Jimquisition: Accepting the Isms

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-Dragmire-:

Jimothy Sterling:

Calibanbutcher:

So Jim, all this talk about "compensating"...
Are you trying to tell us something?

Yes.

Instead of a penis, I have a really small talking car between my legs. It sings at night.

.....Does it... Does it transform?

OT: I, and I imagine many reasonable people who make up the midground in these debates, try to stay out of negative game related fiasco's, the bigger ones anyway, due to both sides' most vocal people being so heated on the subject that progress to any meaningful resolution or understanding seems impossible, through internet conversation anyway.

I'm honestly curious. What is the other side? Are there people who argue an honestly misogynist point of view, or is it just a bunch of feminists critiquing the culture against trolls? I know that people criticize the feminist point of view, but I have never heard much what could be called debate points for misogyny in games, so much as a breaking down of the criticisms.

xPixelatedx:

the Dept of Science:

You can't defend something merely on the grounds that "that's what they intended to do".

Mutilation, gore and even mixing in sex appeal(since people insist that gawd awful statue is supposed to be sexy) to make it all the more disturbing is part of the horror genre.

I think some people believe that itīs getting out of hand. There were the infamous commercials for Captivity as an example, where it said: Abduction, Confinement, Torture, Termination that were shown allover the place in public, and ofcourse all the rather sexualised images of dead women in the Hitman Adds. Itīs not so much a question of sexism or censorship, as much as it is a question of whether weīre going too far. Where is the line? When do we say, "hey, i think this might actually be pretty tasteless and disgusting"? Itīs not really about censorship as much as it is a general question of whether there exist a line that can be crossed. Should we continue down this road, or constrain ourselves a bit? There are lots of ways to disturb and terrify audiences without using images bordering to fetichisme.

Itīs not a matter of banning and censoring, but a matter of discussing the question at hand.

I must apologize; some of my original post was referencing the points and point-of-view found in the article by Sophie Prell that Sterling cites early in the video, and that was probably less clear to readers than it was in my mind. The article he references, for anyone who might be interested, is here: http://www.destructoid.com/studying-sexism-with-skyrim-fus-ro-va-gina--219799.phtml

At this point I'm sure my commenting on this will have all the significance of spitting into a river, but thank god for Jim putting this so eloquently. I was having this discussion the other day and couldn't quite articulate my words, now I can point people to this as yet another example of Jim Sterling being better at voicing my opinions than I am.

Jimothy Sterling:

Calibanbutcher:

Jimothy Sterling:

Aww, you don't have to feel like compensating for missing the point of my video. :)

So Jim, all this talk about "compensating"...
Are you trying to tell us something?

Yes.

Instead of a penis, I have a really small talking car between my legs. It sings at night.

Now there is an episode. The singing slong of Jim does Les Mis.

As to the topic at hand, this is one of those hard ones. Of course there is sexism, racism and ism'ism in games.

But you make a weird point in your video, now I don't know the full context, but the mission you cite doesn't seem particularly sexist. A particular character acts in a way that society doesn't approve of and you manipulate that character be threatening to reveal that information. That is black male and a strong way to coerce people. It even works in real life.

Now you might say that the idea that women who sleeps with 3 people is expected to be shamed by it and if a Man sleeps with 3 women he is expect to be proud of it is sexist. It is. The double standard is clear and it is based on the sex of the individual that is sexist. But the sexism is in our culture not in the game. The sexism is very real, but not part of the game.

Now here is the problem as I see it. You then run into the idea is the game saying that the woman should feel shameful or is it reinforcing the already existing sexist meme in society. As someone is an egalitarian, I could really buy the idea that the game should not use that story thread because it reinforces the normal. As someone who enjoys fiction can I believe that the richness of the experience should be forbidden to include something because the possibility that it strengthens a harmful meme. IDK. Weighing it my head, I would favor real improvement over fictional story telling, but at the same time I would still see it as censorship.

All that being said, you are certainly right that their is room for discussion.

If I were being honest, I would say that the reason people act in a unreasonable fashion is that Video games get scapegoated a lot and as someone who enjoys the medium it is hard not to feel that people insulting games are insulting your world view and you as a person. So it can cause people to become extremely defensive. It probably doesn't help that people use declarative statements like "XYZ Game is Sexist" rather than observational anecdotes like, "Wow, I became really uncomfortable when I realized that all the bad guys looked and sounded like an exaggerated version of me. It may the game less fun for me to play. Further anytime someone who I kind of identified with came on stage, the game did a lot to emphasize his/her primary and secondary sexual characteristics and it kind of made me feel like if I met people who really liked the game or the developers of the game, all they would be doing is looking at my primary and secondary sexual characteristics. So the game kind of made me feel more like a sex object than a person and it made it less fun."

