this guy. This is not a male power fantasy but it fits totally in the scheme of "Ikemen" which means "good looking men" in Japanese.

Quiets design fits perfectly into the MGS world and that is when it becomes a problem if you accuse designs like that.. Objectifying and sexualisation is nothing bad if it fits in the world People have created. Most people and also I have no problem with women or men not liking the design because of these reasons. People and I have a problem with people shouting sexist because a women wears skimpy clothes.

If a game like Battlefield or Arma 3 wants to strive for realism and you will see a character like Quiet and only the females ones than that would be offensive and sexist. And I would totally understand if people complain then.

Posted by darkpower

@darkpower:

@darkpower said:

@tom_scherschel: To answer some of your questions easily:

1. I only used those in quotes when talking about Anita, because I've seen little to tell me that she knows what games she talks about, and has done little to convince me otherwise. The way she has conducted herself about certain issues has given me little else to call her than a clown. Until she convinces me otherwise, then yeah, in my mind, she's the clown in the debate that has more gray area than she lets on.

2. Since you used the term, the mindset of Muslim countries was used to present an image that many will be familiar with seeing, and then go from there. If thinking about that makes you feel uncomfortable, then you got exactly the feeling you should have there. You probably want those countries to get their act straight, yet, what do you think we're heading by our inability for middle ground.

3. Not saying cat calls can't be offensive. Saying that they are not by definition, and some women want the attention. Simple as that.

4. As I pointed out, we don't know anything about Quiet's personality yet, and we probably won't know until the game comes out. What about her makes her feel like it's necessary to dress like that? Does it liberate her? Does she think that the bulk of the clothes puts her at a disadvantage? What does she justify that decision with? Take the Rikku similarity. That could be fan service, too, but the way her character is, you could see someone like her making that sort of decision because of her being so carefree and liberal about what she does and how she does it.

The "self" is what actually makes it immerse. We want to be drawn into worlds in games, and to do that, you need to have believable characters. That means no two characters should be exactly the same. I think a better question would be what would you have against women in general dressing that way. If you saw someone who was dressed like that, what would you think of them? How would you react, and how would that affect your perception of the world?

And what you're saying about self and "hand of God" is actually addressed in the blog since I knew someone would actually try to make.

What would Anita have to do to convince you "she knows what games she talks about", as her talking in depth about the tropes found across dozens of games for over an hour doesn't seem to qualify? And again, referring to the subject you say you want to address fairly and evenhandedly as a clown communicates that you don't actually want to do any of that.

I'm not sure where I indicated that I was uncomfortable thinking about Muslim women being forced to cover up. I was asking where YOU see that happening in the realm of video games, which you haven't answered. This would be part of what the guy congratulating you on defeating the strawman you set up is talking about.

Cat calls are by definition offensive. It is reducing a complex person down to their looks, and whether they want the attention or not is not for you to decide. Simply looking attractive is not an invitation from a woman for your boorish behavior.

Regarding Quiet, you're being purposefully ignorant. If you can't look at that character and instantly see why it's ridiculous and objectifying then nothing I can say will convince you.

I'm not sure what your last paragraph about the self and no two characters being alike is supposed to be addressing. You are the one arguing that characters should be allowed to show as much skin as they (really, their creators) want, and I pointed out that that is exactly what is going on today. Reality is exactly as you wish it would be. What I said was why, since things are already the way you want them to be, is it so offensive to you that someone else might want SOME female characters to not look like perfect-10 sexed up pieces of meat?

I have no idea what the "hand of god" is in reference to, or where you address it.

1. Convince me that she's actually PLAYED the games she talks about (she hadn't even come close to knowing anything about Starfox Adventures or the development stories behind that), and, well, if you have read the several different accounts of what she has said, then yeah, unless she proves that she can give us no omissions of key facts about games, or unless she stops taking things out of context like she does with Zelda, or come up with excuses like she does with Mario, or give us stupid reasons like with DLC Quest or Spelunky, then yeah, she's just as much of a clown as John Boehner.

2. Take a listen to some of the stories and commentaries that are being said about Crysis soldier models, and some of the Dragon's Crown criticisms, and you'll see some of where I think we will eventually go if this keeps going the way it is. I obviously described the most obvious of extremes, and I'm sure it won't go that far, but it's going to a very conservative aspect that I think would be equally as sexist.

