Standing Silent in the Echo Chamber

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#151 Posted by Gaff (2768 posts) -

@wolfgame: I'm going to pull a page out of NeoGAF's book and ask for proof of such "resistance". And by resistance, I mean actual resistance, not "I can't possibly answer 10,000 direct messages on Twitter, so I might have missed something".

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#152 Posted by spraynardtatum (4384 posts) -

I want more female characters and I want them to be represented well. - a sensible request

Stop calling each other names, guys and gals.

There's nothing to it.

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#153 Posted by freedo (130 posts) -

@wolfgame said:

@hallic said:

The way GB has handled the whole gamergate discussion or more appropriately lack thereof (We have Patrick to thank for that I presume) has made me very disappointed in this site. And now having that google "pro journos" group being leaked , showing that there was collusion within the gaming press to silence/smear it's critics and organise the "Stop the Hate" petition that came out a little while ago, it's becoming very clear that the gaming press narrative of gamergate being nothing more than woman/minority/trans and also puppy(why not?) hating trolls is a shameless attempt to get their opponents to stand down and be quite.

Patrick and the mods here can have whatever opinion on the matter they wish but to outright silence most if not all discussion on this topic is just something that makes me scratch my head to be honest.

I happen to agree with most of the points you have raised, things are dreary around here. This whole thing has backfired in ways I am sure the larger gaming journalists never wanted to see. It's gotten away from them and grown into something that has become much harder to attack. I would encourage anyone interested to watch this video from the American Enterprise Institute. This is probably the embodiment of what the larger gaming community has been trying to say on this issue. It goes without saying that this will get very little coverage. If the gaming press even tried to respond to the points made in this video, I would be stunned. Every single claim she makes goes directly against the narrative they have built. What we are really seeing is that the gaming press have effectively tied their own hands on this issue. After pouring months into a campaign designed to demonize gamers it has all blown up in their face. I think its sad that they have had a concerted effort to throw away the good will and admiration that they have built over the years all by refusing to treat gamers as real people. The larger gaming space will probably just continue to call people misogynists

Loading Video...

....Huh? You read what the OP said, right? Granted, that's anecdotal, but I've seen the same thing: most "gamers" don't actually give a shit about GamerGate. That's the echo-chamber effect. You're all (and I'm going to go ahead and assume you affiliate with GamerGate, apologies if not so) yelling and screaming at yourselves. This has not blown up in game "journalists" face, it's blown up in GamerGate's face. No one except the people you continue to harass actually listens to what you say. I've tried to sit down and read the hashtag, but it's just drudgery. None of you guys are actually saying what I feel as a "gamer", which I don't even call myself specifically because of things like GamerGate. I don't want to be associated with you people, even though we enjoy the same pastime. I love games and I love where they're going. None of the "issues" that GamerGate has brought up are either new or original. In fact, the ethics argument and the nepotism argument have been going on for years, and guess who's been talking about it? Game journalists. This fucking site was founded on the heals of one of, if not the biggest ethics scandal in games. This isn't a new discussion. But a bunch of misogynistic assholes decided that the only way that they were going to get any traction was to trick a bunch of "gamers" into thinking that this was some underlining issue that has never been addressed.

GamerGate lost what modicum of creditability it had weeks ago and now it's just grasping at straws. Face it: ALMOST (emphasis for a reason) everyone involved with the GamerGate fiasco are probably just easily threatened, insecure, sexist jerks who desperately need to grow up.

p.s. That video has nothing to do with the current issues. Of course most women that play games play mainly casual and mobile games. That doesn't shock anyone; that's to be expected. What Anita Sarkiseean is doing is helping people better understand why they don't play more "hardcore" games. Maybe it has something to do with a lot of ugly sexist and misogynistic troupes that maybe weasel their way into the games we love, maybe? If we address that issue, maybe some of those women start to play the same kind of games we immature boys–self included–play? Wouldn't that be nice?

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#154 Posted by Wolfgame (1168 posts) -

@rorie: I just appreciate having the venue to discuss this, all things considered I find this conversation compelling and thought provoking. It seemed kind of shaky for awhile but I find it commendable of the community and mods that we have been afforded the chance to talk on this subject without having to resort to locking it.

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#155 Edited by HeyGuys (566 posts) -

@rorie: People also have the very real worry of not only encouraging things like body dysmorphic disorder but contributing to an overall atmosphere of objectification, which is a term we hear a lot but mostly gloss over without thinking about. Objectification is literally dehumanization and the idea of mentally turning a person from a human being to be empathized with into an object to be gratified with. I'm not about to come down one way or another on the idea of objectification, other to re-iterate that it isn't a problem in any particular game where characters are designed to be "sexy" but it is a problem of aggregation where 90% of all female characters are designed primarily for male pleasure, but it's worth bringing up if you're criticizing games from a feminist perspective and, this is also from a far from expert position, it's worth discussing. It's definitely not offensive to me for someone to suggest that it might be a problem.

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#156 Edited by pcorb (681 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: Sex isn't a bad thing, and sexy women and men aren't bad things. Nobody serious is arguing that. The "bad thing" is reducing people or characters to a collection physical attributes which, as @rorie pointed out, tend to fall within pretty strict parameters. Every time a game shoves a huge pair of tits on the screen or takes a long, lingering shot of a woman's ass before she turns around, I feel embarrassed by my hobby and disappointed that developers are so lacking in confidence in their creative abilities that they appear to think digitised, oversized physical attributes are an acceptable substitute for well thought out characterisation.

One of the main reasons I find the whole anime comparison so off the mark is that it's pretty damn easy to avoid anime if you don't like it. Not so much if you want to avoid gratuitous sexualisation. If there was a gundam battle every fifteen minutes in almost every piece of media produced the comparison would be apt, but last time I turned on the TV that wasn't the case.

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#157 Edited by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

@pcorb: Yet the last time you turned on the TV you saw what some would consider gratuitous, overtly long shots of beautiful women (and men!) in virtually every television show currently produced.

Perhaps this isn't necessarily an issue with lust (which is what you're talking about with objectification, from my understanding), and more an issue with people liking to look at beautiful people. Hell, it's not like Japanese games are any different, nor are European games. Or any other kind of game. The standards of beauty change from culture to culture, and the wildly diverse games currently on the market only reinforce that point. The only thing something like Final Fantasy XIII has in common with, say, God of War is that both games feature characters designed to be physically attractive for their respective cultures.

As far as objectification goes, I don't think we can legislate or police what goes on in a person's head. If someone gets a chub over a digital woman (or an anime woman, or whatever) I might think that's a little weird but ultimately harmless. Sexuality is an intrinsic part of human nature, and the way you've described objectification makes it sound like the typical case of someone thinking with their genitalia as opposed to their brain.

As a thought experiment, let's talk about Quiet, the highly polarizing female character in the new Metal Gear Solid game. If you don't know who she is, a quick google search will suffice. A lot of people cried sexism at the drop of a hat when her character design was revealed, only that the closer we get to MGS5 and the more we learn about the character, it turns out there's actually some really creepy and unsettling reasons for the way she dresses. I'll mark the next bit as a spoiler block in case you don't want to read on.