When someone says the first, it is easy to argue with it. When someone says the second, I think it is harder.

Nurb:

and there's this old chestnut from someone who's had to hear his very existence is offensive:

You know, I've seen that old chestnut brought out to defend everything from rampant misogyny to claims that the only reason that LGBT people complain about homophobia is because they know deep down that they are freaks (kind of ironic, considering the source). I love Stephen Fry but I don't agree with everything he says, and I really wish he hadn't come out with that. It's an attempt at justifying the dismissive attitude towards any kind of complaint about "isms" that Jim mentions in this video.

Besides, lovely as he is, Stephen Fry has also come out with the occasional arseholish statement. To whit: "I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want. Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, 'Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!' But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?"

More eye-rolly than actually offensive, but my point is that you can like a person (or a game) without having to like everything that they say.

spartandude:

bunji:

Zachary Amaranth:

Will the males be wearing bikinis and have implant-augmented tits shoved in them? Because then you might have a fair comparison.

Do you look like Kratos? Or Dante? Or Phoenix? Or any other of the idealized male figures that are the exclusive body-type for male main characters in games? Because it makes total sense for cratos to be bare-chested right?

while you do have a point in that theres no good reason for kratos being bare chested and showing off his muscles, but if you think that he is sexualised then you are so wrong. yh sure there are probably a few women out there who think hes sexy but not many. its mostly done for a male power fantasy in those cases

Hahahaha I always love when the "men are sexualised too!" angle gets brought up, and the examples that get used are people like Marcus Phoenix (because all women like their guys to be wider than they are tall and with a face like a disgruntled cow) and Kratos (mmmm dig the big bald head and Jafar beard and the skin tone of a 3 week-old corpse).

Face it. Video games aren't made to appeal to women which is why there are no truly sexy men in...

As I was saying, there are no...

I'm just ... what? Were we talking about something?

I agree with this in general. But let's say you aren't offended, and the only way you can see other people being offended is if they take things out of context and/or look for things to get upset about (Fat Princess and Resident Evil 5 trailer for example).

What rebuttals are there besides 'shut up, you're an idiot' or 'shut up, it's not that bad'?

JudgeGame:

m19:

Zachary Amaranth:

Will the males be wearing bikinis and have implant-augmented tits shoved in them? Because then you might have a fair comparison.

Your example is blatantly false equivalence.

The equivalent of a female made to appeal to men is a man made to appeal to women. Not some ridiculous monstrosity made with the sole purpose of saying, "Screw you men!"

While you are completely correct, I think what's most interesting about the analogy is that it is dificult to find female fantasies that involve completely dehumanizing and humiliating their male sex object. That's not unexpected though, given the nature of sexism.

There are females who prefer the dominant role and tend to be more on the sadist side of sadomasichism. perhaps they are a little rarer, but they exist. unless you are refering to wearing revealing clothing and acting provacative as being "dehumanising" in which case I direct you to the many examples of women saying that males actors are hot and prasing movies for shirtless scenes.

I am not going to debate the core argument being made here except to say that there is a valid statement being made but its being applied inappropriately.

My complaint is actually with the tediousness, espeicially on this site of late, of game journalists defending their own overreactions to everything by calling out gamers. Sorry journalists, getting bent out of shape over the torso thing was an overreaction and you are guilty.

Stop blaming us for calling you out when you take something too far or defend something that shouldn't be. I am not worried that they are going to take my games away. But don't pretend, especially if you are going to question my empathy simply because I think "you" are dumb for getting indignant over something so trivial, that controversy cannot spread like wildfire.

Internet media can be like a virus. One scathing opinion gets linked and relinked hundreds of times and becomes a major thing. Then, when you realize that maybe it isn't as big of a deal as you tried to make it, you hedge your bets, claim that "well I am not offended personally but I get it and it could have been handled differently" and then accuse us of doing all the things you just did to make the situation worse.

Huh... I haven't run into that particular Skyrim sidequest, but yeah, that is one I'd definately go out of my way to avoid.

I've pushed this for a while, now. I'll come to the defense of games that are widely disliked by my peers, like Mass Effect 3, Resident Evil 6, or the new Devil May Cry, but I won't for one moment ignore the issues that are within them. I can very easily see how anyone would have a problem with the games I've listed. Maybe I just have practice because my favorite Final Fantasy installment is number eight - a title where it's pretty much impossible to not recognize the bad, but something about it still resonated with me anyway.

People should feel free to defend games as much as they want, but there's nothing wrong for accepting some games for what they are. At the end of the day, you have to recognize something's flaws, otherwise it's just blind worship.

ccdohl:

-Dragmire-:

Jimothy Sterling:

Yes.

