Critics Ruin Video Games… …Good!

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GunsmithKitten:
Which is why I said the trailer made a mistake by not giving better context and some background. A few seconds would have been all it took to say "around here, people who get too much cybernetic implants go crazy, and then we have to deploy these badass cops to put them down before they start killing entire neighborhoods" ect....

Cyber psychosis is like the very tip of the iceberg.

When my gaming group ran a grimy low-powered campaign of Cyberpunk 2013 (That's the very first edition) in order to tenaciously crawl out of the abject poverty of a dystopian future, our characters had to do some pretty awful, terrible and criminal stuff. I specifically remember that more often than not we would drag away the fresh corpses of obvious chromers and harvest the technological gadgets installed in their flesh to sell to a used cyberware dealer. In a tight pinch trapped between getting caught and abandoning the prospect of loot, sometimes the group's medic would make the 'educated' guesses of a med-school dropout about what parts of the corpse was dead weight and those pieces would end up being left behind while the rest would be put in a watertight duffel bag.

You know what? Why didn't they put that in the trailer? That would've been fantastic.

phylline:

A Smooth Criminal:

phylline:

I disagree that they're all being portrayed the same way although I agree that they're all idealized. I simply feel uncomfortable with how the genders are idealized. I think, /in general/ (there are of course exceptions), women are sexualized in video games and men aren't so much, even though all genders (another topic for another day, trans* individuals are represented piss-poorly in games) are portrayed very unrealistically.

It all eventually comes back down to body types. Men have more testosterone than women which causes them to have heavier builds and be more aggressive.

And men are arguably sexualized more in games. It's hardly uncommon in games for the male to somehow lose their shirt, or constantly be wearing a shirt which shows their chest off for no reason at all. Whether you find them attractive is subjective, but they're all shown the same way.

Hell, in Devil May Cry Dante starts the game stark naked...

They do indeed, but I don't think that detracts from my point, could you please explain what you mean?

Ooh - that's very arguable! I'd argue the only reason women keep their shirt in video games is because they're more sexualised. Breasts are seen as inherently sexual so it would be too explicit to show them. Men's bodies, however, aren't seen as inherently sexual simply for existing so they may take off their shirt.

edit: Oh! My friend just linked me to the comic I was looking for in my first post here! http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-12-02-sexy.png

Seeing those images of what women really find desirable in male characters always make me feel self conscious and insecure. May I claim to know that feel now? Because I believe I know that feel now.

Oh, and stop looking at me like that, big-eyed lean Batman. You're making me blush.

phylline:

A Smooth Criminal:

phylline:

I disagree that they're all being portrayed the same way although I agree that they're all idealized. I simply feel uncomfortable with how the genders are idealized. I think, /in general/ (there are of course exceptions), women are sexualized in video games and men aren't so much, even though all genders (another topic for another day, trans* individuals are represented piss-poorly in games) are portrayed very unrealistically.

It all eventually comes back down to body types. Men have more testosterone than women which causes them to have heavier builds and be more aggressive.

And men are arguably sexualized more in games. It's hardly uncommon in games for the male to somehow lose their shirt, or constantly be wearing a shirt which shows their chest off for no reason at all. Whether you find them attractive is subjective, but they're all shown the same way.

Hell, in Devil May Cry Dante starts the game stark naked...

They do indeed, but I don't think that detracts from my point, could you please explain what you mean?

Ooh - that's very arguable! I'd argue the only reason women keep their shirt in video games is because they're more sexualised. Breasts are seen as inherently sexual so it would be too explicit to show them. Men's bodies, however, aren't seen as inherently sexual simply for existing so they may take off their shirt.

edit: Oh! My friend just linked me to the comic I was looking for in my first post here! http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-12-02-sexy.png

Well dicks aren't generally seen as being visually appealing to most... They're just things that kind of hang down and flap about, if women didn't have tits they'd still show their chests and the sexism points would still exist. When you think about it, both men and women are showing the same body parts, but males are generally more muscular and women are generally curvy and slim. Which links back to the different body types of men and women.

Also, for the power fantasy comic... Some men in videogames are shown as being like that (lean instead of muscular etc)... Just look at Dante in Devil May Cry and Ezreal/Taric in League of Legends... Those are just examples I've already given...

A Smooth Criminal:
Well dicks aren't generally seen as being visually appealing to most... They're just things that kind of hang down and flap about,

You know, having seen porn made by women, for women, I would contest that.

A Smooth Criminal:

phylline:

A Smooth Criminal:

It all eventually comes back down to body types. Men have more testosterone than women which causes them to have heavier builds and be more aggressive.

And men are arguably sexualized more in games. It's hardly uncommon in games for the male to somehow lose their shirt, or constantly be wearing a shirt which shows their chest off for no reason at all. Whether you find them attractive is subjective, but they're all shown the same way.

Hell, in Devil May Cry Dante starts the game stark naked...

They do indeed, but I don't think that detracts from my point, could you please explain what you mean?

Ooh - that's very arguable! I'd argue the only reason women keep their shirt in video games is because they're more sexualised. Breasts are seen as inherently sexual so it would be too explicit to show them. Men's bodies, however, aren't seen as inherently sexual simply for existing so they may take off their shirt.

edit: Oh! My friend just linked me to the comic I was looking for in my first post here! http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-12-02-sexy.png

Well dicks aren't generally seen as being visually appealing to most... They're just things that kind of hang down and flap about, if women didn't have tits they'd still show their chests and the sexism points would still exist. When you think about it, both men and women are showing the same body parts, but males are generally more muscular and women are generally curvy and slim. Which links back to the different body types of men and women.

Also, for the power fantasy comic... Some men in videogames are shown as being like that (lean instead of muscular etc)... Just look at Dante in Devil May Cry and Ezreal/Taric in League of Legends... Those are just examples I've already given...

For your first paragraph - I'm having a hard time seeing how that's relevant/a counter-argument, could you please explain it to me?

And yes, as said, there are notable exceptions (although I'd argue that Taric isn't particularly "lean" - he's still huge muscles huge armour). But I've noticed it's not the majority.

