Jimquisition: Objectification And... Men?

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defskyoen:
How does the reverse not apply then? Why are men suddenly supposed to feel good about every game displaying idealized versions of their body?

I don't recall anybody making that argument.

You seem to be somewhat uncomfortable with this idea, even though men are generally portrayed as the heroes of videogames. So, maybe you can understand how women feel when they are portrayed not only as not-heroes, but simply as objects of desire with no agency of their own?

Don't you think they could feel just as bad and inferior in the wake of these displays of perfection that women are suddenly taught what men are supposed to be like?

I think you accidentally hit the nail on the head here. Women are more often than not presented as displays in videogames, not as active characters. They tend to serve the purpose of eye-candy.

Meanwhile, most videogame protagonists are male, and they are the ones with power. You're not supposed to ogle them, you are supposed to pretend that you are them.

Wouldn't it be easier/a better plan if every main character in video games and possibly movies would be fat neckbeards instead, so women lower their standards and start accepting inferior specimen over time?

How about simply doing what Jim suggests, and try to raise female characters to somewhere close to the quality of male characters, rather than just painting them purely as sex/romantic subjects?

How are men supposed to live up to those role models that they are taught to be more like?

They aren't. Men are generally taught that they can be whatever they want to be, and a pretty woman will support them through their troubles.

This is an obvious double standard for everyone not clouded by the stink of feminism and there's no arguing around it.

OK, good luck with that. Arguing that your argument isn't arguable isn't much of an argument.

Bashfluff:

Aardvaarkman:
If they're not, they should be. We should demand better from our female characters and how they're treated, because they deserve better, and so do we.

Meh, I'm not sure that fictional characters deserve anything in particular, nor do we deserve to have fictional characters written in a particular way for us.

That said, better and more rounded fictional characters would be a nice thing to have in our fictional entertainment.

Bashfluff:
We can admit to the medium needing to change on the whole without saying that there's something wrong with enjoying a character that only exists for sexual stimulation. All characters are tools to make us feel some emotion or to stimulate us in some way. Jim brought up the habit of the industry to satisfy the male empowerment fantasy using muscular, badass protagonists. But you know what? There's no shame in that. We all go to games for different things. Fantasy is one of the base needs games satisfy. Exploration and discovery! An overwhelming sense of adventure. Falling in love with a story or characters. And sometimes, it's something as simple as a particular emotion.

The erotic is just another tool to make us feel something, to satisfy a basic need. It shouldn't be at the core of your game, but there's nothing wrong with it playing a part. Every tool has its place, and I wouldn't begrudge it that.

But like any tool, we have to know when not to use it. I remember watching an Extra Credits episode about stepping out behind fun. To paraphrase, "Games need to be able to be more than fun. It's not that fun is bad, but that games have more to offer than fun. And the fun games will be even more fun for that."

You people sure do do seem to start sounding like broken records.

Again:
1) Show me these games, better yet show me statistical studies to how many percent of games this applies to, I see people throwing around numbers like "90%" and similar that are simply way off the charts and not based on any reality whatsoever.
I've provided a metric above that you people could use to prove your point. Take the last ~100 Releases off of any given platform and count how many of them contain "objectified" female characters. Alternatively take the releases of the entire year and do the same.
image
image
I doubt the percentage would be much higher than 5-10%. This even provided that you skip all Facebook/Mobile/Casual games that get released in the hundreds every given week and usually don't even offer any representation of human characters whatsoever. At most you could prove that there was a overrepresentation of certain character types in certain parts of the industry.
From my point of view there doesn't seem to be any "widespread problem", but the last few games with that certain art style seem to be viciously attacked by certain sensationalist Blogs/sites like Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, The Escapist and Destructoid over the choice of art style and depiction of characters for hits and to stir up shit.

2) Who is this hurting? Why should this change? Is there any real world example where this has led to anyone being harmed (even a single one)? No offense, but I couldn't give two shits about what "Jim Sterling", "John Walker" and "Jason Schreier" have to say, no matter how often they repeat themselves, how sanctimonious they sound and not even collectively. They don't speak for me or likely the majority of the gaming population or the market results would look rather different.
Again, I want studies or at least anyone qualified giving statements.
When FOX News claimed that Bulletstorm caused rape, as retarded as that might sound they at least had some sort of studies and opinions of child psychologists and similar to show on the topic, even if they skewed the quotations for emphasis: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/08/bulletstorm-worst-game-kids/
Which was then lengthily debunked by the same publications that throw around baseless accusations without even that very basic of argumentation based on the "feelings" of a few "gaming journalists".
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/21/bulletstorm-gate-fox-news-responds/

3) Does the depiction of fantastical characters have any measureable influence on the players of such a game. Again, numbers, studies, expert opinions. How is this any different than the argument that violent videogames cause violent tendencies in players, that has now often enough been disproven?

4) What do you propose the "solution" for this should be? Penny Arcade brought up an interesting point: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/04/24/character-selection

It's very weird to pull up a story about a game with frankly visionary art and hear why it shouldn't exist, or to hear what I supposedly fantasize about, or what kind of power I supposedly revere, and any attempt to defend oneself from these psychotic projections or to assert that creators may create is evidence of a dark seed sprouting in the heart. It's an incredible state of affairs. They're not censors, though - oh, no no. You'll understand it eventually; what you need to do is censor yourself.

