Anita Sarkeesian + Hitman Absolution = Epic Fail

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I think people just need to stop giving any regard to Anita Sarkeesian at all. Her arguments, taken as a whole, as very poor and her conclusions especially in this video and blatantly faulty . I think those who don't foam at the mouth with hate but still want to express that we don't think her work is helpful or meaningful need some kind of stock responce every time someone starts confusing disliking her pretty false assertions with being some kind of abusive hate-monger.

"Anita Sarkeesian's work is based on faulty assumptions and in numerous ways is founded on a base of half-truths and manipulation. As a person i can, without degrading her as a person, take issue with the myriad flasehoods and faulty assertions weaved throughout her series. She advocates a position that games inspire real-world problems and actions, a position held by the more vehement critics and prospective censors of games. This is a matter of public record.

You can separate her work from her as a person. Saying "You are just a hateful sexist" does not validate her work or make her conclusions any less false. Any line of discussion that assumes those who find fault in her series are merely hateful will not be given regard. Analyze her work first and form your own opinion rather than merely reacting. This is not a battle of 'sides' only an attempt to critique and shine a light on the problems of the work of an individual"

As Jacob pointed out if a story has no respect for any of the female characters within it, then at some point that starts to imply the developer's opinion of women in general (whether this is actually accurate or just the result of bad writing becomes irrelevant) which turns what is otherwise an completely fantastical and non real situation ( the games scenario, and any violence visited upon the characters) into some sort of creepy wish fulfillment or condemnation of women in general, and sexy women in particular. And that's just doing no one any favors.

I would argue that character design is less important than the character herself (or himself, for the rare über sexualized male character). Overtly sexual people do exist, people who like to dress in skimpy or tight clothing exist (I'm proud of this body, I wear tight t-shirts). And seriously, though this may come as a shock to some of you, a lot of women will dress sexy not because they're hoping to impress anyone, but for themselves, because looking in the mirror and liking what you see is a powerful thing. There's no problem with reflecting that in our videogames. And ummm . . .where was I going with this? Are people still arguing? We were originally talking about hitman right? Oh yeah.

Basically (for me anyway): the strip club level does not equal sexualized violence or an endorsement of violence against women. Rather it's an oddly realistic look at the rape and human trafficking endemic in such businesses. Once again sexual violence does not equal sexualized violence, the club owners actions are harshly condemned and he pays for his disgusting actions with his worthless life. The saints trailer however (and level, to some extent), are good examples of sexualized violence and I can't help but wonder what they were thinking. But again, my problem is less with what the saints were wearing, but more with the way their actual deaths were sexualized via gratuitous slow motion blood bukakkes.

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:

And? Does that definition negate or eliminate mine? Not really. Both are an inappropriate combination of sexualisation and violence. Is this what this discussion going to be now, you splitting hairs and acting like you've found ultimate victory and rightness?

yes it does, if a character is attractive/arousing and has violence inflicted upon it, it doesnt mean its sexualized violence, at best you can argue its violence inflicted upon a sexualized character, is not the same thing and theres nothing wrong about it as long as this sexualized character is treated like any other character in the game

Whatever dude, keep splitting those hairs like it makes a difference.

What's with his splitting hairs thing? Aren't you two saying the same thing at this point? Unless you actually mean that all violence inflicted on a sexy character has to be (and is) sexualized then aren't you two finally in agreement?

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:

That trailer is sexist how? It shows a man killing off a bunch of women in sexy nun outfits in self defense. Where's the sexism? Where's the statement that women are inferior, where's the statement that women fit a certain stereotype? I can't find it. All I see is a fight between 47 and a bunch of people dressed in pointless costumes.

But that's besides the point you were saying that the trailer would've proved her point and it doesn't.

For starters none of that is in game footage, that's not even a cutscene from the game, that footage is nowhere to be found in the actual game. In fact that's not even how the event goes down in the game. They hit your apartment with a rocket launcher you escape and pick them off one by one, and this isn't confined to a single level. You do not fight them all in the parking lot and be done with it. It's just footage made exclusively for game trailers which isn't unheard of.

Now for the saints themselves. The players are meant to enjoy killing them just like every other target in the game. There's never an implication that you should enjoy this more because they're sexy.

It certainly does not prove her point that murdering sexy woman is encouraged in the game, it does not prove her point that "Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

WhiteNachos:

That trailer is sexist how? It shows a man killing off a bunch of women in sexy nun outfits in self defense. Where's the sexism? Where's the statement that women are inferior, where's the statement that women fit a certain stereotype? I can't find it. All I see is a fight between 47 and a bunch of people dressed in pointless costumes.

But that's besides the point you were saying that the trailer would've proved her point and it doesn't.

For starters none of that is in game footage, that's not even a cutscene from the game, that footage is nowhere to be found in the actual game. In fact that's not even how the event goes down in the game. They hit your apartment with a rocket launcher you escape and pick them off one by one, and this isn't confined to a single level. You do not fight them all in the parking lot and be done with it. It's just footage made exclusively for game trailers which isn't unheard of.

Now for the saints themselves. The players are meant to enjoy killing them just like every other target in the game. There's never an implication that you should enjoy this more because they're sexy.

It certainly does not prove her point that murdering sexy woman is encouraged in the game, it does not prove her point that "Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

The level of irrationality and just plain lack of basic understanding of what the word "sexist" means makes it very hard to reply to this in my own words; doing so would no doubt earn me a warning. Though tempting, my judgment deemed it not worthy of a blemish in my record.

But so that your ignorance does not go unanswered, here are a stripper's own words on why the trailer above is sexist as fuck.

I think it's an excuse to show violence against women by making them the initiators of violence. It's as if the makers of this video game are saying, "Hey, these women asked for it. It's okay to kill them and beat them up because they're the 'dregs of society.'" It's as if [the game is saying] they are subhuman and deserve to die. But that's not who they are, it's what they do for a living; stripping is a job, not an identity.

I just think it perpetuates hatred of women, because we all know that women who work as strippers and prostitutes are overwhelmingly victims of violence, not perpetrators of it.

Sociologists have found the number one reason women prostitute themselves is because they're in poverty and don't have the resources they need. Stripping and prostituting become a way to survive, and to demonize them for that is profoundly misogynistic. It's bad enough that they need to do this to survive, but to turn them into the enemy...?

It just looks like violence porn to me, and I'm concerned about the minds of men who would come up with a game like this.

Actually, other than this, women are treated reasonably well in Hitman: Absolution.

As long as they don't work as prostitutes or strippers.

Most of the strippers I knew were single mothers and college students. Of course, some women might kill for their children.

I'm kind of having trouble understanding why [the Saints] want to kill people. It's understandable why they might "feel" like killing someone but why are they actually doing it? Are they getting paid? Is it that bad that they need to make money in a down economy? Are they stripping their way through Yale? The competition must be killer.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2012/11/19/a-stripper-reviews-the-saints-of-hitmen-absolution/

grimner:

WhiteNachos:

That trailer is sexist how? It shows a man killing off a bunch of women in sexy nun outfits in self defense. Where's the sexism? Where's the statement that women are inferior, where's the statement that women fit a certain stereotype? I can't find it. All I see is a fight between 47 and a bunch of people dressed in pointless costumes.

But that's besides the point you were saying that the trailer would've proved her point and it doesn't.

For starters none of that is in game footage, that's not even a cutscene from the game, that footage is nowhere to be found in the actual game. In fact that's not even how the event goes down in the game. They hit your apartment with a rocket launcher you escape and pick them off one by one, and this isn't confined to a single level. You do not fight them all in the parking lot and be done with it. It's just footage made exclusively for game trailers which isn't unheard of.

Now for the saints themselves. The players are meant to enjoy killing them just like every other target in the game. There's never an implication that you should enjoy this more because they're sexy.

It certainly does not prove her point that murdering sexy woman is encouraged in the game, it does not prove her point that "Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

The level of irrationality and just plain lack of basic understanding of what the word "sexist" means makes it very hard to reply to this in my own words; doing so would no doubt earn me a warning. Though tempting, my judgment deemed it not worthy of a blemish in my record.

But so that your ignorance does not go unanswered, here are a stripper's own words on why the trailer above is sexist as fuck.

