Anita Sarkeesian + Hitman Absolution = Epic Fail

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nomotog:
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.

Just to clear something up, I wasn't criticizing Skyrim's approach. I was just pointing out that when characterizing every NPC is a priority then things like scale (i.e. population size) need to be sacrificed. Comparatively, games like The Witcher, Grand Theft Auto, and Assassin's Creed characterize a very small number of their NPCs, but they also have a sense of scale that Skyrim lacks. I'm not really against either system, but I do think games going for scale should remain aware of how they may end up unintentionally turning certain groups into objects in the world rather than characters inhabiting that world.

SUPA FRANKY:
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've pointed out in other threads based around this video that I think the best option when approaching the problem isn't to make women invincible, it is to make it so the game's world as a whole recognizes that women aren't just objects. For instance, Dishonored gave us a few female allies, all of whom had a decent amount of characterization and independence. When we did go to the brothel, it gave us numerous threads to follow to piece together the dark history of the place and let us see a bit into the lives of many of the workers. Despite giving us a brothel level with plenty of women to kill, the game's overarching view of women was that they were people just like everyone else, and appreciating some eye candy and/or killing them was only a very small percentage of the interaction the player had with the world's women.

Now, I'm not saying that every game has to approach the scenario like Dishonored. The Witcher's (at least the first game's) rather subversive approach to its otherwise objectified view of women could never have worked in Dishonored's approach to the subject, and Mario platformers would hardly benefit from trying to give a detailed story, but they've still recently given us a little more context to the situation than the earliest Super Mario Bros. games. However, the general idea still remains: If the extent, or the vast majority, of a game's interaction with female NPCs is to appreciate eye candy, kill them, "win" them at the end, and/or just toy around with them, then the game's world, rather unrealistically and likely unintentionally, presents women as a whole as little more than objects for the likely male protagonist, likely male antagonist, and likely overwhelmingly male dominated cast of lesser characters to use for their own purposes. Simply recognizing that female characters can, in fact, be independent characters that mean something more than just how they serve men can go a long way to making those moments where they can be killed and/or do serve a man's purpose seem like just one way in which they can interact with the world rather than being their sole, or at least primary, purpose for existence in the world.

Anita is fundamentally correct. What's the range of possible interaction available in these types of games in general? Punch, shoot, drag around. To kill or not to kill, that is the question.

Obviously this is true with respect to both male and female victims, but that doesn't make it right that men are treated just as badly.

NPCs in games are usually victims, and the best they can hope for is that they get lucky and the player doesn't kill them. They're a lot like the people in Gaza right now, while the "heroic" IDF is saving the world (or at least Zionist Israel), one Palestinian corpse at a time.

This comes back to the fact that in the majority of video games, the protagonist is playing a mass murderer. This premise shapes the entire game experience and how he interacts with NPCs.

You HAVE to kill creatures en mass in video games because otherwise there's no game. Otherwise you just run around doing nothing and not advancing the plot. This is the core of what Anita means (admittedly not the best example since those strippers aren't required for the plot) - you either PLAY THE GAME by killing the strippers or you reject fully experiencing the game by bypassing them.

2013 saw a decline in the percentage of mainstream games that feature killing as a primary aspect of gameplay to 61% from the 80% of the previous eight or more years, but that's still a ridiculously high number, far higher than every other artform in human history.

Mass murder is so common in video games and has been for so incredibly long that players don't even notice it. They don't understand it, don't criticize it, don't want to criticize it, don't want to understand it.

The only way to advance most games' plots is to kill. Not only do games boil down to "to kill or not to kill, that is the question" but just like Anita says, the game only WORKS if you kill. The penalty for not killing is stalling the game.

Consider The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. These games have really good, sometimes great NPCs precisely *because* they aren't there just to get blown away by the protagonist. Neither game is *about* murder in the way most games are. Because the games aren't about murder, they can explore complex reality and *build* characters. Because the games don't trivialize people's lives in order to accommodate them as bullet bags they can express mature reality.

We might want to give serious thought to an industry which for decades has been dominated by the idea of a world filled with evil monsters which a Level 1 hero or noble soldier fortunately is willing to commit genocide against to save the world and make himself more powerful and rich. No other artform in history is built on this premise, even comic books with their militant fascist violence are mild in comparison.