Paradoxrifts:

GunsmithKitten:
Which is why I said the trailer made a mistake by not giving better context and some background. A few seconds would have been all it took to say "around here, people who get too much cybernetic implants go crazy, and then we have to deploy these badass cops to put them down before they start killing entire neighborhoods" ect....

Cyber psychosis is like the very tip of the iceberg.

When my gaming group ran a grimy low-powered campaign of Cyberpunk 2013 (That's the very first edition) in order to tenaciously crawl out of the abject poverty of a dystopian future, our characters had to do some pretty awful, terrible and criminal stuff. I specifically remember that more often than not we would drag away the fresh corpses of obvious chromers and harvest the technological gadgets installed in their flesh to sell to a used cyberware dealer. In a tight pinch trapped between getting caught and abandoning the prospect of loot, sometimes the group's medic would make the 'educated' guesses of a med-school dropout about what parts of the corpse was dead weight and those pieces would end up being left behind while the rest would be put in a watertight duffel bag.

You know what? Why didn't they put that in the trailer? That would've been fantastic.

Now THAT is how you Medtech!

And what's wrong with stripping some worthless chromer gang-bangers of their tech? If you got the time and dissection skills, I say it's just the rightful spoils of combat, cho.

rhizhim:

Treblaine:

rhizhim:

THIS shows how the perception about gamers IS around the gaming world and the people who make products for gamers / game reviewers/ game suppliers.

Sorry, but I've never ever heard of that website, I don't know of that video existing until someone posted a video complaining about me (I am a gamer) watching it.

How can it possibly represent all gamers.

Even if a small proportion of gamers watched it and liked it, so what?

You know what ELSE exists? PORNOGRAPHY! No one is freaking out - any more - about pornography existing.

And women are human as well, they have their boy bands, Justin Timberlake flashing his abs, Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey. If women had such a problem with men indulging in some sexual pandering they wouldn't indulge in it themselves.

you dont quite seem to get it.

you could make a comparisson to this video with a guy telling everyone how much of a gamer guy he is while fondling his testicles and nipples and slightly moaning.

and that video doesnt represent every gamer. it represents the perception publishers and developers have about gamers. there is a difference.

another example of this would be dead islands big chested female torso.
a developer and publisher thought people would like it. because in their minds gamers love boobs and violence enough to justify a higher priced limited edition version.

because sex and violence is all those immature gamers are interested in.

The thing is I guarantee you will find something like that in chat-roulette or somewhere else on the internet.

The internet is FULL TO BURSTING with perverted over-sexualised stuff and endless crossovers with any sort of related interests.

it represents the perception publishers and developers have about gamers.

No, it is just what a few people made likely with no authorisation or guidance. You can't possibly think that went all the way to the top and they okayed it. If the entire industry is to be judged by the actions of a few, why don't you judge it by the few who are unanimously praised, not the few who are unanimously booed. Judge not by the worst.

another example of this would be dead islands big chested female torso.

image

It's not like high profile depictions of dismemberment aren't already an established and accepted part of the media we consume. The game in that image above, Resident Evil 4 was showered with awards and everything to do with it, including marketing, was praised. Edge is not an obscure gaming magazine and that is not the only promotional depiction of Resident Evil 4 that had that extreme level of violence and gore.

The statuette in question is not sexist, it doesn't impose or assert any values on or about women, it is for a game that entirely about a zombie massacre at a beach resort. A bikini clad women is a common representation of a beach resort. What else would they have done? Have another indistinct generic decomposing man's head? The likes of which have filled our media since the 1920's dating back to things like The Mummy and Frankenstein and carried on with various ghouls and zombies since then?

Really you can see the fine line they are walking here, they are making a game - a form of entertainment - to do with people being dismembered. THAT IS WHAT THE GAME IS ABOUT! You can't say all that extreme violence and gore is fine as long as it's only happening to well covered up men. This isn't exceptional violence directed at women because they are women. This isn't sexist, this can simply be misrepresented as sexist which is not the same thing.

because in their minds gamers love boobs and violence enough to justify a higher priced limited edition version.

So you're psychic now?

See I don't depend on baseless assumptions of what they were thinking, I link together other evidence.

It's part of the zombie genre, that means extreme violence and dismemberment and gore are par for the course and accepted. It is set on a beach resort, women in bikinis are an iconic part of that. This naturally follows. What does not naturally follow is they ONLY did it because "violence + boobs".

No. That's far too simplistic, you are just playing word association games and not thinking like any rational person ever would. Put yourself in THEIR SHOES and try to get or of your mindset of indignant outrage and consider they might not be trying to do what you immediately assumed they were trying.

Zachary Amaranth:
I'm curious as to how Anita has so much power over you that simply commenting on and observing sexism in action (correct or otherwise) can make your hobby unenjoyable. Does she beam directly into your brain when you play or something? Has she changed a single thing? Is she taking your games away or even trying to?

What anti-ism apologists pretend is happening

Step 1: Claim that a game/trailer/concept is "x-ist"
Step 2: Rally a bunch of support from extremist anti-"x-ism" groups
Step 3: Convince non-extremists that your position is defensible
Step 4: Spread the word and inform your fanbase
Step 5: Game developers and publishers literally do not give a shit
Step 6: ???
Step 7: Profit

What actually happens:

Step 1: Claim that a game/trailer/concept is "x-ist"
Step 2: Rally a bunch of support from extremist anti-"x-ism" groups
Step 3: Convince non-extremists that your position is defensible
Step 4: Generate a bunch of negative PR
Step 5: Game developers and publishers actually think there is an issue they should address
Step 6: ???
Step 7: Profit

Zachary Amaranth:
Because I'm having trouble thinking of a real scenario where she could reasonably impact your enjoyment.

There's rumors that the rape scene from Laura Croft 2013 has been removed from the game. There was literally 0 reason to do so except that a bunch of extremist groups preyed on the stupidity and laziness of the masses in order to mischaracterize it as an actual issue. What I lose out of the whole arrangement is a possibly crucial piece of character development in her character arc that may seriously effect the impact of the story, even if they manage to shoehorn in some other conflict to replace it.