Instead of a penis, I have a really small talking car between my legs. It sings at night.

.....Does it... Does it transform?

OT: I, and I imagine many reasonable people who make up the midground in these debates, try to stay out of negative game related fiasco's, the bigger ones anyway, due to both sides' most vocal people being so heated on the subject that progress to any meaningful resolution or understanding seems impossible, through internet conversation anyway.

I'm honestly curious. What is the other side? Are there people who argue an honestly misogynist point of view, or is it just a bunch of feminists critiquing the culture against trolls? I know that people criticize the feminist point of view, but I have never heard much what could be called debate points for misogyny in games, so much as a breaking down of the criticisms.

I was thinking about of the state of people after that school shooting and video games were brought into it when I wrote that. Sides were taken and it looked like both sides had a, with us or against us, feel to them, at least that was my interpretation.

As for people arguing about gaming's other hot buttons, be it for things like accusations of sexism, racism, use or misuse of religious symbols, political views etc.. in games, I tend to not stay for those, but from the video it seems like the common go to counter argument for an unfortunately large(or seemingly large) section of vocal gamers is to say stuff like, "it's just a game, get over it", "it's not that bad, I didn't find it offensive. You're overreacting" or other similar things that cut the dialogue off from one side without any consideration or empathy or people who have a different point of view. Jim thinks it's through some kind of misguided paranoid overprotectedness of their passtime that they have a knee jerk reaction to any outside criticism of gaming and instantly want it stopped, censored and removed without any consideration of potential points that person may have had.

I have, in all seriousness, heard several people honestly defend and support sexist and racist views. In their mind the world has a set unseen hierarchy of where people are "supposed" to be and a persons value as a human is tied where they exist in that system. That is "right" to them and trying to explain to them otherwise would either fall on deaf ears or be interpreted as a "hand me down" story from the "respectable" parts of the hierarchy. I'm really toning this down, it got so much worse.

__________________________________________

I'm rather tired at the moment so I might not be very good at conveying my thoughts now, been 2 days since I last slept.

Lonewolfm16:

There are females who prefer the dominant role and tend to be more on the sadist side of sadomasichism. perhaps they are a little rarer, but they exist. unless you are refering to wearing revealing clothing and acting provacative as being "dehumanising" in which case I direct you to the many examples of women saying that males actors are hot and prasing movies for shirtless scenes.

I'm pretty sure that "dehumanising" refers to the whole "decapitated armless torso corpse with giant fake boobs" thing. Or, for example, Zoo Australia running a fun Facebook survey where they showed a model in a bikini divided into two halves, and asked men which half they preferred (garnering the kind of responses you'd expect).

The whole "feminists don't like women dressing sexy" argument is mostly just a strawman that gets thrust out whenever the depiction of women in media gets criticised (I say mostly, because there are no doubt extreme feminists out there on the margins who are genuinely outraged by any woman in a bikini). Generally when people complain it's not because characters are portrayed in a sexy way, but because either that's their only characteristic and they're effectively being used for decoration, or because the "sexiness" has obviously been shoehorned in to ensure that the character remains appealing to a male audience, no matter how little sense it might make. See also: midriff-baring armour and boob windows.

It's interesting that the first example you gave for "wearing revealing clothing and acting provocative" was "women saying that male actors are hot." That's just an example of how women react to attractive male actors in general, as opposed to an example of men dressing in revealing clothing or acting provocatively in films. Of course male actors will have shirtless scenes, and it's certainly true that in some cases this is pure fan service for the ladeez (oh hi, Twilight), but it's comparatively rare to find a male character whose sole purpose is to flirt with and eventually be awarded to the female protagonist.

Zachary Amaranth:

[quote]I am, whoever, a bit weary of people crying out that "OMG EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE SO NOTHING EVER IS OFFENSIVE EVER AGAIN ANYMORE", because if we go that far, we will be sitting in front of blank screens, lest we offend the colour-blind who can't play, listening to nothing, so as not to offend the deaf.

Okay, who the hell is actually saying that? Seriously.[quote]Go back and look at some threads when the Assisans Creed 3 trailer came out. There were quite a few English people who felt offended that the main character seemed to be singling out Redcoats. They felt that they were demonizing Redcoats. I mean wtf, if there was a game set in Ireland would these same people want the Black and Tan's to be portrayed in a positive light as well?

Earthworm Jim's creator has a bad past?

Helmholtz Watson:
Go back and look at some threads when the Assisans Creed 3 trailer came out. There were quite a few English people who felt offended that the main character seemed to be singling out Redcoats. They felt that they were demonizing Redcoats. I mean wtf, if there was a game set in Ireland would these same people want the Black and Tan's to be portrayed in a positive light as well?