Is the end goal to try and get every game developer/publisher to censor itself and kneel to the whims of a few easily-offended and/or sensationalist people? What if they don't want to? Do you want to ultimately force it by law?
imageimage
Do you think this outcome would be beneficial to an environment where video games are supposed to be "art"?
Also please define what you understand as "art", this for instance is also art, even displayed in galleries for grown-up people where they pay to see it and the last figurine called "My Lonesome Cowboy" was sold for $15 million by the way:


People are apparently taking it very "seriously".

5) What about women that like the character art fine enough? Don't they count and have a say on the matter? Why are these topics always argued from some sort of holier-than-though feminist viewpoint that only very few actually share?
e.g. this has been brought up often enough, look at this topic or the general forum for that game, there are many women on there that enjoy it very much for what it is: http://www.aeriagames.com/forums/en/viewtopic.php?t=1793473


On top of that, why do you believe that most women don't identify with sexualized characters or that they don't regard them as "power fantasies", this belief again seems to stem from very few, very vocal members of a few communities that you will find coming up again and again stating their opinion in every one of these opinion pieces. There doesn't seem to be any representative studies or anything.

Till anyone provides anything of the likes (especially concrete studies that prove any negative impact on anyone, actual opinion polls of large cross-sections of gamers and some expert opinions of psychologists and the likes) it will boil down to a discussion of taste with baseless claims and borderline stupid accusations without much, if any merit. And the best you'll get is ridicule because the basis of the argument seems rather inane for most rational thinking people.
If you want anyone to take these sorts of arguments seriously outside of the small circle of the initiated you better deliver something more concrete than "muh feelings" to argue with.

15 pages of people justifying their desires for big boobs and fears of emasculation.

Well done Jim!

Subscriptism:
There are bigger problems, this doesn't need as much attention as it's getting.

So, what problems should we be paying attention to? And why are you wasting your time commenting on this thread, rather than dealing with these bigger problems?

Aardvaarkman:

So, what problems should we be paying attention to? And why are you wasting your time commenting on this thread, rather than dealing with these bigger problems?

Sometimes i think that theres a highly secretive society of misogynistic videogame players which sends out their agents exactly for this purpose - to divert attention elsewhere and derail threads into pointless demagogy about non-existant social studies and prove of unprovable.

Monxeroth:

jokulhaups:
Cue the masses claiming, "this isn't a problem, stop talking about it".

Thankfully im not one of those however i will say "Lets talk about it but just not repeat ourselves with the same thing so that it doesnt become as much of a discussion and more of a pls-agree-with-me-footrace"

In the sense that, yeah i like that we're having the discussion i just dont like any discussion, discourse and debate to be onesided or to be basically all the people saying the same thing but formulated differently, thats not what debate is to me.

Please post the previous episode where Jim covered the claim of men being objectified-therefor-equal. Cos I missed that one, which is funny since I watch this show every week.

You don't seem to be aware that the nature of debate is to cover each point as it comes up and address each one. These videos on sexism in gaming are essentially a debate, with Jim addressing the main questions forwarded by the opposition. Since live debate isn't happening, post by post debate it has to be. It's also kind of unfair, unlikely and ludicrous to expect Jim to debate these issues with thousands of people at the same time.

You're not interested in addressing this issue? Fine. Don't take part. Go be an attention whore elsewhere.

Meanwhile the rest of us ARE interested in this debate and are very keen on the views of our net journalists. We want to know what people think about it and for many of us it's important because sexism in gaming is a real threat to the industry. Games are quickly becoming the horrendous sausage-fest we've been trying to prevent them being for the last 20 years. I like having female protagonists and I want gaming to be open to both sexes. Partly because I enjoy the fact that my girlfriend is a gamer, partly because I don't want gaming to go back to being seen as something only done by pervy teenage boys and 40 year old male virgins in basements.
For example, if it hadn't been for people like Jim, A:CM would have had an all-male cast. Making a bad game, reprihensable, given the source material.

I'm greatful and relieved that someone is covering these issues and I hope that Jim and others continue to address them. You don't like it? Tough.

Hey look, more people claiming to have the slightest grasp on what an entire gender that's billions strong want...

Why can't people grasp they do NOT represent an entire gender? Claiming you have the SLIGHTEST grasp on what men or women as a whole want is rather silly. You represent yourself and others like yourself at most... being a woman or a man doesn't mean you magically gain the ability to know what everyone else thinks

Father Time:

Fiairflair:

Mosley_Harmless:
As far as I'm concerned, videogames exist to provide a virtual fantasy world. Don't get upset because you don't belong in the target audience of the person providing the fantasy. As for sexual objectification, Roger Ebert sums it up pretty well in his "Hugh Hefner has been good for us" article:

"Nobody taught me to regard women as sex objects. I always did. Most men do. And truth to tell, most women regard men as sex objects. We regard many other aspects of another person, but sex is the elephant in the room. Evolution has hard-wired us that way. When we meet a new person, in some small recess of our minds we evaluate that person as a sex partner. We don't act on it, we don't dwell on it, but we do it. You know we do. And this process continues bravely until we are old and feeble."

Now please, stop being so goddamn sensitive.

Roger Ebert's confusion of sexuality, sexualisation and objectification offer no justification for telling people to stop objecting to things that matter. Jimquisition is not mandatory viewing. If the theme or the discussion it generates causes offence then the solution is obvious.

Hint: It isn't to tell people to be less sensitive.

Why do these things matter?

AFAIK they don't cause any demonstrable harm, and they can be ignored.

