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Gamergate Primer


Michael Hardner

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If she does not like games, then why is she playing them? Just for the article?

Cultural critiques do not require you to like the thing you are critiquing. In a way, it's almost better if you don't.

IF she is basing the articles on the fact she does not play or like games, then that kind of throws her whole argument to the floor as I said before.

Pretty sure she's basing her argument on tropes in games on the tropes that are in games.

Her - Too many tropes in games.

Me - but you don't like games or play them.

Her - does it matter?

Me - yes, yes it does.

You forgot the rest:

her: Why does it matter?

You: ...

If she does not play games, then she is not informed about the games

You're assuming she doesn't play the games. Not liking games and not playing them are two different things. I took a course on 19th Century Russian Literature once. I don't like 19th Century Russian Literature, but I still read the books and did the course work. i highly doubt she could produce a series of videos on the tropes in games without having seen them for herself.

.And yes it invalidates her argument. There are a lot of games out there I am no fan of, so should I complain about them or stick to playing the game that I will enjoy?

She's not playing games for fun, she's playing them to do an analysis of them.

And most of the women who buy them, don't have an issue with it.

Cite?

And as I said before, there are PLENTY of other games she could promote and enjoy that fall into her line of thinking. Game developers will take the publicity either way, good or bad. If she wants to focus on the tropes and the games with them, it will just create more controversy for the game and more may check it out just because of this. The more exposure a thing has the more people will want to check it out.

Uh, pretty sure the point of doing a cultural critique is to highlight certain aspects.

She has the chance to change the narrative into something positive, but she does not want to go that way.

I continue to be baffled by why you think someone who is interested in examining tropes in games should not examine tropes in games, but rather something else altogether that's unrelated.

My solution is to have these women start developing games that fit their ideology. If it's marketable then others will play it. That is how you can change things. Again, I point out that there are many games I don't like, should I complain about them, or just not play them? I don't like hack n slash movies, should I bitch about them or watch something else that will not feel a waste of my time?

You seem to think these things are mutually exclusive. That women can design games or talk about sexism, but not both. I think one is a precondition of the other.

You see sexualization everywhere. I'd go after pop culture on the whole to address this issue. Games are just the latest victim of this sexulization of things that has been going on for decades. Advertisers are to blame. Sex sells, and everyone is buying.

So on the one hand you complain because critics are focusing too much on games as a whole instead of talking about certain genres, but on the other you don't really want games talked about at all except as part of the much larger and more nebulous "pop culture." Make up your mind.

It's called a fantasy, a form of escape. The fat dude in his mom's basement is not really going to complain that the character he is playing is all fit, buff, talented and way more smarter and intelligent. But it may make him feel bad about himself since he is really nothing but a fat slob in his mom's basement.

Thanks, you've just made my point for me. There are different tropes for men and women that serve different functions. Talking about one doesn't mean one thinks the other doesn't exist, nor does it mean you have to talk about them all or none at all.

And what stereotype do you hate in male characters? Could it be that they're treated like sex objects, and never really central to the plot of a game? Or perhaps it's the lack of depth in their back story? Or maybe that there just isn't enough male characters, good OR bad?

For every game she can point out female trope, I can put forth about 10 more that have no tropes.

Every single game has a trope in it. It's just a question of what kind.

Edited by Black Dog
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i highly doubt she could produce a series of videos on the tropes in games without having seen them for herself.

Most of her "research" was done by lifting video uploaded by others. I doubt she has ever played the games she critiques and has no idea what the context is for her claims.

There is also the possibility that she is just a publicity hound that fabricated the "threats" to get more kickstarter funding. If you look at the time line of the "tweets" they suggest they were staged. Of course, she tries to take those accusations and claim is "more evidence of sexism" and the braindead followers in media lap it up.

Edited by TimG
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Cultural critiques do not require you to like the thing you are critiquing. In a way, it's almost better if you don't.

You forgot the rest:

her: Why does it matter?

You: ... */facepalm*

You're assuming she doesn't play the games. Not liking games and not playing them are two different things. I took a course on 19th Century Russian Literature once. I don't like 19th Century Russian Literature, but I still read the books and did the course work. i highly doubt she could produce a series of videos on the tropes in games without having seen them for herself.

She's not playing games for fun, she's playing them to do an analysis of them.

Analysis or nitpicking? Usually a game is played for the story and or mechanics, and for fun. That's why I play them. I don't complain about the issue with the female tropes.

Uh, pretty sure the point of doing a cultural critique is to highlight certain aspects.

