Saints Row Writer Accepts Anita Sarkeesian's Critique of His Games

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Saints Row Writer Accepts Anita Sarkeesian's Critique of His Games

Saints row IV screen

Steve Jaros from Volition said he thinks Saints Row has gotten better in representing women over the course of the series.

There is a lot of talk these days about how women are portrayed in video games. The video series Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games by Anita Sarkeesian has shown through many examples how patterns exist in today's games which continue the cycle of portraying women as objects to be gained or, perhaps worse, as sexy, gritty background. The latest episode Sarkeesian's series sparked support from gaming leaders such as Tim Schafer from Double Fine. In discussing the latest Saints Row announcements with Steve Jaros, Creative Director at Volition, I asked him how he thought his games portrayed female characters considering that the original Saints Row was one of the games used as an example in Sarkeesian's latest episode about women used as background objects in games. Jaros said that he thinks they've been doing a better job with each sequel, but admitted there may have been some missteps earlier in the series.

"I actually tweeted out the link to the video yesterday about women as background objects and said that every game developer should watch this and sometimes is guilty of it," he said. "I think that [Sarkeesian's] right in that case."

He affirmed that the way women are portrayed in the medium could be improved. "I think that it is a problem in the games industry. I think that we shouldn't be portraying senseless abused women and I think that if I could go back and hop in a time machine I would have done things differently. But there's also some things I didn't any control over and also I think that people's consciousness grew." Jaros mentioned that the first Saints Row came out in 2006, and the awareness of these kinds of issues has grown remarkably in the last 8 years.

In the games he could influence at his studio, Jaros said that he believes Volition has done a decent job at being aware of how women are shown in their games. "I think that there's some things Saints Row does better than other games, and I think that there are other things that we could have done better," Jaros continued. "I think that every time that we've done a Saints Row game we've gotten better at it. I think that we always wanted to make sure we do things with fairness, but we've gotten better at it as time goes on."

He pointed to a few recent examples of small ways he has tried to portray women in a more positive light. "It's very minor but it means something to me. We never call a woman a 'ho' in Saints Row 4, we call them sex workers. We respect that that's their position and we don't take a cheap shot at them for that. It's a minor thing, but it's something ... It's the right thing to do."

Jaros also believes that the way major speaking characters are dressed is important, and that the team struggled with how best to represent them. "There's a reason that none of the Saints Row characters ever get naked, it's a conscious choice," he said. "Viola and Kiki are sex workers in Saints Row 3, but they are the most covered up characters. They're wearing turtlenecks, leggings and a skirt over leggings. They don't show an inch of skin, and it was by design, because we didn't want to sexually objectify them."

Even in the more sci-fi Saints Row IV, Jaros debated how best to show Kinzie Kensington's powerful self in the virtual reality simulation of the game. "A great debate that happened in the studio," he said. "In Saints Row 4 she gets her superhero Matrix-ey outfit, [and we argued] about whether that was too provocative for Kinzie. 'Is this the right expression of the character? Is this fair? Do we think this is right?'"

Jaros does not dodge that earlier Saints Row games definitely showed a large amount of violence against women - the Brotherhood storyline in Saints Row 2 is a particularly memorable example. He accepts the criticism with aplomb that many of Sarkeesian's detractors could emulate.

"I think it's fair to be called out on your shit," he said. "I think that it's a sad man that can never be self-reflective. I think that we tried to go and carry ourselves with respect, and try to respect sexuality and respect gender as much as we can, and sometimes we fail but hopefully we'll do better and continue to get better."

I think that's all anyone can ask.

For more insight in how Saints Row has developed and changed over the course over the series, not to mention the weird wacky stuff in store in the newly announced standalone expansion Gat Out of Hell, check out the full interview with Steve Jaros here.

Permalink

Oh gawd, don't give her attention, guys. Granted that I haven't seen her latest video, but if it's anything like her other videos, it's filled with half-truths, lies, and blatant exaggerations that all ignore any detail of a game that might contradict her opinion. The LAST thing we need is for developers to start acting like she knows what she's talking about.

