"Gamers" Are Still Dead, Y'all

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ScaredIndie:

Exley97:

ScaredIndie:

I think the term free speech and the nature of consequences for free speech must still be leaving you confounded as to meaning or intent, let me explain the basics here since it is a shame that a journalist would be confused by such simple matters.

As you have stated before with smug self importance free speech is not freedom from consistence. But what is the consequence? There is the rub. You could for example choose not to purchase things or view content but the most common form on consequence is simple more speech which is what you see here.

The problem people take with your censorious ilk is simple your version of consequence is people should be jailed or removed from their means of employment as such a consistence as opposed to simple avoidance or additional speech which are the valid consequences.

I know what free speech is and isn't. I'm talking about hypocrisy of the Honey Badger Brigade and its ilk. They write article after article about how political correctness is bad in virtually every context -- race, religion, class, gender -- until suddenly someone criticizes gamers. So they play the anti-PC tough guy role and complain about how fragile the snowflakes are and how too many people get their underwear twisted up and that words can't hurt people -- until someone writes "gamers are still over."

Then it's an assault. (LOL...)

I'm not arguing there can't be consequences for speech. I'm arguing that you incessantly complain about political correctness, and then turn around and practice the very thing you supposedly abhor, then you're a hypocrite.

I feel like you don't really understand free speech. It means people are free to criticize what ever they like. It's not hypocritical for example to say I don't appreciate journalists being anti gamer by and large within the games industry while also saying the honey badgers should be ousted from a convention and then subsequently swatted for holding the "wrong views". I'm not sure what to say to you if you think those things are on the same level.

But hey modern social justice is built on "rules for thee and not for me" so I am gonna guess that is where the confusion comes in around the concept of speech and consequence.

You can keeping slinging insults my way and trot out the SJW crap all you want. It doesn't change the fact the the Honey Badger Brigade is engaging in exactly the "rules for thee and not for me" hypocrisy that you claim others practice. For them, political correctness is awful awful awful -- until it's about "gamers," and then political correctness isn't awful anymore. It's the norm.

maninahat:
The same could be said for Fallout 3 vs Fallout New Vegas, or many other games in which the sequel gets a marginally lower score on a review metric. It seems like you're telling me that the words of the critics - the ones explicitly telling you the sequels are better - don't matter, and only the numbers they provide matter, even though the point of game scores isn't so that you can catalogue games on an objective sliding scale of quality.

What I'm telling you is that, like it or not, metrics matter. A game that scores comparably to its predecessor but sells more poorly cannot be labelled a "better" game without a big asterisk. A game reboot that comes out ten years after its predecessor will be "better" in all sorts of ways- the graphics will undoubtedly take advantage of modern hardware, the sound will benefit from cheaper mixing and composing software, the control scheme will take advantage of a broader variety of input options, and it will almost certainly have more people and more money involved in its making.

None of which means that it won't crash and burn and be regarded as blot on the memory of its beloved predecessor.

Fallout: New Vegas had a more intricate and non-linear story than its predecessor, a wider variety of weapons and tools, more NPCs and scripted dialogue. It was also a buggy mess, occasionally to the point that it could become impossible to proceed.

"Better" will always be an opinion. Some opinions are better supported than others, which is part of why this discussion is taking place. It's reasonable to wonder why someone should care about making a game "better" in ways that involve a significant amount of work, please a narrow audience, and have no visible effect on the game's fortunes in sales or critical numbers- the latter, especially, as the game isn't competing with its predecessor on the "shelves", but with everything else that was released around the same time.

So as I understand it, you think it is a case of either Sarkeesian blackmailing the devs to make them put more women in their games, or the dev's cynical attempt to avoid negative criticism by placating those big mouth feminists? How is this the more plausible option than the dev simply agreeing with her, given that he says how important he thinks criticism is?

That's a nice narrow straw-man you've got there. It's not what I said. What I said is that neither of us can know what was actually exchanged, nor how what was exchanged might actually be perceived by either party in the current climate, or what either might have been particularly hoping to accomplish.