Therumancer:
*snip*

You're awesome. Just saved me like an hour of typing. Thanks.

phylline:

A Smooth Criminal:

phylline:

I disagree that they're all being portrayed the same way although I agree that they're all idealized. I simply feel uncomfortable with how the genders are idealized. I think, /in general/ (there are of course exceptions), women are sexualized in video games and men aren't so much, even though all genders (another topic for another day, trans* individuals are represented piss-poorly in games) are portrayed very unrealistically.

It all eventually comes back down to body types. Men have more testosterone than women which causes them to have heavier builds and be more aggressive.

And men are arguably sexualized more in games. It's hardly uncommon in games for the male to somehow lose their shirt, or constantly be wearing a shirt which shows their chest off for no reason at all. Whether you find them attractive is subjective, but they're all shown the same way.

Hell, in Devil May Cry Dante starts the game stark naked...

They do indeed, but I don't think that detracts from my point, could you please explain what you mean?

Ooh - that's very arguable! I'd argue the only reason women keep their shirt in video games is because they're more sexualised. Breasts are seen as inherently sexual so it would be too explicit to show them. Men's bodies, however, aren't seen as inherently sexual simply for existing so they may take off their shirt.

edit: Oh! My friend just linked me to the comic I was looking for in my first post here! http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-12-02-sexy.png

Power fantasy argument... it's so damn hypocritical. Certainly there is context to be considered but... at the end of the day isn't the over sexualized male character just an unfair portrayal of the ideal male as much as the female character is? Can the arguments not be reversed? If not, then why? Is it just because there is a blanket acceptance that in any and all context whether consciously or subconsciously it was always intended by those who created it to be intended for a males benefit at the detriment to the females? Is there no middle ground? Is that comic a pedantic jab that paints every straight female as having a certain idealized male that is objectively an ideal image of sexually appealing to women, at a detriment to those who like big hunks?

At the end of the day there is NOTHING wrong with sexualized characters. There is nothing wrong with a character being a shameless slab of beef, or a walking pair of breasts, with the qualifier that not all characters be forced into this roll. The problem is the lack of proper and realistic characters, not the existence of the cheap and pandering. Things are not perfect right now, but you really can't say there isn't male objectification. There is. However there are a lot more worth while and deep multifaceted male characters, the female and that's something we need to be working towards. Oh well, said my piece I suppose.

Ugh. This has got to be my least favorite thread in a while. I got about a paragraph into three Therumancer posts before realizing it.

Yeah, gaming has a bit of an issue when it comes to portraying sexes fairly. Not that there is anything inherently evil about sexualized characters and stuff. The problems come when there's not enough to balance it out.

That being said, I didn't watch the trailer, but upon viewing several stills from it, I've come to following conclusion: You've got to be some masochist to order a hooker with blade arms.

th3dark3rsh33p:

phylline:

A Smooth Criminal:

It all eventually comes back down to body types. Men have more testosterone than women which causes them to have heavier builds and be more aggressive.

And men are arguably sexualized more in games. It's hardly uncommon in games for the male to somehow lose their shirt, or constantly be wearing a shirt which shows their chest off for no reason at all. Whether you find them attractive is subjective, but they're all shown the same way.

Hell, in Devil May Cry Dante starts the game stark naked...

They do indeed, but I don't think that detracts from my point, could you please explain what you mean?

Ooh - that's very arguable! I'd argue the only reason women keep their shirt in video games is because they're more sexualised. Breasts are seen as inherently sexual so it would be too explicit to show them. Men's bodies, however, aren't seen as inherently sexual simply for existing so they may take off their shirt.

edit: Oh! My friend just linked me to the comic I was looking for in my first post here! http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-12-02-sexy.png

Power fantasy argument... it's so damn hypocritical. Certainly there is context to be considered but... at the end of the day isn't the over sexualized male character just an unfair portrayal of the ideal male as much as the female character is? Can the arguments not be reversed? If not, then why? Is it just because there is a blanket acceptance that in any and all context whether consciously or subconsciously it was always intended by those who created it to be intended for a males benefit at the detriment to the females? Is there no middle ground? Is that comic a pedantic jab that paints every straight female as having a certain idealized male that is objectively an ideal image of sexually appealing to women, at a detriment to those who like big hunks?

At the end of the day there is NOTHING wrong with sexualized characters. There is nothing wrong with a character being a shameless slab of beef, or a walking pair of breasts, with the qualifier that not all characters be forced into this roll. The problem is the lack of proper and realistic characters, not the existence of the cheap and pandering. Things are not perfect right now, but you really can't say there isn't male objectification. There is. However there are a lot more worth while and deep multifaceted male characters, the female and that's something we need to be working towards. Oh well, said my piece I suppose.

Hi, you bring up a pretty interesting argument.

I've explained this before - both genders are idealized to hell and are utterly unrealistic. This could be a problem! I don't know. I don't know if the common big-muscled-masculine-power-trip character hurts men. It could. I'm not a man, so it's not my area and I don't know. It could be an issue and it could need changing, I'm definitely not arguing that these characters are okay or good (I'm a little uncomfortable about how everything needs to be hyper-masculine to be portrayed as powerful at the least).

I don't think designers make their characters intending to play women down. It's just the background noise of our culture, which is a shame, but I've already said I don't think video games are any more at fault than any other mainstream media. The thing I'm trying to say is, whilst the typical men in video-games (hyper-masculine big-muscled hulk) are portrayed really unrealistically (perhaps harmfully), they're not sexualised. Muscles signify physical strength and the ability to dominate - power. That's what muscles /do/. They have little to do with trying to pander to what women want (although they can represent the ability to "win" a woman, which is problematic). However, big boobs and buttocks with the perfect hourglass figure? In combat, it's not going to do much. It's purely there to objectify the female in question and place her firmly in the sexual sphere.

And you're right, every now and again, there's nothing wrong with a character being a "shameless slab of beef"! However, I find that incredibly distasteful and offensive, and seeing characters like that make me uncomfortable. Every now and again - fine, but I wouldn't like it. However, at the moment it's pretty common (although there are exceptions, I don't think they're the majority).

Why did I ever come to debate sexism on the escapist, it's an utter minefield... :P

I dont understand the CYBERPUNK example in the link though. Sure shes over-sexualised. But over-emphasis in the CYBERPUNK genre is one of its core features. People OVERmodify themselves and they begin to hate non OVERmodified people and all that.

