Jimquisition: Objectification And... Men?

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 . . . 24 NEXT
 

Sticky:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Sticky:

It's because they have every right to like those games and those portrayals.

Sometimes they really are harmful and exclusionary though.

Harmful to whom? Who are these mystical people who are harmed by video games?

Anybody who is influenced by them. Which is everybody, by the way. If you think that you are immune to being bombarded by specific portrayals of a particular gender by the media (which includes video games), you are deluding yourself.

bloodmage2:
snip

I think you are misunderstanding what I'm trying to say.

The point is they are portraying women poorly and as a female gamer I don't like playing those portrayals. So I'm asking games developers to consider that.

Why is that so bad.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Sticky:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Sometimes they really are harmful and exclusionary though.

Harmful to whom? Who are these mystical people who are harmed by video games?

You don't think portrayals of men and women in the media can be harmful to society at large.

I think normal, well-adjusted people are perfectly capable of differentiating fantasy and reality.

If I didn't think that, then I would have to say that Jack Thompson, Fox News, the head of the NRA, or even the Christians who were saying that Pokemon and Harry Potter is promoting satanic worship, I would have to say those people were right.

And why wouldn't they be right if I bought into this absurd notion that people can't differentiate fantasy from fact. That somehow the very imagery of the unreal somehow taints the very real. That the laws of our universe are somehow less applicable when the laws of fantasy come into play.

Sorry, I just don't buy that, it's why I think that everyone is entitled to enjoy what they like. Because telling them that it's harmful to enjoy what I don't like leads to complete invalidation of my opinion and ideals. It would in every sense of the word, make me a hypocrite.

Izzyisme:
Anybody who is influenced by them. Which is everybody, by the way.

If you have a problem determining fantasy from fact, then you have a serious issue that can't be addressed on the internet.

Izzyisme:

I respectfully disagree. Having a culture that glorifies and fetishizes violence is certainly problematic. I agree that making physically strong men the ideal is a problem. But there are two key differences:
1) Not all male characters fit this archetype, or to be more precise, there is a smaller percentage of female characters who are not sexually objectified than there are male characters who are not physically capable. Gordon Freeman is a scientist who has to save security guards. Even in terms of characters who don't use physical violence, such as wizards, there is a stark difference between male and female portrayals.
2) The more important point is that you say that often, weaker male characters need to be saved by stronger male characters. Thus, there are both types of male characters in games, even if one is often depicted as superior in some way. The problem is that there are no options for female characters. It's sexually objectified or the highway. That's why the problem is sexism. Women as a whole are depicted a certain way. If you have different types of male characters, but some are portrayed as the ideal, that is difference in kind from the sort of issue facing female characters.

I actually have no problem with fantasy violence at all, but that's a different argument.

1) The original point was simply that male characters are not objectified, which I think is a falsehood. While you can point our Freeman (and I did figure he'd come up) he is as rare as the well fleshed out female character, is he not?

2) You seem to be suggesting here that simply having another kind of male, no matter if he is objectified or not, makes this an issue of sexism. I disagree totally. The reason we see bland 'scientist' characters as agency-less goals to be acquired is the exact same reason we see sexy female NPCs treated the same way. It's lazy or convenient writing. It isn't just about men being superior to women, it's about a particular kind of character being superior to all others. What's more, the 'idealized' character himself often isn't portrayed any better than the 'objectified' female. He's usually a buff guy who talks with his fists and murders without empathy, sympathy or remorse. The meta issues associated with this portrayal of 'idealized' men seems to carry every bit of baggage that the 'objectification' of the women does.

The whole point of this episode was to try and claim that male characters aren't objectified, when there is a whole class of them that very clearly are. I am every bit as interested in seeing a broad range of female and male characters (and everything else too) in a variety of roles, but we aren't going to have that if we cover our ears and pretend like this problem is purely sexism and there's no such thing as objectified men in games.

This subject just frustrates me cause I want to enjoy cheap titillation every once in a while after a hard day's work, and it's gonna take years to successfully woo the woman I have my eye on.

I think the idealized men, as depicted in this vid were pretty boring. I've preferred James Bond to Marcus Phoenix.

Honestly, I'd rather look at pretty people than unattractive ones for my entertainment, that's why complete dummies can rise so high in Hollywood.

Don't even know what my point is anymore.

Sticky:
snip

So you don't think anorexia is more prevalent in western society because of how women are portrayed in the media? That's strange because I think everyone else accepts that as a fact.

