Anita Sarkeesian + Hitman Absolution = Epic Fail

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I understand this has been touched on in other threads, but I am still interested in holding a discussion about this one specific aspect of Anita's "Women as Background Decoration" video. (And I apologize for being a slowpoke with this, but I've only just finished playing Hitman Absolution, and I can see now how off-base Anita really is with this video.)

Specifically, Anita suggests that misogynistic behavior in video games is "always implicitly encouraged".

Anita Sarkeesian:
I should note that this kind of misogynistic behavior isn't always mandatory; often it's player-directed, but it is always implicitly encouraged.

Anita then shows a clip of Hitman Absolution, depicting the player character knocking out and dragging the bodies of female strippers around the floor.

While this is happening, the player score counter in the top corner of the screen is actually GOING DOWN.
Hitman Absolution doesn't "implicitly encourage" killing or knocking out civilians, female or otherwise. It actually discourages that kind of behavior, by actively penalizing the player for it.

So we end up with a case of Anita using video footage that proves wrong the very point she's making at the time.

Furthermore, only an idiot player is going to interfere with the strippers anyway, as they're incredibly easy to sneak past, and they only hurt your score if you try interacting with them in any way.

Not only this, but she suggests that the player "cannot help" but perform obscene acts on female NPCs.

Anita Sarkeesian:
The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon,because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose. Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters.

Once again using footage from Hitman Absolution.

image

What she DOESN'T show is that you can kill / knock out male characters, strip them of all their clothes, and leave them lying around in their underwear and/or dumped in a dumpster. Which is something you CANNOT do to female characters (take all their clothes, I mean), and is arguably worse than what you CAN do to female characters (kill them / knock them out, drag them around, -- and not much else).

***

I also feel that Anita doesn't really understand what a background character is.

Anita Sarkeesian:
Indeed nothing about the design, behaviors or mechanics associated with female characters that serve as background decoration encourages or engenders any sort of human empathy. In fact, quite the opposite, the rudimentary algorithms governing interactions lead the player to interface with these characters in ways that can only be dehumanizing and exploitative. As sexual automata, they don't have any individuality, they don't have their own stories, players are never supposed to identify with them or care about them, outside of what they can offer either sexually or materially.

It's simply not possible to give everyone in the game their own unique stories and individuality. Some characters are literally only there as background decoration, because that's the entire purpose of "background decoration".

You could argue that they should just remove the background decoration characters altogether. But to that I say; what good would a strip club level in a game be if it was completely devoid of all strippers? It would feel empty and unrealistic.

***

Anyway, in the past, I've defended many of the things that Anita has said. But I can't defend this.
I feel this Hitman Absolution blunder is completely indefensible, and I'm interested to hear if most everyone else feels the same way.

(Anita Sarkeesian transcript taken from here.)

Quick edit: I realize Thunderfoot made a video about exactly this, but I deliberately haven't mentioned him in this post, so this thread doesn't immediately get bogged down with yet another Youtube personality.

Anyway, any other Anita followers or Hitman Absolution players want to offer input on this?

There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at. You are kind of right in a factual way. The game dose punish you killing people, but I can't bring myself to defend the game on this ground. Taken as a whole, the game is very squick. Like I am thinking back to playing it and am feeling kind of sick about some of the content.

It is kind of possible to give every character a little bit of back story/personality. Games do it all the time with idle chat. It's not a lot, but when spent well it can lead to some neat characterizations. Oh and then watchdogs did that clever thing with the profiler. The kind of problem is that the idle chat for a stripper, or prostitute is all about them inviting you to be perverse. You know the stripper in GTA 5 even a fair amount of dialog. It's just all their dialog is about sex, so there is opportunity to give them character or a back story. They just don't.

i think everyone with the slightest knowledge of video games knows shes full of shit by this point, that last episode simply made it all even more obvious

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at. You are kind of right in a factual way. The game dose punish you killing people, but I can't bring myself to defend the game on this ground. Taken as a whole, the game is very squick. Like I am thinking back to playing it and am feeling kind of sick about some of the content.

It is kind of possible to give every character a little bit of back story/personality. Games do it all the time with idle chat. It's not a lot, but when spent well it can lead to some neat characterizations. Oh and then watchdogs did that clever thing with the profiler. The kind of problem is that the idle chat for a stripper, or prostitute is all about them inviting you to be perverse. You know the stripper in GTA 5 even a fair amount of dialog. It's just all their dialog is about sex, so there is opportunity to give them character or a back story. They just don't.

"you are right, but still dont like the game"

well thats your problem isnt it? the game isnt sexist, atleast regarding sex workers, which is what anita was arguing, plus im pretty sure, just like in pretty much every stealth game in existence, you can use male bodies to distract guards as well

you are making an exception now, simply because its the corpse of a woman, and actually thats kind of sexist

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at.

Really? I do not remember that. In all fairness that may have occurred after I stopped giving a fuck about being stealthy so there's that...

As far as OPs points go I can't really find fault with that. In fact, looking at the transcript, I see a lot of games on her discussion where what she's saying applies equally to NPCa of both genders. For example:

Some games explicitly incentivise and reward this kind of behavior by having murdered women drop bundles of cash for the player to collect and add to their own stash.

