Electronic Arts VP Says Sexism Complaints Are "Misguided"

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Atmos Duality:

DarthSka:

Perhaps because there are far less women CHOOSING to pursue a career in the gaming industry? Nah, that would be ridiculous.

Actually, it is ridiculous without an underlying reason...which you haven't provided.
Though seeing how the only response I've received is empty snark, I have to wonder if this is even worth my time.

My intention wasn't to attempt to supply a reason(s) to this, just to express the idea that most women simply choose not to get the industry. The reasons here could range anywhere from disinterest, being put off by the subject material, lack of talent in the required work, etc. The idea I'm trying to express here is that it's their choice made of their own free will. Schools that offer these types of courses don't have a big "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" sign outside. They are provided the same opportunities as men, but are simply choosing not to take it. The snark itself was directed at your idea that the only reason many women aren't in the industry is because of sexism and not, you know, free will.

Crono1973:

Varitel:

Gearhead mk2:
From what I can tell, there aren't really too many women on game design courses or in game studios, just from personal choice.

I think that the so-called personal choice may actually stem from inherently sexist social pressures. This is the same for almost all of the tech fields. There is this norm that dictates that women don't write code or build things or whatever, that those are "guy" things. There isn't a good reason for it, but such pressures do exist and are also a problem. I spent 4 years pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and if you add up all of the women who were ever in any of my engineering classes, you'd get maybe 12. If that many men are "choosing" to go into engineering and that few women, there must be some externalities at work.

Yes, like women making different choices. I just love how women can't even be responsible for their own choices, there is always a man to blame for everything.

Well actually, a man wasn't blamed. You're jumping the gun a bit there.

The fact is, society does a lot to channel us towards certain choices in life. You might have heard all the hoo-haa Anita Sarkeesian once raised, by criticising lego for making girl's lego sets all about pink hair salons and purple cafes. Not a lot of people believed her argument, but the point she is trying to raise is that from the earliest age, parenting, peers, advertising, entertainment and toys all inform a child on how they are supposed to behave, which has a major influence on the way they grow up and the decisions they make in later life. People are quick to point out that there is an instinctive, physiological reasons for why girls like dolls and boys like guns, but I find it likely that the rest of society is at least as influential on impressionable children.

So tell me - if you are a man, and you have never once found an interest in becoming a beautician or a hair dresser, how could you know that this was totally your own choice? Or did society help you make that choice when it showed you how you're supposed to behave, your whole life?

DarthSka:

My intention wasn't to attempt to supply a reason(s) to this, just to express the idea that most women simply choose not to get the industry.
...
The snark itself was directed at your idea that the only reason many women aren't in the industry is because of sexism and not, you know, free will.

I did not mean to imply that was the ONLY cause, but that claiming sexism isn't a significant force in the gaming industry, when there are few to no prominent female figures in it, is just stupid.

Darken12:
However, your sister has to position Batman carefully to get a good look at his ass, or look around for the shirtless men (which, I bet, aren't given any different treatment. They're just shirtless. I bet my right arm that the camera doesn't lovingly pan over their abs and pecs the way it would pan over Catwoman's cleavage or ass), while a male player has to sit back and let the fanservice come to them without making any effort.

I was going to continue our little slap-down, but after reading this gem, I realized that we don't occupy the same reality, and any fighting further would be fruitless and stupid.

See ya!

maninahat:

Crono1973:

Varitel:

I think that the so-called personal choice may actually stem from inherently sexist social pressures. This is the same for almost all of the tech fields. There is this norm that dictates that women don't write code or build things or whatever, that those are "guy" things. There isn't a good reason for it, but such pressures do exist and are also a problem. I spent 4 years pursuing a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and if you add up all of the women who were ever in any of my engineering classes, you'd get maybe 12. If that many men are "choosing" to go into engineering and that few women, there must be some externalities at work.

Yes, like women making different choices. I just love how women can't even be responsible for their own choices, there is always a man to blame for everything.

Well actually, a man wasn't blamed. You're jumping the gun a bit there.

The fact is, society does a lot to channel us towards certain choices in life. You might have heard all the hoo-haa Anita Sarkeesian once raised, by criticising lego for making girl's lego sets all about pink hair salons and purple cafes. Not a lot of people believed her argument, but the point she is trying to raise is that from the earliest age, parenting, peers, advertising, entertainment and toys all inform a child on how they are supposed to behave, which has a major influence on the way they grow up and the decisions they make in later life. People are quick to point out that there is an instinctive, physiological reasons for why girls like dolls and boys like guns, but I find it likely that the rest of society is at least as influential on impressionable children.

So tell me - if you are a man, and you have never once found an interest in becoming a beautician or a hair dresser, how could you know that this was totally your own choice? Or did society help you make that choice when it showed you how you're supposed to behave, your whole life?

I have already said that society influences everyone. That's just part of living in civilization. My beef is this:

Women dominate many fields, they practically own the education system that boys are failing out of but there is never a big stink about getting more men into fields dominated by women. When it comes to sexism, many people think that it only affects women.

lacktheknack:
I was going to continue our little slap-down, but after reading this gem, I realized that we don't occupy the same reality, and any fighting further would be fruitless and stupid.

See ya!

That's a solid idea. For once, I completely agree.

Wildly off-topic post made because I'm bored!

Darken12:
That's how sexism works! Very few men wake up one morning and say "Oh boy, I feel extra misogynistic today! I'm going to come up with new ways to oppress women!". Most men simply do what they think it's normal. It's a vicious circle; ingrained sexism in society makes men think it's okay to do sexist things and thinking that it's okay to do sexist things ingrains sexism in society. Everyone who has ever done a sexist thing can point out to another person who has also done a sexist thing and say they don't see what the problem is. Nobody wants to step up and admit to sexism, because everyone uses them as a scapegoat to avoid looking at their own failings.

If we all keep shoving the hot potato onto someone else's hands, nothing is ever going to change.

That may well be true, but my peeve is that if you don't like Catwoman's outfit in Arkham City, you should be taking it up with the artists at DC, not with Rocksteady. Or, more broadly, one should be criticising how the comics industry as a whole objectifies its female characters by depicting them in unrealistically attractive and revealing outfits. The Catwoman example is, by comics standards, really rather tame.

Really, I don't have a problem with sexualised depictions of women. I like looking at beautiful women, and I assume comic artists like drawing beautiful women, so it's a win-win for us and it's a win for women, because honestly if you told a woman she was beautiful she'd take it as a compliment before she accused you of being a sexist. The real issue, as I see it, isn't whether the female character is sexualised but whether they're objectified as a result of their sexualised depiction.

In this case, Comics!Catwoman is (usually) a fully developed character with a complex and shifting set of motives, and not just a sexy thief who occasionally knocks boots with Batman. I've always liked Catwoman as a character, up to and including reading her solo titles whenever I can, and so I don't think her sexualisation is a problem because while her costume does usually emphasise her boobs, I know that the character is more than a set of boobs. This is the case with most sexualised male characters in comics as well; they're sexualised, but not objectified.