Media affects the way we think whether we like it or not. Maybe not to the extremes that are sometimes suggested but it scrapes away at us.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Politeia:
snip

Men aren't objectified though they are idealised as Jim pointed out.

This is as harmful as female objectification and it's just as insidious. It's probably the reason a lot of young men, I know a lot do on this site, have depression.

I never see any guys complain about it outside sexism threads though. If you want to see more normal guy heroes you (male gamers) should say. There's no shame in it.

Moonlight Butterfly, have you ever read Mark Simpson's work on masculinity? I think you might find it enlightening, or at the very least interesting.

I would also like to say that, as a person who is quite fond of the eroticized male form, the idea that men are never objectified, which is what the phrasing you and Jim are using suggests, is laughable. It is probably less laughable if you artificially limit yourself to Anglosphere culture, but that would be a very poor excuse in this modern media climate. You are presenting a correct analysis of big, grizzly, square-jawed muscle men like Kratos or Marcus Fenix, but they are not the sum-total of the images of men that exist. They represent a significant portion of what the games industry produces and sells, and that cannot be ignored, but a nuanced, intelligent critique, which is what this subject requires, demands an acknowledgment and interrogation of other images and archetypes. There are at this moment, legally available in English, games dedicated to presenting images of sexually attractive men to a female audience and interviews with the directors of those games, in which that fact is made explicit. They are more numerous and more successful in other countries and other languages, and they are by no means as numerous as games for an intended audience of young, heterosexual men. Nevertheless, they have a place in this discussion and I would very much appreciate it if that place were to be acknowledged. I believe that their inclusion and analysis would greatly benefit the discourse in which you are attempting to engage.

I also feel that this discussion would benefit greatly from a better understanding of objectification, as a concept, on the part of its participants. I spoke just now of sexual objectification, as did Jim and as have most people here, but that is really only a subset. To my knowledge, the question of how the interactive nature of video games as a medium affects the subjectivity and objectivity of characters has never been sufficiently addressed. All this discussion of people as physical 'objects' rather than of an object/subject dichotomy suggests to me that this entire debate rests on a theoretical foundation that is far from sound.

Imp Emissary:
Don't you think the reason people, (Not just Jim, Bob made this same point a good while ago), keep talking about these problems may be because they haven't stopped being problems?

Ignoring the problems won't make them get better.

Hap2:

As for those who really are just tired: just because good arguments exist showcasing a real problem does not mean that the problem has magically gone away. You have to get up and do something about it too; the grass isn't going to mow itself.

There is nothing worse than a bunch of people who agree that something must be done, yet do fuck all when it comes to actually realizing that change in the world, and then proceed to complain that the problem is "getting old" when they get bored of showing their moral outrage.

If some of you are really tired of hearing about the problem, then get off your rears and do something about it. Write a book, spread the word, and make videos; do something for crap's sake rather than whine about how "old" the problem is, because nothing is more "old" than a gaggle of apathetic geese honking and hissing at passing cars.

Both of these, so, so, much.

I don't fault people for being tired of the whole sexism debate, but unless we actually do something about it, nothing will probably change. Instead of just discussing the issue, let's actually get rid of the problem. Discussion is important, but only if it leads to action.

I think one thing we can do, beyond what was already suggested by Hap2, is make better female characters in our own games. I don't know how many of us here are indie devs (I myself aspire to be one), but if we're making games, maybe we can try to consciously include well-written female protags into our games (or better yet, well-written characters period). I imagine we already would anyway, but a more conscious effort would help create more diversity in the industry.

It won't single-handedly solve the problem, but I think it's a good start.

OtherSideofSky:
snip.

Nobody is saying men are never eroticised. In gaming however it's EXTREMELY rare like to the point of none existence. Men aren't really objectified in gaming not like women. That's what the issue is.

Gorrath:

Izzyisme:

I respectfully disagree. Having a culture that glorifies and fetishizes violence is certainly problematic. I agree that making physically strong men the ideal is a problem. But there are two key differences:
1) Not all male characters fit this archetype, or to be more precise, there is a smaller percentage of female characters who are not sexually objectified than there are male characters who are not physically capable. Gordon Freeman is a scientist who has to save security guards. Even in terms of characters who don't use physical violence, such as wizards, there is a stark difference between male and female portrayals.
2) The more important point is that you say that often, weaker male characters need to be saved by stronger male characters. Thus, there are both types of male characters in games, even if one is often depicted as superior in some way. The problem is that there are no options for female characters. It's sexually objectified or the highway. That's why the problem is sexism. Women as a whole are depicted a certain way. If you have different types of male characters, but some are portrayed as the ideal, that is difference in kind from the sort of issue facing female characters.

