Tropes vs Women Ep.2

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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby JayBlanc » 07 Aug 2013, 02:20

Bebop Man wrote:I always think Jade from Beyond Good & Evil is the perfect example of an excellent portrayal of female characters.

This isn't to discredit Anita. Jade's just one example. But I'm surprised she doesn't get name dropped for often as a great example of what female characters can strive for.


Er... You may want to watch the third episode, and note what Anita says is one of her favourite games?
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby empath » 07 Aug 2013, 07:06

See, I look upon Jade & Alix and Samus and so on as symbols to rally around - something to show The Other Side "See??? It CAN be done, so why don't we do it MORE? Why isn't damseling a minority element in games' stories?"
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Bebop Man » 07 Aug 2013, 07:55

I only watched a little bit of the first Tropes ep. It's nice to see Jade's out there representing.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby mariomario42 » 07 Aug 2013, 16:35

JackSlack wrote:If they have a problem with her evidence, they're free to do a close reading and refute or discuss her objections. Watch, I'll give an example... (From PAGE ONE.)

Now fine, that's a more ambiguous argument than an outright refutation, but that's what to do: Cite evidence, present argument as to what this means, etc. If you're not doing that, you're not helping the discussion, you're just dismissing her out of hand.


I'm arguing from a fundamental/logical angle mainly since I don't have the time to do research and provide counterpoints to every example she makes. The last post I made was more about "if she is actually doing this" and not straight dismissing her for the talk of that post. BUT there are plenty of people out there that have made youtube videos and long posts refuting her claims just as they way she tried to do hers.

...anddddd I've been trying to hunt some down to post for the last 10 minutes, but my internet is barely loading so that doesn't seem like a plan.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Bebop Man » 07 Aug 2013, 16:38

empath wrote:See, I look upon Jade & Alix and Samus and so on as symbols to rally around - something to show The Other Side "See??? It CAN be done, so why don't we do it MORE? Why isn't damseling a minority element in games' stories?"


I detect a pattern here.

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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Kag » 13 Aug 2013, 20:08

mariomario42 wrote:If she is not getting the clips for the video games by herself, it is clear that that materials, that were paid for by the kickstarter money, were not required.


Even if she didn't capture her own video, the nature of the series kind of necessitates playing them, don't you think?
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby JackSlack » 14 Aug 2013, 14:43

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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby MattAn » 08 Oct 2013, 07:21

So.. I skimmed through the thread since I table-flipped and gave up.. And.. Yep, I'm still pretty much agreeing with Lord Hosk.

Before I continue, I should also add, regarding the point raised that Anita "may not have actually played the games for compiling her own footage".. Wasn't that, y'know.. Part of the Kickstarter budget? Actually buying the games so she plays them (I assume for recording purposes?) I hate the term "fake geek girl" as much as anyone, but is there solid evidence that the footage is her own? One doesn't have to physically play a thing to "critique" it, simple research can do the same thing, but if the Kickstarter claimed she'd be playing them and have solid personal evidence to show for it (using valid context would also be stellar)..

Anything Anita does say that I do actually agree with (for example, sexism being a very real society issue) is fucking obvious, but the way she's delivering it is so backhanded and pretentious..

I also probably noted this major frustration before.. But it seems I may need to mention it again.
What the hell is the clear argument about any of this? I've literally heard multiple different "reasons" for why this particular thing is an issue (and looking at future titles of episodes.. It's only going to get more irritating.. Because any "Oh, gender-swapping is okay if a female is rescuing a male!" is going to completely fall apart when it gets to all the "Men With Boobs" and "Fuck Toy" nonsense.. Honestly, where's the clear argument.. Because there seems to be an absolute cavalcade of contradictions all up in this business.

If I'm to understand the videos so far..
1. There's too many games where a male lead is saving a female lead from capture,
2. A female lead saving a male lead isn't good enough damn it because swapping the genders doesn't make the one above stop (and if the point is NOT to make "male always saves female" stop, then what's the damn alternative!?
3. A female lead saving herself is clearly a 'male power/boner fantasy' because "women who kick ass are hot and it's so sexy lolololol", so we can't have that either.

And surely a female saving a male just isn't good enough either because, from what I've heard hardcore feminists argue, "men can rescue their damn selves, I'm not doing it!".. So what's the solution?

This is what I was asking for months ago! Results! Less stating "there is a problem" and more non-contradictory solutions. If swapping gender doesn't help (because plenty of examples exist anyway), and male power/boner fantasy is a thing.. Then what? Everyone has to be genderless, right? If the "point" is not to abolish the 'women are always the ones being saved!' "trope" entirely, then what IS the point? Obviously people are still going to complain about it happening, even when there's plenty of alternative examples.

