The Case against Anita Sarkeesian (by Anonymous)

2 Controversial names in title, heh.

The almighty link of inevitable doom

Anonymous versus Sarkeesian

I had recently discovered through someone I subscribed to on Youtube, that Anonymous had gathered and released information regarding Anita Sarkeesian. Many separate videos had been made over the past year or so dismantling Anita's criticism regarding sexism in video games. Things got more interesting a few months ago when new information surfaced that hints towards Anita's ulterior motives. What we found out was...

Anita is a scam.

Well, the main message ends here. What follows is my personal opinion.

Something Doesn't Click

I watched her Tropes vs Women series so far, and some things had always bugged me, some things that simply didn't click for me. I wasn't really sure, but I've been watching other people's critique of her videos and they had put it into words for me. A lot of great points have been brought up, thus I only have these few to add.

Why Kickstarter?

Why does she need money for this? Video game studies, insight, opinion, etc. writings and videos has been done for free and voluntarily so. This is my first giant red flag in this matter.

I suspected that Kickstarter served a dual-purpose for her, as a marketing scheme and to make money, any amount of money; which is brilliant and thoroughly devious. Think about it; normally, a producer pays a marketer to bring customers to him / her, essentially buying customers. Anita reverses this by making the customers pay her to bring themselves to her, thus making herself the producer and marketer, giving her all the benefits, and shouldering none of the cost.

Professional Victim

Referring mainly to her TEDxWomen speech. She plays the victim card really hard. The mentality is that, "I'm being persecuted, therefore I must be right". Plus the term really fits her marketing tactic; "professional" meaning being really good at it and she makes money by doing it. Anita abuses society's perception regarding gender to further her cause.

Ironically, she then turns around and speaks out against the Damsel in Distress trope, yet she uses it when it suit her. Hypocrisy.

Female Logic

Her critique against the Damsel in Distress trope is basically this. We generally accept that not saving people is bad, but then she tries to explain that saving people is also bad. Thus, there is no way to satisfy her; she has set up the situation in such a way that there is no winning move. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Are Video Games Sexist?

No.

Or rather, depends on how you define sexism.

The way I see it, sexism presumes the intent to discriminate with the result of harm done to the target of discrimination. In general, video games are not that. It just so happens that most game developers and players are straight male, and they / we do what we are most familiar with. It's not a boys' club, or a sausage fest (picked up that term somewhere). We don't prop up a "No Women Allowed" sign. Everyone is welcome. It just so happens that percentage wise, more men are interested in video games than women are. Men are not to blame. We do not go out of our way to stomp on women.

Yes, more can be done to better represent the rest of the spectrum of humans; but at the same time, don't attribute to video games what isn't there. Yes, video games do have the potential to gain wider acceptance and achieve greater things; but at the same time, sometimes we just want to have fun.

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DmC, an American tale

I recently finished my first play through of DmC: Devil May Cry on Nephilim and I really enjoyed it. I also died many many times, which is embarrassing.

Anyway, I liked the story and I see many similarities between the DmC world, America, and a little V for Vendetta. If you don't like politics, click away now.

Real-life References

Silver Sacks

Silver Sacks is an international investment firm owned by Mundus. He describes the scope of his power and influence as controlling the world through debt and he even has the president under his control, no doubt being able to denounce him through Raptor News.

I present: Goldman Sachs, an American-based multinational investment firm. First, the name is a strong reference. Second, they are both investment firms. On the other hand, I don't think their CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, is a monster. Goldman Sachs received attention ever since the 2007 Great Recession.

Goldman Sachs is listed as one of the companies that is too big to fail, where it is too deeply rooted in the workings of the economy. Anything bad that happens to one of these companies will affect the economy as well; thus in a sense, they have too much power. These companies are also extremely wealthy, and the difference in level of income between them and the rest of the country is enormous. The Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 highlighted the income disparity; where in 2010, the top wealthiest 1% of Americans represent over 20% of the total income of the American people.

Raptor News Network

First, Raptor News Network website.

Raptor News makes me think of Fox News. The blonde female newscaster is very loud, similar to Fox's many female newscasters who are all blonde and loud.

In DmC, Bob Barbas, the newscaster, likes to a paint black and white picture in their news, an "us versus them mentality". Bob claims the moral high ground. He props himself and his beliefs on a pedestal and denounces the people who he disagrees with, like Dante and The Order, slapping a multitude of labels on them, with "terrorist" being a favourite. Raptor News actively distorts facts and present them with unabashed force and certainty. This serves as a propaganda to turn the people against Dante and The Order and to confuse them to aid Mundus in controlling the people.

