Jimquisition: Accepting the Isms

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT
 

Reyold:

erttheking:
To be perfectly honest I think this website in general has made me more paranoid in general. I don't want to talk about racism sexism or homophobia in video games, Hell, I'm starting to reach the point where I don't want to talk about ANYTHING in video games because this website can be rather volatile. And I defended the Tomb Raider reboot, I didn't think that it was sexist, and I did jump on the Hitman trailer, because I did think that that was sexist. I have opinions I guess I'm just tired of massive flame filled debates that seem to go nowhere. I'm really starting to think that's all that goes on here.

Ugh, I know that feel. While these ARE important issues, and they do warrant plenty of discussion, it gets aggravating when those discussions don't seem to actually do any good.

What these guys said.

You know what? I give up. I give up!

I'm a woman. I've been playing games since I was 8. I've followed The Escapist as well as many other gaming websites for years, and pretty much every time the issue of sexism comes up, I go through a certain process - I get a lot of thoughts I want to share, until I notice how the discussions are frankly dripping with stupidity, strawmen, even more sexism, backpedaling, excuses, elitism, and to be honest, I've had enough. The next time a male game dev or journalist makes a braindead joke or comment about women, and someone tells me to "chill out" about it, or to not be so "sensitive", I'm gonna walk the fuck away, and I'm not coming back until this whole community grows up.

And that's my very emotional and angry rant. Even though occasionally someone will talk about these issues in a very eloquent manner like Jim did, I just don't find it worth it anymore. I don't have the patience to deal with this level of toxicity.

And people wonder why women might feel alienated in the gaming community. Christ.

AdrianRK:
I do think it's about time we talked about more serious things regarding our favourite pastime activity, like the fact that the people reviewing games get their money from the people making them, of the fact that a most of the game reviews are barely more than opinion pieces

wha?

thats what a reviw IS

I hate to say it, Jim, but there was one part of your video you got completely wrong- your statement that "you're better than that". No, I'm sorry Jim, the simple fact is that a considerable portion of the gaming community are NOT better than that. They're juvenile, dimwitted, racist, sexist, mysognynistic, homophobic, unreasonable, amoral douchebags and you can't try and argue them into not acting like assholes because they simply ARE assholes. You might as well try and argue a chimpanzee into not acting like a chimpanzee.

As I understand it, the crux of Jim's argument is "people on the internet need to chill the fuck out and not see any criticism (no matter how minor) as a scathing attack." Great sentiment, it's too bad the internet appears to have been designated as the official meeting place of the Global Society of Dickheads and Assorted Fuckwits.

themilo504:
I agree although skyrim does take place in a medieval like world so of course there's some sexism the fact that you can even play as a female character is already bizarre if you think about it.

I see this argument so often, and I detest it so damn much I can't even tell you. Skyrim takes place in a medieval-LIKE world, you say. Which also has functional magic. And elves. And dragons. And vampires. And vampire bandit wizards. And scrolls that will eat your brain.

Yet somehow it's "bizarre if you think about it" if the game fails to be realistic in terms of the sexism of real-world history? It's a FICTIONAL FUCKING WORLD. It's not even set in fictional Middle Age Europe, it's an entirely different *planet*, and virtually nothing about it is realistic. It drives me absolutely bonkers how people will watch hours of completely made-up shit and then say "oh, dude, it's not really realistic that there's a woman doing this", or, to pick a TV example, that it's not realistic that Gwen is black. If your (generic your) reality buffer can stretch enough to accept dragons but not female warriors (who did, btw, occasionally crop up in actualfax history) or black women in Camelot, there might just be some sexism or some racism going on there.

Unless you're writing historical fiction, you're not bound to history. That's the whole point of a fictional world in the first place. If you can decide there are dragons in your fictional world and that they don't defy basic biology or physics, it's not "bizarre" on any level at all to have women being warriors, heroes, mages, etc.

Doom972:

As for that quest in Skyrim: I'm pretty sure that her secret was that she was practicing the Dibellan arts in secret - which means using men as a means to commune with the goddess Dibella without them knowing about it. This is considered inappropriate regardless of gender. She thinks that she'll get run out of town, but there's no way to know for sure if that'll happen, since you can only extort her or do nothing. No sexism, just a feminist trying to find sexism where there's none.

Source: http://uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Haelga

If you're going to do this, at least get your facts right. Without them knowing about it? Bullshit. She had sex with them in a room with a huge statue of Dibella that's awfully hard to miss, and then, when they were done, she gave them *Marks of Dibella*. When you ask the men about the marks of Dibella, they don't look at you blankly, they know exactly what you're talking about. I don't know how it could possibly be more clear that they know she's into Dibella. She seems to not want the general population of Riften to know she's Dibellan (why, I have no clue, since Dibella is acknowledged one of the Nine Divines, and there's a perfectly respectable temple to her elsewhere in Skyrim), not the men-- the men clearly know this already.

That, and all of Svana's text is seriously slut-shaming. Svana is grudgey against her aunt (despite her aunt taking her in when she was homeless) because a) she doesn't approve of her religion or her consenting sexual behavior, b) she thinks working in the working-bunkhouse is beneath her (even though she doesn't do much work, if you listen to Haelga's text), and c) her aunt tells her that her dearly beloved, Sibbi Black-Briar, is essentially a worthless piece of shit who isn't seriously in love with her. Haelga is pretty clearly in the right about the latter, as any two-second conversation with Sibbi aptly demonstrates. But no, there's no sexism at all in "my aunt is too loose, help me shame her!" (Also, if you deny Svana's quest, she seems to realize that she was out of bounds.)

tkioz:
Ahh yes the "you're a racist because you're sick of hearing about it" argument. I'm sorry that doesn't count either. I'm not a racist, I simply think the focus on one single side of any argument to the exclusion of all else is dishonest and does a disservice to history.

I didn't call you a racist? I'm sorry if I gave that impression.

I have a degree in history, and I do agree with you that focussing on a single side of the argument is bad form. The point I was making is that it is very rare for a government to acknowledge a historical framework which implicates them in crimes against humanity. As far as I'm concerned, it's the whitewashing we need to be worried about, not the opposite.