I actually have no problem with fantasy violence at all, but that's a different argument.

1) The original point was simply that male characters are not objectified, which I think is a falsehood. While you can point our Freeman (and I did figure he'd come up) he is as rare as the well fleshed out female character, is he not?

2) You seem to be suggesting here that simply having another kind of male, no matter if he is objectified or not, makes this an issue of sexism. I disagree totally. The reason we see bland 'scientist' characters as agency-less goals to be acquired is the exact same reason we see sexy female NPCs treated the same way. It's lazy or convenient writing. It isn't just about men being superior to women, it's about a particular kind of character being superior to all others. What's more, the 'idealized' character himself often isn't portrayed any better than the 'objectified' female. He's usually a buff guy who talks with his fists and murders without empathy, sympathy or remorse. The meta issues associated with this portrayal of 'idealized' men seems to carry every bit of baggage that the 'objectification' of the women does.

The whole point of this episode was to try and claim that male characters aren't objectified, when there is a whole class of them that very clearly are. I am every bit as interested in seeing a broad range of female and male characters (and everything else too) in a variety of roles, but we aren't going to have that if we cover our ears and pretend like this problem is purely sexism and there's no such thing as objectified men in games.

I still think you ignored my second point, and if I didn't make it clearly, I'm sorry. Women are portrayed as being universally one thing or as having only one value or has having only one body type. Thus, it is objectification of women as a whole. The idea of objectification is that female characters are almost always placed in a single role, that of a the passive love interest, and if not, are still objectified sexually. Why should a female hero, female sidekick, or female villain still be a sexual object? Male characters, on the other hand, can be anything. When smart women are bland scientists without agency and strong women who talk with their fists and murder without empathy have to rescue them, then your point will stand. Right now, it doesn't. Then, both male and female characters will be portrayed lazily. Now, there is a stark difference.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Sticky:
snip

So you don't think anorexia is more prevalent in western society because of how women are portrayed in the media? That's strange because I think everyone else accepts that as a fact.

Where did anorexia come into play? You bringing a red herring into this argument only cheapens the discussion as a whole.

We're not talking about the media, we're not talking about how the media likes to portray real life. I could write an essay right now on how the media's job is to take real life, spin it into fiction, and then represent it as an actual, factual representation of reality. We could even talk about how news, pop culture, even the popularity of many sites on the internet owes it's very existence to cherrypicking and fabricating the best and worst of mankind and presenting it as the baseline average.

But we're not here to talk about that, we can move that discussion to another thread if you wish. We're here to talk about video games, there isn't any evidence that people are more violent, less prone to respecting human life, or are otherwise less immoral because of things that are very much presented as the absurd. Games don't present themselves as being real unlike television, reality shows, or most popular media in general.

Anyone who approaches games as being real has already lost a very important battle in regards to their psyche.

Sticky:

Moonlight Butterfly:

Sticky:

Harmful to whom? Who are these mystical people who are harmed by video games?

You don't think portrayals of men and women in the media can be harmful to society at large.

I think normal, well-adjusted people are perfectly capable of differentiating fantasy and reality.

If I didn't think that, then I would have to say that Jack Thompson, Fox News, the head of the NRA, or even the Christians who were saying that Pokemon and Harry Potter is promoting satanic worship, I would have to say those people were right.

And why wouldn't they be right if I bought into this absurd notion that people can't differentiate fantasy from fact. That somehow the very imagery of the unreal somehow taints the very real. That the laws of our universe are somehow less applicable when the laws of fantasy come into play.

Sorry, I just don't buy that, it's why I think that everyone is entitled to enjoy what they like. Because telling them that it's harmful to enjoy what I don't like leads to complete invalidation of my opinion and ideals. It would in every sense of the word, make me a hypocrite.

Izzyisme:
Anybody who is influenced by them. Which is everybody, by the way.

If you have a problem determining fantasy from fact, then you have a serious issue that can't be addressed on the internet.

I wasn't going to respond to that, but you are goading me. Really? You think that you are so smart and so well adjusted that your opinions and views pop out of thin air? You don't think that the society we live in molds you into the person you are today? And you don't think that the media is an important part of forming your views and values?

You don't have to think something is real for it to affect you.

Moonlight Butterfly:
Men aren't objectified though they are idealised as Jim pointed out.

And, as I just pointed out, in many cases they're both.

