Anita Sarkeesian + Hitman Absolution = Epic Fail

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bobleponge:

The story context matters, of course. But you also have to look at it in the context of the culture at large. Black people have a history of being oppressed by white people in America,

That is a racist statement. There was never a point where all white people participated in oppressing minorities. Not every white person in the south owned slaves, there were tons of white abolitionists and tons of white people against segregation.

bobleponge:

so Django Unchained was cathartic. A movie about a heroic white guy going around killing evil black people would be tasteless and offensive, because of the exact same context.

Ok how about a white shopkeeper defending his store from rioting black people. Let's make it the Rodney King riots just to double down. Or how about a white dude vs. the bloods or the crips.

bobleponge:

Hookers and strippers are very frequently murdered by men, due to the incredibly off balance power dynamic, so it's kinda crappy that a silly/fun action fantasy would trivialize that.

Trivialize how exactly?

While I actually like the first video she released when I went back and watched some of the videos she put up before she did the Kickstarter I knew it was going to get worse.
She doesn't like to back up her assertions with facts or citations and she often will twist things to fit her hypothesis. The quality of the video game videos has been going down rapidly too.
I think she was the wrong person to try and tackle this subject.

bobleponge:

NuclearKangaroo:

bobleponge:

Everyone isn't equal. That's the issue. That's why you need to be thoughtful as to how you're portraying certain groups of people.

so why did you ask me why i think it obstructs real equality? you know it does, you just dont care

I don't think that. I think the opposite.

you are a complete contradiction

- i dont think everyone is equal
- now i do
- now i dont
- now i do
- now i think the opposite

make up your mind before starting a discussion because you cant defend 2 mutually exclusive things

WhiteNachos:

bobleponge:

The story context matters, of course. But you also have to look at it in the context of the culture at large. Black people have a history of being oppressed by white people in America,

That is a racist statement. There was never a point where all white people participated in oppressing minorities. Not every white person in the south owned slaves, there were tons of white abolitionists and tons of white people against segregation.

Me: "Man I sure love ice cream!"
WhiteNachos: "Dude that's disgusting! You're clearly referring to every bit of ice cream in existence, including poop-flavored ice cream, ice cream in the garbage, and pistachio! What's wrong with you?"
Me: [stops hanging out with WhiteNachos]

bobleponge:

so Django Unchained was cathartic. A movie about a heroic white guy going around killing evil black people would be tasteless and offensive, because of the exact same context.

Ok how about a white shopkeeper defending his store from rioting black people. Let's make it the Rodney King riots just to double down. Or how about a white dude vs. the bloods or the crips.

Considering the long history of films, books, etc. that have portrayed black people as violent, savage attackers and cruel thugs attacking innocent white people, I'd say that's pretty tasteless. Of course, if it's clear that the writer took that into account, and really went to great lengths to humanize the black characters and make their circumstances feel honest, it could be a strong story. That first example is basically the plot of Do The Right Thing.

bobleponge:

Hookers and strippers are very frequently murdered by men, due to the incredibly off balance power dynamic, so it's kinda crappy that a silly/fun action fantasy would trivialize that.

Trivialize how exactly?

Silly action fantasies are trivial. Ideally they're clear about their intentions, that they're just trying to entertain you without attempting anything more meaningful. You're not meant to take any of it seriously, and when the movie contains serious subject matter it inherently trivializes it.

NuclearKangaroo:

bobleponge:

NuclearKangaroo:

so why did you ask me why i think it obstructs real equality? you know it does, you just dont care

I don't think that. I think the opposite.

you are a complete contradiction

- i dont think everyone is equal
- now i do
- now i dont
- now i do
- now i think the opposite

make up your mind before starting a discussion because you cant defend 2 mutually exclusive things

I'm confused. I thought my opinions were clear:

Everyone deserves equal treatment.
Many groups of people don't get that, and that sucks.
When making art it's a good idea to be aware of this and not perpetuate it.

bobleponge:

NuclearKangaroo:

you said historical context is important, its not, it only serves to obstruct real equality, black people cant be equal to everyone else, neither can women or sex workers under that point of view

I was referring to cultural context. Our culture includes recent history. I really do not understand why you think that obstructs real equality.

L.P.Hartley:

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there

"But men still shoot each other, don't they?" I asked hopefully.
"They shot me," he answered, with what I took to be a smile.
"Yes, but that was in a war. Do they still shoot each other over ladies?" I imagined a carpet of prostrate women, over whom shots rang out.

Remember the Past don't live in it still. Making sure the scars from the past are shown is important to making sure the wound isn't re-opened fully in the future. Your claim about present culture and past I took to be you defending the claim of the pressence of negative connotations of the aspects your pointed out.

A simple example of what I mean.

Black people used to be kept as slaves
You can't show a black person in chains in any context because it in the past it had negative connotations.

It's asking for the application of progressive attitudes of the past to apply now to the extreme.
It's taking the idea of in the past that "All men are equal no person should be in chains because of the colour of their skin"
Then claiming that because a criminal happens to be black he shouldn't be shown in chain.
[1] It's ignoring modern context and claiming an alternate context is the real reason.

Now what this comes down to is equality vs social justice.

Equality means accepting the past happened and learning from it and why it was wrong.

Social Justice or as I'd like to refer to it in many cases Lynch Mob justice as it's based on perception alone just the same. The idea is it's not right until some form of revenge has been taken out on people in return, very much the eye for an eye philosophy of "it can't be right till you've felt the same pain we did, we can never be equal and the grudge will always remain until it's settled in kind. Except the problem is often it's extracted in more than simply like for like.

To give you an example of this would be in the TV series Black Mirror in the episode White Bear.

The plot is detailed in the spoiler and I mean the full plot

The problem being pushed is the idea that social justice recognises no remorse nor change in the person realising or understanding what's gone wrong and the punishment continues indefinitely until an insatiable mob is satisfied and all members say enough.

[1] The reason I used the Black Prisoner example was simply my brain kept flicking back to "The Green Mile"

The_Kodu:
*snip*

For like the 10,000th time, I'm not saying "don't do this ever." Did you not see that? Are you purposely ignoring it? What's the deal?

