What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

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Dubious_wolf
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What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Dubious_wolf » 27 Aug 2014, 21:40

So hopefully you know what's going on in social media with the constant and virulent attacks on Zoe Quinn.
I honestly don't much understand how anything could get to the point it's at, it's honestly extremely disturbing that people like this exist. but besides all that, suddenly Adam Freaking Baldwin has decided to toss in with the virulent misogynists and has started to dump additional mounds of shit on Zoe.

What the actual fuck is this guy thinking? Where did this come from and why did he have to go and ruin any and all reruns of Firefly for me?

But seriously do we know what his angle is?

As a follow up how do we fix/stop this virulent outpouring? I'm tired of seeing it and it doesn't look like it's dying.

Edit: to clarify I'm tired of the spotlight being placed on the immature boys who continue to harass and threaten....
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JackSlack » 27 Aug 2014, 22:00

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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Dubious_wolf » 27 Aug 2014, 22:06

I need to start paying attention...what an asshole.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 27 Aug 2014, 23:39

Yeah, unfortunately, Adam "The other one" Baldwin being an ass isn't that new.

On the other hand, Tim Shafer, Neil Gaiman, and Joss Whedon all praised the latest Tropes Vs Women, so that's a positive thing.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 27 Aug 2014, 23:45

William Gibson also came out in support of Tropes vs. Women, so he's one of the good ones, too.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Elomin Sha » 28 Aug 2014, 05:16

Bit of a long one.

When Tropes vs Women was first announced I was interested but after the second video not so much. With Damsel in Distress I agreed as a writer, that stories in gaming need improving but, I don't see much of the research she said she was going to do. Maybe it was because it was the first video in the series it seemed one sided. Or I set an expectation on what I thought she was going to deliver such as differing opinions and more games throughout history. I still watch the videos because it's good to keep up on what is happening.

I'm not sure if it's me misunderstanding but the vibe a I get from the recent videos was Anita painting that people are one game away from being a rapist or abuser because of acts they pose on fictional characters(Correct me if I'm wrong). I'm confused at who she's trying to educate on the matter and what, when going through the violent games, adults or children? It feels like a lot of telling and not enough showing, she shows the acts and tells a point but not explaining.

If adults, the games are rated 'mature' because there is a level of psychological understanding towards the game's contents when we grow up. By that matter a major portion of the population will know that rape is wrong because they understand what it entails.
If children, if she's explaining the wrongs to them that's great, but she stated at the beginning of the video it isn't recommended for children because of violence towards women (but not towards men when those are included (Bioshock/GTA V scenes)), so some of them won't see her message.


In regards to the maturation of an individual on the subject of rape.
While in retail I was serving a mother who was getting their son L.A. Noire. I asked if they were sure about them having it because of necrophilia, racism, pedophilia and rape, parent looked unsure, kid (11 or 12) said "It's only rape." I told the parent that's why they shouldn't have the game because he said that and had no clue what the other three items I said were. The mother still bought it for them even though she was shocked by what he said. That kind of thing is down to no education on the matter, I have no idea if she explained to her son why he made an error.

When I was 8 I knew rape was bad, but my understanding was different because it came from detective shows such as Frost. All the instances of rape I saw the victim had sex put upon them, and they were murdered. So a few years later when the News reported that someone was raped and the victim was telling their story I thought "They weren't raped, they're not dead." My mother was in the room and explained that murder was not part of it, she was almost raped as a teenager.

And speaking of L.A. Noire I don't see how the promotional picture used for that game was sexualised, my first thought went to Psycho and not she looks hot (don't say because it's you Elomin). The people who would think that would be sexual would be necrophiliacs and sadists(?)


As I said the vibe I get from Anita is thinks that people, namely male gamers, are one game away from rape and certain games can be a trigger for it. I'm not sure how her Communications Degree or Social/Political MA gives her an insight into making a psychological assessment of how a person's mind works (My Game Design Degree and Creative Writing MA doesn't). She's sounding like Jack Thompson when he said games like Smash Bros and COD were training people to kill in that regard.

The only two games I know that have you actively take part in rape:
Custer's Revenge on the Atari 2600 and RapeLay for PC.

