No Right Answer: Is Anita Sarkeesian Wrong?

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bobleponge:
I would like you to explain this. I think it's clear that her videos and the issue with her kickstarter have been a positive influence ON THE WHOLE, because they started a discussion in the gaming community, a discussion which has lead to a number of positive changes.

You can't just say "Everyone who disagrees with me is wrong!" and expect anyone to take your opinion seriously.

She swindled people out of $160,000 dollars on false pretenses. Look up Youtube videos by Flying Turkeys, Dangerous Analysis, Thunderf00t, and Instig8ive Journalism. She is a fraud. She has not brought any great point to light, because she has spent all her time and effort focusing the conversation on her harassment and canonizing herself. When she talks about harassment, instead of taking the opportunity to enforce critical thinking and a measured response, she demonizes gamers and supports fear mongering to further her agenda. Additionally, the discussion of women in video games was already happening, and honestly it's not as bad as people have portrayed it. We've had Samus since the beginning, and despite what Anita would have you believe, Zelda has long been a positive role model as well. If you listen to the people, there's lots of open mockery for burly space marines and other such gruff, generic characters, we were moving forward into opening up more female lead roles with Tomb Raider and the Remember Me controversy (even if the game wasn't that great). All of that would have happened even if Anita had never darkened our doorstep.

Sexual Harassment Panda:

bobleponge:

Mysnomer:
The name of this show has never been more inaccurate. There is a very clear right answer. Anita Sarkeesian is a negative influence ON THE WHOLE. There is no good that is directly caused by her actions. Your assertion that there is no scam is pretty provably false. While you're not white nights, you're certainly not helping by trying to be moderate. Anita Sarkeesian is damned, and anybody that pretends otherwise is dead wrong.

I would like you to explain this. I think it's clear that her videos and the issue with her kickstarter have been a positive influence ON THE WHOLE, because they started a discussion in the gaming community, a discussion which has lead to a number of positive changes.

You can't just say "Everyone who disagrees with me is wrong!" and expect anyone to take your opinion seriously.

As I remember it, the discussion was flaring up before she entered the fold... Albeit with less hyperbole flying from every angle, and the whole thing was supplying less fuel for the click-bait monsters internal engine.

Out of interest. What positive changes do you attribute directly to her work?

I think it's completely unfair to blame her for the level of vitriol in internet discussions. That is unfortunately inherent to the internet.

Like I said before, I think it started a discussion. It brought the issue to the forefront of the gaming community, and forced a lot of people to think about an issue they'd never considered before.

Also, personally I think her videos are interesting, and I enjoy them, so that's another plus.

bobleponge:

Sexual Harassment Panda:

bobleponge:

I would like you to explain this. I think it's clear that her videos and the issue with her kickstarter have been a positive influence ON THE WHOLE, because they started a discussion in the gaming community, a discussion which has lead to a number of positive changes.

You can't just say "Everyone who disagrees with me is wrong!" and expect anyone to take your opinion seriously.

As I remember it, the discussion was flaring up before she entered the fold... Albeit with less hyperbole flying from every angle, and the whole thing was supplying less fuel for the click-bait monsters internal engine.

Out of interest. What positive changes do you attribute directly to her work?

I think it's completely unfair to blame her for the level of vitriol in internet discussions. That is unfortunately inherent to the internet.

Like I said before, I think it started a discussion. It brought the issue to the forefront of the gaming community, and forced a lot of people to think about an issue they'd never considered before.

Also, personally I think her videos are interesting, and I enjoy them, so that's another plus.

Ha! I don't blame her for the vitriol, I just think it's been intensified since... What do you want to call it? The incident?

I maintain that she didn't start anything. I think these things would have found greater consideration as the medium developed anyway, and I remember such things being talked about in years BS(Before Sarkeesian... not "bullshit"), and with increasing regularity.

As for you liking it... Fair enough? How's that?

bobleponge:

I think it's completely unfair to blame her for the level of vitriol in internet discussions. That is unfortunately inherent to the internet.

Like I said before, I think it started a discussion. It brought the issue to the forefront of the gaming community, and forced a lot of people to think about an issue they'd never considered before.

Also, personally I think her videos are interesting, and I enjoy them, so that's another plus.

What discussion did she start? People were already talking about Other M, Duke Nukem Forever etc.
All the kickstarter and subsequent media frenzy managed to do was polarize the debate that already existed, and the defence of her videos, even in the face of factual erros, only hurts dialogue between people on both sides of the issue.

Additionally, Anita discourages the use of context as a defence, and doesn't allow any direct responses to her work in any space she doesn't directly control. Youtube no longer has a video reply function, and comments are disabled. Her site is heavily moderated and she doesn't feature videos that critique her own with adequate responses, unlike many other youtube personalities.
The level of vitriol from trolls was constant before and after the debate, but the level of hysteria and the amount of hyperbole when it comes to otherwise normal discussions has increased on both sides.

Caostotale:

Xanarch:

So you're glossing over the possibility that someone could love video games as a concept but not like the current implementation of the concept? "I would love to play video games but I don't want to go around shooting people in the head." (4:19) ZOMG teh horrorz this chixorz hat3s FPS burn her at a steak LOLZ!!!

Let's face it, he has a point he wants to make and he's cut and edited segments of various larger works to support the point he wants to make. Which everyone's saying is horrible when Anita does it. Except it's not, of course, it's just how you support an argument. Other people then judge if the argument, as presented, has any merit. (Yay peer review, democracy works, etc!) So he's no better or worse on that point.

As I said, I found the editorial content of his video very lacking, mostly because it was redundant, tiresome outrage. If I were to call into question the Sarkeesian phenomenon, I would certainly hope to see something resembling a wider assessment of academic initiatives such as hers and an examination of meteoric rises of fame that build on explosive 'Succès de scandale' situations. He indeed offers little of that.

For me, the video footage shown certainly seems to point towards the strong possibility that Sarkeesian's primarily an academic opportunist who ended up in the right place at the right time. Having worked with professional academics for years, I've come to simply expect that the majority of folks in those careers will almost always tailor their scholarly interests to match up with 'profitable' courses of study, 'hot topics', and the like. Such initiatives are all the more desirable when they offer pathways out of academia and into wider spotlights like the TED talks circuit. For me, based on the way things operate in a capitalist-consumerist system, where market-failing advertisement in the all-dictating language, one's best always starting from a point of view that 'nothing fails like success', or as Kevin Smith described Hollywood careers, a process of 'failing upward', a possibility I'd certainly keep on the table with Sarkeesian.

He is, however, angry. Calling her a con-artist of the highest caliber? Pretty sure she's not Madoff. The tone of voice and language used certainly suggests someone with quite a bee in their bonnet, and the constant reference to her funding suggests sour grapes. You don't have to agree, but I think I'm right and you're wrong.

Agreed that the language there is a bit overzealous. I suppose we're both extrapolating a bit on this one, but for me, the difference between the two is that Sarkeesian asked for money and he's asking for Youtube subscribers. I'd tend to side with his methodology. Most of my favorite video-game critics, bloggers, and online content creators followed similar approaches and simply did what they did for free and (a.) were eventually picked up by larger outlets (e.g. Moviebob --> Screwattack --> Escapist) or (b.) continued to do things on their own and found other ways of generating income (e.g. the different shows on RedLetterMedia earn money via advertising revenue, merchandise, and selling their old props on eBay).

I suppose my prejudices are firmly placed against Anita's 'in-road' of her liberal arts academic background. As far as I'm concerned, those areas of academia that coalesced during the last half-century in the post-modern era (i.e. 'fields' like musicology, American studies, cultural studies, gender studies, communications, media studies, etc....) are not even close to something that can be called time-tested fields (like mathematics, linguistics, economics, etc...). The lot of it seems like very well-dressed-up bullshit jargon, and for me loses credibility fast when one weighs in the declining quality of teaching and rising costs of education that get increasingly shouldered by society as these things flourish. For me, Sarkeesian's approach of asking the public for what's essentially a 'grant' is a practice quite far-removed from that of virtually every other decent critic who's contributed something to game criticism.