Basically, the point behind Quiet's look is that she's the victim of sexual assault. Rape, in other words. It looks like the moment will be depicted as well, and it immediately recontextualized Quiet's appearance. What one could say is an attempt at titillation is turned into a horror show where her revealing outfit makes the player uncomfortable. This isn't a sexy woman trying to look sexy, this is a rape victim who is shell shocked from the experience and is still dressed in the clothes she was violated in. She looks less like a playboy model and more like a walking husk. Maybe it's a little "I Spit On Your Grave" for most people's tastes, but when I learned about her back story she ceased to be sexy to me. I think that this is an incredible way to take what is a normal, everyday occurrence in media (sexy women wearing sexy clothes) and turn it completely on its head. Every time she's on screen you're being reminded of what happened to her. It's a striking way of using sexuality to tell a character's story without being sexy about it in the slightest.

In any event, that's pretty much all I got on this. Hopefully this clears up my position on a lot of this.

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#158 Posted by spraynardtatum (4384 posts) -

@pcorb:

@wolfgame said:

@rorie: I just appreciate having the venue to discuss this, all things considered I find this conversation compelling and thought provoking. It seemed kind of shaky for awhile but I find it commendable of the community and mods that we have been afforded the chance to talk on this subject without having to resort to locking it.

Yup, agreed. Giantbomb maintains its status as a solid community with tolerant gamers and moderators alike.

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#159 Posted by Grizzly_Bear (2 posts) -

I've said my 2 cents on several discussions around the web, so why not here. I mostly buy games for the PC, so Steam is obviously my go to.

My habits for buying a game have changed. Before, I would go to a gaming website and learn what I could before making a purchase. Not so much anymore. Nowadays, I load up Steam, check out the game I'm interested in. Quite honestly, I find the user reviews to be more informative than anything written by a paid reviewer on one of these websites. I know they don't what to hear that, but it's the truth. I can sort through the positive and negative reviews for any game, watch some Youtube gameplay videos, then buy or not. Quite honestly, if gaming journalists on websites like this want to maximize their traffic, they need to change with the times. Dictating the conversation or scrubbing your website of opposing views drives myself and others away.

Why mention this? Because I want the game to make the social commentary, not the journalist. Part of the thrill of going through the Mass Effect trilogy was seeing how my choices played out. Am I a good guy, or as much of a jerk as I think I am? That is why I find a game like Skyrim so appealing too. Do I really want to sacrifice someone and be rewarded by a god, or not? Doing multiple playthroughs and seeing different ways the game pans out is exciting.

I really don't like it when critics decry Huckleberry Finn as a racist book without looking at the social attitudes at the time and using it as a learning tool. I remember watching an interesting program all about the universe on television. The part that really stuck with me was when they mentioned the Voyager probe that had information about the human race, was the biggest lie humanity ever told. It was not who were are as a species, but an image of how we want to be judged.

With all that being said, my issue is people outside game development trying to dictate what themes can and cannot be put in games. I'd rather risk having some horrible themes out on the market, and that is better than having everyone acting, talking, and thinking the same. In a free society, we have the right to be offended, too bad if you don't like that.

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#160 Posted by Rockdalf (1328 posts) -

@freedo said:

@wolfgame said:

@hallic said:

The way GB has handled the whole gamergate discussion or more appropriately lack thereof (We have Patrick to thank for that I presume) has made me very disappointed in this site. And now having that google "pro journos" group being leaked , showing that there was collusion within the gaming press to silence/smear it's critics and organise the "Stop the Hate" petition that came out a little while ago, it's becoming very clear that the gaming press narrative of gamergate being nothing more than woman/minority/trans and also puppy(why not?) hating trolls is a shameless attempt to get their opponents to stand down and be quite.

Patrick and the mods here can have whatever opinion on the matter they wish but to outright silence most if not all discussion on this topic is just something that makes me scratch my head to be honest.

I happen to agree with most of the points you have raised, things are dreary around here. This whole thing has backfired in ways I am sure the larger gaming journalists never wanted to see. It's gotten away from them and grown into something that has become much harder to attack. I would encourage anyone interested to watch this video from the American Enterprise Institute. This is probably the embodiment of what the larger gaming community has been trying to say on this issue. It goes without saying that this will get very little coverage. If the gaming press even tried to respond to the points made in this video, I would be stunned. Every single claim she makes goes directly against the narrative they have built. What we are really seeing is that the gaming press have effectively tied their own hands on this issue. After pouring months into a campaign designed to demonize gamers it has all blown up in their face. I think its sad that they have had a concerted effort to throw away the good will and admiration that they have built over the years all by refusing to treat gamers as real people. The larger gaming space will probably just continue to call people misogynists

Loading Video...

....Huh? You read what the OP said, right? Granted, that's anecdotal, but I've seen the same thing: most "gamers" don't actually give a shit about GamerGate. That's the echo-chamber effect. You're all (and I'm going to go ahead and assume you affiliate with GamerGate, apologies if not so) yelling and screaming at yourselves. This has not blown up in game "journalists" face, it's blown up in GamerGate's face. No one except the people you continue to harass actually listens to what you say. I've tried to sit down and read the hashtag, but it's just drudgery. None of you guys are actually saying what I feel as a "gamer", which I don't even call myself specifically because of things like GamerGate. I don't want to be associated with you people, even though we enjoy the same pastime. I love games and I love where they're going. None of the "issues" that GamerGate has brought up are either new or original. In fact, the ethics argument and the nepotism argument have been going on for years, and guess who's been talking about it? Game journalists. This fucking site was founded on the heals of one of, if not the biggest ethics scandal in games. This isn't a new discussion. But a bunch of misogynistic assholes decided that the only way that they were going to get any traction was to trick a bunch of "gamers" into thinking that this was some underlining issue that has never been addressed.

GamerGate lost what modicum of creditability it had weeks ago and now it's just grasping at straws. Face it: ALMOST (emphasis for a reason) everyone involved with the GamerGate fiasco are probably just easily threatened, insecure, sexist jerks who desperately need to grow up.

p.s. That video has nothing to do with the current issues. Of course most women that play games play mainly casual and mobile games. That doesn't shock anyone; that's to be expected. What Anita Sarkiseean is doing is helping people better understand why they don't play more "hardcore" games. Maybe it has something to do with a lot of ugly sexist and misogynistic troupes that maybe weasel their way into the games we love, maybe? If we address that issue, maybe some of those women start to play the same kind of games we immature boys–self included–play? Wouldn't that be nice?

Key note, just because you capitalize the word ALMOST doesn't mean you're not generalizing with broad strokes.

Like I said before, if we give both sides the benefit of doubt and trust their strongest argument, GamerGate and FemFrequency really don't conflict. People who truly care about gaming journalistic ethics shouldn't inherently have issue with minorities seeking further representation in gaming. It's simply the way these two sides have been presented or raised in the first place that's pitting them against each other.