It's almost as if the argument is going like this:

"There is a serious issue regarding sexism against women in games and other media."
"I see, that really does suck! :( What do you suppose people do to combat it?"
"THERE IS A SERIOUS ISSUE REGARDING SEXISM AGAINST WOMEN IN GAMES AND OTHER MEDIA."
"Yes, okay. We've established that. Solution please?"
"Th... I... Swap gende-- No that isn't good enough! Uh.. Hm.."
-Repeat Steps 1 to 5 over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And over.-

It's abundantly clear that the issue exists. But it seems to become even more apparent that there's legitimately no solution, because none of the alternatives are good enough, and apparently its existence "isn't the problem", just.. That.. It... Happens? What the actual fuck? If.. Its existence isn't what people are trying to exterminate, then what IS? The ratio? Because I thought it was also established that "female saves male" isn't good enough because "replacing with another being to strive to protect, like a pet/dog" is also bad.

Maybe I've been doing video games wrong this entire time.. D.. Does it make it any better if BOTH Mario and Peach are both kidnapped and Luigi and Daisy run off to save them? Y'know, get both genders in there, because equality? (Am I to assume the upcoming WiiU Super Mario 3D World is neat-o because Peach is a playable character (though she was also playable and totally overpowered in SNES Mario Bros 2)? Please. Enlighten me with your ultimate end result. This is all I want. A solution that doesn't contradict.

I mean.. Final Fantasy XIII supposedly gets beaten to death so much, but there's 3 (well, 4, kind of, Serah in XIII-2) lead female characters who progress and develop throughout the story. Lightning, Serah, Vanille & Fang. Fang (& Vanille) especially! They are strong, capable women who have done everything possible to protect their village of Oerba. Their mutual reaction when they actually return to the remaining wasteland shows how much it all meant. Hell, even the male characters "need saving". Hope loses his mother (I don't even want to hear "She was obviously just an objective" crap, a 14 year old boy watches his own mother (who willingly fought to protect him) fall to her own death. He's going to feel awful, as a human being.

Your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/brother/sister/mother/father/dog/cat/favourite children's toy is taken from your life. The life you enjoy living with your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/brother/sister/mother/father/dog/cat/favourite children's toy. (Circle that which applies) What the fuck else do you expect is going to happen? If there's no end goal.. Then is it just "*Press New Game* *Instant Credits/Game Over screen*"? Because nothing happened. Everyone's living their lives peacefully. What's the game entail? Something has to be the point of all those hours of gameplay!

Again with FFXIII, Sazh contemplates taking his own life because he believes his son turning to crystal means he'll never get him back, and the person he's been fleeing capture with is one of two people responsible. Using these examples, how exactly would changing genders "fix" anything? Because apparently, amid the contradiction of the contrary, that's what people seem to want.. What would be a better alternative instead of Hope watching his mother die and reconcile with his father he never speaks to, and Sazh's turmoil with his "enemy" son. I'm listening.

EDIT: Oh, and I also find it rather ironic that, as illustrated above.. Alix and Jade not only look "similar", but.. Does anyone else get the feeling there are dudes who say "Man, she's really hot" and make the objectifying statement themselves? Not that I did, but from my experience, I've known people who have taken that route (with other characters), instead of talking about the character as a person.
Also, "Why isn't damseling a minority element in games' stories?".. I don't know about anyone else, but to me that suggests that the opposite is somehow better, rather than none of it should happen.. But if none of it happens at all.. There's no games.
Also makes me wonder why the constant horde of samey shooters are supposedly okay as well. The multiple Calls of Duties, Battles of Fields, Halos of Chiefs, Killing of Zones.. But when you think about it.. That knocks out an entire genre of games (well, two camera varieties actually), because if shooting in games no longer happens, then there's little point in calling it a "shooter".
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Duckay » 08 Oct 2013, 13:56

MattAn wrote:Before I continue, I should also add, regarding the point raised that Anita "may not have actually played the games for compiling her own footage".. Wasn't that, y'know.. Part of the Kickstarter budget? Actually buying the games so she plays them (I assume for recording purposes?) I hate the term "fake geek girl" as much as anyone, but is there solid evidence that the footage is her own? One doesn't have to physically play a thing to "critique" it, simple research can do the same thing, but if the Kickstarter claimed she'd be playing them and have solid personal evidence to show for it (using valid context would also be stellar)..


I'm not going into the rest of it right now, but I wanted to address this quickly. There's two different questions at play, here.

1 - Did Anita purchase the games and play them?
2 - Did Anita record the footage herself?

Using footage that someone else recorded does not mean that she did not play the games. There are two different issues there and if you have a problem with her using pre-recorded game footage on principle, by all means share it, but that does not mean that she has not played the games.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Jamfalcon » 08 Oct 2013, 13:59

Just jumping in here to add to Duckay's point (I haven't watched the videos myself): I wouldn't hold it against someone that they didn't capture all of their own footage. Doesn't mean they didn't play it, it just means they didn't record playing all of it. When you're talking about dozens of games, it would be prohibitively time consuming to use all of your own footage, since you can't exactly jump around like in a film of book. If you want to talk about something twenty hours in, you have to play that far.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby phlip » 08 Oct 2013, 15:09

An analogy: Moviebob includes clips of the movies he reviews in his reviews of said movies. He does not record these clips himself, but rather relies on other sources, like trailers etc. Often without crediting the trailer in question. Should be be criticised for not recording his own footage? Should it be assumed he has not actually watched the movie in question? If he had previously asked for pledges from supporters to help pay for movie tickets, but then continued to use trailer footage in his reviews, should it be claimed he ripped off said supporters?