The objectification of men in video games (or lack-there-of) is important because it is cited as justification for ignoring the objectification of women in video games.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record player on these forms, but, since you ask, it matters because no man is an island. Ideas are proliferated by their distribution. If an artist or developer makes material that promotes a certain point of view (and their material is successful) that view spreads. It is important that discussion occurs on what ideas are promoted. Discussion is the mechanism by which individual views are tempered and improved, allowing for greater individual reason.

Aardvaarkman:

Raioken18:
I somehow thing you are overexaggerating the problem if you just compared skimpy armor in a digital medium to slavery.

When did I do that?

I was simply commenting on your interpretation of how various civil rights movements played out. Which was mostly inaccurate. You were the one who brought up such movements in relation to the videogame discussion, not me. I never mentioned skimpy armour at all. You directly stated that gay rights did not progress by people bitching and complaining. I simply disagreed with that specific comment.

Do you not consider gay rights and feminism on par with other civil rights?

None of the progress that has been made in these areas came about by people just shutting up and letting the majority put them in their place. They were hard-fought battles.

What I would give for a 'like' button right now.

defskyoen:

Bashfluff:
We can admit to the medium needing to change on the whole without saying that there's something wrong with enjoying a character that only exists for sexual stimulation. All characters are tools to make us feel some emotion or to stimulate us in some way. Jim brought up the habit of the industry to satisfy the male empowerment fantasy using muscular, badass protagonists. But you know what? There's no shame in that. We all go to games for different things. Fantasy is one of the base needs games satisfy. Exploration and discovery! An overwhelming sense of adventure. Falling in love with a story or characters. And sometimes, it's something as simple as a particular emotion.

The erotic is just another tool to make us feel something, to satisfy a basic need. It shouldn't be at the core of your game, but there's nothing wrong with it playing a part. Every tool has its place, and I wouldn't begrudge it that.

But like any tool, we have to know when not to use it. I remember watching an Extra Credits episode about stepping out behind fun. To paraphrase, "Games need to be able to be more than fun. It's not that fun is bad, but that games have more to offer than fun. And the fun games will be even more fun for that."

You people sure do do seem to start sounding like broken records.

Again:
1) Show me these games, better yet show me statistical studies to how many percent of games this applies to, I see people throwing around numbers like "90%" and similar that are simply way off the charts and not based on any reality whatsoever.
I've provided a metric above that you people could use to prove your point. Take the last ~100 Releases off of any given platform and count how many of them contain "objectified" female characters. Alternatively take the releases of the entire year and do the same.
image
image

There is no reason to use your metric that is a poor standard of evidence when you insist of evidence of the highest caliber from us. It's useless. This doesn't account for what type of games get published on steam as opposed to other consoles, and the prominence of each game. This...one to one ratio of determining the problem is lackluster at best. If you were to take all of the best selling games from the last three or four years, and look at the "objectification" or whatever else in those, look at the marketing, look at all games that game out and look how there was "objectification" in those so that we might have some more data, then we're getting somewhere.

As it stands, your metric is useless.

At most you could prove that there was a overrepresentation of certain character types in certain parts of the industry.

Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. This over-representation of "character types" where women are concerned is the problem. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot insist that the problem I laid out only exists 5-10% of the time, then claim it is, in fact, overrespresenting the ladies.

2) Who is this hurting? Why should this change? Is there any real world example where this has led to anyone being harmed (even a single one)? No offense, but I couldn't give two shits about what "Jim Sterling", "John Walker" and "Jason Schreier" have to say, no matter how often they repeat themselves, how sanctimonious they sound and not even collectively. They don't speak for me or likely the majority of the gaming population or the market results would look rather different.

Because we generally don't want to alienate women, and the way women have been designed can make women feel like this wasn't something made for them. It's a sentiment I understand completely as a gay guy. If you read my post, however, instead of skimming a few parts, you'd know I addressed this too. Gaming is better for being more diverse, for having a variety of different types of games made from people with different perspectives and ideas on character. That doesn't mean these things have to go away, or even should.

People making new games that don't pander to those things won't hurt us one bit.

And to be honest, it makes us seem backward. It's embarrassing to me when my state is so intolerant of homosexuals. Mostly because I'm one, but hey. More civilized places look down on us and they laugh, you know? Because this isn't how enlightened people act. This isn't how intelligent, reasonable people behave. Just as most gay men aren't physically harmed by bullying past adulthood, I do not believe women are physically hurt.

But no one claimed they were being hurt. Not even close. They're claiming it's a game design system that's exclusionary and degrading. It's not that women can't be sexualised. It's that it's all they can be. It's what's highlighted about most girl characters in modern gaming--sex appeal. And that's some backwards ass thinking going on. Do we ignore every real problem because no one is being physically hurt?

Again, I want studies or at least anyone qualified giving statements.

You're not qualified. Why are you speaking? Rational argumentation combined with physical evidence, partner. All you need is a working brain.

When FOX News claimed that Bulletstorm caused rape, as retarded as that might sound they at least had some sort of studies and opinions of child psychologists and similar to show on the topic, even if they skewed the quotations for emphasis: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/08/bulletstorm-worst-game-kids/
Which was then lengthily debunked by the same publications that throw around baseless accusations without even that very basic of argumentation based on the "feelings" of a few "gaming journalists".
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/21/bulletstorm-gate-fox-news-responds/

So you respect shitty journalism that was solely created to create a false image of gaming? Forged evidence and twisted quotes deserve commending? That's...something else.

3) Does the depiction of fantastical characters have any measureable influence on the players of such a game. Again, numbers, studies, expert opinions. How is this any different than the argument that violent videogames cause violent tendencies in players, that has now often enough been disproven?