Here's how it works:

A game where a black person is shown in chains: Okay!
A game where a black person is shown in chains, and the game portrays it as a good, acceptable thing: Not Okay!

bobleponge:

Shadowstar38:

But, shouldn't we BE treating everyone as equals while the rest of the world tries to get there? Doesn't the fact that developers didn't see an issue with murdering females the same as males say something positive about society, or those particular people? Wouldn't treating them as if they need extra protection add to the problem?

I addressed this a little bit above. It's not that killing males is Good and killing females is Bad. It's that female characters are objectified/sexualized the way that men are not. You aren't treating them equally to the male characters, because you're inviting the player to murder AND ogle the female characters, while you only murder the male characters.

Except they are. Male NPCs don't normally get huge amounts of lines nor do they have huge depth. The same as most No named characters in any TV show.

Is it right in say Game of Thrones what we know very little about an each individual soldier in an army but then wrong we know little about each individual female nurse at the camps.

I put the question again.

Define a general set of characteristics that aren't media influence for the sexualised male what are they ?

Again a quote from my ex is relevant here

Metal gear solid is a game about staring at a fit guys arse as it wiggles about when he crawls

Here's the thing, you can argue that was entirely the developers intent I mean often the camera is at such an angle you are either behind snake or at an angle you can see is arse and even later games let you get dripping wet as snake.

Obviously the developers meant him to be oggled.

As I've asked this before I'll try a different approach

Is violencea a concept sexist ?

The_Kodu:
snip

You're not actually reading what I wrote, are you?

bobleponge:

The_Kodu:
*snip*

For like the 10,000th time, I'm not saying "don't do this ever." Did you not see that? Are you purposely ignoring it? What's the deal?

Here's how it works:

A game where a black person is shown in chains: Okay!
A game where a black person is shown in chains, and the game portrays it as a good, acceptable thing: Not Okay!

So as you've used my example it's wrong to show a black person in chains if they're in for the brutal murder of 3 people and injuring of multiple officers bringing him in. If he's known to be extremely violent and try to escape.Thats wrong because he's black ?
the context and reasoning doesn't matter ?
Surely the prevalent attribute is that he is a dangerous person likely to cause injury so if not chained up say in the dock during a murder trial then that should be the important thing not the fact he's black as if you say chaining him up like that is wrong because he's black you're giving him special treatment compared to whiteprisoners accused of the same crime with the same circumstances.

See your focus was
His black = the reason for the chains
My approach was
He's a dangerous individual who could harm people = the Reason for the chains.

He could be blue, white, purple, Orange or rainbow coloured it wouldn't matter unless that is the sole reason for the chains.

IceForce:

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

That's a kind of sexism there though, though it's not quite something people would argue. Part of feminism is gender equality so if you're able to brutally kill male characters, it'd be sexist for female characters not to be given the same treatment (context allowing I guess).

bobleponge:

The_Kodu:
snip

You're not actually reading what I wrote, are you?

I am but you're not actually answering any of the questions I've put to you.

Either you're not really reading what I'm writing or you're dodging the point.

bobleponge:

But you also have to look at it in the context of the culture at large.

"Have to" in order to what?

bobleponge:

Black people have a history of being oppressed by white people in America, so (...) movie about a heroic white guy going around killing evil black people would be tasteless and offensive, because of the exact same context.

Explain.

Are those black people the same ones who are being oppressed? Or at least from the same time and space? Are they being oppressed NOW in the same way? Is there any relevance to that particular oppression? See, just because you are saying "context" doesn't mean that particular word can be an argument in itself. People who point at it using character's PoV do their job by answering similar questions to those above and below before they are even asked - are you?

Is there a limit to that "tasteful immunity from being killed by a specific killer"? If oppression happened (to someone else who happened to share a skin color by accident, but that's apparently a small thing, so let's ignore it) 100 years it means tasteless while 200 years ago is all right?

If "oppression distance" is at least remotely measurable by years, then is it also measurable by other means? Like, does Mongol oppression of Slavs make games where white dude kills Asians less "tasteless" in comparison? Or are they automatically offensive because some magical number was reached through Vietnam alone? But wouldn't that also mean that both kind of killing games are tasteless? Or is there something special about one specific plight of one specific group?

Or is it merely "that American thing" again, rather naive in a world where video games have more than American sensibilities to work with, not to mention far richer cultural context to draw from, which results in inevitable hierarchy shifts? As in: "just because thing X happened there does not make it automatically relevant enough to dominate any context"?

bobleponge:

Hookers and strippers are very frequently murdered by men, due to the incredibly off balance power dynamic, so it's kinda crappy that a silly/fun action fantasy would trivialize that.

Is there anything that video game does not trivialize by including that "anything" in virtual, interactive world? If yes - what is it? If no - why are certain encounters tasteless when trivialized by default when so many others are not? Is there some rule for that or is it just as subjective as trivializing infanticide in Crusader Kings by attaching merely some negative "score" modifier to it? Like... Hitman did?

Is any killing trivialized when it lacks a deep commentary and consequences to player comparable at least with what happens in "Crime and Punishment"? Perhaps. Should any piece of culture aspire to that level or is it only a task for "video games with killing sexualized NPCs"? Why are gender- (or race-) related issues special enough to deserve that kind of a bar or at least a special recognition via focusing on them so much? Power imbalance is hardly unique, while historical context (oppression) is not even remotely comparable to what happened to different groups (that receive no special treatment in games, sometimes even the opposite).

Right now, when stripped from redundant elements the whole idea means that you can be offended because something happens to a (fictional) person who shares (arbitrarily selected) trait with you, provided that trait was also a reason for negative treatment in the past. You might have a leg to stand on, albeit crippled one, if what happens in-game has at least some remote connection to that particular trait - eg. killing someone *because* of that trait. But that would mean that being offended would have to be reduced to games that actually promote racism, sexism and other -isms and we can't have that, as it limits fundamental human right: to feel offended ;)

nomotog:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

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

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

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

I beat every level (except for the final level, Absolution, and the part where you kill the gang leaders after the town area) without being detected. I did not, at any point in the game, use a corpse to distract guards. In fact, I cant think of a single reason why you would outside of haste, as it would be an unnecessary risk to drag a corpse into view, while causing an unnecessary alarm.

Secondly, shooting someone while their in the shower is a super smart way to assassinate them, as its the time their least likely to be armed, as well as the sound of the water with cover up noise made. It also was so they could have the religious imagery to Diana lying with the shower curtain. If that was evil sexualization, then I guess you don't like good writing.