Of the games that I've played that she listed there isn't a single one where loot drops don't apply to both male and female NPCs regardless of the NPCs alleged occupation. I would actually argue that most games actually give more of an incentive to kill male NPCs as they're likely to be carrying money AND ammunition as opposed to just money. This isn't even considering that most games pay at least lip service to discouraging random acts of violence (reputation, morality systems, wanted level, etc.). Show me a 'Prostitute Garroting Simulator 2014' (coming soon to Steam Greenlight -_- )and I might give you this but I don't see how the above quote is actually anything resembling a valid point.

This is another point on which I would generally disagree:

Unlike other NPCs that exist for purposes outside of their sexuality, Non-Playable Sex Objects have little to no individual personality or identity to speak of,

This is said in relation to open world sandbox games. Here's something that's pretty common about such games: pretty much any non-named NPC, sexualized or otherwise, has roughly the individual personality of the random number generator that spawned them. So complaining specifically about nameless prostitutes lacking personality without mentioning that no NPC in the game is exactly what you'd call bursting with character seems misleading.

I would also add that I'd like to go 'source plz' for about 1/2 of her "conclusion" as I see a lot of dubious (to me) statements that mention research (IMO an appeal to authority) without listing any specifics or listing references. I'm sorry, but when you're going to make overarching blanket statements about anything you had best provide some citations to back your statement up.

ThingWhatSqueaks:

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at.

Really? I do not remember that. In all fairness that may have occurred after I stopped giving a fuck about being stealthy so there's that...

Did you beat the level after the strip club? That is where this segment is. I kind of think if you found the area you would know it. It's not the only place the game has sexualized violence on women. I mean it opens the game with you killing a woman in the shower. Heck that shower is the title screen.

Why, IceForce?

I know you're not a fan of the mods, but WHY do you torture them (and us) with Yet Another Fucking Anita Sarkeesian Thread?

OT: I don't care whether or not she got her facts wrong when talking about Hitman: Absolution, and quite frankly, neither should anyone else (unless they backed her, I guess). And until we get down to less than one Anita thread per month (compared to the current semi-weekly thread), I will continue to be entirely unable to care.

nomotog:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at.

Really? I do not remember that. In all fairness that may have occurred after I stopped giving a fuck about being stealthy so there's that...

Did you beat the level after the strip club? That is where this segment is. I kind of think if you found the area you would know it. It's not the only place the game has sexualized violence on women. I mean it opens the game with you killing a woman in the shower. Heck that shower is the title screen.

what about the men you kill constantly, all the time, throughout the game?

plus doesnt it bother you in the slightest that she fabricated proof?

if what you are saying its true and hitman is a women beating simulator, why show false proof?

Bit weird to target that particular aspect of the game because the behaviour discussed is punished (score goes down). Hitman has been built around interfering with as few people as possible from the start, and has explicitly codified it since the second with the 'Silent Assassin' rating.
Going to cover the Absolution NPC system in a bit of detail for those who haven't played, because it's a little different to the others:

1. Targets/Unique NPCs. These have enhanced AI and often enhanced perception. Will follow scripted sequences when not alert, and may uniquely interact with the environment or other NPCs.
2. NPCs - these have their own individual AI which means they will notice distractions, things being amiss, and will react tactically in combat. Generally you can disguise as them.
3. Crowd NPCs. These appear in certain missions to simulate a busy area. They're fairly stupid, either stand still or mill-around, and don't have unique reactions to Hitman. Instead, if you're spotted doing something bad they'll yell out and true NPCs will be alerted. If combat breaks out they'll fall to the floor, or run away and despawn at the edge of the map.

Now, in terms of female representation, it's a pretty even split in all three categories. The Crowd NPCs are randomly generated and split by gender roughly 50/50. There are female NPCs - cleaners, receptionists, scientists, the usual Hitman non-combatants. The strippers from the vid are also individual NPCs.
Then there are a few female Target NPCs. Not going to go into detail because spoilers, but you do have to kill them. Though I don't reckon that's controversial given you also kill plenty of male targets without fanfare.

There's no gameplay differentiation between male and female NPCs except in one regard - there are never any female guards/mercs/soldiers. All the aggressive NPCs are male (with the exception of the female Targets), which seems a bit odd.

That said, imo the latest Hitman did have some... issues with it's treatment of women. Pics and spoilers:

NuclearKangaroo:

nomotog:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

Really? I do not remember that. In all fairness that may have occurred after I stopped giving a fuck about being stealthy so there's that...

Did you beat the level after the strip club? That is where this segment is. I kind of think if you found the area you would know it. It's not the only place the game has sexualized violence on women. I mean it opens the game with you killing a woman in the shower. Heck that shower is the title screen.

what about the men you kill constantly, all the time, throughout the game?

plus doesnt it bother you in the slightest that she fabricated proof?

if what you are saying its true and hitman is a women beating simulator, why show false proof?