True.

I continue to be baffled by why you think someone who is interested in examining tropes in games should not examine tropes in games, but rather something else altogether that's unrelated.

OH she can do what she wants, and I can have my opinion of her work. Which I am giving you here, my opinion.

You seem to think these things are mutually exclusive. That women can design games or talk about sexism, but not both. I think one is a precondition of the other.

Some talk , some do.

So on the one hand you complain because critics are focusing too much on games as a whole instead of talking about certain genres, but on the other you don't really want games talked about at all except as part of the much larger and more nebulous "pop culture." Make up your mind.

Not all parts of pop culture have those tropes she is taking to task with. So not all genres of games have these tropes she is calling out. That's part of the point here. It may be an issue, but really if only a small number of games compared to ALL video based games (console or PC) have these tropes she talks about, then it really is a small issue.

Thanks, you've just made my point for me. There are different tropes for men and women that serve different functions. Talking about one doesn't mean one thinks the other doesn't exist, nor does it mean you have to talk about them all or none at all.

Or really there is no problem at all. She might be in the minority of those complaining of said tropes.

And what stereotype do you hate in male characters? Could it be that they're treated like sex objects, and never really central to the plot of a game? Or perhaps it's the lack of depth in their back story? Or maybe that there just isn't enough male characters, good OR bad?

Really does not bother me. For FPSs I play the game for the story and game play. A trope that most gamers would gripe about is the overuse of 'crates' in order to get ammo and supplies. Still being used to this day. But it's tried and true. So more crates.

Every single game has a trope in it. It's just a question of what kind.

True, but she is focusing on a small issue with very specific tropes, in only one section of video gaming on the whole.

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Most of her "research" was done by lifting video uploaded by others. I doubt she has ever played the games she critiques and has no idea what the context is for her claims.

There is also the possibility that she is just a publicity hound that fabricated the "threats" to get more kickstarter funding. If you look at the time line of the "tweets" they suggest they were staged. Of course, she tries to take those accusations and claim is "more evidence of sexism" and the braindead followers in media lap it up.

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So did she fake that threat that forced her to cancel her speaking engagement at Utah State University too?

Is there any evidence that's not from a bullshit neckbeard MRA site that supports these claims (don't bother, because I know the answer is no).

Analysis or nitpicking? Usually a game is played for the story and or mechanics, and for fun. That's why I play them. I don't complain about the issue with the female tropes.

Gee imagine that. :rolleyes:

OH she can do what she wants, and I can have my opinion of her work. Which I am giving you here, my opinion.

Your opinion of her work is she shouldn't be doing it for some unknown reason.

Not all parts of pop culture have those tropes she is taking to task with. So not all genres of games have these tropes she is calling out.

True. Also irrelevant.

That's part of the point here. It may be an issue, but really if only a small number of games compared to ALL video based games (console or PC) have these tropes she talks about, then it really is a small issue.

And we're back to the entitlement/privilege thing again: "This thing is not an issue to me, ergo it should not be an issue to anyone. In fact, don't even talk about it."

Really does not bother me. For FPSs I play the game for the story and game play. A trope that most gamers would gripe about is the overuse of 'crates' in order to get ammo and supplies. Still being used to this day. But it's tried and true. So more crates.

Yeah they don't bother you because they are often harmless. Not all tropes are negative. Not all are harmless.

True, but she is focusing on a small issue with very specific tropes, in only one section of video gaming on the whole.

Which is why her series is "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" and not "Every Fucking Trope Ever".

Edited by Black Dog
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What's really funny about the "Anita Saarkesian doesn't even like gamez lulz" argument from GGers is the fact that so many of the high profile names who have been attached to the cause either don't play games at all or have said extremely disparaging things about gamers in the past. Adam Baldwin, Chrsitina Hoff Summers, that shitbird from Brietbart, that horrible bald MRA scumbag who thinks he's a super villain...

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So did she fake that threat that forced her to cancel her speaking engagement at Utah State University too?

Where is the evidence that it is real? The women is a publicity hound and clearly loves the media attention. People fake this kind of stuff all of the time for the same reason - especially when the alleged 'threats' translate directly into money in her pocket for her kickstarter campaign. You are being naive if you do not allow for the possibility that is all fiction. Edited by TimG
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Where is the evidence that it is real?

Let's just start with the part that she doesn't even have an active kickstarter campaign right now. Actually, now that I think about it, that's really all there is to it. "She faked death threats in 2014 to get money for a project that closed in 2012!!!!1!" El. Oh. El.