MattAn wrote:"There is a serious issue regarding sexism against women in games and other media."
"I see, that really does suck! :( What do you suppose people do to combat it?"
"THERE IS A SERIOUS ISSUE REGARDING SEXISM AGAINST WOMEN IN GAMES AND OTHER MEDIA."
"Yes, okay. We've established that. Solution please?"

I'm going to interrupt you right there, because, to much of the Internet and geek culture, we haven't established that. To hear many people in the target audience say it, sexism in games doesn't exist, and the Damesl plot isn't a problem. And they'll point to examples like the handful of games with a female protagonist who manages to rescue herself, or rescues a male damsel, as though that counterbalance the uncountable infinity of games that do the reverse (I figure if I'm going to be hyperbolic, I should be obviously hyperbolic).

So, yes. I agree with you entirely that the videos are very basic, say nothing ground-breaking, and revolve mainly around very 101-level concepts and just trying to establish that a problem exists. But given the massive backlash that even that manages to draw, gamer culture just isn't prepared for such lofty topics as "how to actually solve the problem".

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. And we're still working on that one.

MattAn wrote:(Am I to assume the upcoming WiiU Super Mario 3D World is neat-o because Peach is a playable character)?

(Actually, in the first few seconds of the trailer, it looks like they're introducing an entirely new female character just for Bowser to kidnap and start the plot as you go to rescue her. So... not particularly...)

But, again, you're allowed to like games that have problematic aspects. I mean, I still love the Mario games. I just recognise that their stories are problematic, and would love the games even more of those problematic elements weren't there.

MattAn wrote:Also, "Why isn't damseling a minority element in games' stories?".. I don't know about anyone else, but to me that suggests that the opposite is somehow better, rather than none of it should happen.. But if none of it happens at all.. There's no games.

I... can't follow this sentence. At all. Maybe it's because I'm still not completely awake, but I just can't parse it. You're trying to claim that our position of "we want damselling to happen less" is actually a position of "we want damselling to happen never"... and then claim that damselling is a necessary part of games? That if damselling stops happening, games will stop existing? I'm sure I'm reading that wrong... can you please clarify?
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby JackSlack » 08 Oct 2013, 16:41

MattAn wrote:It's abundantly clear that the issue exists.


Yeah, you'd think that.

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Seriously. Persuading people that there is a problem is still our first step. We're not there yet. And we won't be as long as anyone bringing it up is automatically a "social justice warrior" and not to be taken seriously. (Which is basically the case on most of the videogame-internet-space.)
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Duckay » 08 Oct 2013, 16:45

Since you bring it up, I'm still shitted off that my bumper sticker got ripped off my car. I don't want to presume the reasons why it happened or anything like that, but even in the best possible situation, it doesn't speak well of the person who did it.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby MattAn » 08 Oct 2013, 22:20

I should clarify something. Yes, that above ranty post was written in the middle of the night/very early morning. I get ranty. I apologise. But this whole thing is an incredibly touchy subject and so very confusing. The only reason I mention the contradictory nature of this "cause" is because.. Well.. That's what's happening. Multiple different arguments from *the same side* about conflicting things. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I'm glad we can all agree that yes, sexism exists and it sucks.. And there are people who are braindead fucking morons, like ol' Twitter dude screenshotted by JackSlack. Trust me, I've had arguments with those kinds of arseholes as well. Sadly, they're the kind of people who won't ever change. As sad as it is to say.. That's the truth. Arseholes gonna.. Arse?

I may have said this a few months back, but I'm going to try and say it.. Better(?) somehow. I personally don't think Anita Sarkeesian is the right person to be relaying this "lecture" to the ill-informed public.
I mean.. I support equality, I think women deserve SO much better than the shit they receive from bigoted idiots. I still find Anita difficult to watch. I guess it's the manner in which she presents things. She often talks like a strict, rather obnoxious school teacher. Talking down to people who are "not of her standard", rather than.. I'unno, cutting out all the snarky attitude and just talking. Sure, plenty of people are still going to whine and complain about her.. But to me, that's one of my major issues about Anita. Nothing to do with gender. Purely her delivery methods and attitude.

The manner in which certain things are said is full of snark.. Somewhat sounds like targeting/shaming the many, rather than.. I'unno, the actual people who actually deserve to be berated for their behaviour? To me, anyway, it seems as if she's presenting things quite a few people already know.. And only the people who already know are listening, almost as if they've got pitchforks in hand and it's hunting season, take no prisoner. Any naysayer is literally the demons.

...Is this a fair assessment? I honestly don't know anymore. I'm already assuming that I'm just going to get torn down on something simply because I don't instantly agree with the whole thing. Again, agree that sexism does exist, that it does indeed suck. But isn't it also fair to say that transgendered people (except for in maybe Saints Row, where your boss character can be any gender/race/voice/colour ever, every option is available), gay and lesbian people, etc.. They're not exactly represented that well in video games either.