MysticSlayer:

I've pointed out in other threads based around this video that I think the best option when approaching the problem isn't to make women invincible, it is to make it so the game's world as a whole recognizes that women aren't just objects. For instance, Dishonored gave us a few female allies, all of whom had a decent amount of characterization and independence. When we did go to the brothel, it gave us numerous threads to follow to piece together the dark history of the place and let us see a bit into the lives of many of the workers. Despite giving us a brothel level with plenty of women to kill, the game's overarching view of women was that they were people just like everyone else, and appreciating some eye candy and/or killing them was only a very small percentage of the interaction the player had with the world's women.

Now, I'm not saying that every game has to approach the scenario like Dishonored. The Witcher's (at least the first game's) rather subversive approach to its otherwise objectified view of women could never have worked in Dishonored's approach to the subject, and Mario platformers would hardly benefit from trying to give a detailed story, but they've still recently given us a little more context to the situation than the earliest Super Mario Bros. games. However, the general idea still remains: If the extent, or the vast majority, of a game's interaction with female NPCs is to appreciate eye candy, kill them, "win" them at the end, and/or just toy around with them, then the game's world, rather unrealistically and likely unintentionally, presents women as a whole as little more than objects for the likely male protagonist, likely male antagonist, and likely overwhelmingly male dominated cast of lesser characters to use for their own purposes. Simply recognizing that female characters can, in fact, be independent characters that mean something more than just how they serve men can go a long way to making those moments where they can be killed and/or do serve a man's purpose seem like just one way in which they can interact with the world rather than being their sole, or at least primary, purpose for existence in the world.

Well, you can really make anything seem like an object if you try hard enough. Te shopkeepers in games like Skyrim or Resident Evil have no other purpose but to sell you loot. The enemies you murder in droves have no other purpose but being hacked into pieces for slaughter.

Matthew Jabour:

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.

The game's subject material is dark, hence why it utilizes venues such as strip clubs. You are criticizing them for this as if to say it is wrong.

Matthew Jabour:

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

You missed what I was trying to say.
Your comment:

Matthew Jabour:

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.

You can beat up or kill women in various other games, why is it such a big deal if they are strippers?

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.

Actually that dead stripper had a backstory, she was trying to leave the sex trade she was forced into and the owner/operator/scumbag-pieceofshit gave her a one way vacation to "Hawaii", where "Hawaii" was just a burned out abandoned building next door to the strip club where the scumbag-POS would take strippers who were uppity or otherwise "trouble" in his eyes, force them to commit sex acts then kill them, which is what happened to that particular stripper.
And using her body, which had been rotting in that building for god knows how long, to distract the cops was in a sense a bit of closure for her as the cops didn't give a shit what happened to her, now they were forced to deal with it.
In my eyes that was a very human story about the exploitation of women. If you'd taken a few seconds to actually listen to the background conversations in the strip club level prior to that, the body would be explained and given a backstory.

I quite like how many people in this thread have put a positive twist on that dead stripper you find in the derelict building. I hadn't thought of it that way, so thanks.

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.

It's a real-world portrayal.
Sure, you could argue that no video games, ever, should have brothels / strip clubs / strippers / prostitutes in them, but why impose such restrictions? If you want to frame a game around seedy city underbellies, it would be silly to NOT include the world's oldest profession.

Matthew Jabour:
And yes, strip clubs do exist in reality. So does child pornography. Neither make a game more classy for their inclusion.

False equivalence, given that child porn is illegal, and strip clubs aren't.

briankoontz:
Anita is fundamentally correct. What's the range of possible interaction available in these types of games in general? Punch, shoot, drag around. To kill or not to kill, that is the question.

Obviously this is true with respect to both male and female victims, but that doesn't make it right that men are treated just as badly.

If you can perform the same actions to both male and female characters, with little or no difference between them, then that means that aspect of the game is not sexist.

Anita's whole point is to show examples of sexism and misogyny in video games. She has certainly produced a few good examples (Red Dead Redemption, for example), but where she shoots herself in the foot is when she starts showing footage of "terrible" acts performed on female NPCs, when you can perform exactly the same acts on male NPCs too.

If you can do the same to both, then it's not inherently sexist.

Yes, it may be gratuitously violent, but last I looked the name of Anita's series is "Tropes vs Women in Video Games", not "Tropes vs Violence in Video Games".

briankoontz:
NPCs in games are usually victims, and the best they can hope for is that they get lucky and the player doesn't kill them. They're a lot like the people in Gaza right now, while the "heroic" IDF is saving the world (or at least Zionist Israel), one Palestinian corpse at a time.

I'm glad you brought up the example of Gaza, because that's not inherently sexist either.

Whether you be man or woman, if you're living in Gaza right now, you're just as much at risk as anyone else living there.

Just because something is bad, violent, or abhorrent, doesn't mean that it's automatically sexist.

