The Big Picture: With Great Power

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itsthesheppy:

Jacco:
Christ. This was pretty much a sociology class in 6 minutes. I hate those stupid terms like "cisgender" cause it just adds to the idea of difference. If people truly want a unified equal human species, we need to stop making up stupid meaningless terms like that.

Those terms do have meaning to people who are different from you. Accepting that reality and adopting it into your worldview is a big step towards maturity and understanding. Spend less time fighting against that is meaningful for others, and spend more time trying to work those differences in perspective into your overall worldview.

Bob killed it here. The only thing missing was where he drops the mic and walks away in front of a stunned, silent crowd. Unsurprisingly there are already comments of people expressing their "Yeah, but..."s. Grow up, nerd community. Accept that it's all too easy for the oppressed to themselves become oppressors; in fact, its often too tempting for us to resist, to get a little payback. We were once (and sometimes still are) powerless, so the temptation to exercise power when offered is almost too powerful.

One needn't join any gay pride parades or write lengthy feminist book reports. But trolling those who do makes one the type of person who they resent. The abused becoming the abuser.

Here we have another great example of a common logical fallacy and flawed argument with the critique towards geek culture.
Do we have to just nod our heads and say: mhm, yup, youre right, yes that does need to be changed, yup its all true.

When people like Anita use misleading, misinformed, flawed arguments like:
There is sexual harassment at geek culture conventions
Therefore all geeks are schrodinger cat sex offenders.

No, not everyone who goes "Yeah...but" are trolls or haters that "need to grow up".
Most of them are actual intellectual people just pointing out the flaws in most of the critique aimed at this culture.
I mean how often do we not hear on the news: Video Games, bad for children, makes them into murderers, argh evil vidya gims!

Are we then, like you suggests, just supposed to say: Yepp, t hats how it is, we have to accept that critique, we are a huge training camp for terrorists and massmurderers.

Instead of going like most intellectual people would and say: Yeah but, thats not actually true

What I got from watching this is I'm happy there's more movies about lasers and giant robot fights than there are about football.

A very pretty sentiment, Bob. However, you forget one major detail:

People are shit.

Great episode! This is one reason why I'm so disappointed when I see fellow geeks and nerds attacking furries and bronies. I'm not a fan of either, but after going through school as a nerd because I played RPGs and computer games I'm not going to bully someone for their own niche entertainment, even if I think it's odd.

(And yes, the sexualized elements of these fandoms are pretty weird . . . but so are the sexualized elements of mainstream geek and nerd properties.)

A big part of the problem, however, isn't with nerds and nerd culture, but the fact that there are people who will attack groups on the margins regardless of what is mainstream. The so called frat-boy stereotype is a good example, the 'frat-boys' today are doing things that would have gotten them beat up by the 'frat-boys' of twenty years ago. (I feel a bit hypocritical using that example seeing how many college fraternity members don't fit this mentality.)

However, with no many key cultural figures coming from a time geekery was not mainstream, it would be nice to see more of a push towards acceptance and civility. It's the sort of responsible thing that past cultural figures didn't push enough, and it would suck to have a culture I grew up with maintain that status quo.

I agree. However I have always been inclusive (ignoring that period of time where I was homophobic because my teenage peers were homophobic solely because the only examples of 100% homosexual males were infuriating as people themselves) and will always will be.

I do think there is a problem.

Especially since the shit storm that was when someone said aloud: "What if the Next Doctor (in Doctor Who) was a female?"

You had people screaming: IT SHOULD BE A FEMALE COS ALL PREVIOUS DOCTORS WERE MALE AND LIKE IT'S SEXIST. EQUALITY MEANS NEXT DOCTOR HAS TO BE A FEMALE

and

THE DOCTOR SHOULD NOT EVER BE FEMALE BECAUSE LIKE HE'S ALWAYS BEEN MALE AND I WILL STOP WATCHING THE SHOW AND IT WILL RUIN DOCTOR WHO

And then you had the people in between talking civilly saying:

"The next Doctor could be a female."/"If the next Doctor was a female"
or
"I don't think the Doctor will likely ever be a female because [input very good reasons. e.g. He has always had a male form which means he identifies himself as a male]"

I just think everyone needs to be less stupid and less discriminatory. But also be aware when in the act of 'not be discriminating against y' they aren't also discriminating about x.