Have you played Hitman Absolution? If there was a segment with a dead male stripper in a shiny gold spedo that you had to dump over a ledge to distract a set of guards, that would be equally as disturbing. (The game has a lot of weird issues overall so it dose have some creepy stuff with men, but not exact.)

I did kind of feel that the video was off mark in some respects. It's kind of a weird tangled ball to sift through talking about objectification when in a game every NPC is an object. If they aren't a player, or an enemy, then they really have no agency. I don't really live or die based on the type of language she uses in her videos though.

I think maybe the more note worthy thing that the video brought up is that outside of context, these scenes look really bad. That was the impression I had after watching it, but the kicker comes in that looking back, I couldn't really think of anything about the context that made them less squicky.

ThingWhatSqueaks:

This is another point on which I would generally disagree:

Unlike other NPCs that exist for purposes outside of their sexuality, Non-Playable Sex Objects have little to no individual personality or identity to speak of,

This is said in relation to open world sandbox games. Here's something that's pretty common about such games: pretty much any non-named NPC, sexualized or otherwise, has roughly the individual personality of the random number generator that spawned them. So complaining specifically about nameless prostitutes lacking personality without mentioning that no NPC in the game is exactly what you'd call bursting with character seems misleading.

Didn't mention a little about this in my post? NPCs do get characterization through through small things like dialog. The GTA strippers have more dialog then some of the side characters it's just that all their characterization is spent saying I am sexy over and over again.

nomotog:

NuclearKangaroo:

nomotog:

Did you beat the level after the strip club? That is where this segment is. I kind of think if you found the area you would know it. It's not the only place the game has sexualized violence on women. I mean it opens the game with you killing a woman in the shower. Heck that shower is the title screen.

what about the men you kill constantly, all the time, throughout the game?

plus doesnt it bother you in the slightest that she fabricated proof?

if what you are saying its true and hitman is a women beating simulator, why show false proof?

Have you played Hitman Absolution? If there was a segment with a dead male stripper in a shiny gold spedo that you had to dump over a ledge to distract a set of guards, that would be equally as disturbing. (The game has a lot of weird issues overall so it dose have some creepy stuff with men, but not exact.)

I did kind of feel that the video was off mark in some respects. It's kind of a weird tangled ball to sift through talking about objectification when in a game every NPC is an object. If they aren't a player, or an enemy, then they really have no agency. I don't really live or die based on the type of language she uses in her videos though.

I think maybe the more note worthy thing that the video brought up is that outside of context, these scenes look really bad. That was the impression I had after watching it, but the kicker comes in that looking back, I couldn't really think of anything about the context that made them less squicky.

no i havent played the game, but ive seen quite a bit about it, and according to the OP, you can undress male characters in the game, can you do that with females?

one could arguably say male characters in the game have it worse, since you kill them in greater numbers, as someone else pointed out there are no female guards, plus you get to humilliate them by undressing them

you are not doing with that female character anything you cant do with a male character, am i right? are you actually disturbed by the game simply because the corpse-shaped bag of 1s and 0s you used to distract those guards was both a woman and a sex worker? shouldnt be women treated equally to men? shouldnt sex workers not be held on a different standard? then why are you not doing this?

imagine it was the corpse of a black man, would the game be racist then? if it was a rich man corpse, would it be classist? a disabled person corpse, would it be ableist?

even if it was the corpse of a male stripper in a shiny gold spedo, it makes no difference, you are the one making a big deal out of it, its the oldest job on earth, maybe you should accept that fact

Look at all the white men that were murdered brutally. This must mean that the game is not only racist, but sexist, and if you play this game, you are a rape apologist and a husband beater.

Check your privilege.

nomotog:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

This is another point on which I would generally disagree:

Unlike other NPCs that exist for purposes outside of their sexuality, Non-Playable Sex Objects have little to no individual personality or identity to speak of,

This is said in relation to open world sandbox games. Here's something that's pretty common about such games: pretty much any non-named NPC, sexualized or otherwise, has roughly the individual personality of the random number generator that spawned them. So complaining specifically about nameless prostitutes lacking personality without mentioning that no NPC in the game is exactly what you'd call bursting with character seems misleading.

Didn't mention a little about this in my post? NPCs do get characterization through through small things like dialog. The GTA strippers have more dialog then some of the side characters it's just that all their characterization is spent saying I am sexy over and over again.

strippers, saying arousing things, please listen to yourself

thats like complaining soldiers in a game only talk about weapons, war and shit like that

if a character whose job wasnt to provoke sexual arousal was saying stuff like that, youd have a good point, thats not the case

nomotog:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at.

Really? I do not remember that. In all fairness that may have occurred after I stopped giving a fuck about being stealthy so there's that...

Did you beat the level after the strip club? That is where this segment is. I kind of think if you found the area you would know it. It's not the only place the game has sexualized violence on women. I mean it opens the game with you killing a woman in the shower. Heck that shower is the title screen.

I actually completely missed it my first playthrough. My second playthrough, when I found it, I'd argue it was a good thing that I dropped the corpse. The cops were utterly stupid and missed what evidence they could find of the strip club owner murdering his own strippers for, essentially, not letting his buddies rape 'em. While you do get to murder the fat bastard earlier in the game, by dropping that corpse you can tie the murders specifically to the strip club. An investigation could be launched and those monsters responsible for such acts could end up going away for a long, long time.