To be honest, the title is about as clickbait as clickbait can get :P The only thing he accepted was that she's right about the overall message her video's have. So, he figured out on his own that he needed to balance things out. (cuz Anita never once says this) I especially liked this part: "In Saints Row 4 she gets her superhero Matrix-ey outfit, [and we argued] about whether that was too provocative for Kinzie. 'Is this the right expression of the character? Is this fair? Do we think this is right?'" That is the best thing about this entire article. It ups my respect for this company by a thousand.

this is what devs have to do, not pander to men or women but rather go "does this character get more interesting if he has a 20 pack or does she get more interesting if we make her slutty?, nope now lets make them interesting without sex appeal"

Please, dont do this. I know she's a hot topic right now, but dont give her attention that she does not deserve. Her series have been nothing but disappointment, misinformation and a collection of lies. Her points are always flawed in some way, she often reaches so far and so deep, that it does not make any sense, and she misconstrues every single game element that has to do with women. Her Hitman example was especially jarring. She just doesnt know what she's talking about. You want more of a breakdown of her vids, look up people on youtube like Thunderfoot.

What's the point of Saints Row becoming non offensive? I mean they had a whole damn campaign about it, it's what saved the damn series you can be ANYTHING in the game who cares what else happens in it?

Good. Self-reflection is always important, and sometimes you need some outside help to stimulate it. Whatever the content of her videos may be, she helped them make a better game and be better game developers. That's a win right there.

PDugna:
What's the point of Saints Row becoming non offensive? I mean they had a whole damn campaign about it, it's what saved the damn series you can be ANYTHING in the game who cares what else happens in it?

There's a fine line between being offensive and insulting. Hookers can be called Ho's or Bitches by characters, for example, but not be the game. There needs to be a balance, and this article is them saying that they're working on it.

PDugna:
What's the point of Saints Row becoming non offensive? I mean they had a whole damn campaign about it, it's what saved the damn series you can be ANYTHING in the game who cares what else happens in it?

Lol I @$%&ing love this idea. "It NEEDS to be offensive! People NEED to feel hurt for me to enjoy this game and for it to make money!"

Saints Row became successful because it tried to be fun. And people like having fun. It lets you run around beating people in the head with a giant purple dick, because that's nasty and a lot of people have fun with nasty things.

But you... You specifically want it to be offensive to women? You say there's no point in the series if it isn't? Holy CRAP man...

God, I love Saints Row.

Also, this article made me actually give a Tropes Vs. Women a watch. I'd been ignoring it because people say such rotten things about it, but the episode that Tim linked to was... Really fucking great, actually. It's stuff I've been saying for years. Not sure where the comments of "LLLLIIIIIIIEEEEEESSSSS" at the bottom of the video come from. She's sort of just stating facts and espousing some BASIC feminism. It's like "baby's first sociology class."

I guess the rest of her videos are horrible and full of misrepresentations and lies. Either that or every ounce of backlash against her has been from people who are so horrible they can't even listen to basic feminist reasoning without reverting to knee jerk hatred and... And...

*begins tying noose and weeping*

ShirowShirow:

PDugna:
What's the point of Saints Row becoming non offensive? I mean they had a whole damn campaign about it, it's what saved the damn series you can be ANYTHING in the game who cares what else happens in it?

Lol I @$%&ing love this idea. "It NEEDS to be offensive! People NEED to feel hurt for me to enjoy this game and for it to make money!"

Saints Row became successful because it tried to be fun. And people like having fun. It lets you run around beating people in the head with a giant purple dick, because that's nasty and a lot of people have fun with nasty things.

But you... You specifically want it to be offensive to women? You say there's no point in the series if it isn't? Holy CRAP man...

No but the whole point of Saint's Row is shock crude humor and has been for quite some time. Complaining about crude humor is yelling at a brick wall and expecting a response back. I've seen plenty of people both men AND women play the game and all around accept everything that happens in it to be a joke. That's why the campaign had a super powered president role with a dildo bat and a dubstep gun.

I wonder how many people saw the title and didn't bother reading anything else.

Judging by the comment thread here, I'd wager it's quite a few.

