Getting Furious Over "Girlfriend Mode"

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4
 

The first thought I had when I read this article was the same thought I've had many times before: I'm a girl gamer, and I've kicked the asses of many of the guy gamers I've known. And I thought how I wish that gaming developers would stop acting like girls don't or can't play games and play them well.

However, my second thought was that the guy who made that comment probably knew perfectly well that girls and game and game well. And I knew exactly what he meant when he said "girlfriend mode," which is probably why he said it that way. Most women I know don't play video games, and on the rare occasions I've gamed with them, I've sorely wished I had a way to help them stop dragging down the team.

So I think this article makes a good point, that when these kinds of comments get said, we need to stop and let our brains process for a minute before bombing Twitter or whatnot. It was probably just a careless slip of the tongue, not a misogynist, "girls can't game" statement. And even if it was, you can't honestly change hearts and minds by yelling.

Oh man, the over-sensitivity of some folk. I wish I could just hug and talk it out with every single individual that misunderstood Mr. Hemingway's humorous nickname for the skill set. Alas I cannot do so, therefore I must insist that this is a joke. I am sure Mr. Hemingway never meant to cause any emotional harm that was inflicted upon the community. It's suicide for a man in business to insult his customers and we all know that's not his intention. Let's just forgive and forget and wait in loving unison for this game to come out.

persephone:
The first thought I had when I read this article was the same thought I've had many times before: I'm a girl gamer, and I've kicked the asses of many of the guy gamers I've known. And I thought how I wish that gaming developers would stop acting like girls don't or can't play games and play them well.

However, my second thought was that the guy who made that comment probably knew perfectly well that girls and game and game well. And I knew exactly what he meant when he said "girlfriend mode," which is probably why he said it that way. Most women I know don't play video games, and on the rare occasions I've gamed with them, I've sorely wished I had a way to help them stop dragging down the team.

So I think this article makes a good point, that when these kinds of comments get said, we need to stop and let our brains process for a minute before bombing Twitter or whatnot. It was probably just a careless slip of the tongue, not a misogynist, "girls can't game" statement. And even if it was, you can't honestly change hearts and minds by yelling.

Agreed.:)

I will say this. Gaming is no longer a mans world. Its a womans world too. But its not a world for the sensitive. Bleeding your heart out is fine when theres a real issue. But really if you cant take the heat and dish it out than I dont care who you are you just wont make here or in the real world.

Technically all he implied is that women who are good at games either don't have boyfriends or are married, not that all women are noobs.

The main problem is the way these comments are taken. See, men dissasociate, and women associate...
Like, if something should be offensive to men, well we can dissasociate from the targetted group - they can be talking about men pissing on the toilet seat, but that doesn't offend men because we don't do that, right? - we lift up the seat or at least clean it - it's other people that do that, people whe deserve to be made fun of.
Women on the other hand associate with the targetted group. If you say something that might be offensive to some women, then they will all be offended.

Look at the evidence... I mean I made a comment about buying your girl a copy of 50 Shades and getting some peace and quiet to play the game, and at least 2 women were offended, basically because they themselves wouldn't read such crud. That's fine, but the association reactions are kinda pointless. This thread is a good indicator. A typical woman would probably not be offended, they probably know that they'll get owned and frustrated, and might not even like the game. But a girlfriend who plays FPS games, well how dare a developer call it girlfriend mode, that's so damn offensive, because 1% of the female population might not need any help. A little dissasociation and wham! - daft comments like that don't affect you anymore. Dissasociation is the key to individuality, you can't go through life thinking that every comment is aimed at you, save being offended for when someone actually offends you personally. You cannot take a comment aimed at half the worlds population as a personal attack.

surg3n:
snip

I get a couple of points out of that. One, yes, people need to take things less personally in life. I will get behind that. People get way too offended over way too many things, and I don't have enough mental spoons to care about every single comment against women I hear. Some people are jerks. Eh, that happens. I save my spoons for, say, people who make laws against women, because that will actually matter to me. Gamer guys saying I suck, is just bullies being bullies, and I'm going to ignore them because really, they're not going to get laser-vaporized anytime soon. This is not an ideal world, and the onus is on me to deal with it, because I can't make everything sunshine and rainbows. So I should pick my battles.