And hell, while it may be "disrespectful" towards the corpse, you've done arguably worse to a few male NPCs down the line. You could've immediately killed a guy who just found out he's cancer free AND as others have said, male NPCs have the unfortunate "joy" of basically being stripped down and throne into dumpsters.

I'd argue that all things considered the Hitman series is actually against misogyny. Despite featuring prostitutes and of course some "fetishized" female assassins, the main protagonist is by all accounts Asexual. Most of your targets are frequently "perverts" of the most sick variety and celibate clergy are treating with an extraordinary degree of respect.

Just to give you an idea (and spoiling a few things, admittedly, you've been warned) down the line you're dealing with a target that's by all accounts a stupid punk. He is an incredibly misogynistic character, gloating about a woman supposedly "liking it" when he hit her and acting like he's tough shit. Your response? Well you murder his thuggish friends one by one, kidnap him, then force him to dig his own grave out in the burning hot arizona desert. When you get what you need, you have the option to gun him down like a dog.

And boy is it satisfying seeing that bastard go.

I definitely am not a Sarkeesian hater, I do think she has some decent points sometimes, but most of that video made me facepalm very hard. Not only does Hitman actively penalize you for hurting innocents in any way, she's literally complaining about a game in which you take down criminal organizations having strip joints. Strip joints are one of the most important staples of the interlope world. They're kind of hard to avoid.
Ditto for her complaining about there being Chinese prostitutes in the bits of Deus Ex: Human Revolution that are set in a Chinese tourist trap and Vietnamese women offering you to "love you long time" in Shellshock. Having prostitutes in your game doesn't mean it's misogynistic.

nomotog:

Didn't mention a little about this in my post? NPCs do get characterization through through small things like dialog. The GTA strippers have more dialog then some of the side characters it's just that all their characterization is spent saying I am sexy over and over again.

Oh now that is bull! I actually was listening to the dialog of the strippers in Absolution, and I can guarantee that they have at least TWICE as much characterization as the ones in GTA 5, the most I remember from those strippers is seeing the occasional NPC going "You liiiiike that?" in an aggravating "sensual" voice.

Absolution, though?

You learn the Strippers live in fear of their boss "sending them to Hawaii" and, if you listened earlier, you find that a few dead strippers have been found in the gutters with postcards "from hawaii" on them. You see them nervous before a show, you see experienced strippers trying to offer newbies some encouragement and care. Heck, you see one of them actually keeping up a well voice-acted conversation with a guard asking for help. I immediately sympathized with the plight of those girls there! Hell! In the VERY SCENE Anita was using for her example, those strippers were, in a rather tragic twist, trying to teach one of the newbies to not be afraid and have some freaking self-esteem.

That's right. Strippers. Trying to tell a new girl that she's better than a bunch of middle aged guys groping her. That she should keep her chin up and not let a bunch of idiots get to her.

I don't know about you, but that seems a thousand times more well-written and sympathy inducing than "Does yo' momma know ya' here~?"

EDIT: Just realized you weren't saying that the GTA 5 strippers had good characterization. I jumped the gun a bit and I apologize.

But the point still stands that the strippers in Absolution had a -lot- of character. They weren't just "decorations" like in most games.

Anita is in the same camp is the pyscho tumblr SJW trogladites, who trade logic in favor of teh feelz. Who ruin everything they can for everyone else, and then pretend THEY'RE in the right. Everyone with a braincell know she's full of shit, a liar, and a conwoman. But that doesn't matter. She's already made her fucking money, mainly through spamming forums and twitter. She's laughing all the way to the bank. She could never make a single fucking video for the rest of her life and nothing will change. Every single attempts to critque her are similar to screaming at a hurricane. And the hurricane is made of white-knights and feminazis, who proclaim everything they view is the worst shit on earth. You could present her blatant lies to the fucking police and it wouldn't work because, as we all know, if a woman cries hard enough she's immune to penalization, even if they're in the wrong. It's fucking useless to critically and logically review her content. Because her content doesn't run off logic. It runs on more crappy emotions then David Cage's bland-a-thon.

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at. You are kind of right in a factual way. The game dose punish you killing people, but I can't bring myself to defend the game on this ground. Taken as a whole, the game is very squick. Like I am thinking back to playing it and am feeling kind of sick about some of the content.

It is kind of possible to give every character a little bit of back story/personality. Games do it all the time with idle chat. It's not a lot, but when spent well it can lead to some neat characterizations. Oh and then watchdogs did that clever thing with the profiler. The kind of problem is that the idle chat for a stripper, or prostitute is all about them inviting you to be perverse. You know the stripper in GTA 5 even a fair amount of dialog. It's just all their dialog is about sex, so there is opportunity to give them character or a back story. They just don't.

This, pretty much.