How the hell did you go from "quite a few people who felt offended" to "OMG EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE SO NOTHING EVER IS OFFENSIVE EVER AGAIN ANYMORE"? I know we're on the topic of Assassin's Creed, but that skip in the record is even more dramatic than a 200ft swan dive into a pile of hay.

Oh, and I'm an English person who wasn't offended by the trailer and told the people who complained that A) I didn't think a game with a Native American protagonist would be very likely to paint the Patriots in an all-happy all-shiny light, B) both armies were British - this is British-on-British violence and therefore hardly prejudiced, C) the character who writes all the database entries for the games is a British historian who probably isn't going to be brimming with American patriotism, D) the game was created by a French-Canadian developer, not an American one, and E) the game developers had already stated that you'd be fighting on both sides of the war at varying stages of the game.

I managed to point all of that out without resorting to yelling, "OMG WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO CENSOR EVERYTHING???" I was quite proud of myself. I awarded myself a chocolate biscuit.

I am opposed to stupid debates. People would debate anything, if they have enough time on their hands, but pointless debates are still a waste of time.

An issue is only worth acknowledging when it actually exists. There is no point in arguing whether Mass Effect provided the players with an opportunity to have sex with anything they wanted without consent. But FOX news still tried to blow a huge scandal out of it. Same goes for all (or almost all, since I haven't seen the later ones) Sarkeesian videos. She isn't bringing up valid points. Never ever. She isn't fighting sexism. Those tropes she spoke about are just as valid as any other ones. Saying that writers stop using them, because people may get the wrong idea, is nothing but an ignorant attempt at censorship. Now Sarkeesian simply draws attention to herself by trolling the gamer community, which mostly consists of people who aren't extremely smart. Or even old enough.

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. On the other hand if the game asked if the game suggested that the player is a slut, then it would be offensive, since the issue is not about in-game characters any more.

The dismembered corpse in bikini from Dead Island? Well, I'm sure it unnerving, but it's not there to say, "hey, man, those women are just a piece of meat". Which, of course, would an extremely sexist message, deserving to be condemned. It demonstrates how awful and disturbing a zombie apocalypse can be by presenting a highly sexual object in a disgusting and nauseating manner. That's exactly what players are looking for in zombie games. You may have no preference for such stuff, but you don't get to argue with them. Just as you don't argue with people who drink tea instead of coffee.

boots:

Nurb:

and there's this old chestnut from someone who's had to hear his very existence is offensive:

You know, I've seen that old chestnut brought out to defend everything from rampant misogyny to claims that the only reason that LGBT people complain about homophobia is because they know deep down that they are freaks (kind of ironic, considering the source). I love Stephen Fry but I don't agree with everything he says, and I really wish he hadn't come out with that. It's an attempt at justifying the dismissive attitude towards any kind of complaint about "isms" that Jim mentions in this video.

Besides, lovely as he is, Stephen Fry has also come out with the occasional arseholish statement. To whit: "I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want. Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, 'Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!' But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?"

More eye-rolly than actually offensive, but my point is that you can like a person (or a game) without having to like everything that they say.

I'd agree with you, but in the case of fictional entertainment that has nothing to do with reality, it seemed like it applied, because being upset over games is a bit pointless in the long run. The most vocal actually think seeing attractive women in games will make men start to demand women in reality start dressing like booth babes. No really!

To me it's more or less a response to the complaints sexy women exist in games to appeal to male players, when it's the truth. It's male escapism; being such a badass that it requires a whole squad of sexy nuns to try and take you down appeals to a lot of people. It's different from female escapism and it's perfectly OK. I just don't get why enjoying pretty women in fictional entertainment is a BAD thing.

Can a game even be sexist or racist or what ever have you? A game is a object so it has no opinion one way or the other. I have never seen a game character say "all women or men in real life are _________" either.

Either way if people don't care for how the characters are in other peoples games they don't have to play them and if it even bothers them that much they can start their own company and game nothing is stopping anybody.

It's not that people don't understand why someone might find something offensive, it's that we don't give a shit. Most of us avoid what we find offensive and generally speaking don't feel the need to make waves when we come across something we could never like. We just move on. There's a series of adult comic books that feature the rape and mutilation of women. I find that very offensive, and don't buy them. Someone else goes for that, as long as it stays in the realm of fantasy, it's not my issue. Someone else see this on the other hand, and it becomes an issue. Some say they just want to have the conversation, but ultimately, the point of complaining is the hope that your complaint will be addressed. You say they don't want to take our games away, but if that were 100% true, they wouldn't be opening their mouths to say how wrong they think "sexist thing A" is. They do so in the hopes that "sexist thing A" will go away, something through censorship, and sometimes in the hope that you can, by complaining, bring others to be offended by what you're offended by so "sexist thing A" won't be in demand anymore.