(my personal opinion is that it is possible for the Doctor to regenerate into a female form. Gender and Sex are separate things. The Doctor's gender is male, since his form and mannerisms has always been male. But he can have a female sex/physiology. I believe that both males and females (and people of all skin colours) should have the right to audition for the role of "The Doctor", and the best Actor [I use actor to encompass male and female] for the role should get it.

(a good question to ask about Doctor Who is: "Why has the actor who has played him always been a white male?" Is it because of discrimination of the era? And this discrimination has became lore?)

I generally like Bob's videos when he explains stuff (like comic continuity or supergirl origin stories) or tells a story with a moral and a point.

When he gets on a soapbox and starts to pontificate to us about how we need to do something different, or stop liking what he doesn't like, etc, I tune him out and turn him off.

I turned off this video about a minute in. Sorry Bob, but stick to what you do better and STFU about the rest.

JimB:
So you're saying that instead of hypocritically embracing an atmosphere of exclusion that we have defined ourselves as the victims of, geeks ought to try to fight the demon that has plagued us for so long?

You're a madman, Mr. Chipman! A madman!

I learned not just from popular culture,but from my family as well,that well,yes. People DO in fact act this way. But that being said,it was part of my reasoning. In almost any RPG or game with moral choices that I've played (KOTOR,Dragon Age,Infamous,Mass Effect,etc.) I almost always play the good guy,the Paragon. Especially if it's a character with grand power that's normally maligned in that game's society,like say,Mages in Dragon Age. Heck,the version of Warden I played in Origins was a Dalish Mage of the Circle. Yeah,I want to enjoy and/or flaunt my power in some way,sure,but I ultimately would use to help others. Yeah,you can be a jerk in DA,or a Reneagade in ME,or an evil A-hole in Infamous,but that's just not me. Believe it or not,it just isn't. We indeed hold the key to a better mainstream,but will we be better rulers than the ones before us? Let's see if anyone gets this reference: "And I wonder. What will I become....with the things I will create?"

I'm curious how geek culture(or parts of it anyway) became so sexist, I don't believe it's because geeks always got rejected by girls, even if that is true.

On the other hand I'm asexual(or at least I think I am, the only girl around my age I know is my sister so it's hard to guess) so I don't know a lot about this human emotion you call love.

So i would like if you do a episode on that next week.

I do like video games but not books, plus I'm not the biggest fan of super mario bros 3, I'm more of a super Mario world and yoshi island guy.

the antithesis:
Meh, I kind of stopped watching two thirds of the way through.

I really don't care what you kids do anymore.

To me this is touches on the issue. Too many kids in the geek culture, and because of the anonymity offered by forums, multiplayer, etc... kids are given the same status as adults. Its not that I don't like kids. I remember being one myself. But when you are young everything is magnified and the social boundaries are not so well laid out. Oftentimes you won't understand how hurtful something is, or you will be so invested in whatever you are talking about that it will seem worth it. I get it. I remember saying/doing things that I am not proud of. And then you grow up. You get a better, more nuanced world view, you empathize better, and you learn that opinions are opinions and there are lots of shades of grey. Then you log into a forum where your choices are either to one, engage with kids as equals or, two, shake your head, stop reading, and move on. Guess which I do. I mean, what can you do if someone says something stupid/hurtful in a forum. You have no authority to tell them to stop. You can't try to construct a logical argument because it just validates their point of view. Much of the time its just trolling and any response at all just feeds the troll. So you don't engage and the forums are dominated by, well, kids. (As a side note, by kid I don't necessarily mean young. I've known some very thoughtful and mature young people and some very immature older ones. However there is a bit of a pattern. I know very few adults, for example, who remember their middle school years fondly.)