And also, let's not forget that delightfully sexist trailer for the saints in that very same game. I understand they are relatively minor characters in the final product, but they pretty much fit the criticism, especially considered their main character trait lies in their sexualization. Haven't seen the episode, but if anything, she just chose the wrong footage to illustrate her point:

nomotog:

Didn't mention a little about this in my post? NPCs do get characterization through through small things like dialog. The GTA strippers have more dialog then some of the side characters it's just that all their characterization is spent saying I am sexy over and over again.

Don't be thick, they're referring to Hitman: Absolution and not any of those examples that you are using. In this specific game, regardless of gender, the NPC's had stock actions more than anything else. This is everyone outside of the actual targets.

Witty Name Here:

nomotog:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

Really? I do not remember that. In all fairness that may have occurred after I stopped giving a fuck about being stealthy so there's that...

Did you beat the level after the strip club? That is where this segment is. I kind of think if you found the area you would know it. It's not the only place the game has sexualized violence on women. I mean it opens the game with you killing a woman in the shower. Heck that shower is the title screen.

I actually completely missed it my first playthrough. My second playthrough, when I found it, I'd argue it was a good thing that I dropped the corpse. The cops were utterly stupid and missed what evidence they could find of the strip club owner murdering his own strippers for, essentially, not letting his buddies rape 'em. While you do get to murder the fat bastard earlier in the game, by dropping that corpse you can tie the murders specifically to the strip club. An investigation could be launched and those monsters responsible for such acts could end up going away for a long, long time.

And hell, while it may be "disrespectful" towards the corpse, you've done arguably worse to a few male NPCs down the line. You could've immediately killed a guy who just found out he's cancer free AND as others have said, male NPCs have the unfortunate "joy" of basically being stripped down and throne into dumpsters.

I'd argue that all things considered the Hitman series is actually against misogyny. Despite featuring prostitutes and of course some "fetishized" female assassins, the main protagonist is by all accounts Asexual. Most of your targets are frequently "perverts" of the most sick variety and celibate clergy are treating with an extraordinary degree of respect.

Just to give you an idea (and spoiling a few things, admittedly, you've been warned) down the line you're dealing with a target that's by all accounts a stupid punk. He is an incredibly misogynistic character, gloating about a woman supposedly "liking it" when he hit her and acting like he's tough shit. Your response? Well you murder his thuggish friends one by one, kidnap him, then force him to dig his own grave out in the burning hot arizona desert. When you get what you need, you have the option to gun him down like a dog.

And boy is it satisfying seeing that bastard go.

That is a fair point to make. Hitman Absolution uses misogyny as a way to make the villains evil. Though the fact they want to show it so much made me uncomfortable.

Witty Name Here:

nomotog:

Didn't mention a little about this in my post? NPCs do get characterization through through small things like dialog. The GTA strippers have more dialog then some of the side characters it's just that all their characterization is spent saying I am sexy over and over again.

Oh now that is bull! I actually was listening to the dialog of the strippers in Absolution, and I can guarantee that they have at least TWICE as much characterization as the ones in GTA 5, the most I remember from those strippers is seeing the occasional NPC going "You liiiiike that?" in an aggravating "sensual" voice.

Absolution, though?

You learn the Strippers live in fear of their boss "sending them to Hawaii" and, if you listened earlier, you find that a few dead strippers have been found in the gutters with postcards "from hawaii" on them. You see them nervous before a show, you see experienced strippers trying to offer newbies some encouragement and care. Heck, you see one of them actually keeping up a well voice-acted conversation with a guard asking for help. I immediately sympathized with the plight of those girls there! Hell! In the VERY SCENE Anita was using for her example, those strippers were, in a rather tragic twist, trying to teach one of the newbies to not be afraid and have some freaking self-esteem.

That's right. Strippers. Trying to tell a new girl that she's better than a bunch of middle aged guys groping her. That she should keep her chin up and not let a bunch of idiots get to her.

I don't know about you, but that seems a thousand times more well-written and sympathy inducing than "Does yo' momma know ya' here~?"

Maybe I didn't say it right. What I was talking about is how the strippers in GTA5 have dozens of lines of dialog with no characterization other then I'm sexy. I was talking about how they could have had characterization, but they just didn't. It was in responce to an argument that NPCs can't have characterization because they are NPCs.

Ya I am going to have to give Hitman Absolution credit there again. I did listen to the hawaii bit. You don't really see a conversation like that to often.

Edit:

Witty Name Here:

EDIT: Just realized you weren't saying that the GTA 5 strippers had good characterization. I jumped the gun a bit and I apologize.

But the point still stands that the strippers in Absolution had a -lot- of character. They weren't just "decorations" like in most games.

It's OK. Some times people misunderstand each other. You are right about them having some good character. I just kind of forgot that part among the other parts of the game. I don't always recall every game I play with 100% perfection.

grimner:

nomotog:
There is that spot in absolution where you have to use the body of a dead stripper to distract some guards. Well I guess you don't have to have to, but it is about the only way you can do that segment without getting shot at. You are kind of right in a factual way. The game dose punish you killing people, but I can't bring myself to defend the game on this ground. Taken as a whole, the game is very squick. Like I am thinking back to playing it and am feeling kind of sick about some of the content.

