Dark Souls messages are sexist now

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https://kotaku.com/souls-games-are-great-except-for-the-sexist-messages-f-1828561485

So I wont say much about this because I don't want to influence you guys. But I will say that in reading the article, it does feel like this an attempt of projecting malice upon juvenile jokes where none are present.

The author here suggests that these messages are an attempt to drive away the female player base of dark souls games as if people have any direct influence on knowing: A. The gender of the player the would specifically read a given souls message, and B. put any other malice into the message other than finding a dirty joking way of arranging re-built phrases in their messages.

Frankly I think this article is ridiculous and is a perfect example of how anything and everything can be twisted from harmless fun to some kind of sexist oppressive monster.

Immature teenage brats leave sexist drivel online?

Nawwwwwwww, say it ain?t so. Juvenile brats are so well known for being egalitarian and friendly.

The author is talking out of his ass in some sections, but don't act like the diluge of jokes isn't the sign of an uglier aspect of gaming culture.

erttheking:
Immature teenage brats leave sexist drivel online?

Nawwwwwwww, say it ain?t so. Juvenile brats are so well known for being egalitarian and friendly.

Juvenile these message may be. Absolutely.

I think for them to be sexist there needs to be an intent of malice. And I don't think Dark Souls messages are capable of that. This sexist label the article is trying to paint upon them is simply projection and nothing more. Nothing in those messages is anti-anything imo.

Commanderfantasy:

erttheking:
Immature teenage brats leave sexist drivel online?

Nawwwwwwww, say it ain?t so. Juvenile brats are so well known for being egalitarian and friendly.

Juvenile these message may be. Absolutely.

I think for them to be sexist there needs to be an intent of malice. And I don't think Dark Souls messages are capable of that. This sexist label the article is trying to paint upon them is simply projection and nothing more. Nothing in those messages is anti-anything imo.

Here's the thing though. It doesn't. Benevolent sexism is very much a thing, not letting women do certain things, such as fighting as soldiers, and saying it's for their own good. The people who practice benevolent sexism really do think they're doing the right thing. But they're not. It's still sexist.

All of this is assuming putting a sign that says "woman required" in a kitchen is free of malice, something I struggle to see. I mean "get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich" is basically one of the most iconic sexist, hostile insults flung at female gamers. Gaming has not earned a reputation as being welcoming and inclusive, too many gamers act like it's a boys club. Hell, just look at the latest Battlefield V thread for some examples of that.

Commanderfantasy:
But I will say that in reading the article, it does feel like this an attempt of projecting malice upon juvenile jokes where none are present.

"Juvenile jokes" can be sexist whether active malice is involved or not.

The Article:
In one sense, it is a juvenile joke; in another and more serious sense, it is a territorial, gendered assertion of power.

The author even acknowledges that they are such; however, that doesn't mean they should be just ignored.

Commanderfantasy:
The author here suggests that these messages are an attempt to drive away the female player base of dark souls games

Not stated nor implied anywhere in the article. You're really reaching here.

Commanderfantasy:
A. The gender of the player the would specifically read a given souls message,

The article never once talks about players' genders other than claiming the messages were written by boys (which on a scale of reasonable assumptions to make, is probably an 8). Stop inserting your personal narrative into the opinion piece to generate outrage.

Commanderfantasy:
B. put any other malice into the message other than finding a dirty joking way of arranging re-built phrases in their messages.

Again, a "dirty joking way of arranging re-built phrases in their messages" still has the same effect as writing the messages and actually meaning them. "It's just a joke, bro!" isn't a defense... It's also not a defense when it occurs a numerous number of times in every location.

Commanderfantasy:
Frankly I think this article is ridiculous and is a perfect example of how anything and everything can be twisted from harmless fun commentary to some kind of sexist oppressive monsterSJW attack.

Huh... funny how switching those four words makes this statement fit your summary and reading of the article.

Avnger:
snip

You don't think that this is all just getting a little ridiculous? At all? Dark souls messages, are benign by their sheer nature. You can't know who, what, or why, any message is placed or read. You can only interpret. Which means any negative connotations one might ascertain from one of these messages, is one generated in the readers own imagination. The way it is implied by this article even existing in the first place is that these stupid jokes are another outlet for male dominance in video games to use their influence to push as many female gamers out of the hobby as possible. It is the author's interpretation of their meaning, and that is their right. But it is also my right to think they are being absurd.