Sarkeesian might have given a perfectly reasonable, non-threatening presentation on her stated goals, which are entirely what she says they are, and he might still have perceived them as threatening. The developer might think Sarkeesian's ideals are bullshit, and still recognize that making a show of playing to them might serve the PR needs of his game.

Or, regardless of the broader milieu, she made a straight case and he emerged a true believer.

I don't know.

Neither do you.

On the contrary, it is not misandry for Sarkeesian to suggest that the sequel ideally should have been purely female led (which isn't the same as "removing" a male lead from a finished game). She makes the observation that playable female characters are most often only included in games that also provide a male option, however devs don't ever have a problem with making male only led games. You consider it misandry for someone to ask why this couldn't have been a female only game, but do you consider it misogyny when the reverse happens and countless games are male led?

No, I consider it misandry when a critic seeks to remove an existing male lead from a series so that it can be female-led. Because it is. It's certainly not "equality" or "diversity", except in the minds of those for whom those words mean "we get an equal amount of time to be wrong to make up for the wrongs done to us".

Which is to say, in this case, misandrists.

Quantic Foundry's analysis suggests that female gamers make up only 7% of those who play first-person shooter games, and 18% of action-adventure games. The question of whether it makes real sense to have gender parity in genres where the vast majority of players are male somehow gets pushed to the side in favor of reactionary accusations of misogyny.

It's a question- that thing that, somehow, only one side ever has to answer. Which kind of calls into question whether getting an answer is actually the point.

Similarly, in games where there is a closer to even split in the player base, or a female majority- as in RPGs, puzzle games, etc.- one is more likely to find a female or androgynous lead.

So in short, yes, I stand by the accusation that Sarkeesian's stance is a misandric one, and no, I'm not going to be waylaid by a false equivalence, thanks.

I don't know how you think the game design process works, but having a trans character or a racially diverse cast is not an extra resource drain for the dev team, distracting them from making their games better. It is literally no more work and no more jarring to someone's concentration to write a character as black or white, or trans or cis, or whatever. And I suppose games like Overwatch would be way better if they didn't waste their resources by including more diverse characters, right?

And this is why I'm going to stop letting you try to put words in my mouth.

A trans character is "no extra work"? So if the writers hadn't put in more time to research the issue of gender presentation before writing that character in "Mass Effect: Andromeda", they couldn't have side-stepped the ensuing controversy?

I'm playing Unreal Tournament III right now, a game from 2007, which features a black character whose every other phrase is of the "Aw, hell yeah!" and "Now that's what I'm talking about" variety. Is writing a character who's a stereotype sufficient?

Shall I take it on faith that Agents of Mayhem would not have had more variety in gameplay and depth of character if instead of having fourteen playable characters, it had twelve? Or nine?

I haven't played Overwatch; I hear it's fantastic. Offering twenty-five playable characters in a multi-player competitive shooter certainly allows for a genuinely diverse cast. It's also an absolute nightmare for any company smaller than an Activision/Blizzard, and only becomes feasible even for them, because every one of those characters has to be tuned and tweaked and balanced to play and interplay fairly, dynamically and enjoyably with every other character- a process which they're still, and constantly, in the process of undertaking.

Read: That diversity was not somehow trivial or extraneous to the game-play and design, but inextricably tied into it, and came with its own costs and priorities.

Not that said diversity kept them from their own share of controversies, from Widowmaker's costume to Tracer's victory poses.

How do I think the game design process works? I think it's work is what I think. Often under-appreciated and unrecognized work. Clearly.

Much easier to lob criticism that can't bothered to examine its own underpinnings, that assumes the changes it demands are easy and simple and failure to get it done yesterday is simple laziness and resistance to change, that the audience for the work wants it (and if they don't they should accept it anyway because it's what's good for them), and that thinks anyone who dares to offer the slightest degree of resistance can be trivialized or demonized, reality be damned.

It would be hilarious that people who wax rhapsodic about the purifying and ennobling power of criticism can't stand to have that criticism itself subjected to a similar degree of scrutiny, if it hadn't become such a tenet of blind dogmatic faith.