Politeia:
Let's take a look at one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, Link from Legend of Zelda. While he would be held up as a character of agency and contrasted with the damsel Zelda, it's important to note that the "Hero of Time" is little more than a plaything of fate. From childhood Link had his life, his agency, co-opted by destiny; Link was never given the option to sit down and let someone else save Hyrule, he was thrust into it. Link's very life belongs to the world, to Hyrule, it's his duty to save it and has it beaten into his head that he's the only one who can. Hell, if you believe the timeline theory then Link is constantly reincarnated so he can fight, sacrificing his body and mind facing down a multitude of horrors more powerful than himself.

This isn't an isolated incident, it's a recurring theme in all of fiction that male character's lives belong to the state/world/their family/fate/the gods and that they ought to be acting in their benefit. They aren't given a choice in the matter and men incapable of acting in defense of another are usually portrayed as cowards, weak and not worth as much as the male protagonist. Worse, men are often portrayed as only being useful in very limited ways. How many male characters are noted for being very intelligent or clever? Now how many are the protagonist because they're the best fighter or the luckiest? The option to address the issue non-violently, or by manipulating proxies, is generally not there and often a characteristic of the villain.

Moonlight Butterfly:
This is as harmful as female objectification and it's just as insidious. It's probably the reason a lot of young men, I know a lot do on this site, have depression.

No, it's probably not the reason alot of young men on this site have depression. Actually, alot of those young men have depression probably because of the neurological imbalance that causes MDD. It is probably the reason alot of young men have poor body-image.

Moonlight Butterfly:
I never see any guys complain about it outside sexism threads though. If you want to see more normal guy heroes you (male gamers) should say. There's no shame in it.

Wouldn't a sexism thread be the place to discuss issues of sexism affecting men?

As a side-note: do you feel that feminists are trying to unfairly monopolize the discussion on sexism?

Izzyisme:
If I understand you, you're saying that societal expectations of men having agency are just as problematic as societal expectations of women not having agency. I have to disagree with that, unless you think agency isn't an important value.

Yes, that's precisely what I'm saying and numerous other individuals on this thread and elsewhere have itemized instances where having agency is harmful. The benefits and drawbacks of having/not-having agency must be weighed on a risk/reward scale. Often times those with agency are not simply given rewards but expected to take the absolute assumption of risk. The only risk the Hylians face is the risk that Link will fail (i.e. die horribly) and they'll continue to be subservient to the tyrant Gannondorf. Yes, the potential rewards for lacking agency are slim and the risks are equally slim.

Izzyisme:
Also, there are many cases in video games of men rescuing other men. Even physically strong men saving other physically strong men.

As few and far-between as women rescuing men.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Politeia:
snip

Men aren't objectified though they are idealised as Jim pointed out.

This is as harmful as female objectification and it's just as insidious. It's probably the reason a lot of young men, I know a lot do on this site, have depression.

I never see any guys complain about it outside sexism threads though. If you want to see more normal guy heroes you (male gamers) should say. There's no shame in it.

Inherent male problem,

they would rather deny that they have a problem with the depiction of males in games then actually talk about that the "idealized" standard male char makes them feel unadequit(sp?)

After all those are all positive traits that every male should aspire to right?

Modern society puts as much social pressure on young males as they do on young females.. the difference here being that as a male you should be not only good looking but also dominant, taking the lead, getting into the action, have a huge amount of experience in all things "manly", be fit and healthy and have self esteem as solid as mount everest.

If youre lacking some or any of those you will be more or less shunned by society and ofcourse have less chances with the other gender.. because women do want attractive and "successfull" men right?

Also Males are tought not to complain and take it like a man from childhood on... so expecting them to speak up against something that aparantly are "positive" traits for male sterotypes is a bit to optimistic.

And ofcourse many males dont even know that their feelings of insecurity comes from the depiction of the ideal man in media :P

It also partially explains the existance of douchebags.

RaikuFA:
Theres some other issues that need to be addressed in this debate. Like the fact that Senran Kagura might never make it outside of Japan due to the west being prudish and crying sexist at anyything that has boobs.

Well it came from the same culture that released Dead or Alive Beach Volley Ball as a retail game and not one of those one's you download off suggestive sites full of trojan virus's.

Izzyisme:

I wasn't going to respond to that, but you are goading me. Really?

Why do you immediately assume that was about you? Do you have a problem establishing fantasy from fact? If not, then I'm not speaking to you with that assessment. My point is that is a serious problem that I cannot address here. It's a problem that no one person is qualified to address.

I actually find it kind of interesting that you're assuming that I'm insulting you or implying that you cannot differentiate the two. I think we both just need to calm down if the argument is really getting that heated.