3. Not saying I personally have, but have you ever been to a strip club? Might be a bad example, but still...

4. You are, again, going back to this argument about, because Quiet is a character within a game, that she's not held to the same rules as that in real life because of the "hand of God" (a trope term meaning the creator, in this case Kojima, wanted her that way, so that's the way it had to be) made it so, which means that you're not understanding the very point of what I discussed. You're saying that because characters are created, that they cannot each have different aspects about them, or different personalities.

Let me give you an example from one of my SM fic examples. I created two original characters that defect from a bully group. One dresses in a male Japanese school uniform because that's how she likes to dress (there's an element I haven't revealed yet that shows another reason why, so I won't bring that up for spoiler reasons). She's very good a parkour, and she's usually seen as a badass with a heart of gold, being somewhat serious about what she does. There's another female, though, that is her best friend, but she's a lot more of a sex kitten. She doesn't know that her boyfriend isn't good for her. Her dress style fits this role: shorter skirt than most other females in her grade, and she loves being stared at, especially by her BF.

Now, I created both characters that way because I wanted the reader to get a sense of what they are like. The first female is tomboyish and no nonsense, but she has a big heart. The other one is more crazed, and doesn't know what's good for her in terms of who would be the right guy for her, but, as I reveal later on, she also is questioning her moral compass, despite her always dressing more liberally.

Now, am I sexist because I created that female? Of course not, because I knew what I was trying to do with the characters. I was trying to depict who these people are to create a sense of immersion that no two people will be alike, and that the second female is vastly different in personality, and might set someone off if they met her in real life at first.

Now, apply that to the game. Is Kojima sexist because he created a sexy female character? No, because that's not his intention. He wants to create different types of females in the styles that he's seen in real life. For me, life imitates art in my stories, and like I said before, you must take into account the context of the character and story. I'm not sure why you continue to use that argument when that's the entire point of the blog (can we be allowed to create female characters that have individual aspects to them instead of using cookie cutters that are given to us by culture warriors).

Posted by Ravenlight

Does... does anyone in this thread need a hug? Because I'm here if anyone needs one.

Edited by Rick_Fingers

Saying that fictional characters justify their own existence is a dangerous slippery slope that removes any sense of authorial responsibility (and I say this as an author).

In the case of Quiet - would you defend this character and the creators if, instead of a needlessly sexed up female (who, lets face it, will have as much justification for what she is wearing as Emma Page does for having a threesome with my wife and I in my dreams), it was a caricature of an African American running around the desert with an afro, eating a never-ending supply of fried chicken and watermelon and whatever other stereotypes you can think of, provided that Kojima said that the fiction justified it?

It's an extreme example, but a relevent one.

Side note: OP, you should edit your work for content and word use/grammar. It's readable, but your style and mistakes make it hard to take what you're saying as anything by another forum rant.

Posted by darkpower

@ravenlight said:

Does... does anyone in this thread need a hug? Because I'm here if anyone needs one.

If you're offering....

Edited by SpaceInsomniac

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

To quote an older reply of mine concerning the topic:

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

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

I've posted that challenge in a couple of these threads, but I've yet to have someone take me up on it.

Posted by Darji

Saying that fictional characters justify their own existence is a dangerous slippery slope that removes any sense of authorial responsibility (and I say this as an author).

In the case of Quiet - would you defend this character and the creators if, instead of a needlessly sexed up female (who, lets face it, will have as much justification for what she is wearing as Emma Page does for having a threesome with my wife and I in my dreams), it was a caricature of an African American running around the desert with an afro, eating a never-ending supply of fried chicken and watermelon and whatever other stereotypes you can think of, provided that Kojima said that the fiction justified it?

It's an extreme example, but a relevent one.

Side note: OP, you should edit your work for content and word use/grammar. It's readable, but your style and mistakes make it hard to take what you're saying as anything by another forum rant.

What if I tell you that such a person also exist in our real world? Having Role models or some sort of standards would deny the existence of such people. For example a ton of women in our world love it to dress sexy or even wear nothing at all. Are they wrong because they are not how women should be? Who decides how women should dress or behave? And my Answer is clearly no one should.