Now Rocksteady!Catwoman is a bit of a different story. While I don't hold Rocksteady responsible for her outfit because it's just the comics outfit, and blaming them for it is missing the point, they did give her some god-awful writing in that game. She came off as a...well, as a sexy thief who knocks boots with Batman, down to making double entendres while they're being shot at by the Joker, and it was pretty lame. I'll concede that one. I think it was laziness rather than sexism, but I can understand why a Catwoman fan would be upset at the quality of her characterisation in that game. Especially when compared to her characterisation in the animated series and in the Nolan film series, both of which retained the catsuit but had vastly superior writing.

So really, shitty writing has more of an impact on the objectification of a female character than her revealing outfit does. The revealing outfit, on its own, is harmless. It's just a signpost saying "this character is sexy!" It's up to you whether that means Catwoman is a character who happens to be sexy, or just a pair of boobs in a catsuit, and it's up to the writer to convince you it's the former rather than the latter.

Yes, everyone's a perv. However, your sister has to position Batman carefully to get a good look at his ass, or look around for the shirtless men (which, I bet, aren't given any different treatment. They're just shirtless. I bet my right arm that the camera doesn't lovingly pan over their abs and pecs the way it would pan over Catwoman's cleavage or ass), while a male player has to sit back and let the fanservice come to them without making any effort. This is a lot like the first Mass Effect, where the straight male players could get their M/F or F/F on, while straight women had no M/M and, if they wanted to play a female character, had only one romance option instead of two. Not to mention the asari, a monogendered race that just happens to look like female supermodels, and are often put in stripperrific outfits (or at least massive cleavages).

You didn't really have to position him carefully at all...every conversation scene would focus on his chiseled jaw and titantic pectorals, and the wind would take every opportunity to blow his cape aside to reveal calves like Roman columns and buttcheeks made of marble. Batman was sexy.

Saying that the female players have to try and make the fanservice come out is a weak point, anyway, since even if it was the case (I don't really think it was in Arkham City) it's obvious why - if they'd panned the camera over Batman's ass, some oversensitive neckbeard would have shouted "Gay!" on the forums, just like what happened when Bioware put in M/M romances. That just strikes me as a PR compromise - obvious fanservice for guys, slightly-less-obvious-but-still-sexy fanservice for the ladies (or guys of the Batman persuasion) so that it doesn't offend the poor, precious heterosexual male gamers.

But I don't really think it applies in Arkham City anyway, because...have you seen those abs? Those abs would turn me gay if they were real.

Darken12:

You do realise that's just an excuse, right? Do you honestly believe that the game developers were crying themselves to sleep because their game idea (an alternate universe where attacks are powered by sex appeal) forced to make their heroine an objectified woman? Because I assure you, they weren't. They knew exactly the kind of game they wanted to make and then they handwaved an excuse to make it sound less obviously sexist.

I agree that they could have found better ways to keep it over the top in a less sexual way. I however don't think it's just an excuse, rather them wanting to copy DMCs atmosphere but choosing the "wrong" way to do it.

bastardofmelbourne:
That may well be true, but my peeve is that if you don't like Catwoman's outfit in Arkham City, you should be taking it up with the artists at DC, not with Rocksteady. Or, more broadly, one should be criticising how the comics industry as a whole objectifies its female characters by depicting them in unrealistically attractive and revealing outfits. The Catwoman example is, by comics standards, really rather tame.

I never said I didn't have a problem with the comic industry. I do, it's far worse than the videogame industry, probably because it's a passive visual medium that is still considered to be largely aimed at straight males, unlike books, TVs and cinema, where there is at least a general consensus that women and non-straight men read books and watch movies/TV (though in showbiz, it's still considered safer to appeal to the straight male demographic, particularly if they're young, white and middle or upper class).

But that doesn't stop me from pointing out instances of female sexualisation where I see them. I mean, seriously. Faithful an adaptation as it might have been, they could have easily zipped her up if they had wanted to.

bastardofmelbourne:
Really, I don't have a problem with sexualised depictions of women. I like looking at beautiful women, and I assume comic artists like drawing beautiful women, so it's a win-win for us and it's a win for women, because honestly if you told a woman she was beautiful she'd take it as a compliment before she accused you of being a sexist. The real issue, as I see it, isn't whether the female character is sexualised but whether they're objectified as a result of their sexualised depiction.

It's not a win for women to be sexualised without their opinion or consent. There IS a problem with the depiction of Catwoman or any other sexualised female character when she is created and rendered by straight males, for straight males, nobody bothers to check with women to see if this depiction is offensive to them, and when women raise their concerns, they get silenced and browbeaten by angry fans. It's not a single instance isolated in a vacuum. It's a miasma and a continuum of sexist remarks, objectification, female dismissal and erasure, upholding the straight male viewpoint as the ideal (and the only one worth listening to), rape culture and more.

Objectification, similarly, isn't clear-cut. Something that is "acceptably sexualised" for somebody is objectified for someone else. Saying "I don't see it as objectification, which means it's fine and I can't possibly imagine how anybody would think differently!" is disingenuous. It's also what pretty much every artist/game developer/writer/etc. believes about the characters they create.

A woman doesn't have to take "you're beautiful" as a compliment. A woman doesn't have to take anything as a compliment if she doesn't agree with it, and thoughtlessly dismissing their concerns or objections as "you should take it as a compliment!" reminds me an awful lot to the old "rape as a compliment" rationale.

bastardofmelbourne:
In this case, Comics!Catwoman is (usually) a fully developed character with a complex and shifting set of motives, and not just a sexy thief who occasionally knocks boots with Batman. I've always liked Catwoman as a character, up to and including reading her solo titles whenever I can, and so I don't think her sexualisation is a problem because while her costume does usually emphasise her boobs, I know that the character is more than a set of boobs. This is the case with most sexualised male characters in comics as well; they're sexualised, but not objectified.

As I explained above, just because you don't see it as objectification doesn't mean other people can't disagree. Ironically, objectification is not an objective thing. A woman might point out that the backstory and motivations are window-dressing and that the entire point of the character is her cleavage, skin-tight catsuit and suggestive poses.

bastardofmelbourne:
Now Rocksteady!Catwoman is a bit of a different story. While I don't hold Rocksteady responsible for her outfit because it's just the comics outfit, and blaming them for it is missing the point, they did give her some god-awful writing in that game. She came off as a...well, as a sexy thief who knocks boots with Batman, down to making double entendres while they're being shot at by the Joker, and it was pretty lame. I'll concede that one. I think it was laziness rather than sexism, but I can understand why a Catwoman fan would be upset at the quality of her characterisation in that game. Especially when compared to her characterisation in the animated series and in the Nolan film series, both of which retained the catsuit but had vastly superior writing.

You're missing my point. Sexism is almost never done on purpose. Most sexism happens because of laziness, conformity, peer pressure and/or the avoidance of critical thinking. When Rocksteady made Catwoman, they probably didn't set out to be purposefully sexist, they probably just lifted the design from the comics and didn't think twice. But if you uphold something sexist without thinking twice, you are still an accomplice in its sexism.