Say what you want about me, edit my words any way you want. That's your right. But changing my intent is not.

The same goes for these messages. You cannot tell ME what I mean by my words. You can only interpret and if you find them insulting or offensive you can only ask for clarification. If you do not ask me to clarify meaning, and instead place your own meaning and intent upon another's words, then they are no longer responsible for the way you feel about them.

This is a huge issue.

Fixing this should clearly be developers biggest priority.

Commanderfantasy:
https://kotaku.com/souls-games-are-great-except-for-the-sexist-messages-f-1828561485

So I wont say much about this because I don't want to influence you guys. But I will say that in reading the article, it does feel like this an attempt of projecting malice upon juvenile jokes where none are present.

"Amazing Chest Ahead"

I see it every single playthrough.

Yeah I get that it is just a joke and the crux of the joke is more just "ha ha, I am using these words to mean something different than their original intent" rather than anything malicious. Still really repetitively done though.

jademunky:

Commanderfantasy:
https://kotaku.com/souls-games-are-great-except-for-the-sexist-messages-f-1828561485

So I wont say much about this because I don't want to influence you guys. But I will say that in reading the article, it does feel like this an attempt of projecting malice upon juvenile jokes where none are present.

"Amazing Chest Ahead"

I see it every single playthrough.

Me too. But usually in front of a mimic, because obviously.

Some months are slower for news than others.

image

I don't blame Dark Souls for this, but yeah, they are sexist, cause sexism is rampant among, well, everywhere.

Edit:

I thought Kotaku stopped making articles like this? Infact why is Kotaku still around I thought Gawker Media's collapse would bring Kotaku down too?

Samtemdo8:
I thought Kotaku stopped making articles like this? Infact why is Kotaku still around I thought Gawker Media's collapse would bring Kotaku down too?

I think the gawker empire was broke up and otaku and a a few others ended up running under a new owner or something.

As for article, the only point of these is to generate hate click. Don't click on it and they'll go away. Click on it and people will find more and more trivial stuff to label as -ism. There not meant to be taken seriously.

Johnny Novgorod:
Some months are slower for news than others.

Avnger:
It's just a joke, bro!

Oh, the horror.

People have never understood the difference between sexist and sexual.

Miley Cyrus is a person. That is not sexist or sexual.
Miley Cyrus has tits. That is sexual, not sexist.
I would like to touch Miley Cyrus's tits. Again sexual, not sexist.
Miley Cyrus shouldn't be allowed to drive. Not sexual or sexist.
Miley Cyrus shouldn't be allowed to drive because she is a woman. Not sexual but definitely sexist.

Messages saying 'woman ahead try thrust' are juvenile, yes, and maybe borderline sexual(don't think pelvic thrust is a pose in dark souls...) but sexist? In what way? Where is the statement denigrating women for the crime of being a woman.

These types of articles are getting worse. Even comment section doesn't agree. It sounds like something only an absolute prude can possibly come up with. There's a big difference in offensiveness between penis drawings and double entendres.

Turn it off? Play offline? I'm confused why this is an issue. Nobody is personally attacking you or your gender. Just because the boys are doing it doesn't mean we're marking our territory. Personally I don't want to read your shitty jokes regardless whether its a man or woman doing it, but don't frame it as some feminist thing instead of being hypersensitive to sex jokes.

erttheking:

Commanderfantasy:

erttheking:
Immature teenage brats leave sexist drivel online?

Nawwwwwwww, say it ain?t so. Juvenile brats are so well known for being egalitarian and friendly.

Juvenile these message may be. Absolutely.

I think for them to be sexist there needs to be an intent of malice. And I don't think Dark Souls messages are capable of that. This sexist label the article is trying to paint upon them is simply projection and nothing more. Nothing in those messages is anti-anything imo.

Here's the thing though. It doesn't. Benevolent sexism is very much a thing, not letting women do certain things, such as fighting as soldiers, and saying it's for their own good. The people who practice benevolent sexism really do think they're doing the right thing. But they're not. It's still sexist.