Unfortunately, Anita has gone down the route of showing violent acts performed against female NPCs in video games, even though the violent acts are not even unique to female NPCs at all. And she's ended up discrediting herself in the process.

Could it be due to scope creep? Probably.

SUPA FRANKY:
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.

I'm not particularly a fan of making strippers or female NPCs invincible, because children in video games are already like that, and it's silly.

Besides, making female NPCs invincible would essentially be giving them preferential treatment just because they're female, which is worst than the status quo, in my opinion.

Scrumpmonkey:
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!

See, now this is getting us somewhere.

You took a quote of mine where I used the words Dickwad closet sexist going around foaming at the mouth (henceforth referred to as DCSGAFM). But you did ignore the two instances ( that I counted) before your post where said DCSGAFMs established their arguments solely on character attack and literally nothing else.

In fact, even you just went down the road of the ad hominem, as well, when you focus the krux of your post on the person of Sarkeesi rather than what she said. Regarding what she said, well, it may surprise you or not that I actually generally agree with you. She's actually rather tame and inconsequencial in her videos, both in the oversimplification of the very points she defends and in the superficiality of her research of the medium. And it does hurt her point, as this example demonstrates: her choice of stock footage over a strongly decried, criticized objectively sexist trailer that would actually prove her point does her very little favors.

However, she is not wrong. The saints are a part of the finished product and are indeed highly sexualized (to the point of it being its unique character trait) antagonists, and her inclusion and design does indeed open the game up for misogynous implications: these stripper assassins are designed to be sexualized and objectified, and you are meant, as a player to derive enjoyment from their killings. That she chose the wrong footage to ilustrate the point does not invalidate the existence of said issue. And this is where threads get derailed.

Her detractors, especially said DCSGAFMs use this to hijack a thread from its original point of discussion to the subject of Anita's character or lack thereof. SJWs or whatyahave it fall for it and end up spending most of the energy defending a not particularly likeable or savvy personality whose biggest merit was arguably to have brought this up to public discourse and whose biggest flaw lies in the fact that the presence of her name in a discussion often tends to make all points she makes moot due to thread hijacking. And long before my post, there were already people coming in here saying she is a piece of shit and that said fact made all she said invalid because, well, she is a piece of shit.

grimner:
However, she is not wrong. The saints are a part of the finished product and are indeed highly sexualized (to the point of it being its unique character trait) antagonists, and her inclusion and design does indeed open the game up for misogynous implications: these stripper assassins are designed to be sexualized and objectified, and you are meant, as a player to derive enjoyment from their killings.

When she said she would be using footage from Hitman Absolution, I was sure it would be footage of the nun assassins. So I was quite surprised when I saw the footage was of another part of the game entirely.

Indeed, there is definitely a point to be made against those female nun antagonists. But for whatever reason, Anita decided to target a different point instead.

grimner:
That she chose the wrong footage to ilustrate the point does not invalidate the existence of said issue.

I does invalidate it when the topic of her video is "Women as Background Decoration".
Obviously, the Saints are not "background decoration", so footage of them wouldn't fit in this video.

BathorysGraveland2:
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.

I can assure you, I didn't make this thread to get a badge.
If you look under my avatar, you'll see I already have the badge.

I don't doubt that the reason behind a number of these threads, might be to get a badge. But that's not the case here.

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?

How many of those men are sexualised?

How many of those men are presented as sex objects?

How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

I agree, and I wrote a long post in another thread about how Anita completely misrepresented the tone and game mechanics of that Strip Club section - which I now can't find, because the Sarkeesian threads tend to get locked and deleted with quite some regularity. Anyway, suffice it to say that the strip club section of the game is designed to build antipathy towards, and justification for killing, the corrupt club owner, there's no reason or motivation whatsoever to harm any of the girls, and if you do find yourself dragging the strippers around in circles you're flat out playing the game wrong and must be either very bored or have worrying sexual kinks that could be better catered for elsewhere.

The same can be said for that one section later on where you discover dead stripper and use her corpse as a distraction. Yes, in very literal terms the stripper has become objectified and is "used" as a game mechanic - but I'd say it's justified in the context of further underlining what a bastard the club owner was. It's not included for laughs, the dead girl isn't sexualised (again, if this part of the game turns you on, that's between you and your psychiatrist), and I don't think it can be said to support any kind of trend of misogyny in the game. Heck, if the players principles prevent him/her from interacting briefly with the dead female body to accomplish a clean getaway, the alternative is to simply walk downstairs and kill the group of male police officers - and if that's considered the lesser of two evils, I might argue that suggests misandry, not misogyny.