So what if shes in a tank top. She has blades portruding out of her wrists still wet with the blood of innocent people. If this were in real life she'd probs be executed with the proverbial if not literal bullet to the head.

People don't understand that a small puddle could be half a kilometer deep

phylline:

th3dark3rsh33p:

phylline:

They do indeed, but I don't think that detracts from my point, could you please explain what you mean?

Ooh - that's very arguable! I'd argue the only reason women keep their shirt in video games is because they're more sexualised. Breasts are seen as inherently sexual so it would be too explicit to show them. Men's bodies, however, aren't seen as inherently sexual simply for existing so they may take off their shirt.

edit: Oh! My friend just linked me to the comic I was looking for in my first post here! http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2011-12-02-sexy.png

Power fantasy argument... it's so damn hypocritical. Certainly there is context to be considered but... at the end of the day isn't the over sexualized male character just an unfair portrayal of the ideal male as much as the female character is? Can the arguments not be reversed? If not, then why? Is it just because there is a blanket acceptance that in any and all context whether consciously or subconsciously it was always intended by those who created it to be intended for a males benefit at the detriment to the females? Is there no middle ground? Is that comic a pedantic jab that paints every straight female as having a certain idealized male that is objectively an ideal image of sexually appealing to women, at a detriment to those who like big hunks?

At the end of the day there is NOTHING wrong with sexualized characters. There is nothing wrong with a character being a shameless slab of beef, or a walking pair of breasts, with the qualifier that not all characters be forced into this roll. The problem is the lack of proper and realistic characters, not the existence of the cheap and pandering. Things are not perfect right now, but you really can't say there isn't male objectification. There is. However there are a lot more worth while and deep multifaceted male characters, the female and that's something we need to be working towards. Oh well, said my piece I suppose.

Hi, you bring up a pretty interesting argument.

I've explained this before - both genders are idealized to hell and are utterly unrealistic. This could be a problem! I don't know. I don't know if the common big-muscled-masculine-power-trip character hurts men. It could. I'm not a man, so it's not my area and I don't know. It could be an issue and it could need changing, I'm definitely not arguing that these characters are okay or good (I'm a little uncomfortable about how everything needs to be hyper-masculine to be portrayed as powerful at the least).

I don't think designers make their characters intending to play women down. It's just the background noise of our culture, which is a shame, but I've already said I don't think video games are any more at fault than any other mainstream media. The thing I'm trying to say is, whilst the typical men in video-games (hyper-masculine big-muscled hulk) are portrayed really unrealistically (perhaps harmfully), they're not sexualised. Muscles signify physical strength and the ability to dominate - power. That's what muscles /do/. They have little to do with trying to pander to what women want (although they can represent the ability to "win" a woman, which is problematic). However, big boobs and buttocks with the perfect hourglass figure? In combat, it's not going to do much. It's purely there to objectify the female in question and place her firmly in the sexual sphere.

And you're right, every now and again, there's nothing wrong with a character being a "shameless slab of beef"! However, I find that incredibly distasteful and offensive, and seeing characters like that make me uncomfortable. Every now and again - fine, but I wouldn't like it. However, at the moment it's pretty common (although there are exceptions, I don't think they're the majority).

Why did I ever come to debate sexism on the escapist, it's an utter minefield... :P

I think your heart is in the right place, but perhaps your being oversensitive and putting too much value in the opinion of others. I also think that you may be dismissing the forest for the trees, in that if a character is in fact a good character, just having an idealized beautiful body doesn't detract from that unless directly contrary to the character's premise. I also don't get what you mean by hulks aren't sexualized. All those traits you offered are things that reinforce the gender roll of the protector. Males in society are seen as ideal if they can protect the family and being a super hunk implies strength not necessarily to dominate, but to protect the wife and children. Offering the stability of protection and power is seen as the ideal of what a man can bring to a woman therefore societal views of the idealized features of what a beautiful male looks like is the hunk or at the very least a tall strong man. Just like the hour glass frame and large breasts are considered signs of fertility and caring which are suppose to be what society has deemed as the ideal of what a woman can bring a man. These are just gender rolls seen through the ideal of beauty our culture has fostered over the centuries. Whats wrong with it is not necessarily that these ideals on beauty exist, but that often times they are acted upon which is what is problematic.

As a gay woman I can't tell you what I find attractive about a man. I can use logic to try and asses the cause of these views held by the culture, and by those who I've met and have more interactions with. I don't try and profess this as how every female should be thinking or how every male should be thinking like I've found many anti porn feminists seem to view anything regarding sexuality. They see any sexualized aspect of the human form as something that signifies a deep and depraved mental illness. Such things like bdsm is a rape culture, and shaving your pubic region encourages pedophilia. These incredible grasps for there to be something heinously wrong when there isn't something so dramatic going on. The sexualized hulk not being what society thinks are the only things males have to offer a woman, but a sinister power fantasy that wants to brutally take and abuse women. It just comes off taking a problem, and making it far more dire and dramatic then it actually is. Not trying to insult of course, it just seems like that is a common line of logic with anti porn feminists. My point in the long run is, maybe when you hear hoof beats next time think horses, not zebras.

th3dark3rsh33p:

phylline:

th3dark3rsh33p:

Power fantasy argument... it's so damn hypocritical. Certainly there is context to be considered but... at the end of the day isn't the over sexualized male character just an unfair portrayal of the ideal male as much as the female character is? Can the arguments not be reversed? If not, then why? Is it just because there is a blanket acceptance that in any and all context whether consciously or subconsciously it was always intended by those who created it to be intended for a males benefit at the detriment to the females? Is there no middle ground? Is that comic a pedantic jab that paints every straight female as having a certain idealized male that is objectively an ideal image of sexually appealing to women, at a detriment to those who like big hunks?

At the end of the day there is NOTHING wrong with sexualized characters. There is nothing wrong with a character being a shameless slab of beef, or a walking pair of breasts, with the qualifier that not all characters be forced into this roll. The problem is the lack of proper and realistic characters, not the existence of the cheap and pandering. Things are not perfect right now, but you really can't say there isn't male objectification. There is. However there are a lot more worth while and deep multifaceted male characters, the female and that's something we need to be working towards. Oh well, said my piece I suppose.