For example, in this post, you completely ignore and dismiss the stated goals of GamerGate and empower the misogynistic undertones you claim started the movement. Hell, the video you quoted is probably one of the key points of the view GamerGate champions and I don't think anyone is claiming it's misogynistic.

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#161 Posted by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@theht said:

Awareness of potential behaviour to what end? What's your preferred outcome from developers becoming aware of what players can potentially do in their games? Suppose developers were entirely conscious of what players could do in these games when they released them. Would you accept that? If not, what exactly would you prefer they did?

I would hope that the end result of more developers being better aware of how the scenarios they depict in their games might affect certain players would result in greater, more inclusive experiences across the board.

But you're right, she wasn't singling out Hitman specifically. She was using ridiculous footage of it to support her argument that many of the games she discussed (Red Dead Redemption, Fallout 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Grand Theft Auto V, Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, etc.) were meticulously designed to illicit sexual arousal connected to the control and punishment of representations of female sexuality.

Throughout the video she's presuming such malicious and perverse intentions behind the development of these games, as well as the effects these games have on the hapless players forced to act upon those intentions.

She did not say those games were "meticulously designed to illicit sexual arousal connected to the control and punishment of representations of female sexuality", nor did she insinuate that the developers behind them had perverse intentions. Here's what she did say:

I should note that this kind of misogynistic behavior isn’t always mandatory; often it’s player-directed, but it is always implicitly encouraged.

That strikes me at totally fair. Sandbox games, like the Hitman series, are explicitly designed to encourage player experimentation. If your game includes a scenario where the player can harm a sexually objectified woman through the course of normal play, then the developer is ultimately responsible for the development decisions that allow for that scenario.

That's precisely where the argument leads conmulligan. Establishing a causal connection between the media we consume and our individual behaviour; how it influences our thoughts and ultimately our actions. Be it violence, prejudiced mentalities, or sexual violence.

I'm a little surprised that you're suggesting there is absolutely no link between the media we consume and individual behaviour because I thought it was pretty much established that it does, however subtly. That doesn't mean that playing a violent game is going to turn you into a killer, it just means that the media we consume can and does affect us in subtle ways, both positive and negative.

Instead we're here mulling over this crap YouTube video. You get some who don't want to look at the particulars of her arguments, because this is a very important issue that shouldn't be bogged down by her ridiculous arguments and deceitful presentation, but also let's raise her up as a spokesperson for the "movement". You get others who just hate the fact that assholes were being assholes to her, so they're on board for whatever. You get the assholes who are just assholes, and yeah, fuck those people. You get the people who vehemently disagree with everything she says and cover their eyes and ears to there even being a problem of representation and depiction.

I'm not defending Anita because I want her as a spokesperson, or because I think she needs protecting from her abusers; hard as it might be to imagine, it's because I agree with a lot of what she has to say. Anyway, this is where I check out, because there's no point in debating this with you if you're unwilling to acknowledge that concern about these issues comes from a genuine place.

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#162 Posted by nexas (644 posts) -

@rockdalf: The primary issue is that GamerGate does not deserve the benefit of doubt. The movement was started by misogynist in response to the non-issue of Zoe Quinn's sex life. It has harassed women who have chosen to speak out against sexism in the industry. It has attracted the attention of a number anti-feminist from outside the industry, who now seem to be the main voices in the cause. It's goals of "journalist ethics" are completely out of touch with reality. It has moved from one faux-scandal to the next hoping to find the smoking gun that will finally prove how corrupt games journalism truly is, but has continuously turned up empty handed. The movement is half directionless outrage a la Occupy Wallstreet, and half outright hatred and harassment in the vein of the Westboro Baptist Church.

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#163 Posted by freedo (130 posts) -

@rockdalf: I said almost because I have yet to actually see anyone who isn't awful. I've yet to see a rational discussion from them, just supposition, gossip and vitriol. And yes, GamerGate was in fact started by people who had it out on Zoe Quinn. Quinn actually posted quite a few examples off of 4chan on her feed, which was then followed by people from GamerGate doing the same in an attempt to waylay the accusation. That ended up just incriminated them more when people actually dived into the files and read the pages. It was ugly.

I suppose my simple issue with GamerGate is, outside of the vicious sexism and misogyny, I don't see their point. They're argument(s?) may have some merit, but like I said, it's not new and they aren't adding anything new to the conversation. Nothing of import, at least. Most of the "examples" they've put forth show a simple ignorance on what journalism is and how game writers rarely, if ever, actually fit the bill. Most game writers just regurgitate press releases, write op-eds or write game reviews. Patrick is an outlier to me; he's one of the few games writers that actually shows any journalistic methodology and ethics. The fact that GamerGate has targeted him is just hilarious.

At this point, I just don't care any more. GamerGate has failed as anything other than a way to spew hatred from what I've seen. That's my opinion. The issues they've brought up deserve to be discussed, sure, but most of them are to busy doxxing and threatening the opposition to have a discussion. Again, that's from what I've seen. And I've seen a lot of it. And I don't care enough anymore to look for those discussions.

And as far as the video, I just don't get it, man. What does that have to do with anything? What does that have to do with ethics? What does that have to do with Anita's videos? This is a prime example of how these people just don't know how to have a coherent argument. They're all over the place, but the one mainstay in misogyny. Do what your friends have done and just move on. Play games. When this boils over and isn't just a quiche talking point, make another thread where we can talk about ethics and nepotism without being bogged down.

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#164 Edited by Rockdalf (1328 posts) -

@conmulligan: That strikes me at totally fair. Sandbox games, like the Hitman series, are explicitly designed to encourage player experimentation. If your game includes a scenario where the player can harm a sexually objectified woman through the course of normal play, then the developer is ultimately responsible for the development decisions that allow for that scenario.

That's ridiculous. In the Hitman example in particular, the game itself penalizes you for doing the very thing you say. If a sandbox game exists to allow you to kill anyone, should then not contain women? Or should the women be invulnerable from attack? Should we refuse then to portray any form of harm coming to any minority?

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#165 Edited by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac said:

I do sort of agree with the thought that the violence against cops is over-the-top, but does that mean that if killing hookers was presented as equally over the top, it would be more acceptable? There's a strange thought.

I guess it depends? In general, I think the further you get from reality the less likely you are to play into real-world societal anxieties. That's not why I made the over-the-top comment, though — my main point was that violence against women, and especially sexual violence, is a day-to-day concern for an alarming number of women, and trivialising that in your game comes across as, at best, insensitive.

Also, violence against cops isn't a societal issue? It seems like you're suggesting that if a man kills a hooker, it's because a certain element of society has convinced him that her life is without value. Does that mean if a man kills a police officer, that has nothing to do with a certain element of society convincing him that officer's life is without value? Are you saying certain elements of society do not have issues concerning trust, fear, and hatred when it comes to how they view the police? If so, wouldn't that make it a societal issue?