The women is a publicity hound and clearly loves the media attention.

Yeah who doesn't love being threatened and called a cunt on the internet and have your personal information released. It's fantastic! I mean it must be: so many women caught up in GG seem to be doing it.

People fake this kind of stuff all of the time for the same reason - especially when the alleged 'threats' translate directly into money in her pocket for her kickstarter campaign. You are being niave if you do not allow for the possibility that is all fake.

Oh it's possible she faked it. It's just not credible.

Edited by Black Dog
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From my reference frame, almost all. But perhaps I don't pay attention to the types of games people here are all on about. I don't play or care about FPSs.

My genres of choice are RPGs, which almost universally allow you to create a character(s) of either gender, and strategy games, in which you typically control an entire civilization, city, or army, rather than an individual character. In both cases, the issue being lamented here is not present.

If there is a pre-eminence of games in a certain genre (FPS) that feature mostly male protagonists, that is what people who complain about this need to talk about. Don't talk about "games" or "gamer culture", but talk about specifically the set of games that you have a problem with.

For your genres, yes you're right.

Sports games, Western RPG's, MMO's, and multiplayer portions of some games are pretty much the only genres that let you create your own character. Virtually all Japanese RPG's (and Japanese games in general) don't let you create your own character (though Japanese RPG's feature a fair amount of strong female characters). The vast majority of action and adventure games, which makes up a huge portion of all AAA games, don't let you create your own character, and most are of course male.

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My solution is to have these women start developing games that fit their ideology.

This thread has been sidetracked a bit by the Sarkeesian question, which while eminently related to #GameGate is not the issue which animated it. Zoe Quinn, the woman at the heart of the genesis of #GameGate, and Brianna Wu, who has been big time involved and attacked, are both game developers making their own games. The latter made Revolution 60, which I cannot try out because it is iOS only.

Anyway, there is this article from Maddy Myers that might be relevant/of interest to this thread from the other day... http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/10/femme-doms-of-videogames-bayonetta-doesnt-care-if.html

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Every single game has a trope in it. It's just a question of what kind.

There is nothing new under the sun. We tell stories that are remarkably similar to other stories that other people have told before us. There are themes that repeat over and over because they're somewhat universal amongst us humans. Ms Sarkeesian can get on her soapbox and complain about all of these games where the protagonist's wife or daughter is murdered, but avenging a loved one is a literary plot device that's been around for as long as there has been literature. It's not going away. Avenging a murdered father or murdered son is pretty commonplace too. I don't dispute that some of these murders of wives and daughters in video games (and in other media, for that matter) have been lurid and sexualized, and maybe that merits some scrutiny. But I don't get the idea that we should object each time the death of a female character used to advance the plot.

I haven't paid a lot of attention to Anita's videos, but I got mad when she mentioned Angel from Borderlands as an example of one of her tropes, "the euthanized damsel". I don't play a lot of games, but I love the Borderlands series. And Angel is one of my favorite video game characters ever. Anita's comments are off base for two reasons. Angel isn't a damsel, and she isn't euthanized. Even though she's in a sense a captive, she's the instigator and mastermind behind the player's actions... she's devised a plan to save the planet and through a variety of manipulation, she has enlisted the player as her hands. And her death isn't euthanasia, it's a heroic act of sacrifice. And for Anita to use it as an example of what she's saying made me wonder if she'd actually played the game or if she was relying on second-hand knowledge. Either she didn't understand the context, or she was being intentionally dishonest.

-k

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And for Anita to use it as an example of what she's saying made me wonder if she'd actually played the game or if she was relying on second-hand knowledge. Either she didn't understand the context, or she was being intentionally dishonest.

Same for her clips from Dragon Age showing some guards pushing a woman around. If she had actually played the game she would have realized the game is full of strong female characters (one of which got an entire expansion pack).
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Same for her clips from Dragon Age showing some guards pushing a woman around. If she had actually played the game she would have realized the game is full of strong female characters (one of which got an entire expansion pack).

Because guards would never treat prisoners of either sex roughly! It's so unrealistic!

I haven't seen the clip you mention, but it sounds like an inane criticism. I have seem some of her stuff and I think that some of the things she talks about have merit, but if it's getting to the point where she's complaining that the guards in a game are not behaving like gentlemen to a female prisoner, then she's lost me.

And complaining about Dragon Age does seem pretty stupid. I think Bioware's role-playing video games have been among the leaders in creating great female characters.