My "history" classes focused almost exclusively on the "crimes" of "white" Australians, without much information presented at all on the aspects of history, for example when one history teacher spoke about the settlement of Australia she constantly referred to it as a "white invasion", it was only years later that I wondered... can you really have an invasion when your "army" is made up of SLAVES?

The convicts who were moved to Australia, you will recall, were guarded by members of the British colonial military. The convicts didn't shoot Aboriginals and pile them up in holes in Tasmania. The British soldiers did. That's what your teacher meant by "invasion."

It's utterly nonsensical to say that you can't have an invasion when the army is made of slaves, because those slaves have slave-drivers. The British didn't just dump convicts in New South Wales to let them roam free, and if they had, they wouldn't have been slaves.

Yes, the treatment of Indigenous Australians was a Horrible Crime, but what about the Horrible Crime committed against the "white invaders" by the British Empire? Most of them were slaves in deed if not in law, they had zero choice, they were grabbed off the streets for the most mundane of reasons, herded into ships by the hundreds, and taken half way around the world, forced to work, and faced the whip or the noose if they refused or even spoke back... Where was the information ABOUT THAT?

There is plenty of literature about the murderous nature of the British criminal justice system from 1700 to about the early 1800s. In fact, the reason so many convicts were transported to Australia is because it was considered a merciful alternative to the mandatory death penalty the judges were otherwise required to hand down.

If you weren't made aware of that, perhaps your education really was substandard, but the fact is that this is an issue that is definitely not shoved under the rug. Historians discussing the colonisation of Australia talk about the brutally unjust nature of the British justice system of the period all the time. They have to, because it was the reason for the mass transportation of convicts to Australia.

A balanced examination of any argument is what is needed when you talk about anything, you can't simply focus on your personal pet agenda, you need to examine every aspect, you need to understand the good things, the bad things, the indifferent things, anything else is a disservice to history and the argument itself.

I agree completely. My point, rather, is that considering our government still refuses to acknowledge all the bad things, and in fact was fairly recently trying to whitewash all the bad things by sanitising the public school historical curriculum, I really don't think the perspective you're complaining about is being hammered down enough. I mean, if every Australian knew the reason why there aren't any black people in Tasmania, we wouldn't keep electing governments that refused to consider it an issue, would we?

I think, rather, that you got one of the fanatical post-colonialist history teachers, and they may have soured you off history completely. If that's the case, I feel sorry for you, but you need to understand that the focus on this aspect of our national history is more than justified.

maninahat:

That's where the problem lies: Skyrim encourages players to take part in a behaviour that has become associated with the oppressors of womankind, by turning slut-shaming into a mission objective. As I mentioned in a previous post, game progression requires you to do this mission, and outside of not doing the Thief quests, there is no choice. You are expected to do this deed and get rewarded for it. In so doing, the player has to endorse slut-shaming as much as they endorse any of the other thief guild activities. Presumably, the devs thought you'd have as much fun doing this as killing or stealing.

Um. No, game progression absolutely does not require you to do this mission, nor is it a Thieves Guild quest or required to progress with the Thieves Guild. I'm sitting on a Nightingale who never did it and another working toward Nightingale who never did it. The Thieves Guild requires you to play the role of enforcer in a protection racket-- you have to go hassle business owners to pay their debts to the mob, basically. Haelga is one of the ones you need to collect from to progress as a thief. You can either beat her up, as with all three of the business owners, or you have an optional method of threatening her statue of Dibella (IIRC, you threaten her statue, break the Pawned Prawn guy's ugly sculpture, and threaten the Argonian innkeeper's family for the optional quests. Or, you can skip the optional persuasion methods and just hit them. Actually, depending on the order you did it in, the third merchant will usually hear about what you did with the other two and just hand you the cash. Haelga was my third, so she caved the minute I walked through the door.)

The slut-shaming quest is completely outside the Thieves Guild mission, it's simply a single quest from her (very grudgy) niece. You absolutely do *not* need to do it to progress in the game or with the Thieves. You can decline it and nothing happens to your game. I agree that it's a nasty quest, my first character did it and it's on my mental list of "quests that made me feel so oogy I'm never doing them again", but you're way overblowing it here. I really don't know what the devs intended, since on one hand they made Haelga kind of a joke character (look under her bed!) but on the other hand they made the niece who gives you the quest *really really clearly* lazy, unpleasant, ungrateful, and completely deluded about the sleazeball guy she has a fixation on.

TwistednMean:

So the "isms" are only worth debating if there really is an issue. Accusing a woman of having three sexual partners in Skyrim? Sorry, folks, it's part of the narrative. Sure, it's sexist, but that's the Redguard's misguided social norms, apparently. You can disapprove of the Redguard's culture, but it doesn't give you the right to get offended.

Where are you people *getting* this stuff? I'm starting to think I'm the only person here who actually did this quest, and hung around the Bunkhouse listening to the character-to-character dialogue (I think I was doing something out of game at the time and forgot to pause, but still.) There are no Redguards involved with this quest! The shamer is a Nord. The woman with the three partners is a Nord. Further, there is a Redguard priestess of Dibella in Markarth (the only Redguard woman you can marry, in fact.) I can't imagine where you pulled Redguards from, since there's nothing in the game of which I'm aware that hints at sexual prudery in Hammerfell-- if you've got something that does, please show the receipts because it's *definitely* not this quest.

Ultratwinkie:
Whats the problem with the Skyrim slut shaming quest?

Isn't that, technically, par the course for a pseudo-medieval culture? Its not like Cyrodiil where everything is "civilized." This is the harsh northern territory we are talking about that is steeped in tradition and very "hand to mouth." Those cultures were never known to be open minded.

Yes, Skyrim is so "uncivilized" with respect to sexual prudery that it has an established temple to Dibella in a major holdfast, a sidequest to find the goddess' chosen Oracle, and an altar in the bloody *capital city* of Skyrim. It's totally cultural! Except for how it isn't. (Please don't get me on how the real life Vikings weren't that way either. Modern street prostitutes would consider what actual archaeology is finding was Viking women's dress too revealing, so...) Nor were the Vikings "medieval", and Skyrim is pretty clearly Viking-inspired.