WhiteTigerShiro:
Oh gawd, don't give her attention, guys. Granted that I haven't seen her latest video, but if it's anything like her other videos, it's filled with half-truths, lies, and blatant exaggerations that all ignore any detail of a game that might contradict her opinion. The LAST thing we need is for developers to start acting like she knows what she's talking about.

This a thousand times. That woman's videos are SO POOR, so weak I can't believe people waste time with them. Her research is laughable.

So many people working so hard out there, it's painful to see this hack getting so much attention.

Sylocat:
I wonder how many people saw the title and didn't bother reading anything else.

Judging by the comment thread here, I'd wager it's quite a few.

Well of course! It's filthy Social Justice Warrior clickbait pandering! We can't be arsed to actually know what we're talking about before we talk about it! XD

In any case, personally I agree with the spiel at the end. But I can ALSO be disappointed that we're not learning and growing faster.

Hi, my name is Jack Thompson and I'd like to say that video games desensitises people from violence and turns them into serial killers.

Hi, my name is Anita Sarkeesian and I'd like to say that video games desensitises people from mysoginy and turns them into rapists.

Yeah................... Congratulations on that GDC award by the way....

I'd like to see more frank discussions with developers like this on this site. I know this is only here because it coincides with an interview where they can plug the new expansion, but stuff like this is really interesting nonetheless.

Harry Mason:
*snip*

For what its worth, I would say her most recent VTvW video has been, by far, her best one. There's flaws in her other ones, and in the first "Women as Background Decorations" there's a fairly poor misrepresentation of Hitman Absolution[1], but besides that, it think people are really exaggerating how bad it is. quite frankly, I think the greatest weakness in her videos is that they are extremely dry and humourless. They also lack subversions of the trope, which would be a great addition to the videos.

[1] Not that the game doesn't do a lot of questionable, and quite frankly, indefensible stuff in it: http://lizedwardsart.tumblr.com/post/43226499697/hitman-absolution

Sylocat:
I wonder how many people saw the title and didn't bother reading anything else.

Judging by the comment thread here, I'd wager it's quite a few.

Which is why some people used the term "click bait". While click bait, at least in the way I understand it, can, and often does have valid points, it is a description designed to get attention, and sometimes the immediate responses are just done as a reaction to the title alone.

As it sounds by the nature of the article, the writer has actively chosen to work on portraying women better already, and admits that he felt earlier portrayals of women in his games were potentially not in the best taste.

On the other hand, respecting sexuality, and trying to ease up on violence against women in games, has it's own subset of problems.

If I take a shirtless female character, and a shirtless male character, and put them both in a game, have I not indeed made an equal male and female character? They both serve nothing more then to be a shirtless male character, and a shirtless female character, but people would say "No! They are not equal! You are sexualizing the female character!" Even though the truth is far removed from the reality. It is because society sexualizes the female body, and not the male body, that makes it unequal in the eyes of the people, as opposed to the reverse being true.

In an ideal world the naked upper body of a man would be considered just as sexy as the naked upper body of a women, but instead society has decided to sexualize women so much that this is simply not a reality.

The same thing can be said about violence against women as far as equality goes, the mere act of violence against women is bad, not because there is not violence against men, in much higher quantities I might add, but rather because society takes such offense to violence against women that the mere idea of violence being portrayed against women is considered reprehensible.

Let us take Telltales the Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 3. Spoilers

A female loner/survivalist character at the tail end of the episode literally shoots a mans dick off. How do we know this? The man is shouting this while he writhes on the ground in agony, just before a group of zombies comes in to consume him.

Now let's bear in mind that an equally bad amount of things has happened to both genders in so far as what occurs in this game, and there is a fair amount of representation of women and men alike throughout. Including death, suicides, loss of friends and family.

Men on the other hand, throughout the game have been made to suffer, I mean literally suffer physical agony. This is included, but not limited to loss of limbs, being shot in places that do not kill someone, one man was left alive to be literal meals for a group of cannibal humans in season 1 while being forced to stay alive after having both his legs removed. And as the aforementioned guy who had his dick shot off, by a woman.

I can't recall a female character having lost a limb and made to suffer through it outside of a single female character at the end of Season 2: Episode 3 where you as Clementine have the option to remove her arm in an effort to save her life after being bitten by a walker, and she sadly dies immediately afterwards being swarmed by zombies.