What's a bit more interesting about the latest FemFreq video is this idea of "can implies should" - the idea that in a game that provides any kind of sandbox, any choice the player is given is implicitly condoned, even if it's self-destructive or triggers a lose-condition. The developers of Absolution wouldn't have gone to the effort of coding death animations for civilians if they weren't reasonably confident that some players would kill civilians, for example. But does this mean the developers want players to kill civilians? I'm not so sure.

I'm sure plenty of people remember the similar discussion around Skyrim when it first came out, and people discovered that you could potentially kill any man, woman or animal in the game - but not children. Kids were invincible. And some people set about creating mods to let you kill children, too. Hold up, let's read that last bit again - people went out of their way to make it so that you could kill children?! Why on earth would people want to do that? In isolation and out of context it sounds horrible. But I think that's oversimplifying things. We could make an argument about consistency and creating a less restricted experience where you can roleplay a truly evil character, or run the risk of a stray arrow hitting a kid in a battle, or have heightened stakes when a dragon attacks a village. None of this stems from an actual, real-life desire to kill kids. Yahtzee uncharacteristically waded into the argument, and, also uncharacteristically, I found myself disagreeing with him: his counterargument was that in a game where you could have sex with adults, would we insist on making kids fuckable too? Aside from this being a silly slippery-slope argument (killing is often justified in games, sex less often), I'd say the same consistency argument could be applied. In a hypothetical game where you could have sex with any man, woman and animal - consensual or not - then yeah, it'd be a weird omission to have kids in the setting that you couldn't do the same to. I'm not saying for a minute that this would be a moral or enjoyable game, but hey, once you set a precedent...

I dunno. Does "can" imply "should"? If a button is there for pressing, can all possible in-game interactions be seen as just variations on a button-press, or has it become more complicated than that?

Anita is, and always has been, a clueless fuckin dimwit. Don't people know this by now?

She doesn't care about being objective at all. She has a goal. And that is to find stuff that she, as some kind of feminazi, can complain about. And she will find it everywhere she looks, because she wants to see it. She doesn't even make an effort to think about things objectively. She will make shit up, misinterpret on purpose or because she's an idiot and she will jump to conclusions in order to make her point. Why do so many people still pay attention to this fuckin' moron is beyond me.

IceForce:

grimner:
However, she is not wrong. The saints are a part of the finished product and are indeed highly sexualized (to the point of it being its unique character trait) antagonists, and her inclusion and design does indeed open the game up for misogynous implications: these stripper assassins are designed to be sexualized and objectified, and you are meant, as a player to derive enjoyment from their killings.

When she said she would be using footage from Hitman Absolution, I was sure it would be footage of the nun assassins. So I was quite surprised when I saw the footage was of another part of the game entirely.

Indeed, there is definitely a point to be made against those female nun antagonists. But for whatever reason, Anita decided to target a different point instead.

grimner:
That she chose the wrong footage to ilustrate the point does not invalidate the existence of said issue.

I does invalidate it when the topic of her video is "Women as Background Decoration".
Obviously, the Saints are not "background decoration", so footage of them wouldn't fit in this video.

A fair enough point, or at the very least, a clearer picture of where you're coming from with this thread. I should probably point out I didn't (nor I intend to) watch Anita's video and am responding to the issues and quotes you raised with your OP.

It still does seem like a technicality, though, even if it's one she opened herself up to by her choice of footage. Fact is, if I am reading you correctly, the Saints make for such huge targets that had she used her footage while stating that they're stock secondary antagonists whose only character trait and motivation for any empathy is their overbearing sexualized appearance, you'd have been fine with it, or at least expect it. I mean, it's really not that hard at all to see where your quote could be applied to them, and while I *do* see your point, I'd still stand by the notion that her argument is sloppy, but not wrong.

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:
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?

How many of those men are sexualised?

How many of those men are presented as sex objects?

How many strip clubs are full of only male strippers?

You see, if you're going to make an attempt at even a semi-realistic portrayal of something seedy like a strip club, in a video game, it's going to have the same 'gender bias' as the real thing does. Does that make the video game sexist?

Windknight:
How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

People take showers, it's what they do. People take showers naked, it's what they do.
This is not unique to males or females.

Sorry, but I don't see any sexism present in this scene.

In my opinion, it's presented relatively tastefully, and not sexualized at all.

Though it's interesting how a shower curtain magically appears out of nowhere.

Windknight:

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?

How many of those men are sexualised?

How many of those men are presented as sex objects?