I think there's a place for criticism... this kind of criticism has helped games move on from being the realm of teenage boys to being mainstream entertainment. This kind of criticism helped developers aim higher and make games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect.

-k

Edited by kimmy
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Regarding the whole "GamerGate" thing, it seems to me that the people shouting "it's not about anti-feminism! It's about journalism ethics!" are desperately trying to put a fig-leaf on the situation.

Zoe Quinn first got public attention a few years ago when she claimed to have receive sexist harassment from gamers in response to her "Depression Quest" game. It brought negative attention to the "gaming community" and made them mad. Fast forward to this year, her ex-boyfriend makes allegations that she had sex with people in the game industry, and the people who were mad at her from before figure "ah-ha! This is our big chance at revenge!" And go hog-wild with an internet campaign of harassment and slut-shaming.

Except things don't go the way they expect. The overwhelming reaction isn't "Zoe Quinn is a big whore who had sex in exchange for positive reviews", it's "wow, the gaming community is full of socially-retarded woman-hating losers." Finally the gaming community gets the mainstream attention they crave, and the attention is so overwhelmingly negative that they're in full damage control. And so the more savvy voices in the community have been pleading with people in the "movement" to stop talking about Zoe Quinn or feminists at all. They've pleaded with the "movement" to not even say "Zoe Quinn" and refer to her as "Literally Who" (as in "literally who in the hell is she, anyway?") rather than by name. And they've pleaded with the "movement" to adopt this talking point that "it's not about Zoe Quinn or feminism, it's about Journalistic Integrity".

Ok. So if it's about Journalistic Integrity... did they doxx and harass the journalists who allegedly did Zoe Quinn favors, or did they doxx and harass Zoe Quinn? If it's about journalistic integrity, why did they doxx and harrass Brianna Wu and Felicia Day who aren't even journalists?

If it's about journalistic integrity, why was this launched because a free-to-play indie game might have got undeserved positive attention from journalists? Shouldn't they be more concerned that a $60 major studio release gets undeserved positive attention from journalists? Especially when these major studio releases bring reviewers to parties with free food and drinks and gift-bags with iPads? Shouldn't that sort cause more concern amongst these journalistic integrity enthusiasts?

If it's about journalistic integrity... did they boycott the website that fired a reviewer after a publisher complained about an unenthusiastic review, or did they boycott the website that published the "gamers are over" editorial? They boycotted the website that published the "gamers are over" editorial.

And that's another thing that gamers are mad about. The truth is that gamers ARE over. Games aren't just for gamers anymore. Games are mainstream entertainment now. It's a huge industry with a huge customer base that extends far beyond "the gaming community". Studios don't need to focus on the traditional "hardcore gamer" anymore, and that doesn't sit well.

And that's one of the things that keeps popping up from these gamergate people. We often see complaints that some elite "who aren't even gamers" are trying to socially engineer inclusiveness into games. That studios are being forced into being inclusive and the push for inclusive games is coming from some kind of outside force that's trying to push a Hayes Code mentality onto the video game industry. But that's stupid. Game studios aren't trying to social engineer anything. They're primarily about making money. They want to broaden their audience. And they know that while the traditional gamers might not care about inclusiveness, or how women are portrayed, or anything else, there is a broader audience to be reached.

-k

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Michael - Thanks for the link to Ms Pacman. Enjoyed it for a while but got wiped out on the first screen every time. I assume that the female version is far more difficult than the male version and that is the reason for my lack of success. I do not like the female version. It seems far more aggressive to me. ;)

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Michael - Thanks for the link to Ms Pacman. Enjoyed it for a while but got wiped out on the first screen every time. I assume that the female version is far more difficult than the male version and that is the reason for my lack of success. I do not like the female version. It seems far more aggressive to me. ;)

Maybe Jr. PacMan is more of your speed. :D

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kimmy, you know she's not criticizing individual games, right?

I just think she ought to use examples that actually make the case she wants to make, rather than misrepresenting the content of a game to fit her narrative.

It seems kind of crappy to me that on the one hand she be clamoring for content that has better female characters and so-on, and on the other hand she be misrepresenting games that actually provide the kind of characters she's asking for in an effort to make her argument.

It seems as if she had to go out of her way to find something from recent major releases to appear relevant. She'd have had no trouble finding weird Japanese crap to fit her narrative, and no trouble finding older games, but it probably wouldn't have been very satisfying for her if she couldn't point at something current and popular and North American-made.

-k

{take your PacMan and blow it out your ass, Michael.}

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