Thirdly, the only example of bad sexualization in the entire Hitman series was The Saints, as they are the only time the writing doesn't make it ok. A strip club level, especially if your killing someone who is likely doing something extremely anti-women, like most hitman games, is not bad sexualization. And honestly, to say it is just means your opinions are not valid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*looks at wall of text*
... Think I need to boot up Saint's Row 4 again...

bobleponge:

I'm confused. I thought my opinions were clear:

Everyone deserves equal treatment.
Many groups of people don't get that, and that sucks.
When making art it's a good idea to be aware of this and not perpetuate it.

if everyone deserves equal treatment, why are you asking for black people and sex workers to be treated different from everyone else?

bobleponge:

NuclearKangaroo:

bobleponge:

Everyone isn't equal. That's the issue. That's why you need to be thoughtful as to how you're portraying certain groups of people.

so why did you ask me why i think it obstructs real equality? you know it does, you just dont care

I don't think that. I think the opposite.

WhiteNachos:

bobleponge:

Basically, here's how it goes:

Having sex with any NPC in a game: Okay!
Having kids in your game: Okay!
Having both those things in your game: Well... it's not a black-and-white issue. I'd say if you're really committed to making a mature game (not a "Mature" game) and you intend to deal with this sensitive subject in an honest and meaningful way, I say go for it. Make some art. However, if you're just gonna make some fun action fantasy, maybe don't include it, because an action fantasy is an inherently trivial thing, and this is NOT a trivial issue.

Neither is war or crime or murder. And can you tl:dr why it's so bad if a stripper winds up amongst the dead?

It's not ALL BAD ALL THE TIME. It's just that a stripper is inherently sexualized and objectified, so when you combine that with violence it makes a really problematic combination if not handled correctly. That's why it's important to be thoughtful about what you're saying.

Also I think it's funny how we're arguing from the perspective that the way video games portray war, crime, and murder is inherently fine and dandy.

I hate when people use the word problematic like that. Calling it problematic doesn't tell me anything othre that you think it's bad for a unspecified reason. So why is it bad?

bobleponge:

WhiteNachos:

bobleponge:

The story context matters, of course. But you also have to look at it in the context of the culture at large. Black people have a history of being oppressed by white people in America,

That is a racist statement. There was never a point where all white people participated in oppressing minorities. Not every white person in the south owned slaves, there were tons of white abolitionists and tons of white people against segregation.

Me: "Man I sure love ice cream!"
WhiteNachos: "Dude that's disgusting! You're clearly referring to every bit of ice cream in existence, including poop-flavored ice cream, ice cream in the garbage, and pistachio! What's wrong with you?"
Me: [stops hanging out with WhiteNachos]

Black people also have a history of being oppressed by other black people. Black Africans sold other black Africans into the slave trade even. But this whole history argument is a bad joke. Modern white people are not responsible for past oppression they weren't a part of. And how long you do get to keep using this history excuse for anyway? 20 years? 100 years? Or are white people bound with original sin and so you should never treat black people and white people equally in media?

bobleponge:

so Django Unchained was cathartic. A movie about a heroic white guy going around killing evil black people would be tasteless and offensive, because of the exact same context.

Ok how about a white shopkeeper defending his store from rioting black people. Let's make it the Rodney King riots just to double down. Or how about a white dude vs. the bloods or the crips.

Considering the long history of films, books, etc. that have portrayed black people as violent, savage attackers and cruel thugs attacking innocent white people, I'd say that's pretty tasteless.
[/quote]

So it doesn't matter if the story doesn't portray all black people thugs, it's still bad because it has a bunch of violent black people as villains? I'm honestly not sure if that's what you're saying or not.

Silly action fantasies are trivial.

You know hitman is primarily a stealth game right?

Ideally they're clear about their intentions, that they're just trying to entertain you without attempting anything more meaningful. You're not meant to take any of it seriously, and when the movie contains serious subject matter it inherently trivializes it.

I couldn't disagree more. I've seen comedies change up tone and tackle serious issues with class and depth and respect. I've seen a stand up on suicide that went from funny and goofy to a rather serious look at society and it didn't trivialize any of it.

Everyone deserves equal treatment.
Many groups of people don't get that, and that sucks.
When making art it's a good idea to be aware of this and not perpetuate it.

And when you treat them unequally that perpetuates them.

eberhart:
snip

So I'm not going to respond to you point-by-point, @The_Kodu style, because that'll just result in a huge broken-up mess of a post. Instead I'm going to try and reframe my own larger argument in a way that I believe addresses your points, as well as a everyone else's.

This whole discussion is about the stories that we tell each other. People tells all sorts of stories for all sorts of reasons. A lot of these stories are true. A lot of them, including our favorite stories and our best stories, are lies.

A lot of these lies are okay. These are the Obvious Lies. We know that they are not true to reality, but they still provide us with something we need (catharsis, inspiration... you could write a book on this topic if you wanted to be more specific). Star Wars is this kind of lie. The world isn't separated into good and evil. Die Hard is this kind of lie. John McClane is an impossible superman who couldn't exist. Many of the old myths and legends are obvious lies. These lies are incredibly important and useful to humanity, for reasons we don't really understand. I think they help us better understand the truths of our world. They don't even have to be that specific. The Hero's Journey is a lie. The perfect woman is a lie.

They are only beneficial, however, if the audience recognizes the lie.

Because there is another type of story we tell. This type of story is the Insidious Lie, because we unthinkingly accept it as truth. The violent black criminal is this type of lie. The over-emotional woman is this type of lie. The man without feelings is this type of lie. We tell these types of stories over and over and over, and if they are never revealed to be a lie, we begin to believe them. We believe these lies so strongly that we will defend them as truth. When we begin to tell our own stories, we unknowingly incorporate these lies into them as truth.

The way violence in video games is portrayed is a lie, but is more often an Obvious Lie. We know that killing people isn't fun or rewarding, and that it doesn't work the way it's shown in games. When video games tell stories about women and minorities, however, more often than not they tell Insidious Lies. Because so many developers are lazy storytellers, they resort to the most common, and therefore the most powerful, Insidious Lies. The sex worker whose life doesn't matter is this kind of story. You see this story all over the place. Most disgustingly, you see this story a lot in news reporting, which I believe shows its true power.

And then you have Hitman, which, completely by accident, has chosen to tell this story, this insidious lie.