I really don't think violence against cops is a societal issue, at least not one separate from the general issue of crime. There isn't some significant percentage of people who have a burning desire to harm cops like there are men who have the urge to assault women. It seems to me that the vast majority of violent incidents targeting cops are as a result of varying outside factors, not a singular desire to see an officer dead.

Are you suggesting that the women in that Hitmen scene are ineffectual sex objects? They have no more or less agency when it comes to player interaction than any other civilian in the game, male or female. And their dialogue concerns one of the men working at the club being a jerk, to which the other replies that it's the price you pay to work in their industry, and that any strip club like that is bound to have some jerk working there. So not only do they have agency on display by showing that they choose to work there, but they're given dialog that humanizes them beyond their polygonal form, which allows the player to better sympathize with them, and helps show that they ARE people rather than just sexy dancers.

Yes, I am absolutely saying that the women in the Hitman scene are ineffectual sex objects. Now, it's true that they don't have any less agency the most other NPCs in the game, who are also objectified in the most literal sense of the word in that they are little more than AI routines for the player to interact with. That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, but it becomes problematic when coupled with the sexualisation of women.

Some throwaway piece of dialogue doesn't give them agency against the player. It might help to contextualise them in the world, but that doesn't mean they're any more effective at thwarting the player's actions.

As for cherry picking, it's one argument that Anita chose herself, and worded herself in a way that completely misrepresents the game that is being talked about. It's also an incredibly brief part of the game, and one of three ways you can accomplish that mission, all of which specifically discourage you from attacking the dancers or any other random citizen. It's ironic that the people criticizing Anita for the way she talked about hitman are being accused of cherry picking her argument. You don't cherry pick specific examples provided by an individual, you cherry pick from thousands of sources. If I find the most man-hating feminist video I can come up with and say "see, this is what feminists are really like!" that is cherry picking, and it's dishonest.

Look, Anita is trying to point out broad trends across a huge number of games. There are going to be some misses. I don't think it means she is deliberately cherry picking when she does. If anything, it points to the strength of her argument that, out of 52 games cited in that particular video, people are only really claiming that one has been unfairly represented.

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#166 Edited by chrissedoff (2387 posts) -

@rorie: Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to suggest that an American Enterprise Institute-funded woman with a PhD making half-hearted, un-sourced claims and telling feminists they should just shut up is doing so out of a cynical desire to make a great living and be a minor celebrity. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song. This is the same woman who claimed that most feminist academics are just a bunch of uggos who take out their envy of the hotties on men, so it's hard to justify dignifying her with Fair and Balanced™ verbage.

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#167 Posted by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@rockdalf said:

That's ridiculous. In the Hitman example in particular, the game itself penalizes you for doing the very thing you say. If a sandbox game exists to allow you to kill anyone, should then not contain women? Or should the women be invulnerable from attack? Should we refuse then to portray any form of harm coming to any minority?

How is it ridiculous? Sure, the game penalises you for harming NPCs, but it doesn't trigger a fail state and is therefore a viable action in the game. Sandbox games can allow women to be harmed, nobody's saying they should be banned or something. But if your game does allow the player to attack helpless, semi-naked women then maybe don't be surprised if some people find that a little distasteful.

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#168 Edited by Rockdalf (1328 posts) -

@nexas said:

@rockdalf: The primary issue is that GamerGate does not deserve the benefit of doubt. The movement was started by misogynist in response to the non-issue of Zoe Quinn's sex life. It has harassed women who have chosen to speak out against sexism in the industry. It has attracted the attention of a number anti-feminist from outside the industry, who now seem to be the main voices in the cause. It's goals of "journalist ethics" are completely out of touch with reality. It has moved from one faux-scandal to the next hoping to find the smoking gun that will finally prove how corrupt games journalism truly is, but has continuously turned up empty handed. The movement is half directionless outrage a la Occupy Wallstreet, and half outright hatred and harassment in the vein of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Everything you said completely sidesteps what GamerGate claims as their ideal and forces your viewpoint on them instead. Consider the Principle of Charity. By framing their arguments as inherently misogynistic, you're literally capitalizing off the attacks of asshole minority to discredit the legitimate arguments the rational majority. Take a minute for that to soak in.

I haven't attacked women, I believe there is a problem in gaming journalism, so instead of painting over me, address me.

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#169 Posted by Rockdalf (1328 posts) -

@rockdalf said:

That's ridiculous. In the Hitman example in particular, the game itself penalizes you for doing the very thing you say. If a sandbox game exists to allow you to kill anyone, should then not contain women? Or should the women be invulnerable from attack? Should we refuse then to portray any form of harm coming to any minority?

How is it ridiculous? Sure, the game penalises you for harming NPCs, but it doesn't trigger a fail state and is therefore a viable action in the game. Sandbox games can allow women to be harmed, nobody's saying they should be banned or something. But if your game does allow the player to attack helpless, semi-naked women then maybe don't be surprised if some people find that a little distasteful.

"is therefore a viable action in the game."

I never argued otherwise. I'm arguing the great logical leap between viable action and implicit encouragement. By the same token, the game is implicitly encouraging violence against fully clothed men? I also don't have a problem with finding it distasteful. The problem I have is the specific example being singled out as a textbook example of systemic oppression, when it's cherry picked and poorly presented outside of context. If you were to show someone who knew nothing about that game, they would rightfully assume the game was about being awarded points for killing strippers.

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#170 Posted by chrissedoff (2387 posts) -

Boy it sure is interesting how the OP's position seemed to just morph from, "Hey, both sides have good points let's just be chill and not argue about it" to consistently making critiques of one side of the debate and arguing in favor of the legitimacy of the side that's almost solely targeted at opinionated women and is lousy with hackers, trolls and misogynists. It almost makes you wonder if calling for civility from a supposedly neutral position is really just a Trojan horse that is deployed to create a false equivalency between the two sides of this debate!

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#171 Posted by cocoonmoon (254 posts) -

GamerGate started after the low-grade tabloid journalists flooded the internet with their "gamers are dead" articles. The formation of the movement had in fact nothing to do with Zoe Quinn.

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#172 Edited by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@rockdalf said:

The problem I have is the specific example being singled out as a textbook example of systemic oppression, when it's cherry picked and poorly presented outside of context. If you were to show someone who knew nothing about that game, they would rightfully assume the game was about being awarded points for killing strippers.

Nobody is singling it out as a textbook example; the only reason we're talking about Hitman specifically is because that's the game everyone who objects to Anita's assertions uses to try and poke holes in her argument. I've already said that Hitman wasn't a particularly great example.

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#173 Edited by Rockdalf (1328 posts) -

@chrissedoff said:

Boy it sure is interesting how the OP's position seemed to just morph from, "Hey, both sides have good points let's just be chill and not argue about it" to consistently making critiques of one side of the debate and arguing in favor of the legitimacy of the side that's almost solely targeted at opinionated women and is lousy with hackers, trolls and misogynists. It almost makes you wonder if calling for civility from a supposedly neutral position is really just a Trojan horse that is deployed to create a false equivalency between the two sides of this debate!