Bob Barbas

Bob Barbas is a servant of Mundus. He seem to represent several personalities within the Fox News' network but I can't really point out any particular one, though I heard that Bob is supposed to be Bill O'Reilly. Also, I'm not sure about Bob's comb-over, all the personalities in Fox have a good head of hair. In DmC, Vergil sent Dante to kill Bob, which mirrors the events of V for Vendetta where V killed Lewis Prothero, the "Voice of London" to silence the spread of propaganda.

Bob's catchphrase, "just doing god's work", seems to be a reference to Goldman Sachs' CEO, Lloyd Blankfein's response to the outrage at their enormous profits during the Great Recession where many people lost their jobs. Blankfein's excuse is that the profit was simply the result of how a bank functions. To Blankfein's credit, he later retracted his comment.

Virility

Admittedly, I'm not sure about this. All I can think of is the Slurm drink in Futurama. In the Raptor News' website, Raptor News is actively advertising Virility.

Virility is described as making humans docile, keeping them controlled, and preventing them from questioning Raptor's propaganda.

Vergil and The Order

The Order is a small group of rebels who commands a formidable intelligence gathering network. They produce videos where Vergil wears a mask and uses a voice distorter to expose the truth behind Raptor News' lies. Vergil himself is skilled in defeating security systems. This seems to be a nod to V for Vendetta and the hacktivist group Anonymous. Also, the logo for The Order is very similar to the logo for Anonymous.

About DmC

Dante

I think the new Dante is okay. I won't call him horribly bad, but he is a little different from the classic Dante. Classic Dante is a tough guy badass who knows he can't lose and acts as much, basically the male power fantasy. New Dante is cynical and I think he is slightly more relatable. He was an orphan and he grew up fighting against demons. He became rebellious and saw no direction in his life, having zero guidance and being labelled a bad guy.

Kat was sent to recruit him to the Order. Initially, Dante was annoyed by Kat's determination but eventually recognised her sincere effort to befriend him. Dante also empathized with her past and acknowledged her effort in helping him and Vergil defeat Mundus. Dante also developed a desire to protect Kat. At the end when Dante talked to Mundus, he realised that he can't be human because wasn't able to understand humans. A person in Dante's position could've provided a reason for humanity's freedom, but Dante wasn't able to do so.

Vergil

New Vergil is a lot different from Classic Vergil. Classic Vergil is cold and calculating but New Vergil is more talkative and his brotherly love for Dante is more pronounced. Also, Vergil seem to like guns; he shot Lilith and gave Dante the 2 new guns. The similarity is that Vergil sees himself as being above humans.

One thing I don't like is that Vergil seem to be less powerful than Dante. During the fight against Mundus, Vergil could've teleported when Mundus wanted to crush him, but instead he asked for Dante's help. Besides that, I thought Vergil was presented well.

Kat

Kat is the girl. She's the opposite of Trish and Lady who were awesome fighters. In fact, Kat is shy. Her shyness was most pronounced in the opening scene of Mission 2 after Dante entered Limbo. Kat showed all 3 signs of her liking Vergil, holding her elbow, chin down, and looking up at Vergil. She later explained that Vergil rescued her from her dad, and she became attached to Vergil ever since. Kat's devotion to Vergil went so far as to risk her life to help Vergil rescue all the data from The Order's database, keep Vergil's identity secret from Mundus, and finally to beg Dante to not kill Vergil. Kat's strength is truly amazing.

Mundus

I liked Mundus. Especially the intro scene; after the phone talk, he holds his hands up like he's saying, "see what I did there? I'm invincible". When Mundus explodes in rage, he obliterates the environment in an obscene display of power. Finally, when Mundus meets Dante for the first time, Mundus sounded utterly broken when he asked Dante why he killed Lilith. That was an amazing moment for me seeing that an invincible overlord can be completely destroyed mentally.

Combat

I miss Royal Guard. In exchange, we get Demon Evade which loosely mimics Royal Guard's block and release mechanic where a perfect dodge increases damage output for a brief period. I find it awkward to use Stinger's new command (forward x2 attack) so I dropped the use of Stinger and all abilities with that command. I also miss Air Trick, but Angel Lift (and to a lesser extent, Aquila's Caliber) became its replacement.

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Of Visual Novels and Eroges

First of all, my gratitude to the Giantbomb guys, where I can find a home for VN and Eroge wikis. I'm done writing about all the characters of Edelweiss, and about to write up the main page. Wanted to talk about the game and VNs in general.

A disclaimer first, I may get facts wrong, so feel free to correct me and I apologize in advance.

My Eroge history

My first eroge was Heart de Roommate, which was recommended by a classmate a good few years ago. It had a wonderful story and a healthy dose of comedy, and I've got to say I loved it. After that I went back to playing RPGs and action games and eroges went out of my mind for a good few years.