Entertaining media has not the task of creating role models or being educational and ethically correct. If it wants to be sure go ahead but if you want to go totally crazy you also have the right to do so. What we need in gaming is much better writing to create much better and deeper characters and that goes for women and men.. But we also should not deny the "dumb" or sexy ones.

Edited by Tom_Scherschel

@darkpower: Where did I say that a character can't have different aspects about them? Where in any of these replies? Didn't I write that characters can have all kinds of traits? But all of that comes from the person who created the character. You didn't wake up one morning to find that two original characters had materialized within the pages of your fan fiction. You created them, you came up with their personalities, their looks, their histories. You did that, presumably, to communicate something. But YOU did it. They didn't decide to dress like a sex kitten, you decided that. And you, and all creators, have a responsibility when you create something.

When everyone in the games industry is creating the same something, namely big breasted, skinny, scantily clad women, they are collectively communicating something. To be clear, I am not saying that a character that fits that description is inherently sexist. But when 99% of all female characters fit that description, that IS sexist. Because these creators aren't following "art imitating life", they are just churning out the same fantasy woman again and again, putting her into different situations like someone playing with a doll. In most of those cases there is no explanation for why the female characters dress or act that way.

If you really wanted diversity and characters with different aspects about them, you would be saying we should have more realistic portrayals of women in games, because that would be different from what we have right now. But your not, because that's not what you want to look at. Which is fine, but don't dress it up like you're trying to save feminism from being hijacked.

Posted by Darji

@darkpower: Where did I say that a character can't have different aspects about them? Where in any of these replies? Didn't I write that characters can have all kinds of traits? But all of that comes from the person who created the character. You didn't wake up one morning to find that two original characters had materialized within the pages of your fan fiction. You created them, you came up with their personalities, their looks, their histories. You did that, presumably, to communicate something. But YOU did it. They didn't decide to dress like a sex kitten, you decided that. And you, and all creators, have a responsibility when you create something.

When everyone in the games industry is creating the same something, namely big breasted, skinny, scantily clad women, they are collectively communicating something. To be clear, I am not saying that a character that fits that description is inherently sexist. But when 99% of all female characters fit that description, that IS sexist. Because these creators aren't following "art imitating life", they are just churning out the same fantasy woman again and again, putting her into different situations like someone playing with a doll. In most of those cases there is no explanation for why the female characters dress or act that way.

If you really wanted diversity and characters with different aspects about them, you would be saying we should have more realistic portrayals of women in games, because that would be different from what we have right now. But your not, because that's not what you want to look at. Which is fine, but don't dress it up like you're trying to save feminism from being hijacked.

I don't think you are very familiar with Kojima games because the thing that Kojima can do best is creating such characters. Kojima's characters are often very unique with also tagging the tropes as well. Again Quiet fits perfectly into the world he has created and you can be sure he created this character with a lot of thoughts and care.

Edited by Korolev

You see, the thing is, it's lopsided. You remark about how you want individualism respected - sure, women can dress as they want, and some choose to dress with less clothing rather than more. But in video games we see an abundance of very revealing outfits for women. Also, most of the characters are designed by men.

Edited by Hailinel

@tom_scherschel said:

@darkpower: Where did I say that a character can't have different aspects about them? Where in any of these replies? Didn't I write that characters can have all kinds of traits? But all of that comes from the person who created the character. You didn't wake up one morning to find that two original characters had materialized within the pages of your fan fiction. You created them, you came up with their personalities, their looks, their histories. You did that, presumably, to communicate something. But YOU did it. They didn't decide to dress like a sex kitten, you decided that. And you, and all creators, have a responsibility when you create something.

When everyone in the games industry is creating the same something, namely big breasted, skinny, scantily clad women, they are collectively communicating something. To be clear, I am not saying that a character that fits that description is inherently sexist. But when 99% of all female characters fit that description, that IS sexist. Because these creators aren't following "art imitating life", they are just churning out the same fantasy woman again and again, putting her into different situations like someone playing with a doll. In most of those cases there is no explanation for why the female characters dress or act that way.

If you really wanted diversity and characters with different aspects about them, you would be saying we should have more realistic portrayals of women in games, because that would be different from what we have right now. But your not, because that's not what you want to look at. Which is fine, but don't dress it up like you're trying to save feminism from being hijacked.