I've never claimed to be neutral, I said I had my opinions. I also claimed I believe both sides have things they are right about and they're not really at odds with each other. Maybe I don't want to associate myself with GamerGate, because I would automatically be lumped in and discredited by the worst of their movement, even though I believe in some of the issues they have. If you find anything I've said that conflicts itself, be sure to point it out and I'll address it accordingly. The only false equivalence I can see is accusing me of defending the targeting of opinionated women.

@conmulligan said:

@rockdalf said:

The problem I have is the specific example being singled out as a textbook example of systemic oppression, when it's cherry picked and poorly presented outside of context. If you were to show someone who knew nothing about that game, they would rightfully assume the game was about being awarded points for killing strippers.

Nobody is singling it out as a textbook example; the only reason we're talking about Hitman specifically is because that's the game everyone who objects to Anita's assertions uses to try and poke holes in her argument. I've already said that Hitman wasn't a particularly great example.

Maybe textbook example was a bad choice of words. Rather I meant, it doesn't fit in the video at all. A sandbox game where you can kill women as well as men isn't misogyny anymore than it is misandry. Regardless, I'll agree it's a beaten horse.

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#174 Posted by Wolfgame (1168 posts) -

@rockdalf said:

The problem I have is the specific example being singled out as a textbook example of systemic oppression, when it's cherry picked and poorly presented outside of context. If you were to show someone who knew nothing about that game, they would rightfully assume the game was about being awarded points for killing strippers.

Nobody is singling it out as a textbook example; the only reason we're talking about Hitman specifically is because that's the game everyone who objects to Anita's assertions uses to try and poke holes in her argument. I've already said that Hitman wasn't a particularly great example.

I just find it interesting that gamers, a knowledgeable group of people familiar with games actually justify the way she misrepresents games (lies) in order to achieve her goals. I'm sorry, when it comes to topics such as sexism. Serious topics, I can't accept a position that involves a stance of "She only lied about one game, the rest of it is clean." If you want to defend her that's fine, but a key part of addressing these issues in gaming means being honest. I don't think that is too much to ask for someone who wants to be an authority on the subject.

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#175 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

@LunarJetman said:

GamerGate started after the low-grade tabloid journalists flooded the internet with their "gamers are dead" articles. The formation of the movement had in fact nothing to do with Zoe Quinn.

This was actually pointed out to me as false. I thought the same thing, but apparently the first use of the hashtag was the day before journalists started writing "gamers are dead" articles, assuming that Leigh was the first to write an article. However I do feel that most of the use of the hashtag was likely in response to those articles. While I never considered myself part of the gamergate movement, that's certainly what I thought the hashtag was about.

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#176 Edited by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@wolfgame said:

I just find it interesting that gamers, a knowledgeable group of people familiar with games actually justify the way she misrepresents games (lies) in order to achieve her goals. I'm sorry, when it comes to topics such as sexism. Serious topics, I can't accept a position that involves a stance of "She only lied about one game, the rest of it is clean." If you want to defend her that's fine, but a key part of addressing these issues in gaming means being honest. I don't think that is too much to ask for someone who wants to be an authority on the subject.

She didn't lie. I think part of her criticism, specifically when it comes to how the player is supposed to react to NPCs, was wrong, but that doesn't mean she was being deliberately misleading, or that Hitman is completely above reproach.

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#178 Edited by TrafalgarLaw (1715 posts) -

@LunarJetman said:

GamerGate started after the low-grade tabloid journalists flooded the internet with their "gamers are dead" articles. The formation of the movement had in fact nothing to do with Zoe Quinn.

I have no stake in this war and I generally refrain from participating in these kind of discussions but I really want to underline what you just said. While mysogyny, sexism, racism and insults on the internet are nothing new, Leigh Alexander made a (in my opinion) a far too harsh judgement on the gamers of today and gamers in general. She did exactly the things she accused others of, denying others of their self-perceived identity. Normally you'd say, allright...that's her opinion and that's just fine. But then big sites like Kotaku joined in and many others, even unexpected sites joined in.

My main problem was how those sites, used this condescending tone on its readers. Many videogame websites parroted the GAMERS ARE DEAD sentiment. You don't write articles directed at your readers telling them that they're dead, finished and old news. Even internetjournalism has standards, i.e. respecting your readers at all times. In an attempt to bring sexism and misogyny to attention, they insulted their readers. Who the hell has the right to deny my self-perceived identity, whether it be a gamer, (in my case) male or otherwise?

I'm not denying or downplaying sexism/misogyny or racism, in videogames, on the internet or in real life. There are better ways to bring it to attention than what has transpired the last couple of months. It all feels like a surreal war in which the GAMERS ARE DEAD bandwagon was a direct response to the Zoe Quinn conspiracy believers. I don't quite understand the hashtag GamersGate still, is this used by those rebelling against the perceived corruption in videogames journalism?

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#179 Posted by HeyGuys (566 posts) -

@conmulligan: I think you might be running into the problem of being forced to defend an idea you don't necessarily agree with to defend the larger value of the person who proposed the idea as a whole, I say this because you basically admited earlier that you have problems with her segment on Hitman: Absolution. No one, not Anita Sarkeesian, not President Barack Obama, not anyone should be expected to be right all of the time and so, like any human, Sarkeesian will make bad arguments and I think you can easily defend the value of what she's doing and acknowledge specific instances where her arguments don't hold up.

Of course it's entirely possible that I'm being presumptuous and if I am I already apologize, but bending over backwards to defend a single segment doesn't really increase credibility.

So I just want a very clear understanding of what you're proposing with this quote, "I would hope that the end result of more developers being better aware of how the scenarios they depict in their games might affect certain players would result in greater, more inclusive experiences across the board."

For example what does this mean (the bold section)? Should games self-censor in order not to affect people who are already mentally unbalanced? Does this apply to other media as well? If you think a direct link between expression in video games and measurable real world violence/consequences exists then is it reasonable to call for some kind of governmental regulation even if that stops short of censorship? Are the certain players you mention minors or do you think adults should be considered as well? What other societal problems should developers consider when creating games, especially open world ones and possibly censor? Do you think developers gained awareness through that video specifically, why wouldn't they have been aware before? How does this speak to a lack of "inclusiveness"?

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#180 Edited by FinalDasa (3215 posts) -

I think there is a basic conversation to have about the relationship between gaming press and gaming developers/publishers. For me I think it's the big publishers who regularly send the press on trips, to parties, and pay for their food and drinks are much more of a concern. This relationship is already well known and openly talked about but yet I continually see indie developers targeted. It isn't right for indie developers to try to exert any kind of influence on the press but when you allow big publishers/developers to do it, the indie developers should too.

That's where my disconnect comes from. You can't say indie and press should be separate and can't communicate or coordinate when the big developers do it all the time.

And in my opinion it's all apart of the business. You shouldn't have 100% in any one person or website. They have to prove themselves to you to earn your clicks.