I can't (without being a hypocrite) tell people not to complain about whatever grinds their gears, and it can be well justified and the best way to achieve and end goal, but we need to quit pretending that all the "isms haters" out there just want to talk and have the conversation. The conversation must have an end goal in mind, or else people are just raising issues to hear the sound of their own voice.

And I won't deny gamers can be a bit over-reactionary to someone bringing up issues. Face it, we've seen the whole medium get judge for violence by a few titles, or on sex by one cutscene from a game the pundants didn't even play. It's not hard to see any issue as overblown when somehow the medium can't have anything with sexism or racism within it, or the whole medium gets dragged through the mud for a few bad examples. That if we have the conversation all that will happen is a few incidents will become the indictment of the whole industry because to those complaining, they don't see the industry, only those games with impossible boobs and outfits, or the white character killing black cannon fodder. I'm not sure how to break through this, but a good step would be for those that wish to talk about video game sexism to come with numbers to the discussion. If we're going to have the discussion, let's talk about the industry, not a sampling that paints a picture based on Lolipop Chainsaw, not The walking Dead, Persona 4, Portal, Minecraft, Virtue's last reward, Ni No Kuni, pokemon, ....

I kinda feel that this vid was very one sided. There is the other side as well. Those who aren't offended by the things you showed. Things we are told we are to be offended by and are scolded and berated if we aren't analyzing every single piece of the over all picture. I had no problem with the Hitman nuns. I thought the "zombie bait" was a pretty cool collector's item (as did my gf). So I am an insensitive jerk oblivious to the world around me. It has never been a problem of OMG they are going to take away my games because of this or that. What worries me is they are going to take away my games because of what I percieve of the over reactions of far to thin skinned folks raging over everything all the time limiting what they can and can't do within this industry. It disappoints me Deep Silver felt they had to apologize for zombie baitgate. If you don't approve fine no one is forcing you to shell out the extra to buy it. But don't try to take it away from me. That is far more offensive. Same goes for most of what was shown. If it offends you so much don't buy it but don't try and get it censored. Once that happens then we can sit down and have a rational discussion.

Nurb:

I just don't get why enjoying pretty women in fictional entertainment is a BAD thing.

Enjoying pretty women is not a bad thing. No one is saying that. As I mentioned in another post, that is simply a strawman that gets trotted out and tackled whenever anyone tries to criticise the representation of women in a game.

I have mixed feelings about the Hitman trailer, but I think the negative response can generally be summed up as, "Maybe we shouldn't market games on the basis that beating the shit out of women who are dressed in latex fetish outfits isn't 'fun male escapism'." It was also less to do with the fact that it was women being beaten up (which is understandable since they were armed with rocket launchers and the suchlike), but why the marketing team felt it was necessary to have the women dressed up like the back room of an Ann Summers in order to make the extreme violence more "sexy". The sexual element to video game violence only seems to get introduced when there are women involved (I don't recall any of the enemy soldiers in Call of Duty running around in camo hotpants and wiggling their bums seductively every time time you plug them with another bullet), and considering how much sexual violence there is against women in everyday society, that's kind of disturbing.

Think about it this way. When Agent 47 goes "undercover", all he does is don the uniform of whichever soldier/chef/pizza delivery guy will help him blend in the best. There's escapism in the games but the actual tactics you use are grounded in realism. Then the Saints come along as "undercover" nuns, and their idea of blending in involves so much latex that their lives must be an endless medicated drama of talcum powder and applications of Bio-Oil. Running around in those outfits would be ludicrously detrimental to any kind of assassination mission, or indeed any mission that took place outside of a strip club. No wonder they all get their asses kicked.

If I was a straight guy, I'd be insulted that this was how the marketing team chose to sell a stealth-action game. Talk about appealing to the lowest common denominator.

boots:

How the hell did you go from "quite a few people who felt offended" to "OMG EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE SO NOTHING EVER IS OFFENSIVE EVER AGAIN ANYMORE"? I know we're on the topic of Assassin's Creed, but that skip in the record is even more dramatic than a 200ft swan dive into a pile of hay.

I was just citing an example of some people overrating to a game. Chill out.

boots:

Oh, and I'm an English person who wasn't offended by the trailer

Ok I never said every English user was offened, I said "a few".

boots:
and told the people who complained that A) I didn't think a game with a Native American protagonist would be very likely to paint the Patriots in an all-happy all-shiny light, B) both armies were British - this is British-on-British violence and therefore hardly prejudiced, C) the character who writes all the database entries for the games is a British historian who probably isn't going to be brimming with American patriotism, D) the game was created by a French-Canadian developer, not an American one, and E) the game developers had already stated that you'd be fighting on both sides of the war at varying stages of the game.