I think it's an excuse to show violence against women by making them the initiators of violence. It's as if the makers of this video game are saying, "Hey, these women asked for it. It's okay to kill them and beat them up because they're the 'dregs of society.'" It's as if [the game is saying] they are subhuman and deserve to die. But that's not who they are, it's what they do for a living; stripping is a job, not an identity.

First off one woman's opinion does not make it so. Secondly they aren't strippers, they are contract killers. And I swear she's pulling the dregs of society interpretation out of thin air. Although even if this were anti-stripper somehow, that'd be different from being anti women (there are male strippers you know and not every woman is a stripper.

Anything to say about this clip not proving Anita's point?

Edit: should not have said also, they never are shown being strippers.

IceForce now you've seen this I'd like to say that you've just hit the edge of the iceberg of realising that Anita is manipulating things.

The Hitman Absolution example is pretty obvious but even without playing it you can see the Far Cry 3 prostitute thing in a new light simply using google and youtube videos (I will link them if needed,but I think it's the 3rd or 4th youtube video in the results which shows the hidden depth.)

So now to address the main issues that have been mentioned here or normally end up around these threads.

- I'm not an Anita hater, I dislike her publicly perceived image that she puts across but I don't know her. I'd say I'm an objectionist.

Strippers and prostitutes - Most often used to show a seedy location or crime / low life of some kind they're a crime story short hand for "This place has issues". Prostitution is one of the oldest careers apparently and it's simply because so little is needed for it. It's easy short hand for "this area either has little other options or there is little else out there". It's often used to show a location as poor or reverting to more primitive times.

Most examples Anita has put forward can be countered and I have before and if requested will do again. With Some being objectively bad examples and others subjectively bad ones

Writing more depth into NPC's is hard, the bigger the scope the harder it is. Hence Open world games often have far more shallow NPCs than those with distinct levels.

Haven't visited these myself but I'm lead to believe the following. Most Strip clubs and prostitutes are selling a fantasy so in game it makes sense you don't see some hidden depth. I doubt in reality you'd be in a strip club and have a stripper telling you about how hard it is supporting her Son as a single mother. It's selling fantasy and while in games some have found way to show them beyond this it doesn't mean every game needs to.

Not all Sex Workers are forced into it. The Lady who wrote her memoires online in a blog famously known thanks to the books and TV series "Secret Life of A Call Girl" is a well respected university professor who was an escort and chose it to pay for her PhD studies.

It is not possible to make every NPC super deep, just as in most shows you don't learn about the waiter in the restaurant every time they're there.

Sexualisation =/= sexist, this is something that is a problem with the second wave feminist movement and honestly something that causes them to clash hard with Third wave feminists who argue that women have as much right as guys to be seen as sexually attractive and that essentially we are all animals in the end so to stop this whole thing of finding someone sexually attractive being wrong inherently.

Games need to be allowed to grow up and tackle "icky" issues. Spec Ops The Line is a critical darling. Sure games deserve to be told they goofed badly when they mess up an attempt at a serious issue but they need to be allowed to try and tackle the issue. Just because a media has a potential to use something badly doesn't mean it couldn't also use it well.

There is a representation problem in video games.

Half the problem is the claim that people only want to play as a character just like them which publishers are then taking as a sign they can either please the 40% or the 60% demographic, and this is being reinforced by some people.
We do need more diversity I can fully agree and would like to see it happen, hell I wonder if watch dogs story would have been better and had people write it better if it were a female lead as originally planned.

However gaming doesn't need to change course entirely. All it needs is more diversity not a full change in direction. Games should cater to demographics and it would be nice to see more demographics catered to not games simply try to cater to every demographic. However the issue is demand. Would all the die hard Anita SJW fans buy a game designed with mass appeal. Are there that many even into gaming ? I mean most female gamers I've seen / heard from have pretty much either called her on her crap or refused to comment on her work but would say there were issues that would be nice to see change.

The chain mail bikini has a place in gaming alongside the fur covered loin cloth.

Why isn't this demographic catered for ?
The risk averse AAA games market have enough time bringing a new untested IP to market let alone try to appeal to a demographic they have no evidence beyond shouting exists. For them it's a big gamble, would these people shouting for better representation buy a game simply on that ?
How many bought Remember Me on that ?
Or did people avoid it for being a mediocre game ?
Someone needs to prove there is a market for this stuff and that will most likely be from indie developers.
(I'll add more to this later if needed but for a few days at least I'm on a potato so can't link youtube videos or images too well)

Fantasy Violence =/= reality violence.

Ok now for some specific replies that I think I should make.

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.

But should it be called out ?
Should I call out "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for the rather brutal and disturbing rape scene which is a key part of the trilogy really and the events and yet has the female character deal with it in her own way and prove that the one instance of not being in control can go either way.

grimner:

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

I'd suggest that the Saints is sexualisation, now I would say it does cross the line into sexism as they're mostly their for fan service however it also shows they they are Assassins with some competent as they've been sent to kill master assassin agent 47.

grimner:

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.

I'd just like to suggest you go and watch the film Hard Candy then come back and tell me it's not possible for any medium to tackle any issues and possibly do it some kind of justice.

Also just to make this clear Strip Clubs it's really up in the air who is exploiting who. Is it the person seeing naked women or the naked women able to charge $50- $100 for a 20 minute lap dance (dunno about the conversion rate it comes from a mate of mine in the UK who claimed he spent £70 on a lap dance before).

The Godfather films feature Prostitutes and them being killed, are you going to tell me the Godfather films are some work of schlock and not considered great films ?

Sure there are lines however there are means to address pretty much any issues without crossing the lines into something becoming well lets say beyond palatable to the majority.

Hence the film Hard Candy addresses the issue of child pornography and exploitation without actually having to directly include content that would probably make me and most other people physically sick.

briankoontz:

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.

Except many Art forms do.

Except we don't call then NPCs. In Batman they're hired goons. In films they are the mooks in the gunfights.
Pick an action film and watch it and just see how many people end up being killed or at least put down.
I mean Dredd sees him walk through almost an entire tower block of goons to take down one major boss.
I mean other than maybe two guys in Die Hard how much is told to you about the villains ?

Most action films are on a level with action games.

Also games aren't built on killing I mean the old text based puzzle games weren't. Many old games weren't
It's just other Genres don't work quite as well in gaming compared to say film. I mean when was the last big budget comedy game or the last big budget Romance game ?
Answers Duke Nukem Forever and um..........um..........Maybe Tomodachi life but that was more insane maybe The Sims 3 ?

briankoontz:

Anita isn't a serious intellectual.......-snip-........

Except she's claiming her work as academic work. Infact she's pushing for it to be taught in schools using lesson plan packs (which haven't emerged yet but it's in her kickstarter information).

The fact she has shown how corrupt she is academically really rubs people up the wrong way. This isn't helped by her mis-representing other peoples academic work. Seriously one of the articles she claims as proof actually says in the article itself it shouldn't be used as definitive proof listing a number of it's own failings including low sample size and in a study about the impact of sexalised video game characters participants didn't play any video games as part of the test.

Anita isn't merely not a good academic by the standards of social science research (which is almost a joke compared to other sciences anyway) she's highly lacking to even be considered Mediocre. At best she fits more into art interpretation than sociological study.

As for her standing in Feminism, feminism is very divided as it is so no-one can represent it simply because the two main branches are always fighting one another due to the core values of each branch. One being about breaking oppression and fighting back while the other is about going, "lets not fight lets just all be cool and treat one another equally"

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?

And many Sex Workers actually did

http://elevatorgate.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/does-prostituted-women-have-connotations-femfreqvideo-games/ " title="" target="_blank"> http://elevatorgate.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/does-prostituted-women-have-connotations-femfreqvideo-games/
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/06/17/new-feministfrequency-video/

A.S. says another retarded thing.

This is nothing new.

Windknight:

NuclearKangaroo:

THIS is sexualized?

she is a cosplayer, she choose to dress like that, how is that sexualized, and regardless, the things i find the most attractive about her is her face and smile, so really concentrate on that for the sake of the argument

The character she's cosplaying as goes around in all situations in a bikini, and the other elements of her clothes are more about accentuating her bare skin than covering it.

Are you honestly saying Rikku's character design is NOT sexualised? Come On dude, I LOVE litchi from Blazblue for her characterization, but I'm not going to pretend her design hasn't got strong sexual and fetish baiting elements. You are not being honest when you point at Rikku and say her design does not include elements that are not sexualised.