Edit: This post is a great example. When I was young I would have been terribly offended if an adult had said this kind of stuff to me. I may have listened if it was said by someone I respected/cared about. But this is just a random forum. This post isn't going to convince anyone to be a better person and will most likely just make a few people angry. So why write it? I'm leaving it up on a whim, but the right thing to do would be to delete it.

TLDR: The anonymity and equalization offered by forums and multiplayer mean that mature/thoughtful individuals have to deal with immature ones on an equal footing. That particular battle is hard to win and often isn't worth fighting.

Scarim Coral:
Also ain't the video itself is kind of a hypocrite coming from Bob? No don't quote me on this but I know one of the reasons why people don't like Bob is his attitude toward stuff and for him to say that the nerd culture attitude should be more mature seen hypocritical.

I was sorta thinking the same thing. The Big Picture in general is his own little soapbox show, so it's a bit weird for Bob of all people to come out with this "stop being jerks" message.

I know it's unfair to hold old statements above someone's head, but wasn't he the one saying he hated Scream because it made his movie geek credibility obsolete?

Anyway, maybe he meant himself as much as everyone else with this video.

I think a lot of it has to do with all that oppressed anger towards the "mainstream". You know, the feeling of "we were put through hell for what we liked, you weren't, therefore you aren't a real fan and you should gtfo" mentality. You'd think that being put through hell would mean you would want a world where that didn't happen, where people didn't have to go through hell, but as someone who's been on both sides (school wasn't totally awesome for me, and I've done a few things I'm not proud of. I hate myself for it) it really needs to stop.

Granted they only have to deal with girl gamers, but I feel the point is put across well enough. Anyone can enjoy "geek" stuff. Being given hell for what you like doesn't make you more of a geek than anyone else. Stop being a complete asshole to certain people.

Trikeen:
image

You make it seem like encouraging people to not act like complete assholes to each other is a bad thing.

teebeeohh:
would bob have used wounded knee as an example without bioshock infinite?

I'd say the bigger question is would people know what he was talking about if he used Wounded Knee without Bioshock Infinite.

Ehh...mkay then.

I really wish you would've given a more recent example as to what exactly you were going at here, rather than vague summations about stuff you've already covered in past episodes and bringing up Sarkeesian's (genuinely horrible) videos again. With other videos, you had some sort of launching off pad to really crack down on and make your point. This one seems a bit too broad and feels like a routine Obama "CHANGE!" speech.

"Hey guys! We know a lot of things are changing so we should change too! Stuff is bad so here's what we gotta do guys, CHANGE! How? Well...CHANGE, of course! We like change, right? Woo buddy, how 'bout that change..."

I dunno, this episode just kinda feels like a phoned-in Preaching To The Choir PSA to me.

The reign of terror is at an end, no more shall the mainstream suppress the geeks. Now, a NEW reign of terror begins! OUR reign of terror! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Mobilize the 40K nerd's mechanized infantry! We shall tear down all that oppose us!

Eh. Whilst I'm very much aware that these things are there, to be frank I wouldn't claim to be that deep in nerd culture and my general exposure is through this very site. I know we're not exactly perfect here, but the general impression that I get is that as this site's userbase tends to be fairly left-leaning as well as the site being well moderated, things like racism, sexism etc. are somewhat lessened here compared to say, 4chan.

Still, as I said, although I probably am nerdier than a large portion of the population, I don't associate as a nerd. The culture I tend to identify with is metal, which I'd say by its very nature is incapable of truly joining up with the mainstream. When elements of it (glam metal, nu-metal) do, they tend to be derided by the rest of metal. A genre of music that usually deals with negative emotions such as loneliness, rebellion, anger and alienation is never going to fit with the mainstream and remain sincere.

Frankly I'm not entirely convinced that nerd culture is quite at the point Bob is suggesting, but if it were I would expect something similar to happen. Nerd culture, much like metal culture, attracts weirdos (I mean that in the best possible way). The kind of people who became nerds are unlikely to become nerds if it were mainstream- They became nerds because the cool kids wouldn't accept them. They would have to go and find some other alternative scene, god knows what though. Maybe we'll see nerd culture diverge clean into, between 'mainstream-nerds' and 'nerd-nerds'. I doubt it really. I really wouldn't be surprised if the nerdiness of popular culture in the last ten or so years recedes.