RapeLay caused issues in 2009 when it was being sold on Amazon (despite it wasn't supposed to be sold there anyway). The game came out in 2006 and if games are supposed to be a trigger, as Anita suggests, then a rape game should entice people to go out and rape. The game originates in Japan (Where else) but Japan has one of the lowest cases of rape in the world. In 2006 it was 0.5-1.0 people per 100,000. That's around 167 people for the entire country. If such a trigger was true the reported rape cases would have shown a notable increase.
I'm not sure how she comes to some conclusions.


Another small bit.

Anita mentions that background female NPCs 'are hollow shells with no individuality or personality' that happens with male NPCs too. If all NPCs were given backstorys and individuality and female NPCs weren't she would have a point.
If all male and female NPCs were given a backstory it wouldn't be a game, not to mention development time would extend almost forever. It would be a novel with game elements, equal to MGS4 being a movie with game elements. The Left Behind Series actually did this, giving the grunt characters you control an extensive back story on their personal lives that you could read in the levels.


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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Duckay » 28 Aug 2014, 05:32

This is only the short version, I wanted to say this real quick. Maybe I can come back later and explain in more detail if necessary.

There's two major differences between Anita Sarkeesian and Jack Thompson than I can think of immediately. The first seems pretty clear to me, which is that there is a big difference between someone who is outright saying that games will encourage violent actions, and someone who is "giving off a vibe" that they might think the games might encourage violent actions.

The other is a little more ambiguous and you may disagree, but it seems to me that our culture normalizes sexual violence (rape, sexual assault, harassment, etc) in a way that it does not normalize other forms of violence (like murder or assault). This is not to say that our society is not inundated with violent images, because it is. However, it seems a lot more rare from where I'm sitting that people are blamed for encouraging other forms of violence, or held responsible for being victimised by other forms of violence, or that people will admit to other forms of violence if the name of the offense is not used. Sarkeesian seems to me to be positing that video games are not helping this state of affairs and could be doing better.

I have a third point which you might also disagree with, which is that studies have been done that show that violent video games are correlated with increased aggression (note, I want to be very clear on this: aggression is NOT the same thing as violence). Is it then so wrong to posit that video games could also encourage other things other than aggression under the right circumstances?

I'm not sure if you're looking for my "credentials" in this since you're critiquing Sarkeesian for not being qualified to speak on this matter. I can tell you now that I am not a lot more qualified, but I can share if you want.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 28 Aug 2014, 06:08

Some thoughts:

I see her as presenting three things in her videos. Here is a tropes, and how it is defined, here are some examples in popular games, and here is why this is harmful. I mean, it's not always super clearly laid out like that, but that seems to be the jist.

I don't think you can really disagree with the first two, as she's just saying "here, look at these things", and then showing the things. You can't really deny those things are there.

As for the third, I don't know enough about psychology to know what impact these tropes would have, and some of her examples may not be as gender specific as she says (as you say, almost no NPCs really have any character, which is lazy, but not gender specific). On the other hand, there are a whole lot of example which are concerning. If a game has almost no female characters that don't end up abused or degraded? Women treated as only magguffins, as rewards for doing well, and not people who you would want to save anyway? These tropes (which she presents far better than I) are concerning.

I don't think she's trying to say that being exposed to these will immediately turn you into a rapist, but rather than the media we consume does affect us, and that at the very least, for these tropes to exist over and over, across a huge variety of games, is a reflection of the attitudes of the creators and the culture they're created in. Which is to say, at best, lazy writting, and at worst, deeply ingrained problems.

That's the thing that I find the most interesting about this. It would be easy to dismiss the criticism of any one game, but she's looking at a huge number of popular ones. The woman in the refrigerator trope, for example (killing a loved one to motivate the player). If you tried to list all of the possible motivations for a hero, that certainly is a valid one, but Anita is trying (as I understand it) to point out that for some reason, writers keep picking the one that involved violence against women, and keep picking the scripted events that involved violence against women, and keep picking the plot twist that involved violence against women, far more than chance would dictate.

That was a bit longer than I was planning on writing but oh well.