I managed to point all of that out without resorting to yelling, "OMG WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO CENSOR EVERYTHING???" I was quite proud of myself.

Good to see that you kept a cool head.

boots:
I awarded myself a chocolate biscuit.

Biscuits? You mean a cookie? haha jk

>Anita Sarkeesian

Haven't heard that name in a while. Whatever happened to her?

Oh, it seems like after getting her six-figure pay day, she hasn't made any videos in the last SEVEN MONTHS!

Why did we think this woman was a threat?

boots:

Nurb:

I just don't get why enjoying pretty women in fictional entertainment is a BAD thing.

Enjoying pretty women is not a bad thing. No one is saying that. As I mentioned in another post, that is simply a strawman that gets trotted out and tackled whenever anyone tries to criticise the representation of women in a game.

I have mixed feelings about the Hitman trailer, but I think the negative response can generally be summed up as, "Maybe we shouldn't market games on the basis that beating the shit out of women who are dressed in latex fetish outfits isn't 'fun male escapism'." It was also less to do with the fact that it was women being beaten up (which is understandable since they were armed with rocket launchers and the suchlike), but why the marketing team felt it was necessary to have the women dressed up like the back room of an Ann Summers in order to make the extreme violence more "sexy". The sexual element to video game violence only seems to get introduced when there are women involved (I don't recall any of the enemy soldiers in Call of Duty running around in camo hotpants and wiggling their bums seductively every time time you plug them with another bullet), and considering how much sexual violence there is against women in everyday society, that's kind of disturbing.

Think about it this way. When Agent 47 goes "undercover", all he does is don the uniform of whichever soldier/chef/pizza delivery guy will help him blend in the best. There's escapism in the games but the actual tactics you use are grounded in realism. Then the Saints come along as "undercover" nuns, and their idea of blending in involves so much latex that their lives must be an endless medicated drama of talcum powder and applications of Bio-Oil. Running around in those outfits would be ludicrously detrimental to any kind of assassination mission, or indeed any mission that took place outside of a strip club. No wonder they all get their asses kicked.

If I was a straight guy, I'd be insulted that this was how the marketing team chose to sell a stealth-action game. Talk about appealing to the lowest common denominator.

It's not a strawman, it's just what it is. They wanted attention and went to the extreme in every way possible. And them dressing that way isn't out of style for the game universe, which is nearly cartoonish. Last game had him dressing up as santa and a clown to take down targets, and he had to track down an albino in a bird suit... In a previous game he went after an comically obese man hosting a wild fetish party in a large meat locker. In one before that, he went up against ninjas, and in the first one, he had an over-the-top encounter with a Scarface-like drug lord. So sexy nuns is completely within the game's level of absurdity.

Also Hitman and COD are completely different gaming experiences and universes, you can't equate them with one another.

As a bi-guy I wasn't insulted by the marketing; I was insulted by them screwing up a great franchise by making it into a damn action game. That's why I didn't play it.

Here, have a video.

Helmholtz Watson:

boots:

How the hell did you go from "quite a few people who felt offended" to "OMG EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE SO NOTHING EVER IS OFFENSIVE EVER AGAIN ANYMORE"? I know we're on the topic of Assassin's Creed, but that skip in the record is even more dramatic than a 200ft swan dive into a pile of hay.

I was just citing an example of some people overrating to a game. Chill out.

Errrm. Chill out? Those words in capital letters are a direct quote from you. All I did was point out the massive disparity between the reaction you described and the example you gave. Also, you cited an example of some people reacting, not overreacting.

That's the point Jim was trying to make in the video. Just because someone's assessment of something doesn't align with your own, it doesn't mean that they're overreacting. And saying, "You're just overreacting," is kind of a poor response when people raise legitimate concerns about something that they see in a trailer. I disagreed with other peoples' interpretation of the AC3 trailer, but I didn't dismiss it entirely.

What is the point of calling attention to things like sexism in games then? If the intent is not to change the game people like then why draw attention to it, if its there people will see it for themselves, if they don't play the game they aren't offended... unless internet media whores start using it to start flame wars to increase their video/article hit numbers...wait...I've said to much.

As a side note, I'm tired of people coming out of the woodwork every time an article/video points out some offensive bit of a game when many of them have never even played said game but yet they are soooo offended, why? Because a video/article highlighted one offensive bit and thus the whole game must be offensive garbage, internet based game journalist need to take a more responsible approach to their trade and stop whoring the most minimal negative parts of a game just for a few hits.

