SpaceInsomniac's forum posts

#1 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@sergio said:

@spaceinsomniac said:

@herbiebug said:

@dixavd said:

Also... Just so everyone knows: the points of these videos are to point out systemic issues and their implementation. It isn't actually about defining games as good or bad (and certainly not about defining these uses of the tropes to be the worst) - it's actually about using them as a more general narrative of what they represent: context is actually irrelevant. I know that probably seems incredibly counter-intuitive: context must be relevant - but seriously, the whole point is that any idea can be effectively defined within a narrative, and it is subjective for each person whether it is a suitable explanation - but this isn't about specific games, it's about the ideas themselves.

That is complete bullshit. Exactly the sort of dreck I encountered in art school art theory courses. All that is produced when writing this way is a circular blather piece that is about an imaginary hypothetical with no basis in reality, divorced from all reason and accountability. It's junk.

Moreover, Anita herself has never suggested anything of the sort. I'm not entirely sure that the world 'subjective' is even a part of her vocabulary.

Context is extremely important, and taking things wildly out of context to support an argument is something that should never be tolerated.

Do you mean she never suggested the subjective bit or the ignoring context bit? I don't remember her mentioning anything about the former, but she definitely mentioned the latter. I'm not about to subject myself to her older videos to point out where she says it, but people are welcome to sit through them again if they want to check it out for themselves.

The subjective bit. The ignoring context bit just weakens her argument, even if she does admit to it. But it only weakens her argument to those who already understand the context. To everyone else, they have no idea what is a good example of her topic, and what is being taken wildly out of context.

Mentioning female NPC "sex objects" running away from the player when they are threatened with violence, and not explaining that male characters will often do the exact same thing is creating a lie. That isn't far removed from when Fox News used the Mass Effect sex scenes to paint the picture that Bioware was practically creating a porn game. At least the Fox News host eventually admitted that she had no idea what she was talking about, and also eventually agreed that the scenes in question were actually quite mild.

Ironically, at a couple of points in this video, the woman opposed to Mass Effect sounds a lot like Anita Sarkeesian:

Saying--and I'm paraphrasing here--"some of these scenes are explained by gameplay or story, but it's still problematic that they exist" or whatever Anita has said, is still being extremely disingenuous in her argument. It's a lot like making a giant list of examples to prove your point, and then saying "now some of these examples are complete lies, but that's okay because they could have happened."

What bothers me most is how needless it is. So what if her video would be 20 minutes instead of 30? There's enough actual examples of her criticism that she shouldn't have to resort to taking anything out of context.

And of course I've never heard her mention subjectivity. Saying "I'm not really right or wrong about a lot of this, and it's all a matter of opinion what someone personally feels is sexist" would dramatically weaken any feminist argument, just as a similar statement would weaken an argument concerning just about any topic.

#2 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@dixavd said:

Also... Just so everyone knows: the points of these videos are to point out systemic issues and their implementation. It isn't actually about defining games as good or bad (and certainly not about defining these uses of the tropes to be the worst) - it's actually about using them as a more general narrative of what they represent: context is actually irrelevant. I know that probably seems incredibly counter-intuitive: context must be relevant - but seriously, the whole point is that any idea can be effectively defined within a narrative, and it is subjective for each person whether it is a suitable explanation - but this isn't about specific games, it's about the ideas themselves.

That is complete bullshit. Exactly the sort of dreck I encountered in art school art theory courses. All that is produced when writing this way is a circular blather piece that is about an imaginary hypothetical with no basis in reality, divorced from all reason and accountability. It's junk.

Moreover, Anita herself has never suggested anything of the sort. I'm not entirely sure that the world 'subjective' is even a part of her vocabulary.

Context is extremely important, and taking things wildly out of context to support an argument is something that should never be tolerated.

#3 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@notdavid said:

Who are these rubes that listen to music while they play games? Are they the same guys that skip cutscenes without watching them once?

No, they're the ones who play racing games, competitive shooters, tournament fighting games, pinball games, arcade style games, flight games, and literally ANY game where you've already played through the campaign.

#4 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac: Also, I seem to remember a short-lived thread for the video that got deleted, because some people don't like to discuss the topic and others don't show basic respect for other members. That's part of why this is so important.