I think the most important thing here, though, is that critically analysing things you enjoy is important. If one is interested in gaming as a medium as a whole, the things she is saying are worth listening to, even if you end up disagreeing.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby AlexanderDitto » 28 Aug 2014, 06:13

Elomin Sha wrote:What are your thoughts?


Oh boy, here we go. I am going to get off-topic like whoa (though really we already know Adam Baldwin is a shitbag, don't need a thread to confirm that).

You're projecting something onto the videos that isn't there.

1. The title of the video series, "Tropes vs. Women," should clue you in that the point of the video series is to highlight overused tropes relating to women that are prevalent in video games. The "research" involves collecting these tropes, organizing them, discussing them, critiquing them. That's research. Nobody just handed Anita 50+ clips of these parts of games and said "go to town." She has to gather them, collect them, curate them, cite them (all the videos come with links to related resources and transcripts), and relate them to modern research in media impact. This is what media studies research is about.

Have you ever watched an episode of PBS Idea Channel? (It's very good, if you haven't, go watch an episode and come back so you'll know what I'm talking about. Pick an episode that's about a topic you're interested in.) Do you think that series requires research? Because it does. A lot of it. Mike Rugnetta and his team (he has a team) spend 4+ weeks per episode researching, collecting information, reading, etc. Anita's one person, working alone (though she now has a producer who helps her).

2. The "vibe" you're getting from the videos that is not there. Actually, the videos are really dry in their presentation; they're just a laundry list of examples of the trope, and discussion of how the trope is harmful toward women. There's really not much conjecture.

Anita has never, in any of the videos, insinuated that "people are one game away from being a rapist or abuser because of acts they pose on fictional characters." In the most recent video, the focus on the harm caused by the Women as Background Decoration is 1. that is alienates the large number of women who have actually experienced these traumas or who know someone who has ("It ends up sensationalizing an issue which is painfully familiar to a large percentage of women on this planet while also normalizing and trivializing their experiences.") and that is skews the way people think about rape ("So when games casually use sexualized violence as a ham-fisted form of character development for the “bad guys” it reinforces a popular misconception about gendered violence by framing it as something abnormal, as a cruelty only committed by the most transparently evil strangers.") Most people still think of rape as something that happens in dark alleyways, by men who jump out of bushes and ambush unsuspecting women, or who slip mickeys into womens' drinks at clubs. They do not think of it as something that happens to women by people they considered friends, or their boyfriends, or husbands, their relatives or colleagues, even though these things make up the vast majority of cases.

3. The idea that only children are impacted by the media they consume, and that adults are somehow impervious to the effects of media, is not bourne out by studies of the subject. There's been this knee-jerk reaction among gamers to the ghost of Jack Thompson insinuating that violent video games could never make someone violent, but it's been demonstrated pretty effectively that the media you consume can have an impact on your world-view. Obviously, the vast majority of people don't become murderers because they play FPSes, or become rapists because they witness a heck of a lot of rape in AAA games. But these things can desensitize you to violence; they can normalize it, or trivialize it. It is worth thinking about the sort of things we are putting in our eyes and ears, and how that will impact the way we view the world. ("We must remember that games don’t just entertain. Intentional or not, they always express a set of values, and present us with concepts of normalcy. So what do games that casually rely on depictions of female victimhood tell us about women vis-a-vis their place in society?") To say that video games are somehow exempt from affecting our thinking is ridiculous; like books and movies, they always end up impacting us in some way; at the very least, the experience of the book or movie or video game is now carried with you in your head.

4. Regarding your statement, "By that matter a major portion of the population will know that rape is wrong because they understand what it entails." I have bad news for you:
In a survey of college students, "84% of men who committed rape did not label it as rape," and "35% anonymously admitted that, under certain circumstances, they would commit rape if they believed they could get away with it."
Things get even worse internationally (in southeast asia).

I will also point out that many men experience rape in their lifetimes, but don't call it rape because they have been socalized to think that rape is something that it is not. (Something that only happens to women, or something that only occurs by strangers, or something that only occurs if accompanied by violent assault.)