Oh no, don't get me started on the 'soft' sciences; perfectly acceptable as offshoots of philosophy but should certainly not represent a degree in their entirety. I'm not even hugely sold on the merits of a degree in pure philosophy these days either...though it does have a certain archaic cache and respectability. That I'll have to consider further.

While I can certainly appreciate and admire those who are truly self-made successes in their fields, and have done so without compromising their moral integrity, I'm not quite so sure about Anita's Kickstarter falling firmly on the disreputable side of the line. That said, it could certainly be considered further evidence of a predilection for jumping onto popular bandwagons. It could, however, also be considered a shrewd opportunity for advancing what one considers to be a worthwhile cause by capitalising on an emerging social trend.

We can't, alas, know her current true motivation barring a blatant admission. (I subscribe to Emerson's views on consistency I'm afraid, but what else would you expect from a lawyer?) I do agree that there's certainly viable arguments for duplicity, and I'd be disappointed if that was the case. Nevertheless, I'm glad at the very least that the discussions on this topic are taking place, and I thank you for sharing your point of view. Your considered and erudite comments accomplished what the poster of the video could not.

bobleponge:

I think it's completely unfair to blame her for the level of vitriol in internet discussions. That is unfortunately inherent to the internet.

Like I said before, I think it started a discussion. It brought the issue to the forefront of the gaming community, and forced a lot of people to think about an issue they'd never considered before.

Also, personally I think her videos are interesting, and I enjoy them, so that's another plus.

Yeah, the vitriol isn't her fault at all. It's not like she baited the vilest depths of the internet by riling them up and spamming their message boards....oh wait, that's exactly what happened. Well, I'm sure she didn't know it would blow up like that, b/c she had never dealt with the- Oh right, she's been dealing with 4chan and the like since word one, that's why her comments have been disabled since long before the kickstarter.

"An issue they'd never considered before"? Maybe if they were living under a rock. Stereotypical women in gaming has been a thing since Lara Croft's polygonal assets were considered a selling point. Super Princess Peach, Other M, Gears of War, the Duke Nukem games, the Tomb Raider reboot, all of these have been platforms for discussion of the portrayal of women at one time or another, and if you didn't know that, then you weren't probably weren't involved enough in the discussion of games for you to be relevant to this discussion. Anita has contributed nothing of value, and by polarizing the camps I'd say she's set the conversation back. If you disagree with exploitative female characters, but want to call Anita on her bullshit, you will still be considered an enemy of women and tool of "the patriarchy". And I don't mean like these guys in the video, placating and qualifying, dancing around the topic of Anita's dishonesty, I mean when you really call her on the lies, misdirection, and unanswered questions. This situation hurts the discussion by polarizing the camps, and bringing about a "with us or against us" policy, with Anita as a figurehead, and that's the last thing feminism needs.

deadish:
LOL. OMG this is still going. Who gives a crap?! Seriously.

So some games like Dead or Alive pander 100% full throttle towards men. Problem?

If you don't like, find it offensive, DON'T BUY IT. It's probably not targeted at you, it was not made for you.

I find gay porn kind of gross. I don't watch it. Problem solved. Don't see me kicking up a fuss about it.

Evidently YOU still give a crap.

dunam:

SoulChaserJ:

Elberik:

Because only women are allowed to have opinions about gender-issues.

How about because this isn't a problem about how men see women in gaming...it's an issue about how women feel they're being treated in gaming and hearing two non Sarkeesian women argue the point would carry much more weight. Jesus why is that so hard to understand?

Because it's a superficial distinction.

It's about the quality of ideas. Who cares if it's said by a man or a woman?

Because few people can see past the person. A lot of the "discussion" within this thread is about whether or not 2 white guys are allowed to talk about a woman talking about gender issues. Whether their views are right/wrong is irrelevant, everyone gets wrapped up in side arguments & tangents that they forget what the original topic was.

Scrumpmonkey:

Saying that nobody ever legitimately brings up things wrong with her work is a stupid back-out to ignore the fact that many people have both raised very decent points and been dismissed by people like. Lets take an example shall we; saying "This song/film/game isn't very good, it's poorly made and kind of dumb" isn't the same thing as saying "Shitfuck! i will kill this band/fim-maker/developer in their sleep!"

That isn't an argument against her point. That's an argument against her style. Her style is irrelevant. Her points have yet to face any actual argument.

Instead, everybody finds something ELSE about her to bitch about. Nobody even tries to address the content of her argument in a meaningful way. She's not the only voice out there because other people are being silenced, she's the only voice out there because nobody else is even trying to carry on the conversation.

It's always 'she's a scam artist' or 'she's boring' or 'it doesn't matter that women are depicted as sex objects with no agency because only men buy videogames'. None of those arguments are legitimate. Nobody even tries to make a legitimate counterpoint.

Trilligan:

That isn't an argument against her point. That's an argument against her style. Her style is irrelevant. Her points have yet to face any actual argument.

Instead, everybody finds something ELSE about her to bitch about. Nobody even tries to address the content of her argument in a meaningful way. She's not the only voice out there because other people are being silenced, she's the only voice out there because nobody else is even trying to carry on the conversation.

It's always 'she's a scam artist' or 'she's boring' or 'it doesn't matter that women are depicted as sex objects with no agency because only men buy videogames'. None of those arguments are legitimate. Nobody even tries to make a legitimate counterpoint.

Except again, they have, both in various youtube videos and articles, and in this thread
For a few examples of issues with her points
Her points about objects and subjects apply to literally everything. Her definition of objectification is so vague that anyone "acting upon" anyone else fits the bill. This means that what we really have to worry about is the mass objectification of males in gaming, and if we want to avoid women sharing that fate, we should include less of them in media.
Her gender signifier complaints include colour, hair styles etc, yet don't include HER OWN GAME CONCEPT which used said "feminine" colours (and a ponytail) on the totally-not-pixel-Anita protagonist. She also flat-out ignores the fact that the only way to denote any kind of individuality in a game with pixels is to use easily identifiable symbols. A disk with a wedge cut out of it made of pixels that ALSO needs to be female? That's pretty difficult to convey without getting into gender signifier territory
She also tries to tie in games to domestic violence by suggesting that violence against women in games supports the idea of violence against women outside of games. She states that women as combatants are okay, yet in games where the combat is there to stop said woman and save her the woman is supposedly damsel'd.
She states that the woman's death is used as growth for the male character and then shows clips of games in which the male character deteriorates or flat-out dies after said female character is killed.
Her argument that Dinosaur Planet was a game about Krystal, while Starfox Adventures is a game about Fox is verifiably untrue, as Dinosaur Planet had a male protagonist as well.
She flat out denies the importance of the story of a game, and in previous videos (read: outside of her gaming videos) she attacks the idea of a parody as well.

You ignoring the opposition != the opposition doesn't exist. Many people will list the points you've mentioned (without the strawmanning) in addition to addressing her main points. She sometimes makes half-hearted attempts to respond to the most common counterarguments, but usually just ends up smugly dismissing them (the story/context bit is a good example of that)

Trilligan:

That isn't an argument against her point. That's an argument against her style. Her style is irrelevant. Her points have yet to face any actual argument.

Instead, everybody finds something ELSE about her to bitch about. Nobody even tries to address the content of her argument in a meaningful way. She's not the only voice out there because other people are being silenced, she's the only voice out there because nobody else is even trying to carry on the conversation.

It's always 'she's a scam artist' or 'she's boring' or 'it doesn't matter that women are depicted as sex objects with no agency because only men buy videogames'. None of those arguments are legitimate. Nobody even tries to make a legitimate counterpoint.