Recently I had a sudden urge to look up on eroges again and picked up Amorous Professor Cherry, which I enjoyed though I felt dirty and guilty after that (heh). Cherry's content ratio was the opposite of Heart's, much less story and a lot more sexy time. It really was no joke, the sexy time came at me like water out of a fire truck hose, like the zombies in Left 4 Dead survival mode, like punches in Wing Chun.

Later I picked up Kira Kira. Like Heart did before, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. After that was The Sagara Family, which was the title of my first full wiki contribution, then Edelweiss. Currently playing Snow Sakura, and I'm planning to write up wikis for all the above. I noticed that the aforementioned games have effectively zero content, so those games are basically my territory.

Edelweiss

There is one thing all these titles have in common, they're all set in a high school period. Edelweiss deals with Alchemy, not related to Full Metal Alchemist though. The story is very elaborate, a trait which Overdrive's next game KiraKira shares. Those games don't have much in the way of choices though, and it tends to be very clear cut. Choose this or not to get this girl, that's it.

Speaking of which, the characters are very colorful, though I was sad that I couldn't find much to write about Rin and Sakura. Rin is one of my favourite characters in the game, along with Mei and Mizuki.

Mei's story was one of the more heart breaking ones that I've encountered. I literally had a heart ache when I wrote her entry. Mizuki is second to hers, when her dreams were crushed along with her legs. Natsume was the most plot-heavy one, and it was thanks to her that I completed the Tactical Nuke quest. I find Natsume to be adorable too, and her theme is a beautiful music box piece. Ran was the most fun. Finally, Haruka's story was a gigantic wtf. I know that people would be sad on her ending, but I was appalled by the sheer magnitude of Kazushi's hypocrisy. Never mind that she died, screw your head on right Kazushi!

The Visual Novel / Eroge genre

I've tagged the thread which is almost a year old because 1. I find it interesting that someone actually brought it up (heh) and 2. I want to get my 2 cents in but the thread is older than the dinosaurs (in internet age), so I decided to do it here.

First, I would like to use the following terminology:

Visual Novel: The games of the genre with zero explicit content. Games like Phoenix Wright would fall under here.

Eroge: Games that includes explicit content, including a sub-category of Visual Novels. All the titles I mentioned in the first 2 sections fall under here. I heard about some RPG that includes explicit content, but I can't name any title. Apparently you level up, kill monsters, and get laid. :/

Visual Novels

I think it's possible to market this genre outside Japan, but the current audience is very very small. To enjoy a VN, you will need to enjoy: anime, adventure / romance story, video games, and Japanese culture. To break this down;

Anime: I heard that the general populace view anime as "just another cartoon", and that cartoon is for children. They group it with Saturday morning cartoons like Mickey Mouse and stuff (or something, I don't know. I don't watch cartoons anymore).

Adventure / romance story: This actually has quite a large audience. Many people like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, so it's really easy. Also, I heard that girls like to read romance novels like *cough*Twilight*cough*. I've watched and read Memoirs of a Geisha and enjoyed it (heh).

Video games: Video games as a whole has an enormous player base. But what we are looking for is players who enjoy Japanese / eastern games. I heard that western and eastern gaming ideology is very different. Seems to me that western gamers like competition, adrenaline, and testosterone, while eastern gamers like adventure, character development, and working together. That's why America gave us Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, while Japan gave us Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda. Refer to this. Not to say that western gamers don't like elaborate stories, we got Deus Ex and Fallout.

Japanese culture: Finally, a great hurdle. Includes "moe", "kawaii", bushido, lifestyle, beliefs, and such. I'm not exactly an expert on this.

I would suggest targeting the adventure / romance story crowd, since Visual Novel is basically telling a story with multimedia elements. It's like taking a few steps after e-books. Get a good story, add pictures, music, branching plot, and possibly voice-acting, and you got a functioning Visual Novel.

Of course, marketing Japanese Visual Novels will be another hurdle entirely, since we will need to market anime as well.

Eroges

These are porn, no ifs or buts about it. The size of the audience who would enjoy anime porn is unknown to me, but seeing the perspective on anime alone would discourage trying to market Eroges. I would hate Eroges to make the front page and have laws enacted against it.

The Current Situation

There is hope though, the Phoenix Wright series is extremely popular, Fate/Stay Night, Tsukihime, and Tears to Tiara has been released as an anime and there are video games, KiraKira was published in an all-ages release title with zero explicit content, and Go! Go! Nippon! is like Overdrive's hello to us. If you guys are truly interested, things can be done. My only comment would be; it would be rather strange, but cool nonetheless.

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