5. The question Sarkeesian is really raising, then, why are these the games we choose to create, to purchase in large numbers? Why do people _want_ to see women being raped, murdered, flayed, etc? Why is this the background we choose to insert into so many games? How does it impact how women feel about games, and how we think about rape, abuse, etc.? Could it impact how people think about rape, who people blame for being raped, how often people report rape?

6. If you can't see the difference between the way the men and the women in the L.A. Noire ads are being portrayed... you're being intentionally obtuse. The women are posed spread-eagle, their chests and legs exposed, in lingere. The men are not naked, exposed, or posed provocatively. This is a Hawkeye-effect-level difference. Even if you're asexual, you should be able to spot it.

7. Re: NPCs. The point is that violence against women is being used as set-dressing; it's not treated with any gravitas. Obviously NPCs can't always have backstories; the question Sarkeesian is raising is 1. why female NPCs are so commonly treated in a way that is so different to male NPCs (you virtually never see men being raped or assaulted; games never encourage you to watch men stripping; prostitutes are never men) when WE CHOOSE WHAT WE INCLUDE IN OUR FANTASY WORLDS. This is a choice people are making; someone is creating and animating and including this content in a game. Why? and 2. why is sexual violence virtually never treated with any sort of gravitas; as she points out, in many cases, your job in games is to punish the purpetrator of sexual violence, but the victim just vanishes or fades away. What does that say about how we think about sexual violence?

Additionally, the lack of backstory for female NPCs wouldn't be as glaring if there were female PCs with actual backstories. But there almost never are. The ONLY women in these games are empty, and devoid of life.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby AdmiralMemo » 28 Aug 2014, 06:58

Questions to consider: How many games have the story skippable? And for those games, how many gamers who play them skip the story? Thus, what percentage of gamers even know that violence against women has occurred? How many are just Skinner-boxxing themselves and don't even register the surroundings?

The answer could still be a pretty high percentage, but I know there are going to be some gamers who don't necessarily want to see women treated this way, and are only playing the game for "Shoot the bad people, find the things, get to the next level."

None of this consideration, of course, affects the blame on game designers who put the stuff in there in the first place.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 28 Aug 2014, 07:17

Memo: Something related was brought up in the last video, actually. I think it's generally considered "Good" story telling to have story elements revelled during gameplay. In the last video there were some examples of scripted events that happen, some of which you can't affect, but can see, and others where they are part of a gameplay mechanic (rescuing women from assult in Watchdogs).

In fact, the last 2 video have been about women being used as the background. NPC sex workers getting beaten by pimps as you walk passed, and the like. It's set dressing, and while you can ignore it, you can't skip it,
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Duckay » 28 Aug 2014, 07:21

Part of the point of these videos, of course, is pointing out how prevalent these themes are. A lot of people may genuinely have not have noticed, either because they skipped some sections, ignored it as they walked past, didn't register what was happening, or quickly forgot about it.

If that is true, though (that is just speculation) that doesn't say much for how sexual violence is presented in media, though.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 28 Aug 2014, 07:23

Also, I think it's worth noting, cause it seems to get lost every time, something she often says at the start of her videos. You can enjoy a game while still acknowledging it might have problematic elements.

A game having a sexist trope in it, does not make the game, the developers, or a the players sexist.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby AdmiralMemo » 28 Aug 2014, 07:43

Well, perhaps it's all about the question of agency, at least from the perspective of games, since playing games are all about feeling like "I did a thing." Pimp beats prostitute and you can save her? You're going to remember that. Pimp beats prostitute and you can affect it, even if you can't stop it? You're still likely to remember it. Pimp beats prostitute and you can't do jack about it? Most people will likely put it out of their mind.

Also, while fantasy/sci-fi/etc. games have no excuse in this next regard, there is the question of "realism" in games set in a modern setting, like Watch_Dogs and so forth. Since the culture and society is sexist, then if we're going to show a realistic backdrop, there is a drive to express that in the game, too. To not do that would be like having a game set in early 1800s Georgia and having absolutely zero slaves in it. If you were to play that game, your brain would be like "That's complete bull!" and reject it, even though slavery is a bad thing that you wouldn't want to have happen to people IRL.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby korvys » 28 Aug 2014, 08:06

Memo: Have you watched her latest video? (I ask sincerely, not sarcastically).