People who only listen to wait for their opportunity to interject, to mis-interpret, to self-promote- who think that the world is their pulpit and the unenlightened masses obligated to be their audience- need to make a case that their invaluable opinions warrant a hearing at all. And if they aren't willing to do that, they still have every right to speak.

But no one should be under any illusions that they're obligated to listen.

Callate:

maninahat:
The same could be said for Fallout 3 vs Fallout New Vegas, or many other games in which the sequel gets a marginally lower score on a review metric. It seems like you're telling me that the words of the critics - the ones explicitly telling you the sequels are better - don't matter, and only the numbers they provide matter, even though the point of game scores isn't so that you can catalogue games on an objective sliding scale of quality.

What I'm telling you is that, like it or not, metrics matter. A game that scores comparably to its predecessor but sells more poorly cannot be labelled a "better" game without a big asterisk.

Yes it can.

So as I understand it, you think it is a case of either Sarkeesian blackmailing the devs to make them put more women in their games, or the dev's cynical attempt to avoid negative criticism by placating those big mouth feminists? How is this the more plausible option than the dev simply agreeing with her, given that he says how important he thinks criticism is?

That's a nice narrow straw-man you've got there. It's not what I said. What I said is that neither of us can know what was actually exchanged, nor how what was exchanged might actually be perceived by either party in the current climate, or what either might have been particularly hoping to accomplish.

Sarkeesian might have given a perfectly reasonable, non-threatening presentation on her stated goals, which are entirely what she says they are, and he might still have perceived them as threatening. The developer might think Sarkeesian's ideals are bullshit, and still recognize that making a show of playing to them might serve the PR needs of his game.

Or, regardless of the broader milieu, she made a straight case and he emerged a true believer.

I don't know.

Neither do you.

Well if we're playing it the weasel word game, there is also no evidence that Sarkeesian held the game developer up at gun point at his home, on Friday 23rd May, and said she would shoot him through the spine if he didn't pretend to agree with her perspective on videogame protagonists, but it is fine for me to throw in that suggestion, apropos of nothing, because it technically might have happened, oh and also did you know that feminists also sometimes threaten men? Not that this is a relevant fact mind you, because as I just said, we don't know the facts about what really happened and I'm on the fence as much as you, so this thing I'm implying to have happened just by mentioning it out of the blue is not what I genuinely believe so you can't call me out on it.

On the contrary, it is not misandry for Sarkeesian to suggest that the sequel ideally should have been purely female led (which isn't the same as "removing" a male lead from a finished game). She makes the observation that playable female characters are most often only included in games that also provide a male option, however devs don't ever have a problem with making male only led games. You consider it misandry for someone to ask why this couldn't have been a female only game, but do you consider it misogyny when the reverse happens and countless games are male led?

No, I consider it misandry when a critic seeks to remove an existing male lead from a series so that it can be female-led. Because it is. It's certainly not "equality" or "diversity", except in the minds of those for whom those words mean "we get an equal amount of time to be wrong to make up for the wrongs done to us".

Which is to say, in this case, misandrists.

I consider this argument purely academic considering Sarkeesian didn't ask them to remove a male lead., however supposing Sarkeesian did try to convince them to remove Corvo from the game and that this is misandry, would it also have been misandry for the developers to have never considered putting a male lead in the game in the first place? I mean this as a genuine question, I'm not being sarcastic for once.

Quantic Foundry's analysis suggests that female gamers make up only 7% of those who play first-person shooter games, and 18% of action-adventure games. The question of whether it makes real sense to have gender parity in genres where the vast majority of players are male somehow gets pushed to the side in favor of reactionary accusations of misogyny.

Just a thought but, maybe the lack of female FPS players is because FPS games are usually not made to appeal to women, and it's circular reasoning to argue that because women don't play FPS games it isn't necessary to cater to them. The reasons for women not being into FPSs are many, but most are tied to societal influences which discourage women from having certain hobbies (its these same societal influences that discourages you to not put on make up and skirts each morning). Having more female characters is just a minor step towards addressing that societal influence.

