Entitlement & Misogyny in video games *Trigger Warning*

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#1 Posted by TheeGravedigger (172 posts) -

So, after the recent shootings in Isla Vista, there was some attempt to blame video games, as there always is after a massacre, though this one the focus quickly shifted to other targets.

One of the articles I read after the incident was "Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds". The quick summary is that in our medium, as in television and movies, there is a certain expectation that the hero will get the girl, that by going on a quest, we'll save the world and get the princess. And that the exposure to this pattern implants the idea in the back of our head that we deserve a woman.

Having listened to Stefan Molyneux's "The Truth About Elliot Rodger" podcast, and done a bit of reading on the side, I can understand why there is a claim that toxic misogyny and entitlement were what led to this shooting.

The result of that was my conclusion that "Watching another enjoy something you want is not suffering; it is envy. Envy mistaken for injustice becomes Entitlement.

And then I noticed that when I was watching movies, I started to think about them differently. I started to question why the romance plot developed, if there was enough connection between the characters to justify why they'd have have the feelings that they had, rather than the women just being the prize for the character accomplishing his story arc.

Then I started wondering what video games embrace this trope, both positively and negatively. I thought I'd ask the Giant Bomb audience if they could think up some examples of video games where the relationship between the characters justifies the romance that develops, and maybe create a list of those games, the positive examples of video games. I'd also be curious if we could put together a list that focuses on the worst of it, the most egregious aspects of video game misogyny.

Maybe this isn't the right place for this, but as a regular Giant Bomb listener, I thought it was a topic that might be worth discussing. I'm less active on the Giant Bomb forums, as I tend to avoid being active on forums, in an attempt to limit my frustration with the world; though this place has never been a negative place, unlike some of places I've posted.

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#2 Posted by deactivated-5a1a3d3c6820c (3235 posts) -

What's the trigger warning for?

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#3 Posted by TruthTellah (9822 posts) -

I think you may have more success with the idea of listing games with believable relationships if you just focused on that instead of framing it around the recent shooting. While the topic of misogyny and entitlement is relevant to this, you have to be careful to make sure people's strong feelings about those topics don't just become a distraction to your intended goal with the thread.

Also, I really don't see why you added "Trigger Warning" to the title. Is that some kind of joke?

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#4 Posted by TheeGravedigger (172 posts) -

@khann: @truthtellah: It's a habit I've gotten into recently from posting on places where people are sensitive about this issue. If it's not needed, then ignore it.

The recent shooting isn't framework, merely narrative. It came to light as a result of discussions related to the shooting, nothing more.

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#5 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

Honestly, at least in more recent games. I'm having trouble coming up with the opposite of what you're asking for. Maybe i just play better games, but i can't think of many examples of forced love interests in games i play. Like bioware games mostly, the witcher (well the core characters for that at least i wouldnt count prostitutes as love interests), RDR, that sorta stuff was all pretty good, not perfect, but at least reasonable.

I just looked at my shelf of games and then looked at my steam library and could not think of one forced romance that was part of the story and negatively effected the game. And none of them were "prizes". Well actually Red Dead Redemption your wife and son are the "prize", but i don't think thats misogynist or anything in that scenario.

I'm not gonna shit on and nitpick "meh" relationships because why? They're serviceable and arent offensive, so whats the problem. If you're gonna bitch about bioware relationships then, meh, I'm just gonna leave. They're trying, doesn't always work but darn it! they're trying! Gotta give them credit for that too, writing a deep romance between two characters when its not a sure thing it'll happen story-wise and the protagonists personality and actions are broad and highly variable. Seems silly to complain too much about that.

But maybe i just don't play bad games? I dunno, i couldnt think of a negative example of this.

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#6 Edited by TruthTellah (9822 posts) -

@theegravedigger: Well, I guess I'm just glad it wasn't a bad joke. Though, I honestly still don't see the point of it, as your post doesn't contain any potentially trigger-worthy content. I suppose a reply might, but that seems like a stretch. As is, it almost looks sarcastic or mocking. I'm used to seeing trigger warnings if you're bringing up the topic of rape or something along those lines, not simply the idea of which games present decent relationships in them.

Along with that, my concerns about the framing of the topic remain. I know it's the narrative of how the topic got in your mind, but it also serves as context for thinking about the topic. Until I got to the last two paragraphs, I thought this was a thread about you wanting to discuss the topic of misogyny and entitlement within videogames, but it sounds like you simply want to discuss games which handle relationships well.