Every character in gaming is sexualised or idealised some how.

"Metal Gear Solid is a game about staring at a guys arse in tight pants essentially" - A legitimate comment from my ex, who was an avid gamer, about Metal Gear solid and why she loved the series.

Also for the record. This is From Square. Square are from Japan. Japan has different customs, traditions and culture to the west. To us in the west Japan, you're weird as hell and so are your panty vending machines.

Thought that needed to be a point relating to this.

Windknight:

Oh my... presenting power fantasies as sex fantasies... (bursts out laughing). You do realize just how many videos we've had from Jim Sterling and Bob Chipman, book cover recreation posing pictures by Jim C Hines and so-on and so forth that precisely point out how flawed your argument is here? gimme a sec to grab some links.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/7290-Objectification-And-Men
http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/striking-a-pose/
http://www.jimchines.com/2012/04/posing-like-a-man/
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/4719-Gender-Games

Do some reading, some watching, and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL do some thinking before you make your next post.

My comment wasn't abut the 'beautiful woman', it was about the character she had chosen to cosplay as. Character. CHARACTER CHARACTER. And yes, thats character was/is and shall ever be sexualised.

Every time this point is raised I put forward a challenge.

Define a sexualised / idealised man and his characteristics.

For whatever reason it's far harder to define a more generalised set of assets than with women which can boil down to big boobs and round-ish hips. These features are for whatever reason biologically ingrained with the male brain on some level selecting a mate he believes will best carry on the species by carrying his offspring. Sorry to boil this down to base animalistic responses but it's a big part of logic here really. Back on point the idea being large hips are meant to suggest more fertile / better able to carry a child and give birth and larger breasts allow said child to receive better sustenance during their early life.

And wow does explaining why said assets are seen as attractive really kill the mood quick.

Many other aspects are simply due to popular pressure or other things relating to psychology.

Azure23:

Mr Companion:
I agree with a lot of what Anita objects to but holy s**t does she like using examples of things that also apply to male characters. In fact I almost lose count sometimes, like when she talked about children's toys encouraging young girls to cook and raise children. Sure they do but how is teaching those ideas to little girls terrible but teaching little boys that killing and fighting are all totally awesome is A-OK? It's just 2 flavors of cultural brainwashing and some might argue that teaching useful life skills is less offensive than teaching mindless violence.

I mean I try to like her but in the end I can only come to a single conclusion: We needed an Anita Sarkeesian but Anita Sarkeesian wasn't the Anita Sarkeesian we needed.

Well put, I think most reasonable gamers will admit that representation of women in games could be better but goddamnit if she doesn't muddy the waters with her misguided and uninformed arguments. Hopefully an actual feminist scholar will step up to open a dialogue with game developers so we can have better, deeper characters of both sexes. Too often detractors of modern, mainstream feminism forget that it's actually advocating for the real men's issues too, such as the issue you brought up. I don't only want to play as gruff, maladjusted guys.

We should all just go read coelasquid's excellent webcomic- manly guys doing manly things. I swear that thing is just brimming with wisdom.

Unless your Anita and while fighting for the 40% of gamers to get representation entirely ignores the 40% (or more) of men who suffer some form of domestic abuse. In fact at points in her series she's claimed that a man fighting back having been attacked by a woman is domestic abuse against the woman instead of self defence by the man being attacked.

Sorry the branch of Feminism Anita is from doesn't see men's issues really it sees men as the enemy almost personified. This is not an issue with all feminism just just new wave extremist 2nd wave feminist. Which are different to Third wave or Liberal feminists.

grimner:

The level of irrationality and just plain lack of basic understanding of what the word "sexist" means makes it very hard to reply to this in my own words; doing so would no doubt earn me a warning. Though tempting, my judgment deemed it not worthy of a blemish in my record.

But so that your ignorance does not go unanswered, here are a stripper's own words on why the trailer above is sexist as fuck.

I think it's an excuse to show violence against women by making them the initiators of violence. It's as if the makers of this video game are saying, "Hey, these women asked for it. It's okay to kill them and beat them up because they're the 'dregs of society.'" It's as if [the game is saying] they are subhuman and deserve to die. But that's not who they are, it's what they do for a living; stripping is a job, not an identity.

I just think it perpetuates hatred of women, because we all know that women who work as strippers and prostitutes are overwhelmingly victims of violence, not perpetrators of it.

Sociologists have found the number one reason women prostitute themselves is because they're in poverty and don't have the resources they need. Stripping and prostituting become a way to survive, and to demonize them for that is profoundly misogynistic. It's bad enough that they need to do this to survive, but to turn them into the enemy...?

It just looks like violence porn to me, and I'm concerned about the minds of men who would come up with a game like this.

Actually, other than this, women are treated reasonably well in Hitman: Absolution.

As long as they don't work as prostitutes or strippers.

Most of the strippers I knew were single mothers and college students. Of course, some women might kill for their children.

I'm kind of having trouble understanding why [the Saints] want to kill people. It's understandable why they might "feel" like killing someone but why are they actually doing it? Are they getting paid? Is it that bad that they need to make money in a down economy? Are they stripping their way through Yale? The competition must be killer.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2012/11/19/a-stripper-reviews-the-saints-of-hitmen-absolution/

Can we attack things that deserve attacking here.

Poor characterisation or at least failure to present it.

You know just like the Far Cry 4 controversies (yes multiple ones)

The first being the oppressive white guy controversy and the second being having a gay villain.
The second hasn't been confirmed fully as false but he could just be flamboyant.

As for the "Asking for it / deserve it comment" I again refer to self defence here. If you feel your life is legitimately under threat then you act to protect yourself in one way or another. Logic and reasoning is turned off when self preservation kicks in and people have one of two reactions. Fight or Flight. If flight is not an option then people will pick fight.

"violence against women by making them the initiators of violence"
Is a particularly poor phrase as it ignores entirely the problem of Male domestic abuse (though society tends to ignore this as a whole anyway) I mean it's not like you hear that much about how Stephan Hawking suffered domestic abuse.

Yes there is a point of over-reaction but again it's about the perceived level of threat as to how much logical function the brain retains and how much is instinctive.

Bolo The Great:
I think people just need to stop giving any regard to Anita Sarkeesian at all. Her arguments, taken as a whole, as very poor and her conclusions especially in this video and blatantly faulty . I think those who don't foam at the mouth with hate but still want to express that we don't think her work is helpful or meaningful need some kind of stock responce every time someone starts confusing disliking her pretty false assertions with being some kind of abusive hate-monger.

"Anita Sarkeesian's work is based on faulty assumptions and in numerous ways is founded on a base of half-truths and manipulation. As a person i can, without degrading her as a person, take issue with the myriad flasehoods and faulty assertions weaved throughout her series. She advocates a position that games inspire real-world problems and actions, a position held by the more vehement critics and prospective censors of games. This is a matter of public record.

You can separate her work from her as a person. Saying "You are just a hateful sexist" does not validate her work or make her conclusions any less false. Any line of discussion that assumes those who find fault in her series are merely hateful will not be given regard. Analyze her work first and form your own opinion rather than merely reacting. This is not a battle of 'sides' only an attempt to critique and shine a light on the problems of the work of an individual"

image

hallelujah!

gotta copy paste that from now on each time someone throws ye olde "you are just sexist" comeback

Matthew Jabour:

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.

It's important to note that games like "Hitman", "Grand Theft Auto", and others use places like strip and sex clubs, red light districts, etc... largely because they aren't classy. Typically this is done in order to set a dark tone and/or say something about the people involved in the given scene.

It's sort of like how in the recent TV show True Detective (very mild spoilers) the character played by Woody Harrelson is a womanizer who cheats on his wife. Both the character and his partner are DEEPLY flawed individuals, but part of the point is that it doesn't prevent them from ultimately being the good guys in the end, indeed it's part of their journey.

The deeply flawed hero (a little different from anti-heroes and dark heroes which can also apply) is a trademark of certain kinds of fiction, detective/spy/crime fiction in particular, where your typical hard boiled detective (private or police) is usually a piece of garbage except when it comes to professional ethics, and oftentimes the quintessential story tends to be about that once case that helps him get a little piece of his soul back. Bruce Willis sort of made a career out of playing roles like this ("The Last Boyscout", "Last Man Standing", etc...).

