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Tropes Vs Women in Video Games, Somehow a Controversy? (+ general gender / video game discussion)
[locked]
News reported by 
Editor-in-chief
June 14, 2012, 17:58:56
 
The short story is that Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has started a Kickstarter to explore the stereotypes of females in video games. Or well, why not just hear it in her words?

I love playing video games but Iím regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented. This video project will explore, analyze and deconstruct some of the most common tropes and stereotypes of female characters in games. The series will highlight the larger recurring patterns and conventions used within the gaming industry rather than just focusing on the worst offenders. Iím going to need your help to make it happen!

The longer story is that because she is a self-proclaimed "feminist" (what this means in her case I'm really not sure, since everyone interprets this label differently when applying it to themselves) that anything she does somehow automatically becomes super controversial, and she has received rape threats and death threats and attempts to shut down this project from (primarily) male gamers. Because obviously if you disagree with feminism the way to get your point across is to tell a women she needs to be raped and murdered. (That was sarcasm, in case you missed it. This is not the correct way to express disagreement. At all.)

Personally I think that, all fears of succumbing to the feminist agenda aside (also sarcasm), projects like hers are necessary for the video game industry to truly mature. Gamers seem to love talking about the word "mature" a lot, so why do we rebel against actual maturity so much? I think that it's a good thing that she is sticking to her project, all threats aside. And whatever the case, it is ridiculous that people are fighting so hard to shut her up. Why not let her say what she has to say and if, after actually hearing it, you disagree with it, you are well within your rights to say something.

What do you guys think?

PS. As of this writing she has brought in $126,768 of her $6,000 Kickstarter goal. So things aren't completely dire. But this doesn't negate the abuse she has had to (and most likely will continue to) sustain just to get this project moving.

As of today this thread will be locked. What originally was meant to be a thread discussing the soon-to-be controversial Anita videos about female tropes in Video Games grew into something much more. We at Negative World absolutely love a good conversation and we will always encourage mature and respectful conversation. That said, the thread has had it's moments of polarization to the extreme in the past and recently. While at the moment I write this, the thread is rather calm,.. there has been a joint decision by the moderators of this site to close this particular thread down. The thread strayed way outside of the original bounds of it's intent. We have a different idea of how to frame this delicate and polarizing topic at Negative World.

For future installments of Anita's series we will either have a mod create a new official thread for it (as well as posting links to previous episodes) or we will use our already established Youtube Video thread. The latter could have easily been the original home for this thread if it wanted to. Discussion can continue as normal in the future thread but we ask to keep in mind that the topic should relate to Anita's videos and her message. Hear, analyze, and discuss that. This new location for this discussion will be established with the release of her next video. Please find patience till then.

Thank you from all of us at Negative World for understanding.
~ Negative World Moderation

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Posted: 06/14/12, 17:58:56  - Locked by 
 on: 08/22/13, 04:37:22    
 
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
Whoa! Forget strawman, I'm calling @-JKR- the tin man! Do you think you could you stay that hardened if it was happening right on your doorstep? Blimey!

@Mr_Mustache
For the record, the "women and children" thing is exactly what we're talking about. Doesn't something strike you as weird when we are lumping grown, adult women in the same category as helpless, dependant children? Now I'm a chivalrous guy, Professor Layton is a personal role model, but I would never assume someone needed assistance or special attention just because they are a woman. It's a tough call -- you're basically going against what yer grandpappy taught you... but I think it's for the greater good.


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 00:46:08
Super_Conzo said:


but I would never assume someone needed assistance or special attention just because they are a woman. It's a tough call -- you're basically going against what yer grandpappy taught you... but I think it's for the greater good.

Assume that someone doesn't need assistance when they need assistance, and I do believe you'll find yourself having nightmares for the rest of your life. Yikes, man; you're braver than I am (in a sense) if you choose to go that route.

I intentionally sit in the emergency row on planes as much as I can (and not just for the bonus leg room). If there is a problem, I want EVERYONE off that plane, not "EVERYONE FOR THEMSELVES!!"