Two, though, I think this reflects well on women, because this association derives from empathy. Empathy, despite what nerds want to think, is a *good thing.* Emotions are a *good thing.* Being Spock is a *bad thing.* Having no empathy, or just not caring about other people, is a *bad thing.* Frankly, I feel kind of sorry for a girl who is very independent and headstrong, and dates someone with the views you have. Are you going to tell her, to her face, to just go grab a trashy romance book and piss off? That scenario alone is pretty incensing. "If you will do that to people you don't know, what about the people you do?" The Internet tends to show people's true natures, because that's what they do when no one can know who they are and punish them appropriately. I wouldn't be surprised if the people who, say, go on (female person)'s blog and make horrible rape comments, are people who abuse their girlfriends, for example.

Anyway.

I agree with the principle that bitching out someone who does something offensive, is not going to change anything. Unless you're going to go full on Cavalry Mode and call in 4chan and The Internet to troll someone to death and make their lives miserable, or unless you can rally enough people via Internet to shut down a company's sales, you are not doing jack or crap to this person. May as well try to have some civilized dialogue, knowing that even then you are unlikely to change the opinion of the wealthy, influential, or even just smug and self-satisfied.

However, vitriol only cements your opponent's mind, so you're Doing It Wrong if you go in swinging your fists, unless you have some brick-breaking power behind it.

Ok so...on one hand, I hate to hijack a thread analyzing the response to a problem, but on the other hand, I hate twitter and facebook (and unlike them, I am registered here) and at least I'm going to try to hijack it to discuss the original topic. If that's a problem, idk, maybe a mod could move my post to a new thread where appropriate rather than outright delete it?

Bulletstorm.

I know this is a game where there's been a lot of controversy. First the whole Fox News moral panic that applies to every video game with a gun these days. Then the devs didn't speak English very well and no longer approve of the language in a game THEY WROTE. Etc, etc. I'm not trying to talk about all that, though. I want to talk about Trishka.

You remember her, right? She's the military girl, a soldier, who Grayson (your character, the protagonist) meets almost halfway through the game. I mean, aside from reasonably proportioned boobs, wearing less-than-skimpy cargo pants, and short hair, Trishka is more than capable of dishing out both bullets and insults, rivaling Grayson at times. She seems like the posterchild for what a female character should be.

So my question is, despite the hyper-sexualized dialog all around the whole game, is Trishka not what women wont from a female character in a video game? I mean, she's on par with her male counterparts in every way, Grayson's equal, yet with a personal side (won't spoil it here but let's just say she lost her father pretty early at the hands of...someone relevant.) She never lets her own inner daemons get in the way of her work, yet she isn't completely uncaring. She seems to be exactly what women want in a game - equal.

So, as a dude myself, I'm asking the ladies around here to please, PLEASE enlighten me as to what if anything about Trishka you found lacking? And if you agree that she seems like a good fit for one, perhaps we could all petition People Can Fly to get Bulletstorm 2 out the door sooner? (I mean I really do want an answer here, but I also want to play this sequel pretty bad.)

The MAJORITY of gamers are offended by 75% of the stuff these games "journalists" are trotting out as "misogyny" or "sexism".

Most of these cases have been the results of quotes taken out of context and used as hit pieces to drive page views and ad impressions and I hope all the developers and all the publishers who have been ambushed like this know that we the money spending gamers still support you 100%.

Mmm, keep dreaming, Dennis.

Man makes "insensitive" comment, some people are annoyed and say so, man probably won't make comments like that again. This really doesn't strike me as a wasted opportunity. It panned out the only way it could have, given the current state of western sensibilities.

To be honest, the more these massive outbursts at minor grievances happen, the less seriously I take them.

I know I probably should be taking the issue of "sexism" in video games seriously, but it becomes more of a joke to me every time there's a new wave of outrage at something ultimately trivial or relatively benign.

This incident didn't deserve the response it got, and it makes the whole "side" look foolish.

Most peoples girlfriends don't play video games. I guess orwell was right - telling the truth is controversial.

This is a prime example of people needing to chill the fuck out. A comment made by a male heterosexual reads "girlfriend mode". If he was a homosexual he would have said "boyfriend mode". If a female heterosexual called it "boyfriend mode" no one would care. If a female lesbian said "girlfriend mode" no one would care. People need to stop taking these things so damned seriously all the time. Why is there rage or even emotion attached to this?

Narcogen:

DrOswald:
I personally don't think the whole girlfriend mode thing was anything to get upset about, which is what bothers me about this article. To me, "Girlfriend Mode" doesn't mean "women can't play games." It means that very often the significant others of a gamers are not gamers themselves, and this was clearly the intention.