Sure, one can argue that "one thing at a time, Matt! Focus on the anti-women sexism first" and that's absolutely valid and fair.. I just don't even anymore..
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Duckay » 08 Oct 2013, 22:30

Perhaps you and I have different definitions of "tearing down", because personally I have not seen anyone in this thread tearing you down because you don't instantly agree. There are people - and plenty of them - who are proposing counterarguments. There are people disagreeing. I don't see any "tearing down".

I understand very much your point about treatment of other issues in media (and especially in games) like transgenderism, gay and lesbian characters, etc. My counterargument to you here, however, is not "one thing at a time", but please don't cloud the issue. There are people who address these other issues (GaymerX is the first thing that comes to mind, but I know that the people behind GaymerX are not alone in this; I couldn't honestly name any others, though, if you want to ask me for citations. I'd need to look it up.). Anita Sarkeesian, it is true, does not happen to be one of them. That does not dilute her message, or make her wrong, or mean that she ought to be targeting other issues. That just doesn't happen to be her focus.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Bebop Man » 08 Oct 2013, 22:43

The best Anita can do is keep the controversy going so that everybody else gives the issue some intelligent thought, which I don't think she's capable of providing. She's the catalyst to an end, if you will. Not this many people would be worked up on the issue were she not around to point it out. But as I said, her arguments are incredibly obvious and repetitive and three videos in she keeps circling around the same stuff. I don't find her insightful or particularly wise.

She's the kid pointing out the king's nudity, if you will. Some random dude simple enough to point out the obvious. But I wouldn't look at her as a guide or beacon for anything.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby MattAn » 08 Oct 2013, 22:58

Bebop Man wrote:The best Anita can do is keep the controversy going so that everybody else gives the issue some intelligent thought, which I don't think she's capable of providing. She's the catalyst to an end, if you will. Not this many people would be worked up on the issue were she not around to point it out. But as I said, her arguments are incredibly obvious and repetitive and three videos in she keeps circling around the same stuff. I don't find her insightful or particularly wise.

She's the kid pointing out the king's nudity, if you will. Some random dude simple enough to point out the obvious. But I wouldn't look at her as a guide or beacon for anything.

A'yup. This is pretty much what I mean. Definitely circling around the same stuff. I don't think she should be doing any gay/transgender content though, Duckay.. That wasn't my point. :/ Just saying there's much more than just issues of women in games, etc.

And it's incredibly sad that I have to agree with the point that Anita isn't contributing anything new.. It's rather sad when her biggest drawcard is "How much controversy can I stir up today?" It's more about controversy and a focus on her rather than any actual legit issues. And she hasn't exactly been shying away from the spotlight..
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby phlip » 08 Oct 2013, 23:16

MattAn wrote:Sadly, they're the kind of people who won't ever change. As sad as it is to say.. That's the truth. Arseholes gonna.. Arse?

Sure, there are some people who'll never change. But there are others who might. There are people (much less vocal, naturally) who are new to the idea, and haven't made a stand either way, or whose stand is not nearly so heavily ingrained as the MRA crowd. I don't have any sort of numbers to back this up, but my gut feeling is that they would make up the majority of the straight-white-male segment of the gaming population (and a significant portion of other segments, too). The feminist crowd and the MRA crowd are both vocal minorities.. most people (it seems, from my perspective) just haven't thought about it enough to have come up with an opinion either way, thanks to their privilege that they aren't forced to be confronted with it. Awareness-type campaigns are still very much a useful thing, so that these people don't walk away with the impression that the MRA opinion isn't the majority opinion, that there is actually a debate here worth having and looking into.

MattAn wrote:The manner in which certain things are said is full of snark.. Somewhat sounds like targeting/shaming the many, rather than.. I'unno, the actual people who actually deserve to be berated for their behaviour?

Yeah... I still don't hear this. I don't hear barely any snark in the way she says things... it's mostly very matter-of-fact. Sometimes some incredulousness sneaks in when a particularly egregious example is being presented, which rubs me the wrong way a bit, but it's minor, and it's few and far between.

But snarkiness vs matter-of-fact-ness is a pretty subjectively-defined distinction. And it seems to me that if someone agrees with the conclusions being presented, they're more likely to see them being presented straight, but if they disagree, they're more likely to see them being presented snarkily. Politics and confirmation bias and all that.

Maybe it's also that the things she's presenting are things I mostly already know... so since my reaction to the content is mostly "Well... yeah, that's right," my view of the presentation is mostly "matter-of-fact"... maybe if the ideas being presented were new to me, I'd see it differently. I don't have that perspective to know either way here.

Similarly, I don't see her as "shaming" much (except, again, those few particularly egregious examples where she slips, being only human. Mostly it's just "This thing happens a lot. Here are some examples of the thing happening." Not "This thing happens a lot, and every person who does it, or condones it, is a bad person and should feel bad. Here are some examples, go jeer at them."