It is kind of possible to give every character a little bit of back story/personality. Games do it all the time with idle chat. It's not a lot, but when spent well it can lead to some neat characterizations. Oh and then watchdogs did that clever thing with the profiler. The kind of problem is that the idle chat for a stripper, or prostitute is all about them inviting you to be perverse. You know the stripper in GTA 5 even a fair amount of dialog. It's just all their dialog is about sex, so there is opportunity to give them character or a back story. They just don't.

This, pretty much.

And also, let's not forget that delightfully sexist trailer for the saints in that very same game. I understand they are relatively minor characters in the final product, but they pretty much fit the criticism, especially considered their main character trait lies in their sexualization. Haven't seen the episode, but if anything, she just chose the wrong footage to illustrate her point:

except anita never addressed this, lets not forged why we are discussing this, why this thread exists, she FABRICATED PROOF, how can you expect to sustain an argument with lies?

she is full of shit, and if hitman is sexist, it is NOT because the game portraits sex workers, plus no game is sexist simply because it portraits sex workers with no more detail than any other job in the game

150 thousand dollars and she cant even bother to do her own homework, what a scam she is

Well, let's look a bit broader. Why don't we start with the fact that there IS a strip club level in the first place. The game does not need to have a strip club level for the plot to progress, and women are the only ones ever in such a situation. The intent to willingly code in a level based around a sexy club which features sexy women dressed - or undressed - sexually, almost certainly to appeal to the male player, is not exactly benign. And need I remind us all the other sexism charges this game faced? *coughkungfulatexnunscough*

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

P.S.: To prove I'm trying to take the middle ground here, I leave you with a Bro Team quote:

(shoots stripper) THIS IS SEXIST.
(shoots guy) THIS IS ACCEPTABLE.

NuclearKangaroo:

except anita never addressed this, lets not forged why we are discussing this, why this thread exists, she FABRICATED PROOF, how can you expect to sustain an argument with lies?

she is full of shit, and if hitman is sexist, it is NOT because the game portraits sex workers, plus no game is sexist simply because it portraits sex workers with no more detail than any other job in the game

150 thousand dollars and she cant even bother to do her own homework, what a scam she is

I'd say if it riles up every dickwad closet sexist going around foaming at the mouth, 150K are quite well spent. Even if her work was done deliberately out to troll.

But to reiterate, not because it wasn't clear before, but for the sake of being easier to grasp, the Saints, depicted in the shown video are illustrative of the sexism Anita decries. If anything, and like I said on the previous post,

if anything, she just chose the wrong footage to illustrate her point

grimner:

NuclearKangaroo:

except anita never addressed this, lets not forged why we are discussing this, why this thread exists, she FABRICATED PROOF, how can you expect to sustain an argument with lies?

she is full of shit, and if hitman is sexist, it is NOT because the game portraits sex workers, plus no game is sexist simply because it portraits sex workers with no more detail than any other job in the game

150 thousand dollars and she cant even bother to do her own homework, what a scam she is

I'd say if it riles up every dickwad closet sexist going around foaming at the mouth, 150K are quite well spent. Even if her work was done deliberately out to troll.

But to reiterate, not because it wasn't clear before, but for the sake of being easier to grasp, the Saints, depicted in the shown video are illustrative of the sexism Anita decries. If anything, and like I said on the previous post,

if anything, she just chose the wrong footage to illustrate her point

typical

"they say im wrong, and have arguments that prove it, therefore they must be sexist!"

i think we are done here

Matthew Jabour:
Well, let's look a bit broader. Why don't we start with the fact that there IS a strip club level in the first place. The game does not need to have a strip club level for the plot to progress, and women are the only ones ever in such a situation. The intent to willingly code in a level based around a sexy club which features sexy women dressed - or undressed - sexually, almost certainly to appeal to the male player, is not exactly benign. And need I remind us all the other sexism charges this game faced? *coughkungfulatexnunscough*

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

P.S.: To prove I'm trying to take the middle ground here, I leave you with a Bro Team quote:

(shoots stripper) THIS IS SEXIST.
(shoots guy) THIS IS ACCEPTABLE.

the real world also has strip clubs, where, mostly women work

is reality sexist?

nomotog:
It's kind of a weird tangled ball to sift through talking about objectification when in a game every NPC is an object. If they aren't a player, or an enemy, then they really have no agency.

I think when it comes to games there is (or should be) a clear difference between a character and an actual object. Sure, if we boil everything in the game down to its most basic components, everything is just code that we interact with, but when you take story and actions carried out throughout the game together, the NPC is at least able to be given the illusion of having agency and personality regardless that all of it is driven by a writer. Objects, on the other hand, can never reach that level of illusion and are often just things to be used by someone to reach an ultimate goal.

As an example, in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, both Farah and The Dagger of Time are completely inseparable from the plot and are both basically require the player to care about them on some basic level. However, while Farah gives off a sense of independence and personality that makes her seem like an actual person player's can empathize with similarly to how they will with an actual person, The Dagger of Time is essentially just an important item that they need to complete the story but don't care about on any deeper level. Sure, when you boil both of them down to their most basic components, they are just code that the player interacts with to advance the game/story, but the presentation ultimately changes the ways in which players view them.