As a fellow duder with some experience here on the forum, I worry the setup of this thread may inherently hinder it. This is one of the more problematic spots for the forum, and it requires a lot of care. Bringing up the massacre, entitlement, misogyny, and that article from the Daily Beast... just seems like setup for a bad argument. Regardless, I hope people will respond well to your intent and share some thoughts regarding the more believable relationships in gaming so far.

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#8 Edited by TheeGravedigger (172 posts) -

@truthtellah: It's not just the list of games that have a positive and negative misogyny to them I want to discuss, but also the princess is in another castle article, and how it changed my awareness of the trope in the media. A friend of mine said that was her only complaint about the Lego Movie, that the relationship between the two main characters, specifically how the fact that she had a boyfriend didn't really matter.

The idea of the list was something that I'd like to see, if only as something for people to reference when writing articles on the subject.

I haven't written for the Giant Bomb audience much, most of my recent writings have been for Erotic Vancouver.

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#9 Edited by TruthTellah (9822 posts) -

@theegravedigger: That's good that the article helped you understand the trope a bit better. It is interesting how many stories reinforce the idea of "winning the girl", and it's somewhat natural that many games may treat relationships as a matter of conquest more than a mutual shift closer to one another as individuals. I know the dating sim genre in particular has had its hits and misses in trying to establish more balanced relationships.

Fortunately, despite the long history of such "win the girl/guy" in videogames, most people do recognize that a game is a game and not real life. What really reinforces the idea of conquests are social narratives from long before modern videogames, particularly amongst friends and acquaintances. Videogames have for a long time been more of a reflection of such attitudes than a cause of such attitudes; though, they may debateably reinforce them.

People often grow up with relationships being treated more like a game, and while we may recognize that a game is a game, many people still grow up think about socializing as more of a social "game" than a genuine connection between different individuals which deserve respect and consideration.

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#10 Posted by splodge (2786 posts) -

Those tropes are not only in video games, television and movies, but date back several thousand years to Grecian tales and stories. There is a certain number of standard stories that are the predecessors to all modern story telling. The heroes journey, Oedipus, etc. This is not a new thing. Almost any film or video game you can imagine can be compared narratively to ancient tales by Greek authors.

What has changed, is our relation to these stories and their inherent value to us as a society.

What bugs me about this whole situation though is that because of his manifesto very few people seem to be willing to accept the possibility that this boy may have been just an intelligent psychopath. Granted, he had some serious issues with women, but misogyny is quite common amongst psychopaths, especially those who came from a loving environment. The 'Madonna-Whore dichotomy' is a frequent personality trait of serial killers, rapists etc. It is the ingrained assertion that women are one of two things. They are either care givers whom are beyond reproach, almost to the point of mysticism; a focal point of love that will never be received and sexual desires that will never be satisfied - or they are whores who barely register as human beings and only exist to serve the ego and distribute pleasure.

I think Rodgers used various media and social groups on the internet to reinforce these ideas himself. He was clearly mentally ill and despite much contact with therapists, the police and his parents nobody was able to stop him. Even after his parents called the police and informed them of disturbing videos he had made RE women and his seemingly murderous intentions, the police said they were convinced he meant no harm. Clearly that was not the case.

It stands to reason then, that he did not snap overnight. This was a long time coming, and to avoid being medicated and/or admitted to an institution, and also avoid arrest by the police for a murder plot, he would have had to remain very calm and told some very convincing lies.

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#11 Edited by Vuud (2052 posts) -

What the heck is a trigger warning? Is it this:

No Caption Provided

Because I am all in favor of proper trigger discipline.

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#12 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

@theegravedigger said:

Having listened to Stefan Molyneux's "The Truth About Elliot Rodger" podcast, and done a bit of reading on the side, I can understand why there is a claim that toxic misogyny and entitlement were what led to this shooting.

The result of that was my conclusion that "Watching another enjoy something you want is not suffering; it is envy. Envy mistaken for injustice becomes Entitlement.

Envy is wanting someone not to have something because you can't have it. Watching another enjoy something that you want can absolutely be suffering. The problem is when you don't view people as people.

I'm sure Elliot Roger never looked at EVERY female non-family member in his life and thought of them all as people. Objectification is a thing, but people don't get there because of large breasted video game characters, or because they saved many virtual princesses, or because the guy always gets the girl on TV. They get there by putting themselves over others, and then extend that feeling to an alarming point where nobody else matters, not even their lives.

It wasn't video games, it wasn't the media, it wasn't society, and it wasn't rejection. It wasn't even misogyny--unless it was also misandry, seeing as he killed several more men than he did women. It was a crazy fucker who to learned to hate the world and anyone in it.