Stop talking about Sarky. No, stop it. You already got taken for a ride off her scam, stop talking about her.

If you have sex with three people you should expect consequences. Men value loyalty from women, and in a game based in a early medieval setting? Doing it with the lights off between the bedroom sheets when you're married is sacrilege. Having sex with three people means you're Stan Hitler. Skyrim's a bad game but it's not exactly sexist. "Sexism" has become such a loaded term that the gaming "journalism" circuit just uses it to generate page hits, because internet scandals are a measurable occurrence that you can expect and rely on. It's what Sarky was betting on and provoking. Now she gets to spend another few years parading around as a pho-intelectual while pushing high school grade writing for academic circles and continuing to peddle her internet videos which have more in common with basic level propaganda than any form of healthy debate.

You can't have a healthy debate online in a well known public forum for debate. It's just a given. You wouldn't do it on 4chan, you can't do it anywhere. You're asking people to discuss something without setting any bar for them to meet.

tkioz:
Honestly a major part of why I simply don't give a shit about the "isms" is due to what I've heard called the "colonialism syndrome" or sometimes the "Holocaust syndrome". Growing up I was exposed to a good decade and a bit of "education" by teachers who wouldn't understand history if it kicked them in the genitals, and after a while pretty much everyone got so utterly sick of hearing about how "evil" their ancestors were for what they did to the Indigenous Australians that they simply stopped caring about the issue completely and embraced apathy, and in some extreme cases actually did a complete 180 and started being actively racist.

You can only bang on about something, no matter how important the topic is, so long before people get utterly sick to death of hearing about it and just want people to STFU. Yes there are problems in the gaming industry, yes colonialism was bad, yes the Holocaust was evil, but if you keep banging that drum without break for long enough otherwise reasonable people will simply tune you out... or worse start opposing you out of sheer spite.

You need to be careful when it comes to "preaching" or you'll do more harm then good... just look at PETA, the organisation that has done more harm to Animal Welfare then Cruella De Vil!

Separately to that, there is also the siege mentality infecting the gaming sub-culture, we've been under attack for so long by so many different groups that any perceived attack is reacted too with extreme negativity. And you know what? That's okay. We've got the freaking NRA attacking us at the moment! We've got Fox News, CNN, and the loony right banging on about how we destroy morality, we need to be watchful, we need to police ourselves, lest we give those turds more ammunition. Unfortunately this leads to the "traitor" mentality, where if a member of the gaming subculture starts looking at things, no matter how reasonable, they are seen as aiding the enemy, giving them a crack in the wall to exploit.

Those people actually do want to take away our games.

You can bring up what you think are real issues all you want, but you should consider if it really matters, and if it does, how you can you make the point without attacking the entire subculture, without appearing like a smug self satisfied git.

I can certainly understand your frustration with the way Indigenous Studies is taught in Australia, but I think blaming discussion itself is going too far. I had a similar experience, in that my own reading and research of Australian indigenous affairs showed a far more complicated situation than I would have otherwise known about. Discussion was not the problem. My teachers were.
The same applies to game '-isms'. Circulating false information and half-truths does eventually degrade a discussion, but it is only through discussion that those untruths are challenged.

It is okay to respond when you feel under siege, but part of fixing that discomfort comes from discussion. As you said, we unfortunately have a "traitor" mentality. But people who attack gaming in general aren't winning the fight. The companies that make money selling games win out in the end.

boots:

Errrm. Chill out? Those words in capital letters are a direct quote from you.

Um...what? Do you mean to be quoting someone else? I never typed "OMG EVERYTHING NEEDS TO CHANGE SO NOTHING EVER IS OFFENSIVE EVER AGAIN ANYMORE". Here is my exact post....

Helmholtz Watson:
Go back and look at some threads when the Assisans Creed 3 trailer came out. There were quite a few English people who felt offended that the main character seemed to be singling out Redcoats. They felt that they were demonizing Redcoats. I mean wtf, if there was a game set in Ireland would these same people want the Black and Tan's to be portrayed in a positive light as well?

boots:

All I did was point out the massive disparity between the reaction you described and the example you gave. Also, you cited an example of some people reacting, not overreacting.

I disagree, the comments I saw were needlessly antagonistic to the US and bad mouthed Americans for a game that was being produced by French-Canadians.

boots:

That's the point Jim was trying to make in the video. Just because someone's assessment of something doesn't align with your own, it doesn't mean that they're overreacting.

And who gets to decide whether or not they are overreacting? Its subjective.

boots:
And saying, "You're just overreacting," is kind of a poor response when people raise legitimate concerns about something that they see in a trailer.