There's dressing as a certain way just because the creator wanted them dressed a certain way, and there's dressing a certain way because a character has a preference or desire to dress a certain way. If the preference is communicated through the character, whether it be by word, deed, or both, then it's established that the character has that preference. Also, not everyone in the game industry creates the same type of female character. You have a character like Quiet, you have a character like Lara Croft, you have a character like Agrias from Final Fantasy Tactics, or Jade from Beyond Good & Evil. All of these characters are very different in terms of their presentations, personalities, needs, and desires. They're all characters with differing personality. Whether Quiet turns out to be an interesting figure is still up in the air since MGSV hasn't been released yet, but Lara (the rebooted Lara, in particular), Agrias, and Jade all have their appeal for different reasons.

Depth of these characters is present; it seems that you just refuse to see or even acknowledge that these traits are elements who of the characters are and not just products of the creators.

Posted by Darji

@korolev said:

You see, the thing is, it's lopsided. You remark about how you want individualism respected - sure, women can dress as they want, and some choose to dress with less clothing rather than more. But in video games we see an abundance of very revealing outfits for women. Also, most of the characters are designed by men.

Even female designers create characters like Bayonetta for example. It is more because the market is target mostly for men because these people spend the most money on gaming. Don't change the market ad something to the market. Add games that will have some different characters. And there are already lot of female designers working in this industry even in lead positions and more women are not working in this industry because this industry is sexist but because they are not interested in working in this industry.

Posted by afrofools

Kojima mostly prefers naked ladies to naked men, but he doesn't mind a naked snake every now and again.

Posted by TruthTellah

If you want to talk to someone about a topic like this, you can talk to me. It would appear that I have different views from yourself, and I'd be up for discussing that difference with you.

I predict a great challenge in having such a discussion in a thread like this; so, you can shoot me a PM if you'd like. In general, this is best discussed in person or with a friend you already trust, but a friendly PM is the next best thing.

Posted by darkpower

@darkpower: Where did I say that a character can't have different aspects about them? Where in any of these replies? Didn't I write that characters can have all kinds of traits? But all of that comes from the person who created the character. You didn't wake up one morning to find that two original characters had materialized within the pages of your fan fiction. You created them, you came up with their personalities, their looks, their histories. You did that, presumably, to communicate something. But YOU did it. They didn't decide to dress like a sex kitten, you decided that. And you, and all creators, have a responsibility when you create something.

When everyone in the games industry is creating the same something, namely big breasted, skinny, scantily clad women, they are collectively communicating something. To be clear, I am not saying that a character that fits that description is inherently sexist. But when 99% of all female characters fit that description, that IS sexist. Because these creators aren't following "art imitating life", they are just churning out the same fantasy woman again and again, putting her into different situations like someone playing with a doll. In most of those cases there is no explanation for why the female characters dress or act that way.

If you really wanted diversity and characters with different aspects about them, you would be saying we should have more realistic portrayals of women in games, because that would be different from what we have right now. But your not, because that's not what you want to look at. Which is fine, but don't dress it up like you're trying to save feminism from being hijacked.

You're completely missing the point. Of course we're creating the characters. It wouldn't be a creation if there wasn't a creator behind them. But intentions matter. You won't get off of this point that because someone created a woman of a certain nature, then it says something about the creator's fantasies and desires, which is not necessarily what that means. It means that we're not above creating a diverse cast of characters that have their own beliefs, morals, desires, ambitions, etc. Yes, I created them with a mindset in place, but what IS that mindset?

I think I described it: to create a world with that kind of diversity to immerse the reader into the story because they can connect with that sort of character, or that sort of story line, or they know of a person like that. You're refusing to even acknowledge anything other than "if you create a sexy female character, you're sexist by definition" when it's been said countless times by several people in this thread that this is not the case at all. These creators are artists because they also tell a story about the character or cast of them, or the world they are being set in. Your posts seem too reasonable to be trollish, so I'm pretty sure you really think that your point is one worth continuing to drive home, but it's, again, the entire point of the blog.

Why is it that you won't allow artists to create a vast cast of characters in their worlds, in which each character can have different personalities and morals, without them being branded? This is what I talk about by saying that there needs to be room for individualism, yet you seem to completely ignore the entire basis by which my piece was about, and just focus on the character I have defended, and don't even see that every single point you have used to argue your point against my defense of said character, I have pointed out in my, yes, lengthy blog post (yes, I know it is, and I tried for it not to be, but this was just that much of a big issue with me that I had a lot to say).