Is not wanting children to fight in war ageist? I'm not going to get involved in the "gender debates" here again (Because I'm sick of this topic) but I'm wondering when fighting in a war went from being a bad but sometimes necessary thing and turned into something we encourage people to take part in. For me personally I'd rather no one have to fight in a war if it can be realistically dealt with through other means.

Specter Von Baren:

erttheking:

Commanderfantasy:

Juvenile these message may be. Absolutely.

I think for them to be sexist there needs to be an intent of malice. And I don't think Dark Souls messages are capable of that. This sexist label the article is trying to paint upon them is simply projection and nothing more. Nothing in those messages is anti-anything imo.

Here's the thing though. It doesn't. Benevolent sexism is very much a thing, not letting women do certain things, such as fighting as soldiers, and saying it's for their own good. The people who practice benevolent sexism really do think they're doing the right thing. But they're not. It's still sexist.

Is not wanting children to fight in war ageist? I'm not going to get involved in the "gender debates" here again (Because I'm sick of this topic) but I'm wondering when fighting in a war went from being a bad but sometimes necessary thing and turned into something we encourage people to take part in. For me personally I'd rather no one have to fight in a war if it can be realistically dealt with through other means.

There's a reason for not wanting children to fight in war that aren't BS. The two are not equivalent. At all.

Also, throughout history, war has been something we encourage people to take part in. In fact, overwhelmingly so. The idea of war being hell only popped up in the popular consciousness around the First World War, and even then it's been hotly contested by the chest thumping militarist crowd.

And there's a difference for wanting someone to fight in a war and thinking that someone is capable of fighting should the need arise.

The "tongue but hole" line was fairly prevalent in my lengthy play through of DS2, and my initial reaction was hardly an eyebrow-raising under-the-breath chuckle at best. It would be odd if the most crudely juvenile comments ever represented the creme de la creme among the broader fanbase, given its affinity for the more sophisticated aspects of the series.

The are some genuinely funny ones though. I mean, how offensive can "amazing chest ahead" really be when that's exactly the reaction the titillating bit of programming intended to solicit in the first place. It was a tongue-in-cheek reward after a tough boss.

From Software limited the kind of communication that people could have, so people took what they were given and pushed it to be as silly, weird, or crass as they can be with the limits in place. It's human nature, and really almost creative. It doesn't have anything to do with sexism.

Amazing chest ahead.
Try finger but hole.

erttheking:
Also, throughout history, war has been something we encourage people to take part in. In fact, overwhelmingly so. The idea of war being hell only popped up in the popular consciousness around the First World War, and even then it's been hotly contested by the chest thumping militarist crowd.

And there's a difference for wanting someone to fight in a war and thinking that someone is capable of fighting should the need arise.

I'm not here to debate your point ('cos I agree), but just to make a correction: it was actually the American Civil War that brought about the war is hell trope, and not least because Sherman said so verbatim. It was the first widely photographed war and since photo-journalists (such as they were) weren't regulated or prevented from witnessing the aftermaths of what were then the largest battles participated in by American soldiers (in numbers, ordnance and casualties), they took a lot of grizzly photos. And then ultimately had the means to widely circulate said photos.

Having some affinity for childish and crude humor I found those kinda funny. Low hanging fruit, to be sure, but still somewhat funny in the context of the dark souls messages system. I suppose women might roll their eyes when they see them and if they become too prevalent it is not so much funny and it can start to affect the mood in a negative way. I tend to agree that there is little malice here excepting that last picture in the article. That said, if there are too many of them they can create an unpleasant atmosphere for some people. Thing with intent is: once you know what you are doing has a negative effect and you keep on doing it, then that negative effect is at least acceptable collateral to you. Even if the negative effect is not the point you might still be irresponsible or callous for bringing it about. So there may have been no malice in the jokes, but once you know that some people feel alienated by them, going on making them makes you kind of an asshole. In this case there is some difficulty in gauging the effect of these jokes since they are sent out to some unknown part of the dark souls player base that the author never gets to see react which is why articles like these might be helpful.

Then again, in my 25 hours of DS2 (I thought it was alright but it dragged so I did not finish it. I stopped at some swamp with semihoming ranged attacks, if I recall) and a similar amount of time watching others play it I don't recall seeing any such message. Going by messages here, my experience might not have been representative though.