Now, what can we do about this? If you are a creator, step one would be to not tell insidious lies. In order to that, you have to learn what the insidious lies are, by listening to to people's experiences and challenging your own worldview. It's all too easy to tell these stories without even being aware of it. As the audience, you are responsible for learning the lies as well. Because once you learn that an insidous lie is untrue, you take away its power. For example, a modern audience might watch Birth of a Nation and laugh at it. Why? Because we know it's a lie. We took away the lie's power, and it's now so obviously untrue that it has become funny. But there was a time and place where that lie was accepted as truth.

It sounds hard. It really isn't.

bobleponge:

Because there is another type of story we tell. This type of story is the Insidious Lie, because we unthinkingly accept it as truth. The violent black criminal is this type of lie. The over-emotional woman is this type of lie. The man without feelings is this type of lie. We tell these types of stories over and over and over, and if they are never revealed to be a lie, we begin to believe them. We believe these lies so strongly that we will defend them as truth. When we begin to tell our own stories, we unknowingly incorporate these lies into them as truth.

The problem is, the examples you are using, while certainly not true when we can only chose between TRUE/FALSE (simplifying issues down to a worthless level), are so deeply rooted because there's more than a single statistic, certainly not just stereotypes, that help the most ardent propagators. You can call it a lie that has some truth about it (the best one) - others will call it the truth with a bunch of lies added by either extremisms or phobias. Heck, when you include experiences and PoV of a specific group or a specific region it gets even better - at some point an individual or a community might as well discount the difference between their everyday experiences and the truth, based on global average, as merely academic. Which story is more true to those people, I wonder?

What's more, neither of your examples implied that those issues are "inherent", "endemic", that they form constitutive traits of a specific group - which would make them MUCH easier to categorize as lies. What if a story simply doesn't bother to claim whether it's "nature" or "nurture", just describes a slice of reality "as is", that, as said above, may be more familiar for a person A than a person B?

bobleponge:

The sex worker whose life doesn't matter is this kind of story.

You are misrepresenting the story in this case then. It's not "sex worker whose life doesn't matter". It's "sex worker whose life matters as little as everyone elses". Wait, even that is false - "sex worker whose life matters either as little as everyone elses or matters MORE, if you choose to follow ruleset of the game". Which means reducing violence to bystanders, which means... you probably know where it leads at this point, plenty of people pointed that out already.

And yes, if a game includes such rule, then, by definition, it takes precendence - as rules are constitutive part of a game. The moment player chooses to defy those rules on purpose means they are playing their own version of the game, with custom rules. Might as well accuse checkers that players can throw checkboard at each other to score bonus points and therefore game promotes violence.

bobleponge:

Now, what can we do about this? If you are a creator, step one would be to not tell insidious lies. In order to that, you have to learn what the insidious lies are, by listening to to people's experiences and challenging your own worldview.

The same people's experiences can often tell the opposite story, especially if there's no "inherent" ingredient to that "lie". At some point you will have to resort to research or ideology to support a specific version. We've already seen what "research"*** was used in this case, so all there's left is ideology. And "challenging own worldview" would be fine, but it's also quite often "do as I say, not as I do", which has been shown pretty well by this guy - http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x1xv47_BrainwashingInNorway_hjernevask-english/1#video=xp0tg8

(the subject, while related, is irrelevant, and I wouldn't dispute obvious issues the videos have, but you can witness how "challenging own worldview" works for certain group of scientists - and decide whether it resembles arguments/attitude of... a certain person:) )

bobleponge:

As the audience, you are responsible for learning the lies as well.

The problem is, at least with Hitman and based on the example above, seeing "the obvious lie" can be what specific audience *wants* to see. Which leads to a situation, when someone goes out of their way to declare there's something false/offensive about it - even if this requires a LOT of mental gymnastic and "special rules". It shouldn't be surprising there's a group on every side of every issue that declares to be offended at every turn, so such declaration is pretty much worthless on its own. Regardless, after it's arbitrarily "decided" that "the obvious lie" is indeed present, all that's left is to determine what general audience sees/thinks about it. Or I should rather say "to decide for the general audience what it sees/thinks" - which leads to producing "gems" like the one mentioned below.

*** Those "research" pieces shown in earlier posts are probably the most depressing thing about this entire "Hitman controversy", as it shows both the intellectual and ethical level of some "social scientists" and those who cluelessly endorse this level as professionals (being able to publish such crap? I don't even...). And you just know there has to be more examples like this one, in any field that is either too new, too niche or too complex, so incompetency is both rampant and excused by the system itself, not in a small part thanks to "scientific" approach that is (that word again) inherent to some social sciences.

bobleponge:

eberhart:
snip

So I'm not going to respond to you point-by-point, @The_Kodu style, because that'll just result in a huge broken-up mess of a post. Instead I'm going to try and reframe my own larger argument in a way that I believe addresses your points, as well as a everyone else's.

This whole discussion is about the stories that we tell each other. People tells all sorts of stories for all sorts of reasons. A lot of these stories are true. A lot of them, including our favorite stories and our best stories, are lies.

A lot of these lies are okay. These are the Obvious Lies. We know that they are not true to reality, but they still provide us with something we need (catharsis, inspiration... you could write a book on this topic if you wanted to be more specific). Star Wars is this kind of lie. The world isn't separated into good and evil. Die Hard is this kind of lie. John McClane is an impossible superman who couldn't exist. Many of the old myths and legends are obvious lies. These lies are incredibly important and useful to humanity, for reasons we don't really understand. I think they help us better understand the truths of our world. They don't even have to be that specific. The Hero's Journey is a lie. The perfect woman is a lie.

They are only beneficial, however, if the audience recognizes the lie.

Because there is another type of story we tell. This type of story is the Insidious Lie, because we unthinkingly accept it as truth. The violent black criminal is this type of lie. The over-emotional woman is this type of lie. The man without feelings is this type of lie. We tell these types of stories over and over and over, and if they are never revealed to be a lie, we begin to believe them. We believe these lies so strongly that we will defend them as truth. When we begin to tell our own stories, we unknowingly incorporate these lies into them as truth.