I will tell you how it's different! That argument has actually been made. Your argument has not. No one is arguing the influence these types of games have on players.

4) What do you propose the "solution" for this should be? Penny Arcade brought up an interesting point: http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/04/24/character-selection

I already gave it, but since you didn't really read my post and just had a knee jerk reaction, I'll sum it up. Support the idea of advocates in the community to make new, interesting, different games, which helps both groups. There's nothing wrong with the titty games. It's just getting a little stale and we need new games that move beyond that.

Till anyone provides anything of the likes (especially concrete studies that prove any negative impact on anyone, actual opinion polls of large cross-sections of gamers and some expert opinions of psychologists and the likes) it will boil down to a discussion of taste with baseless claims and borderline stupid accusations without much, if any merit.

Why do you need extensive research to show you what you should be able to figure out intrinsically. If there's a pattern of dehumanizing objectification going on for all of your gender in an industry, that gender is going to feel excluded, left out. It's a very simple idea that doesn't take a lot of thinking to come up with.

And the best you'll get is ridicule because the basis of the argument seems rather inane for most rational thinking people.
If you want anyone to take these sorts of arguments seriously outside of the small circle of the initiated you better deliver something more concrete than "muh feelings" to argue with.

We have. You have not. And even if we did only have "muh feelings" and not something else, you'd never know it. You never bothered to read and understand the arguments in front of you. You just wanted to brand the people who disagreed with you as unintelligent, as people who were putting forth stupid arguments that no one was actually making. In short, you just put forward a bunch of strawmen and then tried to draw yourself up above your opposition to make yourself seem better than us.

And you know, we don't need that poisoning an already sensitive topic.

defskyoen:
[quote="Bashfluff" post="6.407898.17034238"]

So what you're saying is, it does happen, but people shouldn't complain because it doesn't happen often?

Fuck, I hope you're never on a jury involving a sexual assault.

Mosley_Harmless:
As far as I'm concerned, videogames exist to provide a virtual fantasy world. Don't get upset because you don't belong in the target audience of the person providing the fantasy. As for sexual objectification, Roger Ebert sums it up pretty well in his "Hugh Hefner has been good for us" article:

"Nobody taught me to regard women as sex objects. I always did. Most men do. And truth to tell, most women regard men as sex objects. We regard many other aspects of another person, but sex is the elephant in the room. Evolution has hard-wired us that way. When we meet a new person, in some small recess of our minds we evaluate that person as a sex partner. We don't act on it, we don't dwell on it, but we do it. You know we do. And this process continues bravely until we are old and feeble."

Now please, stop being so goddamn sensitive.

I hope your wrong. I really hope so. Otherwise anyone who doesn't stand up on their tits or dicks is fucked. Yay.

Moonlight Butterfly:
Because I'm a gamer and I have been for a long time. I want to experience the fun of the gameplay without having to sit in a stripclub to do it...I also want games where I feel empowered. I don't think that's so bad.

Is someone stopping you from this? As you mentioned, you're buying Saints Row IV over GTA5 because you can make a female character. I don't think anyone, teenage boys included bother to buy Dead or Alive to feel 'empowered'. You argue as though you are forced to buy and play all games ever made. In truth, there is a heap of games with female potential for protagonists (Bethesda anything, Saints Row), are gender neutral, and/or a few with a decent female lead. Certainly plenty with female supporting characters or NPCs who are not overtly sexualized. You have the breadth of the game industry at your disposal without confronting this issues. As did Jim, which is why he relied so much on one game to make his point and only mentioned or showed four overall.

You don't have to go to the stripclub, you don't have to buy Duke Nukem. You have that purchasing power. Which leads to...

Moonlight Butterfly:
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.

That in itself is not. They broaden their market base by not offending you with Titty McHugebounce in Skyrim certainly, but at the same stroke, I'd expect Titty McHugebounce in Duke Nukem more than Skyrim. Why should a developer making a game heavily implied to have overt sexualization of females stop doing so to prevent offending someone who wouldn't be a customer anyway? If they toned down the jiggle physics in a Dead or Alive sequel, you wouldn't suddenly buy it with that bad taste still in your mouth.

So if you vote with your wallet, and others vote with their wallets, and you claim it's still a significant problem, this implies a means of stopping it beyond your own purchasing power. Censorship. Maybe not like top down government type censorship, but even industry censorship or self-censorship is still censorship.

That is what is so bad. We are wary as gamers about that because it is a relevant issue that threatens our hobby moreso than a few shitty developers making DD cup gals. That is what lurks that one babystep beyond 'this is wrong' into the territory of 'someone should do something'. Usually that someone is not nuanced, and that something is big, broad-stroked and ugly.

I'm not saying you have to enjoy female objectification or ridiculous sexualization in games. By all means, boycott publishers, don't spend a dime on those games, and the like. Accept though that games are a form of media, and this kind of stuff happens everywhere in the media. Games are suffering from this merely because games are not an exception. Just because you like them more doesn't make any difference in that regard.

Moonlight Butterfly:
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.

Anorexia is more prevalent in the West because the places that have mass media like magazines and modern games have enough food to invent something as silly as Anorexia. Find me an Anorexic sub-Sahara African. Seriously.