@theegravedigger said:

And then I noticed that when I was watching movies, I started to think about them differently. I started to question why the romance plot developed, if there was enough connection between the characters to justify why they'd have have the feelings that they had, rather than the women just being the prize for the character accomplishing his story arc.

Women are often "the prize" because women want to be wanted. If not, this guy wouldn't have sold any albums. Instead, there are 42 million views on that video.

The thing is, women want to be wanted by someone who they want in return. Crazy concept, I know.

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#13 Edited by splodge (2786 posts) -

@SpaceInsomniac the irony is men want the exact same thing. I guess some people find it hard to accept that while men and women both want to be desired, they may not always be included in that equation.

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#14 Posted by President_Barackbar (3642 posts) -

I feel like all the stuff that came out after the shooting claiming that it was the fault of misogyny or something like that completely missed the main issue here. The perpetrator of the shooting was insane, not sexist. He went out and shot people because his brain was malfunctioning, I don't care what he "claimed" the reason was. Its because he was fucking nuts. Like, full stop. CRAZY.

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#15 Posted by TruthTellah (9822 posts) -

Women are often "the prize" because women want to be wanted. If not, this guy wouldn't have sold any albums. Instead, there are 42 million views on that video.

The thing is, women want to be wanted by someone who they want in return. Crazy concept, I know.

Everyone wants to be wanted.

Women are often "the prize" because of their historical position within much of human society. Unfortunately, that tended to be as property which could be earned or as the weaker party in need of saving. It's not tied to some different need in their genetics. Everyone wants to be wanted, but women have been disproportionally presented throughout history as the one to be wanted and won.

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#16 Posted by Mirado (2557 posts) -

@theegravedigger said:

place for this, but as a regular Giant Bomb listener, I thought it was a topic that might be worth discussing. I'm less active on the Giant Bomb forums, as I tend to avoid being active on forums, in an attempt to limit my frustration with the world; though this place has never been a negative place, unlike some of places I've posted.

Just a heads up: posting a topic like this (or anything containing the words entitlement or misogyny) tends to bring the negative out of a lot of people here. Not saying you shouldn't do it, but just keep in mind that you might not like the result.

As for your question, I thought the Uncharted games (at least the first two that I played) did a fair job of portraying realistic relationship development; it didn't feel forced or sudden when Drake and Elena decided to get together, but rather a natural progression from two people who rely on each other intellectually and in combat, to relying on each other emotionally. I mean, it wasn't the most nuanced attempt in fiction (the backdrop of a cover shooter is a bit too bombastic for that kind of subtlety), but it at least didn't feel like Drake "earned" her, so to speak.

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#17 Posted by Draugen (983 posts) -

@vuud: You're damn right. Finger off the trigger 'til you're ready to fire. Spread the word, brother.

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#19 Edited by TheHT (15875 posts) -
@president_barackbar said:

I feel like all the stuff that came out after the shooting claiming that it was the fault of misogyny or something like that completely missed the main issue here. The perpetrator of the shooting was insane, not sexist. He went out and shot people because his brain was malfunctioning, I don't care what he "claimed" the reason was. Its because he was fucking nuts. Like, full stop. CRAZY.

Misogyny is very much a part of this incident. Like, actual misogyny; not the way that word is thrown around to describe Mario and other video game shit. An action predicated on a hatred for women, and in this case also jealousy of other men.

Whether it's a severe reflection of some societal sexism or just comes from the sexual frustration of a narcissistic and angry kid, or some measure of both, I suppose is the conversation left for us to mull over (along with the conversation of how, rather than why).

In any case, were it an act of racism, we'd call it so, and we'd also still call the perpetrator crazy. Both racism and misogyny are, after all, pretty fucking insane.

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#20 Edited by erhard (493 posts) -
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#21 Edited by deactivated-57d3a53d23027 (1460 posts) -

Every progressive movement is hindered by these idiots that want to conflate an issue with an outlying example. Humankind would be in a better position if the people who genuinely cared about stuff focused on the real issue. In this case the real issue is casual and learned sexism in broader society that is exhibited by many individuals. It is not some severely depressed, sexually-frustrated and entitled lunatic, who exhibited those tendencies to the extreme.

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#23 Edited by ShotgunLincoln (396 posts) -

I blame everyone and everything because this possibly couldn't of happened because he was completely crazy. Something had to have MADE him shoot those people.

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#24 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1715 posts) -

Isn't Persona 4 all about flirting with ladies, from several high school girls to a single mother? It was really weird how they portrayed all women to be weak and needing to be protected or some stuff. Like all women having issues only a man could solve.