Furthermore, no amount of good writing can cover up something sexist. If the Dead or Alive series had been written by George R. R. Martin, it would have still featured the objectification of women.

I want to make something clear: I am not harping on Catwoman in particular. I understand that there are far worse examples (like the aforementioned DoA series), but sexism isn't a single, isolated instance. It's a subtle social ideology that gets taught to children and adults carry it out throughout their lives without thinking twice. Nobody stops and questions why is Catwoman's zipper down? Why must Starfire wear that? Or be in such poses? And because there are so many examples everywhere, nobody thinks there's anything wrong with that. People think it's perfectly normal. And what's worse, we think that if we can somehow "prove" that she there is more to a character than her sexualisation (such as good writing), then she's no longer objectified, and therefore her depiction is acceptable.

I want to make something else clear: I have nothing against fanservice or sexualisation. The problem is when sexualisation is used as a tool to perpetuate sexist notions. When almost every woman is depicted as beautiful and then consequently sexualised, while the men do not get the same treatment, when it is expected for a woman to always look attractive while men can look dirty, wounded, bruised, broken or just plain ugly, when women are put into unfitting/uncomfortable/unsuitable clothes just to please the (straight male) audience, when male armour is rational and female armour is fatally revealing, when female characters are judged primarily by their looks (and secondarily by anything else), when we make excuses for the game industry ("Oh, it's Japan, you know how they are", "Oh, this game doesn't even take itself seriously, so why should you?", "Oh, it's just a juvenile fanservicy game" and so on), when we browbeat and silence any accusation of sexism (and get angry at the accuser for having the GALL of questioning the sanctity of videogames, even though as logical people we should acknowledge that games are made by humans and humans make mistakes, so it's entirely possible that game developers make sexist mistakes, such as the Dead Island: Riptide bust), when all of this happens together, it's extremely hard to justify any case of sexualisation as not being sexist, when sexism is so pervasive in society. And even when the character is made by a woman, it's hard to tell if she is indulging in the perfectly acceptable fantasy of feeling sexy or if she has resigned herself to pandering to the straight male audience as an inevitability.

Saying something isn't sexist is a bit tricky. Most of the time, the background levels of sexism in the environment where the case in point has risen from are enough to influence it towards "yes, it probably is".

So really, shitty writing has more of an impact on the objectification of a female character than her revealing outfit does. The revealing outfit, on its own, is harmless. It's just a signpost saying "this character is sexy!" It's up to you whether that means Catwoman is a character who happens to be sexy, or just a pair of boobs in a catsuit, and it's up to the writer to convince you it's the former rather than the latter.

As I mentioned before, writing has nothing to do with objectification. Particularly when the writer and the artist are two completely different people. The artist may objectify a female character to his heart's content while the writer writes without even seeing what the finished images will look like. And even if they ARE the same person, one does not preclude the other. You can have an artist who loves drawing objectified women but also has a great writing talent, thereby using his plethora of drawings as an excuse to tell a story, or his epic story as an excuse to draw objectified women.

You didn't really have to position him carefully at all...every conversation scene would focus on his chiseled jaw and titantic pectorals, and the wind would take every opportunity to blow his cape aside to reveal calves like Roman columns and buttcheeks made of marble. Batman was sexy.

Hm. I remain unconvinced, if only because I haven't played it myself (and I don't plan on doing so anytime soon), and therefore I cannot really check for myself. But just because people find a character sexy doesn't mean he's sexualised. In order to be so, the character must be put in overly sexualised clothing (either skin-tight or with a lot of skin showing), the character must conform to the general standards of physical attractiveness of the demographic it's aimed at, and the medium (be it written, visual, interactive, etc) must emphasise the character's sexuality and/or sexual attractiveness.

Saying that the female players have to try and make the fanservice come out is a weak point, anyway, since even if it was the case (I don't really think it was in Arkham City) it's obvious why - if they'd panned the camera over Batman's ass, some oversensitive neckbeard would have shouted "Gay!" on the forums, just like what happened when Bioware put in M/M romances. That just strikes me as a PR compromise - obvious fanservice for guys, slightly-less-obvious-but-still-sexy fanservice for the ladies (or guys of the Batman persuasion) so that it doesn't offend the poor, precious heterosexual male gamers.

But I don't really think it applies in Arkham City anyway, because...have you seen those abs? Those abs would turn me gay if they were real.

Yeah, that's pretty much the thing. That oversensitive neckbeard? He's succumbing to the sexist and heteronormative miasma in which he's surrounded, he hasn't been able to rise above it. He's used to being catered to as a straight male and any attempt to change that (nay, any attempt to change the fact that he's being catered to exclusively) will strike him as wrong. It doesn't matter how many studies prove that women and non-straight men are a commercially viable demographic, they don't want to share their games with anybody else. The "less obvious fanservice" is a clear-cut case of sexism. Women aren't being catered to because they don't want to earn the ire of the straight male demographic. Women are not being seen as worthy of equal treatment (this is in itself sexist) because of the potential risk of offending the straight male demographic (and nobody stops to realise that if they take offence at women being worthy of equal treatment, that makes them sexist).

lapan:
I agree that they could have found better ways to keep it over the top in a less sexual way. I however don't think it's just an excuse, rather them wanting to copy DMCs atmosphere but choosing the "wrong" way to do it.

Let me repeat myself again: Most sexism isn't done on purpose. Doing something wrong, inadvertently, being lazy or shallow, wanting to fit in and succumbing to peer pressure, those are very understandable things but are still the main cause of sexism. We don't have to want or intend to be sexist in order to be sexist.

Atmos Duality:

I did not mean to imply that was the ONLY cause, but that claiming sexism isn't a significant force in the gaming industry, when there are few to no prominent female figures in it, is just stupid.

That is not automatic evidence of sexism on its own. Garbage collectors are mostly men too, sexism?

Society: Why aren't there more women in the games industry?
EA: They never apply to work here.

So EA has just come down on the side of gamers. I can't wait to see their heads explode.

I sort of agree with her that sexism might be over-attributed as the cause of few women working in the games industry, but I think it is also difficult for her to make this as a blanket statement for all game companies. EA might not have these sorts of problems, but smaller companies started up by groups of friends or colleagues might be a different story. Also, it doesn't account for the fact that games still are prone to polarizing and sexist images of women where it really isn't necessary or pertinent to the situation. While there are more women into games than ever before, online gaming as a female still isn't always a simple or gratifying experience. And if women are treated like this experiencing games and the companies aren't taking the time to put in simple, known tools to counteract these problems, then of course she's going to assume that's just how the company operates. While it may not be the game companies themselves who are propagating the sexism, by allowing those things to exist in their games it is making a not-so-savory statement about the company as a whole.