The quest-giver in this instance is pissed at being asked to work to support the business that feeds her, and more to the point, angry that her promiscuous aunt dissed her wannabe boyfriend, so she wants a little revenge.

Polarity27:

maninahat:

That's where the problem lies: Skyrim encourages players to take part in a behaviour that has become associated with the oppressors of womankind, by turning slut-shaming into a mission objective. As I mentioned in a previous post, game progression requires you to do this mission, and outside of not doing the Thief quests, there is no choice. You are expected to do this deed and get rewarded for it. In so doing, the player has to endorse slut-shaming as much as they endorse any of the other thief guild activities. Presumably, the devs thought you'd have as much fun doing this as killing or stealing.

Um. No, game progression absolutely does not require you to do this mission, nor is it a Thieves Guild quest or required to progress with the Thieves Guild. I'm sitting on a Nightingale who never did it and another working toward Nightingale who never did it. The Thieves Guild requires you to play the role of enforcer in a protection racket-- you have to go hassle business owners to pay their debts to the mob, basically. Haelga is one of the ones you need to collect from to progress as a thief. You can either beat her up, as with all three of the business owners, or you have an optional method of threatening her statue of Dibella (IIRC, you threaten her statue, break the Pawned Prawn guy's ugly sculpture, and threaten the Argonian innkeeper's family for the optional quests. Or, you can skip the optional persuasion methods and just hit them. Actually, depending on the order you did it in, the third merchant will usually hear about what you did with the other two and just hand you the cash. Haelga was my third, so she caved the minute I walked through the door.)

The slut-shaming quest is completely outside the Thieves Guild mission, it's simply a single quest from her (very grudgy) niece. You absolutely do *not* need to do it to progress in the game or with the Thieves. You can decline it and nothing happens to your game. I agree that it's a nasty quest, my first character did it and it's on my mental list of "quests that made me feel so oogy I'm never doing them again", but you're way overblowing it here. I really don't know what the devs intended, since on one hand they made Haelga kind of a joke character (look under her bed!) but on the other hand they made the niece who gives you the quest *really really clearly* lazy, unpleasant, ungrateful, and completely deluded about the sleazeball guy she has a fixation on.

TwistednMean:

So the "isms" are only worth debating if there really is an issue. Accusing a woman of having three sexual partners in Skyrim? Sorry, folks, it's part of the narrative. Sure, it's sexist, but that's the Redguard's misguided social norms, apparently. You can disapprove of the Redguard's culture, but it doesn't give you the right to get offended.

Where are you people *getting* this stuff? I'm starting to think I'm the only person here who actually did this quest, and hung around the Bunkhouse listening to the character-to-character dialogue (I think I was doing something out of game at the time and forgot to pause, but still.) There are no Redguards involved with this quest! The shamer is a Nord. The woman with the three partners is a Nord. Further, there is a Redguard priestess of Dibella in Markarth (the only Redguard woman you can marry, in fact.) I can't imagine where you pulled Redguards from, since there's nothing in the game of which I'm aware that hints at sexual prudery in Hammerfell-- if you've got something that does, please show the receipts because it's *definitely* not this quest.

Ultratwinkie:
Whats the problem with the Skyrim slut shaming quest?

Isn't that, technically, par the course for a pseudo-medieval culture? Its not like Cyrodiil where everything is "civilized." This is the harsh northern territory we are talking about that is steeped in tradition and very "hand to mouth." Those cultures were never known to be open minded.

Yes, Skyrim is so "uncivilized" with respect to sexual prudery that it has an established temple to Dibella in a major holdfast, a sidequest to find the goddess' chosen Oracle, and an altar in the bloody *capital city* of Skyrim. It's totally cultural! Except for how it isn't. (Please don't get me on how the real life Vikings weren't that way either. Modern street prostitutes would consider what actual archaeology is finding was Viking women's dress too revealing, so...) Nor were the Vikings "medieval", and Skyrim is pretty clearly Viking-inspired.

The quest-giver in this instance is pissed at being asked to work to support the business that feeds her, and more to the point, angry that her promiscuous aunt dissed her wannabe boyfriend, so she wants a little revenge.

I think it's overcomplicating the issue. It's not a question of should the quest exist or should it be skippable, it's a question of did the writer convey that slut-shaming a woman is wrong? If they didn't they are condoning slut-shaming. If this was unintended they are bad at their job and if it was intentional they hold misogynist views.

From the many reactions I've seen, I can only conclude the developers completely failed to convey slut-shaming a woman is wrong.

You can write about absolutely anything. However if you are going to write about a controversial issue and fail to have the moral decency to set the proper tone for your product, you should be ashamed as a person and as a professional,

Polarity27:

Doom972:

As for that quest in Skyrim: I'm pretty sure that her secret was that she was practicing the Dibellan arts in secret - which means using men as a means to commune with the goddess Dibella without them knowing about it. This is considered inappropriate regardless of gender. She thinks that she'll get run out of town, but there's no way to know for sure if that'll happen, since you can only extort her or do nothing. No sexism, just a feminist trying to find sexism where there's none.

Source: http://uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Haelga

If you're going to do this, at least get your facts right. Without them knowing about it? Bullshit. She had sex with them in a room with a huge statue of Dibella that's awfully hard to miss, and then, when they were done, she gave them *Marks of Dibella*. When you ask the men about the marks of Dibella, they don't look at you blankly, they know exactly what you're talking about. I don't know how it could possibly be more clear that they know she's into Dibella. She seems to not want the general population of Riften to know she's Dibellan (why, I have no clue, since Dibella is acknowledged one of the Nine Divines, and there's a perfectly respectable temple to her elsewhere in Skyrim), not the men-- the men clearly know this already.