Hi, you bring up a pretty interesting argument.

I've explained this before - both genders are idealized to hell and are utterly unrealistic. This could be a problem! I don't know. I don't know if the common big-muscled-masculine-power-trip character hurts men. It could. I'm not a man, so it's not my area and I don't know. It could be an issue and it could need changing, I'm definitely not arguing that these characters are okay or good (I'm a little uncomfortable about how everything needs to be hyper-masculine to be portrayed as powerful at the least).

I don't think designers make their characters intending to play women down. It's just the background noise of our culture, which is a shame, but I've already said I don't think video games are any more at fault than any other mainstream media. The thing I'm trying to say is, whilst the typical men in video-games (hyper-masculine big-muscled hulk) are portrayed really unrealistically (perhaps harmfully), they're not sexualised. Muscles signify physical strength and the ability to dominate - power. That's what muscles /do/. They have little to do with trying to pander to what women want (although they can represent the ability to "win" a woman, which is problematic). However, big boobs and buttocks with the perfect hourglass figure? In combat, it's not going to do much. It's purely there to objectify the female in question and place her firmly in the sexual sphere.

And you're right, every now and again, there's nothing wrong with a character being a "shameless slab of beef"! However, I find that incredibly distasteful and offensive, and seeing characters like that make me uncomfortable. Every now and again - fine, but I wouldn't like it. However, at the moment it's pretty common (although there are exceptions, I don't think they're the majority).

Why did I ever come to debate sexism on the escapist, it's an utter minefield... :P

I think your heart is in the right place, but perhaps your being oversensitive and putting too much value in the opinion of others. I also think that you may be dismissing the forest for the trees, in that if a character is in fact a good character, just having an idealized beautiful body doesn't detract from that unless directly contrary to the character's premise. I also don't get what you mean by hulks aren't sexualized. All those traits you offered are things that reinforce the gender roll of the protector. Males in society are seen as ideal if they can protect the family and being a super hunk implies strength not necessarily to dominate, but to protect the wife and children. Offering the stability of protection and power is seen as the ideal of what a man can bring to a woman therefore societal views of the idealized features of what a beautiful male looks like is the hunk or at the very least a tall strong man. Just like the hour glass frame and large breasts are considered signs of fertility and caring which are suppose to be what society has deemed as the ideal of what a woman can bring a man. These are just gender rolls seen through the ideal of beauty our culture has fostered over the centuries. Whats wrong with it is not necessarily that these ideals on beauty exist, but that often times they are acted upon which is what is problematic.

As a gay woman I can't tell you what I find attractive about a man. I can use logic to try and asses the cause of these views held by the culture, and by those who I've met and have more interactions with. I don't try and profess this as how every female should be thinking or how every male should be thinking like I've found many anti porn feminists seem to view anything regarding sexuality. They see any sexualized aspect of the human form as something that signifies a deep and depraved mental illness. Such things like bdsm is a rape culture, and shaving your pubic region encourages pedophilia. These incredible grasps for there to be something heinously wrong when there isn't something so dramatic going on. The sexualized hulk not being what society thinks are the only things males have to offer a woman, but a sinister power fantasy that wants to brutally take and abuse women. It just comes off taking a problem, and making it far more dire and dramatic then it actually is. Not trying to insult of course, it just seems like that is a common line of logic with anti porn feminists. My point in the long run is, maybe when you hear hoof beats next time think horses, not zebras.

Hey - I'd appreciate it if you didn't dismiss my opinion as "being oversensitive", nor do I see how I'm putting too much emphasis on other's opinions by taking the view that women are more sexualised in video games (and society). If we make this personal, I'm not willing to have this conversation with you, nor do I want any assumptions about my character being used in an argument.

I understand why you've made the leap from this point of view to sex-negative feminism, but this isn't what I'm discussing nor am I going to make any link there. I see mildly how it's relevant: but it'd be much more relevant to discuss women's representation in video games than go down the slippery road of porn too (...I can't figure out if that was a euphemism).

If you look in, say, women's magazines, I don't think "big strong hulk muscle man" is a type that is shown for women to idealise in a man. Flicking through, it does seem to be the "nice eyes" lean sort of thing. Either way, MASSIVE huge masculine men (as are the type in video games more often than not) aren't portrayed as something women should want. Whilst you're right about gender roles still being forced, I think it's much less about what it can do for the traditional family now - so I don't think big muscles mean sexualised men. In a video game, it's easy to see how big muscles can simply equal masculine power and the ability to physically dominate, as it would be directly useful in combat (something many video games revolve around). As I've said before though, big boobs and butts? Is squeezing out and feeding a baby easily going to kick the enemies ass? Not really. But what do they do? Give something for young teenagers to leer at. As said before - it's not that I don't think the idealization of hyper-masculine-man is a bad thing (it may well be), I just don't think it's an overtly sexual thing.

edit: As the poster below me said, I really think the muscled characters are there to make male gamers feel more powerful rather than to be shoved into a stereotype for the benefit of women (although they are shoved into a stereotype, but not /for women/). I think a lot of games are created either with a male audience in mind or by a male creator and I think that drips through.

th3dark3rsh33p:
snip

Guys in games like War from Darksiders or Marcus Fenix are there to make male gamers feel powerful not be attractive to women. A build like Loki or Nightwing is more attractive to women. Hence Loki having more fangirls than Thor :p

Observe

image

If you think that someone created for example Kratos with the thought of making him sexy you are very much mistaken.

I find the dead island bust offensive (and I'm not the only one) not only because it dehumanises a woman down to her strangely untouched and perfect breasts but because it also suggests all gamers, who might enjoy dead island, are men. I'm not.

Night

Moonlight Butterfly:

th3dark3rsh33p:
snip

Guys in games like War from Darksiders or Marcus Fenix are there to make male gamers feel powerful not be attractive to women. A build like Loki or Nightwing is more attractive to women. Hence Loki having more fangirls than Thor :p

Observe

image

If you think that someone created for example Kratos with the thought of making him sexy you are very much mistaken.