I don't think some people's intent to burn down any thread mentioning her or social issues should deter me or anyone else from bringing it up. I won't let jerks tell me how to act to avoid their nonsense. What we have to do is figure out better ways to discuss it, not allow the worst parts of this community to hold us back from having decent discussion with one another.

Considering so many of us talk about caring about this and other social issues, we have to find some way to actually discuss it. I believe in the good folks of Giant Bomb, and we -can- make it work.

If a topic concerning one YouTube user's opinion on gender issues is locked because people can't stop talking about her specifically, I would think the appropriate response would be to create a thread about the issue itself, that is if you want to talk about the issue itself.

You can suggest "I won't let jerks tell me how to act to avoid their nonsense," but in the end you're continually creating a needless obstacle that gets in the way of having an actual conversation. What's the thought process, there? "I'm going to create an Anita Sarkeesian thread, and THIS time it's going to be about the issues, not just about her!"

*insert Far Cry 3 definition of insanity reference here*

But right about now it would be nice to stop having a conversation about having a conversation, and get back to the issues themselves. After post 96, I thought there would have a least been a drive-by "false equivalency" post that says nothing else to actually debate the connection that I made, and yet here we are still talking about how we should talk about these issues, rather than talking about these issues.

#5 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@humanity said:

@truthtellah: Better yet, just make a topic about sexism in gaming without invoking her name at all and have a normal discussion. Personally I don't see any value in attaching her name to anything at this point as she has made her viewpoints known already. There is nothing to be gained from watching the rest of her series because you very much know exactly what she's going to say.

Oh my goodness, yes, THIS.

And @truthtellah, if you don't want personal attacks to enter into the argument, maybe you should consider not replying to them.

[edit]

@truthtellah said:

As I mentioned earlier, someone was gonna make a thread about it eventually(someone already did, in fact [but it crashed immediately]); so, might as well try to make it decent.

Her last video went by without anyone making a thread. Please remember that when her next video comes around.

#6 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -
@freedo said:

@video_game_king said:

@freedo said:

none of us can deny that objectification is a huge problem in games.

I'll deny it. That Witcher example earlier in the thread proved to be a good example of objectification, largely because the tone (appears to) disapprove(s) of why these women are objectified.

Also, I feel it would do good to remember that objectification doesn't have to be sexual, or even based on gender lines. Tokimeki Memorial's proof enough of that.

I don't know what kind of games you play, but that stuff is all over the place in some of my favorite games, so I'm not sure how you can deny it. But people deny anything these days, so I got nothin'.

I didn't say that sexual objectification was the only objectification, but sure, I get what your saying... I think. What I was getting at was that the female NPCs in the Witcher games (The Witcher 2 is my favorite RPG, so I'm not shitting on the game) and GTA are as useful as the trees. Granted, so are some of the men. But more often than not, big AAA games tend to use women specifically as nothing more than landscape that might give someone a boner. While that's not the only objectification that exists, it's the one that's is most prevalent right now.

I do not support saying Anita is a con-artist, because that assumes something negative about her character and intentions that I couldn't possibly know.

I do not support saying journalists don't really care about gender issues, and they're just trying to get page hits, because that assumes something negative about their character and intentions that I couldn't possibly know.

I do not support when journalists call game developers sexist or misogynist, because that assumes something negative about their character and intentions that I couldn't possibly know.

I do not support saying that a video game character is being objectified, because that assumes something negative about the character and intentions of the player and / or game designer that I couldn't possibly know.

This is not a one way street.

But I will agree that sex scenes in video games are pretty much always poorly handled, at least in my opinion.

#7 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

Everytime a women talks about games and half the comments are others saying they are not actually a gamer is so Cringe worthy.

Not that this ultimately discredits the arguments that she makes, but it's not as if every one of her critics are completely pulling that accusation out of their ass.

Still, like I said, personal attacks just get in the way of an actual debate, which is why I dislike the fact that so much of this issue is now associated with a specific person. It's also why I no longer create threads about her or her videos.