How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

you can undress men in this game, no woman can be undressed

these women are sex workers, why in the hell should they not be sexualized?

is like asking for a scientist character to be spectacuraly dumb, is out of character

men dont go to stripper clubs to see reasonably dressed women i can tell you that

Matthew Jabour:

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.

well if you are disturbed thats fine but you must recognize thats your fault, it doesnt mean the game is sexist

as for S&M, sure why not

NuclearKangaroo:
you can undress men in this game, no woman can be undressed

This right here is the main point I was making with this thread.

In fact, not even Thunderfoot included this point in his video.

Anita goes to great lengths to show all the terrible things one can do to the female background characters in Hitman Absolution, but she completely neglects to mention that it's possible to treat men in this game WORSE than women.

Can you imagine the outcry there would be, if it was possible to undress women in this game and wear their clothes?

IceForce:

NuclearKangaroo:
you can undress men in this game, no woman can be undressed

This right here is the main point I was making with this thread.

In fact, not even Thunderfoot included this point in his video.

Anita goes to great lengths to show all the terrible things one can do to the female background characters in Hitman Absolution, but she completely neglects to mention that it's possible to treat men in this game WORSE than women.

Can you imagine the outcry there would be, if it was possible to undress women in this game and wear their clothes?

thatd be hilarious

that being said you can undress women in bethesda games so i assume the outcry wouldnt be big, that is, unless anita made a mountain out of a grain of sand yet again

NuclearKangaroo:

these women are sex workers, why in the hell should they not be sexualized?

is like asking for a scientist character to be spectacuraly dumb, is out of character

men dont go to stripper clubs to see reasonably dressed women i can tell you that

IceForce:

Windknight:

How many strip clubs are full of only male strippers?

You see, if you're going to make an attempt at even a semi-realistic portrayal of something seedy like a strip club, in a video game, it's going to have the same 'gender bias' as the real thing does. Does that make the video game sexist?

nonetheless combing sex with violence - sexualised violence - goes into an uncomfortable and unpleasant place, with general implications that need to be carefully though out, which in this case are simply not being thought out. Thats before we get into the way sex worked face actual violence and degrading treatment for being sex workers, are treated as disposable or may have actively been trapped into their line of work.

None of these aspects come into play when killing other npc's whether their male or female (and she only specifically calls out violence towards and treatment of sex workers in this video).

Windknight:
How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

People take showers, it's what they do. People take showers naked, it's what they do.
This is not unique to males or females.

Sorry, but I don't see any sexism present in this scene.

Wow... everybody showers naked... such a compelling and insightful argument, next your going to tell me the sky is blue, and the pope is catholic, and other wonderful factoids that have no bearing on the point I was making.

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:

these women are sex workers, why in the hell should they not be sexualized?

is like asking for a scientist character to be spectacuraly dumb, is out of character

men dont go to stripper clubs to see reasonably dressed women i can tell you that

IceForce:

Windknight:

How many strip clubs are full of only male strippers?

You see, if you're going to make an attempt at even a semi-realistic portrayal of something seedy like a strip club, in a video game, it's going to have the same 'gender bias' as the real thing does. Does that make the video game sexist?

nonetheless combing sex with violence - sexualised violence - goes into an uncomfortable and unpleasant place, with general implications that need to be carefully though out, which in this case are simply not being thought out. Thats before we get into the way sex worked face actual violence and degrading treatment for being sex workers, are treated as disposable or may have actively been trapped into their line of work.

None of these aspects come into play when killing other npc's whether their male or female (and she only specifically calls out violence towards and treatment of sex workers in this video).

why?

why cant we treat sex workers in a game in the same way we treat every other npc? why must we discriminate them for their gender and condition?

devs dont make special rules for police NPCs, ambulance drivers, firefighters or random pedestrians, why is the discrimination on sex workers nessesary?

NuclearKangaroo:

nonetheless combing sex with violence - sexualised violence - goes into an uncomfortable and unpleasant place, with general implications that need to be carefully though out, which in this case are simply not being thought out. Thats before we get into the way sex worked face actual violence and degrading treatment for being sex workers, are treated as disposable or may have actively been trapped into their line of work.

None of these aspects come into play when killing other npc's whether their male or female (and she only specifically calls out violence towards and treatment of sex workers in this video).

why?

why cant we treat sex workers in a game in the same way we treat every other npc? why must we discriminate them for their gender and condition?

devs dont make special rules for police NPCs, ambulance drivers, firefighters or random pedestrians, why is the discrimination on sex workers nessesary?

Because sex workers are the epitome of dis-empowered. Many are slaves, many are the victims of sex trafficking, many have been forcibly hooked on drugs, and many have literally no other way to make money.