Also a lot of people need to remember two things. 1. This is an opinion, not journalist, based business. Reviewers are paid to share their opinions. 2. It's video games. It may be your favorite hobby, you may have been playing since age 3, and you may really love it all. But it's still just a video game. It isn't worth feeling so negative over.

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#181 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (6353 posts) -

Boy it sure is interesting how the OP's position seemed to just morph from, "Hey, both sides have good points let's just be chill and not argue about it" to consistently making critiques of one side of the debate and arguing in favor of the legitimacy of the side that's almost solely targeted at opinionated women and is lousy with hackers, trolls and misogynists. It almost makes you wonder if calling for civility from a supposedly neutral position is really just a Trojan horse that is deployed to create a false equivalency between the two sides of this debate!

Nothing says let's have a serious and respectful conversation about this topic like "your side is almost solely targeted at opinionated women and is lousy with hackers, trolls and misogynists."

@marokai said:

@brackstone: I would love if the reaction to a video from Anita Sarkeesian was even half as critical and contemplative as the reaction to that video from Sommers was. Polygon has flipped their shit and posted at least three different articles complaining about the video that came out, what, about that many days ago?

I don't even think the video is all that good, but the reaction has been ironic. She's called "dangerous" by people from Polygon and Gamespot; call Sarkeesian "dangerous" and you get mocked. One article from Polygon written by Colin Campbell complains that he's been called a "mansplainer" and a "misogynist" for criticizing Sommers. Yeah, what's that like? And spending a bunch of time on Twitter complaining about a women making a political point you dislike? Never heard of that before.

Said it better than I could have.

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#182 Edited by HeyGuys (566 posts) -

@chrissedoff said:

@rorie: Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to suggest that an American Enterprise Institute-funded woman with a PhD making half-hearted, un-sourced claims and telling feminists they should just shut up is doing so out of a cynical desire to make a great living and be a minor celebrity. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song. This is the same woman who claimed that most feminist academics are just a bunch of uggos who take out their envy of the hotties on men, so it's hard to justify dignifying her with Fair and Balanced™ verbage.

Oh I think she believes, to an extent, what she's saying. Just because someone is making money off of what they're doing doesn't mean they are not sincere about it, I think most of the people at AEI are fairly well known partisans. That's not to defend AEI, who I... disagree with almost categorically, but AEI and Sommers deserve to have their arguments addressed for what they are not who's presenting them.

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#183 Posted by Wolfgame (1168 posts) -

@heyguys said:

@chrissedoff said:

@rorie: Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to suggest that an American Enterprise Institute-funded woman with a PhD making half-hearted, un-sourced claims and telling feminists they should just shut up is doing so out of a cynical desire to make a great living and be a minor celebrity. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song. This is the same woman who claimed that most feminist academics are just a bunch of uggos who take out their envy of the hotties on men, so it's hard to justify dignifying her with Fair and Balanced™ verbage.

Oh I think she believes, to an extent, what she's saying just because someone is making money off of what they're doing doesn't mean they not sincere about it, I think most of the people at AEI are fairly well known partisans. That's not to defend AEI, who I... disagree with almost categorically, but AEI and Sommers deserve to have their arguments addressed for what they are not who's presenting them.

I may disagree with Anita but in the same sense I agree she should have a platform to speak, but as a free thinking individual I should have the ability to question elements of her position without being labeled as a misogynist. People were called much worse than @chrissedoff aimed at Sommers when targetting Anita's back ground. This shoe on the other foot syndrome has a lot of people tripping.

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#184 Posted by Rockdalf (1328 posts) -

I think there is a basic conversation to have about the relationship between gaming press and gaming developers/publishers. For me I think it's the big publishers who regularly send the press on trips, to parties, and pay for their food and drinks are much more of a concern. This relationship is already well known and openly talked about but yet I continually see indie developers targeted. It isn't right for indie developers to try to exert any kind of influence on the press but when you allow big publishers/developers to do it, the indie developers should too.

That's where my disconnect comes from. You can't say indie and press should be separate and can't communicate or coordinate when the big developers do it all the time.

And in my opinion it's all apart of the business. You shouldn't have 100% in any one person or website. They have to prove themselves to you to earn your clicks.

Also a lot of people need to remember two things. 1. This is an opinion, not journalist, based business. Reviewers are paid to share their opinions. 2. It's video games. It may be your favorite hobby, you may have been playing since age 3, and you may really love it all. But it's still just a video game. It isn't worth feeling so negative over.

I feel like that's one thing this site does right. I don't come here to see review scores I may or may not disagree with. I come here for the personalities of the staff and the content they put out. It's the same reason I watch certain youtube personalities or twitch. Games press has mostly served the role as middleman between consumer and developer, but because of the internet, that's really no longer an issue. With companies like Nintendo Direct marketing their products directly to consumers, Valve and EA creating entire platforms dedicating to distributing and advertising content, we see less and less necessity for the mail man. Gaming press is going to have to figure out a new role, I think.

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#185 Edited by Gaff (2768 posts) -

@LunarJetman: @trafalgarlaw: I hate to be the one to reiterate this point but:

  • August 16th: Ex-boyfriend posts a blog post accusing someone of cheating, "naming and shaming" suspects, including some game journalists. A certain portion of gamers runs with that accusation and presumes it has to be for coverage and / or favourable game reviews (conveniently disregarding that said accused game journalists have never reviewed nor covered the game favourably). Harassment ensues. Anita Sarkeesian gets dragged into this as well.
  • August 28th: After said harassments have gone on for a while, actor Adam Baldwin posts the first mention of the #GamerGate hashtag, linking to a Youtube video that accuses said someone (again, said accusations have not been proven nor corroborated by anyone). On the same day, Leigh Alexander posts her "Gamers are over" article on Gamasutra. Kotaku posted their "Death of an identity" article. Keep in mind, both are well after the harassments have gone on for almost two weeks.

Saying that #Gamergate was a response to "gamers are dead" articles sprouting from numerous articles is disingenuous, unless you want to attribute some divine foresight to some elements of Gamergate.

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#186 Edited by FinalDasa (3215 posts) -

@rockdalf: For sure and it's been that way for awhile. Which is a little scary because some Youtubers have taken marketing money and didn't disclose it. Again something I don't hear about often as people argue against indie developers.

But also like you I take the opinions and viewpoints of the GB guys really lightly. I don't brush them off because I respect what they have to say but I don't always think they're valid for me. For example I know Jeff loves COD. I'll know his critisms will be even more on point when he makes them but I also know his review of the next one won't match up with me. So I listen for other opinions and make my choice.

I think a lot of consumers haven't been doing this and thus are angry. I get why they would be upset but if they maybe knew the scope of what they think is unethical they'd be dumbfounded. I think the solution is positivity. Enough attacks, accusations, hacking, and really anything else. If you're upset over your favorite website, go make your own. I don't mind the conversation, I mind how we're treating one another.

