Kierkegaard's forum posts

#1 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

@naru_joe93: For sure. The intricacy and family details, including but not at all limited to the journey to learning what you already know, were a huge part of the experience for me. The collage, not the centerpiece, is what makes me keep coming back to this.

#2 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

I like it. Boring trifecta of games, though. Also, could use anybody but 25-35 year old white males. Still, singing is good.

#3 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

I think what the story does is make the player question their assumptions. I assumed Bill was straight because I have a false idea of normalcy in humanity. So, the game reminding me that there is far more human reality than my brain jumped to was an important moment, however minor in the overall story.

Failed seems harsh. I thought they turned that from an obvious joke when Ellie was completely aware of sexuality and mocking Joel, not actually innocently unaware of what that magazine could be. Was a good moment of her breaking his expectations of a child. Plus, for those players unsure of Bill's story, it gave the far more tragic undertones of him losing a lover rather than just a friend.

This method, as with Cortez in Mass Effect 3, is the way to do it in my opinion.

A person's sexuality should not be some big character defining concept we experience as a part of our introduction to said character (unless the plot is about their sexuality, of course) - it, like race, gender, et al, should just be there because they are completely normal human factors that make up who they are.

Again, unless significant to the plot

That's a great summary. Thank you! Sam and his brother (I keep forgetting character names!) are black, and some underlying implications of how their race could affect their relationship exist, but that identity does not define their characters.

Does the history of hiding sexuality make this different though? Would having gay characters hide less of themselves show progression in society 20 years after a mass infection? Honestly not sure myself.

#4 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

I agree with your thoughtful analysis here. The Last of Us does so much right in storytelling and dynamic choices during and outside of battle that it needs to be a seachange for games of this sort. Hopefully fellow developers learn from naughty dog's approach.

#5 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

My skyrim character has burny, freezy, and shocky glass swords and the ability to summon a dragon. However,she does not posses any cure disease potions at the moment. I may overcome through feeding her a Monsanto potato.

#6 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

This is sophisticated and well-sourced criticism. She played the being eaten by mobile games with damsel tropes bit well. In terms of proving that the trope still exists, that it is pernicious, that "satire" of it is often just an excuse to take an easy, sexist route, and that it is possible to write good stories that do not damsel anyone and still have strong character motivation, she did well.

You have to admit, for every minor mistake she makes (playable characters in Spelunky), she is doing elaborate fact-checking and proofing of her points. If you reject the facts of her argument that's you, but she does present them fairly and in detail.

Like she says at the beginning of all of these, one can enjoy the hell out of a game while still acknowledging its pernicious aspects. Defaulting to even jocular damsels in distress is not the way to go.

She's tackling a lot of games and a lot of issues in a relatively short form. Sure, I wish she was a bit more personable and a bit less scripted (some transitional sentences are crafted for writing, not speaking), but I'm glad this exists.

If she wrote this up, it would probably be publishable. (Oh, and not all research needs to be deductive. I gather she started from "There exists sexism in games" and wanted to answer "What are the major tropes that exhibit this sexism, how can they be subverted, and how can they be avoided." As a primer for storytellers on what to avoid in gender representation, this should be pretty useful.

#7 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

@icemael said:

@kierkegaard said:

Now you are just intentionally misinterpreting what I write. When I say it's "bad" to make moral value judgments, of course I don't mean it in the sense of morally wrong: I am saying moral value judgments are by necessity nonsensical, since there is no practically or theoretically possible way to verify their accuracy.

I am not supporting the religious morality for fuck's sake, I am using it as an example to demonstrate that a person's moral beliefs and aesthetic judgments are separate.

@kierkegaard said:

Third, no one--not feminists, not me, not anyone--is arguing against sexual attraction. We are arguing against directly connecting the idea of weakness, frailty, and objecthood to a person's gender. Sex is fucking great. So is attractiveness. That's not the issue here.

If you read the thread you will see that there are posts by several people to which that part of my post is very much an appropriate response.

Aw, c'mon. You really didn't respond to my defense of moral absolutism about universal fair treatment of other people? Really? That was, like, the meatiest thing in that post. Sigh. Okay. Fine.

All that matters here is that defense of bad art is a waste of time. Dragon's Crown has some cool monster designs and I like the painterly style, but, as the Polygon review appears to say, it looks like NPC females are all objects of lust, imprisonment, or helplessness. That's shitty, yo. It adds nothing and detracts plenty. Just like Shakespeare's insulting depiction of the Jewish people in The Merchant of Venice, it is okay to like what is strong (tragic arc) and dislike what is weak (he's a hateful, duplicitous, vengeful money-grubbing man). Art is complex, as is our response to it. Why limit that response?

#8 Edited by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

@icemael said:

First: Looking at anything through a moral lens is bad, since moral value judgments must always claim to be absolutely and universally true, which is impossible (and even if it were possible, it would be impossible to verify).

Second: Yes, aesthetics are separate from morality. I have already given two examples of this. Here's another: in the Abrahamic religions, it is warned that what is most beautiful and pleasurable in life is often also what is most evil (since Satan's entire goal is to tempt you from the path of God). Morally abysmal, but aesthetically sublime -- a paradox if aesthetics were governed by morality.

Third: Yes, sexual attraction and romantic love are absolutely necessary in order to fully appreciate and celebrate beauty. Throughout history, men have risked their lives to gain a beautiful woman's hand in marriage, or to have an affair with one married to another man etc. -- at times men have even started wars over women they desired for fuck's sake. Hell, in primitive societies, they still sometimes do! That is the power of female beauty when seen from the perspective of a man. And even if we ignore history, even if we ignore societies apart from our own, all we have to do is look at how much money, time, effort and pain people in our modern civilization are willing to go through to find an attractive partner. We don't even have to do that, really: anyone who has ever been in love should be able to realize it. You'd have to be blind, stupid or asexual to deny it.

First, you literally just made a moral statement about morality. You are apparently some form of extreme nihilist or relativist. Have fun with that. I believe it is universally true that we should be nice to each other and respect every person for their differences, especially their intrinsic differences. Why? Because we are all humans who deserve to be treated as choice-making beings.

Second, you reject moral absolutism and then use a particular religious doctrine to justify your belief.

Third, no one--not feminists, not me, not anyone--is arguing against sexual attraction. We are arguing against directly connecting the idea of weakness, frailty, and objecthood to a person's gender. Sex is fucking great. So is attractiveness. That's not the issue here.

#9 Posted by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

Dell PC in the late 90s, then PS2 in 2002 really got me hooked.

#10 Edited by Kierkegaard (580 posts) -

@video_game_king: Heh, different chromosome? Biology was about 10 years ago for me. Oops.

@rick_fingers: That's totally his MO, true. But he was already targeting a perceived (and somewhat accurate) flaw in her guilt at her past indiscretions. There is no hint that Black Widow feels weak for being a woman or is sensitive to such things. Doesn't seem like a necessary addition.

But see, this is exactly what the OP was railing against. And somehow The Avengersis still cool even though we are talking about it. Weird.

@artisanbreads: I feel like it's less about rejecting something because it does something wrong and more about acknowledging that it did. Heart of Darkness is a very interesting story about the depravity of man. I love the image of the Man of War ships firing cannons into the seemingly empty jungle. Such futility.

It also propagated the noble savage trope where the characters of color were magical and inhuman. It was written in a time where its racial politics were pretty advanced, but it still stumbled.

It's true that it stumbled and if such a depiction were to happen to day in a film we would note its objectionability.

It's just as bad to justify mistakes as it is to focus on them exclusively.