And society likes to treat them as scum and disposable for all that.

And lets make this poin t again, as you skipped over it - these characters are presented as sexualised and sex objects... Violence towards them brings in and uncomfortable element of sexualised violence, something which can bring in unfortunate and unpleasant undertones that really should not be there.

grimner:
I should probably point out I didn't (nor I intend to) watch Anita's video.

So you argued black was blue for two pages based on having not seen the video the entire discussion is based on. THIS is what im talking about: "Well i support Anita's position" Did you watch her videos and follow her flawed arguments? "Well no but-". But nothing. You have no basis to form an opinion on this matter. Your posts could not be more invalid.

This is all the apologists do; they argue out of this broad sense that people 'attacking' (it's criticism of a piece of work, saying 'ad hominem' when we are talking about her ARGUMENTS and not her as a person is stupid) her without actually looking at her work. If you have not seen her video, in which she puts this forward, why are you spouting an opinion about it? Why argue about something you state yourself you have not seen?!

You can't comment. Without seeing the video you might as well be posting about your bowel movements for all the wight it has to the discussion. Your opinion isn't only meaningless, you don't have the basis to form an opinion at all. This just baffles me. I wouldn't come into a thread and say "This is 100% wrong what you are saying, even though i didn't see or hear what you are talking about"

How can you form a strong opinion without seeing the thing we are talking about?! I could be wrong but if you don't see what we're talking about you'll never know. You lack any reference point to even be having this debate. Talking to you having not seen the video and heard the arguments is like trying to describe and elephant to a man who has never even seen a picture of one; "Oh yeah, massive long nose sure. That can't be true" I... how... i can't understand why you would state to proudly your complete ignorance of this entire discussion!

IceForce:
Just because something is bad, violent, or abhorrent, doesn't mean that it's automatically sexist.

Unfortunately, Anita has gone down the route of showing violent acts performed against female NPCs in video games, even though the violent acts are not even unique to female NPCs at all. And she's ended up discrediting herself in the process.

Could it be due to scope creep? Probably.

Anita isn't a serious intellectual, and her narrow focus on women and only women shapes her entire understanding of seemingly everything around women. There's always going to be problems with everything Anita does unless she addresses these issues, but there's no reason to expect she will. And there's benefits to having such a narrow focus - sometimes she sees things others don't whose vision is wide enough to encompass more reality.

Just because Anita's not an ideal intellectual or ideal representative of feminism doesn't mean she doesn't have good points. When you're looking for diamonds in the rough, you can complain about the rough or be happy when you find diamonds.

The stripper as sexist is complicated, since it's true that women in games are often depicted in sexual ways that men are not, but it's also true that NPCs regardless of gender are overwhelmingly victimized in games.

So we could look at it this way - would a female NPC rather be an engineer blown away by the "hero" or a stripper blown away by the "hero"? It seems like the NPC regardless of how they are depicted would rather have their life respected, and once they are not just a violated and exterminated object they can determine what profession they prefer.

Your point is completely valid - Anita's narrow scope, her desire to be a feminist hero instead of a serious intellectual, caused her to overconsider sexism as a factor in this case. But it's also true that because there's so much Sarkeesian hate among gamers, they'll jump on every flaw or problem she has, pointing out and laughing at every "rough" and doing their best to ignore the good points she makes. How is this any better?

Sarkeesian is not an enemy to gamers. She's a flawed intellectual who makes some good points about women in games. Every good point she makes benefits gamers and game developers. It's fine to point out her flaws in the hope that she can improve upon them but it's really silly to demonize her out of a mistaken thought that she's an enemy.

I'm going to look for more serious feminist gamer intellectuals on the internet, and if I find any who produce better work than Sarkeesian I'll talk about them in this forum. But maybe Sarkeesian, for all her flaws, is the best out there.

Windknight:

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?

How many of those men are sexualised?

How many of those men are presented as sex objects?

How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

Killing people brutally is a-ok! It's only when they are wearing skimpy clothing when it gets creepy...

The mental gymnastics people go through to be offended :o

SUPA FRANKY:

Windknight:

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?

How many of those men are sexualised?

How many of those men are presented as sex objects?

How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

Killing people brutally is a-ok! It's only when they are wearing skimpy clothing when it gets creepy...

The mental gymnastics people go through to be offended :o

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:

nonetheless combing sex with violence - sexualised violence - goes into an uncomfortable and unpleasant place, with general implications that need to be carefully though out, which in this case are simply not being thought out. Thats before we get into the way sex worked face actual violence and degrading treatment for being sex workers, are treated as disposable or may have actively been trapped into their line of work.