I don't understand what sticking your fingers in your ears and denying reality achieves :S

In the very video his thread is about there is a very valid point about Princess Peach and how her character is cherry-picked from the core Mario games. When Peach is being seen as evidence of a female character "Just being there to be a victim" they ignore that the core Mario games use a formula established in 1983 and that in many other nintendo games the Character of peach is both powerful and has agency (Smash Bros) and has her own fleshed-out, interesting character (Paper Mario)

Many of her examples are like this; using much older games with very limited or almost no story then cherry-picking the aspects of that very small slice of character she wants to use to support her theory that they are somehow linked the the institutionalized degradation of women within the games industry.

That is just one example of a rebuttal of one of her points. But you would have seen that if you decided to actually watch the video

Trilligan:

Scrumpmonkey:

Saying that nobody ever legitimately brings up things wrong with her work is a stupid back-out to ignore the fact that many people have both raised very decent points and been dismissed by people like. Lets take an example shall we; saying "This song/film/game isn't very good, it's poorly made and kind of dumb" isn't the same thing as saying "Shitfuck! i will kill this band/fim-maker/developer in their sleep!"

That isn't an argument against her point. That's an argument against her style. Her style is irrelevant. Her points have yet to face any actual argument.

Instead, everybody finds something ELSE about her to bitch about. Nobody even tries to address the content of her argument in a meaningful way. She's not the only voice out there because other people are being silenced, she's the only voice out there because nobody else is even trying to carry on the conversation.

It's always 'she's a scam artist' or 'she's boring' or 'it doesn't matter that women are depicted as sex objects with no agency because only men buy videogames'. None of those arguments are legitimate. Nobody even tries to make a legitimate counterpoint.

Do you actually believe that, or do you have trouble dialing down the sensationalism?

What exactly do you need to be refuted? Her work is opinion, through and through. "I see it differently" is ample rebuttal, especially when you can point out that she's ignoring context a lot of the time. If you've not seen these arguments, you've not been paying attention.

The only time I remember her attempting a point that wasn't opinion(or simply facile) was when she proposed a link between violence against women in games and domestic violence. As I remember it (and it's admittedly been a while) she didn't even try to substantiate it... She just moved on.

Which is understandable. You can't let petty points like that distract you from analyzing the narrative qualities of Mario...

Xanarch:

While I can certainly appreciate and admire those who are truly self-made successes in their fields, and have done so without compromising their moral integrity, I'm not quite so sure about Anita's Kickstarter falling firmly on the disreputable side of the line. That said, it could certainly be considered further evidence of a predilection for jumping onto popular bandwagons. It could, however, also be considered a shrewd opportunity for advancing what one considers to be a worthwhile cause by capitalising on an emerging social trend.

We can't, alas, know her current true motivation barring a blatant admission. (I subscribe to Emerson's views on consistency I'm afraid, but what else would you expect from a lawyer?) I do agree that there's certainly viable arguments for duplicity, and I'd be disappointed if that was the case. Nevertheless, I'm glad at the very least that the discussions on this topic are taking place, and I thank you for sharing your point of view. Your considered and erudite comments accomplished what the poster of the video could not.

Ditto on your replies, my friend. Having worked in academia for quite a while, I generally don't have a problem with any of the modern social sciences and fields of research, in and of themselves, but the careers in which that material is created are highly suspect. As an undergraduate, one of my favorite courses was a literary theory survey in which we had to read texts from all different intellectual sources (including a number of feminist and queer-theory writers, Marxists, post-structuralists, etc...). All of that theory is all well and good. The problem I have is, again, with the 'practice' of academia, which is basically just another spin on the same vulgar power-mongering behaviors that, on the largest scales, keep things in our society feudal and unenlightened. As well, it's become a huge bubble in the United States, where college campuses will basically admit any high school grad who has a pulse and is capable of incurring debt, a situation in which no small amount of unintelligent hacks find their ways into the academic-career updrafts.

Xanarch:

glider4:

Xanarch:

Synopsis of that video: "Someone has an opinion about something that I don't agree with, so my opinion is that that person doesn't have a right to their opinion because they're not an expert. Please ignore the fact that I'm not an expert. Also I am angry because people didn't give me money to go on a media tour."

Anita's video series is the equivalent of me raising a kickstarter about how the fashion industry is sexist against men because I found a bunch of differences between men and women's clothing despite knowing nothing about the fashion industry. Of course I would use every tactic she has such as disabling comments on all video's except the one that will get me money because that way I can tell people that there is some coordinated attack on me every time somebody calls me out. I use the money to buy clothes and show them yet really don't but any and just take pictures from websites meaning that the money went towards nothing. Oh yea and I can connections to pyramid schemes.If I did that then nobody would take me seriously but thanks to feminists and white knights, people think that this ignorant con artist actually has a point because she knows how to use TV tropes and pretend that she's a victim.

No, it's the equivalent of you starting a Kickstarter about anti-male sexism in the fashion industry (which I'd agree with and fund) and then having to disable comments because you received thousands of rape and/or death threats. Not quite the same as what you have posited.

Let's assume, however, that your hypothetical situation does in fact take place; you set up a Kickstarter, get funded, and let's also assume the links to pyramid schemes are true and you use the same tactics you're implying Anita is using. If the same sequence of events followed suit, you'd end up with a bunch of money, a place on the stage at TED, dozens of interviews, articles in major newspapers and magazines about you and your cause, hundreds of thousands of people talking about you and the ear of a few fashion developers for your future consulting career. There's a word for that, I believe it's "winning."

OK where to start. 1. She has only ever enabled comments once, that was for her kickstarter video, hmmm, almost as if she's trying to drive all the commenters to the video which will get her money. Nah She's a perfect little flower of innocence, which is why she disabled them when it stopped making her money, because rape threats, because she said so. 2 you are going to ignore everything? All the lies, all the manipulation and blatant tactics designed to trick people into thinking she is a victim of the evil patriarchy because she's "winning?" I don't even need to argue with this do I?

Scrumpmonkey:

In the very video his thread is about there is a very valid point about Princess Peach and how her character is cherry-picked from the core Mario games. When Peach is being seen as evidence of a female character "Just being there to be a victim" they ignore that the core Mario games use a formula established in 1983 and that in many other nintendo games the Character of peach is both powerful and has agency (Smash Bros) and has her own fleshed-out, interesting character (Paper Mario)

That would be a fine counterargument, if her argument was that Peach was always portrayed as one dimensional. However, she has never actually argued that.

Peach was used as an example of a Damsel in Distress, to further her discussion of that trope and how it negates female agency and reduces women to objects. She never claims that Peach is always a Damsel in Distress - rather, she points out that when Peach is a Damsel in Distress, she has no functionality as a character, no control over her own destiny, nor any growth or change over the course of the narrative. She could be replaced with an inanimate object and no significant changes would take place to the story.

Saying 'well, when she's not a Damsel in Distress she has plenty of agency!' does not in any way provide a counterexample to Sarkeesian's point. It utterly fails to refute Sarkeesian's point at all - and in fact, it does a great deal to prove her point, because it shows, by comparison, exactly how much agency is taken away from Peach when she is denied the right to be her own character so that she can serve as Mario's Macguffin. Sarkeesian's point has nothing to do with Peach, her point is about dehumanizing effects of the Damsel in Distress trope, which Peach often exemplifies.

Scrumpmonkey:

Many of her examples are like this; using much older games with very limited or almost no story then cherry-picking the aspects of that very small slice of character she wants to use to support her theory that they are somehow linked the the institutionalized degradation of women within the games industry.

That is just one example of a rebuttal of one of her points. But you would have seen that if you decided to actually watch the video

This is exactly what I mean when I say nobody is trying to carry on the conversation. You - and others who make these kinds of arguments - willfully or otherwise ignore Sarkeesian's actual argument and instead build an argument based on your assumptions about what she means. There's no effort at all to understand and consider Sarkeesian's arguments even being made.