Also, while it is completely true media influences us, this is an excellent case in point (much like people who say FPSs cause mass killings) that it probably doesn't do so too well. Only 0.3 to 1% of women (and .1% of men) are affected by it in developed countries. The same media, bombarding us all, and only three to ten women per thousand. That's even assuming all three to ten are influenced solely by media, which is most likely wrong. Anorexia has a number of biological, sociological and psychological causes. It's actually rather complex.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa

The societal argument doesn't make much sense, partly because strong correlations to any real phenomena are almost impossible to find or identify, and because the media has all but always existed. It's not an emergent new problem. Sexualized, objectified women in games are based off tropes and practices from television and comics, which are based off tropes and practices from books, which are based off tropes and practices of mythic oral tradition until you got all the way back to the Venus of Willendorf with gravid huge breasts, lack of a face and a pregnant belly.

We can buck the trend, both overall and in our little corner of the media, but it won't go fully away, not without coming down hard and stifling the artistic rights of the entire spectrum of gaming.

That should be the argument, not a silly game of 'who is objectified more', or justifications for Kratos's pecs.

Aardvaarkman:

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?

I said where I was coming from: The player is a part of the character so what the player identify as follows. So if the player identify as female Booker DeWitt and Duke Nukem will also be female.

Fiairflair:

The objectification of men in video games (or lack-there-of) is important because it is cited as justification for ignoring the objectification of women in video games.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record player on these forms, but, since you ask, it matters because no man is an island. Ideas are proliferated by their distribution. If an artist or developer makes material that promotes a certain point of view (and their material is successful) that view spreads. It is important that discussion occurs on what ideas are promoted. Discussion is the mechanism by which individual views are tempered and improved, allowing for greater individual reason.

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure, lack of people seeing males as objects to be discarted. Right.

I will leave this here:
http://www.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GirlWritesWhat

No need to thank me for it.

/thread

Zachary Amaranth:

They need bigger boobs.

<.<

>.>

They are pressing their shoulders together, so their pecks become automatically smaller in appearance, just let them relax and you will see them in their full glory.

Aardvaarkman:

Raioken18:
I somehow thing you are overexaggerating the problem if you just compared skimpy armor in a digital medium to slavery.

When did I do that?

I was simply commenting on your interpretation of how various civil rights movements played out. Which was mostly inaccurate. You were the one who brought up such movements in relation to the videogame discussion, not me. I never mentioned skimpy armour at all. You directly stated that gay rights did not progress by people bitching and complaining. I simply disagreed with that specific comment.

Do you not consider gay rights and feminism on par with other civil rights?

None of the progress that has been made in these areas came about by people just shutting up and letting the majority put them in their place. They were hard-fought battles.

I do think those things are important, but you were arguing that the sexualization of women in video games was comparable to slavery.

There's also a difference between women's rights and digital expression, your not infringing on someones rights by having sexualized content, unless they are somehow forced to view it against their will or was harmed to produce that content.

Compare women in video games to pornography, hentai, ecchi or any movie with Anna Faris in it. They all have sexualized content, it's meant for a certain demographic to enjoy. If you don't want to view it, then you don't have to. Like Dragon's Crown, Dead or Alive and other sexualised games, it's not infringing on women's rights.

I'm guessing you have a habit of over emphasizing things to try and get a point across, but it negates actual discussion of the topic. Try and tone it down and come up with solutions rather than pointing out what you feel is a problem.

For example (I'm aware this isn't a good idea but it's meant to serve as an example of constructive argument),

One solution could be to divide up games, to put markings on packaging that displayed the level and sexual preference of the content displayed. Likely it would create more problems than solutions and divide up gamers even more.

Another could be to have strict limits on ALL games that prevent breasts from jiggling or being over a certain size. But then... What about the people who appreciate that content?

How about more games with a non-sexualized female lead in a completely not sexualized world, with no swearing or anything ever. Can't have stabbing because penetration is phallic. Mmmm... realistic. You know in the real world sexualization of others happens all the time, sometimes people even have sex.

See... the thing is. We don't know what those arguing for "Women's Rights" actually want... So feel free to tell me what you want to happen?

Bashfluff:
If they're not, they should be. We should demand better from our female characters and how they're treated, because they deserve better, and so do we.

Demand better from how female characters are treated? They are lines of codes and literally objects in a scene-graph after they come out of a modeling software. I believe you must be confused if you believe that video game characters should get some sort of basic human rights.

Bashfluff:
There is no reason to use your metric that is a poor standard of evidence when you insist of evidence of the highest caliber from us. It's useless. This doesn't account for what type of games get published on steam as opposed to other consoles, and the prominence of each game. This...one to one ratio of determining the problem is lackluster at best. If you were to take all of the best selling games from the last three or four years, and look at the "objectification" or whatever else in those, look at the marketing, look at all games that game out and look how there was "objectification" in those so that we might have some more data, then we're getting somewhere.

As it stands, your metric is useless.

Well, I very much disagree. I think when making the assertion that something is an industry wide problem it would be very pertinent to actually look at the games that have been released recently instead of using a video clip from a 10 year old video game that has been played in every single one of these videos before.
Also you seem to be arguing that the games which have "objectification" in them sell better than the many, many others without, so basically that a lot more people want to play these video games and possibly ignore a lot of the ones that would be "different" or might appeal to a niche. Congratulations, you might have just found out how a "market" works and why AAA games are often designed the way they are.
Additionally I don't care about "proving" any of this, the burden of proof lies with the accuser... I don't know if you've ever heard that before. I was just making an observation that I think this claim of an "industry problem" is bollocks of the highest degree.