"There's no logical/reason for the oppressed to become the oppressors when they come into power"
I can think of one it called revenge!!!

Why should we play nice and become better when they didn't-how is being the new exploited market that now being used for people who originally hated us now prospering from us by tricking us into thinking they care a good thing?

If anything we should be using this opportunity to attack and ravage all the other cultures and people that bullied us by grinding them out of existence.

Meh but whatever anything you or me say on the matter is pointless if the culture is going to change it won't be because of my comments or your video's but instead just natural subconscious change that comes with the passing of time.

Captcha:good night and good luck

Monxeroth:
You guys are simply going to have to come to terms with the fact that mainstream now wants to exploit the everliving crap out of you and it wont stop until you as a consumer stop throwing money at them and stop watching big bang theory for example.

Until then, have fun being part of the collectivist conform that you didnt sign up to but now everyone tries to cater to you, hooray :U

I'm a deeply cynical individual, so I'm pretty much in line with this.

Personally I'm of the opinion that this acceptance is temporary. Geek culture is currently trendy/profitable, but I can never bring myself to believe it won't pass. To me, this is just the "Hair Metal" stage. We've come from the shadows into the limelight and we're rocking out in huge stadiums, but sooner or later we'll fall out of favor and then it's right back to where we started.

On a lighter note: I promise I'll do my best Bob. If we all promise together, maybe that will actually mean something.

Jacco:
Christ. This was pretty much a sociology class in 6 minutes. I hate those stupid terms like "cisgender" cause it just adds to the idea of difference. If people truly want a unified equal human species, we need to stop making up stupid meaningless terms like that.

But it isn't a meaningless term. It is in fact the exact opposite. It describes a person, similar to "male" or "female" (though unfortunately cis has taken on some negative connotations recently.) Getting rid of descriptor terms is not going to solve social problems. Eliminating descriptor terms is trying to eliminate prejudice by pretending that we are all the same. This will never work because it is not true and does not address the core problem.

We cannot eliminate prejudice by refusing to acknowledge the differences between individuals. We eliminate prejudice by acknowledging the difference between individuals and accepting the fact that different does not mean inferior.

...Didn't we already talk about this? In at least 2 Big Picture episodes before this?

TheRightToArmBears:
snip

I'm telling you man, this is just Hair Metal all over again. This is how pop culture works.
Also: *High Five* Metal is rad.

DerangedHobo:
Maybe it's my myopic world view flaring up again but I don't see many racist geeks

It is your myopic world view.

I get and respect what you want geek culture to do, but it's going to be hard to do.

My main criticism is that you spent 6 minutes talking about how we need to change, and spent no time actually suggesting ways to improve the culture. It's one thing to realize we have an issue, it's another thing entirely to find ways to solve it. Hopefully the next time you make this kind of video you can spend some time talking about the solutions, not just the problem.

Meh. I have my beliefs that may or may not agree with other people's beliefs. I have a strong tendency toward acceptance of other people's lifestyles(you can slaughter all the goats you want as long as you don't get blood on my carpet), and if that isn't enough for some people, then I rescind my acceptance in their specific cases and they can go fuck themselves.

-me, some random white male(sadly lacking in the disposable income department though) who thinks that it don't matter if you're black or white.

So it's fine if I just continue to not be mean to people because of what they are? I'm not sure what you're expecting of me. I don't remember being a geek because what I was into wasn't mainstream in Hollywood moviemaking, I remember being a geek because I liked books and was socially awkward after moving to a new place.

shirkbot:

TheRightToArmBears:
snip

I'm telling you man, this is just Hair Metal all over again. This is how pop culture works.
Also: *High Five* Metal is rad.

*Metal Five*

Indeed. What's happening to geek culture is the same- pop culture taking the most widely appealing elements of a subculture and abusing it until it's dead.

That's not to say some good can't come from it (I still think Motley Crue are good. The Marvel films are fantastic), but there's lots of shit that comes from it too that only increases as it goes on.