I don't know how you think the game design process works, but having a trans character or a racially diverse cast is not an extra resource drain for the dev team, distracting them from making their games better. It is literally no more work and no more jarring to someone's concentration to write a character as black or white, or trans or cis, or whatever. And I suppose games like Overwatch would be way better if they didn't waste their resources by including more diverse characters, right?

A trans character is "no extra work"? So if the writers hadn't put in more time to research the issue of gender presentation before writing that character in "Mass Effect: Andromeda", they couldn't have side-stepped the ensuing controversy?

It's not putting words in your mouth if you immediately make the argument I am saying you are making. The controversy over the trans person in Mass Effect: Andromeda would have been avoided if the writers weren't bad at writing (c.f. criticisms of the rest of the game). Perhaps it might have taken them an especial amount of research to realise that trans people probably don't tell strangers they are trans, twenty seconds into their first conversation, but for me that seemed kind of obvious.

Much easier to lob criticism that can't bothered to examine its own underpinnings, that assumes the changes it demands are easy and simple and failure to get it done yesterday is simple laziness and resistance to change, that the audience for the work wants it (and if they don't they should accept it anyway because it's what's good for them), and that thinks anyone who dares to offer the slightest degree of resistance can be trivialized or demonized, reality be damned.

It would be hilarious that people who wax rhapsodic about the purifying and ennobling power of criticism can't stand to have that criticism itself subjected to a similar degree of scrutiny, if it hadn't become such a tenet of blind dogmatic faith.

People who only listen to wait for their opportunity to interject, to mis-interpret, to self-promote- who think that the world is their pulpit and the unenlightened masses obligated to be their audience- need to make a case that their invaluable opinions warrant a hearing at all. And if they aren't willing to do that, they still have every right to speak.

But no one should be under any illusions that they're obligated to listen.

I should say this next time my wife complains I didn't do the dishes. It's all a bit too hyperbolic. I don't think I've heard anyone calling the Dishonored or Andromeda dev teams lazy or stubborn because of their games.

There's an interesting phenomenon in all of this. I get the idea that the gaming community is, at least overall, okay with the status quo. They need not advocate it, but it certainly doesn't seem to be a problem.

The problem seems to arise more when the community is called on it. Called out or caught. It seems like the community is okay with the behaviour that leads to the image, just not the image.

As such, this is likely to be revisited for a long time to come: the way to change the image would be to change the culture, but it's a culture that's being defended over these same points. I see people try and blame outside sources for taking a conspiratorial stance to make "gamers" look bad, but little done to address the people within the community who are a legitimate issue and that demonstrate the point.

The stereotypes perpetuate because there are enough gamers perpetuating them, and do so largely unchallenged.

Been chewing over whether I wanted to touch this for a couple of days, but after a recent discussion with my partner...let's do this.

maninahat:

It's not putting words in your mouth if you immediately make the argument I am saying you are making. The controversy over the trans person in Mass Effect: Andromeda would have been avoided if the writers weren't bad at writing (c.f. criticisms of the rest of the game). Perhaps it might have taken them an especial amount of research to realise that trans people probably don't tell strangers they are trans, twenty seconds into their first conversation, but for me that seemed kind of obvious.

First off, I've not played Andromeda, but since no specifics have been discussed here, i think it's worth pointing out that Andromeda is a science fiction game set in a future where you can not only explicitly gay sex (as in, explicitly male/male or female/female, not as in the sex is explicit), but you can have sex with aliens. You can have gay sex with aliens. And that's just canon; I don't remember anything like sex with the Hanar or Elcor, but I'm betting in a universe like Mass Effect, it's not out. This is done not only without condemnation (the worst that seems to happen is you might upset your partner by cheating in another game), but treated as absolutely normal within the context of the game.

You can talk about how trans people don't announce we're trans within 20 seconds of a conversation (even that's not strictly accurate, and I've got friends who will be up front off the bat) and that's great. If you're writing a realistic modern portrayal of transgender individuals within a culture like ours. One where things like gay sex are still hotly debated and where it's still incredibly dangerous to be LGBT in even the supposedly "enlightened" developed nations.

But what if you took away the fear, the danger, the stigma?