MattAn wrote:And only the people who already know are listening, almost as if they've got pitchforks in hand and it's hunting season, take no prisoner. Any naysayer is literally the demons. [...] I'm already assuming that I'm just going to get torn down on something simply because I don't instantly agree with the whole thing.

Again, I hope I don't come across this way - and if I do, I'm very sorry, and please let me know, because that's something I'd want to fix!

But coming into a debate and saying you're predisposed to thinking the other participants are going to forego rational debate and instead just jump on the smallest mistake and tear it apart is not, itself, conducive to rational debate. I don't think you're consciously trying for this, but comments like this are self-fulfilling prophecies in a way... making it sound like you're going to just assume the other debaters are arguing in bad-faith, which will only serve to make them defensive and angry at you, and then the whole debate degrades, and you're left saying "Ha! I was right," and go on to claim it again the next time the debate comes up.

MattAn wrote:But isn't it also fair to say that transgendered people (except for in maybe Saints Row, where your boss character can be any gender/race/voice/colour ever, every option is available), gay and lesbian people, etc.. They're not exactly represented that well in video games either.

Yes! Absolutely. These are also big things. There's a whole branch of feminism to do with the overlaps between them, and not advocating women's rights at the expense of other minorities (as opposed to, for example, the TERFs, who arguably do more harm than good in the current world). It's absolutely right and correct to be aware of all of these things.

But sometimes you need to focus on one thing or another. Sarkeesian has chosen to focus on feminism... that's entirely her perogative. Maybe she'll touch on some of the others in future videos (Damsel in Distress is just the first in a series, after all) but, looking at the list of planned topics, that doesn't look too likely.

I'm not going to say "you should focus on feminism too, women should come first and then other minorities come later", that would be... a hard argument to defend. Other people and groups can have other focuses. Social Justice has a lot of battlegrounds, and any one person can only focus on so many at a time. Which isn't to say that those are more important than the others, it's just... you pick the battles that are most important to you, by whatever metric you choose to decide that.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Duckay » 09 Oct 2013, 01:23

MattAn wrote:A'yup. This is pretty much what I mean. Definitely circling around the same stuff. I don't think she should be doing any gay/transgender content though, Duckay.. That wasn't my point. :/ Just saying there's much more than just issues of women in games, etc.


In that case, I admit, I'm confused. What exactly is your point, if not that she should be talking about it? That we should be talking about it here? This is a thread about Anita Sarkeesian, not about problems in video games generally. I agree that these issues are worthy of discussion but I don't think this thread is the place for them. By all means, if you disagree, then discuss them (or start a more general thread for it, if you like). I'm just not sure what you're looking for when you bring that up.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby MattAn » 09 Oct 2013, 18:34

Duckay wrote:
MattAn wrote:A'yup. This is pretty much what I mean. Definitely circling around the same stuff. I don't think she should be doing any gay/transgender content though, Duckay.. That wasn't my point. :/ Just saying there's much more than just issues of women in games, etc.


In that case, I admit, I'm confused. What exactly is your point, if not that she should be talking about it? That we should be talking about it here? This is a thread about Anita Sarkeesian, not about problems in video games generally. I agree that these issues are worthy of discussion but I don't think this thread is the place for them. By all means, if you disagree, then discuss them (or start a more general thread for it, if you like). I'm just not sure what you're looking for when you bring that up.

Easy answer to this question is *points to philp's post*. He already answered it. Rather well, might I add. ;) It was an aside mention, a brief observation. Not the KEY of the matter.

Anyway, back to teh phlip. I do appreciate (genuinely) that you clarified and such about my.. Stand-off-ish-ness to "debate". I came into this again rather cautious. I've had past experiences of people being major jerks to anyone who doesn't instantly jump on board without having any concerns or questioning certain motives. I'm probably not the best with debates and whatever, much less in situations like this where it seems simply being the gender I am should make me want to jump off a bridge.

Maybe it's just me.. But I honestly believe gender means nothing. Nothing. I really don't care whether your reproductive organs are convex or concave, innies or outies, dangly or internal. I literally give zero fucks. People are people. If a person is an idiot, they're an idiot because they're an idiot, not because of their gender. That said, there are some stupid women, just as there are equally, if not more or less, stupid men. Maybe I just hate the "Gender Wars". It ends up ridiculously petty and childish.. And somewhat "everything about YOUR side is bad, ours is perfect!".

There was something you'd said about individual perspectives that I found intriguing though.. You'd stated that because I find Anita's presenting full of snark and subtle viciousness.. That it must mean I disagree with the message. Not.. Really. I can't say I see anything she says is "matter-of-fact"..

And while you keep saying that it's not "This thing happens a lot, and every person who does it, or condones it, is a bad person and should feel bad. Here are some examples, go jeer at them." and more "This thing happens a lot. Here are some examples of the thing happening.".. It's hard to see it that way when there are so many people (I guess on both "sides") who are particularly over-the-top and intrusive about it. Not sure if it's prejudice, maybe I'm getting my wording wrong.. But it's definitely something that sounds off.