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#187 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1715 posts) -

@gaff said:

@LunarJetman: @trafalgarlaw: I hate to be the one to reiterate this point but:

  • August 16th: Ex-boyfriend posts a blog post accusing someone of cheating, "naming and shaming" suspects, including some game journalists. A certain portion of gamers runs with that accusation and presumes it has to be for coverage and / or favourable game reviews (conveniently disregarding that said accused game journalists have never reviewed nor covered the game favourably). Harassment ensues. Anita Sarkeesian gets dragged into this as well.
  • August 28th: After said harassments have gone on for a while, actor Adam Baldwin posts the first mention of the #GamerGate hashtag, linking to a Youtube video that accuses said someone (again, said accusations have not been proven nor corroborated by anyone). On the same day, Leigh Alexander posts her "Gamers are over" article on Gamasutra. Kotaku posted their "Death of an identity" article. Keep in mind, both are well after the harassments have gone on for almost two weeks.

Saying that #Gamergate was a response to "gamers are dead" articles sprouting from numerous articles is disingenuous, unless you want to attribute some divine foresight to some elements of Gamergate.

You got it all wrong? I said it feels like the "gamers are dead" is a response to thing that was going on for a couple of weeks. You might want to reread my piece...?

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#188 Posted by Milkman (19298 posts) -

@rorie: Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to suggest that an American Enterprise Institute-funded woman with a PhD making half-hearted, un-sourced claims and telling feminists they should just shut up is doing so out of a cynical desire to make a great living and be a minor celebrity. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song. This is the same woman who claimed that most feminist academics are just a bunch of uggos who take out their envy of the hotties on men, so it's hard to justify dignifying her with Fair and Balanced™ verbage.

I really had no desire to participate in this topic but I just want to see that the video here is great.

The fact that that "Are Video Games Sexist?" video is even a matter of discussion is embarrassing. It's horrible.

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#189 Posted by cocoonmoon (254 posts) -

I personally did not notice the tag used until after the onslaught of articles. Either way it doesn't make much of a difference. Whatever it started as, once the articles hit it was that what the movement moved towards.

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#190 Edited by Wolfgame (1168 posts) -

@milkman said:

@chrissedoff said:

@rorie: Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to suggest that an American Enterprise Institute-funded woman with a PhD making half-hearted, un-sourced claims and telling feminists they should just shut up is doing so out of a cynical desire to make a great living and be a minor celebrity. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song. This is the same woman who claimed that most feminist academics are just a bunch of uggos who take out their envy of the hotties on men, so it's hard to justify dignifying her with Fair and Balanced™ verbage.

I really had no desire to participate in this topic but I just want to see that the video here is great.

The fact that that "Are Video Games Sexist?" video is even a matter of discussion is embarrassing. It's horrible.

The fact that that "Tropes vs Women in Videogames" video is even a matter of discussion is embarrassing. It's horrible.

Edit: of course I am joking. I just find it odd that this is the thing that you find embarrassing, in a track record for discussion where crazy people are sending death threats, you find an articulate womans point of view on this topic "horrible"

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#191 Edited by nexas (644 posts) -

@rockdalf: I can't address the movement's ideals because it doesn't have any. GamerGate is a mishmash of wildly different ideals and goals, hence my Occupy comparison. Some people are worried about "journalistic ethics". Others believe that their identity as "gamers" is under attack. Finally, there are the sexist who started this whole thing, and have been the only faction of GamerGate that has actually accomplished any part of their goals: silencing vocal women in industry. This doesn't even take into account how vague the "ethics" discussion has been.

You say that I should address you and your concerns, but I would like you to look at this from the perspective of the victims and their supporters. As I have previously stated, the GamerGate movement was started by misogynist. Because of a very tenuous relationship between Zoe Quinn and journalist, the movement has become couched in the language of "journalist ethics." Quinn and numerous other woman have been harassed under this guise of "journalist ethics." Then comes the people like you, who genuinely have some issues with the state of games journalism saying you don't condone what has happened, but you would really like to talk about ethics in games journalism. Think about how this looks. You are essentially saying to these people "I'm sorry this happened, but I didn't do it. Lets talk about my problems now." All this is being said while flying the banner of the harassers. This comes off as both insensitive and selfish. You really can't expect to have genuine conversation about ethics in games journalism right now. The wounds are way too raw right now.

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#192 Edited by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@heyguys said:

@conmulligan: I think you might be running into the problem of being forced to defend an idea you don't necessarily agree with to defend the larger value of the person who proposed the idea as a whole, I say this because you basically admited earlier that you have problems with her segment on Hitman: Absolution. No one, not Anita Sarkeesian, not President Barack Obama, not anyone should be expected to be right all of the time and so, like any human, Sarkeesian will make bad arguments and I think you can easily defend the value of what she's doing and acknowledge specific instances where her arguments don't hold up.

Of course it's entirely possible that I'm being presumptuous and if I am I already apologize, but bending over backwards to defend a single segment doesn't really increase credibility.

I'm not defending anything I don't agree with, or at least that's not my intention. I think Hitman is guilty of using women as background decoration, and of featuring sexually objectified women who lack agency, so I was mostly defending it's inclusion in the video. Where I think Anita tripped up was in the footage she used. It gives the impression that the scenario depicted is a core part of the game, when it's actually just a player-driven possibility, and one that is mechanically discouraged.

So I just want a very clear understanding of what you're proposing with this quote, "I would hope that the end result of more developers being better aware of how the scenarios they depict in their games might affect certain players would result in greater, more inclusive experiences across the board."

For example what does this mean (the bold section)? Should games self-censor in order not to affect people who are already mentally unbalanced? Does this apply to other media as well? If you think a direct link between expression in video games and measurable real world violence/consequences exists then is it reasonable to call for some kind of governmental regulation even if that stops short of censorship? Are the certain players you mention minors or do you think adults should be considered as well? What other societal problems should developers consider when creating games, especially open world ones and possibly censor? Do you think developers gained awareness through that video specifically, why wouldn't they have been aware before? How does this speak to a lack of "inclusiveness"?

I was referring generally to how the content of a game can attract or deter certain people. That might mean how it chooses to portray certain classes of people, like women or minorities, or how it handles sensitive subjects like sexual assault. That doesn't mean games can't or shouldn't tackle these subjects, but they should at least do so with care.

I've mentioned this in this thread a couple of times, but I don't think there is a real-world link between sexual violence in games and sexual violence in real life. Neither does Anita as far as I can tell. I don't know if developers take anything from the Tropes vs Women series, you'd really have to ask them; although plenty have come forward and praises her work so presumably at least some find it valuable.

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#193 Posted by Milkman (19298 posts) -

@wolfgame: I don't see how the video being made by an "articulate woman" is relevant. It's horrible because it's a completely useless deflection of the issue. It brings nothing to the conversation.

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#194 Edited by Sergio (3625 posts) -

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song.

I know you want to believe that is the case, but I think that's the whole echo chamber effect, where you want any opposing view to be "dismantled." The song only really points out that the title of her video doesn't match the contents and doesn't dismantle the points she makes. Perhaps because he was focusing on trying to be funny than actually disproving anything. I disagree with her regarding telling critics to stand down though.