People say if women want to be portrayed equally in games they should get into the games industry, but frankly this isn't a problem of sexism. This is a problem of marketing demographics. If companies with millions of dollars at their disposal can't figure out how to portray women in a manner that appeals to women, then clearly they aren't using their resources to their fullest advantage. If you can't get people who are creative and intuitive enough to write decent characters who aren't their gender, then clearly you aren't hiring the right writers. You don't need a woman to write decent female characters, what you need is a decent writer, male or female. "Not enough women" working in games is no excuse for bad writing.

Darken12:
{{Snip}}

And old man Darken12 who runs the haunted amusement park would've gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that darned meddling free market.

Darken12:
holy shit snip

That's a long post. It's late. I'm not quoting all that.

You said a whole lot of shit that paints the issue with a ludicrously broad brush (social miasma? what?) and I think you potholed Shakesville, which explains a lot of why you're so fervently defending a fictional characters's right to not be called attractive.

You know, whatever, fuck it. I'll pick out a couple sentences I thought were weird, say why, and maybe you can explain what you meant. Then I'll come up with a broader response at the end.

It's not a win for women to be sexualised without their opinion or consent.

Whose consent? Catwoman's? She's not real. Do you get the consent of all women in the world? All women who are comic fans? All women the writer knows? What if some women think the sexualisation is acceptable and some don't?

If your issue here was that Catwoman is only ever written by dudes, that's not really true. Female writers and artists are, unfortunately, a minority in the comics industry, but Catwoman has been handled by the highly skilled hands of Gail Simone, amongst others.

And the apparent implications of your statement are disturbing - do you mean guys can't write Catwoman? That they can write her, but they can't make her hot without being implicitly sexist? What about women who draw sexy dudes?? I mean, those are really shitty criteria to use for identifying sexism. You're right that it's difficult to identify objectification in action, but I don't think the proper response is "if women do it, it's OK."

A woman doesn't have to take "you're beautiful" as a compliment. A woman doesn't have to take anything as a compliment if she doesn't agree with it, and thoughtlessly dismissing their concerns or objections as "you should take it as a compliment!" reminds me an awful lot to the old "rape as a compliment" rationale.

I totally agree with all of that, and I'm wondering why that's what you thought I said. I said most people are going to take being called attractive a compliment. Let's face it, they are. They're not required to, God no, everyone's allowed their tastes, but being physically attractive is a desirable quality, like being called intelligent or witty.

I have no idea how you got from that to "rape as a compliment," but you potholed Shakesville, and that gives me a clue.

You're missing my point. Sexism is almost never done on purpose. Most sexism happens because of laziness, conformity, peer pressure and/or the avoidance of critical thinking. When Rocksteady made Catwoman, they probably didn't set out to be purposefully sexist, they probably just lifted the design from the comics and didn't think twice. But if you uphold something sexist without thinking twice, you are still an accomplice in its sexism.

I totally disagree with that. I disagree with that on a fundamental, base, instinctive level. I disagree with that because the logical implication of subconscious sexism is that you can be sexist without knowing or intending to, and that's ridiculous.

That would make a stupid number of people sexist. That would make everyone at Rocksteady sexist because they've upheld something sexist. Everyone at DC would be sexist. Every guy who's bought a Catwoman comic would be sexist, because he's upholding something sexist. Every guy who's bought a comic made by DC would be sexist. That would make the guy who runs the store sexist. The parents who give their kids money to buy the comics would be sexist. The bus driver who drove the kid to the comic store would be sexist. Literally every person causally involved in the generation of revenue from the sale of a comic would be sexist, because we've taken intent out of the equation and then all that matters is whether they're "upholding" sexism.

I think you can offend someone unintentionally, and people are obviously going to disagree over whether something's offensive, and they have the right to. But you can't say that you're an unintentional sexist. I mean, the law draws a distinction between direct and indirect discrimination, but even indirect discrimination doesn't match what you're saying (it has to do with the application of standards that have a discriminatory result.)

Furthermore, no amount of good writing can cover up something sexist. If the Dead or Alive series had been written by George R. R. Martin, it would have still featured the objectification of women.

I disagree with this also. Objectification is, basically, the conceptual reduction of a person to an object. It's thinking of women in terms of walking breasts rather than as people with goals and motives.

Giving characters goals and motives that are believable and which evoke the actions of real people is exactly what good writing does. If the writing is good, the character is never objectified, because they become indistinguishable from a person. If the cast of Dead or Alive had all been three-dimensional characters as nuanced as Jaime Lannister, Dead or Alive wouldn't have been sexist at all, because at no point would it made the sexist implication that its cast were a walking pair of tits playing volleyball for our perverted amusement.

That's what makes Dead or Alive sexist. It's not the bikinis. It's the implication that the sexy women there are just walking tits, not people or even characters that mimic people. If you don't recognise that step, you're not making a distinction between sexualisation and objectification.

I want to make something else clear: I have nothing against fanservice or sexualisation. The problem is when sexualisation is used as a tool to perpetuate sexist notions.

How is this coherent with the above statement?

OK. Now more generally, I noticed a bunch of things about your position I find questionable.

You talk a lot about social conditions as a cause of sexism and a framework in which sexism occurs. I think you used the word "miasma" several times. I acknowledge the effect that social conditions has in the formation of a person's views as they mature, but I don't think that talking about sexism as a miasma rather than in terms of personal prejudice is useful because it removes the individual's decision to be or not be sexist and instead imputes moral blame onto all individuals within the "miasma."

If I live in a sexist miasma, how do I not be sexist? Is it by not acting sexist? How do I know what acting sexist is if I could be subconsciously sexist? Who tells me what is or isn't sexist - are they subconsciously sexist? Who is responsible for the sexist miasma in the first place? What do I do when two people of the discriminated sex profess different opinions over what is or isn't sexist? It all gets rather messy, and I vastly prefer a framework where the intention of the individual is the primary fault element.

I don't think you adequately recognise the distinction between sexualisation and objectification. Maybe you do, but you're not wording it very well. You talk a lot about a character being sexualised and then act as if that automatically amounts to objectification, as if merely being attractive reduces a person to an object whose sole notable quality is being physically attractive.

I don't think that works as a framework. We have to be able to have beautiful people in our creative media without being sexist. I mean, Hollywood goes to ridiculous lengths to make sure its actors are all physically perfect specimens - male or female. The same factors drive comics artists to only draw incredibly buff dudes or incredibly sexy ladies. It's because we like looking at beautiful people. If we're at the point where being attracted to someone is considered objectification and sexist, we're flying head-first through the looking glass and all the way over to Shakesville.

Which leads to my next comment, which is that you seem to immediately discard the effect good or bad writing has on the objectification of a character. Why do this? Objectification is about the reduction of a person to an object, such as a set of abs or a pair of tits. Good writing is about turning characters into pitch-perfect simulations of real people. Good writing is incompatible with sexual objectification.

Case in point: Daniel Craig's shirtless beach scene in Casino Royale is a clear-cut case of sexualisation. But it wasn't objectification because he was the main character in the film, and he was more developed and defined as a character than anyone else there. We weren't seeing him as his rock-hard abs; we were watching James Bond. If he'd been written poorly, he wouldn't have been convincing as a person, and we would have seen him as a set of abs with two big ears running around shirtless and causing explosions.