"Geek Culture" has always been an attempt to be mainstream and cool. That's why I'm a defiant nerd/dork. Just look at how many self-described "geeks" want to distance themselves from the "nerd" word.

Also, I grew up in the 80s and 90s, with what Bob calls the "Golden Age" of gaming. I'd disagree. The Golden age of gaming is upon us right now, or has been for the last decade or so. Aside from nostalgia, few people would give up today's games for the older ones.

That was an excellent 4 minutes of video there. Ya really lost me on the last 2 minutes though. Far too preachy for my tastes.

Watching this movie made me think of MovieBob as a hipster and not a nerd.

Bob strikes again! I'm off to vomit and take a shower.

Meh. End of the day there are always be racists, sexists or arseholes, whether they are geeks or football fans, young or old - you will find them every where and is down to the person they are - not what they do for entertainment or fun.

As for the geek thing, i've never considered myself a geek just because i enjoy the things i enjoy. An i certainly dont base my life around "what geeks enjoy doing." I dont think anyone considers themselves geeks, thats just what society labels them people.

As im sure many people would agree, like the things you like and fuck all the haters.

I accept the thrust of the argument - that Geeks individually and Geek Culture in general should be a force encouraging inclusion and egalitarianism - but I would say one thing about the premise. Just because supposedly Geeky products and pastimes are now a focus of new products and corporate marketing doesn't mean that those who would have been labelled a Geek or Nerd in the 1980's are viewed and treated as part of the mainstream now.

In social justice circles I think they call this sort of thing appropriation - where one culture takes from another without understanding or respecting the nature of that culture. It doesn't have near the same noxious implications for Geek Culture as for instance the teen fashion industry appropriating Native American attire, but it does go some way to explaining why Geeks at school would still be bullied even though they and their bully play the same XBOX title.

Just because jocks and dudebros play CoD doesn't mean they're geeks, see themselves as geeks or are more accepting of them. Families buying a Wii has about as much relevance as them buying scrabble or Monopoly in the 80's. Even though the iPhone is an enormous consumer brand doesn't mean your respect the young men and women who sold it to you. Avengers is huge? Ben-Hur and Cleopatra were the biggest films of 1959 and 1963, but that said very little about the influence of Egypt rather than factors which transcended time and setting.

We'd love to think that we have conquered the (Western) World, but when you look in the upper echelons of society the actual geek quotient hasn't really changed much. It's just that we occupy a more attractive amount of overall consumer spending and just so happen to get off on all the same easy shit that guys did in the 80's - explosions and special effects - and have an untapped mine of stories unique to the culture still to be exploited.

When the mainstream starts approaching watching a Magic:The Gathering Pro Tour in the same vein as the Superbowl, or LARPing as a weekend at the NASCAR, I will be more conducive to the premise. Until then, I'll still say that Geeks should be more welcoming of all whilst being quite happy divorcing myself from the assholes on console chat, Reddit or Youtube comments who, rather than being Geeks, are just seekers of entertainment who happen to be awful people.

This entire video rests on the idea that 'People' and 'Geeks' are two entirely different species that live far away from one another on distant moons orbiting planets in different solar systems.

D'you know the kind of people I see being homophobic and anti-women? Middle-aged white men who were too busy running up the political or business ladder to ever watch an episode of Star Trek or touch a controller. I knew a girl who was in college and hated every single game aside from Guitar Hero and disliked every Superhero movie with the exception of The Dark Knight. Her hobbies were drinking and clubbing, not videogames and anime. She found out one of her best friends was once a dude and never spoke to her again.

All of my friends, in some way, embrace mainstream geek culture. They are all lovely people who don't hate gays, who don't hate blacks, who don't hate transgender people. I follow a multitude of the gaming press and developers on Twitter. They also echo positive LGBT sentiment and pro-choice ideology. I have also met hardcore video game players who were terrible homophobes.

This isn't a 'geek culture problem'. This is a people problem.