Now, it simply isn't possible to characterize every NPC in the game. Games that try to do that with the NPCs the player can interact with outside of combat tend to have worlds that feel unpopulated compared to what they should be (e.g. Skyrim) because we simply don't have the technology or resources yet to make every NPC like an actual person. However, there are also ways to avoid turning NPCs into simple objects the player looks at or interacts with in no greater way than they would a trophy, and while many games have tried and succeeded to various degrees at making women in their worlds seem like more than just objects for the predominantly male audience, we've still got a ways to go before female characters receive the same level of representation and characterization as male characters do.

NuclearKangaroo:

grimner:

NuclearKangaroo:

except anita never addressed this, lets not forged why we are discussing this, why this thread exists, she FABRICATED PROOF, how can you expect to sustain an argument with lies?

she is full of shit, and if hitman is sexist, it is NOT because the game portraits sex workers, plus no game is sexist simply because it portraits sex workers with no more detail than any other job in the game

150 thousand dollars and she cant even bother to do her own homework, what a scam she is

I'd say if it riles up every dickwad closet sexist going around foaming at the mouth, 150K are quite well spent. Even if her work was done deliberately out to troll.

But to reiterate, not because it wasn't clear before, but for the sake of being easier to grasp, the Saints, depicted in the shown video are illustrative of the sexism Anita decries. If anything, and like I said on the previous post,

if anything, she just chose the wrong footage to illustrate her point

typical

"they say im wrong, and have arguments that prove it, therefore they must be sexist!"

i think we are done here

We were done long before that, since I did consubstantiate my point with the game's trailer that fits perfectly into Anita's criticism as depicted by the OP. My reiteration of said point, done in stark to the absense of one in what was tried to pass as an argument was done out of mere courtesy.

grimner:

NuclearKangaroo:

grimner:

I'd say if it riles up every dickwad closet sexist going around foaming at the mouth, 150K are quite well spent. Even if her work was done deliberately out to troll.

But to reiterate, not because it wasn't clear before, but for the sake of being easier to grasp, the Saints, depicted in the shown video are illustrative of the sexism Anita decries. If anything, and like I said on the previous post,

typical

"they say im wrong, and have arguments that prove it, therefore they must be sexist!"

i think we are done here

We were done long before that, since I did consubstantiate my point with the game's trailer that fits perfectly into Anita's criticism as depicted by the OP. My reiteration of said point, done in stark to the absense of one in what was tried to pass as an argument was done out of mere courtesy.

of course lets talk about the trailer and only the trailer, lets ignore all the counter arguments on this thread offered by the people who played the game, lets ignore the fact she F-A-B-R-I-C-A-T-E-D PROOF, as in, the proof she used to sustain her argument is not real

but her argument is valid? yeah no

if 150 thousand dollars cant afford some damn basic research boy do the people who paid for that love to burn money

also i again congratulate you for insulting everyone who disagrees with her, specially since, like a said, she provides false proof for her argument, truthly the sign of any good debate is insulting the people that proved you wrong

MysticSlayer:

nomotog:
It's kind of a weird tangled ball to sift through talking about objectification when in a game every NPC is an object. If they aren't a player, or an enemy, then they really have no agency.

I think when it comes to games there is (or should be) a clear difference between a character and an actual object. Sure, if we boil everything in the game down to its most basic components, everything is just code that we interact with, but when you take story and actions carried out throughout the game together, the NPC is at least able to be given the illusion of having agency and personality regardless that all of it is driven by a writer. Objects, on the other hand, can never reach that level of illusion and are often just things to be used by someone to reach an ultimate goal.

As an example, in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, both Farah and The Dagger of Time are completely inseparable from the plot and are both basically require the player to care about them on some basic level. However, while Farah gives off a sense of independence and personality that makes her seem like an actual person player's can empathize with similarly to how they will with an actual person, The Dagger of Time is essentially just an important item that they need to complete the story but don't care about on any deeper level. Sure, when you boil both of them down to their most basic components, they are just code that the player interacts with to advance the game/story, but the presentation ultimately changes the ways in which players view them.

Now, it simply isn't possible to characterize every NPC in the game. Games that try to do that with the NPCs the player can interact with outside of combat tend to have worlds that feel unpopulated compared to what they should be (e.g. Skyrim) because we simply don't have the technology or resources yet to make every NPC like an actual person. However, there are also ways to avoid turning NPCs into simple objects the player looks at or interacts with in no greater way than they would a trophy, and while many games have tried and succeeded to various degrees at making women in their worlds seem like more than just objects for the predominantly male audience, we've still got a ways to go before female characters receive the same level of representation and characterization as male characters do.

I think skyrim dose a little better then most with it's something something AI thingy. The NPCs might not always be flushed out or the highest point of writing, but they have a bit of personality and even actions they take under their own volition. There are some places where NPCs are basically turned into game objects though. An example in the video were the courtesans from assassins creed and we can add in the thieves and mercenaries too. They don't really exist for any other reason then for the player to come and along and pick up and use them.