Jesus fucking Christ, that was a long post. I'm sorry. I don't know why I did that. I think I hate coherent dialogue. I need breakfast.

Atmos Duality:

DarthSka:

My intention wasn't to attempt to supply a reason(s) to this, just to express the idea that most women simply choose not to get the industry.
...
The snark itself was directed at your idea that the only reason many women aren't in the industry is because of sexism and not, you know, free will.

I did not mean to imply that was the ONLY cause, but that claiming sexism isn't a significant force in the gaming industry, when there are few to no prominent female figures in it, is just stupid.

But what if that was not the reason why? I mean its a good question before one jumps to the old adage of "If a girls not there working they must hate women there"

I think its worthy to consider other possibilities.

So escapist new topic what other possibilities are there for women not being all 50 50 to men in the industry.(there are quite a few lady devs I should say including kiki wolfkill of 343 industries as if that wasnt feminist enough??)

Crono1973:

maninahat:
snip

I have already said that society influences everyone. That's just part of living in civilization. My beef is this:

Women dominate many fields, they practically own the education system that boys are failing out of but there is never a big stink about getting more men into fields dominated by women. When it comes to sexism, many people think that it only affects women.

I'd say that by and large women have had the shitter end of the societal stick, but I agree that men are affected by societal influences at least as much. No one should deny that, and nor should they deny that men are victims of sexism and gender stereotyping too. Hell, you can't even become a male nurse or hairdresser without someone assuming you're gay or a pussy. And don't even think about crying, mister.

Sadly, the tendency is for people to only ever bring up male persecution whenever someone starts trying to talk about women issues; these people tend not to actually give that much of a shit about male issues, they just want to use it as a means to stop the feminists from talking about their problems. There is nothing stopping these guys from creating their own threads about male problems (and we sorely need those discussions), and it infuriates me that male issues get reduced to a conversational roadblock for an unrelated discussion about women.

Well, women generally go into lines of work that are accepted as 'being a line of work a woman would choose'. There's the explanation for them being the minority in game design.
Is that sexism?
I'm not a fucking professor here. I can't comment on that.
It's simply the state of society.

rbstewart7263:

But what if that was not the reason why? I mean its a good question before one jumps to the old adage of "If a girls not there working they must hate women there"

I think its worthy to consider other possibilities.

Then go ahead and consider them as well.
Just because you want to consider them doesn't automatically exclude sexism a possibility.
I consider it the strongest possibility, given the strong gender bias.

*shrugs* Occam's Razor.

Edit: Also, I'm not saying it's necesarily "overt" sexism like a big "No Girls Allowed" sign, but indirect sexism as a result of market pressures. Female gamers are comparatively rare, due in part to social pressures for them to be more passive and less directly competitive.

It's a shot in the dark, but "tradition" is a strong social force that has enabled and enforced sexism in most society for centuries.

So escapist new topic what other possibilities are there for women not being all 50 50 to men in the industry.(there are quite a few lady devs I should say including kiki wolfkill of 343 industries as if that wasnt feminist enough??)

*slow clap*
Congratulations, you've found an outlier.

bastardofmelbourne:
I-hope-you-had-a-good-breakfast snip.

Sorry for barging in here, but I think I understand what the issue is and would like to attempt to explain.

I feel like the idea Darken12 is going for is less of a "You are perpetuating sexist ideals and are a bad person!" and more of a "sexist ideals are what is normal. To have non-sexist ideals, you have to look at society through a different lens." You said

That would make a stupid number of people sexist. That would make everyone at Rocksteady sexist because they've upheld something sexist. Everyone at DC would be sexist. Every guy who's bought a Catwoman comic would be sexist, because he's upholding something sexist. Every guy who's bought a comic made by DC would be sexist. That would make the guy who runs the store sexist. The parents who give their kids money to buy the comics would be sexist. The bus driver who drove the kid to the comic store would be sexist. Literally every person causally involved in the generation of revenue from the sale of a comic would be sexist, because we've taken intent out of the equation and then all that matters is whether they're "upholding" sexism.

and, well, kinda yeah. They aren't sexist in the "I am actively trying to diminish the status of women!" sense, but they are perpetuating the idea of "normal." I feel like there's a big issue with how we view the word "sexist" (as more of a dirty insult than an observation) too, but that's a later discussion.

Well, ok, it's not, I lied. Sexist has some really ugly connotations to it in modern society. It gets tossed in a news report and played out like "X company made a sexist movie/TV show/comic/game/advertising campaign/I could really go on forever/etc. They are now the Bad Guy. But you, viewers, didn't like them anyway/they did something so blatantly bad it's hard NOT to see them as the bad guy." This leads people to associate the word with blatant misogyny and other really overt things. But the sexism Darken12 is talking about isn't obvious. It's been built over ages and has resulted in what we call "normal." Ever notice that when a man is seen as womanly it's usually negative, but when a woman is seen as manly it's sometimes ok, or even desirable? Yeah, there's the whole "women as too manly are always bad" parts, but this stuff isn't really easily defined. But the idea that masculine is better than feminine, and thus men should be manly and women should be womanly, because they can be only so manly before it gets weird, is the kind of sexism I think he's going for.

Now, to be really fair here, I don't think saying "inadvertent sexism (there ought be a term for this, since 'sexism' carries a lot of weight) is bad, and you should feel bad all the time about it" is constructive. It's more like... working on a personality trait after someone mentions it to you. Maybe you have a bad habit of finishing other people's sentences, and they don't like it. If you want to change, first you have to realize when you do it. Maybe your friends are willing to help you by pointing it out in a friendly manner (so, for a sexism analogue, reading feminist material could help, or finding someone friendly to help you understand it. I took a class in college, honestly). Then you start catching yourself doing it. Maybe you do it, realize it, and apologize. After awhile, you're letting others finish their sentences without even realizing it. But none of this is overnight/immediate/instant, and you're not a bad person for having the habit to begin with.

And opinions vary on sexism issues as well as with finishing other people's sentences. To keep with my horrible metaphor, maybe it's a sign of intelligence and wit in your family, but not with your friends. There are a lot different thoughts on whether or not "rape culture" is a thing, and what even describes it. Honestly, I can see the points of both sides and agree with parts that make sense to me. The whole idea is not to place blame (although some people do that and it's really irritating), but rather to point out something that, if looked at outside of the current definition of "normal," could be considered objectifying and degrading. At the end of the day: everyone is a little bit sexist/racist/etc. We're all not perfect. We've all got something to work on. The hardest part is realizing that and doing something about it, whether it's finishing other people's sentences or perpetuating the sexism of today.

Sorry if I'm not being very clear, this is one of those grey areas that can be hard to explain (and I am not very good at explaining things in general).