Izzyisme:

You don't think that the society we live in molds you into the person you are today?

This is where our point of disagreement lies, society and the expectations thereof are a very real thing, video games are not.

My whole gripe with this entire argument is that people are treating the enjoyment of certain video games as a serious issue. And it really isn't, if anything, it's a portrayal of serious issues that lie in game development. Which makes arguments about what people should or shouldn't be enjoying at best pointless and at worse trivializing the core problem as a whole.

the December King:
Why do I often come here to hear about games and entertainment, and end up leaving feeling like someone has tried to make me feel bad for being a white male?

I don't recall anyone mentioning race until now. And why would this make you feel bad, unless you somehow feel guilty about something you did?

Politeia:

Moonlight Butterfly:
Men aren't objectified though they are idealised as Jim pointed out.

And, as I just pointed out, in many cases they're both.

Politeia:
Let's take a look at one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, Link from Legend of Zelda. While he would be held up as a character of agency and contrasted with the damsel Zelda, it's important to note that the "Hero of Time" is little more than a plaything of fate. From childhood Link had his life, his agency, co-opted by destiny; Link was never given the option to sit down and let someone else save Hyrule, he was thrust into it. Link's very life belongs to the world, to Hyrule, it's his duty to save it and has it beaten into his head that he's the only one who can. Hell, if you believe the timeline theory then Link is constantly reincarnated so he can fight, sacrificing his body and mind facing down a multitude of horrors more powerful than himself.

This isn't an isolated incident, it's a recurring theme in all of fiction that male character's lives belong to the state/world/their family/fate/the gods and that they ought to be acting in their benefit. They aren't given a choice in the matter and men incapable of acting in defense of another are usually portrayed as cowards, weak and not worth as much as the male protagonist. Worse, men are often portrayed as only being useful in very limited ways. How many male characters are noted for being very intelligent or clever? Now how many are the protagonist because they're the best fighter or the luckiest? The option to address the issue non-violently, or by manipulating proxies, is generally not there and often a characteristic of the villain.

Moonlight Butterfly:
This is as harmful as female objectification and it's just as insidious. It's probably the reason a lot of young men, I know a lot do on this site, have depression.

No, it's probably not the reason alot of young men on this site have depression. Actually, alot of those young men have depression probably because of the neurological imbalance that causes MDD. It is probably the reason alot of young men have poor body-image.

Moonlight Butterfly:
I never see any guys complain about it outside sexism threads though. If you want to see more normal guy heroes you (male gamers) should say. There's no shame in it.

Wouldn't a sexism thread be the place to discuss issues of sexism affecting men?

As a side-note: do you feel that feminists are trying to unfairly monopolize the discussion on sexism?

Izzyisme:
If I understand you, you're saying that societal expectations of men having agency are just as problematic as societal expectations of women not having agency. I have to disagree with that, unless you think agency isn't an important value.

Yes, that's precisely what I'm saying and numerous other individuals on this thread and elsewhere have itemized instances where having agency is harmful. The benefits and drawbacks of having/not-having agency must be weighed on a risk/reward scale. Often times those with agency are not simply given rewards but expected to take the absolute assumption of risk. The only risk the Hylians face is the risk that Link will fail (i.e. die horribly) and they'll continue to be subservient to the tyrant Gannondorf. Yes, the potential rewards for lacking agency are slim and the risks are equally slim.

Izzyisme:
Also, there are many cases in video games of men rescuing other men. Even physically strong men saving other physically strong men.

As few and far-between as women rescuing men.

But I would argue, as I have several times before, that there is a difference between objectification of women and idealization of various traits.
I think I understand what the key difference between us is, and correct me if I am wrong. I believe that agency is a positive trait overall. Human beings, at least in the modern day, put incredible value in the idea of autonomy and free will. It is considered by many to be an absolute good. Sexism is when men are expected to aspire to the traits that society deems the best, but women are expected to help men achieve these goals without achieving them themselves.

Zombie Sodomy:

Ashoten:
I have heard this argument before when people talk about comic book women being objectified. This is the best response I have seen.

image

Make of it what you will.

I would play that. I'd play its brains out.

There's this, but we have to go all the way back to the 70s for it.

image

We need a Legion of Superheroes fighting game. Could you imagine the roster? It'd be HUGE.

Sticky:

Izzyisme:

I wasn't going to respond to that, but you are goading me. Really?

Why do you immediately assume that was about you? Do you have a problem establishing fantasy from fact? If not, then I'm not speaking to you with that assessment. My point is that is a serious problem that I cannot address here. It's a problem that no one person is qualified to address.