I'm still mulling it over. Even if you felt the need to include violence against women in your world, for the sake of realism, if you provide a sanitised version of this violence, in the sense that there are no consequences, then that can also be problematic.

To use your analogy, if all the slaves you spoke to were like "Slavery is great!", that's not really better .

There's a larger discussion here, somewhere, about how culture is influenced by art, and how art reflects culture, but that's a much bigger discussion, and I'm going to sleep.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby CSt » 28 Aug 2014, 09:03

I think in a few regards Elomin Sha is right. I only watched the last video, so I will talk about that:
I got the impression this video was not an exploration but a search for arguments for a position. The two theories were: "Video games use sexual violence against women as shorthand for the moral dimension of a setting/character" and "This has the effect of sensationalizing sexual violence and reinforcing popular misconceptions about sexual violence".
Now she should be collecting data to support or disprove her theory. She does so, by having many many clips which might support her theory. This we should find out once we get to the analysis. But that doesn't happen. Her first theory "shorthand for bad" may be right, but there is no real evidence to support that. The clips she showed from God of War and Kane and Lynch did not show sexual but "normal" violence against female victims (and what the hell that No more Heroes clip was I don't know). Similarly in the clips from Assassins Creed and GTA (murdering hostages and kidnapping a woman respectively). And I cannot follow the whole LA Noire story because I only saw one crime-scene picture of a murdered woman.
To be honest, I think Sarkeesian is right - at least with her first theory - but she does not provide actual evidence by analysing her data. And the second part, "sensationalizing of sexual violence" is supported by no evidence at all, it is a single sentence without even a hint of follow up.
And her final point may be right to. She ignores of course, that the random events in Watch_dogs seem to depict a crime between former partners (not random strangers) and again is probably not a sexual crime.
So the videos raises good points but fails at actually exploring these points and falls back on a position that seems to be ideologically driven, not intellectually.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Rikadyn » 28 Aug 2014, 09:37

Who the fuck is Adam Baldwin?

Everything else idgaf
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Jamfalcon » 28 Aug 2014, 09:38

Rikadyn wrote:Who the fuck is Adam Baldwin?

An actor, mostly remembered for playing Jayne on Firefly.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Arclight_Dynamo » 28 Aug 2014, 09:54

korvys wrote:Memo: Have you watched her latest video? (I ask sincerely, not sarcastically).

I'm still mulling it over. Even if you felt the need to include violence against women in your world, for the sake of realism, if you provide a sanitised version of this violence, in the sense that there are no consequences, then that can also be problematic.

To use your analogy, if all the slaves you spoke to were like "Slavery is great!", that's not really better .

There's a larger discussion here, somewhere, about how culture is influenced by art, and how art reflects culture, but that's a much bigger discussion, and I'm going to sleep.


There's another possible avenue for trouble with this line of thinking. When you say "Well, this is an historical setting; it's realistic to do things this way" you need to be really careful that it actually is realistic. You'll often hear people saying "But it's realistic!" when talking about historical works set in Europe (or fantasy works set in pseudo-Europe) that are exclusively populated by white people.

"But it's realistic" that there are only white people in 1700s France? 900s Normandy? 1800s England? Absolutely and provably wrong. So if you're going to include certain things for the sake of realism, you'd best do your research to make sure that what you want to do is actually realistic.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Valkyrie-Lemons » 28 Aug 2014, 10:12

Personally I think these types of shows over analyse games (and art in general).

The way I act in a video game has almost no correlation on how I'd act in real life (private or public).

Am I saying there's not a problem with how women are represented in video games? No, there are things that could be done better, but I'd contend that most games are not great at representing anyone fairly. You can make an argument that there is plenty of misandry in games as well. I know it's a bizarre statement, but think about it, aren't a lot of men in video games portrayed as this embodiment of 'manliness' that most men won't identify with?

I know that's not as bad as being portrayed as sex objects, but point is that video games in general are bad at not making any of their characters anything but tropes.