Now I am not here to bash Telltales Walking Dead, on the contrary, I believe what was done to the male characters was completely inadvertent, we are simply more accustomed to men being tortured and maimed that it comes natural to show portrayals and maiming of men without giving it a second thought.

The emotional reaction to the woman dying by the loss of her arm and subsequent attack by zombies, was also taken far harder then any other male death throughout the game, in fact every time a woman had died in the game the emotional reaction by characters seems more pronounced then any of the male deaths and character reaction and interaction.

In conclusion, societal reaction is lacking equality.

A shirtless woman is a sexual being. A shirtless man is a non sexual being.

A killed woman is a horrible event and is portrayal of violence against women. A killed man is the status quo, and the common enemy.

In the name of games.

Edit: Specifying the writer of Saint's row felt this about his games, as opposed to making it look like games in general.

the only thing I can really say it the Brotherhood mission being referenced in Saint's row 2 is kind of very messed up.

Things I think he forgot. Saints row 3 includes hidden nude centrefolds of Shaundi which you could say is actually an expression of her sexuality more than anything else. Even if a line "How many men have you been with Shaundi...... no wait I don't want to know" could also get them some trouble I bet.

oh and for those who don't know
image
Saints row 4 Kenzie in her super power outfit

i thought devs were much smarter than that

Ronack:

PDugna:
What's the point of Saints Row becoming non offensive? I mean they had a whole damn campaign about it, it's what saved the damn series you can be ANYTHING in the game who cares what else happens in it?

There's a fine line between being offensive and insulting. Hookers can be called Ho's or Bitches by characters, for example, but not be the game. There needs to be a balance, and this article is them saying that they're working on it.

Agreed. Object & NPC name identifiers should retain a neutral tonality by default as they are meant to be objective game mechanics defined by the developer. However, in my opinion, if the in-game narrative or NPC explicitly defines said object or NPC name, that definition should override the dev's for the sake of creative freedom.

Unfortunately, many influential critics will automatically assume the worst and believe a dev uses characters and the narrative as proxies for injecting their own subjectivity. When it doesn't align with the critic's beliefs, they will call the dev out on it. This leads to controversies over minute offenses that can quickly get out of hand as it's perpetuated by a biased media.

This in turn causes well-meaning devs to impose self-censorship on their work and walk on egg-shells out of fear of career-damaging backlash. The end result, if outrage is not kept in check by both sides, is a very stale, one-sided narrative that doesn't take into consideration all the realities of the real world. No matter how incongruent or illogical those perceived threats may be to your personal beliefs, they shouldn't be censored. Confronting them is the only way for them to slowly phase out of gaming media and with minimal damage to the writers and developers.

Note that this is neither a for-or-against post about the video in question. As long as the developer came to the conclusion that they should change by the their own volition and not backing down because of real/perceived bully tactics, it is perfectly fine and should be respected. Self-reflection is indeed a respectable trait to have as a writer and I wish more people of all professions accepted criticism regardless of it being constructive or deconstructive. You may be surprised to find some of the best wisdom comes from your worst enemies.

Mcoffey:
she helped them make a better game

What? How has she helped them make a better game when her video came about after the fact?

(because of the nature of anything Anita related I'll clarify: it seems like you're suggesting what she has said about earlier games in the series affected how they made the most recent title despite her critique being made after it's release)

OT: The cynic in me feels like this is similar to how it was reported that Daniel Radcliffe criticized his entire performance in Harry Potter versus the reality whereby his 'problem' was much more focussed on specific aspects of only one of the films; and rather than humility his motivation was to emphasize how he's become a 'better' actor.

Of course an improved product is a superior product so:

NotThePANTSU:

Mcoffey:
she helped them make a better game

What? How has she helped them make a better game when her video came about after the fact?

(because of the nature of anything Anita related I'll clarify: it seems like you're suggesting what she has said about earlier games in the series affected how they made the most recent title despite her critique being made after it's release)

OT: The cynic in me feels like this is similar to how it was reported that Daniel Radcliffe criticized his entire performance in Harry Potter versus the reality where by his 'problem' was much more focussed on specific aspects of only one of the films; and rather than humility his motivation was to emphasize how he's become a better actor.