The way violence in video games is portrayed is a lie, but is more often an Obvious Lie. We know that killing people isn't fun or rewarding, and that it doesn't work the way it's shown in games. When video games tell stories about women and minorities, however, more often than not they tell Insidious Lies. Because so many developers are lazy storytellers, they resort to the most common, and therefore the most powerful, Insidious Lies. The sex worker whose life doesn't matter is this kind of story. You see this story all over the place. Most disgustingly, you see this story a lot in news reporting, which I believe shows its true power.

And then you have Hitman, which, completely by accident, has chosen to tell this story, this insidious lie.

Now, what can we do about this? If you are a creator, step one would be to not tell insidious lies. In order to that, you have to learn what the insidious lies are, by listening to to people's experiences and challenging your own worldview. It's all too easy to tell these stories without even being aware of it. As the audience, you are responsible for learning the lies as well. Because once you learn that an insidous lie is untrue, you take away its power. For example, a modern audience might watch Birth of a Nation and laugh at it. Why? Because we know it's a lie. We took away the lie's power, and it's now so obviously untrue that it has become funny. But there was a time and place where that lie was accepted as truth.

It sounds hard. It really isn't.

OK now I did cover this in my posts as have others so I'll cut it down to repeat the main points.

The life of said sex workers is given the same value in the games as any other life there. you incur the same penalty no matter which NPC you kill other than the target.

Most of the well known cases of Sex Workers being killed has been either due to the illegality of the work and as such the areas it operates in, or overzelous puritan nut jobs seeing it as Gods work due to the vilification of said workers and infact sex in general by religion.

The_Kodu:

bobleponge:

eberhart:
snip

So I'm not going to respond to you point-by-point, @The_Kodu style, because that'll just result in a huge broken-up mess of a post. Instead I'm going to try and reframe my own larger argument in a way that I believe addresses your points, as well as a everyone else's.

This whole discussion is about the stories that we tell each other. People tells all sorts of stories for all sorts of reasons. A lot of these stories are true. A lot of them, including our favorite stories and our best stories, are lies.

A lot of these lies are okay. These are the Obvious Lies. We know that they are not true to reality, but they still provide us with something we need (catharsis, inspiration... you could write a book on this topic if you wanted to be more specific). Star Wars is this kind of lie. The world isn't separated into good and evil. Die Hard is this kind of lie. John McClane is an impossible superman who couldn't exist. Many of the old myths and legends are obvious lies. These lies are incredibly important and useful to humanity, for reasons we don't really understand. I think they help us better understand the truths of our world. They don't even have to be that specific. The Hero's Journey is a lie. The perfect woman is a lie.

They are only beneficial, however, if the audience recognizes the lie.

Because there is another type of story we tell. This type of story is the Insidious Lie, because we unthinkingly accept it as truth. The violent black criminal is this type of lie. The over-emotional woman is this type of lie. The man without feelings is this type of lie. We tell these types of stories over and over and over, and if they are never revealed to be a lie, we begin to believe them. We believe these lies so strongly that we will defend them as truth. When we begin to tell our own stories, we unknowingly incorporate these lies into them as truth.

The way violence in video games is portrayed is a lie, but is more often an Obvious Lie. We know that killing people isn't fun or rewarding, and that it doesn't work the way it's shown in games. When video games tell stories about women and minorities, however, more often than not they tell Insidious Lies. Because so many developers are lazy storytellers, they resort to the most common, and therefore the most powerful, Insidious Lies. The sex worker whose life doesn't matter is this kind of story. You see this story all over the place. Most disgustingly, you see this story a lot in news reporting, which I believe shows its true power.

And then you have Hitman, which, completely by accident, has chosen to tell this story, this insidious lie.

Now, what can we do about this? If you are a creator, step one would be to not tell insidious lies. In order to that, you have to learn what the insidious lies are, by listening to to people's experiences and challenging your own worldview. It's all too easy to tell these stories without even being aware of it. As the audience, you are responsible for learning the lies as well. Because once you learn that an insidous lie is untrue, you take away its power. For example, a modern audience might watch Birth of a Nation and laugh at it. Why? Because we know it's a lie. We took away the lie's power, and it's now so obviously untrue that it has become funny. But there was a time and place where that lie was accepted as truth.

It sounds hard. It really isn't.

OK now I did cover this in my posts as have others so I'll cut it down to repeat the main points.

The life of said sex workers is given the same value in the games as any other life there. you incur the same penalty no matter which NPC you kill other than the target.

Most of the well known cases of Sex Workers being killed has been either due to the illegality of the work and as such the areas it operates in, or overzelous puritan nut jobs seeing it as Gods work due to the vilification of said workers and infact sex in general by religion.

I thought it was the fact that if you do want to kill someone they're an easy target. I mean they operate on the outskirts and asking them to come with you to a secluded place is par for the course.

The_Kodu:

The life of said sex workers is given the same value in the games as any other life there. you incur the same penalty no matter which NPC you kill other than the target.

I realize this. I know. I get it. That's not the point.

The Hitman game tells a bunch of different stories. One of the stories it tells is "these people's death's don't matter." Now when it comes to Random Civilian #3, that's not a big deal. "This random person's life doesn't matter" is an Obvious Lie. We know that it's not true. It's not a story that get's told over and over and it's not accepted as truth.

Now you make that character a hooker/stripper, and you changed the story. Now the story is "this sex worker's death doesn't matter." This is not an obvious lie, this is an insidious lie. This is a story that DOES get told over and over, and is often accepted as truth. By complete accident, Hitman has perpetuated this story. See the difference?

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't play and enjoy this game. I'd probably enjoy it if I played it, too. You just have to be able to recognize the lies.

Most of the well known cases of Sex Workers being killed has been either due to the illegality of the work and as such the areas it operates in, or overzelous puritan nut jobs seeing it as Gods work due to the vilification of said workers and infact sex in general by religion.

You're thinking of movies and TV, not real life.

eberhart:

The problem is, the examples you are using, while certainly not true when we can only chose between TRUE/FALSE (simplifying issues down to a worthless level), are so deeply rooted because there's more than a single statistic, certainly not just stereotypes, that help the most ardent propagators. You can call it a lie that has some truth about it (the best one) - others will call it the truth with a bunch of lies added by either extremisms or phobias. Heck, when you include experiences and PoV of a specific group or a specific region it gets even better - at some point an individual or a community might as well discount the difference between their everyday experiences and the truth, based on global average, as merely academic. Which story is more true to those people, I wonder?