When it comes to something like "Hitman" it should be noted that half the point of the character is that the main character was specifically created/trained to be a sociopathic murder machine. In the end though he winds up trying to regain his humanity, and turn a lot of those skills on very bad people. He's not supposed to be your "white knight" type. The guys he takes out in strip clubs, S&M parlours, etc... are intended to be in part characterized by the environment (since many of them are otherwise given little development). As far as "47" himself being willing to things like kill strippers and use the dead bodies as decoys and the like, part of the story between the lines (and later you being beaten over the head with it) is that he himself grapples with doing things like that, they come easily to him as a matter of "programming" and he knows he's pretty much not a part of normal society because he can do that, the way he's wired he can sort of just choose to use his skills for the right reasons. He's more of an 'anti-hero' because of it. The places where he goes to meet clients? Well, he's wiping out scumbags for other scumbags a lot of the time. When it comes to Agent 47 in particular, he's more of an "anything for the mission" type of dispassionate killer whose emotions are pretty much rendered meaningless. He doesn't go out and kill women because they are women or anything like that, rather he'll literally kill anyone and do any messed up thing needed to complete his mission. As the story progresses though he does sort of "go soft" which is part of the theme of the game though he can easily suppress himself into "murder machine" mode when he needs to.

That said, not every type of game or genera is for everyone. "Star Wars" and "Blade Runner" are both science fiction, but have entirely different styles, stories, and environments. As a general rule "dark future" and other niche genera like "Cyberpunk" have never been particularly mainstream because of the fairly nihilistic world view, and how even the good guys tend to be every bit as messed up in the own way as the world they live in.

As a general rule (exceptions always exist) I do not see much in the way of misogynistic behavior in games, and my opinions of Anita are well documented on this site. For the most part where really bad things happen to women, it's presented in the context of really bad things happening in general.

I'll also point out that role reversal doesn't always work out. When people say decry strip clubs, or various meathead characters like Duke Nukem or some portrayals of Conan (in the books Conan is not a total meathead, which is part of the point) and say it's unfair, they tend not to think of what it looks like if you spin the gender spectrum (and it's happened to some extent). For example let's say we reverse Duke Nukem, we take this physically perfect dude who shows off his massive guns (pun intended), and replace him with a physically perfect lady who shows off her massive guns (pun also intended). This lady runs around Chippendales clubs making unsubtle slutty sexual comments, and treating the dudes like pieces of meat, which they actually seem to enjoy. In the meantime she runs around and saves dudes from various forms of bondage, while making it clear she's going to bang all of them later if she can, in between all of this you get monologue of her reminding you of how great and sexy she is. Instead of say slappable wall breasts, we have wall testicles she can fondle as she walks past. The female Conan doing the same stuff Conan does just with the genders reversed (few other changes) would come out similarly, although it wouldn't be proudly wearing it's own ridiculousness the same way.... the point here is that when you do this kind of thing people will ALSO call it misogynistic in reverse, by claiming that "She-Duke" is actually an embodiment of male fantasy, also being a sex object because after all she's a walking lust bomb who is pretty much out to bang everyone, which makes it a "male empowerment fantasy" even if the actual dudes in the story aren't all that empowered...

The point I'm getting at here is that the whole "Anita Sarkeesian" type of argument isn't even worth having because it can be argued "women are under attack" no matter which way you spin it, which is the beauty of her "position". It's even easy to do when your between those two extremes (as we see since most things are). On a lot of levels the only way to win is not to play, to remove all references to sex and gender, especially any kind of sex related humor, etc... a sort of version of the "Comics Code" aimed at video games. You can pretty much give up on having any kind of "M" rated game for adults (and let's be honest, I feel the label "Mature" is inaccurate, the point of games in many cases is escapism and to let your hair down, basically for people capable of maturity to be immature in the context of the game, due to being able to understand it's only a game and has no meaning beyond that).

As a general rule I feel that people who are deeply concerned about moral issues probably shouldn't be buying "M" rated games that define themselves as being "dark". Especially if the back tells you "this game is about sociopathic criminals" or it has a title like "Hitman". By definition your dealing with anti-social behavior.

To be honest, I have sort of wondered what it would be like if they tried to actually make "Grand Theft Auto" or "Saint's Row" where the protagonists are designed to be good role models. Drive safely everywhere to your 9-5 job, press X to be polite, press Y to turn the other cheek, beat the timed mini-game to help little Billy with his homework! Missions? Well someone has to safely drive loads of soda across town to the little league game..... Maybe a project for a modder with a lot of time and a sense of humor. Instead of Grand Theft Auto, it could be called "Car Payment On Time". :)

It's pretty clear now, abundantly, that Anita has no idea on what she's taking about, once again.

This isn't to say that sexism doesn't exist in video games, or that objectification doesn't exist (Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball anyone?). However, there are far more qualified people to comment and explore this than Anita. Hell, TV Tropes does a better job than her when it comes to pointing out sexist mechanics and elements in games; they also do a good job on how it affects both sexes. People need to stop giving her attention.

Therumancer:

To be honest, I have sort of wondered what it would be like if they tried to actually make "Grand Theft Auto" or "Saint's Row" where the protagonists are designed to be good role models. Drive safely everywhere to your 9-5 job, press X to be polite, press Y to turn the other cheek, beat the timed mini-game to help little Billy with his homework! Missions? Well someone has to safely drive loads of soda across town to the little league game..... Maybe a project for a modder with a lot of time and a sense of humor. Instead of Grand Theft Auto, it could be called "Car Payment On Time". :)

I'd just like to refer people to a little game made originally made under the guidance of Pen and Teller giving the idea.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tueidj.DesertBus&hl=en_GB

It's the ultimate non violent game about just doing your job.

Part of the issue I should point out that keep coming up about violence.

One of the core beliefs of new age 2nd wave feminism based on original 2nd wave feminism is "Non violent action is the true method of change" which has been corrupted by the new wave and or extremists into "Violence is un feminist" which in turns has been interpreted as follows.
Violence is un feminist
Not supporting feminist beliefs is considered to be against them.
Why wouldn't some-one support feminism unless they are sexist.
Therefore as violence doesn't support it then violence itself is inherently sexist.

The problem mainly comes from line 3 which fails to acknowledge the possibility of the statement presented being objectively wrong or merely a subjective interpretation.

Anita herself has posted a link supporting a number of statements about how to help feminism as a cause. One of the points raised was

"If a woman tells you something is sexist then it is."

To that end I was once told I was sexist while playing the MMO The Secret World because of the reasons in the following story.

The person was on the same mission as me but working independently and not grouped but there is overlap in missions. If you screw up one of the puzzles it summons a boss monster. I had fought two due to my own failings then she summoned one. Knowing how tough the boss was and knowing the person (female avatar but that's no indication of gender really)was geared compared to me I thought I'd distract it while she unloaded on it and I could survive. I drew the the attention and she turned and ran off. I soloed the boss, so I've fought 3 at this point so I'm a bit low. She messes up and another boss comes. I turn and run away leaving her (she tried to run too but drew aggro) to fight it because hey she was full health I was at 10%. I went back after healing up to see she had just managed to kill it solo. I screw up and get another boss. and get this

Her "Apologise to me"
Her "respond"
*Repeat "respond" 50 times as I'm fighting a boss solo again*
Me "Can it wait I'm a little busy here with this boss in case you didn't notice"
Her "No you sexist pig I demand an apology for your actions"
*I kill the boss solo*
Me "Excuse me, my actions ?"
Her "Yes your actions you sexist pig, you left me to die on that boss"
Me "You left me to die on one you summoned earlier"
Her "So?"
Me "So I was nearly dead, I was happy to help you fight before but I'm not soloing the boss you summoned but I'd have died fighting that next one"
Her "OMG you only refused to help me because you know I'm a girl you sexist pig, I thought here it would be different, I thought here people would be nice to me but no I run into a sexist pig like you"
Me "I didn't know you were female and how does that make me not dying to the boss you were meant to fight anyway a sexist act."
Her "It does because you're meant to treat girls well and help them out, you're meant to give me stuff to help me out and want to kill the bosses for me"
Me "What ?"
Her "Yeh if you're not sexist give me your [names two of my very rare weapons which are worth a good chunk of money]"
Me "No, I'm not meant to give you things and there's no obligation to help you, especially after when I tried to help you refused to help me with it and placed the entire problem on me"
Her "No-one Raid with Kodu he's a huge sexist pig"
Me "Seriously ?"
Her "I'm going to have you ostracised by the community here for being a sexist pig to me and not helping or giving me stuff"

I won't go on but I will say another girl stepped in and defended my actions, pointed out the other person was an idiot and the person was giving girl gamers a bad name and that if anyone should be ostracised it should be her for attacking me verbally in general chat. This caused the original girl to go off on one claiming the other person wasn't a girl because they'd know that's how girls are meant to act they're meant to be helped and given stuff in games and they were just a jealous neckbeard then some of the second girls guild got involved and backed up that she was female and they could confirm it knowing her IRL. The first person popped up later in general attacking another person only for the second girl to pop up again and defend them too because it was becoming a pattern of claiming to be the victim etc.