FFX tried to put a love story in, a very weak one, but nothing special. Only to get completely mauled in FFX-2 offcourse.
I totally loved how Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time had a thing going on between the Prince and Farah. That love story actually made sense since they were both reliant on each other during the whole game. Though it threw everything out of the window in The Warrior Within. Only to come back in The Two Thrones.

Though I'd say love stories in videogames are mostly problematic. How anyone can go from 0 to spouse in under 12 hours.

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#25 Posted by GreggD (4595 posts) -

@biospank said:

@theht said:
@president_barackbar said:

I feel like all the stuff that came out after the shooting claiming that it was the fault of misogyny or something like that completely missed the main issue here. The perpetrator of the shooting was insane, not sexist. He went out and shot people because his brain was malfunctioning, I don't care what he "claimed" the reason was. Its because he was fucking nuts. Like, full stop. CRAZY.

Misogyny is very much a part of this incident. Like, actual misogyny; not the way that word is thrown around to describe Mario and other video game shit. An action predicated on a hatred for women, and in this case also jealousy of other men.

Whether it's a severe reflection of some societal sexism or just comes from the sexual frustration of a narcissistic and angry kid, or some measure of both, I suppose is the conversation left for us to mull over (along with the conversation of how, rather than why).

In any case, were it an act of racism, we'd call it so, and we'd also still call the perpetrator crazy. Both racism and misogyny are, after all, pretty fucking insane.

He was a narcissist but he was also autistic.So some Autistic people who does not know the norms of other human beings will think that other people knows what he thinks.

Being on the "Spectrum" myself, I can safely say I don't understand a word of what was posted here.

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#26 Edited by artelinarose (1999 posts) -

@biospank said:

@theht said:
@president_barackbar said:

I feel like all the stuff that came out after the shooting claiming that it was the fault of misogyny or something like that completely missed the main issue here. The perpetrator of the shooting was insane, not sexist. He went out and shot people because his brain was malfunctioning, I don't care what he "claimed" the reason was. Its because he was fucking nuts. Like, full stop. CRAZY.

Misogyny is very much a part of this incident. Like, actual misogyny; not the way that word is thrown around to describe Mario and other video game shit. An action predicated on a hatred for women, and in this case also jealousy of other men.

Whether it's a severe reflection of some societal sexism or just comes from the sexual frustration of a narcissistic and angry kid, or some measure of both, I suppose is the conversation left for us to mull over (along with the conversation of how, rather than why).

In any case, were it an act of racism, we'd call it so, and we'd also still call the perpetrator crazy. Both racism and misogyny are, after all, pretty fucking insane.

He was a narcissist but he was also autistic.So some Autistic people who does not know the norms of other human beings will think that other people knows what he thinks.

So because he had autism, he was a murderer? Or because he had autism, he was more predisposed to psychopathic tendencies, which led to murder?

His autism had NOTHING to do with the actions he decided to undertake. His world view as a young man poisoned by exposure to bad opinions, his belief that women owed him something because he had gone down some sort of checklist and his perceived expectations as a man were what lead to him killing people.

ANNNNNNYWAY. I honestly can't think of a game I played recently where there was some sort of romance (sub)plot involved. Like, Wolfenstein I guess, but that wasn't some forced love story nor did I feel like it was misogynistic in any way. People might point to Bioware games as being the main offender for "forced romance subplots" but I also believe this is false because the plots aren't forced down your throat. They are there for you to pursue if you are interested in that sort of things, but by no means are they a requirement.

I dunno! Not really feeling it as I type this. Bringing up a discussion of feminism or misogyny here always seems to turn real bad, real fast. Can't bring myself 100% to it.

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#27 Posted by CornBREDX (7372 posts) -

The worst romances are called dime store novels for a reason. Until the last 5-10 years they were considered cheap. Then Twilight came along and now everything (ya, I'm using hyperbole) is cheap. Story telling is cheap now. Apparently pop culture has become to stupid for anything that requires thought beyond "guy gets the hot girl" or "girl needs guy or she'll just die."

It's good you're thinking about this; although sad that it took a shooting for you to think about it. You should always think about the entertainment you consume. It's what we used to do before someone decided thinking was too hard and casually made it more mainstream to continue to be stupid and entitled.

That being said I don't think Twilight caused the killings, or any media/entertainment in general, but it sure has encouraged a generation of morons.

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#28 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1715 posts) -

@artelinarose Because some people, including me, are tired of having their favourite medium be (ab)used to either voice social opinions or attack them. Now I'm not one of those people that deny there is sexism, misogyny etc. in the medium we all love. There is, but there is a much better way to handle that sort of thing instead of hamfisting some social commentary into our games.