If you wanted to refute Sarkeesian, you'd need to show that a Damsel In Distress had agency and character development while in that position - AND you'd have to show that that was the norm, and not the exception.

Sexual Harassment Panda:
"I see it differently" is ample rebuttal

Saying "that's just like, your opinion, man" is great if you're The Dude, but if you're trying to carry on an actual conversation then you're gonna have to try a lot harder than that.

If you are never willing to even consider an alternate opinion on a topic why even bother discussing it? This goes for everyone involved in this discussion, both sides.

I think as a gaming community we need accept that;

1. Anita Sarkeesian isn't a particularly interesting or unique voice in this debate BUT
2. She has a right to say what she wants in the manner that she wants free from harassment or abuse
3. Raising surplus money on kick-starter may be problematic but it doesn't amount to a crime
4. Her work should be open to the same honest critique as anyone else's based on it's own merit.
5. We need to make distinction between her work, her public personality as filtered through the press and her as a person.
5. The whole affair has genuinely rubbed a lot of gamers the wrong way and probably set back the debate about feminism a long way.

One side thinking it is the "Right side" isn't the answer. For something as mediocre but ultimately not that important there really shouldn't be 'sides' at all. The high profile of the series is what creates these problems.

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

snip

Congratulations on fundamentally misunderstanding literally everything Sarkeesian has ever said, I guess? That level of willful ignorance is truly something to behold.

I'm not sure how you're supposed to get any closer to what she said than the literal interpretation. Much of her statements are intentionally vague so as to prevent a lot of meaningful criticism, but the statements I pointed out show a lack of internal consistency. If you disagree, I'd invite you to explain yourself... that is, if you're at all interested in having an actual conversation instead of sticking your fingers in your ears until Anita speaks

Scrumpmonkey:

5. The whole affair has genuinely rubbed a lot of gamers the wrong way and probably set back the debate about feminism a long way.

Honestly the conversation doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Feminism, and didn't really in the past. One can have a conversation about a particular gender issue without Feminists or MRA's leading the discussion, and I think the new method of framing things as being "part of Feminism" has driven a lot of people either out of the conversation or into deeper trenches (on both sides).

Unless by that statement you meant something more along the lines of how Feminism is viewed by many gamers, now that the topic has been hijacked by people who identify that way, in which case I'd absolutely agree

Trilligan:

Scrumpmonkey:

In the very video his thread is about there is a very valid point about Princess Peach and how her character is cherry-picked from the core Mario games. When Peach is being seen as evidence of a female character "Just being there to be a victim" they ignore that the core Mario games use a formula established in 1983 and that in many other nintendo games the Character of peach is both powerful and has agency (Smash Bros) and has her own fleshed-out, interesting character (Paper Mario)

That would be a fine counterargument, if her argument was that Peach was always portrayed as one dimensional. However, she has never actually argued that.

Peach was used as an example of a Damsel in Distress, to further her discussion of that trope and how it negates female agency and reduces women to objects. She never claims that Peach is always a Damsel in Distress - rather, she points out that when Peach is a Damsel in Distress, she has no functionality as a character, no control over her own destiny, nor any growth or change over the course of the narrative. She could be replaced with an inanimate object and no significant changes would take place to the story.

Saying 'well, when she's not a Damsel in Distress she has plenty of agency!' does not in any way provide a counterexample to Sarkeesian's point. It utterly fails to refute Sarkeesian's point at all - and in fact, it does a great deal to prove her point, because it shows, by comparison, exactly how much agency is taken away from Peach when she is denied the right to be her own character so that she can serve as Mario's Macguffin. Sarkeesian's point has nothing to do with Peach, her point is about dehumanizing effects of the Damsel in Distress trope, which Peach often exemplifies.

Ok to counter the points of Anita I can very easily provide an example.

Elena Fisher.

If you follow Anita's argument through despite her saving Nathan and him saving her throughout the adventure she is still labelled as a Damsel in distress. So once someone has become a damsel (had to be rescued one by another male character) they aren't anything else. That's the heavily implied point. By that logic Samus Aran is a Damsel in distress, because in Meteroid fusion she has to be evacuated from a planet on a stretcher by a medical team after an X parasite attacks her. That's how the game starts, so by the definition being put forward by Ms Sarkeesian Samus can never be more than a damsel in Distress because of that one incident. So tell me in the oh 5 or 6 games after meteroid fusion, does Samus have no character development ?

There are plenty of other points that could also be thrown in here but I think this is enough for the time being.

You can say no-one is countering her points well, challenge accepted.

Trilligan:

Scrumpmonkey:

Many of her examples are like this; using much older games with very limited or almost no story then cherry-picking the aspects of that very small slice of character she wants to use to support her theory that they are somehow linked the the institutionalized degradation of women within the games industry.

That is just one example of a rebuttal of one of her points. But you would have seen that if you decided to actually watch the video

This is exactly what I mean when I say nobody is trying to carry on the conversation. You - and others who make these kinds of arguments - willfully or otherwise ignore Sarkeesian's actual argument and instead build an argument based on your assumptions about what she means. There's no effort at all to understand and consider Sarkeesian's arguments even being made.

If you wanted to refute Sarkeesian, you'd need to show that a Damsel In Distress had agency and character development while in that position - AND you'd have to show that that was the norm, and not the exception.

What people are pointing out is the argument would be totally valid, 20 years ago. The argument is based upon evidence and issues from video gamings past.

It would be like me claiming "The Beatles are the most popular band in the world" and then only providing evidence from 1964 to 1969 sales figures etc. Then saying oh that point is so relevant still but then being unable to provide enough evidence to back it up other than possibly surveying people at a Beatles tribute band gig.

Scootinfroodie:

Scrumpmonkey:

5. The whole affair has genuinely rubbed a lot of gamers the wrong way and probably set back the debate about feminism a long way.

Unless by that statement you meant something more along the lines of how Feminism is viewed by many gamers, now that the topic has been hijacked by people who identify that way, in which case I'd absolutely agree

That's exactly what i meant. You seem to have a good grasp on the false framing of gender issues (something i am very thankful for) and i guess for people like you i should have elaborated further.

It's set the Debate back. I mean that in a literal sense; as in the way the debate is handled and what people think the debate is about has been taken so far away from the actual, practical and very important issues that it is going to take us longer to address some of the gender-based problems in gaming. Gamers now have a very negative, and pretty misleading, idea of what those hoping to further the cause of women are trying to accomplish.

A lot of 'feminist' theory has more to do with a political and sociological philosophy than it does to do with the real practical meat of fixing problems.

Scrumpmonkey:

It's set the Debate back. I mean that in a literal sense; as in the way the debate is handled and what people think the debate is about has been taken so far away from the actual, practical and very important issues that it is going to take us longer to address some of the gender-based problems in gaming.

I'd definitely agree with that. A large portion of what seems to be hurting the discussion is a constant Us vs Them mentality. Not only did Anita and a number of others enter the fray holding a political banner in what was a surprisingly apolitical discussion, but the people who have rallied to them the hardest have done a good job of suggesting that the opposition is part of any number of groups that it has nothing to do with. The other issue of course is that instances of a particular issue are being expanded way beyond a reasonable level, to the point where any group of trolls is now representative of the "gaming community" and games from the 80s with pink bows are examples of a gaming "boys club'

I mean, conversations about this stuff usually get heated, and when you move outside of something rather trivial like specific instances of poor representation within an entertainment medium, it can get downright daunting, but there was really no reason for it to get this difficult to have a reasonable discussion about characters in gaming

The_Kodu:
Ok to counter the points of Anita I can very easily provide an example.

Elena Fisher.

If you follow Anita's argument through despite her saving Nathan and him saving her throughout the adventure she is still labelled as a Damsel in distress. So once someone has become a damsel (had to be rescued one by another male character) they aren't anything else. That's the heavily implied point.