"Legitimate" concerns? No, not a chance.

tkioz:
Honestly a major part of why I simply don't give a shit about the "isms" is due to what I've heard called the "colonialism syndrome" or sometimes the "Holocaust syndrome". Growing up I was exposed to a good decade and a bit of "education" by teachers who wouldn't understand history if it kicked them in the genitals, and after a while pretty much everyone got so utterly sick of hearing about how "evil" their ancestors were for what they did to the Indigenous Australians that they simply stopped caring about the issue completely and embraced apathy, and in some extreme cases actually did a complete 180 and started being actively racist.

You can only bang on about something, no matter how important the topic is, so long before people get utterly sick to death of hearing about it and just want people to STFU. Yes there are problems in the gaming industry, yes colonialism was bad, yes the Holocaust was evil, but if you keep banging that drum without break for long enough otherwise reasonable people will simply tune you out... or worse start opposing you out of sheer spite.

You need to be careful when it comes to "preaching" or you'll do more harm then good... just look at PETA, the organisation that has done more harm to Animal Welfare then Cruella De Vil!

Speaking as an Australian who went through the same era of education who has a passing familiarity with international criminal law, what our government did to the indigenous Australians technically constituted genocide.

If you think the issue is being hammered too hard, just think about that, and think about the fact that the Australian government still hasn't recognised that and didn't offer anything resembling an apology until 2007. We basically look like Turkey, sitting there pretending that thing with the Armenians never happened.

I'm not condemning Australia specifically - nearly every country in the world has a gross crime against humanity in its national history, usually because they occurred before crimes against humanity were legally formalised - but it's important for a nation to recognise and indeed emphasise its past failures, rather than glossing over them in the name of patriotism. Almost no nations ever do that, and considering that Howard tried very, very hard to exculpate any mention of our treatment of the Aborigines from the history curriculum, I don't think it's justified at all to say that the issue is overblown.

Think about it this way. If you've been told that colonial Australia treated its natives horribly so many times that it is literally sickening, that's a good thing. It shows that the education system, or at least your microcosm of it, isn't whitewashing its national history the way John Howard wanted them to. If it bothers you, then simply every time a teacher or a hippy or one of those goddamn Socialist Alternative people on campus tells you that our government committed genocide, say "Yes, yes, I've been informed," and move on. They do get so deflated when you drop that line.

jim has opened the bottle on a larger issue than just games. look around these days you can only love or hate things, you can only be a real fan or a poser, hardcore or dismissed as a casual. its not just gaming its movies, tv shows, music, politics, everything you cant open a news story only without the comments being vicious or the exact opposite.

i dont know whats happened but we seem to of whole heartedly embraced black and white thinking and having only polarised views enmass without even realising we do it.

A bit off-topic but why does the phalanx at 1:50 have what seems like corinthian helmets?
Shouldn't they have phrygian of attican?

Jim, you've got a valid point here, without a doubt. Taking negative criticism to a game you like as an insult to yourself, your clan, your religion, and your country is, to put it mildly, a tad excessive. On the other hand, though, your admonition feels a bit one-sided (acknowledging that your show has length considerations) though. While the "gaming community" could certainly use a bit more temperance, dignity, and self-respect, they don't have any monopoly on foaming-at-the-mouth extremism. I did note that you acknowledged this when you mentioned "extreme viewpoints," but one point you kept coming back to isn't true: "No one wants to take your games away."

While it's definitely true that not everyone calling out an "-ism" has that in mind, there is certainly no lack of a very vocal, rabble-rousing minority calling for "bans" on whatever target du jour that offends their sensibilities or opposes their pet crusade, spanning both sides of the poorly-named "conservative/liberal" line.

Lonewolfm16:

JudgeGame:

m19:

Your example is blatantly false equivalence.

The equivalent of a female made to appeal to men is a man made to appeal to women. Not some ridiculous monstrosity made with the sole purpose of saying, "Screw you men!"

While you are completely correct, I think what's most interesting about the analogy is that it is dificult to find female fantasies that involve completely dehumanizing and humiliating their male sex object. That's not unexpected though, given the nature of sexism.

There are females who prefer the dominant role and tend to be more on the sadist side of sadomasichism. perhaps they are a little rarer, but they exist. unless you are refering to wearing revealing clothing and acting provacative as being "dehumanising" in which case I direct you to the many examples of women saying that males actors are hot and prasing movies for shirtless scenes.

There are very clear lines of trust, consent and respect in the BDSM community. People who are actually into SM sexuality are attracted to humiliating their partner because they fully understand that their partner is a human being with thoughts and emotions like them, something I can't say for a lot of other people.

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