That, and all of Svana's text is seriously slut-shaming. Svana is grudgey against her aunt (despite her aunt taking her in when she was homeless) because a) she doesn't approve of her religion or her consenting sexual behavior, b) she thinks working in the working-bunkhouse is beneath her (even though she doesn't do much work, if you listen to Haelga's text), and c) her aunt tells her that her dearly beloved, Sibbi Black-Briar, is essentially a worthless piece of shit who isn't seriously in love with her. Haelga is pretty clearly in the right about the latter, as any two-second conversation with Sibbi aptly demonstrates. But no, there's no sexism at all in "my aunt is too loose, help me shame her!" (Also, if you deny Svana's quest, she seems to realize that she was out of bounds.)

There's a difference between just being a Dibella worshipper - which means following her tenets and praying at her shrine, and practicing the Dibellan arts - which is considered by some inappropriate to do outside of Dibella's temples and in secret.
It's not known if she would've actually been run out of the city if she was exposed, since you don't have the option of exposing her, so it could just be taking advantage of her paranoia.

The problem isn't and has never been the purportedly "questionable" content of games, it's that people are like children and can't handle something so devastatingly trivial as media. There isn't a single group of people on the planet that is spared the generalisations and tacky depictions of video games, or any other media for that matter, that's the axiom of free speech; you get to say and depict whatever you want and if people don't like it, they don't have to pay any attention to it.

There is endless content everywhere that I disagree with, generalisations and stereotypes that apply to me, or to people that I love, but neither I nor them have any difficulty accepting free speech and that not liking something doesn't make it objectively bad. It may be tacky, it may be stupid, it may be full of stereotypes, it may be grossly disrespectful, but here's the thing: You don't have to give a shit.

Let me put it this way: Nothing is "wrong" and nothing is "offensive." Those are labels that individuals or groups put on content that they themselves have personal grievances with. You don't like the assassin nuns in Hitman? Don't buy the game. You don't like the rape theme in Tomb Raider? Don't buy the game.

Never does your personal opinion give you the right to censor anything. If you take offence, that is your problem, and you need to grow up.

wizzy555:
predictable reply: oh but if she was a man she would just have got beat up not sexually assaulted

well done, you've proved the nasty pirate character in fact discriminates by gender. Perhaps we should have equal opportunity villians in all our games.

We really should. Buck was an absolutely chilling villain for just that reason.

Polarity27:
The quest-giver in this instance is pissed at being asked to work to support the business that feeds her, and more to the point, angry that her promiscuous aunt dissed her wannabe boyfriend, so she wants a little revenge.

Polarity27:
That, and all of Svana's text is seriously slut-shaming. Svana is grudgey against her aunt (despite her aunt taking her in when she was homeless) because a) she doesn't approve of her religion or her consenting sexual behavior, b) she thinks working in the working-bunkhouse is beneath her (even though she doesn't do much work, if you listen to Haelga's text), and c) her aunt tells her that her dearly beloved, Sibbi Black-Briar, is essentially a worthless piece of shit who isn't seriously in love with her. Haelga is pretty clearly in the right about the latter, as any two-second conversation with Sibbi aptly demonstrates. But no, there's no sexism at all in "my aunt is too loose, help me shame her!" (Also, if you deny Svana's quest, she seems to realize that she was out of bounds.)

My impression was that Svana's main complaint was that the patrons at Haelga's wouldn't keep their hands to themselves, and her concern that Haelga being willing to bang any guy that walked in set a precedent she was expected to live up to. Then again, I don't remember either of them mentioning Sibbi in that quest at all, so I may be remembering it wrong. I do recall being disappointed that I couldn't use the marks to blackmail her into paying off her debt to Brynjolf, since I got Svana's quest in the middle of collecting.

Chatney:
The problem isn't and has never been the purportedly "questionable" content of games, it's that people are like children and can't handle something so devastatingly trivial as media. There isn't a single group of people on the planet that is spared the generalisations and tacky depictions of video games, or any other media for that matter, that's the axiom of free speech; you get to say and depict whatever you want and if people don't like it, they don't have to pay any attention to it.

There is endless content everywhere that I disagree with, generalisations and stereotypes that apply to me, or to people that I love, but neither I nor them have any difficulty accepting free speech and that not liking something doesn't make it objectively bad. It may be tacky, it may be stupid, it may be full of stereotypes, it may be grossly disrespectful, but here's the thing: You don't have to give a shit.

Let me put it this way: Nothing is "wrong" and nothing is "offensive." Those are labels that individuals or groups put on content that they themselves have personal grievances with. You don't like the assassin nuns in Hitman? Don't buy the game. You don't like the rape theme in Tomb Raider? Don't buy the game.

Never does your personal opinion give you the right to censor anything. If you take offence, that is your problem, and you need to grow up.

If I had a penny for every person in this thread who throws around words like "censor" and "free speech" without actually knowing what they mean...

In your ideal world, every Asian person who ever gets called a "raghead terrorist c**t" in the street just needs to "grow up" and stop being so offended.

If you choose to ignore homophobia, sexism and racism then ... good for you, I guess? Unfortunately, just looking the other way hasn't really proved to be an effective tactic for improving society as a whole. Telling people to just shut up and look away and ignore this shit, and above all saying "if you're offended then that's your problem", is the exactly the reaction that anyone gets when they try to bring up problems in gaming. It's exactly the kind of stupid, kneejerk, silencing bullshit that Jim was talking about in this video.

Free speech goes both ways. If you say something that people disagree with, especially if you're a AAA game developer and the thing that you say is going to reach an audience of millions, then people have the right to criticise what you say. Free speech means that you are free to speak, not that you are free to speak without fear of anyone speaking back. If you can't be bothered to look up the proper definition of "free speech" - or just find the whole thing too baffling to wrap your head around - then don't try to use it in an argument.

Also, I have no idea how you manage to characterise "media" (i.e. all films, books, television, games, advertising etc.) as "devastatingly trivial". Hey, they're just the things that surround us in just about every aspect of our everyday lives. They only help to form, and are symptomatic of, every single one of our society's attitudes, beliefs and prejudices. How important could they possibly be?

If you look in the UK we have a law about speech banning "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" in public. This led to a student getting arrested for asking a policeman if he knew his police horse was gay. Since then parliament dropped the "insulting" bit from the law.

edit: it also lead to arrests of people who called Scientology a cult

boots:
If I had a penny for every person in this thread who throws around words like "censor" and "free speech" without actually knowing what they mean...