Nightwing and Loki don't look like that at all? They're a slimmer build sure but they are still tall and athletic with clearly masculine features. I mean they aren't out of a Boris Vellejo painting but they are very idealized. That picture I can see making people uncomfortable because it's a man with feminine features which can give an uncanny valley feeling to people. Just like seeing an overly muscular person or a woman who has ridiculously sized breasts. They're off putting because they're so starkly separated from anything resembling reality not because you can make a legitimate case that the male character feels objectified. I also no plenty of women who thought Thor was incredibly attractive... anecdotal at best but still.

And to the poster above that because I can't figure out how to do quotes.

I see your point that the Marcus Fenix like peoples in games are just hyper masculine roid rage self insert I'm awesome types. However I do see a lot of that changing at least to some degree. Nathan Drake, any of the male party members from DA2, Thane and like Moonlight said Nightwing. Female oriented eye candy is making its way the world as the gaming industry struggles to comprehend that female gamers are much larger demographic to appeal to then they originally though. I do however want amend my points from before though. Male power fantasy stuff is similarly demeaning to males, as the cross the board over sexualization of female characters is to women. However I will concede that the male power fantasy is not sexual objectification. So I think to a point we agree!

Also I meant no offense at my assessment that there may be a bit of oversensitivity in your posts. It was not my intent to insult, so if you were insulted I am sorry for that. I was attempting and possibly failing to point out that like many anti porn feminists attribute disgusting mental disorders and depravities as the real reason behind kinks and cultural idealism. I was comparing the labeling of male power fantasy in game as a means for males to feel like they dominate and control women. I think it's as simple as games catering to men in that they want to be the hero, and heroes are generally scene as big and masculine. Protectors not dominating household tyrants. In my likely poorly worded point I just don't know if things are that malicious, but that they just overly favor men instead of appealing to both. Once again... really not trying to offend.

th3dark3rsh33p:

Nightwing and Loki don't look like that at all? They're a slimmer build sure but they are still tall and athletic with clearly masculine features. I mean they aren't out of a Boris Vellejo painting but they are very idealized. That picture I can see making people uncomfortable because it's a man with feminine features which can give an uncanny valley feeling to people. Just like seeing an overly muscular person or a woman who has ridiculously sized breasts. They're off putting because they're so starkly separated from anything resembling reality not because you can make a legitimate case that the male character feels objectified. I also no plenty of women who thought Thor was incredibly attractive... anecdotal at best but still.

As the comic says they are more built for dexterity than impossibly muscled hulks. They are as you say eye candy for women. Said impossibly muscled hulks aren't aimed at women. They are there for men to feel powerful.

The Batman drawing in the comic shows what a majority of women do like to an extreme extent. Nice eyes a slender build and softer features.

It's false equivalence, you can't say games characters like War or Kratos are aimed at women because they just aren't, it's a nonsensical argument.

Maybe that will help you see the difference better.

Moonlight Butterfly:

th3dark3rsh33p:

Nightwing and Loki don't look like that at all? They're a slimmer build sure but they are still tall and athletic with clearly masculine features. I mean they aren't out of a Boris Vellejo painting but they are very idealized. That picture I can see making people uncomfortable because it's a man with feminine features which can give an uncanny valley feeling to people. Just like seeing an overly muscular person or a woman who has ridiculously sized breasts. They're off putting because they're so starkly separated from anything resembling reality not because you can make a legitimate case that the male character feels objectified. I also no plenty of women who thought Thor was incredibly attractive... anecdotal at best but still.

As the comic says they are more built for dexterity than impossibly muscled hulks. They are as you say eye candy for women. Said impossibly muscled hulks aren't aimed at women. They are there for men to feel powerful.

The Batman drawing in the comic shows what a majority of women do like to an extreme extent. Nice eyes a slender build and softer features.

It's false equivalence, you can't say games characters like War or Kratos are aimed at women because they just aren't, it's a nonsensical argument.

Maybe that will help you see the difference better.

I never claimed War or Kratos were ever such a thing. Kratos is a psychopathic killer who's entire design is that of unabashed and remorseless rage. Everything about his design... at least in the first game is a man of incredible might and incredible terror. There is no power fantasy in that. He's a character with a clearly designed character and premise, at least in the first game. I don't think anyone gets jollies from "being" kratos. Most of my comments apply to the first game however... can't say much for the other two.

War is just massive study in the rule of cool. His design conveys nothing but this artist didn't want to stop stapling things on to guy thinking that every addition would add just as much "cool" as the last. He also shows like... no skin and is completely unreasonably proportioned. Uriel is similarly designed so I don't know what your complaining about exactly with that game. Uriel at least has an attractive face so I suppose she has that over War. Then again I'd say Azreal has reasonably attractive face as well, and a less macho hulk build. Hell I dislike just about all of Darksider's art design.

Though if you wanted a real example for your point, I would have gone with Marcus Fenix and just about everything to do with the Gears of War games. That's a prime example.

And concerning the picture of that comic book character? I don't know about you, but I don't think I have any power fantasy about being as birly and huge as that woman. Then again I don't have any fantasy about being the former either. I simply ask for something reflective the norm for the female body which like it or not is a variation of the hour glass frame. It's how the majority of female bodies are built to an extent. The second picture of the woman is not a female frame, it's a male one. Shoulders are far too broad in relation to the waistline for it to be anywhere representative of even just an average female who's hulked up.
At least idealized straight female attraction to males is attraction to a slim and athletic male frame. Nightwing in particular is very masculine figure, just not the hulk or Marcus Fenix. Why are female visions of a power fantasy just hulk males with bigger boobs and lips? Sorry just seemed like an awkward comparison.

The article did not have me impressed, despite having a few good points.