None of these aspects come into play when killing other npc's whether their male or female (and she only specifically calls out violence towards and treatment of sex workers in this video).

why?

why cant we treat sex workers in a game in the same way we treat every other npc? why must we discriminate them for their gender and condition?

devs dont make special rules for police NPCs, ambulance drivers, firefighters or random pedestrians, why is the discrimination on sex workers nessesary?

Because sex workers are the epitome of dis-empowered. Many are slaves, many are the victims of sex trafficking, many have been forcibly hooked on drugs, and many have literally no other way to make money.

And society likes to treat them as scum and disposable for all that.

And lets make this poin t again, as you skipped over it - these characters are presented as sexualised and sex objects... Violence towards them brings in and uncomfortable element of sexualised violence, something which can bring in unfortunate and unpleasant undertones that really should not be there.

and many CHOOSE to be sex workers, stop putting people in the same bag, i bet many sex workers find attitudes like yours condescending

they are sex workers, arguing they look sexualized is beyond absurd, sex workers, they provide sexual services, the very nature of their work is sexualized, what the hell do you expect?

and lets not forged the fact that YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL THE ABUSIVE BOSS OF THESE SEXUAL WORKERS, IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS THAT SEXIST?, THE GAME IS ACTIVELY CRIMINALIZING THE VERY THING YOUR ARE CRITIZING, IT REWARDS YOU FOR KILLING THE ABUSIVE GUY, IT PUNISHES YOU TO HURTING THE STRIPPERS, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT?

Windknight:

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

do you have sex with the strippers? do they provide sexual services you you as the player?

if not you are complaining about something that isnt even there

Windknight:

SUPA FRANKY:

Windknight:

How many of those men are sexualised?

How many of those men are presented as sex objects?

How many of those men do you kill naked in the shower?

Killing people brutally is a-ok! It's only when they are wearing skimpy clothing when it gets creepy...

The mental gymnastics people go through to be offended :o

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

It's creepy...but slitting people's throats and bashing their skulls in isn't?

I don't see whats so offensive.. You don't have to kill the strippers lol.

NuclearKangaroo:

Windknight:

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

do you have sex with the strippers? do they provide sexual services you you as the player?

if not you are complaining about something that isnt even there

SUPA FRANKY:

Windknight:

SUPA FRANKY:

Killing people brutally is a-ok! It's only when they are wearing skimpy clothing when it gets creepy...

The mental gymnastics people go through to be offended :o

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

It's creepy...but slitting people's throats and bashing their skulls in isn't?

I don't see whats so offensive.. You don't have to kill the strippers lol.

Sexualised violence (a mistyping from my original post I must admit... sexual violence is a very different thing, and I had intended sexualised) is violence where the victim is sexualised - presented in a manner that's sexually attractive and potentially arousing to the veiwer.

So, presenting someone as something your supposed to find arousing and murdering them (however graphically) is quite a bit more unpleasant than killing a man or woman in a nice suit who is not sexualised.

Sex and violence do not belong together.

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:

Windknight:

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

do you have sex with the strippers? do they provide sexual services you you as the player?

if not you are complaining about something that isnt even there

SUPA FRANKY:

Windknight:

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

It's creepy...but slitting people's throats and bashing their skulls in isn't?

I don't see whats so offensive.. You don't have to kill the strippers lol.

Sexualised violence (a mistyping from my original post I must admit... sexual violence is a very different thing, and I had intended sexualised) is violence where the victim is sexualised - presented in a manner that's sexually attractive and potentially arousing to the veiwer.

So, presenting someone as something your supposed to find arousing and murdering them (however graphically) is quite a bit more unpleasant than killing a man or woman in a nice suit who is not sexualised.

Sex and violence do not belong together.

so if this wasnt a stripper club, if instead this was, a pool or a beach, where theres a lot of women in bikinis, i wouldnt be allowed to kill them because thatd be sexualized violence? if i found a women attractive in the game, even if say, she is the villain, im not allowed to kill her because its sexualized violence?, if i were to find male security guards attractive, i wouldnt be able to kill them because its sexualized violence?

see how that logic doesnt work?

plus adding to that point, sex workers, they provide sexual services, they dress in arousing ways, its their job, your argument pretty much puts them in a different level from everyone else in the game because of the nature of their work, that is discrimination

explain to me how the job of a sex worker is not inherently sexualized, if you cant do that your argument is completely empty

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:

Windknight:

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

do you have sex with the strippers? do they provide sexual services you you as the player?

if not you are complaining about something that isnt even there

SUPA FRANKY:

Windknight:

Sex and Violence are different things. Mixing them together brings on a third thing, sexual violence, which has creepy and unpleasant undertones.