Further to that, I also can't say everything Anita shows is 100% fact either. Singling out a "trope" in something is rather simplistic, it lacks ANY context. Context means everything. Media/Games, etc are entirely subjective. Entirely. One aspect of a video game is going to signify/imply/mean one thing to one person and a totally different thing to another person. It's why I mostly stopped paying any attention to reviewers, because all it is is their forced-biased opinion, rather than simply describing the gameplay. Sure, say what you liked or didn't like, but sadly, many reviewers take that as a "It's factually bad and you're a terrible person if you like this shit."

Case in point; I haaaaaaaaaaaaate the DmC reboot. Dumbed down, less stylish/finesse gameplay and god-awful pathetic excuse of a protagonist... Past games had much classier jokes, a protagonist with actual wit and "badassness".. And a far better control scheme and gameplay mechanics that actually meant you had to make some sort of effort. Yet reviews were supposedly "raving". Actually also sold terribly, contrary to what its fans seem to think. So, again, entirely subjective. Are the people who enjoy DmC awful people? Well, I'm sure people like me who hated it would firmly believe any fan has clearly lost all their remaining brain cells.. But eh, I guess they can have their thing.

I don't know.. I guess I just think if the intent is to "create a meaningful/serious dialogue or debate about a issue that does in fact exist".. Well Anita is kinda going the wrong way about it. All she's doing is preaching to people who already clearly believe everything she says is golden gospel truth.

Having played a few of the supposed examples.. And generally thinking as not my supposed gender bias, purely within the context of the game or story.. I didn't see how changing something in any major way would make it "better", just.. The same thing but worded differently. Doesn't sound any different.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Duckay » 09 Oct 2013, 18:54

You keep bringing up this idea that you expect the other side of the argument to be disingenous, e.g.:

MattAn wrote:I'm probably not the best with debates and whatever, much less in situations like this where it seems simply being the gender I am should make me want to jump off a bridge.


MattAn wrote:Maybe I just hate the "Gender Wars". It ends up ridiculously petty and childish.. And somewhat "everything about YOUR side is bad, ours is perfect!"


I can't help but wonder if your assumptions about the argument are what is making you "not the best". It reads to me as though you're getting defensive about your position before the argument even starts.

Just to make it clear, in case you weren't sure: as far as I am aware, no one in this thread is saying that men should want to jump off a bridge or that either side is automatically perfect. I understand that you have experienced things like that elsewhere, but I want to reiterate that I don't believe anyone is trying to do that here.

ETA: Also, I find it a little troubling that you're reducing the videos about treatment of women in media as "gender wars". However, I may have misinterpreted your point here; feel free to correct me.

MattAn wrote:Maybe it's just me.. But I honestly believe gender means nothing. Nothing. I really don't care whether your reproductive organs are convex or concave, innies or outies, dangly or internal. I literally give zero fucks.


I don't know if I entirely agree with you on this. I mean, I agree with you entirely when you say:

MattAn wrote:If a person is an idiot, they're an idiot because they're an idiot, not because of their gender.


However, I think there are some social (I want to make this clear, not inherent) factors that affect men and women differently (due to the way that other people within the culture treat them and react to them). That gets into a whole different thing, though, so I'll leave it at that.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby phlip » 09 Oct 2013, 20:00

MattAn wrote:Maybe it's just me.. But I honestly believe gender means nothing. Nothing. I really don't care whether your reproductive organs are convex or concave, innies or outies, dangly or internal. I literally give zero fucks. People are people.

I agree with you... in principle. In a perfect world, this would be the correct response. In a world where everything is equitable and meritocratic and things like gender, race, sexuality and the like have no bearing, then this is absolutely the right path to take. However, the world isn't equitable, and genderblindness/colourblindness/etc is not, in and of itself, helping, it's just turning a blind eye to the problem.

And I don't just mean "women have it bad, so you should treat women better than men to try to balance it out"... I mean that society at large treats men and women differently, and these differences have effects that ends with men and women being different. In an ideal world those differences wouldn't exist, but they don't go away if you just try to treat everyone identically and ignore the differences.

my usual go-to oversimplified contrived example... not entirely related to gaming, but for this idea in general. Women at university in CS majors tend to have a much worse time than men. They'll often be driven out by sexism, and even for those that don't, their grades will suffer... a women and a man who are about equally competent will walk away with different grades. And so, working backward from the answer, you're hiring for a CS job, and you have a woman and a man applying and they have the same grades (or the man has higher grades, but by a smaller margin than this effect), then you should read that to mean the woman is actually better at the job, and you should hire her. Not "you should hire the woman out of charity", but you'd actually be hiring the better applicant. And this is what the "CS is a genderblind meritocracy" advocates ignore... if you try to blindly treat men and women as identical, you will miss this effect, and end up compounding the sexism the woman is facing - not only did she suffer through university, but now she can't even get a job!

MattAn wrote:Singling out a "trope" in something is rather simplistic

Well, this is the first part in a series, remember... she's only focusing on this trope for now, will move on to other tropes later. As I understand it, she's done with Damsel in Distress, and the next video will be the start of Episode 2.