Sorry, the same thing that is true of Peach is true here. The fact that any given character is not a Damsel in Distress all the time is irrelevant, because those times when she IS a Damsel in Distress her agency and ability cease to exist, and her presence as a character is diminished or eliminated entirely so that the story can focus purely on the male character tasked with saving her.

The point Sarkeesian makes, that you people all keep ignoring, is the effect that being a Damsel in Distress has on what would otherwise be a well-rounded and interesting character. It is the way the trope reduces a female to a non-entity that is important. The fact that those characters are well-rounded and interesting when they aren't turned in to Damsels just further illustrates how much is taken from then when they are.

The_Kodu:

By that logic Samus Aran is a Damsel in distress, because in Meteroid fusion she has to be evacuated from a planet on a stretcher by a medical team after an X parasite attacks her. That's how the game starts, so by the definition being put forward by Ms Sarkeesian Samus can never be more than a damsel in Distress because of that one incident. So tell me in the oh 5 or 6 games after meteroid fusion, does Samus have no character development ?

When you create a spurious argument and attribute that argument to your opponent for the sake of making their position look incorrect that is the Strawman Fallacy.

The_Kodu:
There are plenty of other points that could also be thrown in here but I think this is enough for the time being.

You can say no-one is countering her points well, challenge accepted.

All you've done is make the same argument over again, though - and you missed the point AGAIN.

Scrumpmonkey:
If you are never willing to even consider an alternate opinion on a topic why even bother discussing it?

I wonder that myself all the time, and yet people still keep trying to tear down Sarkeesian through any backhanded way they can. It's infuriating.

Scootinfroodie:

I'd definitely agree with that. A large portion of what seems to be hurting the discussion is a constant Us vs Them mentality. Not only did Anita and a number of others enter the fray holding a political banner in what was a surprisingly apolitical discussion, but the people who have rallied to them the hardest have done a good job of suggesting that the opposition is part of any number of groups that it has nothing to do with. The other issue of course is that instances of a particular issue are being expanded way beyond a reasonable level, to the point where any group of trolls is now representative of the "gaming community" and games from the 80s with pink bows are examples of a gaming "boys club'

I mean, conversations about this stuff usually get heated, and when you move outside of something rather trivial like specific instances of poor representation within an entertainment medium, it can get downright daunting, but there was really no reason for it to get this difficult to have a reasonable discussion about characters in gaming

This is the heart of the issue most people have; we want to talk about why corporate executives tell studios to "lose the chick" but we are stuck shouting over each other about princess peach. Bringing that full circle back to Anita's videos and their basic premise/ presentation. Her points and her debate are ultimately small and petty even in the narrow section of the topic she has set herself. She brings forth disjointed parts of feminist theory to poorly argue a losing case.

We were having much more productive gender discussions BEFORE all of this. I remember the genuine outrage when True Crime was forced to abandon a female lead because Activations thought it couldn't market one because reasons. The gaming community was going "Huh... we'd really like some better fleshed out female characters". But then the whole discussion became framed and hijacked by the term "Feminism". Before a couple of years ago we could discuss the sore lack of female friendliness without using the F word. The F word has become a shorthand for "Smug, opinionated, fun-wrecking, politically motivated and overly zealous " and as such any part of the debate poisoned by it's presence. We can ALL agree that we want gaming and the games industry to be less imbalanced against women BUT we cannot agree that a narrow subset of self proclaimed online feminism warriors has the best ideas to do that.

Those busily wrapped up fighting in a narrow corner of a lost battle need to open their eyes to the great damage they are doing to a debate that really needs to be had. They've lost all sense of perspective.

Trilligan:
Snip

If you can't understand that then you are actively involved in damaging women in video-games. Please stop ignoring reality and open you eyes to the wider issue and how Anita and a subset of people fueled by a very specific ideology are hijacking a subject we really need to deal with. All the time and energy you have spent 'defending Anita' cold have been better spent getting more informed on the very real challenges women face in the gaming industry. 1970s routed 'Feminist' ideologies based on the idea that oppression is everywhere and that all women are always going to be victimized by all men in society are not the way to go about this.

Scrumpmonkey:
snip

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth here.

You say you want to make gaming a better place for women, but when a woman wants to talk about the way game designers treat female characters and the reasons those treatments are problematic all you can do is dismiss her.

You want female presence in gaming but you don't want female advocacy. You say we need to consider how to make better female characters but you don't want to hear feminist voices. So what do you want? You want all the women to sit quietly in the corner and wait for the men to decide what's best for them?

You can't get past your own manufactured hatred for feminism, and it's led you into a position where you are actively acting against your own stated goals. Either that, or the goals you claim are not actually what you want at all, and your entire attempt to reframe your position as some sort of feminism-in-all-but-name is nothing but another attempt at misdirection from any substantiative discussion

Trilligan:

Scrumpmonkey:
snip

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth here.

You say you want to make gaming a better place for women, but when a woman wants to talk about the way game designers treat female characters and the reasons those treatments are problematic all you can do is dismiss her

my point, the she point of the video,the point made by almost everyone else is that she isn't doing a very good job. She is making her point poorly. Your failure to grasp this simple idea and your dismissing of ever example and disregarding of everyone's opinion is infuriating. This is simply what we think. There is no right answer. You were not sent by god to make us see the light. You don't hold a monopoly on wisdom. You can't have a discussion if you are not willing to also listen.

You are a monotone brick wall. Talking to a brick wall is pointless.

Scootinfroodie:
If you disagree, I'd invite you to explain yourself

Fine.

Scootinfroodie:

Her points about objects and subjects apply to literally everything. Her definition of objectification is so vague that anyone "acting upon" anyone else fits the bill. This means that what we really have to worry about is the mass objectification of males in gaming, and if we want to avoid women sharing that fate, we should include less of them in media.

Untrue. There is a vast difference between being the object of a sentence and being reduced to an object. Males are not objectified in the same way females are. Enemies might be objectified, in that they are reduced to obstacles for the hero to overcome - but in those cases they serve no story function, and exist only as a gameplay element. Males who are actually involved in the story - named and playing important plot roles - are rarely objectified.

Scootinfroodie:

Her gender signifier complaints include colour, hair styles etc, yet don't include HER OWN GAME CONCEPT which used said "feminine" colours (and a ponytail) on the totally-not-pixel-Anita protagonist. She also flat-out ignores the fact that the only way to denote any kind of individuality in a game with pixels is to use easily identifiable symbols. A disk with a wedge cut out of it made of pixels that ALSO needs to be female? That's pretty difficult to convey without getting into gender signifier territory

The thing about the gender signifiers in PacMan in particular speaks more to the fact that maleness is considered 'default' or 'normal'. Like you say, a disc with a wedge cut out of it that needs to be female is difficult to convey without a signifier of gender - but what you fail to consider is why it is difficult to convey.

There's no reason PacMan and Ms. PacMan couldn't have been represented in exactly the same way - as a yellow circle with a slice missing. There's no reason it couldn't have been PacMan and PacWoman, for that matter, both represented with the same sprite. But for some reason we default to thinking the neutral character sprite of the incomplete yellow circle must be male - PacMan.

In this respect, the gender signifier is there to point out that Ms. PacMan is different from PacMan - essentially, that she is abnormal. She is Non-Standard. Female-ness is equated to other-ness.

The reasons why it breaks down that way are hard to say - there's a lot of different things at play, many of them not related to gender at all (game needs a sequel, etc), many more of them subconscious or cultural. But it's still something that deserves attention and consideration - why is this depiction this way and not some other way? Why is it that Ms. PacMan needs a bow but Mr. PacMan doesn't need a tie? What do we say about genders in the ways that we depict them?

Scootinfroodie:

She also tries to tie in games to domestic violence by suggesting that violence against women in games supports the idea of violence against women outside of games.