Erm... what?
"We" have been more powerless then ever since "we" absorbed the mainstream and are doomed to suffer from heartburn for all eternity. "We" are no longer a community to which one can talk and interact with, "we" are everyone.
And while we all, no matter if we call ourselves geek or not, should shun racists, homophobes and sexists(no matter the gender) at every possible opportunity(if they're being vocal about it; they can be as despicable as they want in their own home) here is something additional "we" should be working to remove from the culture.
"We". And also "them". Oh look, that did already happen, for geek culture is now a big amorphous mass that includes everyone. "Geek" culture merely provides the overlay for media with characters that blow stuff up. Ironman might as well be Rambo.

"We" as in "Geeks" are now the people who ignore homophobes and let gays be gays. We are also the homophobes and the racists and the sexists. We are tolerant and intolerant and basically, "we" aren't any better then every other mainstream overlay that came before this one.

Personally, i find myself in a world where beautiful people like to assume what i thought was my Mantle and be "geeks" because it is the new thing that is trending now. They steer the geek culture in directions i wouldn't want to go and pick some things of what was my culture that i don't always agree with, ironically because they are immensely stupid. Weren't "geeks" the brainy ones at some point in time? And now this fixation with gadgets is pinned onto the "Geeks"? Really? Camping in front of the apple store when the new iDevice comes out seems pretty similar to camping in front of any other electronics store to get a new TV on black friday.

I would gladly welcome anyone into the folds of whatever "geek" culture is now, although i recognize that i may no longer have the right to welcome anyone to anything because "geek" has evolved past me. A "geek" who was a geek when geek was still a term used derogatory isn't a "geek" anymore as many people understand that today. The geek is a dinosaur.

"Geeks" are people who would adopt bits and pieces because trendy people told them that this is "cool" now.

Bob, as much as I agree with the stance that homophobic, racist, and sexist insults in online gaming and communities are terrible, you aren't going to reach those people with this video. Online gaming may be "mainstream", but I'd hardly call it geek culture. Yes, it's a video game, but those people who obsess over playing Call of Duty also give me weird looks when I say that I enjoy playing a game like Recettear, a JRPG where you run the damn item shop, and I have to struggle to explain what about the game appeals to me.

As for conventions being a place of sexual harassment, guess what? ANY place is a place of harassment. Women are just as subject to being hit on and objectified as they are in any bar or sporting event. In your video, you make it seem like this is something exclusionary to geek culture, when it is not. Besides, you were at ScrewAttack Gaming Convention a few weeks ago- did you see any harassment there? If it was, it definitely wasn't any of the places where I was walking around. Even Adam Sessler said whenever he goes to conventions he tries to find the idiotic male that is so commonplace in online gaming, and not once has he ever run into that kind of person in real life.

Not to mention, I run into gay/transsexual people a lot more at nerdy conventions than I do in real life. I may be a heterosexual white male, but from talking to people at anime/sci-fi/comic groups, I get the sense that people feel a lot more free to be themselves around "nerdy" conventions. Compare that to your average workplace, where people who like Star Wars or anime are routinely made fun of, nevermind what would happen if someone was outed as being gay (despite that in this day and age, it really shouldn't matter who you're attracted to).

Just because comic book movies are popular now doesn't mean that nerds have somehow "taken over". It's the same action and guns that have defined movies for decades, but with the rise of special effects, the superhero genre has exploded simply because it uses the new technology far better than "Commando" could have back in the day. Fantasy football might be comparable to D&D, but it's still based on sports instead of a world of elves and dwarves.

I will say that there are aspects of geek culture that need improving (such as the stupid as hell "fake geek girl" label) and the elitism of "my interests are niche; therefore they're better than yours", but being a nerd is still not "cool". The racist and sexists assholes on Xbox Live aren't nerds; they're just the kids of the assholes of previous generations.

That is some pretty flawed logic Bob, just because mainstream has become acceptable and dominated by geek culture, doesn't mean that most people in the main stream culture are geek or geek related.

Reeve:
Weirdest Big Picture so far. It started out as a history lesson on geek culture then turned into yet another american liberal rant against the patriarchy (that's popular to do at the moment) and then finished by preaching some kind of left liberal geek ideology. O_o

When did asking for people to be nice to each other and to not use past wounds to hurt others become a liberal notion?

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