Andy Chalk:
Toledano acknowledged that sexism is an issue but claimed that it's no worse in the videogame industry than anywhere else. Instead, she said that a lot of women are reluctant to identify as gamers, which naturally precludes any thoughts about pursuing a career in game development, and that while the industry "needs and wants more women," there just aren't enough of them to hire.

huh, i wonder why women are reluctant to identify as gamers. could it be something to dow tih widespread harassment and the game industry trying to sell them their own dismembered torsos?

Atmos Duality:
Then go ahead and consider them as well.
Just because you want to consider them doesn't automatically exclude sexism a possibility.
I consider it the strongest possibility, given the strong gender bias.

From reading the abject horror stories that are unearthed for the The Trenches editorial confessional the strongest possibility I can think of is that the working conditions are harsh, exploitative and brutal for what amounts to an office job. The industry is under no pressure to improve working conditions. It's a tough luck economy out there, and every developer is snowed under by job applications sent in by bright-eyed, bushy tailed dream chasers looking to net their dream job. Most of which will end up being ground down at both ends and spat out by an industry that thinks that it is normal acceptable business practice to lean on employees for unpaid overtime whenever and wherever they can get away with it.

You want the sexist reason for the lack of women in the gaming industry? How about when the going gets tough, the women get going. Going job hunting for a less demanding and more rewarding job than the majority of video game industry positions.

Lilani:

People say if women want to be portrayed equally in games they should get into the games industry, but frankly this isn't a problem of sexism. This is a problem of marketing demographics. If companies with millions of dollars at their disposal can't figure out how to portray women in a manner that appeals to women, then clearly they aren't using their resources to their fullest advantage. If you can't get people who are creative and intuitive enough to write decent characters who aren't their gender, then clearly you aren't hiring the right writers. You don't need a woman to write decent female characters, what you need is a decent writer, male or female. "Not enough women" working in games is no excuse for bad writing.

How is a failure to portray women in ways that appeal to them anything but a problem of sexism?

You have a point about writers, but women do have something of an advantage in writing realistic female characters (having lived as one) and they are also better situated to evaluate who is or isn't capable of writing them decently.

Atmos Duality:

rbstewart7263:

But what if that was not the reason why? I mean its a good question before one jumps to the old adage of "If a girls not there working they must hate women there"

I think its worthy to consider other possibilities.

Then go ahead and consider them as well.
Just because you want to consider them doesn't automatically exclude sexism a possibility.
I consider it the strongest possibility, given the strong gender bias.

*shrugs* Occam's Razor.

Edit: Also, I'm not saying it's necesarily "overt" sexism like a big "No Girls Allowed" sign, but indirect sexism as a result of market pressures. Female gamers are comparatively rare, due in part to social pressures for them to be more passive and less directly competitive.

It's a shot in the dark, but "tradition" is a strong social force that has enabled and enforced sexism in most society for centuries.

So escapist new topic what other possibilities are there for women not being all 50 50 to men in the industry.(there are quite a few lady devs I should say including kiki wolfkill of 343 industries as if that wasnt feminist enough??)

*slow clap*
Congratulations, you've found an outlier.

But have we asked these women? what if they just really dont give a fuck I mean we are not the unique snowflake of hobbyists that we think we are. Isnt it by itself insulting to the female psyche to say that the big ole meano society is telling them to conform and lo there they go not playing games until we say its ok?

We have women that do play videogames alot of women. hell the number is 50/50 in terms of gamers. I mean this hobby is just now starting to grow up We just started this conversation like practically speaking THIS YEAR. Back in the snes days games were thought of more as toys for little boys. Extensions of there will to be heros nad football players. We are only what 3 console gens ahead of that so we are just now breaking out into something more.

Dont get me wrong I expect nothing more but for this medium to expand itself but for me to patronize the industry for not doing it in less time than what it takes for your typical triple A to be developed.(The amount of time for said inclusive nonoffensive games to be made not including indie) And to also patronize women in the process because of some "numbers as validation" thought process? count me out sir.

chadachada123:

Side note: Many people (outside the industry) still think that the comic book industry is sexist, that conditions are nastier for women writers/artists, but at least several females actually in the industry have noted that it just isn't the case; that, while women are rare in the industry, they are not treated differently there. I can provide a source if requested, but it will take some digging. I imagine there's similar things at work for the video game industry.

Just as a point, the comic industry DOES still have it bad, because they rally to defend idiotic remarks like that idiot author a few months that basically called female geeks "frauds and whores."

While I agree with the article that sexism isn't really the case, there is more going on. I had once considered going into game development when my brother went back to school for his BA. But then I looked at the courses he had to take, and my brain just doesn't work like his. I can't handle the high level math required to get a degree in the field, despite the fact I wouldn't even want to go into a programming level. Which as it stands right now, you seem to need one of three things to get a foot in the door:
1) A high level programming degree, to show you can at least do grunt work.
2) Already proven yourself on a project. (Much like Kim Swift had to do with Narbacular Drop/Portal)
3) Someone with an inside path, a friend in the industry to get you started in your field.

That's why I ditched the path, because I can't wrap my head around programming past basic stuff like HTML, and don't even know where else I could begin. Instead I went into acting, which has pretty much already ended for me. =(

Being that she is part of the business side of the company i can't really take her words seriously, her job is money not creation of entertainment/art.
That being said i believe any sexism in this industry is on the part of individuals not an 'aura' of understanding hanging around entire buildings of people, but that's the same with any company or group or sport.

Crono1973:

BreakfastMan:
Why do so many people ignore the societal elements of sexism? Seriously, why? Is that something that just goes straight over everyone's head? Society and gender roles push women towards more "caring" and "service" careers (like nursing, teaching, and waiting) while it pushes men towards more "technical" and "production" careers (like accounting, construction, and engineering). This is bad and needs to change. Is that so hard to understand? :\

It's easy to understand but most people think that sexism only applies to women and I object to those people. No one screams sexism when women dominate teaching or nursing because that wouldn't be PC.

I do. They are part of the same problem.

Based on my personal observations, there is cultural pressure for girls to go to less mathematical fields, and for boys to go for more technical fields. In high school, there were far more boys who chose the mathematical courses, not because they were better, but because they chose it even if they weren't as good at math, because their friends took those courses, while girls who were mediocre shied away from them.

I've always loved math, but as a girl I always faced accusations that I must have been cheating, or that I must have just been working hard to please the teachers, when I was just naturally good at math, and never had to work for it. (And that I was never challenged came to bite me later in life.)

I have always liked video-games, but never even thought of it as a career as a kid, not because I was a girl, but because I thought you needed to be Japanese to get into the industry...

Catrixa:
They aren't sexist in the "I am actively trying to diminish the status of women!" sense, but they are perpetuating the idea of "normal."

Exactly. the view that being male is the 'normal' state of human existence is do deeply engraved to our culture people just don't notice it.

This isn't even a case like with homosexuality where it can be argued that it's a minority, about half of people are women!

m19:

Atmos Duality:

I did not mean to imply that was the ONLY cause, but that claiming sexism isn't a significant force in the gaming industry, when there are few to no prominent female figures in it, is just stupid.