-----------------------



look at all those cool games with cool girls

Indeed. Guardian Legend looks pretty awesome. Thanks for the hot tip, Anita!


Here is his Kickstarter for "Race and Other Representations in Video Games." He only has 282 bucks / $6,000 so far though (probably because he's not Anita). Nice.


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 00:50:11  - Edited by 
 on: 08/21/13, 02:21:04
@Mr_Mustache

I know the way you speak about it is extremely ignorant. "What if I decided to be a woman?" It doesn't work that way.

@-JKR-

You completely missed the point. But it's not a discussion I care to have with you. As I said in my post, can we lay off the transgender talk here? The thread is bad enough as it is.


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 15:43:22  - Edited by 
 on: 08/21/13, 15:51:13
@Super_Conzo

No, I can't, wouldn't, and shouldn't "stay that hard" in the real world. Welcome to the internet, where people voice opinions they would never take onto the streets. If I'm TALKING to someone who is suicidal, that's a totally absurd way of going about it, and would only give cause to upset them further. Which is why I think it's important to discuss it outside of the "Death's Doorstep" setting, like we are here, and point out to people not ready to kill themselves that it is a horrible, horrible thing to do to everyone else in your life. Maybe get that thought process started per-suicidal thoughts so those considerations don't even enter the equation.

I just feel like suicide was this most extreme, insane, inconsiderable option in the past, and these days it's just such an everyday thing and the go-to for when kids are "OH! AT THE END OF THE LINE! *drama pose*." Frankly I think it's not so great that it's become such a widespread option, especially for teenagers who essentially don't know what they're doing anyway and think they know more than they do. But maybe I'm just an outdated dinosaur like I am in other ways. I personally don't think it ever comes down to "Live free or die" as your only two options when that death comes at your own hand. It's deplorable that we accept that excuse from people to do things "because my only other option was killing myself."

Obviously when facing that sort of thing in real life you aren't thinking properly and letting emotional anxiety interfere with common sense and reason. The way to battle such moments is to not entertain such insanity when you're sound of mind, so when you're not (and we all reach that point of emotional break) you can fight so much harder. And fight you should.

EDIT: As far as the "women and children first" thing, I personally always felt that was less about them being defenseless or weak and more about them being more important. If I had a wife and kid and we were on a sinking ship with only space for two spots, I wouldn't want there to be even a DISCUSSION about who was taking the safe way off. No question, the guy stays. Period. The mother and child are much more important and I would hope every husband and father felt that way.


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 17:25:38  - Edited by 
 on: 08/21/13, 17:29:46
@Mr_Mustache

You're engaging in a classic bad faith debate tactic / logical fallacy. If you're going into a discussion with the a focus to find the small, possible exception to the rule and back up from there to challenge the overall point, you're doing it wrong.

For example, we can likely agree with a general statement like, "murder is wrong." Assuming there was a general consensus about that, if I came into a discussion about murder, saying, "but what if someone is about to detonate a nuclear bomb in downtown Manhattan while pouring sugar into your gas tank and the only way to stop them is to kill them, I guess murder isn't so wrong, is it," I should be run right out of that discussion for not contributing anything productive.

That's what you're doing with feminism. If I say, "women want equal rights," and your response is, "then it shouldn't be looked at any different if a man punches a woman in the face as opposed to punching a man in the face," you're doing it wrong.

Honestly if you can't see why that's a bad way to have a conversation about anything generally, let alone this topic specifically, I'm really going to feel like I've wasted all of my time in this thread. There is honestly no social policy, perspective, or topic, which can hold up to that ridiculous level of granularity and it's counterproductive to discuss these kinds of "gotchas."

EDIT - and you know what...

Modern feminist theory acknowledges that violence against both men AND women have different negative outcomes. Domestic violence against men tends to be underreported because men feel ashamed to admit that they're victims of it. Violence against women tends to have more of a focus within feminist thought because the outcomes for female victims of domestic violence tend to be disproportionately bad because of things like blaming the victim, access to support, etc. But it's flat out incorrect to assume that feminist theory solely focuses on violence perpetrated by men, directed at women.