This is why it's important to tell a variety of stories. You tell the same story over and over about a group and you've created a stereotype. You tell many different kinds of stories about many different kinds of people, and you can get close to the truth of our incredibly complex, diverse world.

WhiteNachos:

I thought it was the fact that if you do want to kill someone they're an easy target. I mean they operate on the outskirts and asking them to come with you to a secluded place is par for the course.

That's kind of what I meant by the area they operate in. mostly the area such sex workers operate in probably isn't the safest or nicest neighborhood itself.

bobleponge:

The_Kodu:

The life of said sex workers is given the same value in the games as any other life there. you incur the same penalty no matter which NPC you kill other than the target.

I realize this. I know. I get it. That's not the point.

The Hitman game tells a bunch of different stories. One of the stories it tells is "these people's death's don't matter." Now when it comes to Random Civilian #3, that's not a big deal. "This random person's life doesn't matter" is an Obvious Lie. We know that it's not true. It's not a story that get's told over and over and it's not accepted as truth.

Now you make that character a hooker/stripper, and you changed the story. Now the story is "this sex worker's death doesn't matter." This is not an obvious lie, this is an insidious lie. This is a story that DOES get told over and over, and is often accepted as truth. By complete accident, Hitman has perpetuated this story. See the difference?

Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't play and enjoy this game. I'd probably enjoy it if I played it, too. You just have to be able to recognize the lies.

Most of the well known cases of Sex Workers being killed has been either due to the illegality of the work and as such the areas it operates in, or overzelous puritan nut jobs seeing it as Gods work due to the vilification of said workers and infact sex in general by religion.

You're thinking of movies and TV, not real life.

Ok now you're claiming their lives matter more and they are a special case.

Again you're claiming those characteristics make them a special case.

This is again the example I gave before.

ok lets see if I can prove the issue to you again as you seem to be missing the point here.

Do you agree that a violent criminal likely to flee or cause harm should be in chains in court or in some way separated and restrained from being able to cause harm or escape the court ?
So do you agree with this ?

As for well known cases. It's theorized to be the reason for the Jack the Ripper Murders, The yorkshire Ripper used the claim God told him to do it as the reason for his killings.

There's two for you.

The vilification of sexualisation is harmful.

bobleponge:

Now you make that character a hooker/stripper, and you changed the story. Now the story is "this sex worker's death doesn't matter." This is not an obvious lie, this is an insidious lie.

Again, if game is in no way suggesting "she had it coming because of being a sex worker" (and goes out of its way to prove otherwise -> score) or that her being a sex worker was a direct reason PC had to kill her, then what supports your claim that it is an insidious lie rather than an obvious lie?

Targeted because of sexualization? No.
Targeted because of an occupation? No.
Targeted because of a gender? No.
Targeted because of being in a wrong place in a wrong time? Check.
Targeted as an optional move only? Check.

THAT is a story game is telling us. And only if we defy its rules. If we follow them, she is not even dying.

If that particular story is automatically transformed to have completely different meaning, through either ideology or cultural biases, then it's merely a result of what that particular audience is doing, not what the game actually provides. Which still offers only a proof that something is seen, not existing. Let's not even start with "influencing".

Based on what's above, what makes her story different from a story generic "random NPC" would tell in her place?

"So I was standing there in full glory of my genericness and staring on my non-existing textures, pondering the lack of my job, facial details, animation frames and originality of my outfit, when suddenly BAM, I am dead. Goddammit, my story sucks and my death does not matter... again."

Well, her version has more details. The end.

So far, your explanation was that this is an insidious lie, because this is also the kind of a story we are unthinkingly accepting as truth. Who is we? What research is supporting this and does it suck so hard as previously described one? Is "this kind of a story" you are referring to telling people that "sex-worker's death (specifically) does not matter" or rather that "bystander's deaths, including sex workers', do not matter"? (except that they do, but nvm). I am kinda thinking it's the first one, as you've been given a pile of evidence that in this particular example sex workers are in no way singled out, that not only their deaths do not matter, but neither their sex-worker-ishness.

So how do you make a square from a triangle and a circle? More importantly, how would you expect any decent researcher to manage that without stretching reality (hi, Anita), when both stories differ so significantly? Was "Cruising" propagating insidious lies about homosexuals, for example? Because if this particular approach you prefer confirms that it was, we can pretty much end this discussion where we started it :)

bobleponge:

The_Kodu:
*snip*

For like the 10,000th time, I'm not saying "don't do this ever." Did you not see that? Are you purposely ignoring it? What's the deal?

Here's how it works:

A game where a black person is shown in chains: Okay!
A game where a black person is shown in chains, and the game portrays it as a good, acceptable thing: Not Okay!

Just popping into the thread to comment on this one bit.

So a man rapes a woman, he ties her to a bed, rapes her viciously, sends photos and videos of it to her loved ones. Then at the end of the day this guy pulls a gun on her and on a live tape executes her with a single shot to the temple, blood spraying across the camera.

Meanwhile you play as an investigator trying to catch this animal, haunted by the memory of just what he did to that poor girl. After going through several puzzles and interacting with a variety of colorful witnesses, you get in a car chase with the criminal. He has an innocent woman handcuffed in the back of his van, so you have to be careful.

Eventually, you force the van to a stop in one long action sequence. You drive the guy out of the car and throw him in a prison truck.

Cut to end credits, you see the same investigator going to the man's cell. He opens it up, unlocks the cuffs, and smiles. "I'm doing what's right here. Damn what they think!" He then helps sneak the guy out of prison.

The criminal just happened to be black. So what you're saying is that disgusting ending is acceptable, because a black person in chains being portrayed as a good thing is inherently bad. Context or no.

Witty Name Here:

So a man rapes a woman, he ties her to a bed, rapes her viciously, sends photos and videos of it to her loved ones. Then at the end of the day this guy pulls a gun on her and on a live tape executes her with a single shot to the temple, blood spraying across the camera.

Meanwhile you play as an investigator trying to catch this animal, haunted by the memory of just what he did to that poor girl. After going through several puzzles and interacting with a variety of colorful witnesses, you get in a car chase with the criminal. He has an innocent woman handcuffed in the back of his van, so you have to be careful.

Eventually, you force the van to a stop in one long action sequence. You drive the guy out of the car and throw him in a prison truck.

Cut to end credits, you see the same investigator going to the man's cell. He opens it up, unlocks the cuffs, and smiles. "I'm doing what's right here. Damn what they think!" He then helps sneak the guy out of prison.