I've always thought they're funny and take them as humour in the way they're intended. My favourites are:

"Hole ahead, therefore try finger/tongue/thrusting"
"Woman ahead, therefore be wary of bleeding" outside Nashandra's boss fog
And my top favourite, in DS2 by Darkdiver Grandahl in Shaded Ruins, "Weakness: left leg, Weakness: right leg". I got stitches from laughing so hard at that when I saw it.

I've also seen screenies of some really elaborate ones. Someone left a long trail of "Message ahead and then message ahead" and "Beware of message ahead" style messages that ended with "Message ahead" and finally a message that read "Message". These are silly, creative jokes that add humour to the game, entirely driven by players and frequently a great level of environmental observation. The game is better for them.

Dark Souls 2 particularly had a unusually high concentration of quite dark joke messages aimed at women, that became wearying quickly, and I could imagine might have gotten to some of the ladies in the community. Particularly the additional of "beat to a pulp" as a string, which left a poor taste in my mouth each time. It's suggestive of a hostile atmosphere towards women with the frequency by which they occurred in that game.

Then there are just the incel-tastic ones using "liar", "stabbing in the back", etc...

There's plenty of light hearted, genuinely creative humour found in Dark Souls through the community leaving messages, some of which pokes fun at women, that can straddle that line of blue and might just make Anita rustle her feathers. But there's also some absolute garbage.

Samtemdo8:
I thought Kotaku stopped making articles like this? Infact why is Kotaku still around I thought Gawker Media's collapse would bring Kotaku down too?

They and all of Gawker were purchased by Univision two years ago. Gawker was closed while the rest operate under Gizmodo.

OT: I can definitely see it be very wearying to see these sort of jokes in such volume when you just want to play a game

You can always switch off those messages if you wish to avoid encountering uncouth content (in a game where hellish devilspawn do horrific things to everything around them over and over).

I mainly dislike the atmosphere they create since you're all immersed in your adventure and then you encounter some message that doesn't fit with the lore of the place and is about hidden treasure or something. You know what I did? I switched them off and kept playing the game. You know what I didn't do? I didn't write a whole article about them instead of playing the game.

Also, Bloodborne especially has a lot of official creepy content with those dolls anyhow so if anyone is taken aback by such messages in a game where the lore suggests one can use the doll as a sex slave, I don't really know what to make of them. Maybe the complainer didn't read the descriptions of her outfit items and/or go through every dialogue to encounter the one that tells you you can use her in "any way" you like? Either way, it's like complaining about a paper cut when your gut is sliced open.

Isn't this just a new form of innuendo?

Like a bunch of guys talking about how they were so happy their waitress has such ripe tomatoes... and they weren't talking about their side salad.

On one hand, it's sad. On the other hand, we've all done it. But at the end of the day, it isn't Malicious.

SckizoBoy:

erttheking:
Also, throughout history, war has been something we encourage people to take part in. In fact, overwhelmingly so. The idea of war being hell only popped up in the popular consciousness around the First World War, and even then it's been hotly contested by the chest thumping militarist crowd.

And there's a difference for wanting someone to fight in a war and thinking that someone is capable of fighting should the need arise.

I'm not here to debate your point ('cos I agree), but just to make a correction: it was actually the American Civil War that brought about the war is hell trope, and not least because Sherman said so verbatim. It was the first widely photographed war and since photo-journalists (such as they were) weren't regulated or prevented from witnessing the aftermaths of what were then the largest battles participated in by American soldiers (in numbers, ordnance and casualties), they took a lot of grizzly photos. And then ultimately had the means to widely circulate said photos.

I guess the idea of where the idea started depends on what region you're talking about. In America that would be the Civil War, and in Europe it's probably WWI.

Excellent point, thank you for pointing that out to me.

ObsidianJones:
Isn't this just a new form of innuendo?

Like a bunch of guys talking about how they were so happy their waitress has such ripe tomatoes... and they weren't talking about their side salad.

On one hand, it's sad. On the other hand, we've all done it. But at the end of the day, it isn't Malicious.