I fail to see a single counter-argument in this paragraph.

boots:
In your ideal world, every Asian person who ever gets called a "raghead terrorist c**t" in the street just needs to "grow up" and stop being so offended.

That's funny. I would've thought that if I meant that, I would've said it. That said, yeah, if we taught people to not pay attention to the opinions on imbeciles and morons, we'd all be better off. Taking offence to them grants them a level of power and it's not a prerequisite for criticising them.

A bully will be a bully until their victims no longer respond to their empty words. Teach people to be strong in themselves, not to run to their mother every time someone calls them a bad word.

If you're talking about real discrimination, it's an entirely different subject altogether. I think you'll find that a victim of racism, sexism or the holocaust couldn't care less about a silly piece of media; they've experienced the reality, not the romanticised version of subjugation imagined by internet white knights.

boots:
If you choose to ignore homophobia, sexism and racism then ... good for you, I guess? Unfortunately, just looking the other way hasn't really proved to be an effective tactic for improving society as a whole. Telling people to just shut up and look away and ignore this shit, and above all saying "if you're offended then that's your problem", is the exactly the reaction that anyone gets when they try to bring up problems in gaming. It's exactly the kind of stupid, kneejerk, silencing bullshit that Jim was talking about in this video.

Again, if I meant that we should ignore homophobia and racism and look the other way, I would've said it. Also, if I wanted to "silence" someone, I would've said that, too. You have a very vivid imagination, friend.

Like I said, taking offence is not a prerequisite for criticism. In fact, it leads to nonsensical moral crusades against trivial nonsense rather than criticising the actual problems of society. Mature debates and actual change springs from sensible discussions based on intellectual reasons, not emotional ones.

boots:
Free speech goes both ways. If you say something that people disagree with, especially if you're a AAA game developer and the thing that you say is going to reach an audience of millions, then people have the right to criticise what you say. Free speech means that you are free to speak, not that you are free to speak without fear of anyone speaking back. If you can't be bothered to look up the proper definition of "free speech" - or just find the whole thing too baffling to wrap your head around - then don't try to use it in an argument.

This is getting really rather tiring, and very embarrassing for you. Please point to where I said that I wanted to in any way silence the people who criticise what they don't like. If you read my post again, you'll notice that my point was that censorship was bad, not criticism.

boots:
Also, I have no idea how you manage to characterise "media" (i.e. all films, books, television, games, advertising etc.) as "devastatingly trivial". Hey, they're just the things that surround us in just about every aspect of our everyday lives. They only help to form, and are symptomatic of, every single one of our society's attitudes, beliefs and prejudices. How important could they possibly be?

All the more reason to teach people that entertainment media is an appalling source of personal values. It's a business, designed and operated to make money, not to teach you important lessons about life and morality. To think otherwise is remarkably naïve.

boots:
Free speech goes both ways. If you say something that people disagree with, especially if you're a AAA game developer and the thing that you say is going to reach an audience of millions, then people have the right to criticise what you say. Free speech means that you are free to speak, not that you are free to speak without fear of anyone speaking back. If you can't be bothered to look up the proper definition of "free speech" - or just find the whole thing too baffling to wrap your head around - then don't try to use it in an argument.

Also, I have no idea how you manage to characterise "media" (i.e. all films, books, television, games, advertising etc.) as "devastatingly trivial". Hey, they're just the things that surround us in just about every aspect of our everyday lives. They only help to form, and are symptomatic of, every single one of our society's attitudes, beliefs and prejudices. How important could they possibly be?

Except you routinely use the exact same plays out of the exact same playbook as conservative pundits use to bash services and products that they disapprove of. First you plead with consumers, then you threaten providers and in the fullness of time you will attempt legislation wherever it may be successfully implemented. And you routinely do it without even a trace of self-awareness or irony as you attempt to dissemble the very same freedoms of expression that allowed for your political philosophies to manifest themselves. Some people will always be a feminist, first and foremost, or a LGBT activist, first and foremost, or a right-wing christian conservative, first and foremost, and it is these sorts of people who cannot be compromised or bargained with. Because they're not interested in getting along, or finding common ground with the rest of society. All they're really interested in is winning. Any collateral damage they happen to cause while pursuing victory is acceptable because gaming is worth more to them as a battleground then as a source of quality entertainment.

Whether a person's personal politics leans to the left or the right, if they're an opinionated son of a bitch who thinks they know whats best for me and everybody else in the entire world, I would dearly like dissuade them of that notion. In a perfect world I would not need to wish for them all to fuck right off and crawl under a rock and die, because in a perfect world such people would not exist.

When you get right down to it thinking that you know what's best for other people the root cause of 97% of all problems experienced by humanity after the world's very first recorded agricultural surplus.

Chatney:

boots:
If I had a penny for every person in this thread who throws around words like "censor" and "free speech" without actually knowing what they mean...

I fail to see a single counter-argument in this paragraph.

You are labouring under the misconception that every criticism of something like the Hitman/Lara Croft trailers is an attempt to censor and/or limit someone's free speech.

boots:
In your ideal world, every Asian person who ever gets called a "raghead terrorist c**t" in the street just needs to "grow up" and stop being so offended.

That's funny. I would've thought that if I meant that, I would've said it. That said, yeah, if we taught people to not pay attention to the opinions on imbeciles and morons, we'd all be better off. Taking offence to them grants them a level of power and it's not a prerequisite for criticising them.

A bully will be a bully until their victims no longer respond to their empty words. Teach people to be strong in themselves, not to run to their mother every time someone calls them a bad word.

If you're talking about real discrimination, it's an entirely different subject altogether. I think you'll find that a victim of racism, sexism or the holocaust couldn't care less about a silly piece of media; they've experienced the reality, not the romanticised version of subjugation imagined by internet white knights.