The criminal just happened to be black. So what you're saying is that disgusting ending is acceptable, because a black person in chains being portrayed as a good thing is inherently bad. Context or no.

I think you need to step away from the strawman here. I may be being overpresumptive here but I'm pretty sure bobleponge was specifically making the point that such images need some significant context in order to be justified. He wasn't close to saying we shouldn't have bad black guys who get their comeuppances at all. Rather than obtusely assuming he means bad guys should be set free if they're black, let's examine the broader problematic questions one might have about your game- Why did the developer choose to make the rapist black? What does his characterisation gain from him being black? What are the races of the other characters? etc.

Furthermore, his use of 'in chains' in relation to slavery is likely the more metaphorical one. Thus it can be more problematic to see black men happily acting as loyal 'servants' to white characters rather than as sidekicks or, more ideally, equals, simply because it evokes [sometimes unfairly] more disturbing connotations than having a loyal white servant.

Anyway, regarding the original issue here- Anita once again stopped short of actually presenting her preferred [or indeed any] real solution to having killable female characters in games. One might assume that she'd prefer any and all strippers and "prostituted" women removed entirely. To be fair, they are rather overused in 'edgy' games as 'flavour setting' but then again... they are used frequently in all media, be it a Law and Order episode or anything with a bachelor party. If she really wants to continue along that line she should address what representations of sexuality she tolerates or even enjoys in games. But she wouldn't.

So... maybe she'd prefer more games to 'Mission Failed' [or gunlock] the player every time he is violent towards a female npc [or maybe compromise with a help box that asks: "Are you sure you want to do that? Imagine if she was your mother, sister or girlfriend...]? The problem with that is actually a follow-on from what she already noticed- many gamers will explore whatever a game allows them to do... but they'll be even more inventive when it comes to rebelling against whatever a game tells them they can't do.

A major reason that the open-world sandbox genre is so hugely popular is because it's such a contrast to so many other games that lead players by the hand through the storyline and tell them to be good little heroic players and stop them in their tracks if they don'ts ave the world the way they were programmed to. Similarly, make an NPC invincible and you can guarantee 90% of players will try to hit them at least once [if not unload whole clips or blow them up while they incessantly jabber on] whereas if all npcs are vulnerable the player will often make conscious choices who he attacks and may well be more careful not to harm non-combatants.

LostPause:

Witty Name Here:

So a man rapes a woman, he ties her to a bed, rapes her viciously, sends photos and videos of it to her loved ones. Then at the end of the day this guy pulls a gun on her and on a live tape executes her with a single shot to the temple, blood spraying across the camera.

Meanwhile you play as an investigator trying to catch this animal, haunted by the memory of just what he did to that poor girl. After going through several puzzles and interacting with a variety of colorful witnesses, you get in a car chase with the criminal. He has an innocent woman handcuffed in the back of his van, so you have to be careful.

Eventually, you force the van to a stop in one long action sequence. You drive the guy out of the car and throw him in a prison truck.

Cut to end credits, you see the same investigator going to the man's cell. He opens it up, unlocks the cuffs, and smiles. "I'm doing what's right here. Damn what they think!" He then helps sneak the guy out of prison.

The criminal just happened to be black. So what you're saying is that disgusting ending is acceptable, because a black person in chains being portrayed as a good thing is inherently bad. Context or no.

I think you need to step away from the strawman here. I may be being overpresumptive here but I'm pretty sure bobleponge was specifically making the point that such images need some significant context in order to be justified. He wasn't close to saying we shouldn't have bad black guys who get their comeuppances at all. Rather than obtusely assuming he means bad guys should be set free if they're black, let's examine the broader problematic questions one might have about your game- Why did the developer choose to make the rapist black?

Having a black rapist rarely needs to be justified in my book because there are black rapists. And how much does the reason they made them black even matter? What if it was a random choice? What if it's based on a real rapist? What if they put no thought into it and just picked the race of the first person they saw coming to work. Does it matter

What does his characterisation gain from him being black? What are the races of the other characters? etc.

LostPause:

Furthermore, his use of 'in chains' in relation to slavery is likely the more metaphorical one. Thus it can be more problematic to see black men happily acting as loyal 'servants' to white characters rather than as sidekicks or, more ideally, equals, simply because it evokes [sometimes unfairly] more disturbing connotations than having a loyal white servant.

The whole point of slavery was that they were forced to be 'loyal'. If they were there by choice then it wouldn't be slavery it would just be volunteer work. This is like saying that having a male character volunteer to do any kind of fighting on behalf of a woman is also problematic because it invokes the draft (which I consider slavery).

I seriously doubt anyone took issue with slavery because they took issue with the idea of a black person being loyal to a white person under any circumstance.

WhiteNachos:

Having a black rapist rarely needs to be justified in my book because there are black rapists. And how much does the reason they made them black even matter? What if it was a random choice? What if it's based on a real rapist? What if they put no thought into it and just picked the race of the first person they saw coming to work. Does it matter

What does his characterisation gain from him being black? What are the races of the other characters? etc.

The point is simply being aware that people will likely raise an eyebrow if the rapist is the only black character as it will feel [again perhaps unjustly] as if a point is being made about race with the characterisation. Again, it goes back to the original point that you have to be careful if you simply recycle old and controversial tropes- i.e. if you have a greedy Jewish character with a hooked nose it's porbably a good idea to do a really good job on him.

LostPause:

Furthermore, his use of 'in chains' in relation to slavery is likely the more metaphorical one. Thus it can be more problematic to see black men happily acting as loyal 'servants' to white characters rather than as sidekicks or, more ideally, equals, simply because it evokes [sometimes unfairly] more disturbing connotations than having a loyal white servant.

The whole point of slavery was that they were forced to be 'loyal'. If they were there by choice then it wouldn't be slavery it would just be volunteer work. This is like saying that having a male character volunteer to do any kind of fighting on behalf of a woman is also problematic because it invokes the draft (which I consider slavery).

I seriously doubt anyone took issue with slavery because they took issue with the idea of a black person being loyal to a white person under any circumstance.

I think you missed my point here. The point was that blacks being subservient to white people, if not done very [ahem] masterfully, evokes the idea of slavery for many people and there is very little you can do to avoid that. The issue that rubs people up the wrong way is the 'Uncle Tom' effect. Again, I'm not talking about black people being lower ranks or sidekicks to white people but actual 'servants'. These are simply things that you have to be considerate when representing.