I don't think that's actually what she said.

Scootinfroodie:

She states that women as combatants are okay, yet in games where the combat is there to stop said woman and save her the woman is supposedly damsel'd.

Wait, what? If the combat is to stop the woman, then she is an opponent, not a Damsel in Distress. How do you leap from one conclusion to the other?

Scootinfroodie:

She states that the woman's death is used as growth for the male character and then shows clips of games in which the male character deteriorates or flat-out dies after said female character is killed.

'Growth' in a character arc does not necessarily mean the same thing that growth as a human would. There are lots of examples where a woman is killed off to give her male significant other (usually the protagonist) something to become angsty about, a dark place for him to travel through on his character arc. The trope is commonly called 'fridging' after a particularly ridiculous example where the Green Lantern's girlfriend was dismembered and stuffed in a refrigerator.

A character's mental deterioration or other destruction can be 'growth' insofar as that character is undergoing significant dramatic change and that we are participating in it. But the women who are murdered or otherwise disposed of - often off-screen - in order to induce those changes get no such character arcs - they simply cease to exist, except as emotional baggage for the male protagonist to carry around.

Scootinfroodie:

Her argument that Dinosaur Planet was a game about Krystal, while Starfox Adventures is a game about Fox is verifiably untrue, as Dinosaur Planet had a male protagonist as well.

No, her argument was that Dinosaur Planet FEATURED Krystal as one of two playable characters, and that when the game was changed to StarFox Adventures that potential for an equally compelling, ass-kicking space heroine was abandoned. She mentioned both the male and female protagonists of Dinosaur Planet - she was just a lot more interested in Krystal, for obvious reasons.

Scootinfroodie:

She flat out denies the importance of the story of a game, and in previous videos (read: outside of her gaming videos) she attacks the idea of a parody as well.

Her entire SERIES is about story tropes in games. Story is literally the only aspect of games she is interested in discussing.

Scootinfroodie:

You ignoring the opposition != the opposition doesn't exist.

Pointing out that the opposition does a piss-poor job of actually trying to understand what Sarkeesian is saying because they're too invested in hating her != denying that there is opposition.

Scrumpmonkey:
You can't have a discussion if you are not willing to also listen.

I listened and responded to you twice, and both times you changed the subject. I explained why your 'counterexample' to the DiD question didn't address the point, and you responded by ranting about feminism. So I pointed out that it's inconsistent to argue that feminism is a problem while also claiming that we need more female advocacy - and now your response is I'm too difficult to respond to?

Well forgive me for pointing out your logical flaws.

Trilligan:

Untrue. There is a vast difference between being the object of a sentence and being reduced to an object. Males are not objectified in the same way females are. Enemies might be objectified, in that they are reduced to obstacles for the hero to overcome - but in those cases they serve no story function, and exist only as a gameplay element. Males who are actually involved in the story - named and playing important plot roles - are rarely objectified.

Anita's explanation:

One way to think about Damsel'd characters is via what's called the subject/object dichotomy. In the simplest terms, subjects act and objects are acted upon...
...So the damsel trope typically makes men the "subject" of the narratives while relegating women to the "object". This is a form of objectification because as objects, damsel'ed women are being acted upon, most often becoming or reduced to a prize to be won, a treasure to be found or a goal to be achieved.

She actually DOES equate being "acted upon" to being objectified.

Males who are involved in the story die or are imprisoned/injured/etc all the time, whether it's your comrades in a shooter or your companions in an RPG. Typically, if someone gets captured it's gonna be the hero's job to bust them out, and if you're considering being 'objectified' by Anita's terms, any game that forces you to do a particular thing is objectifying you as the main character. Your role is no longer to explore the world as Link, it's to save the princess! You're no longer your own person, simply a vessel through which people can exact vengeance on Ganon, and a retrieval system for members of the royal family

Trilligan:

The thing about the gender signifiers in PacMan in particular speaks more to the fact that maleness is considered 'default' or 'normal'. Like you say, a disc with a wedge cut out of it that needs to be female is difficult to convey without a signifier of gender - but what you fail to consider is why it is difficult to convey.

There's no reason PacMan and Ms. PacMan couldn't have been represented in exactly the same way - as a yellow circle with a slice missing. There's no reason it couldn't have been PacMan and PacWoman, for that matter, both represented with the same sprite. But for some reason we default to thinking the neutral character sprite of the incomplete yellow circle must be male - PacMan.

Pacman came out first. The reason why Ms Pacman exists is because the developers didn't own the rights to the original character and did something different. The pink bow is an iconic signifier, and is thus easy to remember. It stands out.
It also doesn't really address the fact that her otherwise generic game character uses gender signifiers

Trilligan:

I don't think that's actually what she said.

She flip flops around in this bit but ultimately she says:

These stories conjure supernatural situations in which domestic violence perpetrated by men against women who've "lost control of themselves" not only appears justified but is actually presented as an altruistic act done "for the woman's own good"...
...Research consistently shows that people of all genders tend to buy into the myth that women are the ones to blame for the violence men perpetrate against them. In the same vein, abusive men consistently state that their female targets "deserved it", "wanted it" or were "asking for it",
Given the reality of that larger cultural context, it should go without saying that it's dangerously irresponsible to be creating games in which players are encouraged and even required to perform violence against women in order to "save them".

She also insists that they trivialize and exploit the issue, when they have pretty much nothing to do with it

Do you honestly think this isn't an attempt to tie the two together in any way? In many of the cases Anita criticizes, the protagonist is attacked and fights to defend themselves, or to subdue their opponent long enough to find a solution. This sometimes results in them being forced to kill the character in question, which Anita also criticizes

Trilligan:

Wait, what? If the combat is to stop the woman, then she is an opponent, not a Damsel in Distress. How do you leap from one conclusion to the other?

See the previous issue. The clips she uses for her "domestic violence" bit show women who are, or have just finished being, combatants. The combat is ultimately there to stop the character in question, who is violent or generally harmful to the main character in some way. This makes it "women as a combatant", but Anita attempts to tie it into DV so she can still include it as an example

Trilligan:

'Growth' in a character arc does not necessarily mean the same thing that growth as a human would. There are lots of examples where a woman is killed off to give her male significant other (usually the protagonist) something to become angsty about, a dark place for him to travel through on his character arc. The trope is commonly called 'fridging' after a particularly ridiculous example where the Green Lantern's girlfriend was dismembered and stuffed in a refrigerator.

A character's mental deterioration or other destruction can be 'growth' insofar as that character is undergoing significant dramatic change and that we are participating in it. But the women who are murdered or otherwise disposed of - often off-screen - in order to induce those changes get no such character arcs - they simply cease to exist, except as emotional baggage for the male protagonist to carry around.

Except we're dealing with a situation (The Darkness) in which the character in question commits suicide moments later, and the "fridged" character DOES appear throughout the series (which is ultimately only two games anyway)
It's also not at all limited to women (or people who are dating/married/etc either). Fathers, brothers and sons are killed off for the same sort of transition. I suspect if women or homosexual men were featured more as protagonists, we would see more male SO's get bumped off as well.

Trilligan:

No, her argument was that Dinosaur Planet FEATURED Krystal as one of two playable characters, and that when the game was changed to StarFox Adventures that potential for an equally compelling, ass-kicking space heroine was abandoned. She mentioned both the male and female protagonists of Dinosaur Planet - she was just a lot more interested in Krystal, for obvious reasons.

She never mentions a male protagonist actually

The game was to star a 16 year old hero named Krystal as one of the two playable protagonists

Is the only time it's mentioned that Krystal was not the only playable character. Then everything is worded to suggest that Fox McCloud just up and stole her whole game from her. She even cuts out the bits of the trailer that feature Sabre
What's especially concerning is that, given the limited amount of information about Dinosaur Planet and its story, there's no real guarantee that Krystal wouldn't have just ended up in Anita's 4th video anyway. The fact that she just takes this idea that it was a kick-ass game with a female protagonist that totally would have been awesome and runs with it is kinda goofy when you consider the number of similar titles that Anita puts down.