I actually find it kind of interesting that you're assuming that I'm insulting you or implying that you cannot differentiate the two. I think we both just need to calm down if the argument is really getting that heated.

But you still haven't responded to the actual point that I made, which is that the way that the media overall portrays something affects, on some level, how people think about it. It is not as though a healthy person can play a single violent video game and then go on a shooting rampage without any other issues. But it is possible that if every game that you play portrays women a certain way, and it is also reflected in advertising, movies, etc. then it can have a huge impact on people.

Izzyisme:

I still think you ignored my second point, and if I didn't make it clearly, I'm sorry. Women are portrayed as being universally one thing or as having only one value or has having only one body type. Thus, it is objectification of women as a whole. The idea of objectification is that female characters are almost always placed in a single role, that of a the passive love interest, and if not, are still objectified sexually. Why should a female hero, female sidekick, or female villain still be a sexual object? Male characters, on the other hand, can be anything. When smart women are bland scientists without agency and strong women who talk with their fists and murder without empathy have to rescue them, then your point will stand. Right now, it doesn't. Then, both male and female characters will be portrayed lazily. Now, there is a stark difference.

If the point of discussion was simply about sexual objectification, we wouldn't be disagreeing I think. Female villains, sidekicks ect. don't have to be sexually objectified, they simply are for the sake of sales, the same reason why they stick a gun-wielding dude on the front of the box. Male characters can be anything, so long as they are either A.) Heroic idealized dude or B.) Objectified. As for there being no games with strong females blowing away masses of disposable men, I shall orient thee toward the newest Tomb Raider game. I feel we are both painting in broad strokes though, as we are obviously talking the AAA market outside of games where you create your own character, the indie scene is chalk full of different characterizations for both males and females.

Moonlight Butterfly:

OtherSideofSky:
snip.

Nobody is saying men are never eroticised. In gaming however it's EXTREMELY rare like to the point of none existence. Men aren't really objectified in gaming not like women. That's what the issue is.

I feel that you are ignoring my point, or are entirely ignorant of the class of games to which I am referring. Can you honestly deny that the male characters in an otome game are anything but objects for the lust of the player, who accesses the world of the game narrative through a female avatar?

And what do we say about a game like Sengoku Basara? It's cast is almost entirely male, but are all designed for the enjoyment of female players, who were conceived as its primary audience (the director has confirmed this in interviews). Clearly they have a significant degree of agency in the game narrative, but mustn't they fall into the same category as the female protagonists Jim discussed, who are presented as objects of desire in addition to their narrative roles?

What do we say about games not conceived with an audience exclusively of any gender, but whose creators crafted its male characters with a female gaze in mind? What about characters designed to appeal to multiple groups for different reasons? The male cast of Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy games certainly don't have their female followings by accident.

These are just some of the types of portrayal that are completely erased from the discourse by arguments that reduce all male characters to an archetype of the big, strong, brave man who saves the world or the girl or something. That may not be what you intend to do, and it may not reflect your beliefs but it is the what the language you (and Jim, and Moviebob, and a lot of other people) employ functions to do. One day, I would like to click on a link to an article or a video about gender in video games and see a reasonable treatment of these and other generally ignored subjects, because they are interesting, and because they form a not insignificant part of the games industry that we ought to be paying attention to.

If male protagonists really were objectified then they look like this:

http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/post/50005631043/psdo-sexism-is-over-parody-redraws-of-the

And for all the men who start whining and moaning about how wrong this looks; you can take your double-standards and bite my ass and choke on it.

Goliath100:
In other words: Objectively a playable character have to be seen as genderless.

I'm not sure where you're getting this idea from. Playable characters are frequently gendered. Do you really think that, for example, Booker DeWitt from Bioshock Infinite is just as female as male? Or that Duke from Duke Nukem is just as likely to be a woman as a man?

Izzyisme:

And by both, you mean me.

I try to be diplomatic and you still assume that I'm viciously attacking you. This argument isn't that important to me. I'll just stop responding if you think that I'm just launching baseless ad-homs at you or that I'm trying to debase your entire system of beliefs regarding this sensitive issue.

Izzyisme:
But you still haven't responded to the actual point that I made, which is that the way that the media overall portrays something affects, on some level, how people think about it. It is not as though a healthy person can play a single violent video game and then go on a shooting rampage without any other issues. But it is possible that if every game that you play portrays women a certain way, and it is also reflected in advertising, movies, etc. then it can have a huge impact on people.

Sorry, I edited it with a response initially, I'll repost it here:

Sticky:
This is where our point of disagreement lies, society and the expectations thereof are a very real thing, video games are not.