Now, I do agree with the point that it doesn't take any sort of extraordinary research to create a trans character (but then, I thought Bioware's writing was horrible before it became cool to say so), but since we're not looking at a realistic indictment of modern life as told through conventional means, but a futuristic society with space magic and super science in which it's perfectly okay to have partners not only from multiple genders but also from multiple species, what then?

The answer might seem "obvious" through the filter of the modern world, but this is space fantasy in the future, where you can James T. Kirk your way through the galaxy if you want. If you can be openly gay, is it then obvious that trans people would feel the need to hide?

Speaking as someone who is trans and open about her experiences, I'll go ahead and say no. And other people with similar experiences might disagree, but that still doesn't make this inherently bad writing.

It is, on the other hand, a Bioware game, so I'm betting it's just bad writing in general. I mean, Bioware could stand to do some research on how human beings interact in general. It's always been weird to me how acceptable space fantasy shooters and medieval fantasy magic games can be, but people turn into the realism police the minute someone LGBT shows up. Also, how these declarations of realism and how trans people talk and act usually come from people who aren't trans. I don't know about the Andromeda example, but I do know a lot of trans people who sounded off on other examples (Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age) and it wasn't the introduction of the character being trans that literally anyone in my circles has taken issue with. Then again, the other commonality among people who have played those games is to point out how exaggerated the criticisms of said revelations were.

This is a long way of saying that maybe this is neither the issue, the taboo, nor the bad writing it's being made out to be.

Also, I disagree that the controversy would have been avoided if Bioware wasn't bad at writing. There is a kneejerk reaction and complaints virtually any time an LGBT character shows up in a major game. The fact that so often the "concerns" turn out to be hyperbole also makes it seem likely that this could be the most brilliant writing on the planet and still get a tempest in a teacup.

Something Amyss:
[snip]

Thanks for the insight. I consider it bad writing because they went with the most on-the-nose way of letting us know a character is trans, having them drop a reference to it apropos of nothing. I'm not saying it can't possibly happen that way, but it would feel odd if (for example) a character were to ask another how their day's going, and they respond with "well, as a gay man, I'm having an average sort of day". This is a super progressive future setting, but it's a basic requirement that writers produce dialogue that sounds more plausible than this.

Call me captain hindsight, but there are fairly simple, naturally ways of presenting a future that's supportive of transgender people. I'd do it by having an NPC pacing around outside the medical bay - when you ask them why they're so excited, they could jubilantly tell you how their partner has finally gone in to get their first stage of sex reassignment surgery, and they're anticipating seeing them soon. Then have a pay off scene later where you see the NPC with their partner.

I don't think the criticism of the scene was hyperbolic. To compare her to a better written character, there's Mindy Blanchard in Dishonored 2. A lot of people didn't realise Mindy is trans; she passes, doesn't feel it pertinent to tell the first person she sees about it, and she has a role in the game beyond being a token. I've not seen any complaints about Mindy. In fact, most the criticism I've seen of LGBT characters tends to be objections that there are LGBT characters, rather than complaints about how they are presented. Also, when people do complain about how LGBT is presented, those critics tend to get a hammering from people who feel that the criticism is unwarranted/nit-picky/selfish/demanding.

NewClassic:

Further, I make no demands of the industry. Just of the community.

Remind me again, who are you, to be demanding anything of anyone?

Who are you to infringe on what others enjoy?

I don't see anything broken, and I don't see your authority to demand anything.

You come off as pompous and stupid making demands of a loosely grouped community.

We have one thing in common, we like playing games. That is our community. You do not get to try and engineer that into anything more or anything less. Especially against the wishes of those involved.

Dissappointed in all of you.

Not once have I seen a THEY TARGETED GAMERS copypasta in this thread.

Ironically, it appears that The Escapist is now dead, and gamers are still here to piss on its grave for this idiotic article.

Deadguy2322:
Ironically, it appears that The Escapist is now dead, and gamers are still here to piss on its grave for this idiotic article.

As long as there are games, gamers will outlive fashions, fads and fascists.

Also, old-school gamers will even outlive newer gamers. Especially when they close down the servers. ,)

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