Maybe if you were ever asked to create a vast cast of characters for a story in which you wanted someone to get immersed in your world, then you might understand better that individualism plays a key role, and to do that, you have to create characters like Quiet, or Rikku, or like the characters I did. Not because you're sexist, but because you're creating a vast world with different people in them that have their own ways of life. You might even find that you can connect with both the conservative and with the liberal characters you create because you can find them in your real life. And those that invest in your story will end up immersed in it because the creation of the diverse cast made for a much more believable world because perhaps you knew how to put the way people dress and act into the context and have it add to the overall story.

That's not easy to do when you're restricted to one kind of personality, male or female!

Posted by Rick_Fingers

@darji: the author has the right to create whatever characters they want, I completely agree.

But the consumers have the right to have a problem with it. The author doesn't need to change it, or justify it, but you can't exactly deny that the people complaining about quiet have a point either.

Furthermore, the fact is that men designing sexualized female characters is a fundamentally different thing to my wife deciding to wear a short skirt. A particular person (or stereotype) existing occasionally in real life doesn't change that.

(again, I'm not against sexualised anything in and of itself)

Posted by haffy

This pretty much sums up my feelings for Anita Sarkeesian. If she were to look at the issue from a neutral stand point every now and then, I may have been able to take her serious at some point. But all I see her as is a professional victim, much like Rebecca Watson.

Hopefully some day people will take more notice of people like Malala Yousafzai and much less interest in these whiners.

Posted by Darji

@darji: the author has the right to create whatever characters they want, I completely agree.

But the consumers have the right to have a problem with it. The author doesn't need to change it, or justify it, but you can't exactly deny that the people complaining about quiet have a point either.

Furthermore, the fact is that men designing sexualized female characters is a fundamentally different thing to my wife deciding to wear a short skirt. A particular person (or stereotype) existing occasionally in real life doesn't change that.

(again, I'm not against sexualised anything in and of itself)

Yes you can have a different opinion and not liking everything. The problem if you try to accuse everything which is sexualized as sexist like Anita does for example. Also you don't have to forget that males are the people who spend the most money on gaming and the market and these developers are serving this market. That for example is also the reason why games with female protagonists often or even almost always flop even if the game is great like a Mirrors Edge or a Beyond good and Evil etc. And female designers are working and creating characters for this market.

I personally would love different characters but this goes for both gender. What this industry needs are not better designers or more women designing but rather we need better and more great writers. In my opinion we really need to get away from accusing these developers of stuff like sexism but rather encourage them to have much better developed characters and writing. This way you will also get more and more women interested in video games. Stuff like Uncharted for example or even Heavy Rain are perfect example on what is interesting for women. These games are games that lets your girlfriend/wife etc. take note of games. These are the games they not even want to play but rather watch because these characters and the way the story is told are interesting.

Posted by SpaceInsomniac

@darji: the author has the right to create whatever characters they want, I completely agree.

But the consumers have the right to have a problem with it. The author doesn't need to change it, or justify it, but you can't exactly deny that the people complaining about quiet have a point either.

Furthermore, the fact is that men designing sexualized female characters is a fundamentally different thing to my wife deciding to wear a short skirt. A particular person (or stereotype) existing occasionally in real life doesn't change that.

Better have nobody but women design female characters then, lest someone be able to accuse game developers of sexism.

Like Bayonetta, who was designed by a woman, so she's clearly a perfect female character.

@haffy said:

Male power fantasy, so it doesn't count! That's the rule I've decided on, so your argument is invalid.

Debating gender issues on the internet is a lot like Calvinball.

Edited by Nekroskop

@mrfluke: Please don't drag Patrick into this. He's said enough about this "controversy" in his 'Worth Reading' articles. I just want it all to end.

Just because you enter a group with primarily male dominance, doesn't mean you have to tear the community down and mold it into your own twisted vision. I know several females that are into games and they never had any problems with games as they are now. Imagine if a male started doing the same thing with, let's say female pandering romance novels. There would be an outrage similar to what we've seen in the video game community. Either join or leave it be.

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