This is why almost anything that part of the branch of feminism Anita represents finds they collectively dislike can be labelled as sexist because Feminism isn't wrong.

Which is why I'm glad plenty of 3rd wave feminists are challenging them on topics that seem to be about personal taste because it then means that it's feminist theory vs feminist theory instead of being able to brush off objections as sexist opposition regardless of validity of the argument.

What Anita is very good at is portraying the opposition as nothing bunch of assholes thinking she's here to kill off video games. She's using "the man covered in shit" technique to discredit any counter arguments.

I mean look at her responses to criticism and then see how many are her attacking a nutter or simply claiming the criticism is invalid because her point is right because the evidence supports it and as such the evidence isn't flawed because it supports her point which is right. She isn't open to discussing the points. Heck I wonder if in the next video she'll use prostituted women or if she'll take on board that Sex Worker is the preferred term by industry workers.

This is the problem I have always had with Anita, she misrepresents everything, she might have a valid case for some of her points if she did some actual work.

But instead she constantly takes something and acts like the same exact thing can't be done to male characters.

For the Hitman stuff, she basically presented her argument to her audience to make them believe that the things you can do to the Female characters cannot be done to anyone else in the game, which is just not true, you can kill any NPC in the game, male or female, and you are actively discouraged for killing any NPC, regardless of gender, if they are not your target.

She is trying to mislead people with the argument that you can do this only to females, you aren't discouraged and they were put there so you would do horrible things to them, and it is just not true.

Then she acts like Female characters are the only ones used as "background decorations" or characters, as if there aren't just as many (or more) Male background characters that serve the same purpose.

At the very best she is being extremely misleading, at the worst she is an outright liar with no remorse.

TL;DR She acts as if the things that can be done to Female characters can't also be done to Male characters, and lies through her teeth about there being no discouragement.

TopazFusion:

IceForce:
Alternatively, and without changing the location, have 47 break into a closed strip club to kill the owner. And have no strippers present there at the time.

The devs did exactly this with the orphanage level.

The children in the orphanage were all conveniently out on a field trip or something, when it got stormed by gun-toting goons.

Did the quality of the game suffer because these children were omitted? Nope. Did anyone complain about that mission not having children in it? Nope.
Sure, had they been present, they would probably have served as 'background decoration', but nothing is lost by not having them there.

Unless you're going to argue that the orphanage children should have all been present, and that the game should have depicted them all getting massacred in their beds or something.

Sure they could have but....
Then the strip club level would have been completely different, from a design standpoint. For one there would be no crowd of people to hid in, and guards would most likely go hostile on sight, rather than have area or action triggers.
Those two levels play different, have different feels, and overall tones. Right now it is coming across as a pro-censorship argument. "There shouldn't have been strippers at the strip club because reasons(which are never backed up in Anita's videos and are just buzz-wordy enough to make it sound like they are, srsly follow the links she posts.)".

And personally the lack of children came across as a plot-hole, maybe I missed the part in game where it was stated the kids were gone for reasons...

TopazFusion:

IceForce:
Alternatively, and without changing the location, have 47 break into a closed strip club to kill the owner. And have no strippers present there at the time.

The devs did exactly this with the orphanage level.

The children in the orphanage were all conveniently out on a field trip or something, when it got stormed by gun-toting goons.

Did the quality of the game suffer because these children were omitted? Nope. Did anyone complain about that mission not having children in it? Nope.
Sure, had they been present, they would probably have served as 'background decoration', but nothing is lost by not having them there.

Unless you're going to argue that the orphanage children should have all been present, and that the game should have depicted them all getting massacred in their beds or something.

So why would the owner be there if his business is presently closed ?
Is he there to Starch the thongs ?

What I'm getting at is it would change the story a fair bit or require more explaining as to why he's there than the orphanage where the target wasn't the mother superior.

The_Kodu:

Therumancer:

To be honest, I have sort of wondered what it would be like if they tried to actually make "Grand Theft Auto" or "Saint's Row" where the protagonists are designed to be good role models. Drive safely everywhere to your 9-5 job, press X to be polite, press Y to turn the other cheek, beat the timed mini-game to help little Billy with his homework! Missions? Well someone has to safely drive loads of soda across town to the little league game..... Maybe a project for a modder with a lot of time and a sense of humor. Instead of Grand Theft Auto, it could be called "Car Payment On Time". :)

I'd just like to refer people to a little game made originally made under the guidance of Pen and Teller giving the idea.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tueidj.DesertBus&hl=en_GB

It's the ultimate non violent game about just doing your job.

Part of the issue I should point out that keep coming up about violence.

One of the core beliefs of new age 2nd wave feminism based on original 2nd wave feminism is "Non violent action is the true method of change" which has been corrupted by the new wave and or extremists into "Violence is un feminist" which in turns has been interpreted as follows.
Violence is un feminist
Not supporting feminist beliefs is considered to be against them.
Why wouldn't some-one support feminism unless they are sexist.
Therefore as violence doesn't support it then violence itself is inherently sexist.

The problem mainly comes from line 3 which fails to acknowledge the possibility of the statement presented being objectively wrong or merely a subjective interpretation.

Anita herself has posted a link supporting a number of statements about how to help feminism as a cause. One of the points raised was

"If a woman tells you something is sexist then it is."

To that end I was once told I was sexist while playing the MMO The Secret World because of the reasons in the following story.

The person was on the same mission as me but working independently and not grouped but there is overlap in missions. If you screw up one of the puzzles it summons a boss monster. I had fought two due to my own failings then she summoned one. Knowing how tough the boss was and knowing the person (female avatar but that's no indication of gender really)was geared compared to me I thought I'd distract it while she unloaded on it and I could survive. I drew the the attention and she turned and ran off. I soloed the boss, so I've fought 3 at this point so I'm a bit low. She messes up and another boss comes. I turn and run away leaving her (she tried to run too but drew aggro) to fight it because hey she was full health I was at 10%. I went back after healing up to see she had just managed to kill it solo. I screw up and get another boss. and get this

Her "Apologise to me"
Her "respond"
*Repeat "respond" 50 times as I'm fighting a boss solo again*
Me "Can it wait I'm a little busy here with this boss in case you didn't notice"
Her "No you sexist pig I demand an apology for your actions"
*I kill the boss solo*
Me "Excuse me, my actions ?"
Her "Yes your actions you sexist pig, you left me to die on that boss"
Me "You left me to die on one you summoned earlier"
Her "So?"
Me "So I was nearly dead, I was happy to help you fight before but I'm not soloing the boss you summoned but I'd have died fighting that next one"
Her "OMG you only refused to help me because you know I'm a girl you sexist pig, I thought here it would be different, I thought here people would be nice to me but no I run into a sexist pig like you"
Me "I didn't know you were female and how does that make me not dying to the boss you were meant to fight anyway a sexist act."
Her "It does because you're meant to treat girls well and help them out, you're meant to give me stuff to help me out and want to kill the bosses for me"
Me "What ?"
Her "Yeh if you're not sexist give me your [names two of my very rare weapons which are worth a good chunk of money]"
Me "No, I'm not meant to give you things and there's no obligation to help you, especially after when I tried to help you refused to help me with it and placed the entire problem on me"
Her "No-one Raid with Kodu he's a huge sexist pig"
Me "Seriously ?"
Her "I'm going to have you ostracised by the community here for being a sexist pig to me and not helping or giving me stuff"

I won't go on but I will say another girl stepped in and defended my actions, pointed out the other person was an idiot and the person was giving girl gamers a bad name and that if anyone should be ostracised it should be her for attacking me verbally in general chat. This caused the original girl to go off on one claiming the other person wasn't a girl because they'd know that's how girls are meant to act they're meant to be helped and given stuff in games and they were just a jealous neckbeard then some of the second girls guild got involved and backed up that she was female and they could confirm it knowing her IRL. The first person popped up later in general attacking another person only for the second girl to pop up again and defend them too because it was becoming a pattern of claiming to be the victim etc.