Barely any gymnastics there, just simple logic. Do you struggle with simple logic?

It's creepy...but slitting people's throats and bashing their skulls in isn't?

I don't see whats so offensive.. You don't have to kill the strippers lol.

Sexualised violence (a mistyping from my original post I must admit... sexual violence is a very different thing, and I had intended sexualised) is violence where the victim is sexualised - presented in a manner that's sexually attractive and potentially arousing to the veiwer.

So, presenting someone as something your supposed to find arousing and murdering them (however graphically) is quite a bit more unpleasant than killing a man or woman in a nice suit who is not sexualised.

Sex and violence do not belong together.

Ah, so it's perfectly rational and normal to murder a women in a dress or a man in a suit, but I should avoid doing so when they are undressed.

that means I can murder some A Middle Eastern and Alaskan populace in the droves!

Really, if you can't handle the violence, why not just stick to rated T or E games? I don't really see the difference between murdering people who have their top either on or off. Murdering people is wrong regardless, but its a video game lol.

NuclearKangaroo:

and many CHOOSE to be sex workers, stop putting people in the same bag, i bet many sex workers find attitudes like yours condescending

they are sex workers, arguing they look sexualized is beyond absurd, sex workers, they provide sexual services, the very nature of their work is sexualized, what the hell do you expect?

and lets not forged the fact that YOU ARE TRYING TO KILL THE ABUSIVE BOSS OF THESE SEXUAL WORKERS, IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS THAT SEXIST?, THE GAME IS ACTIVELY CRIMINALIZING THE VERY THING YOUR ARE CRITIZING, IT REWARDS YOU FOR KILLING THE ABUSIVE GUY, IT PUNISHES YOU TO HURTING THE STRIPPERS, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT?

Somewhere between 70%-90% of all sex workers worldwide are forced into prostitution and have not willingly entered the field (Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery. Kara, 2009). Saying that many chose to be sex workers is in this context a gross misrepresentation of the reality of prostitution. That media keeps glorifying the presence of prostitution is pretty troublesome in that light.

But that is ignoring the main problem: Why are there strippers and prostitutes in the game to begin with? What purpose do they serve to the narrative? Would the narrative suffer if they weren't included?
One could argue that the Hitman-series has always had a thematic lean towards Noir and a cynical, borderline nihilist outlook on the events, characters and locations in the game. 47's targets are all terrible people who engage in depravity and who make their money on dubious business like drugs, weapon smuggling, prostitution, trafficking and other forms of organized crime. 47 is an anti-hero that kills these people not because it is right, but because he is paid to do so, in essence being only marginally better than his victims (on account of being emotionless and seemingly uninterested in the vices offered).

The above could work as an explanation, but the problem is that we never see these strippers and prostitutes as anything but sex objects. They are literally just there to be titillation for the player. You could change any of the missions in any of the Hitman-games were strippers appear to a location without strippers and the narrative wouldn't change. That, right there, is an indication that they serve no purpose other than to titillate and provide fanservice.

One should also note that apart from deducting arbitrary points, Absolution doesn't punish excessive use of force or cruelty to bystanders. You can go guns blazing through the strip club and murder every last person and still complete the mission and move on like nothing happened. I wouldn't really call that punishing the player, since it is way closer to suggesting a playstyle.

NuclearKangaroo:

so if this wasnt a stripper club, if instead this was, a pool or a beach, where theres a lot of women in bikinis, i wouldnt be allowed to kill them because thatd be sexualized violence? if i found a women attractive in the game, even if say, she is the villain, im not allowed to kill her because its sexualized violence?, if i were to find male security guards attractive, i wouldnt be able to kill them because its sexualized violence?

see how that logic doesnt work?

I see how your 'logic' doesn't work. I have to ask, why would you want to gun down a pool or beachs worth of sunbathers? And yes, I personally would find that kind of violence just as disturbing and sexualised as violence against sex workers.

Also, is this villainess, and the security guards going around dressed in a sexualised manner and presented as sex objects? Please show me these sex object security guards.

plus adding to that point, sex workers, they provide sexual services, they dress in arousing ways, its their job, your argument pretty much puts them in a different level from everyone else in the game because of the nature of their work, that is discrimination

explain to me how the job of a sex worker is not inherently sexualized, if you cant do that your argument is completely empty

Does the fact their job makes them sexualised magically make violence against them not sexualised? Does that somehow make it alright?

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