That is not automatic evidence of sexism on its own. Garbage collectors are mostly men too, sexism?

Well, duh, obviously. It's not like you need a penis to drive a garbage truck, so there is no biological reason why there would not be 50/50 male and female garbage collectors.

EDIT: Historically, you probably needed strength for the job so it made sense the field was male-dominated. But these days with the advances of technology, women can do the job just as well.

cobra_ky:
How is a failure to portray women in ways that appeal to them anything but a problem of sexism?

Because I'm a writer and I know how tricky it is to write characters you have little in common with. What gender a writer is and how familiar they are with the opposite sex isn't their fault. And nor does it make them sexist if they have trouble understanding what women like to see in other women.

Some writers just can't get their head around the opposite sex very well. They can write the characters they need to get by, but usually they'll just write things that play to their strengths. Writing is a lot like acting in that you have to be able to get your head into the character's head, and if you can't do that for certain types of characters then they just aren't in your repertoire. Just because I can't get my head around the culture of urban black gangs and what it's like to live in that situation doesn't make me racist, it just means I have too little experience in that area to be able to successfully portray that world and the conflicts that arise in it.

But again, it's just a matter of finding the writers who can do this, and who are interested in doing it. It's very easy to find experienced male writers in the industry who have little experience in writing well-rounded females, just because the entertainment industry is still shaped to appeal to a mostly male audience. It is rarely asked of them. And that's where the deep pockets of a company like EA come in handy--digging out those writers that are skilled in writing many types of characters, and avoiding those old formulas of storytelling and character development that address females only in passing.

You have a point about writers, but women do have something of an advantage in writing realistic female characters (having lived as one) and they are also better situated to evaluate who is or isn't capable of writing them decently.

Yes they do have an advantage, and I never said avoid female writers. But there are some who would go so far as to claim that only female writers can write female characters properly, which is just ignorant. And, believe it or not, there are female writers who aren't good at writing female characters, at least ones that are unlike them. They have two modes for writing women: idealized version of the author, and stereotypes of other females they've encountered in life. And this problem can occur in men, as well.

All I'm saying is good writing isn't about things you have in common with. Writing is being able to learn about and understand things you both do and don't have things in common with, and reflecting that understanding back onto the page.

cobra_ky:
huh, i wonder why women are reluctant to identify as gamers. could it be something to dow tih widespread harassment and the game industry trying to sell them their own dismembered torsos?

If that argument floats, men would be extremely reluctant to be gamers. Men in videogames tend to be bodybuilding gods on steroids, each with a stereotypical build that's not so common. It's a highly unrealistic and patronizing image.

So men wouldn't get into games, right? But they do, so something about that explanation of 'unrealistic image = doesn't want to game' must be wrong.

I agree that video game studios aren't particularly sexist, at least not in their hiring practices compared to anywhere else. It's more of the casual sexism that's pervasive in games and the exclusiveness of games that makes girls feel that many games "aren't for them" that pushes them away from developing an interest in them in the first place. When I was a kid, it seemed like nobody cared who played games, and almost all the girls I knew (which was pretty much everyone I knew) played them. Very few of them still do, and it was as we got older that I started hearing about how games are for guys and it's weird if you play them.

Then again, Mario is probably a bit more welcoming than Marcus Fenix. I'd say that it's more in the AAA studios where women are less common. A lot of females in the game industry get into more casual games for that reason. AAA games are shifting farther away from targeting the female market over the years, and it has caused a cycle which, in the end, leads to less women wanting to be involved in those games.

Blablahb:

cobra_ky:
huh, i wonder why women are reluctant to identify as gamers. could it be something to dow tih widespread harassment and the game industry trying to sell them their own dismembered torsos?

If that argument floats, men would be extremely reluctant to be gamers. Men in videogames tend to be bodybuilding gods on steroids, each with a stereotypical build that's not so common. It's a highly unrealistic and patronizing image.

So men wouldn't get into games, right? But they do, so something about that explanation of 'unrealistic image = doesn't want to game' must be wrong.

Actually the way I see it in our current society it is rather bipolar when it comes to image and men and women.

You show a boy a toy of some powerful male character and they will strive through their imagination to BE that person and try and adopt what that child thinks that character is because it is what they can do.

You show a girl a toy of some powerful female character and they fell inferior to that character and all the looks and characteristics and things they have that the girl does not.

It is rather odd how you have what is a driving force for a male be a wall for a female.

As for Chem, I'm really fucking shocked at how terrible an argument you have for being in the video game industry. But then again the trend continues that I notice. When it comes to dealing with sexism and game development instead of seeing said sexism as a tool to make a more dynamic world(mario must be very sexist by your logic of casual sexism in games) everything that would make games an art would basically be sucked out and we would all be left playing the tycoon series. Casual sexism is a joke of an argument. The only sexism you should EVER be worried about is the personal kind in your real life. Because I can go down to my local library and find thousands of books written by women and are VERY popular because they are full of sexism. It's part of the territory of a writer(MUCH LIKE AN ARTIST LIKE YOURSELF) to write creative situations that either challenge or simply create a new society or world with different social norms and that is what makes ART like in books, drawings, movies and video games interesting. Hell if it was up to you and your standards that you espouse here no one would be interested in video games because it would all reflect our boring reality. Sorry but I want to enjoy sexism in games. Worlds where I save a helpless princess, or a rape victim, or a butch female who views men as a lesser being are just more interesting than having everyone get along where no one has any conflict and tries to be nice to each other.

Also, it is also hypocritical that you are a woman and you say despite having a career in the video game industry that girls are pushed away. I'm sorry but that is just as much bullshit as Paul Ryan criticizing the president's inaugural address about food stamps and social security that it made people lazy when Paul Ryan himself growing up and stated himself that he was able to pursue more opportunities because of the same programs.

What's this? Someone saying we should combat sexism by being proactive, instead of begging the government to change everything?

Why don't you take your reason and sanity and get the fuck off of Earth. We don't like your kind here.

Lilani:

cobra_ky:
How is a failure to portray women in ways that appeal to them anything but a problem of sexism?

Because I'm a writer and I know how tricky it is to write characters you have little in common with. What gender a writer is and how familiar they are with the opposite sex isn't their fault. And nor does it make them sexist if they have trouble understanding what women like to see in other women.

Some writers just can't get their head around the opposite sex very well. They can write the characters they need to get by, but usually they'll just write things that play to their strengths. Writing is a lot like acting in that you have to be able to get your head into the character's head, and if you can't do that for certain types of characters then they just aren't in your repertoire. Just because I can't get my head around the culture of urban black gangs and what it's like to live in that situation doesn't make me racist, it just means I have too little experience in that area to be able to successfully portray that world and the conflicts that arise in it.