I play games to relax and have fun, not to be educated on social issues. I also don't want to read article after article that we straight white males are the problem and that we should change. I also don't want to read time after time that not including X is a way of discriminating minorities, when it can be fully argued it fits within the artistic vision of the game. I also don't want to be blamed for enjoying violent games, which are supposed to make people violent and go out murder people.

Oh I miss the times when it was all about stomping on goombas...

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#30 Edited by LackingSaint (2185 posts) -

@cornbredx: Dude, lame romantic subplots have been a thing for hundreds of years, stretching over the entire history of film and most of the history of literature. Ever watched a Hitchcock film lately? That motherfucker loved him some obligatory romance. Rear Window is a fantastic film but it's borderline creepy with the extent of the wish-fulfillment (A grouchy man well into his forties is wooed by an early-20s model who is absolutely smitten by him, all while he obsessed over stalking his neighbours). Conflating this to some Twilight thing is incredibly short-sighted.

I've always found it really lame when a game or a movie throws in a romantic angle between characters with seemingly no prior foundation, simply because they happen to be the two most important characters with a penis and a vagina respectively. The most horrible recent example I can think of is Metro: Last Light; there is literally no indication of any real relationship between the main character and the only female fighter in the game, you only see her for like two missions prior, then suddenly she gets kidnapped by the bad guy and then after you rescue her, she fucks you and falls in love with you. It just stinks of the idea you seem go be going for here; the idea that romance is a given, rather than something that must be earned between two parties.

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#31 Posted by CornBREDX (7372 posts) -

@lackingsaint: Twilight is poorly written fantasy for the ladies. Dime store novels.

Hitchcock is well written and requires thought.

Very simple difference.

I'm sorry, but I cannot give you examples (I am super tired and haven't slept yet) and it's really insane that you would think to relate Hitchcock to Twilight. Borderline offensive to my movie snob side.

Being creepy was the intent of Rear Window, by the way.

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#32 Posted by DiamondDog (71 posts) -

I wish the people who spend this much time fighting against perceived misogyny in video games spent half that time actually combating real issues that face women, like genital mutilation in Africa, or gang rape in India, or even wage disparity in the west. This non issue is becoming so tired.

Can't we just enjoy games? If you want a deep, mutual relationship, why not go outside, and find one? Am I really the only person who plays video games for gameplay, and not for some treatise on the human condition?

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#33 Posted by LackingSaint (2185 posts) -

@cornbredx: Did you intentionally completely miss the point of everything I said? I wasn't comparing the quality of Twilight and Rear Window, I was saying that both employ an awkward, arbitrary romance to reinforce my point that it's crazy to assume that Twilight was an origin-point for that stuff. And yes, obviously voyeurism and creepiness is the main point of Rear Window, but that was in relation to the actions of the main character; there is no aspect of the romantic angle that is actually shown to be creepy or misguided, it's just a shallow romantic subplot in which an old man is handed a beautiful, doting fiance. God damn, Hitchcock was a great director but his work was not flawless, and the fact that even one of the most lauded films of all-time can even fall for this "romance as a given" trope was the entire reason I used Rear Window as an example.

Maybe if you're too tired to come up with any kind of defense or examples, you shouldn't be so condescending about my "borderline offensive" argument.

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#34 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

Misogyny is inherent in the society and is naturally in almost all forms of media; just due to socialization almost everyone is at least somewhat misogynist, including women. It's not enough to justify a crazy person, there's not really much point trying.

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#35 Posted by Levius (1358 posts) -

@diamonddog: I tend to agree, I think there is an aspect of writers trying to find respectability by writing about "important topics", and feminism is the most common topic for this. If games journalists really wanted to help women in the games they would write far more stories about teaching and games development for women than minutiae like Dead Island statues and picking apart quotes from developers. I think the games industry could be better with women, but I find many of the feminist aguements on the games industry pretty facile and insubstantial.

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#36 Edited by conmulligan (1949 posts) -
@diamonddog said:

Can't we just enjoy games? If you want a deep, mutual relationship, why not go outside, and find one? Am I really the only person who plays video games for gameplay, and not for some treatise on the human condition?

I imagine there are tons of women who'd love to "just enjoy" games but can't because their gender is so poorly depicted.