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#195 Posted by Sergio (3625 posts) -

I personally did not notice the tag used until after the onslaught of articles. Either way it doesn't make much of a difference. Whatever it started as, once the articles hit it was that what the movement moved towards.

I came back after a week of being offline, wondering what all the noise was about. There is cronyism and laziness with the gaming press, but I couldn't agree with the vast majority I was seeing from the GG crowd.

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#196 Edited by HeyGuys (566 posts) -

@conmulligan: Fair enough. I think, and I'm going to hedge again because it's what I do, you and I agree for the most part. I think I have a bit more faith in developers than you might but they may be suffering less from a "consciousness" problem than a "perspective" problem in that more female voices within the process at every step could led to less instances of unintended consequences. Certainly more games could use a greater amount of dynamic female characters but I'd still say that singling out specific games doesn't asses the problem correctly because any one game without women represented in that way is not necessarily "sexist" in and of itself.

P.S. Totally appreciate the dialogue, this thread as a whole has been one of the most constructive I've seen on the internet in terms of different views coming together about a controversial issue.

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#197 Edited by chrissedoff (2387 posts) -

@heyguys said:

@chrissedoff said:

@rorie: Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to suggest that an American Enterprise Institute-funded woman with a PhD making half-hearted, un-sourced claims and telling feminists they should just shut up is doing so out of a cynical desire to make a great living and be a minor celebrity. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that anyone who's earned a doctorate is capable of making an argument that can't be completely dismantled in a song. This is the same woman who claimed that most feminist academics are just a bunch of uggos who take out their envy of the hotties on men, so it's hard to justify dignifying her with Fair and Balanced™ verbage.

Oh I think she believes, to an extent, what she's saying. Just because someone is making money off of what they're doing doesn't mean they are not sincere about it, I think most of the people at AEI are fairly well known partisans. That's not to defend AEI, who I... disagree with almost categorically, but AEI and Sommers deserve to have their arguments addressed for what they are not who's presenting them.

Both are valuable. A person's motivations for making spurious claims is totally relevant. Take Tom Wheeler, who chairs the FCC. He wants to classify Internet services in such a way that enables telecom companies to extort web companies so that they have to pay to have their sites work properly. When you look at how what he's about to do is a big favor for telecom companies, the fact that he made a lot of money lobbying for the industry before being appointed to his position at the FCC becomes pretty darn interesting. Heck, he might even work for them again when he "retires" from his current job. Since he's such a talented guy, he might even get a great big bonus if he goes back to working for the telecom industry. But only because he's such a swell guy, not as some kind of camouflaged quid pro quo.

I mean, seriously, if you don't pay attention to who's paying who and you take everyone at face value, you're going to get played for a sap on a regular basis. If Sommers was taking AEI money to fund peer-reviewed studies that helped us learn more about how representations of women in media, that would be one thing. But her role is to be their attack dog. She's a highly educated woman who says the same things about feminism that Rush Limbaugh would say except the fact that she's a woman with a PhD gives it an aura of credibility. Whether or not she sincerely believes the things she says I can't say for certain, but her arguments are pretty flimsy for somebody with her credentials. Would a serious academic who's being paid for her smarts make the argument that video games are just toys for boys so whatevs? Would she boil down the motivations of progressive media critics with, "I dunno, they're just a bunch of hipsters, I guess?" I won't dismiss the possibility that years and years of pandering to an agreeable audience with really low standards for what constitutes a well-reasoned argument might have caused a little bit of brain atrophy on her part, but personally, I think she's not trying very hard because she can a lot of money from phoning it in and loudly making polemics that don't stand up to scrutiny they totally will not get from the people who want to pay her anyway. Whether she's a true believer or a charlatan, she's shilling either way, because she takes a big fat paycheck from a far-right think tank to make a bunch of noise in the media that lines up with their ideology while passing herself off as a legit feminist and academic.

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#198 Posted by conmulligan (1934 posts) -

@heyguys said:

I think I have a bit more faith in developers than you might but they may be suffering less from a "consciousness" problem than a "perspective" problem in that more female voices within the process at every step could led to less instances of unintended consequences.

I think consciousness and perspective sort of go hand-in-hand, especially when we're talking about an organisation like a development studio. That said, I completely agree that the absolute best way to tackle these problems would be to get more women involved in development. That's probably an aspiration we can all get behind.

P.S. Totally appreciate the dialogue, this thread as a whole has been one of the most constructive I've seen on the internet in terms of different views coming together about a controversial issue.

Ditto!

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#199 Edited by Tonch (118 posts) -

@LunarJetman said:

GamerGate started after the low-grade tabloid journalists flooded the internet with their "gamers are dead" articles. The formation of the movement had in fact nothing to do with Zoe Quinn.

@LunarJetman said:

I personally did not notice the tag used until after the onslaught of articles. Either way it doesn't make much of a difference. Whatever it started as, once the articles hit it was that what the movement moved towards.

I wouldn't say that I "side" with the "movement" (these matters are not black and white), but I would like to chime in to say that this is where I got really mad and took a much more active interest in following all this nonsense. Every single journalist that posted (and continues to post) articles like that should be ashamed. I'm glad that, no matter the staff's individual opinions on this, Giant Bomb didn't jump on that bandwagon of denouncing its own users.

These people can say all they want that calling gamers names is okay because "you just don't get it" or "it's not referring to yoooou", and it will continue to be the laziest and most unprofessional, dishonest excuse I can think of. You don't get to tell people what giant box does or doesn't apply to them, especially when people who don't play games are viewing this stuff now and thinking, "wow, people who are into video games sure do suck". It was an uphill battle to get away from that negative stigma for most people since the 80s, and now you want to do this?

It's petty. I agree and disagree with many people on many sides of this whole commotion, and it really bothers me that the people with news reach are deciding to engage in playground politics. Quite frankly, I'm appalled at how so many games media people have responded to this (I don't want to name names), and it's really depressing me.

I used to really defend games journalists (I was never one for the whole "can't spell ignorance without IGN, etc." approach). I trusted individual writers for what they brought to the table, instead of blanketing them under a company. Well it's getting harder and harder to do that now, not only because many of those individual writers have grown repugnant attitudes, but also because the sites they work for are putting up articles that are doing that exact same labeling to their audience. Meanwhile, death threats and personal info are getting thrown around in retaliation, making the situation worse for everyone. So few people want to view anyone else as being reasonable, solely because of what "side" they are perceived to be on.

I can't stand it. It's garbage, and I know the gaming community (players, devs, media) are better than this.

EDIT: Sorry about that, had to get it out somewhere! I hope these forums can continue to harbor discussion reasonably. I want to clarify that that whole ranty post wasn't directed to anyone here in particular.

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#200 Edited by teaoverlord (592 posts) -

@tonch: I really like games and this gamergate shit is still making me think "wow, people who are into video games sure do suck".