The maliciousness is how we so easily view it as nothing to get upset over. We accept too much sexism and bigotry just because it is not as blatant as yelling the N word at black people, but yes, this constant immature sexualization of things IS infact sexist and not really a good thing.

Most of us bothered by this stuff are so expected to deal with it, that we just nod our heads meekly while being bothered by it. If we speak up, suddenly we're SJW snowflakes who need a thicker skin.

Saelune:

ObsidianJones:
Isn't this just a new form of innuendo?

Like a bunch of guys talking about how they were so happy their waitress has such ripe tomatoes... and they weren't talking about their side salad.

On one hand, it's sad. On the other hand, we've all done it. But at the end of the day, it isn't Malicious.

The maliciousness is how we so easily view it as nothing to get upset over. We accept too much sexism and bigotry just because it is not as blatant as yelling the N word at black people, but yes, this constant immature sexualization of things IS infact sexist and not really a good thing.

Most of us bothered by this stuff are so expected to deal with it, that we just nod our heads meekly while being bothered by it. If we speak up, suddenly we're SJW snowflakes who need a thicker skin.

Not debating your feelings on the issue; I'm certainly all for putting respect for others ahead of any need or "right" to entertain oneself at others' expense of dignity, but certainly there are degrees of severity? I mean, given the outright vitriol and unmasked hatred and disrespect that is fairly commonplace in online interactions (let's call those 10s on a scale of 1 to 10,) doesn't crafty-if-immature wordsmithed innuendo fall somewhere around the 1 to 2 range? Did it merit an article like the one in the OP? I.e.: how much elephant shit did he have to dig through to find this rabbit pellet?

Not saying this is innocent fun and anyone should "get over it," but some things merit a stern folding of the arms with a "harrumph" of disapproval and other's merit an eyeroll; this, I feel is a case of the latter. And how he comes to the conclusion that this is "a territorial, gendered assertion of power" is beyond me. If anything the intended audience is other equally immature players who'll see it and giggle as much as they did writing it; I think giving that kind of person any credit to think they've masterminded a plot to ensure any "girl" playing his game knows her place is giving that person TOO much credit.

Saelune:
The maliciousness is how we so easily view it as nothing to get upset over. We accept too much sexism and bigotry just because it is not as blatant as yelling the N word at black people, but yes, this constant immature sexualization of things IS infact sexist and not really a good thing.

Most of us bothered by this stuff are so expected to deal with it, that we just nod our heads meekly while being bothered by it. If we speak up, suddenly we're SJW snowflakes who need a thicker skin.

I mean yes, you kind do need a thicker skin. Honestly. Remember the phrase "sticks and bones break my bones but words will never hurt me"? While it is true that words can hurt, this is not one of those situations. These are cheap grade school jokes on the ground about as harmful as typing 80085 into your calculator for giggles.

This isn't sexist. There is nothing about these phrases that is anti-woman or man in any way. It's that mentality that wants to stretch and twist words into meaning something that they do NOT mean. And frankly if you have this view of everything that you see, I can do nothing but feel sorry for you because it simply must be absolutely impossible for you to enjoy anything as you must always be looking for a way to be offended or hurt by it. How do you watch films, television, read books, comics, video games, anything where there could possibly be a joke at a woman's expense.

Joke's at someone's expense does not make the joke sexist, racist, or phobic. Because they are jokes. Context and intent DOES matter. You can be offended by a harmless stupid joke all you want, but that doesn't make you right.

Messaging needs to start being restricted to anyone who's old enough to not do this kind of crap. It really goes to show what lengths twits will go to in order to engage in sexist behavior

~This threeeeeeaaad's
about SEX-I-S-M
and nooootttttttt
about Dark Souls
~

Moved to R&P.

jademunky:

"Amazing Chest Ahead"

Came here specifically to mention this classic, but article tells me DS messages came some way since.

Anyway, you can try "fix" this(Filtering the word "woman" would probly remove 90% of legit toxic examples), but be ready for people finding another way to act juvenile.
Reminds me how Blizzard removed "Sorry" emote from Hearthstone(a game that doesn't have a voice, nor normal game chat per se in first place), because people found a way to be super obnoxious with its usage. Now it's been replace with "Thank You", which, no surprise here, still can be used in a way that makes you look like a prick.

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