Of course an improved product is a superior product so:

So it did! I misread. My apologies.

Oh, I know I'm going to regret this...

Harry Mason:
Also, this article made me actually give a Tropes Vs. Women a watch. I'd been ignoring it because people say such rotten things about it, but the episode that Tim linked to was... Really fucking great, actually. It's stuff I've been saying for years. Not sure where the comments of "LLLLIIIIIIIEEEEEESSSSS" at the bottom of the video come from. She's sort of just stating facts and espousing some BASIC feminism. It's like "baby's first sociology class."

I guess the rest of her videos are horrible and full of misrepresentations and lies. Either that or every ounce of backlash against her has been from people who are so horrible they can't even listen to basic feminist reasoning without reverting to knee jerk hatred and... And...

*begins tying noose and weeping*

It's in her representation. Take the Bioshock example at the beginning. Jasmine is Ryan's mistress who made a deal with Fontaine by selling him her fetus, so Ryan beats her to death. This is used by the game in two ways: the first is a clue about Jack (the player's) origins as this "flashback" tells us who Jack's parents are and how Fontaine was able to get him. The second is showing Ryan's moral decay and obsession with Fontaine as he beats his mistress to death for making a deal with Fontaine even though he used an intermediary and didn't know it was Fontaine (plus the whole "selling my unborn child" thing, but the game doesn't focus on that angle).

However, the video doesn't mention any of that context: this example is used in a video about women being used to titillate players while being completely insignificant. I'm not sure about you, but Jasmine, even though she's a minor character who's dead before the game starts is hardly insignificant. Furthermore, two lines that immediately get her profession across and a second-long pose followed by listening to her beg for her life while being brutally murdered is hardly what I would call titillation. This isn't the only example of Anita doing something like this. She ignores context with her examples for the sake of getting her point across and any information the game provides to show the situation is more complex is ignored(not always, but often enough). THAT is what people dislike about her, not her message (though there are always the extremists). If she acknowledged the other side and gave it equal consideration she wouldn't have the massive hatedom that she does.

OT:

"A great debate that happened in the studio," he said. "In Saints Row 4 she gets her superhero Matrix-ey outfit, [and we argued] about whether that was too provocative for Kinzie. 'Is this the right expression of the character? Is this fair? Do we think this is right?'"

This. These are the questions that should be asked at every step of character creation. In the real world people don't get up and decide to wear the sluttiest things they legally can, yet many videogame characters apparently do, even when it's at odds with the character's personality traits. I hate that.

"I think it's fair to be called out on your shit," he said. "I think that it's a sad man that can never be self-reflective. I think that we tried to go and carry ourselves with respect, and try to respect sexuality and respect gender as much as we can, and sometimes we fail but hopefully we'll do better and continue to get better."

Yeah, this guy understands.

kael013:
Oh, I know I'm going to regret this...

I'll try not to make that the case.

While you're right about the video being primarily focused on needlessly sexualized NPCs, and Jasmine was more integral to the narrative, I still think that the point is somewhat valid, seeing as the game still eeds to put her in a stripper outfit and have her perform a lapdance... as a ghost. We could've gotten all we ever needed about her from audio logs, but then, well, lapdancing ghost, and then for some reason, even though Andrew Ryan beat her to death, her corpse is strewn across a bed for an inexplicable reason with her legs spread apart while she's wearing a skirt. True, while not a background character at all, the same thing, unecessarily sexualization of the character revolving around a violent act, essentially happens to her.

The_Kodu:
the only thing I can really say it the Brotherhood mission being referenced in Saint's row 2 is kind of very messed up.

Things I think he forgot. Saints row 3 includes hidden nude centrefolds of Shaundi which you could say is actually an expression of her sexuality more than anything else. Even if a line "How many men have you been with Shaundi...... no wait I don't want to know" could also get them some trouble I bet.

oh and for those who don't know
image
Saints row 4 Kenzie in her super power outfit

well in kenzies defence she is into the whole bondage thing in a positive way. more embraces her sexuality than titilating so the outfit makes sense

I'm sure everyone here will agree with him politely and agree that cautiously accepting criticism and striving to improve can only be a good thing, right?

