Once again, you missed a large part of the previous conversation. I was saying that if 40% of the market for video games are women, as cited by the person I was arguing with, and those women forgo games that objectify them, then the market will correct itself. 40% is NOT a niche market.
Once Again, you accuse me of not understanding your position, due to a lack of reading comprehension. My Argument was that the market will NOT correct itself.
No, I understand what you're saying. If women are 40% of the market and they decide to boycott sexist games then the market will DEFINITELY correct itself. As I was arguing against the previous person, I don't think women make up a large portion of the market for the games that objectify them so I DON'T think it will correct itself. But if you combine the argument that these games are harmful to women because of the body image they represent AND the argument that the market won't correct itself because women don't buy these games then you've essentially neutered your own position. If women aren't buying the games then it's hard to see how it will affect their body images. If, however, women do buy the games and don't care, then you're essentially arguing that we need to step in and do their thinking for them.
If you instead try to educate the women themselves instead of pressuring developers, then the women WILL boycott the games that objectify them, and this WILL be an example of the free market correcting itself. Do you understand? When people talk about the market correcting itself, they are talking about 'correction' in an ECONOMIC SENSE, NOT A MORAL SENSE. If women are fine with these games and buying them anyway, or if only men are buying these games, then the market doesn't need correction. The market's job is to supply people with a product that they desire, not to enforce some moral code.
If your argument is that games will warp the fragile minds of young men so that they objectify women then you're wrong. Games don't turn perfectly chaste young christian boys into perverted freaks any more than they turn placid and peaceful people into murderous psychopaths. The imagery in games and the media is an EFFECT of the popular male psyche more than it is the cause of it. It might have some slight effect of reinforcement but that's about it.
The point was that the objectification of women cannot be corrected merely by censoring the media, because its primary cause is the male sex drive. It's been happening before the first printing press.
You don't get it do you? It's not about capitalism being good for society, it's about society being free. If people want to buy smut or insipid crap, that's their business. If you don't like it, don't buy it. And you're dead wrong about men, they're affected JUST as much as women. All the crap about suppressing your emotions and acting like a mindless jock is a good example. You're basically suggesting that no one can think for themselves so the government has to step in and do their thinking for them and censor the crap out of everything. While I agree that very few people can think for themselves, I don't care to have that type of government thank you very much.
Get your posters and march if you have to. Get the word out to as many people as you can. Boycott industries and protest. But if you can't change peoples minds it doesn't mean that you have the right to force them or take away their freedom.
I do agree that education is the best way to counter this though.
I like how you placed this last quote at the end even though I was responding to it. My point was that education is the only way.
Not once have I advocated government intervention on this matter. Go ahead trying to smear me as being favor of some sort of repressive socialist society though, I'm sure it's easier to just ignore what I say and fill in the blanks. Makes it easier to strawman me, I suppose.
I have been doing two things: 1) responding to your criticism of the free market and 2) showing how the images in the media are the RESULTS of our values and not the cause of them. My arguments against censorship fall into my first response. I am arguing that because of the free market system, if someone wants a product, someone will produce that product. My point is that the only way for you to stop these images is either through government censorship or by changing the fundamental nature of human beings. Here I focused upon the former, even if it is not your position. I focused upon making the latter point elsewhere. I am telling you that pressuring the developers is the wrong way to go and won't accomplish much of anything. You have to change the desires of the public, not their ability to buy things based upon those desires. Even if you pressured developers (without outright government censorship) to stop making games, you haven't changed the fact that people want those types of games.
I'm not arguing that men hiding their emotions and being bombarded with images of hypermuscualar athletic macho men is not bad. It is also bad, but as I have stated before, muscular men do not solely represent sexuality, but also a heroic ideal of sorts. Women characters are typically denied this sort of representation in favor of a solely sexualized one, the implications should be obvious.
The implications are not obvious. I sincerely doubt that a bunch of 13 year old girls are going to run away to Mexico to get breast implants so they can look like Kasumi from DOA. I've played plenty of Gears of War, yet I've somehow resisted the impulse to inject myself with horse steroids. You're making mountains out of mole hills. I could maybe see this as a valid argument against actual actresses who are pop culture idols and thus something little girls actually look up to, but come on: video games? Video games are almost always set in complete fantasy.