Oh go ahead, break out the old "white knight" meme. I've seen it a million times before. It's used to shame people who dare to stick up for those outside of their own demographic - most commonly towards men who identify as feminists. I'm glad we've got you around to be the authority on what counts as "real" discrimination, considering that your attitude towards bullying is to blame the victims for not being strong enough to put up with abuse.

boots:
If you choose to ignore homophobia, sexism and racism then ... good for you, I guess? Unfortunately, just looking the other way hasn't really proved to be an effective tactic for improving society as a whole. Telling people to just shut up and look away and ignore this shit, and above all saying "if you're offended then that's your problem", is the exactly the reaction that anyone gets when they try to bring up problems in gaming. It's exactly the kind of stupid, kneejerk, silencing bullshit that Jim was talking about in this video.

Again, if I meant that we should ignore homophobia and racism and look the other way, I would've said it. Also, if I wanted to "silence" someone, I would've said that, too. You have a very vivid imagination, friend.

You said that people shouldn't speak up about things that they find offensive. Ergo, you think that they should stay silent. You also use every sad, tired trick in the book to try and shame people into staying silent: everything from calling them childish, to calling them "white knights", to accusing people of being oversensitive and hysterical.

Like I said, taking offence is not a prerequisite for criticism. In fact, it leads to nonsensical moral crusades against trivial nonsense rather than criticising the actual problems of society. Mature debates and actual change springs from sensible discussions based on intellectual reasons, not emotional ones.

Yep, there's the old "stop being so emotional" derailment tactic. Blimey, this is like cliché bingo.

People have emotions when they are discriminated against. That is not a failing. And if you paid any attention, you'd realise that the arguments against racism, sexism and homophobia in games are intellectual ones intended to encourage mature debate. FYI, you don't often find phrases like "you're just a white knight" and "grow up" in mature debate.

boots:
Free speech goes both ways. If you say something that people disagree with, especially if you're a AAA game developer and the thing that you say is going to reach an audience of millions, then people have the right to criticise what you say. Free speech means that you are free to speak, not that you are free to speak without fear of anyone speaking back. If you can't be bothered to look up the proper definition of "free speech" - or just find the whole thing too baffling to wrap your head around - then don't try to use it in an argument.

This is getting really rather tiring, and very embarrassing for you. Please point to where I said that I wanted to in any way silence the people who criticise what they don't like. If you read my post again, you'll notice that my point was that censorship was bad, not criticism.

See above. You tell people that they shouldn't complain about offensive material, therefore you think they should stay silent. You also try to shame them into staying silent. Get it?

boots:
Also, I have no idea how you manage to characterise "media" (i.e. all films, books, television, games, advertising etc.) as "devastatingly trivial". Hey, they're just the things that surround us in just about every aspect of our everyday lives. They only help to form, and are symptomatic of, every single one of our society's attitudes, beliefs and prejudices. How important could they possibly be?

All the more reason to teach people that entertainment media is an appalling source of personal values. It's a business, designed and operated to make money, not to teach you important lessons about life and morality. To think otherwise is remarkably naïve.

Oh, so instead of attempting the momentous task of trying to improve media, we should instead take on the relatively easy task of convincing every single person on the planet to never, ever, ever allow their personal values to be influenced by any book, TV show, film or video game. They should instead base their personal values on essays about moralism and ... oh wait, that's another form of media. Hmm. Damn. Might need to rethink this.

Kartoffelmos:

What these guys said.

You know what? I give up. I give up!

I'm a woman. I've been playing games since I was 8. I've followed The Escapist as well as many other gaming websites for years, and pretty much every time the issue of sexism comes up, I go through a certain process - I get a lot of thoughts I want to share, until I notice how the discussions are frankly dripping with stupidity, strawmen, even more sexism, backpedaling, excuses, elitism, and to be honest, I've had enough. The next time a male game dev or journalist makes a braindead joke or comment about women, and someone tells me to "chill out" about it, or to not be so "sensitive", I'm gonna walk the fuck away, and I'm not coming back until this whole community grows up.

I wouldn't recommend looking any further down this thread.

boots:

See above. You tell people that they shouldn't complain about offensive material, therefore you think they should stay silent. You also try to shame them into staying silent. Get it?

Well I think you shame into silence the people who DO like the media.

The lack of self awareness is mindboggling.

All through this thread there's been "these tactics are awful and wrong..... except when we use them"

wizzy555:

boots:

See above. You tell people that they shouldn't complain about offensive material, therefore you think they should stay silent. You also try to shame them into staying silent. Get it?

Well I think you shame into silence the people who DO like the media.

The lack of self awareness is mindboggling.

All through this thread there's been "these tactics are awful and wrong..... except when we use them"

Hahahaha what? Did you even watch Jim's video?

Let me gives you the Cliffs Notes: it is possible to criticise an aspect of a piece of media without declaring the entire thing to be bad. If you somehow manage to construe "I don't like the sexy nun-killing trailer" as "ANYONE WHO ENJOYS THE HITMAN GAMES IS A MISOGYNIST PERVERT" then ... well...

I hate to say it, but I think you're being a bit oversensitive.

boots:

wizzy555:

boots:

See above. You tell people that they shouldn't complain about offensive material, therefore you think they should stay silent. You also try to shame them into staying silent. Get it?

Well I think you shame into silence the people who DO like the media.

The lack of self awareness is mindboggling.

All through this thread there's been "these tactics are awful and wrong..... except when we use them"

Hahahaha what? Did you even watch Jim's video?

Let me gives you the Cliffs Notes: it is possible to criticise an aspect of a piece of media without declaring the entire thing to be bad. If you somehow manage to construe "I don't like the sexy nun-killing trailer" as "ANYONE WHO ENJOYS THE HITMAN GAMES IS A MISOGYNIST PERVERT" then ... well...

I hate to say it, but I think you're being a bit oversensitive.

I'm not referring to Jim's video. I'm referring to YOU.

wizzy555:

I'm not referring to Jim's video. I'm referring to YOU.

Oh, you were referring to ME. Gotcha. OK, go ahead and quote the comment where I tried to shame people into silence for liking a game, then we'll talk.

boots:

wizzy555:

I'm not referring to Jim's video. I'm referring to YOU.

Oh, you were referring to ME. Gotcha. OK, go ahead and quote the comment where I tried to shame people into silence for liking a game, then we'll talk.