Because we generally don't want to alienate women, and the way women have been designed can make women feel like this wasn't something made for them. It's a sentiment I understand completely as a gay guy. If you read my post, however, instead of skimming a few parts, you'd know I addressed this too. Gaming is better for being more diverse, for having a variety of different types of games made from people with different perspectives and ideas on character. That doesn't mean these things have to go away, or even should.

People making new games that don't pander to those things won't hurt us one bit.

Oh boy, wouldn't want to make anyone feel like something wasn't made for them, say like having different kinds of games for different kinds of people say Casual, Mobile, PC Games, Console games or god forbid having different genres like RPGs, Shooters or Strategy games that some people might not like.
Then I guess Activision is on the right track, because Call of Duty seems to appeal to the broadest possible market. Best make everything a Modern War shooter, set the difficulty to "brain dead" and generally try to get the broadest market appeal possible. I don't think you would like the resulting games very much.
Also I couldn't disagree more, what you describe sounds to me like a recipe for making the blandest and most boring game possible, or god forbid it "offend" anyone with anything. What I'm immediately thinking of is this:
image

We also established above, there are many, many games that "don't pander to those things", there is additionally always the possibility of building a team and going on KickStarter if one has some great idea. There are many RPG and Adventure developers lately that couldn't get any publishing deal because there supposedly wasn't a "market" for their games. Guess what they did? They took to KickStarter and appealed directly to the people that wanted a certain kind of game, they didn't take to the forums and bitched about it. There are hundreds of examples from Double Fine, Obsidian, Brian Fargo/InXile, Larian Studios and others.
Surely if there was such a high demand for specific content featuring female characters, someone would have used that pitch by now or could do it and get great amounts of dollars?

So you respect shitty journalism that was solely created to create a false image of gaming? Forged evidence and twisted quotes deserve commending? That's...something else.

It's still more than these "this is my opinion, based on muh feelings, and my opinion is fact" rants every other week. At least they tried the right methodology, even if they failed in the execution. What "Jim Sterling" thinks from his position of ignorance and all the stuff he misrepresents as "facts" isn't even worth that much.

I will tell you how it's different! That argument has actually been made. Your argument has not. No one is arguing the influence these types of games have on players.

I've seen people arguing that playing certain kinds of games leads to "mysoginistic behaviour" in real life and thus such games are "harmful".

Why do you need extensive research to show you what you should be able to figure out intrinsically. If there's a pattern of dehumanizing objectification going on for all of your gender in an industry, that gender is going to feel excluded, left out. It's a very simple idea that doesn't take a lot of thinking to come up with.

Again, what pattern? I can't seem to be able to figure out anything of the likes because the games presented either are decades old or someone took out a small aspect of a bigger game like Dragon's Crown and magnified it for sensationalist purposes. If you think something is amiss, you better be able to prove it. Pointing out the same games like DOA: XTreme Volleyball or Soul Calibur from 10+ years ago over and over again isn't proof for anything.
You also seem to confuse NPCs in certain games with their main characters. Almost every NPC that is part of a game or you'll meet in a Shooter is part of "dehumanizing objectification", that's because it isn't a real person or a human but a fictional video game character made out of polygons and you are often supposed to shoot those in the head, slay them with your sword, escort them through a bunch of enemies or its sole purpose might be that of giving a quest you have to solve to progress the plot or a reward for something.
They hardly ever have more than a few pre-programmed sentences to say and a clearly defined role or anything to say at all and more often than not you save just as many male characters as you save female characters.

wolfyrik:
So what you're saying is, it does happen, but people shouldn't complain because it doesn't happen often?

Fuck, I hope you're never on a jury involving a sexual assault.

What the fuck are you even talking about? What does sexual assault have to do with you people complaining about video games that you don't have to buy or like in the first place because they seemingly don't appeal to you?

Not even for a second have I ever thought "yep men are objectified" or "yep they have it just as bad as women" when it comes to games portraying them, hell media in general. Fuck no. How could someone even think so ignorantly, mind boggling how stupid some people can be when it comes to these things. That's like a spoiled rich kid screaming for ice cream and not getting it and someone saying "wow he has it as bad as the starving kids in africa" utterly absurd level of non-logic beyond belief.

HappyRat:

So if you vote with your wallet, and others vote with their wallets, and you claim it's still a significant problem, this implies a means of stopping it beyond your own purchasing power. Censorship. Maybe not like top down government type censorship, but even industry censorship or self-censorship is still censorship.

That is what is so bad. We are wary as gamers about that because it is a relevant issue that threatens our hobby moreso than a few shitty developers making DD cup gals. That is what lurks that one babystep beyond 'this is wrong' into the territory of 'someone should do something'. Usually that someone is not nuanced, and that something is big, broad-stroked and ugly.

I'm not saying you have to enjoy female objectification or ridiculous sexualization in games. By all means, boycott publishers, don't spend a dime on those games, and the like. Accept though that games are a form of media, and this kind of stuff happens everywhere in the media. Games are suffering from this merely because games are not an exception. Just because you like them more doesn't make any difference in that regard.

I'd just like to say I agree 100%.

The thing is however, that most gamers (Not talking about you Moonlightbutterfly) simply REFUSE to boycott or vote with their wallets regarding ANY issue. Most seem to buy the game regardless, and continue to bitch in internet forums, as if they have been wronged somehow. (See Mass effect 3, Diablo 3, Simcity...)

Honestly, if you vote for your wallet, and you're a part of a sizeable demographic (like most claim to be) the industry with time will adapt to your taste. If it doesn't, then you're offically a niche market and have to wait endlessly like the rest of us. (Will they ever make good CRPGs again?)