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#37 Posted by DiamondDog (71 posts) -

@amatureidiot: I don't think anyone can argue that as a society, we could all benefit from taking a step back, and becoming more inclusive and fair. It just seriously riles me when I see people jumping on the bandwagon for popularity. It's why the whole Anita Sarkeesian fiasco annoyed me so much. If she was so affected by the lack of female perspective in the industry, why not use the money for example, by giving it as scholarships or bursaries to help young women pay for college tuition in computer science, or mathematics? Supporting women and helping them to get into making video games, instead of pissing it away on click-bait videos that do nothing but drive her own publicity campaign.

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#38 Posted by DiamondDog (71 posts) -

@conmulligan: I'm sorry, but that argument has never made any sense to me. If your enjoyment of a medium is solely dependent on gender relations, there's something wrong with the way you're approaching it. Judge a story on the quality of it's characters, not by some ephemeral 'representation' of an entire gender.

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#39 Posted by Levius (1358 posts) -

@diamonddog: I could not agree with you more, Sarkeesian would have done far more good producing videos on how to make a game in Unity or highlighting inspirational people than talking about how 25 year old games are sexist.

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#40 Posted by President_Barackbar (3642 posts) -
@theht said:
@president_barackbar said:

I feel like all the stuff that came out after the shooting claiming that it was the fault of misogyny or something like that completely missed the main issue here. The perpetrator of the shooting was insane, not sexist. He went out and shot people because his brain was malfunctioning, I don't care what he "claimed" the reason was. Its because he was fucking nuts. Like, full stop. CRAZY.

Misogyny is very much a part of this incident. Like, actual misogyny; not the way that word is thrown around to describe Mario and other video game shit. An action predicated on a hatred for women, and in this case also jealousy of other men.

Whether it's a severe reflection of some societal sexism or just comes from the sexual frustration of a narcissistic and angry kid, or some measure of both, I suppose is the conversation left for us to mull over (along with the conversation of how, rather than why).

In any case, were it an act of racism, we'd call it so, and we'd also still call the perpetrator crazy. Both racism and misogyny are, after all, pretty fucking insane.

What I mean is he wasn't some kind of MRA who decided to go on a shooting rampage because he hated women, he went on a shooting rampage because he's insane. I'd say the same about someone who went crazy and shot a bunch of black people, not a racist, just fucking insane. I feel like to be a misogynist or racist you have to have the capacity for rational thought in certain areas and just choose or are conditioned to hate certain groups within your own rational world. Crazy people are just crazy. What this guy did does not represent some kind of moral failing on America because men are evil or some such thing that I've seen plastered on the internet. This was the work of a profoundly disturbed individual who didn't have the mental capacity to make any kind of choices. I guess what I'm saying is that ANYTHING could have set this guy off, its just that his bad experiences with females in his life was what did it. That's not to say under different circumstances it couldn't have been some other group.

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#41 Edited by Rowr (5861 posts) -

Leave that trigger warning shit at the door. Dumbest fucking shit ever.

If your topic is to sensitive people can fuck off to another thread as they like.

As far as the topic and regards to video games, it's the same as usual. This guy was sick, and any particular media can't be directly blamed for his take on the world. Some of it may contribute in small ways, but at the end of the day he was obviously not healthy for a variety of more pressing "real world" reasons. Maybe his issue was that he didn't have enough "real world" reasons, which is probably even sadder.

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#42 Posted by Jazz_Bcaz (272 posts) -

@rowr said:

Leave that trigger warning shit at the door. Dumbest fucking shit ever.

If your topic is to sensitive people can fuck off to another thread as they like.

Yeah. What a waste of time if it doesn't stop pointless vitriol like this from wafting in through the open window.

As for misogyny in our culture and society? Of course all of these things are ingrained, but art, like society, tends to reflect a broad spectrum, sometimes progressive/subversive, sometimes not. I don't think we need to still believe what traditional media tells us about video games, and lump them all together. There are plenty of video games with somewhat inoffensive portrayals of relationships, and some incredibly shallow portrayals of relationships. They all deserve scrutiny.

There are some people that would prefer their games to be devoid of societal commentary. To be made in a vacuum, with a matte finish lest it reflect some inherent philosophy of the creator. Some of those people are in this thread. I think they're insane and don't understand the function of creation and experience.

As for Elliot Rodgers, the onus was on him to come to terms with human relationships and emotions and find his own truth, which, I guess he did. If you were to view common gender expectations from an extraordinarily egomaniacal position and feelings of intense exclusion you might be bitter to. There were a multitude of catalysts, like always, that contributed; a community that reinforced negative positions, glamorisation of cop suicide and easy weapon access.

The question that can't be answered is, what would have happened had he been laid? How would his mind reconcile that within the framework he had built around it? We'll never know, and it's probably an important question.