Ya know, I kinda like this news. It's an example of reasoned discourse. The dev, who may not agree with Anita's view 100% concedes a valid point, then goes on to explain how he came to realize this point and what his response was to change it. It doesn't contain polarizing language, something as simple as "I think that it's a sad man that can never be self-reflective" isn't an admission of guilt, or that there should be. It took the hardline message of Anita's videos and made it palatable, who can't benefit from a little bit of introspection. Socrates once said "The examined life is not worth living" and it's true when we blindly follow a philosophy, whether it's lockstep Anita support or kneejerk Anita rejection. I watched her videos and she has some points. I don't agree with where she thinks those points lead, but if nothing else, we should examine our motivations and actions and if there's a modification we can make, why not make if it eases tension. Something as simple as "So let's not call them hos and make them half naked" didn't break the game and at least in their mind, it was a step in the right direction. Anita may not see this as progress, but she never was going to in the first place. I also appreciate the Escapist presenting this as is, no editorial, no preaching. Some other content providers on this site might have inserted their own agenda but the editors here are pretty good about that. Props to them.

Great article, and I've loved the Saints Row series since SR2.

Really don't understand the whole fuss about Anita Sarkeesian though.
I respect her opinions and all and I don't hate her or anything, I just don't really see the need to pay any attention to her.

I've watched some of her videos and she does tend to just rip things out of context most of the time.
But the way she talks and presents is just so blah, the way she talks is so boring and monotonous that I struggle to pay attention halfway through.

Biggest thing I never understood was why the hell she needed a bloody kickstarter campaing to fund a series of youtube videos... all that money for what? so she could buy a proper greenscreen and camera or something.

AJey:
Please, dont do this. I know she's a hot topic right now, but dont give her attention that she does not deserve. Her series have been nothing but disappointment, misinformation and a collection of lies. Her points are always flawed in some way, she often reaches so far and so deep, that it does not make any sense, and she misconstrues every single game element that has to do with women. Her Hitman example was especially jarring. She just doesnt know what she's talking about. You want more of a breakdown of her vids, look up people on youtube like Thunderfoot.

Thunderf00t has gone completely over the edge in his rabid anti-feminist MRA tirades. Hardly the best example to bring up as a sensible counterpoint to Feminist Frequency.

Also, if you know the least bit about sociology, you're pretty foolish to just dismiss Anita. She has quite a few good points that she makes. Does she make every point perfectly? No, but then again, hardly anyone does.

Ronack:

PDugna:
What's the point of Saints Row becoming non offensive? I mean they had a whole damn campaign about it, it's what saved the damn series you can be ANYTHING in the game who cares what else happens in it?

There's a fine line between being offensive and insulting. Hookers can be called Ho's or Bitches by characters, for example, but not be the game. There needs to be a balance, and this article is them saying that they're working on it.

I hope they fixed it in 4, cause I recall in 3 there's these parts where you rescue a shipping container full of women and then decide to either give them back to the crime syndicate you took them from, or press gang them into Zimo's pimping ring, and that one assassination job where you have to attack a bunch of obese prostitutes in order to lure out the target.

Ah, I remember playing Saints Row 2 as female because only one of the voice actors wasn't stupid, too Australian for his own good, or super black or Spanish. Also because I felt the super professional looking, but super absurd character I made fit the games so incredibly well. Say what you will Anita, I considered playing Saints Row as male an absurd idea.

The_Kodu:
the only thing I can really say it the Brotherhood mission being referenced in Saint's row 2 is kind of very messed up.

Things I think he forgot. Saints row 3 includes hidden nude centrefolds of Shaundi which you could say is actually an expression of her sexuality more than anything else. Even if a line "How many men have you been with Shaundi...... no wait I don't want to know" could also get them some trouble I bet.

oh and for those who don't know
image
Saints row 4 Kenzie in her super power outfit

Whats wrong with her outfit? Sure, it shows her breasts. So does most women in real life's outfits. Hell, if I saw a game that never did that the whole time with every single female character, it'd be an unrealistic depiction of women.