As for the claim of "it's fine in context within the game"... there are two different forms of "context" here, and this argument focuses on one while ignoring the other. Specifically... it focuses on the context of the rest of the story within an individual game, and ignores the context of the aggregate of all the different games out there that affect the pop culture as a whole. "But it's entirely explained and fine in the context of this particular example" doesn't explain away the fact that there are so friggin' many examples...
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby MattAn » 09 Oct 2013, 20:03

Duckay wrote:
MattAn wrote:If a person is an idiot, they're an idiot because they're an idiot, not because of their gender.


However, I think there are some social (I want to make this clear, not inherent) factors that affect men and women differently (due to the way that other people within the culture treat them and react to them). That gets into a whole different thing, though, so I'll leave it at that.

Hence why I even brought it up in the first place..

Where does this whole thing apparently stop? What's the end result? The conclusion. The goal. If it's not to eradicate this particular "trope" (for example, Damsel in Distress), then what is it? Isn't that essentially arguing for the sake of not changing anything? "Hey this thing is happening and it's really bad you guys seriously but I'm not saying it should go away." WHAT. The logic in that sentence (and seemingly, the argument I take from Anita's view) is insane. Non-existent.

There's social factors that affect people in general because society sets them. The human race sets them. I'm not saying I'm "one of the haters", but I can't help but think a lot of those naysayers are seeing what I've kind of been seeing. Too much inconsistency, too much contradiction, too much not actually saying anything. Just shouting that things are horrible and awful, it's "okay" to like problematic games.. But they're problematic so they're bad and awful and oh my god why are people still playing them!

I'm gonna bring up another example. The podcast, FOFOP, which Australian comedian Wil Anderson hosts (previously TOFOP, but now while the other host is acting on Aus Tv show, Home & Away, there are guest hosts, usually Australian or international comedians).. A recent episode (60 - It's Not Easy Being Green), LA-based comedian Dave Anthony talks about how as a kid, his father brought a date to dinner (his father's wife cooked, had no idea until halfway through the meal, yet the girlfriend did.. So.. When it's regularly stated that men are horrible towards women.. Where's the part where women are also horrible to themselves?)

Further in the same podcast episode, Dave also talks about showbiz in LA, being asked by an agent that he had to lose weight (as a comedic actor (or really any actor), one would think the key was being funny, not about weight) and the various social expectations that showbiz enforces on showbiz. People have essentially come to assume that clearly that's what you're "supposed to do" (eg. plastic surgery, etc). Nobody has to do any of that stuff, but they do. Supermodels starving themselves because they firmly believe that "being skinniest is better". To then bring in claims that entire genders should/shouldn't do X thing, to claim X trope is "problematic", etc. Sure, there's some pretty fucked up shit happening, actual serious extremes that exist in media/games.. But pointing the finger at even the most minor of examples as well is.. Honestly, quite a stretch.

This is why I keep having to ask this question, and everyone seems to avoid it. If there's such a major problem, then what's the solution? And if it's not THAT bad that people want the entire problem eradicated.. Then what's the end result? If the aim is not to get rid of it completely, then isn't it like shouting random nonsense directly into a brick wall? To me, yes. That's exactly what it is. It ruins the whole point. If there's actually a serious issue (there is, we've established this already) then actually be the change you want to see in the world. Don't like the ratio of things happening in games? Do it yourself. Add to the market of game options. Simply pointing out a handful of examples (some of which are rather lacking in context and substance) isn't a good solution.

To state again, I've briefly studied (and am likely to return to it beginning next year) games design, heavily involving semiotic analysis. I know how this shit is supposed to work. I've experimented with finding connotations and denotations in things. As best as I can see, I still think a different woman would be far better than Anita at covering this. Anita seems to be more (or less) seeking attention and encouraging controversy, rather than actually doing anything worthwhile..

phlip wrote:Well, this is the first part in a series, remember... she's only focusing on this trope for now, will move on to other tropes later. As I understand it, she's done with Damsel in Distress, and the next video will be the start of Episode 2.

Not gonna lie, that concerns me. I've seen the list of "future topics".. And I'm not exactly positive about them. Seems a bit hit and miss.
Like.. I'm going to assume here that "The Fighting Fuck Toy" segment is going to target games like Dead or Alive 5.. And while I absolutely agree that having settings like the amount/severity of "breast jiggle" is going too far creepy and perverted, the male characters also have quite a lot of fanservice material. Doesn't excuse the breast jiggling mechanic (Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's female character's breasts "jiggle" when they run.. And pretty nobody cares.) at all, but considering that's actually what realistically happens, if it weren't for perverts being creepy fucking perverts, it's pretty much just natural/realistic game physics.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby Duckay » 09 Oct 2013, 20:29

As I understand it, the ultimate goal is to reach a point where these problematic depictions are reduced to a point proportionate to other depictions that they are no longer a problematic trend.
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Re: Tropes vs Women Ep.2

Postby phlip » 09 Oct 2013, 21:23

MattAn wrote:"Hey this thing is happening and it's really bad you guys seriously but I'm not saying it should go away." WHAT. The logic in that sentence (and seemingly, the argument I take from Anita's view) is insane. Non-existent.