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#43 Posted by dudeglove (13780 posts) -

Then I started wondering what video games embrace this trope, both positively and negatively. I thought I'd ask the Giant Bomb audience if they could think up some examples of video games where the relationship between the characters justifies the romance that develops, and maybe create a list of those games, the positive examples of video games. I'd also be curious if we could put together a list that focuses on the worst of it, the most egregious aspects of video game misogyny.

I've never played it, but Yahtzee lauded the gay relationship development in whichever Dragon Age game it was where your male character can get it on with some cleric dude, because it was reinforced in the gameplay (you're adventuring together, he plays a key role to the group as a healer or something etc. therefore it makes sense that you'd care about him).

You'll be hard pushed to come up with a list at all because games suck at writing even the most basic of plots, but the "best" romances seem to come from the games that focus more on player agency and minimalist dialog, as you end up projecting onto the character (but then you fall into the trap of that being almost entirely subjective depending on player). Some folk will read deeply into the hand holding of Ico, others will see it as just a gameplay mechanic. Also your thread title is kind of dumb.

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#44 Posted by Rowr (5861 posts) -

@rowr said:

Leave that trigger warning shit at the door. Dumbest fucking shit ever.

If your topic is to sensitive people can fuck off to another thread as they like.

Yeah. What a waste of time if it doesn't stop pointless vitriol like this from wafting in through the open window.

As for misogyny in our culture and society? Of course all of these things are ingrained, but art, like society, tends to reflect a broad spectrum, sometimes progressive/subversive, sometimes not. I don't think we need to still believe what traditional media tells us about video games, and lump them all together. There are plenty of video games with somewhat inoffensive portrayals of relationships, and some incredibly shallow portrayals of relationships. They all deserve scrutiny.

There are some people that would prefer their games to be devoid of societal commentary. To be made in a vacuum, with a matte finish lest it reflect some inherent philosophy of the creator. Some of those people are in this thread. I think they're insane and don't understand the function of creation and experience.

As for Elliot Rodgers, the onus was on him to come to terms with human relationships and emotions and find his own truth, which, I guess he did. If you were to view common gender expectations from an extraordinarily egomaniacal position and feelings of intense exclusion you might be bitter to. There were a multitude of catalysts, like always, that contributed; a community that reinforced negative positions, glamorisation of cop suicide and easy weapon access.

The question that can't be answered is, what would have happened had he been laid? How would his mind reconcile that within the framework he had built around it? We'll never know, and it's probably an important question.

Well it beats using three wordy paragraphs to say fucking nothing and end by reducing the issue to a single question of if this guy got to blow his load he wouldn't of gone on a shooting spree. While obviously an admitted component to the madness, do you really believe a single real sexual experience would of completely turned this individual from a psychotic outcome as extreme as this?

Seems to me his motives were a sickness brought about by percieved rejection and loneliness. A state an emotionless sexual encounter would likely make worse. Perhaps he assumed (as many do) and communicated that acceptance and love from someone is equivalent to getting laid, but in the end it was likely more about the acceptance and love.

"Dude needed to get laid" is a pretty lazy and thoughtless take on this.

As i said, though late for the accidental post click -

"As far as the topic and regards to video games, it's the same as usual. This guy was sick, and any particular media can't be directly blamed for his take on the world. Some of it may contribute in small ways, but at the end of the day he was obviously not healthy for a variety of more pressing "real world" reasons. Maybe his issue was that he didn't have enough "real world" reasons, which is probably even sadder."

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#45 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

What is the trigger warning for?

I'm not even trying to be a jerk, I honestly don't see what could be a trigger in what you wrote.

I've always found it incredibly weird that every single story --- at least in film and television --- has to have a romantic subplot. The only movie I can think of that doesn't have one is Predator. Wait, did Primer have a romance? I want to say it did.

Video games can be guilty of a lot of this, and they certainly are getting blamed for a lot of things these days, but they can be just as diverse as films, books, music, and so on. The difference between those other mediums and video games is that video games are evolving from a primarily young male driven demographic (like comic books) to a broader spectrum demographic like films. There are growing pains, and one of those is some members of the former demographic not wanting to lose their niche and lashing out at those who attack their culture. (Again, like comic books. Which is part of the reason they have largely stagnated with that demographic.)

However, due to these growing pains, member of the industry and fandom who wish to see it expand are very sensitive to this problem and tend to over apologize for it. This is exacerbated by the fact that some members will lash out harshly against criticism with rants and tirades designed to alienate outsiders (non-members of the young male demographic) which leads credence to those who wish to criticize. Then there's the whole problem that many of those who are criticizing don't even seem to be fans of the genre, but have finally found a community of a medium that will react to their criticisms in ways that will garner attention, be it over-apologizing or reacting harshly and giving credence to the argument.