The sheer stupidity of some people amazes me. This argument has gone long enough that about the time when these moral crusaders become the very enemies they were ridiculing a few years back. Remember when Fox News was making a bigger deal over alien sex in Mass Effect 2, now you people are starting to look like them. You don't want it censored and you don't want it exist giving all sorts of bullshit excuses like the game has bad influences on the gamers or make them objectify women. WTF is wrong with people here?

The massive outrage over a single image, I find it immensely stupid just because her boobs are extremely big. I mean really? Is this how far we came to? Making an artist apologise because he drew a couple of questionable images and nobody else involved said no fucking words about sorry except blowing their own horns over winning their petty arguments. This is why I do not like people. Their overblown sense of egos, grasping at strawman logic to counter the arguments and total lack of focus for a real issues. For such gamers who pride themselves being so witty and progressive, they really got their priorities screwed big time.

One more thing you people are so entitled to think Japanese Game industry has to cater to Western Fanbase. I'm one of the minority who didn't really get on the Mass Effect bandwagon because Bioware is turning it into third-person hybrid FPS/RPG. We didn't really voice our opinions and we voted with our wallet because there are so many people liking it. The irony of this sexism debate is that it's still going on because the feminists aren't happy with it. If it was just us normal gamers, it would have been over and done with last week.

Jim, may I call you Jim?

Anyway, Jim... This was a very interesting video even though I took issue with some things, some things I found problematic and almost paused the video halfway through to jump on the forum to get all righteously indignant and such, I am so glad I buried that knee-jerk inclination and watched the video all the way through before coming here and found the rest of the video and your points therein not quite as objectionable as I first feared. You did a very good job in raising the issue of the difference between Objectification and Idealization, but there's still one or two things that are niggling me.

You seem to be fixating on the idea that All objectification is Sexual Objectification. Maybe what's happening to Marcus Fenix isn't actually objectification but dismissing out-of-hand that it ever could be because nipples do not grow firm and penises do not become tumescent as gamers ogle his character-design seems insultingly dismissive to me. (Not to mention the fact that 1-in-5 women, 1-in-6 men and 1-in-3 sheep all want to bang Sean Connery and at least half that number want to bang Patrick Stewart makes the 'Old Solid Snake is Old, and therefor Ugly' commentary sound laughably lame.)

What Is Fenix, and other 'Grizzled' male protagonists then if they are not to be used to encourage the moistening of thighs? Well, he's 'Grizzled', and that means he's 'Ard! He's a 'Ard man, wot does 'Ard things an makes 'Ard decisions to do 'Ard things all the namby-pambies couldn't do, 'cuz they're not 'Ard! Most Gamers I'm aware of don't actually want to Be Marcus Fenix, they want to be Themselves in a Marcus Fenix suit, because that's 'Ard! The cardboard-cutout male protagonist becomes just as empty as the female fanservice, acting as nothing more than one of many tools for the acing-out of adolescent fantasy. 'Ard-'Ard-'Ard!

But then I could just be splitting hairs.. Although, that does raise the point of the lack of sociocultural memes allowing positive depictions of females who are lacking in certain standards of conventional beauty.

Thank God for you, Jim.

Moonlight Butterfly:

So you think the standard of writing and visuals that games should aspire to is romance novels, usually just above fanfiction.

Oh goodie.

... No, I never said that.

Raioken18:
I do think those things are important, but you were arguing that the sexualization of women in video games was comparable to slavery.

No I didn't. If you believe that is the case, perhaps you point out where I did that?

There's also a difference between women's rights and digital expression, your not infringing on someones rights by having sexualized content, unless they are somehow forced to view it against their will or was harmed to produce that content.

I never framed this as a question of rights. Again, please point out where I did so.

I'm guessing you have a habit of over emphasizing things to try and get a point across, but it negates actual discussion of the topic. Try and tone it down and come up with solutions rather than pointing out what you feel is a problem.

How about videogame makers not make such terribly written and rendered female characters?

See... the thing is. We don't know what those arguing for "Women's Rights" actually want... So feel free to tell me what you want to happen?

Again, when did I ever say this was an issue of rights? See above for what I want to happen. It's not rocket science.

I don't really get why people object so much to Jims persona in the videos. Not only is it played up for absurd comical effect, but its dropped entirely during the actual meat of the video and is only brought up during the intro and conclusion.

That being said, great video as usual, knocked it out of the park.

JellySlimerMan:

Fiairflair:

The objectification of men in video games (or lack-there-of) is important because it is cited as justification for ignoring the objectification of women in video games.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record player on these forms, but, since you ask, it matters because no man is an island. Ideas are proliferated by their distribution. If an artist or developer makes material that promotes a certain point of view (and their material is successful) that view spreads. It is important that discussion occurs on what ideas are promoted. Discussion is the mechanism by which individual views are tempered and improved, allowing for greater individual reason.

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure, lack of people seeing males as objects to be discarted. Right.

I will leave this here:
http://www.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GirlWritesWhat

No need to thank me for it.

/thread

Discarded? I'm not sure I follow. I'll take a stab, though.

To assert that men in video games are objectified less frequently than women in video games is not to suggest that male objectification isn't a problem.

The words "lack-there-of" were included only to emphasise the differences of opinion around the issue and demonstrate that, regardless of how much male objectification in gaming one thinks there is, female objectification is no less an issue. Additionally, I agree with Jim that male video game characters and female video game characters are not objectified to the same extent.

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?