This is why almost anything that part of the branch of feminism Anita represents finds they collectively dislike can be labelled as sexist because Feminism isn't wrong.

Which is why I'm glad plenty of 3rd wave feminists are challenging them on topics that seem to be about personal taste because it then means that it's feminist theory vs feminist theory instead of being able to brush off objections as sexist opposition regardless of validity of the argument.

What Anita is very good at is portraying the opposition as nothing bunch of assholes thinking she's here to kill off video games. She's using "the man covered in shit" technique to discredit any counter arguments.

I mean look at her responses to criticism and then see how many are her attacking a nutter or simply claiming the criticism is invalid because her point is right because the evidence supports it and as such the evidence isn't flawed because it supports her point which is right. She isn't open to discussing the points. Heck I wonder if in the next video she'll use prostituted women or if she'll take on board that Sex Worker is the preferred term by industry workers.

Well, the thing is Anita has put herself into a perfect position to cause trouble and get attention, it's about the fight, the platform, and the attention, not any particular message, that is why she cannot be reasoned with, she is not looking for reason, or even trying to defend a position she's reasoned out. This was sort of my point about the whole "let's reverse the gender roles" thing and pointing out that if you do it, say making Duke Nuke'em into a woman and having her act the same way with all the women in the game being replaced by men, it would still be considered sexist. Basically she can take the position of insisting something is offensively sexist, be given what she claims to want, and then turn around and claim it's still sexist. This is why a lot of people go after her for attacking video games because really, with the contradictory stances she's taken, the only way you could possibly "do the right thing" and maintain any integrity in the creative process at all would be to not have any video games, or to make only video games that work on non-gendered concepts. Basically by Anita's logic you might still be able to have something like "Defender" as long as it's never divulged whether it's a guy or a girl in the ship (so to speak).

That said, I also play "The Secret World" though it's been getting rougher to do so since I have developing arthritis and some problems with tendonitis. I go on binges here and there, and while I've done all the basic content, I've sort of taken a break from the Nightmare grind and trying to do Tokyo (which requires a lot of evasion) yet again though I was involved with it again not too long ago.

If your story is accurate, I wouldn't take that as an example of feminist anything, it seems like someone messing with you intentionally, especially if they decided to state the whole "I am a girl" thing as a point out loud along with any kind of expectations. I've never seen anyone I know is a girl try and pull that. It's probably some bored person who has done all the story content through a few times, has at least one Panoptican in their character list (never got there myself) and has nothing to do but mess with people. I'd guess they were intentionally trying to train the boss onto you. I can almost guarantee anyone with the juice to actually get you in trouble with any portion of the community wouldn't tell you that was what they planned to do, and frankly you only tend to get that well known and respected by being fun to hang out/group with, not someone who is going to get in other people's faces with world content.

A lot of the people who do stuff like this do it with Dragon alts, and then if ever pinned down by people claim "hey, I'm RPing, it's my job as a Dragon to spread chaos".

The Secret World generally has a very friendly and welcoming community though... until you hit nightmare level, then it's still friendly, but you slam into the elitist factor since everyone wants to speed run and nobody wants to deal with newer players or those who aren't as well geared and experienced.

I'll also say, even if it seems slightly contradictory with the above, that I don't think TSW has very many actual newbies. It's fairly obscure, and has never been especially well marketed, and while it's art style is okay, it doesn't exactly have mind-blowing technology that tends to draw people in, not to mention the whole "modern conspiracy/horror" bit is a niche genera. I'm sure new players do show up from time to time, but the odds are anyone working on a general quest is probably someone whose been around a while, or an alt.

I like TSW as it is, and hope it doesn't change much (though I do loathe everything about this Aegis system), but it's likely to never see a serious explosion of players unless they act to make it a lot more casual friendly, which would also drive a lot of the current players away.

That said last time I was on I heard some comments that they were planning on doing a re-launch of the game and a new promotional campaign, though I'm not sure what that entails if it's even likely to happen. Consider that I also head in the same chats (this a long time ago) that Funcom was dropping all it's MMO projects and re-directing it's attention to making games based on lego minifigures... which apparently did not happen. That one was the rumor going around right after their stock tanked when TSW didn't turn out to be a major success (which anyone could have told them, even when I was in beta and praising it, I did it from the perspective that it was a niche game and thought they understood that).

I'm rambling, but the point is I wouldn't take an experience like that seriously. I'd be even more messed up if I stopped to really think about half of the bizzare stuff/people I've run into in MMOs.

Bolo The Great:
I think people just need to stop giving any regard to Anita Sarkeesian at all. Her arguments, taken as a whole, as very poor and her conclusions especially in this video and blatantly faulty . I think those who don't foam at the mouth with hate but still want to express that we don't think her work is helpful or meaningful need some kind of stock responce every time someone starts confusing disliking her pretty false assertions with being some kind of abusive hate-monger.

"Anita Sarkeesian's work is based on faulty assumptions and in numerous ways is founded on a base of half-truths and manipulation. As a person i can, without degrading her as a person, take issue with the myriad flasehoods and faulty assertions weaved throughout her series. She advocates a position that games inspire real-world problems and actions, a position held by the more vehement critics and prospective censors of games. This is a matter of public record.

You can separate her work from her as a person. Saying "You are just a hateful sexist" does not validate her work or make her conclusions any less false. Any line of discussion that assumes those who find fault in her series are merely hateful will not be given regard. Analyze her work first and form your own opinion rather than merely reacting. This is not a battle of 'sides' only an attempt to critique and shine a light on the problems of the work of an individual"

You know in a strange way I don't even think her arguments matter as much as some people like to talk about them. It's kind of like the old adage missing the forest from the trees. It's a weird thing to say no doubt. It is just that, I don't think many people watch the videos, stroke their chin, and go "well that was a very goo/bad argument". It's more they watch the video see something they kind of didn't notice before and "go oh I never noticed that before what is up with that?" It's a little like reading TV tropes and having all the tropes pointed out for you. (Hench the name for the series.)

I'm pretty sure all the violent things done to women in that episode can also be done to men in those games. I mean should you not be allowed to attack women in games? That strikes as even more sexist. Should a window pop up and say "YOU SICK FUCK HOW DARE YOU ATTEMPT TO HARM A FEMALE VIDEO GAME CHARACTER!"? One thing she kept mentioning was how she felt those games treated women like they are disposable. I could make better argument that men are treated like they are disposable, That would explain why around 85% of the video games characters I've killed are men.

NuclearKangaroo:
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.

Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner! While she may make a few (very few) decent points about older games, that was then, and this is now. Western society has evolved, and it is always evolving. If the modern "feminists" (insert coughing heavy coughing around "feminists") actually realised this, they'd see racism and sexism were on a much lower level than they claim.

Or maybe they do see it, but they just want to whine for attention.

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're not so much using it as a distraction as you are helping them find the body they're looking for.

I would say it's possible to give every character a little bit of back story/personality (the heart from Dishonored is another good example of this), but in some levels, there are just too many people for most of them to be anything other than a cut out. Would you complain about how underdeveloped and samey all the male patrons of the strip club are? I mean, a big part of good visual design is making the important bits stand out, and part of that is muting supporting characters in some settings.

As a side note, trying to talk to a stripper about her life outside of stripping is the quickest way to get your lap dance to end. They don't want to talk about their background, and they don't want you to either.

Hitman: Absolution is a pretty fucked up game, but I really can't quite call it overtly misogynistic. If you're going to portray part of a game taking part in a seedy underbelly, you have to actually show a seedy underbelly. Some of the biggest threats you face in the game are very well trained female professional assassins. Your incredibly capable handler was a female. That little girl you rescue kicks some serious ass.