Matthew Jabour:
Well, let's look a bit broader. Why don't we start with the fact that there IS a strip club level in the first place. The game does not need to have a strip club level for the plot to progress, and women are the only ones ever in such a situation. The intent to willingly code in a level based around a sexy club which features sexy women dressed - or undressed - sexually, almost certainly to appeal to the male player, is not exactly benign. And need I remind us all the other sexism charges this game faced? *coughkungfulatexnunscough*

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

P.S.: To prove I'm trying to take the middle ground here, I leave you with a Bro Team quote:

(shoots stripper) THIS IS SEXIST.
(shoots guy) THIS IS ACCEPTABLE.

I find it hard to believe you're taking the middle ground when you're advocating that elements of the game's tone is worthy of criticism. Hitman has always had seedy underground sex-ridden locations, the same that are depicted in films and are present in reality.

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

So any game where you can kill women?

These never lead anywhere. She mad a poorly made, poorly argued and poorly thought out video. But a certain segment is not going to care. She is a figure beyond her content and the discussion therein is mainly about two stubborn veiwpoints butting heads.

grimner:

Dickwad closet sexist going around foaming at the mouth

This is exactly what i mean. You came in here with a preconceived notion. This is the problem with the framing of the debate; you can't separate critique of content with hatred of a person or a gender and this renders any discussion pointless. I think many people just take Anita as this symbol rather than looking at her content.

She is broadly doing an admirable thing in the least admirable and least competent way possible. Her argument in this particular video is horrendously bad. BUT waht most people take issue with are the wider issues of women in gaming.

Here's the thing: gaming has a problem with narrowly focused grizzled white male 20-35 protagonists. Most protagonists are this generic guy. Women are underrepresented and sometimes portrayed in a problematic manor. This much we know. This much i stand behind.

But Anita Sarkeesian is the WORST person to be advocating this position mostly because she dose not advocate this position. People THINK she does but the debate here has a dissonance; she isn't saying what many think she is. The idea of a 'broad good' without looking at the content is the problem. Many people come into this debate with only the idea of her as this women who was horribly attacked by anonymous hate. And she was. BUT she is also a producer of some of the most problematically produced and dishonest content. These two issues CAN and SHOULD be separated.

Please for the love of god people start having this discussion correctly!

I always never got that. Should the strippers be invincible or something? What sense would that make? You can kill men in the droves, as shown in the trailer, so why would women be any different.

Oh yea, it's only sexist when its against women. Carry on.

I just don't see why you don't shut up about her and let her sink into obscurity. All this controversy over some silly woman making cheap YouTube videos, where it is you who is keeping her in the spotlight with all the threads and all the insults and shit. Just don't give her the time of day, don't post about her and she'll be making videos for a couple of thousand views at most. It's the constant controversies that is keeping her in the public eye and allowing her crap to be spread to more people.

I guess in the age of Steam achievements though, people use controversy to get forum badges and shit? I don't know, it all just seems so pointless to me.

Lovely Mixture:

Matthew Jabour:
Well, let's look a bit broader. Why don't we start with the fact that there IS a strip club level in the first place. The game does not need to have a strip club level for the plot to progress, and women are the only ones ever in such a situation. The intent to willingly code in a level based around a sexy club which features sexy women dressed - or undressed - sexually, almost certainly to appeal to the male player, is not exactly benign. And need I remind us all the other sexism charges this game faced? *coughkungfulatexnunscough*

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

P.S.: To prove I'm trying to take the middle ground here, I leave you with a Bro Team quote:

(shoots stripper) THIS IS SEXIST.
(shoots guy) THIS IS ACCEPTABLE.

I find it hard to believe you're taking the middle ground when you're advocating that elements of the game's tone is worthy of criticism. Hitman has always had seedy underground sex-ridden locations, the same that are depicted in films and are present in reality.

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

So any game where you can kill women?

Just because they have done similar things in the past, that does not mean it's okay. And yes, strip clubs do exist in reality. So does child pornography. Neither make a game more classy for their inclusion.

And no, not any game where you can kill women. Not all women are strippers. That comment has some unfortunate implications.

NuclearKangaroo:

Matthew Jabour:
Well, let's look a bit broader. Why don't we start with the fact that there IS a strip club level in the first place. The game does not need to have a strip club level for the plot to progress, and women are the only ones ever in such a situation. The intent to willingly code in a level based around a sexy club which features sexy women dressed - or undressed - sexually, almost certainly to appeal to the male player, is not exactly benign. And need I remind us all the other sexism charges this game faced? *coughkungfulatexnunscough*

Obviously, Sarkeesian is taking things too far. But any game where you would not have to go out of your way to beat up female strippers is asking to be called out.

P.S.: To prove I'm trying to take the middle ground here, I leave you with a Bro Team quote:

(shoots stripper) THIS IS SEXIST.
(shoots guy) THIS IS ACCEPTABLE.

the real world also has strip clubs, where, mostly women work

is reality sexist?

The real world also has S&M clubs. Put one of those in your game, and people would be a little disturbed.

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