While I suppose no one specified 'white' males just now, in this video, at this time, in this particular instance (I'll just trust that you scoured the clip to be sure, as that's most likely, or you wouldn't have mentioned it!), it does seem to be the demographic that is most often under this kind of scrutiny.

As to my guilt, I have enjoyed many games where women are objectified. So... guilty?

Aardvaarkman:

Subscriptism:
There are bigger problems, this doesn't need as much attention as it's getting.

So, what problems should we be paying attention to? And why are you wasting your time commenting on this thread, rather than dealing with these bigger problems?

You're asking that question to someone on the internet? I'm not out to change the world, I can't make a difference.

Bigger problems such as every scummy business practice that I can't be bothered listing. The general laziness of publishers in adopting a one size fits all solution to development as recently discussed in a Jimquisition, and of course DRM. These issues cause real tangible harm. A few negative depictions of female characters is not going to cause us to revert back the the gender politics of the 1950s. While it certainly should be discussed there is no need for this week after week flame warring over who's the biggest asshole and how it's the gaming equivalent of a female holocaust.

this does seem like a bit of a stale topic... i mean i understand the importance of these things espacialy in light of nothing changing but the sex in games really has been talked about a lot...
theres only one point id like to dissagree on and thats the fact that male characters can be ugly. i dont think i can think about one main character who wasnt a muscle bound attractive guy, and snake doesnt count, he might be a bit old but he has the build of a young man and can definitly be counted as atractive (i think) so at least on that were kind of sort of equal but not really...

Hmm...

As with every time the issue of gender representation in anything comes up, my first reaction is to judge what I like in Women, and what I'd like to see in their representation. And a Slight variant of the same questions for men that accounts for the fact I'm not attracted to them.

And now... Considering men aren't objectified, but unfairly idealized, I've now got to think up a slightly modified approach...

And what better way to put it than in a hypothetical narrative?

A prince has been kidnapped and is being used as a bartering chip, and three female knights decided to go on the quest to rescue him... For the Big Money Reward, because they actually hate the guy.

They go there, kick ass, and then reach the guy, who seems to be expecting them to give him a kiss, but instead they just drag him back to the castle over their shoulder and give him to the King, who promptly locks the prince away to be used later as a bargaining chip to a an Amazon Tribe's Princess, who agrees to marry the stupid git if it will unite thier counties.

Later, the Prince is mysteriously Assassinated after the wedding. Nobody cares, and nobody is surprised. And from then on, the united country is ruled by the Amazon Princess, who rules kindly, justly, but also firmly against anyone who dare upset the peace.

...

Now THAT is how you Objectify Men!

...

Meanwhile, having less objectified and more idealized women would be like having the female knights have A or B cup breasts and Traverse their way across entire continents in full armor/clothing, fighting creatures many times their size. And the Amazon Princess almost gets confused for a boy underneath the bundle of furs she wears... Which she skinned herself that morning after training all the previous night in the tribe's native combat form.

...Half the men in her tribe are beaten and bruised for some reason... Almost as if they just spend the entire last night getting their asses kicked by her.

...Said amazon Princess also decides to join the Female knights to go beat the everliving stuffing out of the main villains of the story. And she winds up being the one with the highest Physical stats, over and beyond that of any men who joined the group.

...

Now... This sounds like a game I'd be interested in... and that Amazon Princess would be a girl I'd like to date... Right after she's done kicking my ass, and I'm done cleaning my blood off her shoes.

the December King:
While I suppose no one specified 'white' males just now, in this video, at this time, in this particular instance (I'll just trust that you scoured the clip to be sure, as that's most likely, or you wouldn't have mentioned it!), it does seem to be the demographic that is most often under this kind of scrutiny.

The video we're discussing is about the representation of gender/sex. It doesn't make any sense to assume that it is about white males specifically. Black people, Asian people, Indian people, in fact people of any race can be just as sexist as white people. In fact, women can be just as sexist as men, even against other women.

It really seems like you're projecting here, if you think that white males are being specifically targeted.

ZexionSephiroth:

Meanwhile, having less objectified and more idealized women would be like having the female knights have A or B cup breasts and Traverse their way across entire continents in full armor/clothing, fighting creatures many times their size. And the Amazon Princess almost gets confused for a boy underneath the bundle of furs she wears... Which she skinned herself that morning after training all the previous night in the tribe's native combat form.

...Half the men in her tribe are beaten and bruised for some reason... Almost as if they just spend the entire last night getting their asses kicked by her.

...Said amazon Princess also decides to join the Female knights to go beat the everliving stuffing out of the main villains of the story. And she winds up being the one with the highest Physical stats, over and beyond that of any men who joined the group.

...

Now... This sounds like a game I'd be interested in... and that Amazon Princess would be a girl I'd like to date... Right after she's done kicking my ass, and I'm done cleaning my blood off her shoes.

Ahhhh, death by snu snu.

Subscriptism:

You're asking that question to someone on the internet? I'm not out to change the world, I can't make a difference.

Well, you were the one who claimed this wasn't worthy of attention because there are bigger problems to deal with. If it doesn't matter because it's "only the internet," then why post that in the first place?

The general laziness of publishers in adopting a one size fits all solution to development as recently discussed in a Jimquisition, and of course DRM. These issues cause real tangible harm.

What tangible harm do these things cause, and why are they more important issues that how women are represented in gaming? Seems to me that a lot more harm can result from a popular medium using sexist imagery than from dubious copy-protection measures.

DRM means you might not be able to play a game (oh, the humanity!). The depiction of people in popular media can result in self-harm, psychological issues, poor self-esteem, etc.

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