LostPause:

WhiteNachos:

Having a black rapist rarely needs to be justified in my book because there are black rapists. And how much does the reason they made them black even matter? What if it was a random choice? What if it's based on a real rapist? What if they put no thought into it and just picked the race of the first person they saw coming to work. Does it matter

What does his characterisation gain from him being black? What are the races of the other characters? etc.

The point is simply being aware that people will likely raise an eyebrow if the rapist is the only black character as it will feel [again perhaps unjustly] as if a point is being made about race with the characterisation. Again, it goes back to the original point that you have to be careful if you simply recycle old and controversial tropes- i.e. if you have a greedy Jewish character with a hooked nose it's porbably a good idea to do a really good job on him.

LostPause:

Furthermore, his use of 'in chains' in relation to slavery is likely the more metaphorical one. Thus it can be more problematic to see black men happily acting as loyal 'servants' to white characters rather than as sidekicks or, more ideally, equals, simply because it evokes [sometimes unfairly] more disturbing connotations than having a loyal white servant.

The whole point of slavery was that they were forced to be 'loyal'. If they were there by choice then it wouldn't be slavery it would just be volunteer work. This is like saying that having a male character volunteer to do any kind of fighting on behalf of a woman is also problematic because it invokes the draft (which I consider slavery).

I seriously doubt anyone took issue with slavery because they took issue with the idea of a black person being loyal to a white person under any circumstance.

I think you missed my point here. The point was that blacks being subservient to white people, if not done very [ahem] masterfully, evokes the idea of slavery for many people and there is very little you can do to avoid that. The issue that rubs people up the wrong way is the 'Uncle Tom' effect. Again, I'm not talking about black people being lower ranks or sidekicks to white people but actual 'servants'. These are simply things that you have to be considerate when representing.

Oh ok, I thought you were saying these were hard and fast rules to never do them. Sorry about that. Anyway I agree that they shouldn't be reckless with those things.

Man, people are still wound up about this lady, huh?

IMO the problem with her videos is that they're a bit flat, logically. The problem (and she rather unscientifically rules this out in her first or second video) is that legitimate, thought-out narratives or player decisions in an emergent gameworld can look a LOT like deliberate sexism.

For instance, if I make a game about choking prostitutes unconscious then kneecapping them, that would be gross. In Deus Ex HR, you may have to knock out a prostitute depending on how you play the Hengshaw subplot, or you might even decide to riddle the madam with bullets for being essentially a slaver- narrative events that are fully justified in the plot and are up to the player to act on. And in Fallout 3 you can do whatever you want to anyone, which includes Nova the mopey hooker in Megaton, so that's all on you.

These are objectively not the same.

I think this is because, at the root of it all, Sarkeesian doesn't much care for video games. I don't think that alone invalidates her points, because let's face it, I went to college and I wrote dozens of term papers about things I didn't give a shit about. I DO think it imbues her with certain prejudices that sap the depth of her work. Ultimately anyone who gets anything out of her videos probably already knows the score on their own, and anyone else won't get much academic benefit from them.

It's still weird to see so many people bent out of shape about her in a world where real human suffering exists, though. I'll get mad at Anita when she blockades a bunch of kids and old people on a mountain to die, until then she's just someone with a less amusing youtube channel than FPSRussia.

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

Perfect, so it's not that there wasn't a legitimate argument to make, it's that she failed to prove that argument because she didn't support it with solid evidence.

This has always been my problem with her! She really is tackling a problem that needs to be tackled but she's failing because she can't seem to go five minutes without making an argument that doesn't rely on some intentional fallacy. She's malevolent and malignant, her evidence serves to provoke rather than support arguements. This one in particular, it's totally wrong, it's misrepresenting the material, that's called card stacking, it renders her argument invalid, but you know what it did do? It pissed off people who played the game, like IceForce.

She's a demagogue, she didn't come here to solve problems she came here to start fires and she's turning the issue of social equality in video games into a David Blaine special.

I guess she prepared this episode because the PVC clad nuns was already considered as stupid by the general gaming community as sexist and juvinile.

Also, I try to avoid Sarkeesian threads but have to ask why people give her attention. Haven't we already established that her methodology is flawed years ago?

Imperioratorex Caprae:

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

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

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

I'm sorry, "using her rotting body gives her a sense of closure"?
That may make sense on a symbolic level, but just try to imagine explaining that if it was the body of a friend.

AzrealMaximillion:
I guess she prepared this episode because the PVC clad nuns was already considered as stupid by the general gaming community as sexist and juvinile.

Also, I try to avoid Sarkeesian threads but have to ask why people give her attention. Haven't we already established that her methodology is flawed years ago?

Because people still believe her. So it's best to spread awareness of how bad she really is. First year she got bloody awards and such but lately I haven't heard her getting anything. Maybe we've made a difference.

Also if no one talks about how wrong she is, people who look her up won't see any videos about it. So they might think it's true.

To the entire last part of the thread:

By Anita's reasoning, Watch_Dogs is inherently racist, sexist, ablist, homophobic, promotes violence against sex workers, etc, etc, etc. Why? Because the profiler will sometimes note that a given character is homosexual, or a sex worker or etc, and pedestrians of every race, gender, and age exist but none of these pedestrians are given special treatment to make harming them extra-bad. Killing cishet white male scum is treated exactly as negatively as killing a black female sex worker who volunteers at domestic violence shelters in her spare time (even if she might be a lesbian too), almost as though killing is killing and not dependent on your skin color, genitals, or what you choose to do with those genitals -- which is why it is sexist and racist.

Part of me would be tempted to see what happened if major game devs rolled plot characters in their games the same way I roll major NPCs when GMing and those NPCs have some leeway in their details (for example, in my current campaign the main group of villains contains 6 men, 4 women. 9 straight, 1 lesbian [the lesbian was among the ones who rolled married, so her partner was constrained to homosexual female for logical reasons]. I have a set of charts I occasionally tweak based roughly on real-world statistics and simply roll for gender, orientation, relationship status, etc. I suspect if a game's designers were to actually do that, they'd get deemed racist, sexist, homophobic, or whatever depending on the results. Just like I suspect a lot of folks would be made deeply uncomfortable if ~50% of all mooks in a game were female.

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