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 20:24:38  - Edited by 
 on: 08/21/13, 20:32:12
Kal-El814 said:

For example, we can likely agree with a general statement like, "murder is wrong." Assuming there was a general consensus about that, if I came into a discussion about murder, saying, "but what if someone is about to detonate a nuclear bomb in downtown Manhattan while pouring sugar into your gas tank and the only way to stop them is to kill them, I guess murder isn't so wrong, is it," I should be run right out of that discussion for not contributing anything productive.

I wrote a long response to this but then I realized it was this weird argument on semantics instead of anything REMOTELY useful, and it was stupid to post. So I deleted it and found this picture of a bunny instead, which I think will prove MUCH more helpful to people who look at this post:



IT'S SO ADORABLE I COULD DIE!


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 21:34:40
Guillaume said:
@Mr_Mustache

I know the way you speak about it is extremely ignorant. "What if I decided to be a woman?" It doesn't work that way.

Horrible, Gui. Horrible. Do you even know what "decide" means? Apparently not.

Let me tell you how it works: someone is conflicted with how they feel ("I feel like a woman trapped in a man's body"), and then they DECIDE if they want to pony up the dough to get a sex change, turning their life on its head, risk losing all of their friends and family, -or- continue to live feeling like a woman trapped in a man's body. God doesn't swoop into your pants free of charge and change up your genitals (and free of charge), and then go "its alright, everyone, Mike is Monica now," and everyone is cool with it, Gui. There is a huge DECISION to be made.

@Kal-El814

What have I done wrong? I don't want to see women beat by anyone a) but other women b) in an organized setting c) that they signed up for. How is that even remotely disputable?


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 22:44:43
@Mr_Mustache

I'm not saying you want to see women beaten up. I'm responding to your remark about violence in response to my comment about equal rights.


Posted by 
 on: 08/21/13, 23:55:55
@Kal-El814

Lets look at this like math for a second:

Now: Men and Women are apparently unequal.
Male violence against Males is "ok"
Women violence against Women is "ok"
Male violence against Women is not ok

Then: Men and Women are NOW equal
Male violence against Males is "ok"
Women violence against Women is "ok"
Male violence against Women..is ok?


If its NEVER ok, it means that men and women will never truly be equal. Right?
How is this incorrect? If its still not ok, isn't that women receiving special treatment?


AGAIN: I DON'T WANT TO PUNCH WOMEN.


Posted by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:12:04
@Mr_Mustache

How are you labeling any form of violence as okay?


Posted by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:15:10
@Stephen

I think he means in a controlled setting, IE martial arts, boxing, MMA, etc.


Posted by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:16:58
@Stephen
@TheOldManFromZelda

How was that hard to figure? C'mon, Steve..

Geez, look at my post right before that:

Mr_Mustache said:
@Kal-El814
I don't want to see women beat by anyone a) but other women b) in an organized setting c) that they signed up for.


Posted by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:18:00  - Edited by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:19:04
Ah okay. Well in that case it isn't just about men vs. women. Weight classes exist in boxing and MMA to prevent the same thing from happening. If you agree that weight classes are a good idea then it seems to me that having the fighting be gender separated would be a similarly good idea. It's about an even playing field and having a body type outside of that is a problem.


Posted by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:44:18
Hey @-JKR-, just glad to hear you're not taking your hard-line 'tude to the Samaritans.

And regarding my Women and Children comment, I think it's been taken in a different way than I intended. I'm not suggesting we elbow women and kids out of the way to save our own hides! Leave that to the George Costanza's of this World (as if there are any).
@Mr_Mustache don't worry, I can judge when someone actually needs assisstance. I've just seen my share of guys making such a fuss about women as if they are handicapped, it's patronising and embarrassing. But... you know all that... I'm just clearing up here.
@-JKR- Your emergency evac plans look sound to me. Awesome bunny too.


Posted by 
 on: 08/22/13, 00:56:55
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