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,

One of your targets is an incredibly seedy and creepy dude. One of the easiest ways to show that is to show him running a traditionally sleazy type of place (a strip club) and doing creepy, seedy, things (abusing his workers). It makes it pretty easy to kill him, I think. I feel like accurately representing a seedy underbelly or fucked up circumstance is different from condoning or encouraging it. If the best way to make your point is by showing something ugly, then by all means, show something ugly. It's like the Far Cry 4 cover that got all that idiotic attention. They're not promoting being an oppressive colonialist, they're portraying him as the villain. They're not supporting his lifestyle, they're criticizing it.

mrdude2010:
That little girl you rescue kicks some serious ass.

I wonder, does she still count as a damsel in distress, if she can do this?

The_Kodu:

Can we attack things that deserve attacking here.

Poor characterisation or at least failure to present it.

You know just like the Far Cry 4 controversies (yes multiple ones)

The first being the oppressive white guy controversy and the second being having a gay villain.
The second hasn't been confirmed fully as false but he could just be flamboyant.

As for the "Asking for it / deserve it comment" I again refer to self defence here. If you feel your life is legitimately under threat then you act to protect yourself in one way or another. Logic and reasoning is turned off when self preservation kicks in and people have one of two reactions. Fight or Flight. If flight is not an option then people will pick fight.

"violence against women by making them the initiators of violence"
Is a particularly poor phrase as it ignores entirely the problem of Male domestic abuse (though society tends to ignore this as a whole anyway) I mean it's not like you hear that much about how Stephan Hawking suffered domestic abuse.

Yes there is a point of over-reaction but again it's about the perceived level of threat as to how much logical function the brain retains and how much is instinctive.

"Poor characterisation or at least failure to present it."

That is precisely the point. The quote I gave came from a Forbes article in which a Sociologist who stripped through college reacts to the video and gives her perception of the characters. I used it because I won't bother engaging with someone who, intentionally or not, fails to understand why the trailer is sexist, because what the intreviewee explains fairly eloquently what exactly about it is sexist, and because it is the reaction of a non gamer to a commercial trailer of this game, and she came away disgusted and entirely focused on the Saints' sexualized aspects and the violence perpetrated upon them.

So, I think that this phrase of yours summons it up perfectly. The Saints' poor characterization has a former stripper completely failing to relate to characters who are supposedly former strippers themselves. If the broad image she takes from the trailer is that these oversexualized, completely irrealistic and unrelatable women are being portrayed as agressors so that players can indulge in some guilt free violence, then she's either wrong and IO really dropped the ball when characterizing these characters, or she's right and, well, IO really dropped the (sleaze) ball in including them.

grimner:

"Poor characterisation or at least failure to present it."

That is precisely the point. The quote I gave came from a Forbes article in which a Sociologist who stripped through college reacts to the video and gives her perception of the characters. I used it because I won't bother engaging with someone who, intentionally or not, fails to understand why the trailer is sexist, because what the intreviewee explains fairly eloquently what exactly about it is sexist, and because it is the reaction of a non gamer to a commercial trailer of this game, and she came away disgusted and entirely focused on the Saints' sexualized aspects and the violence perpetrated upon them.

So, I think that this phrase of yours summons it up perfectly. The Saints' poor characterization has a former stripper completely failing to relate to characters who are supposedly former strippers themselves. If the broad image she takes from the trailer is that these oversexualized, completely irrealistic and unrelatable women are being portrayed as agressors so that players can indulge in some guilt free violence, then she's either wrong and IO really dropped the ball when characterizing these characters, or she's right and, well, IO really dropped the (sleaze) ball in including them.

The problem is if all you take from the trailer is physical appearance then it could be described as an issue with the person perceiving it.

I wrote an article on it before questioning the trend of people claiming sexism based solely on looks.

The best example being the Dead Or alive characters. When the developers aren't being idiots and using them as dress up dolls if you look into them as characters they've got some pretty good stuff there. I mean head of a multi national business, a renowned female assassin. A world leading geneticist. But you don't generally hear about that.

The same with Lara Croft, She's female Batman crossed with Indianna Jones but without being a neurotic mess. Yet mostly she's brushed off a sexist or simply a Male fantasy piece and nothing more.

Considering how badly most game characters get written I wouldn't be surprised if it was more writing issues than deliberate sleaze. Hell it could have been pretty progressive to have 47 hunted by a group of Female assassins and showing they were almost as capable as him despite his extensive trainning.

If they failed to come up with a reason for the clothing in the game itself (not sure I haven't played it myself yet) then it could be written off. If they didn't and it was a "Well we wanted them to look sexy" then you could argue there was an issue of sexism at work.

However again it's all about perspective.

The same with Lara Croft, She's female Batman crossed with Indianna Jones but without being a neurotic mess. Yet mostly she's brushed off a sexist or simply a Male fantasy piece and nothing more.

Considering how badly most game characters get written I wouldn't be surprised if it was more writing issues than deliberate sleaze. Hell it could have been pretty progressive to have 47 hunted by a group of Female assassins and showing they were almost as capable as him despite his extensive trainning.

If they failed to come up with a reason for the clothing in the game itself (not sure I haven't played it myself yet) then it could be written off. If they didn't and it was a "Well we wanted them to look sexy" then you could argue there was an issue of sexism at work.

However again it's all about perspective.

I think the new Lara Croft in Tomb raider (2013) isn't at all sexist though, I'd like to hear your opinion her.

Windknight:

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.

This is becoming more of a discussion about the morality of sex work in real life rather than the morality of depicting it in a video game - if you're (general you, not specific you) sex-negative like Ms Sarkeesian is, then hey, that's at least consistent, but I'd argue that it's futile and misdirected to rail against the harmless depiction of something that's happening right now in real life.

But, as a slight counterpoint, it's interesting to note that one of the biggest backlashes Anita received after that video was from sex workers themselves who branded her ignorant, misinformed and "whorephobic", mostly on Twitter and Tumblr. The general gist was that for the vast majority of women sex work is something they do voluntarily, so it's disempowering and sexist to suggest that every woman who strips or prostitutes is a victim, and trying to erase depictions of sex workers is a form of "erasure" akin to airbrushing other minorities out of fiction. (To go off on a tangent, there's a short level in the game where 47 visits a tailor to get a new suit made. I could use Sarkeesian-logic to demand that scene be cut, as it "glorifies" an industry that in reality uses child labour and sweat-shops).

grimner:

To you? No, not really. If your wits are so lacking as to not understand how characters who have no other defining characteristic other than be highly sexualized and fetishized punching bags is extremely sexist, I truly have better ways to spend my time than schooling you. I don't look the part of Henry Higgins, sadly for you.

Did you really just pull the "if you don't agree with me you must be stupid" bit? How old are you?

That's the oldest cop out there is, that and the "I don't have time to educate you but I do have time to keep arguing this with other people" line of nonsense. Just admit you don't have any points. Or if not go ahead and "consubstantiate" them (whatever that means).

TopazFusion:
Anita should have used footage from the previous Hitman game, Blood Money, instead.
That game is rife with examples of the sort of thing she's talking about.

image

Scantily-clad women standing around, who serve no other purpose than for fully-clothed male NPCs to ogle at them. Objectified and sexualized women who are the very definition of "background decoration".
One of them even serves as your target.

And you can't even argue that they're "strippers" in a "strip club", so you would "expect" them to be there, ... because they're not strippers, and it's not a strip club.
So, why are they dressed like that?


There's also that other mission, that takes place at a 'porn mansion' in the freezing cold Rocky Mountains, which also has scantily-clad women standing around, with fully-clothed men ogling at them.
Though, in that particular case, it being a 'porn mansion', maybe you could argue that they're "part of the background decoration"... But whatever.

Have you never heard of Hugh Heffner? That mission was clearly a take on him and his mansion.

The_Kodu:

The problem is if all you take from the trailer is physical appearance then it could be described as an issue with the person perceiving it.

Well, not necessarily, especially if physical appearance and sexualization is all we have to characterize them. In this case, we have a group of women all dressed in highly uncomfortable/impractical clothing and shoes pulling out guns and start shooting. It is very hard, not to say downright impossible, to deduce from their presentation that these women will be anything other than sexualized cannon fodder. They could all be a lot more than what they appear, but if your presentation is so sternly focused on just one aspect, then it is that one aspect that people will take away from it, and you can't rightly blame them. Even Bayonetta's launch trailers had a teensy bit more nuance than that, and (much as I actually like Bayonetta) she is pretty much the epitome of a sexualized character.