You shame people who fight against improving the media, isn't it possible these are people who like the media the way it is?

There are stereotypes and there are isms. To different things. Some games are sold based on isms.....the 50cent game and GTA with the black guy being a stereotype "am gang and nigger whats up?" bullshit. Woman wearing sexy clothes, men all muscle bound and gruff and brave. Its mostly stereotype stuff. Not an ism. Why cant a group of female assassins wear fetish nun stuff? Wasnt it woman that say a woman should be able to wear what they want? Maybe (in the game world) thats just there thing...thats just what they wear, they are not real woman nor should they be thought of or compared to real woman. Now im not saying its excusable. But look at movies like Underworld.....all tight leather/plastic outfits but strong female characters. Even Conan the Barbarian had just a loin cloth. I think people are judging things way to much. A game is just a game. A character i think is a stereotype and racist can be accepted by black people as fine. Same with female and male gamers.

boots:
You are labouring under the misconception that every criticism of something like the Hitman/Lara Croft trailers is an attempt to censor and/or limit someone's free speech.

Please point to where I made this claim. Seriously, learn the difference between what I said and what you understand. I'm only responsible for the former.

boots:
You said that people shouldn't speak up about things that they find offensive. Ergo, you think that they should stay silent. You also use every sad, tired trick in the book to try and shame people into staying silent: everything from calling them childish, to calling them "white knights", to accusing people of being oversensitive and hysterical.

Did I? Did I really? Are you sure that's not just your convenient interpretation? Please point out exactly where I said that people shouldn't criticise.

boots:
Yep, there's the old "stop being so emotional" derailment tactic. Blimey, this is like cliché bingo.

You may want to desist from writing stuff without any intellectual value.

boots:
People have emotions when they are discriminated against. That is not a failing. And if you paid any attention, you'd realise that the arguments against racism, sexism and homophobia in games are intellectual ones intended to encourage mature debate. FYI, you don't often find phrases like "you're just a white knight" and "grow up" in mature debate.

Indeed, when people suffer discrimination, they do have legitimate emotions. You have not established video games or any kind of media as legitimate discrimination. They always leave room for people to not care. Women being depicted in video games as absurdly proportioned doesn't even compare to being turned down a job because you're a woman; the latter has consequences, the former is just silly, it's like complaining about porn actresses having breast enlargement surgery because it appeals to a largely male-dominated demographic.

Also, prefacing something with "FYI" doesn't grant it any credibility, especially when you're complaining about my using of informal expressions. "White knight" and "grow up" are colloquial and informal and whilst you probably won't find them in a scientific case study, on an internet forum, yeah, you will. Proclaiming your opinion that you "don't often find them in a mature debate" won't avail you. Even if you did establish such a claim, it still won't help your case; the topic at hand isn't appropriate linguistics and expression.

Ask yourself this: Would you hear someone say FYI in a "mature debate"?

boots:
See above. You tell people that they shouldn't complain about offensive material, therefore you think they should stay silent. You also try to shame them into staying silent. Get it?

It certainly would be handy for you if you could make conclusions of my behalf, however I never said anything about people's right to complain, only that they should stop being offended and that censorship is bad.

I want you to think really, really hard on this: Did I ever say "they shouldn't complain"? Read my post again and I'm sure that you'll see my point was that their taking offence was immature and that it doesn't give them any right to request the censoring of the object of their offence. I never said that they weren't allowed to criticise.

boots:
Oh, so instead of attempting the momentous task of trying to improve media, we should instead take on the relatively easy task of convincing every single person on the planet to never, ever, ever allow their personal values to be influenced by any book, TV show, film or video game. They should instead base their personal values on essays about moralism and ... oh wait, that's another form of media. Hmm. Damn. Might need to rethink this.

Your idea of "improvement" doesn't automatically adhere to the people in charge of what gets published and what doesn't. They want money; they don't care if you're offended. They'll offend you if they think it'll increase the sales of their product. Just look at Dante's Inferno -- these people don't care about you. That's reality. Stop being so naïve.

Again, I'm struck by the irony of you complaining about my informal expressions when you yourself use plenty of informality of your own.

Kartoffelmos:
What these guys said.

You know what? I give up. I give up!

I'm a woman. I've been playing games since I was 8. I've followed The Escapist as well as many other gaming websites for years, and pretty much every time the issue of sexism comes up, I go through a certain process - I get a lot of thoughts I want to share, until I notice how the discussions are frankly dripping with stupidity, strawmen, even more sexism, backpedaling, excuses, elitism, and to be honest, I've had enough. The next time a male game dev or journalist makes a braindead joke or comment about women, and someone tells me to "chill out" about it, or to not be so "sensitive", I'm gonna walk the fuck away, and I'm not coming back until this whole community grows up.

Being a woman doesn't automatically make you more credible.

Chatney:

Kartoffelmos:
What these guys said.

You know what? I give up. I give up!

I'm a woman. I've been playing games since I was 8. I've followed The Escapist as well as many other gaming websites for years, and pretty much every time the issue of sexism comes up, I go through a certain process - I get a lot of thoughts I want to share, until I notice how the discussions are frankly dripping with stupidity, strawmen, even more sexism, backpedaling, excuses, elitism, and to be honest, I've had enough. The next time a male game dev or journalist makes a braindead joke or comment about women, and someone tells me to "chill out" about it, or to not be so "sensitive", I'm gonna walk the fuck away, and I'm not coming back until this whole community grows up.

Being a woman doesn't automatically make you more credible.

What the hell are you even talking about? Did I say it did?

wizzy555:

You shame people defending who fight against improving the media, isn't it possible these are people who like the media the way it is?

I'm not sure how to respond to this, since I'm fairly sure that this sentence has never so much as nodded at grammar in passing, let alone shaken hands with it.

Regardless of what you might have been trying to say, it definitely isn't a quote from anything I've posted demonstrating that I've shamed people for liking games. Please try again.

Sorry I've corrected the typo.

I LIKED the slut shaming mission. I thought, "OMG This is slut shaming, I'm not comfortable doing this, what would my character do?"