Trilligan:

Her entire SERIES is about story tropes in games. Story is literally the only aspect of games she is interested in discussing.

She doesn't discuss the larger narrative of any of the instances she talks about unless it's to specifically talk about parts she wants, framed in the way she wants
See: Princess Peach
She also states that the narrative framework doesn't justify the existence of a particular trope. In other words, if you create a situation in which a woman is extremely powerful and goes on a rampage, and the main character is forced to attack and subdue her, it falls under her violence against women category even if the overall narrative states otherwise should Anita choose to include it.
If Princess Peach gets her own game with mood-based abilities, Anita gets to ignore the overall story of the game and simply make accusations of PMS jokes

Anita's incredibly selective with what "counts". Male objectification (more specifically, damsel-ing) doesn't count because it "doesn't happen as often" even though men are far more likely to be the victims of violence or imprisonment in a game. Princess Peach kicking ass in SSB or SMB2 or her own game? That doesn't count either, because it's not a "core" Mario experience.

Her series primarily feels like a trope checklist. When you look at her first video, it's primarily games that really don't matter anymore. Her second video shows games that are definitely more recent, but already she's starting to ignore context (adaptation of a classic story? explanation or redemption for the damsel'd character? nope! too late! they got damsel'd)

ObsidianJones:
My problem with Anita Sarkeesian is that she's a feminist*. Plain and simple. The same reason why I don't like associating with Black Militants even if I'm black myself. Anyone for Gay Rights in an aggressive way (I don't know if there's a blanket term), Severe Nationalism, and people who like cheese (I just don't trust you).

Anything when people look at any instance to thump their agenda makes me uneasy. I was a black militant when I was younger. Was I wrong in my ideas? Well, people I knew were arrested for 'fitting the description' even though a foot height difference, different skin tone, looking completely different than the man they were looking for... I've had purses held closer just because I was around, racist name calling, more stringent checks for me than the bummy looking guys ahead of me (who were white), and I won't even get into the portrayal of my race and gender in media.

These things happened. I've lived them. Give me enough time, and I can put you in contact with the people who lived these incidents, or go back to the places that it happened (if the same staff still works there). These things are facts.

The issue became that I addressed it any time I could. I made it my mission to educate those who didn't know about the evils that they might not have actually done, but accept by not doing anything about it. And no matter how I tempered my message, I had people who really had no problem with Black people just try to refute me. Were they secretly racist? Maybe even secretly to themselves. But more over... people just get tired.

It's not an excuse. It's the truth. If you're not doing anything and people run up to you to tell you what you're supporting or not being enraged about is making you apart of the problem, you're taken aback. If you merely enjoy an experience and it can be labeled as a problem, putting back social advancements by decades, you start to remember you just bought a game to enjoy it. When you figuratively have to walk an egg shells to pick an experience that doesn't offend everyone all the time, you just get tired and want to stomp.

Now, quickly, in that last paragraph, was I referring to Sexism, Racism, Ethnocentrism, Atheists vs Theists, or Homophobia? Did you latch on to the issue you most identify with? If so, that's a problem. Because for every Maria that in Gears of War 2, there's a Cole that makes me embarrassed to say that's how non blacks view us. for Every Cole, there's the snickers that Baird is so anal and stuck up and repressed, he's probably gay. For every Gay Joke about Baird, you get twofers like Tai who can fall under Ethnocentric ideas and Theist issues (everyone who comes from that culture HAS to have tattoos and be ultra spiritual... and yes, I know that it's Sera not Earth).

When anyone ignores all of the things that other people can also take umbrage about for their slice of focus, well that's when minds then shut off. Because there's now so many people who can say 'Well, what about me?!' that just having a laser focused agenda (feminism, racism, Gay rights) makes other people shrug and say that you're only considered about it because it affects you... but it doesn't affect me.

I find Social Zealots breed more division than they do understanding. I speak as a reformed Social Zealot. And I tell you now, more people willingly come to me for a 'black' perspective now than walked away from me then when I sought them out to shove it down their throats.

*I believe all people, genders, races, and sexualities that don't hurt anyone should be respected. Women's rights themselves are sacred to me, as are the rights of every type of human. I explained my view point in the body that it's the laser focus that shuns every other aspect humanity but the one you feel deserves the most help or attention only breeds contention and divides people more.

I want a like button.

And to subscribe to your newsletter.

And other stuff.

Trilligan:

The_Kodu:
Ok to counter the points of Anita I can very easily provide an example.

Elena Fisher.

If you follow Anita's argument through despite her saving Nathan and him saving her throughout the adventure she is still labelled as a Damsel in distress. So once someone has become a damsel (had to be rescued one by another male character) they aren't anything else. That's the heavily implied point.

Sorry, the same thing that is true of Peach is true here. The fact that any given character is not a Damsel in Distress all the time is irrelevant, because those times when she IS a Damsel in Distress her agency and ability cease to exist, and her presence as a character is diminished or eliminated entirely so that the story can focus purely on the male character tasked with saving her.

The point Sarkeesian makes, that you people all keep ignoring, is the effect that being a Damsel in Distress has on what would otherwise be a well-rounded and interesting character. It is the way the trope reduces a female to a non-entity that is important. The fact that those characters are well-rounded and interesting when they aren't turned in to Damsels just further illustrates how much is taken from then when they are.

The_Kodu:

By that logic Samus Aran is a Damsel in distress, because in Meteroid fusion she has to be evacuated from a planet on a stretcher by a medical team after an X parasite attacks her. That's how the game starts, so by the definition being put forward by Ms Sarkeesian Samus can never be more than a damsel in Distress because of that one incident. So tell me in the oh 5 or 6 games after meteroid fusion, does Samus have no character development ?

When you create a spurious argument and attribute that argument to your opponent for the sake of making their position look incorrect that is the Strawman Fallacy.

So what you're saying is
"There is no logical formula or method that can be used to pick a damsel in distress and as such the goal can constantly be shifted and altered."

What I pointed out were two examples of female characters.
Now Samus in Meteroid fusion gets taken off by a medical team, a good chunk of the intro focuses on the crew and the parasite. By the same logic Samus was stripped of her skills, unable to act and had to be rescued............

Now is that not the same argument as "Once a Damsel always a Damsel ?"
What I've done is thrown in a new context and decided to use Reductio ad absurdum to take the argument to the extreme by applying it to an example where the arguments logic can apply but where the argument itself shows its flaws.

I didn't change the argument I changed the context. The problem is the arguments flaws show up so well if you change the context as I've done.

A fish is a fish is a fish. If you take it out of water it will become a dead fish, but it's still a fish. That's the issue here. Obviously the argument looks stupid, I mean I've just managed to use that argument to claim a Female bounty hunter you play as is nothing hut a damsel in distress no matter how many giant monsters she single handedly kills. The point is a fish doesn't suddenly become a polar bear out of water. If you want an argument to have validity you need it to be able to hold up to scrutiny and if a random person on the internet like me can easily case the argument to break down then obviously it wasn't exactly strong to begin with.

The_Kodu:
There are plenty of other points that could also be thrown in here but I think this is enough for the time being.

You can say no-one is countering her points well, challenge accepted.

All you've done is make the same argument over again, though - and you missed the point AGAIN.[/quote]

Exactly I made her argument again in another context. The argument shattered just like my example of someone saying The Beatles are the worlds most popular band. In the context of a Beatles tribute gig, they probably would be amongst the people there. However in any other context they'd be shown not to be.

I've made the point about the error, I then showed the error up using Reductio ad absurdum and I then explained in more detail why the error shows up like that.

Trilligan:

Scrumpmonkey:
snip

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth here.