In the end though, video games are still just a product targeting at a specific audience, accommodating whatever flaws and desires it can exploit.
Nothing outside of the usual, just applied to something we care about more than shampoos and dog/cat food.

th3dark3rsh33p:

And concerning the picture of that comic book character? I don't know about you, but I don't think I have any power fantasy about being as birly and huge as that woman. Then again I don't have any fantasy about being the former either. I simply ask for something reflective the norm for the female body which like it or not is a variation of the hour glass frame. It's how the majority of female bodies are built to an extent. The second picture of the woman is not a female frame, it's a male one. Shoulders are far too broad in relation to the waistline for it to be anywhere representative of even just an average female who's hulked up.
At least idealized straight female attraction to males is attraction to a slim and athletic male frame. Nightwing in particular is very masculine figure, just not the hulk or Marcus Fenix. Why are female visions of a power fantasy just hulk males with bigger boobs and lips? Sorry just seemed like an awkward comparison.

Well Glory's superpowers are related to strength. She is also half demon half amazon it makes sense that she would have big muscles. I can't see that the sexy version makes any sense at all even putting aside Liefield's random attention to anatomy...

Moonlight Butterfly:

th3dark3rsh33p:

And concerning the picture of that comic book character? I don't know about you, but I don't think I have any power fantasy about being as birly and huge as that woman. Then again I don't have any fantasy about being the former either. I simply ask for something reflective the norm for the female body which like it or not is a variation of the hour glass frame. It's how the majority of female bodies are built to an extent. The second picture of the woman is not a female frame, it's a male one. Shoulders are far too broad in relation to the waistline for it to be anywhere representative of even just an average female who's hulked up.
At least idealized straight female attraction to males is attraction to a slim and athletic male frame. Nightwing in particular is very masculine figure, just not the hulk or Marcus Fenix. Why are female visions of a power fantasy just hulk males with bigger boobs and lips? Sorry just seemed like an awkward comparison.

Well Glory's superpowers are related to strength. She is also half demon half amazon it makes sense that she would have big muscles. I can't see that the sexy version makes any sense at all even putting aside Liefield's random attention to anatomy...

You can have a female frame and have muscles they aren't mutually exclusive. That character was built like a line backer. The vast majority don't look anymore like that then the first picture you showed me which had the pair of breasts holding a sword. The comic you just showed though looked reasonably harmless. The women are all reasonably proportioned and not intently focused on the characters as females. They also are clearly females. So yeah that last one wasn't bad .

I don't understand why men and women can't feel the same way about characters in games AND movies. We all see our respective sexes at their very, fake best and get sad because we compare ourselves to them. But at the same time we enjoy seeing the opposite sex in just that way. I make games and the women who I work with talk about how sexy this character is, and that one, and they like having sex appeal in a main character, its another thing that draws you to someone you've just met. As long as you then appreciate the character for their personality as well.

I don't know if you heard it, but there is a pretty big "sexism scandal" in germany, that is literally all about a politician telling a journalist that she looks nice in a dress. That's it. Think about that.
That's something I'd expect from a cartoon, not real, educated adults.

Deviluk:
I don't understand why men and women can't feel the same way about characters in games AND movies. We all see our respective sexes at their very, fake best and get sad because we compare ourselves to them. But at the same time we enjoy seeing the opposite sex in just that way. I make games and the women who I work with talk about how sexy this character is, and that one, and they like having sex appeal in a main character, its another thing that draws you to someone you've just met. As long as you then appreciate the character for their personality as well.

Because it's hard for some women to take really sexed up female characters seriously. Same for men I'd imagine from some reactions I've seen for things like Twilight and various fanfiction involving male characters.

As I showed earlier with pics of Glory and Amara there's a difference between being attractive and being ridiculously over sexualised.

Piorn:
I don't know if you heard it, but there is a pretty big "sexism scandal" in germany, that is literally all about a politician telling a journalist that she looks nice in a dress. That's it. Think about that.
That's something I'd expect from a cartoon, not real, educated adults.

actually he told her she would 'fill out' a Bavarian blouse well. That's kind of an inappropriate thing to say to another professional person. He didn't just say she 'looked nice'.

Also it had brought to light that sexism is pretty rife in Germany.

Moonlight Butterfly:

Piorn:
I don't know if you heard it, but there is a pretty big "sexism scandal" in germany, that is literally all about a politician telling a journalist that she looks nice in a dress. That's it. Think about that.
That's something I'd expect from a cartoon, not real, educated adults.

actually he told her she would 'fill out' a Bavarian blouse well. That's kind of an inappropriate thing to say to another professional person. He didn't just say she 'looked nice'.

Also it had brought to light that sexism is pretty rife in Germany.

I'm sorry, I have to admit it's rather hard to find the original story between all the ...other stuff, especially when you don't look that hard. But I still think it's an important thing to talk about.
Just because you offended a single person doesn't mean you're sexist. Discussing this makes the entire sexism debate seem trivial. If I don't like a person, I should be able to insult that person, and if I find a person attractive, I should be able to tell that, regardless of the gender of that person.
AND that person can then love or hate me for what I said to her, NOT for my, or that person's gender!
You can call him unprofessional or tactless, but it takes more to be sexist than one inconsiderate remark.

Naqel:
The article did not have me impressed, despite having a few good points.

In the end though, video games are still just a product targeting at a specific audience, accommodating whatever flaws and desires it can exploit.
Nothing outside of the usual, just applied to something we care about more than shampoos and dog/cat food.

Very concise.
/thread-worthy, but let's not get optimistic. We all love to be trolled around here.

SecretNegative:
Couldn't be bothered to finish reading it, but from what i've gathered, it spews the same kind of nonsence, overly hysterical "GAEMS R TEH SEXIST" annoying crap I've seen a lot of times, in fact, it's worse than a lot of the things I've seen, because those things actually have some form of logical reasoning behind it.

I wouldn't really call the view of women in some of gaming development and it's fanbases exactly ideal, but you really need to understand the difference between sexism, misoginy, and inexperience.

Calling things liek the new Lara Croft or the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer sexist is about as grounded in reality as calling Django Unchained racist, which is to say, none at all. Seriously, this is just getting absurd, yes, the situation is far from ideal, but these wannabe-GAEM-JURNALISTS are seriously far of from the point, creating distance between teh general population and normal, common-senced wantingness for equality, something that is really natural.

Articles like this and trolls like Sarkeesian however, are just pure nonsence with nothing to contribute but illogical misguided whining.