This is a similar thought process to the cannibal mission and most of the thieves/assassin missions.

So if you want to tell me that I shouldn't be standing up for the artists decision in this case and that my free speech is causing terrible harm, then yes that is a type of silence shaming.

Kartoffelmos:
What the hell are you even talking about? Did I say it did?

Don't worry about it.

wizzy555:
Sorry I've corrected the typo.
So if you want to tell me that I shouldn't be standing up for the artists decision in this case and that my free speech is causing terrible harm, then yes that is a type of silence shaming.

But I didn't tell you that. No one told you that. There's nothing wrong with defending the mission because you think it's clearly defined as one of the "evil" missions of the game. That qualifies as engaging in a debate.

If, on the other hand, you told the people who complained that they were just being a bunch of oversensitive whiners/white knights/feminazis and they should shut up and GTFO if they don't like something, then that would be an attempt to ignore the potential problem and silence anyone who tries to talk about it. And that's generally the response that the gaming community comes up with.

boots:

wizzy555:
Sorry I've corrected the typo.
So if you want to tell me that I shouldn't be standing up for the artists decision in this case and that my free speech is causing terrible harm, then yes that is a type of silence shaming.

But I didn't tell you that. No one told you that. There's nothing wrong with defending the mission because you think it's clearly defined as one of the "evil" missions of the game. That qualifies as engaging in a debate.

If, on the other hand, you told the people who complained that they were just being a bunch of oversensitive whiners/white knights/feminazis and they should shut up and GTFO if they don't like something, then that would be an attempt to ignore the potential problem and silence anyone who tries to talk about it. And that's generally the response that the gaming community comes up with.

I've not called anyone over-sensitive whiners or told them to shut up - I did call one person stupid.
I do however oppose the notion of changing the game "for the better" and will bring up censorship and free-speech issues in that defence.

Perhaps you should consider that before you start yelling about free-speech defences.

A clarification, it's not that I think it was clearly defined as an evil quest - no quest in skyrim is "clearly defined", that's why I like it. I do however consider it an "evil quest".

wizzy555:

I do however oppose the notion of changing the game "for the better" and will bring up censorship and free-speech issues in that defence.

Why is there this misconception that the endgame of all criticism is censorship? I didn't see anyone saying, "I was offended by this mission, therefore I think Bethesda should be court-ordered to release a compulsory patch that removes it from the game".

Mostly the point of criticism is to let games developers know that people didn't like one aspect of the game or marketing, and to explain why that was. What the company chooses to do with that is up to them. At most you can say that criticism sometimes results in self-censorship on the part of the games developers, in that they might make more of an effort to keep "isms" out of their games in future. In Hitman, for example, they didn't take the nun characters out of the game, but they did take the criticism into account and promise to give them a proper backstory and to explain their motivations better in the game so that they're not just walking masturbation material with guns.

I'll never get why it's considered OK for gamers to say "the inventory system in this game sucks" but not "the representation of women in this game sucks".

Polarity27:

maninahat:

That's where the problem lies: Skyrim encourages players to take part in a behaviour that has become associated with the oppressors of womankind, by turning slut-shaming into a mission objective. As I mentioned in a previous post, game progression requires you to do this mission, and outside of not doing the Thief quests, there is no choice. You are expected to do this deed and get rewarded for it. In so doing, the player has to endorse slut-shaming as much as they endorse any of the other thief guild activities. Presumably, the devs thought you'd have as much fun doing this as killing or stealing.

Um. No, game progression absolutely does not require you to do this mission, nor is it a Thieves Guild quest or required to progress with the Thieves Guild. I'm sitting on a Nightingale who never did it and another working toward Nightingale who never did it. The Thieves Guild requires you to play the role of enforcer in a protection racket-- you have to go hassle business owners to pay their debts to the mob, basically. Haelga is one of the ones you need to collect from to progress as a thief. You can either beat her up, as with all three of the business owners, or you have an optional method of threatening her statue of Dibella (IIRC, you threaten her statue, break the Pawned Prawn guy's ugly sculpture, and threaten the Argonian innkeeper's family for the optional quests. Or, you can skip the optional persuasion methods and just hit them. Actually, depending on the order you did it in, the third merchant will usually hear about what you did with the other two and just hand you the cash. Haelga was my third, so she caved the minute I walked through the door.)

The slut-shaming quest is completely outside the Thieves Guild mission, it's simply a single quest from her (very grudgy) niece. You absolutely do *not* need to do it to progress in the game or with the Thieves. You can decline it and nothing happens to your game. I agree that it's a nasty quest, my first character did it and it's on my mental list of "quests that made me feel so oogy I'm never doing them again", but you're way overblowing it here. I really don't know what the devs intended, since on one hand they made Haelga kind of a joke character (look under her bed!) but on the other hand they made the niece who gives you the quest *really really clearly* lazy, unpleasant, ungrateful, and completely deluded about the sleazeball guy she has a fixation on.

Oh. That's embarrassing. I must have misremembered. My mistake.

Well, it may not bar your progress with the Thieves guild, but it is still a quest which your character can not express an opinion on, one way or another. As with many optional quests, the only choice begins and ends with "should do I do the quest at all, or not bother?"

wizzy555:
Sorry I've corrected the typo.

I LIKED the slut shaming mission. I thought, "OMG This is slut shaming, I'm not comfortable doing this, what would my character do?"

This is a similar thought process to the cannibal mission and most of the thieves/assassin missions.

So if you want to tell me that I shouldn't be standing up for the artists decision in this case and that my free speech is causing terrible harm, then yes that is a type of silence shaming.

This is what is bothering me. The Elder Scrolls series has slavery, mass murder, war, cannibalism, child murder, imperial oppression, genocide, xenophobia, racism and much more, but what got Prell upset was a minor "slut shaming" side-quest. I remember in Morrowind where you bought a female slave, dolled her up, forced her to march across a plain filled with 500 pound man-eating frogs and pterosaurs to "deliver" her to a tribal leader.

It's all so retarded. There is SO MUCH in Skyrim, but THE ONE THING that got to people was something that could have happened in real life. You know, to make the game more believable and achieve IMMERSION.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT

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