I think it would be less "Unrealistic depiction of women" (Not that reality counts for two shits in most games) and more "Breath of fresh air" myself. You're kinda missing the ultimate point; It's not any one game that has a problem with sexualization. It's the Constantly expanding tonnage.

Not that I disagree with you on this point. There's nothing overly blatant about that particular one. (If only because this is an industry where Japan regularly dresses 16 year old chibi bobbleheads in nothing but fetishistic leather belt getups. I love Bravely Default but COME ON.) The very article this is about noted that this character's outfit was a matter of debate, and notably DIDN'T tell us if that outfit is actually what they first came up with. THOUGHT went into that outfit. That's a GOOD thing. Just asking developers to THINK about this is a very good thing.

MarsAtlas:

kael013:
Oh, I know I'm going to regret this...

I'll try not to make that the case.

While you're right about the video being primarily focused on needlessly sexualized NPCs, and Jasmine was more integral to the narrative, I still think that the point is somewhat valid, seeing as the game still eeds to put her in a stripper outfit and have her perform a lapdance... as a ghost. We could've gotten all we ever needed about her from audio logs, but then, well, lapdancing ghost, and then for some reason, even though Andrew Ryan beat her to death, her corpse is strewn across a bed for an inexplicable reason with her legs spread apart while she's wearing a skirt. True, while not a background character at all, the same thing, unecessarily sexualization of the character revolving around a violent act, essentially happens to her.

Oh, I agree with the general idea, it's just I've seen too many examples from Sarkeesian's videos where she cuts away too much context from the clip, leaving only the parts that support her view. That, to people who haven't played the game but have seen the video, gives the impression that it's full on misogyny when the truth is more nuanced.

I don't know, I prefer a more balanced presentation: this is the FULL context of the situation. Now here's what they did wrong, but here's what they did right as well and this is how they could have improved it. Sarkeesian's vids are more: here's what they did wrong and that's it. However, while I disagree with many of her examples and some of her points, the tropes she points out in her videos do happen waaaaay more than they need to.

kael013:

MarsAtlas:

kael013:
Oh, I know I'm going to regret this...

I'll try not to make that the case.

While you're right about the video being primarily focused on needlessly sexualized NPCs, and Jasmine was more integral to the narrative, I still think that the point is somewhat valid, seeing as the game still eeds to put her in a stripper outfit and have her perform a lapdance... as a ghost. We could've gotten all we ever needed about her from audio logs, but then, well, lapdancing ghost, and then for some reason, even though Andrew Ryan beat her to death, her corpse is strewn across a bed for an inexplicable reason with her legs spread apart while she's wearing a skirt. True, while not a background character at all, the same thing, unecessarily sexualization of the character revolving around a violent act, essentially happens to her.

Oh, I agree with the general idea, it's just I've seen too many examples from Sarkeesian's videos where she cuts away too much context from the clip, leaving only the parts that support her view. That, to people who haven't played the game but have seen the video, gives the impression that it's full on misogyny when the truth is more nuanced.

I don't know, I prefer a more balanced presentation: this is the FULL context of the situation. Now here's what they did wrong, but here's what they did right as well and this is how they could have improved it. Sarkeesian's vids are more: here's what they did wrong and that's it. However, while I disagree with many of her examples and some of her points, the tropes she points out in her videos do happen waaaaay more than they need to.

I really, really, really don't see how more context is needed, necessary or wanted in situations like that. Especially when most gamers who actually play through it will never "get" what exactly transpired. (The percentage of players who piece together details from multiple audio logs is actually pretty low)

Giving a freakin' history lesson to every eviscerated corpse in these vids dose not do anything but slow things down in the vids and the fact that there is one doesn't excuse what happens in the first place.

It's like "Holy crap, that woman wearing a bikini got torn in half!"

It doesn't matter that there are a set of explanations for WHY that woman in a bikini got torn in half by a monster that you find in her hidden diary ten more hours into the game if you unlock it with the special key you got from that one sidequest. The game decided to show her getting torn in half in the first place.

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