My whole gripe with this entire argument is that people are treating the enjoyment of certain video games as a serious issue. And it really isn't, if anything, it's a portrayal of serious issues that lie in game development. Which makes arguments about what people should or shouldn't be enjoying at best pointless and at worse trivializing the core problem as a whole.

Gorrath:

Izzyisme:

I still think you ignored my second point, and if I didn't make it clearly, I'm sorry. Women are portrayed as being universally one thing or as having only one value or has having only one body type. Thus, it is objectification of women as a whole. The idea of objectification is that female characters are almost always placed in a single role, that of a the passive love interest, and if not, are still objectified sexually. Why should a female hero, female sidekick, or female villain still be a sexual object? Male characters, on the other hand, can be anything. When smart women are bland scientists without agency and strong women who talk with their fists and murder without empathy have to rescue them, then your point will stand. Right now, it doesn't. Then, both male and female characters will be portrayed lazily. Now, there is a stark difference.

If the point of discussion was simply about sexual objectification, we wouldn't be disagreeing I think. Female villains, sidekicks ect. don't have to be sexually objectified, they simply are for the sake of sales, the same reason why they stick a gun-wielding dude on the front of the box. Male characters can be anything, so long as they are either A.) Heroic idealized dude or B.) Objectified. As for there being no games with strong females blowing away masses of disposable men, I shall orient thee toward the newest Tomb Raider game. I feel we are both painting in broad strokes though, as we are obviously talking the AAA market outside of games where you create your own character, the indie scene is chalk full of different characterizations for both males and females.

Then I fundamentally disagree with your definition of objectification. Objectification means that the person is rendered as simply an object to be used by someone else. Someone is defined not by what they can do or what they can achieve, but by what they can do for someone else. Objectification is not when an individual character is portrayed as such. After all, it's a work of fiction. Not every character can be driving the plot. The problem is when agency is removed by gender. That's the definition of sexism. Women are far more likely to lack agency than men are. Claiming that the portrayal of men as muscly and strong is unrealistic is perfectly true, but it isn't the same problem. The point is that when making a male character, it is possible that they will have agency and it is possible that they will not. For female characters, it is far rarer for them to have any agency, sexual or otherwise. So thus, objectification is a problem that disproportionately affects one gender, and so it is legitimate to wonder why women are objectified more than men.

Aardvaarkman:

the December King:
Why do I often come here to hear about games and entertainment, and end up leaving feeling like someone has tried to make me feel bad for being a white male?

I don't recall anyone mentioning race until now. And why would this make you feel bad, unless you somehow feel guilty about something you did?

I think he meant in general, quite a few of the topics lately have been about issues of racism and sexism and the white male is made out to be the bad guy being both a male and white. It's hard not to take it personally when other people are pinning the blame to you, even if you haven't done anything.

Mainly because (and I think this applies to most hetero male gamers:

A. I enjoy viewing stylized sexy women (Shock and horror!!!).

B. I'd generally ignore something with a sexy man because I don't find that appealing. I'm not offended, I just choose to ignore it.

C. I don't really understand why this is such a big issue.

It's like whenever I hear someone say "A man gets with a woman 10 years younger than him and he's a hero, but a woman, she gets insulted and called out on it". My mum is going out with a dude 15 years younger than herself, she hasn't had any negative comments from anyone... (She was surprised by this). Her actual response was "You go girl" or "You cougar, rawr!" etc.

I do feel like the people it is hurting the most are male gamers made to feel bad about something they enjoy.

Sticky:
snip

Video games are part of the media...

Anorexia isn't a 'red herring' is an actual effect on people by the media which is what you asked for. I'm not suggesting anyone sees gaming as 'real' just that how men and women are presented to us daily has an effect on us.

Guys like to see tits and ass I understand that. The thing is though, women still have those things when they are presented as people and not just as sex objects.

Khrowley:
If male protagonists really were objectified then they look like this:

http://eschergirls.tumblr.com/post/50005631043/psdo-sexism-is-over-parody-redraws-of-the

And for all the men who start whining and moaning about how wrong this looks; you can take your double-standards and bite my ass and choke on it.

No, the problem there is that it is a huge presumption about what people find erotic. I imagine you wouldn't find many females that think those guys are sexually attractive. And as for myself, I don't actually care. If someone put those characters in a game looking like that, and the game was fun, I'd play it. Objectification isn't simply a matter of looks, it is a matter of reducing a character to a few essential parts, robbing them of any humanity. This is done constantly to male characters in games, just look at the thousands of disposable, faceless, characterless, males who's only purpose is to serve as mindless drones to be shot.