But again, it's just a matter of finding the writers who can do this, and who are interested in doing it. It's very easy to find experienced male writers in the industry who have little experience in writing well-rounded females, just because the entertainment industry is still shaped to appeal to a mostly male audience. It is rarely asked of them. And that's where the deep pockets of a company like EA come in handy--digging out those writers that are skilled in writing many types of characters, and avoiding those old formulas of storytelling and character development that address females only in passing.

i don't think we're disagreeing here actually. You're absolutely correct about individual writers, and whether or not a given writer can write a particular type of character convincingly isn't really a concern for me.

but as you said, the entertainment industry, as a whole, is still shaped to appeal to a predominantly male audience. That's a problem of institutional sexism, and that's what i was referring to.

Lilani:

You have a point about writers, but women do have something of an advantage in writing realistic female characters (having lived as one) and they are also better situated to evaluate who is or isn't capable of writing them decently.

Yes they do have an advantage, and I never said avoid female writers. But there are some who would go so far as to claim that only female writers can write female characters properly, which is just ignorant. And, believe it or not, there are female writers who aren't good at writing female characters, at least ones that are unlike them. They have two modes for writing women: idealized version of the author, and stereotypes of other females they've encountered in life. And this problem can occur in men, as well.

All I'm saying is good writing isn't about things you have in common with. Writing is being able to learn about and understand things you both do and don't have things in common with, and reflecting that understanding back onto the page.

Ah. i wasn't aware of anyone arguing that men could never write good female characters. That's inane. All i was saying is that women have a slight advantage in having lived experience as a woman when approaching female characters. I can't write urban black youth because i never had much opportunity to learn about them, whereas someone who grew up in that community would have had to learn just to navigate basic social situations. They may or may not be a good writer, but all other things being equal, that's an advantage they'd have over me.

Also, it's not just about the writers here, it's about the managers making the decisions, those managers are mostly men, and know from experience how to make games that appeal to men; they know less about appealing to women. they need to learn to recognize what appeals to women before they can hire the people who are best at it.

i guess the tl;dr version is: it's not that just hiring more women will solve the problem of female representation, it's that solving the problem will result in more women entering the industry and getting hired.

Blablahb:

cobra_ky:
huh, i wonder why women are reluctant to identify as gamers. could it be something to dow tih widespread harassment and the game industry trying to sell them their own dismembered torsos?

If that argument floats, men would be extremely reluctant to be gamers. Men in videogames tend to be bodybuilding gods on steroids, each with a stereotypical build that's not so common. It's a highly unrealistic and patronizing image.

So men wouldn't get into games, right? But they do, so something about that explanation of 'unrealistic image = doesn't want to game' must be wrong.

I'm not sure what any of that has to do with my argument, actually. Musclebound action heroes are appealing to men, the cultural ideal for men is to be the strongest and toughest. Sexy zombie torsos are also appealing to men, because men generally like violence and also titties. Women certainly don't fantasize about being dismembered torsos, or being harassed online, either. "unrealistic and patronizing" images have very little to do with it, really.

Tenmar:
As for Chem, I'm really fucking shocked at how terrible an argument you have for being in the video game industry. But then again the trend continues that I notice. When it comes to dealing with sexism and game development instead of seeing said sexism as a tool to make a more dynamic world(mario must be very sexist by your logic of casual sexism in games) everything that would make games an art would basically be sucked out and we would all be left playing the tycoon series. Casual sexism is a joke of an argument. The only sexism you should EVER be worried about is the personal kind in your real life. Because I can go down to my local library and find thousands of books written by women and are VERY popular because they are full of sexism. It's part of the territory of a writer(MUCH LIKE AN ARTIST LIKE YOURSELF) to write creative situations that either challenge or simply create a new society or world with different social norms and that is what makes ART like in books, drawings, movies and video games interesting. Hell if it was up to you and your standards that you espouse here no one would be interested in video games because it would all reflect our boring reality. Sorry but I want to enjoy sexism in games. Worlds where I save a helpless princess, or a rape victim, or a butch female who views men as a lesser being are just more interesting than having everyone get along where no one has any conflict and tries to be nice to each other.

I'm not sure you understand Chem's argument. She said Mario games were more welcoming to women, and it's today's AAA titles that drive them off with casual sexism.

Tenmar:
Also, it is also hypocritical that you are a woman and you say despite having a career in the video game industry that girls are pushed away. I'm sorry but that is just as much bullshit as Paul Ryan criticizing the president's inaugural address about food stamps and social security that it made people lazy when Paul Ryan himself growing up and stated himself that he was able to pursue more opportunities because of the same programs.

Just because one particular woman managed to achieve a career in the game industry, doesn't mean that lots of other women weren't dissuaded or that men in general don't have an advantage over women. By your logic, the only way we could say the game industry discriminates against women is if there were absolutely none working there.

[font][font]Tenmar[/font][/font]:

Blablahb:

cobra_ky:
huh, i wonder why women are reluctant to identify as gamers. could it be something to dow tih widespread harassment and the game industry trying to sell them their own dismembered torsos?

If that argument floats, men would be extremely reluctant to be gamers. Men in videogames tend to be bodybuilding gods on steroids, each with a stereotypical build that's not so common. It's a highly unrealistic and patronizing image.

So men wouldn't get into games, right? But they do, so something about that explanation of 'unrealistic image = doesn't want to game' must be wrong.

Actually the way I see it in our current society it is rather bipolar when it comes to image and men and women.

You show a boy a toy of some powerful male character and they will strive through their imagination to BE that person and try and adopt what that child thinks that character is because it is what they can do.

You show a girl a toy of some powerful female character and they fell inferior to that character and all the looks and characteristics and things they have that the girl does not.

I'm interested to know where you got this idea from, it seems very strange to me. Was the power of this female character based on her physical appearance? How old were these girls? It was not very long ago when beauty was supposed to be a woman's strongest power, and society has yet to shake off all those old preconceptions. Girls, especially teenagers, understand that it's important to be considered beautiful. Thus it's a source of anxiety for woman at one time or another in their lives. The toy comparison is probably a reflection of the uncertainty a young girl might about her appearence, but I wouldn't expect to see that in a prepubescent girl. I certainly didn't a problem imagining myself with godlike powers as a child.

I guess I'll throw out my opinion: Society exerts a huge amount of influence on everybody, male or female. Gender roles have always been a HUGE part of society since the dawn of humanity. We all understand what makes something masculine or feminine in our society without even trying hard. Again, without thinking very hard about it, people will gravitate toward things that are associated with their gender. This is a very subtle gravitational pull that can be overridden by a whole host of other things, but it exists and it is influential.
Triple AAA Gaming has 'This thing is for boys' written in huge letters across all genres. The gun fights, space marines, blood splatter, grizzly stoic guys with an axe to grind and girls who look like pinup models are all indicators of their true nature. These games are made for guys, their look and feel is entirely masculine. Some women avidly play these games, but they are in the minority. Most women won't get into hardcore gaming because of that 'thing is for boys' discouragement right from the start. So, the womenless cycle of gamer and developer continues into infinity.

Also, a shout out to Darkman12 and Gethsemani for making this thread a really interesting read.

rbstewart7263:

How is a failure to portray women in ways that appeal to them anything but a problem of sexism?

Because failure does not equal malicious intent. Sexism is an act of discrimination.

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