Again... the goal isn't to eradicate it, because the problem isn't male protagonists, or Damsel plots, or any of the other things existing. The problem is them being so prevalent as to be the default. When a game dev says that they "haven't found the right game" to put a female protagonist in, and until then they'll just use male protagonists as the default (because the default doesn't need "the right game"), that's a problem. When some new retro-themed game feels like it needs an excuse plot and throws in a Damsel plot because that's Just What You Do, that's a problem. But the solution isn't to eradicate those things, and no-one of any relevance (certainly no-one here) is advocating for that. What we're advocating for is reducing those things, so that they aren't so prevalent any more.

It's not a binary, for which the only two choices are "Damsel plots everywhere" and "Damsel plots nowhere". If you were to say "I think people driving 200mph through city streets are a problem" and I respond "What, so all cars should be stationary? Is that really what you're saying?" then you'd be entirely within your rights to say I was misrepresenting your argument.

MattAn wrote:Too much inconsistency, too much contradiction, too much not actually saying anything. Just shouting that things are horrible and awful, it's "okay" to like problematic games.. But they're problematic so they're bad and awful and oh my god why are people still playing them!

And if anyone here actually said the second half of that contradiction, maybe you'd have a point. But, again, that's not what we're fucking saying.

MattAn wrote:I'm gonna bring up another example. The podcast, FOFOP, which Australian comedian Wil Anderson hosts (previously TOFOP, but now while the other host is acting on Aus Tv show, Home & Away, there are guest hosts, usually Australian or international comedians).. A recent episode (60 - It's Not Easy Being Green), LA-based comedian Dave Anthony talks about how as a kid, his father brought a date to dinner (his father's wife cooked, had no idea until halfway through the meal, yet the girlfriend did.. So.. When it's regularly stated that men are horrible towards women.. Where's the part where women are also horrible to themselves?)

Further in the same podcast episode, Dave also talks about showbiz in LA, being asked by an agent that he had to lose weight (as a comedic actor (or really any actor), one would think the key was being funny, not about weight) and the various social expectations that showbiz enforces on showbiz. People have essentially come to assume that clearly that's what you're "supposed to do" (eg. plastic surgery, etc). Nobody has to do any of that stuff, but they do. Supermodels starving themselves because they firmly believe that "being skinniest is better". To then bring in claims that entire genders should/shouldn't do X thing, to claim X trope is "problematic", etc. Sure, there's some pretty fucked up shit happening, actual serious extremes that exist in media/games.. But pointing the finger at even the most minor of examples as well is.. Honestly, quite a stretch.

I have no idea where you're going with this whole example. I've read these paragraphs several times, and I don't see any actual points. Like... what is the point of the whole "my father's wife is a cook" anecdote? It doesn't go anywhere. You honestly seem to be missing a few sentences in the middle there. Maybe I'm just misreading it.

As for the second half, I can't tell if your point is "we should be focusing on supermodels starving themselves instead of women in videogames because that's a bigger issue", or "we shouldn't care about supermodels starving themselves or women in videogames because who are we to tell them what to do?" or even "telling game devs to include more women is like telling supermodels to starve themselves". Or something else entirely. I honestly have no idea what you're trying to say.

MattAn wrote:If there's actually a serious issue (there is, we've established this already) then actually be the change you want to see in the world. Don't like the ratio of things happening in games? Do it yourself. Add to the market of game options.

Good idea, let's work on that. More people should make games that have real female characters, which avoid Damsel plots, etc, etc. Now, I'm not a game dev, that's not my area, but if I can encourage actual game devs to make more games like that, then that would be great. Hmm, so how could I do that. Well, mostly when a problematic thing is made it's not out of malice or hatred, but just out of ignorance and privilege-blindness... so probably the best way to do it would be an awareness campaign, make more game developers aware of the problematic aspects of these common tropes, so that more of them will avoid them. And, at the same time, educate the consumers of games about the same issues, so that games which avoid these pitfalls have a good chance of selling (and thus convince producers that a game isn't doomed to fail just because it has a woman on the front of the box, or whatever). But I don't know how to start an awareness campaign, and making videos for the Internet is also far outside my area of expertise, so I guess I'll do the next best thing and find someone else, who is a prolific video creator who knows the issues, and support them making them. Maybe chip some money into a Kickstarter, or spread links to their videos around to increase the reach of the campaign, or spend time on forums answering questions and debating to clear up misconceptions people might have gotten about the videos' content.

Ah, if only that were possible. If you ever hear of an opportunity like that, please let me know. In the meantime, I'll have to keep doing what I'm doing, I guess.

Give a man a fish, and he'll be fed for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll stop making games friggin' Damsel escuse-plots all the goddamn time. Or something.
Last edited by phlip on 09 Oct 2013, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.
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