If they failed to come up with a reason for the clothing in the game itself (not sure I haven't played it myself yet) then it could be written off. If they didn't and it was a "Well we wanted them to look sexy" then you could argue there was an issue of sexism at work.

However again it's all about perspective.

The actual background for the women in this trailer is thus :

They are ex-strippers and prostitutes and victims of domestic abuse who converted to catholicism and are hired by an assassin agency and molded into an assassin task force.

The premisse is hard to swallow, but not impossible to make it work. But even if we accept it wholesale, it really doesn't explain why they have to carry out their hits wearing stilettos and latex clothes under a nun's habit. My goth ex-wife could pretty much testify that that stuff ain't confortable even for clubbing, let alone carrying out assassinations (granted, she hasn't, to my knowledge, actually tried to kill someone while in latex clothes). In addition, in the game their religious grab and demeanor is meant to work as a disguise so... well, let's just say they don't exactly blend in outside of a BSDM club, rendering the whole set up and backstory moot.

They're not even a central part of the game or plot, being pretty much henchwomen and stop gap antagonists. You could swap them in with, say, FOXHOUND without much prejudice to the story. Which doesn't help making their inclusion in the actual game that much more coherent and may lead to the logical conclusion that their inclusion in the main game trailer is to serve the purpose of eye candy and very little else.

The best example being the Dead Or alive characters. When the developers aren't being idiots and using them as dress up dolls if you look into them as characters they've got some pretty good stuff there. I mean head of a multi national business, a renowned female assassin. A world leading geneticist. But you don't generally hear about that.

Just curious, not that I have played or ever will play a DoA game, but do these women flattering backgrounds ever materialize or are meaningful parts of their characters? Or are they merely backstory elements? Because, the way you describe them, they seem a bit tacked on (though I am assuming and allowing my distaste for the franchise to guide perception). You could have a woman being President of the free world, but if all she ever does is poledance in skimpy clothes, then her job becomes pretty much irrelevent and an alibi.

Not gonna read five pages just to point out that you can actually non-lethally subdue civilians, such as the strippers, and as long as you hide their unconscious selves, you won't get a score pentalty. Additionally, they can bust your cover, so a lot of times it makes sense to knock them out, and you can't take off somebody's clothes to use as a disguise if they're not wearing any clothes in the first place.

Also, coming from a fan of the Hitman series, she doesn't need to make up shit to call the Hitman series miosgynistic, because it already treats pretty terribly.

Lets use Absolution as a starting point. The first woman you see in the game is naked in the shower. Okay, I'll let that one slide, because shower = baptism, religious symbolism and themes of pennance and redemption throughout the game. The second woman you see in the game is a rather highly sexualized teenage girl. She's wearing a catholic school girl outfit with a skirt short enough to get her kicked out of Catholic school[1]. Oh, and she's wearing a school girl outfit when when she explicitly doesn't go to school because sexy schoolgirl outfit guys, amirite? I'm not letting that one slide as being "thematic". Its contrived and doesn't make sense within the game, and if they wanted to be thematic, they could've given a 14-year old girl a skirt that is about the length of something you'd see in a porno. How about the dominatrix nun assassins? Couldn't they have just made assassins with actual clothign? Nope, this is the Hitman series, can't do that. They put them in lingerie because titties, amirite? I've heard people say that they're dominatrix nuns for thematic reasons, but I don't buy that because they're not fleshed out at any length, and because the Hitman series has a history of making female targets always dress in skimpy outfits.

Finally, the stripper level. This mission has no reason to exist. Game spoilers will follow in this paragraph from this sentence onward. Why do you kill this target, the owner of the strip club? Because he'll tell Blake Dexter where Victoria is. Except that Dexter finds out anyways, through Birdie. So why does Birdie send 47 here? I could infer that its so that Birdie can get paid for the information on Victoria, where the target, the owner of the strip club, would be unable to because he's dead. The game never makes a point of that, though. It also comes right after Birdie sends you to kill Dexter. The real reason is so that Birdie can distance himself from 47 so he can sneak out and inform Dexter, but Birdie could've done that anyways without forcing distance between him and 47. Birdie could've done this without having to kill the competitor though, because he already has access to Blake. Birdie did not need to fake his kidnapping either. The entire reason why this mission exists in the first place doesn't make sense. So then the question has to be asked, why a strip club, of all places? The answer? The owner coincidentally owns the strip club. This level was obviously designed first around a strip club, and then they failed to give a solid narrative reason to be there. Its in there because titties, amirite guise? Gotta have fap material in a videogame that is rather polarizing to anybody older than fourteen.

Again, I like the Hitman series. I love the stealth genre, and I own all of the Hitman games. The series, however, has kind of had this history of miogyny... and racism, and arguably homophobia, but thats for another discussion about the series.

I have played Absolution, there are many times when the game offers me a solution to my problem and even encourages me to use it, when that option makes my score go down. There is for many events in that game nothing but practical upsides, where the score may go down, but the action is implicitly encouraged.

One of the more set up kills involves a rifle, but that also lowers my score, it would be absurd to suggest that the gun placed where I don't need to move in order to get a kill isn't being offered to me as a way to solve my problems.

You shouldn't go "look at the score go down you dumb broad", that is the most irrelevant and ineffective way of guiding the player in the entire game.

TopazFusion:
Anita should have used footage from the previous Hitman game, Blood Money, instead.
That game is rife with examples of the sort of thing she's talking about.
Scantily-clad women standing around, who serve no other purpose than for fully-clothed male NPCs to ogle at them. Objectified and sexualized women who are the very definition of "background decoration".
One of them even serves as your target.

And you can't even argue that they're "strippers" in a "strip club", so you would "expect" them to be there, ... because they're not strippers, and it's not a strip club.
So, why are they dressed like that?

There's also that other mission, that takes place at a 'porn mansion' in the freezing cold Rocky Mountains, which also has scantily-clad women standing around, with fully-clothed men ogling at them.
Though, in that particular case, it being a 'porn mansion', maybe you could argue that they're "part of the background decoration"... But whatever.

I think by now, we should be taking in the Hitman series as a whole. When I really think about it, Hitman is quite an oddball when it comes to it's missions, tone, and themes. The games don't remain 'normal' for very long. Often going in surreal directions from one mission to the other and several times in each game, the game takes you to places of sheer depravity. And in my eyes, it becomes hard to apply general rules of depictions when shit in each Hitman game gets seriously weird.

Hitman Contracts is probably the strongest example of this. The very first Hit in the game involves assassinating a morbidly obese semi-nude man, hosting a drug-fueled party in a Meat Factory, where every single patron is dressed in leather gimp suits and there's blood everywhere.

At this point, trying to argue which sex is more clothed than the other is pretty silly. The shit you see in this level is seriously fucked up. But, that's kindof the point here.

In the level you mentioned in Blood Money, again follows my view of the game going in surreal and depraved directions. It may not be a strip club. But the depravity behind the mission is obvious.
It may not be a strip club, but it's a masquerade party held an illegal arms dealer. Which makes arguing how clothed one sex is more than other pretty silly to me.

Picking and choosing these kinds of levels in Hitman games is easy. The series makes no qualm about delving into depraved settings, and sick situations. But, that's not entirely what every game is about. In every game, you visit a myriad of locations from the exotic, to the mundane, to the weird.

Personally, I'm not sure how much of this is problematic. Surely you can't say that a game is not allowed to depict these kinds of situations. And I think in most cases, Hitman manages to depict these situations to great effect.

At this point making well informed, reasonable, and easily explainable response to her is pointless. She's won, not by being correct, but by looking like she's correct. Attempting to counter her junk science is useless. It's useless, as her dogma has so firmly entrenched itself. Making video response to her is fruitless, making forum threads responding to her bullcrap is useless, and directly emailing her about her bullshit is useless. Through the sheer power of baited trolls and white knights, she has succeeded in dictating the actions of games coverage, reception, jounralism, and production. This is what pyschotic radfems do. They infect every last thing they can find and turn it against the people who enjoy it, warping it to suit themselves and only them.

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