Unfortunately, the use of individual metrics in this case is unhelpful. Anyone can cite anecdotes to support one side or the other. "I'm a girl gamer, and I'm not offended" or "my girlfriend doesn't see what all the fuss is about" or "well it's true that girls aren't good at shooters AMIRITE?"

The yardstick is not whether the phrase "girlfriend mode" translates to "women can't play games" for you, for me, or for everyone. It is whether it can be read that way, and whether that reading is more or less reasonable than others. I suggest it can plausibly be read that way-- more plausibly than any other reading, which requires a bit of "well what he really meant was X" mental gymnastics.

The use of individual metrics, as you put it, was not an attempt as proof. I was stating my position as a launching point for my arguments that would follow. This is a common practice in persuasive writing. You state your position at the beginning of the writing, usually through something called a "hook," which is meant to engage the reader. In this case, I used a strong statement of personal opinion in an attempt to interest the reader and entice them to read my justification for such a firm opinion. This is really basic structure in persuasive writing.

DrOswald:
We don't need to talk about this. He was not being sexist. The use of gender specific wording does not always track to a gender specific meaning, and I firmly believe that his intention was not gender specific.

This is rank revisionism. Words mean things. Gender-specific wording DOES always track to gender-specific meanings, or else there's no point in using such wording. This is yet another application of No True Scotsman. You start with "Hemingway was not being sexist, because Hemingway is not a sexist, therefore what he said must not have been sexist, and so we conclude with a non-gender-specific interpretation of a gender-specific term.

The contortions are clearly painful. If a gender-specific term was not most applicable, it should not have been used. The use of just about any gender neutral terminology-- including the one the game itself uses-- backed up with an anecdote from his own experience placing himself in the role of the 1st player, with the mode applied to the second, in this case, Hemingway's girlfriend, would most likely not have attracted any attention whatsoever.

Hemingway appears to be so in love with the term that he used it-- even though he prefaced it with the phrase "for want of a better word" and even though it's not called that in the game, which leads me to believe there's a clear head somewhere, even if it belongs to neither Hemingway nor Pitchford.

I don't how how sexist Hemingway is or isn't. I do know he used a term that is, and rather than apologizing for it, both he and his boss have adopted a bunker mentality instead. This article seeks to blame the critics for their response and seeks to advise gamers who want the genders treated equally-- regardless of whether or not they currently enjoy parity in terms of skill or numbers-- that we would catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar.

I'm wondering why we're trying to catch flies.

I should have been a little more specific. Let me revise one statement I made: In casual language, gender specific wording does not always track to gender specific meaning. Have you ever accidentally said "actor" when you mean "actress?" have you ever referred to another driver as "he" when you didn't know their gender? Or called an animal a he despite their actual gender? Or said fireman when you meant fire fighter? I can keep this up pretty much forever. You are forgetting that the origin of the term was not a press release, or even a formal interview, but during a tour of the studio. In addition, immediately after saying girlfriend mode, in the very next sentence, he clarifies his meaning with much more specific terminology. Had he said "This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with a woman , but they suck at first-person shooters." then there would be every reason in the world to assume he is sexist. But that is not what he said and I do not believe that him being sexist is a reasonable interpretation of what was actually said when taken in context.

This is not a "No True Scotsman" argument. If you go back and read my post, you will notice that I based my assessment on the actual words he said. I made a claim and then attempted to support that claim with evidence. Again, extremely basic structure in persuasive writing. My conclusions may be wrong, is possible that I misinterpreted the evidence, but this is not an application of "No True Scotsman" and, quite frankly, you look foolish for making the accusation.

So, to sum up my point: It may be unfortunate that he said something in a way that could be construed as sexist out of context, but it is far worse that the community overreacted so terribly. Accusing someone of being sexist is a horrible claim to make. Public opinion holds a lot of power. It can destroy a person, especially in the video game industry. We must be careful not to level this power against an innocent person. So attacking someone who once said something in an informal conversation that might be construed as sexist if you look at it a certain way is irresponsible and can only hurt the cause we claim to support.

Totally agree with this article. We've gotten the gaming community's attention, now it's time to do something with it besides scream more.

However, I want to point out one thing. The article wrote, "He admitted that his comment was stupid and vulgar and implied that all Twisted Metal players were male, which was wrong to do." I would like to reply to David Jaffe's comment there. It's wrong to imply all Twisted Metal players are male? Indeed. But apparently it's okay to insult women and treat them as sex prizes to be won. Great apology there. Yeah, you assuming all Twisted Metal players are men was what had really offended people the most. Makes no sense.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here