Your first comment really dictates the level of quality your post can contain. If you cannot be bothered to read the entire article, why shoot off with an "off the cuff" remark about (to use your words) "GAEMS R TEH SEXIST". Not only does it make you look ridiculous, but the points you bring up are terribly brought across and make it seem like you are exactly the type of person this article (and others like it) are talking about.

Let's address a couple of the points here.

There is a fairly strong sexist/racist/homophobic segment of the gaming community, anytime you go online or hit the forums and you will see the amount of hate/racism/sexism/homophobic that really happens. That's not a point that can be contested. So the writer of this article has that piece of information correct. I DO however with you that there needs to be understanding in the things you are writing about. Your points on the perception/knowledge on the subject when people talk about them is quite valid, and one that I feel is the biggest issue when discussing these topics in general.

On the other hand, I feel that everyone should be able to SEE the possibility for sexism, racism, etc within games as some of the content we enjoy and consume is, frankly, pretty weakly veiled as entertainment. A common classic(and apt I might add) offender is DoA. The series has been a fighting Juggernaut for quite a while, but over the past couple of iterations the "Boob physics" and costume choices (or lack their off) has gotten more attention from both the development team and the public, than the fighting engine/mechanics. I personally don't mind, as I have not played DoA since 3 for these reasons, but I fully see how some could consider this to be sexist, regardless if "it's designed to be like that".

Lastly here, to quote your last line:

"Articles like this and trolls like Sarkeesian however, are just pure nonsense with nothing to contribute but illogical misguided whining"

I think this is a really closed minded thing to say. Not because it particularly attacks this article or its writer, or attacks Sarkeesian, but because you assume that they are "whining" as some sort ill-gotten grudge or hate against the industry, and by proxy, the people who enjoy it. If you cannot concede to the fact that other could see the things we play as a community COULD be considered sexist/racist/homophobic etc, then you are not giving the chance for a actual conversation to take place, with people who are actually trying to change the way outsiders look in.

**after re-reading this, I sound like kind of a dick, but I feel the point I am trying to make was made, so sorry for sounding like a dick

JudgeGame:

They didn't look like blades at all, let alone weapons. It just looked like her arms had begun to break apart from the volley of shots she just received from the police.

Let's have a vote on that one. To me, they clearly looked like large, slice-and-dice implements extended from a hidden position.

Moonlight Butterfly:

th3dark3rsh33p:

Nightwing and Loki don't look like that at all? They're a slimmer build sure but they are still tall and athletic with clearly masculine features. I mean they aren't out of a Boris Vellejo painting but they are very idealized. That picture I can see making people uncomfortable because it's a man with feminine features which can give an uncanny valley feeling to people. Just like seeing an overly muscular person or a woman who has ridiculously sized breasts. They're off putting because they're so starkly separated from anything resembling reality not because you can make a legitimate case that the male character feels objectified. I also no plenty of women who thought Thor was incredibly attractive... anecdotal at best but still.

As the comic says they are more built for dexterity than impossibly muscled hulks. They are as you say eye candy for women. Said impossibly muscled hulks aren't aimed at women. They are there for men to feel powerful.

The Batman drawing in the comic shows what a majority of women do like to an extreme extent. Nice eyes a slender build and softer features.

It's false equivalence, you can't say games characters like War or Kratos are aimed at women because they just aren't, it's a nonsensical argument.

Maybe that will help you see the difference better.

Oh, cheap shot! Come on, don't break out Rob Liefeld! That's just not fair. It was the nineties, we're sorry! We didn't understand!

DjinnFor:

There's rumors that the rape scene from Laura Croft 2013 has been removed from the game. There was literally 0 reason to do so except that a bunch of extremist groups preyed on the stupidity and laziness of the masses in order to mischaracterize it as an actual issue. What I lose out of the whole arrangement is a possibly crucial piece of character development in her character arc that may seriously effect the impact of the story, even if they manage to shoehorn in some other conflict to replace it.

THERE IS NO RAPE SCENE...as far as I know

this kind of shit pisses me off to no end (not you that is)

it was a few fucking seconds from a trailer and everyone gets whiped up into a frenzy ERMAGERD RAPE SCENE!!! without stopping to think about the contenxt or what they actuallsaw in the fucking trailer (which was not rape, it was a guy who gets a bit too close for comfort...makes sense in context)

PrinceOfShapeir:

Oh, cheap shot! Come on, don't break out Rob Liefeld! That's just not fair. It was the nineties, we're sorry! We didn't understand!

I have to agree...I dont know who Liefelds unique brand of anatomy is for....but its not for most people

PrinceOfShapeir:

Oh, cheap shot! Come on, don't break out Rob Liefeld! That's just not fair. It was the nineties, we're sorry! We didn't understand!

There are plenty of examples of disregard anatomy , acquire sexy from todays comics.

Just check out the Escher girls blog if you want to see more boobs and butt based ridiculousness...

lol... just checked out Escher Girl. Oh god the spines... they're BEING TWISTED INTO HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE CREATURES!

dear lord... save me from the hideous aliens disguising themselves as women...

I suppose more on topic. I'm okay with sexy women, because I find sexy women appealing. So long as it makes sense in the context and doesn't break my suspension of disbelief with it's bone/spine breaking impossible poses, and COMPLETELY over top revealing outfits/proportions. My qualifications however don't apply to the vast majority of characters so I suppose they don't really mean much.

I always find it amusing how anti-sex feminists perpetuate gender role myths with there whole "this has been sexualised for males and not for females" bit.

Aren't we all individuals? How can you say that a character has been sexualised for men? Do individual men not all have different tastes? Are there not women out there that will prefer the "male" sexualisation?

I hear people say "no that is not sexualised for women (talking about Conan the Barbarian, a comic book character, whatever)" yet I know quite a few women that adore the bodybuilder figure and can't stand skinny or regular guys.

It seems to me that it's mostly people saying "I don't personally like this and I am (insert gender here) so this must discriminate against my gender."

Also that Batman comic kind of discredit's it's own point by having the "female version" of Batman look exactly the same as regular batman but with different lips.

th3dark3rsh33p:
dear lord... save me from the hideous aliens disguising themselves as women...

You need.. divine intervention, to stop looking at something you don't like the look of?

Are you not a.. strong independent woman? *Snaps fingers, plays short musical interlude.*

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