Sure, I acknowledge that there probably are detrimental effects to women in the way these games present them. I just don't think these effects are NEARLY damaging enough to justify trying to ban games, or really even launching negative campaigns to try to get people to stop making them. I think you're better off trying to teach people how to distinguish between reality and fantasy. It's fine to indulge yourself in gratuitous sexual or violent content as long as you don't let it get to your head.
What you're proposing is something akin to the absolutist Temperance movement. Instead of telling people that they should drink in moderation, you're trying to get people to stop drinking altogether. (Note that I'm not comparing you to the Prohibition movement which wanted to legally ban alcohol, so don't accuse me of a straw man fallacy.)
You excuse sexual exploitation of women in games again and again as being 'natural', and say that it is fine that men buy and consume this material, but you ignore that the brand of sexuality being marketed to men does not represent a form of beauty that has been historically eternal or universal. (hint: Teenage boys are *not* biologically hardwired to enjoy the sight of breasts, different cultures have historically emphasized different aspects of the human body as desirable) The sexuality marketed in today's games is a more or less recent development, and treats women as objects. This consumption is not limited to personal fantasies or to the game world being marketed, it effects perceptions in the real world, which is why it is important to raise awareness on the subject.
What exploitation? Listen, slavery is exploitation. Prostitution is exploitation. Indentured servitude is exploitation. Child labor is exploitation. Hiring people to work in your coal mine and then charging them for their pick axes is exploitation. Video games do not exploit women. Perhaps they objectify them, but that is a completely different thing. I could maybe see this argument made against the porn industry because a lot of the actresses probably have mental health issues (i.e. were sexually abused as children), but not in video games. Who is being exploited? The pixelated characters that don't actually exist? Perhaps it's the voice actors, but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure none of the voice actors are addicted to crack. In fact, they probably have a beast of a union, actors are notorious for that.
Sure it objectifies women. People, both men and women, are hard wired to view each other as sexual objects. The problem arises when they only view each other in this manner.
You seem to be conflating two separate but related issues: 1) the objectification of women in video games and 2) the unhealthy body image portrayed by video games. What I think you fail to realize is that whatever body image is popular, skinny, fat, giant nose rings or plates in one's lip, it's still possible to objectify women.
So what do you want to stop? Both? I'm telling you right now that men are always going to want to consume a product where women are treated as sexual objects. The male sex drive is such that sometimes a guy just wants sexual gratification. There's a lot of evolutionary psychology on the matter, but the essence is that men have been pressured by evolution to spread their genetic material as much as possible. But just because men have a drive to some times treat women as sex objects, it doesn't mean that they also are incapable of love or respecting a woman for her mind. It just means that SOMETIMES all a man wants is sex. It's OK for people to want meaningless sexual gratification, it's perfectly natural. By arguing this point I am not somehow advocating that we repeal women's suffrage. Products that treat women as sex objects are aimed at men who are in a certain mood. They are not the expression of some male chauvinist worldview. Anyone who is dumb enough to derive their sexual worldview from a video game has much deeper issues.
As far as body images go. I am disgusted if I can see a woman's ribs. I am also turned off if a woman is obese. Go ahead and tell me that I'm a terrible person, I could care less. In some societies where resources are scarce fat is a sign of wealth and is considered attractive. This is a trend in Polynesian societies. However, in OUR society, we have an abundance of resources. Thus if a person is muscular and fit this signifies that that person has the time and resources to take care of their physical appearance. They can afford a membership to a good gym and possibly a physical trainer.
Personally, I agree that anything under 10% body fat is unattractive. But anything over 20% is also both unattractive and unhealthy (actually that's for men, I think it might be 20-30 for women, but you catch my drift). Frankly, fat rolls and cellulite are unattractive, and they SHOULD BE. We're living in a society plagued by obesity where people are dying of heat disease and diabetes, so we shouldn't be telling anyone that they can be obese and yet still be attractive. Not only is it wrong by our current ideals of beauty, it's downright irresponsible.