Then there's the lot of who are in the middle, who wish both sides would just calm the fuck down. The argument is being driven by the extremes, and any time you say something that can be slightly construed to favor one or other extreme, you are labeled as the other and attacked.

I don't consider games like Pokémon (not the show --- that's another medium), Civilization, FTL, Mario Kart, Tetris, or even the BioWare games as being especially promoting any kind of culture that can lead to violence, be it either through envy or other reasons. I'm sure there are plenty of examples that could be argued for, but that's true of many genres.

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#46 Edited by bybeach (6386 posts) -

The guy was a loser. He I think knew by the same standards I believe I see out there, that he was a loser. And then he rebelled against being the loser. Not the system mind you, but simply his role in it. If he had thought out that being human and a man wasn't what consensus society pushed necessarily, he might of accomplished wonders for his self image and his understanding of his world. Even if that remained a cynical view.. But he bought into the every-day status quo, based after all on what he saw felt and heard, and then rebelled because of his niche.

And yes I saw the World of War-craft rather short take. Made me laugh. I'm not denying some sort of video games connection, it after all would be like every other sensory connection that feeds in, on often a loop. But when people are looking for blame, or they are looking to divert blame...

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#47 Edited by Jazz_Bcaz (272 posts) -

@rowr said:

The question that can't be answered is, what would have happened had he been laid? How would his mind reconcile that within the framework he had built around it? We'll never know, and it's probably an important question.

Well it beats using three wordy paragraphs to say fucking nothing and end by reducing the issue to a single question of if this guy got to blow his load he wouldn't of gone on a shooting spree. While obviously an admitted component to the madness, do you really believe a single real sexual experience would of completely turned this individual from a psychotic outcome as extreme as this?

Seems to me his motives were a sickness brought about by percieved rejection and loneliness. A state an emotionless sexual encounter would likely make worse. Perhaps he assumed (as many do) and communicated that acceptance and love from someone is equivalent to getting laid, but in the end it was likely more about the acceptance and love.

"Dude needed to get laid" is a pretty lazy and thoughtless take on this.

As i said, though late for the accidental post click -

"As far as the topic and regards to video games, it's the same as usual. This guy was sick, and any particular media can't be directly blamed for his take on the world. Some of it may contribute in small ways, but at the end of the day he was obviously not healthy for a variety of more pressing "real world" reasons. Maybe his issue was that he didn't have enough "real world" reasons, which is probably even sadder."

That's not what I was saying. The first two paragraphs aren't even about Rodgers. You can put air quotes around the words real world and talk about non-descript reasons all you like but I think it's important to ask, what was he really after? I personally don't think he was capable of handling a relationship like that either, but how would he have dealt with it? I don't think it would have changed anything either but I'm asking, why wouldn't it? We'll likely never know because he was so preoccupied with these ideas, we'll never know what his real problem was. Was he mentally ill, or on the autism spectrum like some people have suggested. Is that even relevant? I don't particularly think so.

Sorry it's not wrapped up in a neat bow but I'm hardly saying 'nothing', and it's not like you're adding much either.

I'll come back to what my first two paragraphs are about. Media/art reflects society and it's up to individuals to find their own truth. Rodgers did, and I'm pointing out that it was never challenged, for better or worse, so we'll never know. That's the burden for those who were close to him unfortunately.

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#48 Posted by Rowr (5861 posts) -

@jazz_bcaz: Indeed, we will never really know. The only thing we can know, is that time and time again it's proven that it's pretty fucking easy in the USA for someone to have prolonged untreated mental issues while also very easily being able to aquire weapons. As long as this is the case I don't see this sort of thing changing much in regards to a few fucking video games not having "save the princess" syndrome.

Maybe that discussion is interesting in it's own right, but I feel like if anyone is talking about progress here for real, they aren't talking about fixing a few specific media stereotypes, but maybe just maybe something to do with mental health treatment and gun regulation.

Maybe we all just recognise at this point it will never happen so we focus on anything else we can to feel like we are contributing in some way to the problem.

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#49 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

What is the trigger warning for?

I'm not even trying to be a jerk, I honestly don't see what could be a trigger in what you wrote.

You ever see how Giant Bomb reacts to feminism and diversity?

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#50 Edited by ChrisHarris (287 posts) -

Is there a way to have a trigger warning for trigger warnings without triggering someone who needs to be warned of trigger warnings?