#8 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@mooseymcman: @demoskinos: She might not be a "real" con artist but I am still, to this day, bitter about giving my own hard earned money to her because I assume, that with a real budget, she would produce amazing/insightful/pretty much anything resembling a real production. What I got, was a series of video that have NO production value, makes terrible argument for the issue by ignoring to highlight the other side of the argument.

In short, I was expecting Jiro Dream of sushi, I got shitty below average youtube-level amateur video. There are about 500+ feminist takes on video games on youtube that is much better than this That is my real problem with her. Not that she is talking about it, but that her body of work is of low quality.

Seeing as you gave money to her and expected more, I think you're in a greater position to feel this way, but I'm sorry to say that I ultimately feel you have no one to blame but yourself. If you had done some research before donating, you'd have seen her True Grit video, her Christmas songs video, and--most importantly--her Bayonetta video. I was intrigued by the idea of examining gender issues in video gaming, but once I looked into the work she does, I knew that I wouldn't support the majority of her conclusions.

After hearing about her kickstarter, it took me about 10 minutes to suspect that this was not the voice that I wanted to be the face of this issue, and about 30 minutes to confirm that fact.

#9 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@grantheaslip said:

In the case of Sarkeesian, I think the elephant in the room is how little respect she seems to afford others who disagree with her or enjoy the games she in some cases openly despises. There's a lot of loaded language like "misogyny", "male power fantasy", "juvenile", "adolescent", etc. There's a lot of snark, and a lot of language and tone that basically says "the people who developed these games are pigs." Maybe some of that language and tone is justifiable in light of what she's criticizing, but she lays in on so thick that I find it difficult to watch her videos and feel like she's acting in good faith. I know that she's said it's possible to like criticized games and acknowledge their flaws, but do you really thinks she respects the fans or developers of Bayonetta, which she called a "choose your own patriarchal adventure porno fantasy"? I don't.

Perfectly said.

After watching her first few videos, what discouraged me the most weren't the ideas she was espousing (many of which I agree with), but the way she twists her 'examples' completely out of context to prove her points, and then uses such inflammatory language describing them that anyone who respectfully wishes to propose a counter argument is almost reduced to first admitting to being a misogynist in her terms.

These videos are not research, not history, they're distilled propaganda presented in the least supportable and most hyperbolic way. And it fucking kills me, because I strive to support characters with greater depth and representation in games. But Anita takes the growing and gradually more accepted movement of diversity in games, and weaponizes it. She takes crucial arguments and shoves them through a meat grinder of abstract generalizations and misleading clips. It's precisely what fuels ignorance, not what overcomes it.

Granted I haven't watched this video nor her last (mostly to avoid spoilers), and some others here have said that this installment is more acute with its examples, so I hope that the concerns I mentioned might be a thing of the past. But based on the harm done by the previous videos, I take solace in the fact that these issues are now widely written about by at least some folks who want to work for unified positive change in a concrete straightforward way, and I can avoid Anita entirely.

I really liked both of these posts. They nicely capture why respect is a two-way street, and why it's hypocritical to say that video game fans and developers should all respect Anita, when she clearly doesn't respect them. Having said that, I'd like to address a related topic.

@mooseymcman said:

@demoskinos: I dunno man, I feel like true con artists go after more profitable targets than this.

While this ultimately is a profitable target, she would only be a con artist if she didn't care about video games, or didn't care about feminism. But neither of those accusations can be proven, which makes them just as completely worthless and harmful as social justice blogger attacks on the character or intentions of game developers.

Personal attacks, be they "misogynist" or "con artist" or "sexist" or "hoop earrings" detract from a debate, they don't add to it. That's true for Anita, and it's just as true for you, @demoskinos I think debating an argument itself is much more effective than debating the character of the person making the argument.

#10 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3532 posts) -

I know someone who was a victim of a similar scam recently. It sucks having to instinctively not trust humanity, but sometimes that's what you have to do. As long as you learn from the experience, at least you got something out of it. Hope you get your money back as well, though.

I recently read about a scam that I could easily see myself falling for. You check into a hotel, and see that someone has placed a room service menu under your door. You call the hotel using the number on the menu, your food never arrives, and a thief now has your credit card number.

It's a reminder that you should never give information to anyone who calls or e-mails you first, and you should even be careful about where you find contact information in the first place.