You say you want to make gaming a better place for women, but when a woman wants to talk about the way game designers treat female characters and the reasons those treatments are problematic all you can do is dismiss her.

If you'd been paying attention the point is about how Anita's argument is only representing a very small subset and very narrow ideology.

If you want to talk about ruining the party.
What about what was done to the game fat princess. A female game designer had her project accused of being highly sexist and objectifying by femenist writers on the internet. So one of the few times we see a game made with a female lead designer and do well, it gets attacked ?

Yes this was some holy war against injustice yet the same people cried foul about the Dragon Age 2 attacks. Point is neither of these were right to do, attacking people is not the way to get things done and deciding to ridicule or accuse people and outright attack them in the argument is far from good technique.

Trilligan:

You want female presence in gaming but you don't want female advocacy. You say we need to consider how to make better female characters but you don't want to hear feminist voices. So what do you want? You want all the women to sit quietly in the corner and wait for the men to decide what's best for them?

I think rather than advocacy we need democracy and agreement between both side not some one sided dictating. (excuse the pun)

Again the point raised before was there were people speaking out about this before. Many of which were well informed and dare I say long time members of the gaming community.
Brooke Lee
Elsa
Kari

to name but a few of those who have written or spoken about these issues

Trilligan:

You can't get past your own manufactured hatred for feminism, and it's led you into a position where you are actively acting against your own stated goals. Either that, or the goals you claim are not actually what you want at all, and your entire attempt to reframe your position as some sort of feminism-in-all-but-name is nothing but another attempt at misdirection from any substantiative discussion

So you're saying people should embrace the extremists as right ?
There's lots of branches of feminism.
Anita's seeming no sex, purity, pacifist, victimised feminism is far different to other branches.
Getting the desired result by any means isn't acceptable to some. Its better to fight towards the goals and have everyone understand rather than make people feel the need to comply or be vilified.

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

Her gender signifier complaints include colour, hair styles etc, yet don't include HER OWN GAME CONCEPT which used said "feminine" colours (and a ponytail) on the totally-not-pixel-Anita protagonist. She also flat-out ignores the fact that the only way to denote any kind of individuality in a game with pixels is to use easily identifiable symbols. A disk with a wedge cut out of it made of pixels that ALSO needs to be female? That's pretty difficult to convey without getting into gender signifier territory

The thing about the gender signifiers in PacMan in particular speaks more to the fact that maleness is considered 'default' or 'normal'. Like you say, a disc with a wedge cut out of it that needs to be female is difficult to convey without a signifier of gender - but what you fail to consider is why it is difficult to convey.

There's no reason PacMan and Ms. PacMan couldn't have been represented in exactly the same way - as a yellow circle with a slice missing. There's no reason it couldn't have been PacMan and PacWoman, for that matter, both represented with the same sprite. But for some reason we default to thinking the neutral character sprite of the incomplete yellow circle must be male - PacMan.

In this respect, the gender signifier is there to point out that Ms. PacMan is different from PacMan - essentially, that she is abnormal. She is Non-Standard. Female-ness is equated to other-ness.

The reasons why it breaks down that way are hard to say - there's a lot of different things at play, many of them not related to gender at all (game needs a sequel, etc), many more of them subconscious or cultural. But it's still something that deserves attention and consideration - why is this depiction this way and not some other way? Why is it that Ms. PacMan needs a bow but Mr. PacMan doesn't need a tie? What do we say about genders in the ways that we depict them?

I know this might sound silly but isn't the clue to pacman being male in the name ?
If we take the approach seen recently of spites being switched out and games modded to allow female characters then having the same yellow blob of pacman for pacwoman wouldn't go down too well simply because people want to see the difference.

Why are they depicted that way ?
Because graphics were very limited and it's considered poor story telling to have a narrator tell the audience everything about a character right away.

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

She also tries to tie in games to domestic violence by suggesting that violence against women in games supports the idea of violence against women outside of games.

I don't think that's actually what she said.

Actually she did do that.

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

She states that women as combatants are okay, yet in games where the combat is there to stop said woman and save her the woman is supposedly damsel'd.

Wait, what? If the combat is to stop the woman, then she is an opponent, not a Damsel in Distress. How do you leap from one conclusion to the other?

Domestic violence can't happen both ways ?

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

She states that the woman's death is used as growth for the male character and then shows clips of games in which the male character deteriorates or flat-out dies after said female character is killed.

'Growth' in a character arc does not necessarily mean the same thing that growth as a human would. There are lots of examples where a woman is killed off to give her male significant other (usually the protagonist) something to become angsty about, a dark place for him to travel through on his character arc. The trope is commonly called 'fridging' after a particularly ridiculous example where the Green Lantern's girlfriend was dismembered and stuffed in a refrigerator.

A character's mental deterioration or other destruction can be 'growth' insofar as that character is undergoing significant dramatic change and that we are participating in it. But the women who are murdered or otherwise disposed of - often off-screen - in order to induce those changes get no such character arcs - they simply cease to exist, except as emotional baggage for the male protagonist to carry around.

So death of a loved one is no longer good character motivation ?
Man Shakespeare was a hack writer then.

Let's see about death

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

Her argument that Dinosaur Planet was a game about Krystal, while Starfox Adventures is a game about Fox is verifiably untrue, as Dinosaur Planet had a male protagonist as well.

No, her argument was that Dinosaur Planet FEATURED Krystal as one of two playable characters, and that when the game was changed to StarFox Adventures that potential for an equally compelling, ass-kicking space heroine was abandoned. She mentioned both the male and female protagonists of Dinosaur Planet - she was just a lot more interested in Krystal, for obvious reasons.

You mean until the next game when Krystal becomes a member of star fox and actually pilots an R wing alongside the rest of the crew ?

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

She flat out denies the importance of the story of a game, and in previous videos (read: outside of her gaming videos) she attacks the idea of a parody as well.

Her entire SERIES is about story tropes in games. Story is literally the only aspect of games she is interested in discussing.

I think the implication was story context rather than just the story itself .

Trilligan:

Scootinfroodie:

You ignoring the opposition != the opposition doesn't exist.

Pointing out that the opposition does a piss-poor job of actually trying to understand what Sarkeesian is saying because they're too invested in hating her != denying that there is opposition.

No the opposition is simply pointing out an alien concept to you. The concept of context.

Trilligan:

Sexual Harassment Panda:

Urgh... Weasel.

Hypocrite.

Sexual Harassment Panda:

I'm reinstating the half of my sentence that you chose to ignore. You know... The important part. I hope you see this for what it is. Namely, you leaving words out of my mouth rather than me forcing them into yours. I won't pretend I'm fantastic at expressing myself in prose. But... We both know what you did there.

The part of your sentence that I removed added nothing of value to your comment, in much the same way that your comment added nothing of value to this discussion. Saying "I don't have to put any thought into my responses because 'opinions'" is as weaselly a argumentative tactic as they come. If you don't want to bother putting your (rather limited) intellect to use then stop wasting everybody's time with inane bullshit.

Ha ha ha! Have a nice life.

The_Kodu:

I know this might sound silly but isn't the clue to pacman being male in the name ?
If we take the approach seen recently of spites being switched out and games modded to allow female characters then having the same yellow blob of pacman for pacwoman wouldn't go down too well simply because people want to see the difference.

Why are they depicted that way ?
Because graphics were very limited and it's considered poor story telling to have a narrator tell the audience everything about a character right away.

Ms. Pacman isn't about character or story-telling. It's about money for old-rope. I suspect they weren't planning a franchise when they released Pacman, and I know they didn't believe they were expanding the universe in any meaningful way when they released Ms. Pacman... It's the same bloody game!

What could you add to pacman as a gender signifier anyway? You could give him a beard, but it'd look shit. It's a lot easier to name gender-signifiers for females. Men... they don't accessorize.

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