Raioken18:

B. I'd generally ignore something with a sexy man because I don't find that appealing. I'm not offended, I just choose to ignore it.

You can afford to do that because 90% of games don't sexualise men.

That's the problem. It's a matter of choice.

Kratos is a trampy man.

Sticky:

Izzyisme:

And by both, you mean me.

I try to be diplomatic and you still assume that I'm viciously attacking you. This argument isn't that important to me. I'll just stop responding if you think that I'm just launching baseless ad-homs at you or that I'm trying to debase your entire system of beliefs regarding this sensitive issue.

Izzyisme:
But you still haven't responded to the actual point that I made, which is that the way that the media overall portrays something affects, on some level, how people think about it. It is not as though a healthy person can play a single violent video game and then go on a shooting rampage without any other issues. But it is possible that if every game that you play portrays women a certain way, and it is also reflected in advertising, movies, etc. then it can have a huge impact on people.

Sorry, I edited it with a response initially, I'll repost it here:

Sticky:
This is where our point of disagreement lies, society and the expectations thereof are a very real thing, video games are not.

My whole gripe with this entire argument is that people are treating the enjoyment of certain video games as a serious issue. And it really isn't, if anything, it's a portrayal of serious issues that lie in game development. Which makes arguments about what people should or shouldn't be enjoying at best pointless and at worse trivializing the core problem as a whole.

I'm sorry about the earlier post. I edited it before you wrote your response, hoping you wouldn't see it, but you did. I guess we're both checking this thread pretty frequently. This point seems unrelated. I also don't think that anyone is being a "Stop Having Fun Guy." Nobody is telling you not to enjoy video games. Obviously the issue is in game development, but if we are just more aware of what is problematic as consumers, then the industry will change. I am not telling you not to buy these games and not to enjoy them. I'm just saying be more aware of what they are portraying and how it impacts society in a broader sense. That's good enough for me.

I see several people in this discussion (possibly Jim included) who appear to view the presumption of agency as an absolute good. In a fictional setting, this may be true. A character expected to be powerful and in control of a situation generally can be, and the message that a person of a certain type has the potential to do great things does not appear harmful.

I would argue that this is not, however, the case in reality. Certainly, the expectation of agency can positively benefit an individual by rendering others likelier to view them as capable of certain tasks or eligible for certain positions, but this only holds true so long as the individual in question actually has some degree of agency in their situation. When the presumption of agency is applied to an individual who does not have agency in their situation, who may, in fact, need help, it has the effect of rendering others less likely to acknowledge their need or to provide them with assistance. The individual's inability to master the situation may be seen only as a failure to be mocked. Society may be unwilling to acknowledge the individual's vulnerability or victimization because that would go against its narrative of presumed agency. That is how the presumption of agency can be a harmful stereotype, and it does not take much effort to find places where this dynamic is at work in the world around us.

Holythirteen:
Thank you Jim for setting the record straight as to which of our shallow, one-sided characters are objectified and which are not. God bless. I also hate that smug attitude of yours, keep up the good work.

RaikuFA:
Theres some other issues that need to be addressed in this debate. Like the fact that Senran Kagura might never make it outside of Japan due to the west being prudish and crying sexist at anyything that has boobs.

No matter how objectified a women is in a game, no matter how much we argue about it, it has never stopped a game from being released. If anybody says that, they are making an excuse. Argue away.

erttheking:
This thread is going to end in a flame war. This cannot be avoided. I really do want to talk about this in a calm and rational manner but...that's just not gonna happen, let's face it.

I don't understand how a "flame war" differs from a heated debate, and I don't see whats wrong with it, if you have something to say, just say it.

In all the threads I've seen recently on this subject, nobody even cares that much to get upset about it. We all just like to argue with other random internet people. It's why we're here. It's fun, join us.

In the time it took me to read page 6 of this thread(I'm a bit slow, a few minutes maybe?), 16 more people posted comments. So clearly Jim, this topic is dead and you should stop bringing it up.

The difference is that in heated debates, there's still an actual debate going on. In flame wars, it's less intelligent discussion and more "everyone who disagrees with me is stupid." Nothing productive happens, people just piss each other off and throw names around. It's been happening a lot in this thread.

Gender issues? On the Escapist? In Jimquisition specifically?
That could NEVER happen...

OP: Can we talk about ANYTHING other than gender issues. It's getting to be borderline obnoxious. Pick any other dead horse you like.

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 . . . 24 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