But that's just my two cents. (Well pennies since I use the pound).
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby JustAName » 28 Aug 2014, 12:17

Someday I'll stop hiding behind Ditto, but today I'm tired and he is eloquent, so I'll leave the posts to him for now.
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby AlexanderDitto » 28 Aug 2014, 12:27

CSt wrote:I got the impression this video was not an exploration but a search for arguments for a position....
Now she should be collecting data to support or disprove her theory....
To be honest, I think Sarkeesian is right - at least with her first theory - but she does not provide actual evidence by analysing her data.


That's not the intention of these videos. These videos, like her previous "Tropes vs Women" series before it, are focused on collecting these tropes, laying them out, and pointing out why they're damaging. There's not much heavy argument here, and no real quantitative data to be collected; it's not about whether "more women" are represented like this, or whether the number of rapes in a game are statistically significant or whatever, because that would be virtually impossible to quantify (do we count prostitutes vs non-prostitutes in each game?). The tropes exist in the media. This is demonstrable by the fact that 1. the clips exist, 2. they exist in so many different games made by so many different people, and 3. they come from games created across the last 30 years. That makes it a trope.

Once the trope is established, the question in modern media studies becomes: why does this trope exist? Second: what impact might it have on people watching it? And here, the "positions" that Sarkeesian takes are hardly revolutionary. If you show someone lots of violence, they become desensitized to violence. Soldiers struggle with this upon return from war. If you put violence against women in games, and women who have experienced violence are made to feel very uncomfortable by it, women will not feel welcome playing games. Etc etc. You could make specific counter-arguments as to why her points are not valid, but saying she "doesn't have data" rings pretty hollow. Her claims aren't very deep or insightful.

Arclight_Dynamo wrote:
There's another possible avenue for trouble with this line of thinking. When you say "Well, this is an historical setting; it's realistic to do things this way" you need to be really careful that it actually is realistic. You'll often hear people saying "But it's realistic!" when talking about historical works set in Europe (or fantasy works set in pseudo-Europe) that are exclusively populated by white people.


Virtually none of these games are realistic, as Sarkeesian points out in the latest video. We suspend our disbelief for health regen, multiple lives, ammo drops, inventory backpacks that carry thousands of pounds of guns and stuff, etc. Realism is never the goal. The goal is an experience.

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:The way I act in a video game has almost no correlation on how I'd act in real life (private or public).


I absolutely agree that video games present a space where you can act in ways you'd never act in real life, and playing a video game where you witness women being raped or murdered probably won't lead to you raping or murdering in real life. That said: every game you play impacts the way you view the world, whether you want it to or not.

Valkyrie-Lemons wrote:No, there are things that could be done better, but I'd contend that most games are not great at representing anyone fairly. You can make an argument that there is plenty of misandry in games as well. I know it's a bizarre statement, but think about it, aren't a lot of men in video games portrayed as this embodiment of 'manliness' that most men won't identify with?

I know that's not as bad as being portrayed as sex objects, but point is that video games in general are bad at not making any of their characters anything but tropes.


1. That's not what misandry is. Misandry is not "a bunch of guys got killed in this game." Misandry is systemic hatred/oppression of men, in particular, for their gender. I have never encountered a game that features misandry. Lots of men being casually murdered, yes, but it's never because they're men. Usually, men are the ones getting casually murdered because there are no women NPCs, or if there are they're reserved for being damseled before they're raped/murdered in sexually graphic ways.

2. Portraying all men as hyper-masculine, powerful, intense, etc is problematic, but it is hardly comparable to portraying all women as prostitutes to be raped. Do you not see how it's actually the _opposite?_ They're both patriarchal male power fantasies. Men are often encouraged to _aspire_ to be like the men in video games. Women's only place in games is to be raped or die, basically.

Believe me, if you want to see what it looks like when men are sexually objectified like women are in video games, I'll show you some gay porn/gay comics. It's MARKEDLY not how men are treated in games at all.
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Lord Hosk
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby Lord Hosk » 28 Aug 2014, 12:51

My problem with Tropes Vrs Women isnt the content or the message, its the presentation. I dont think that Anita Sarkeesian has done a good job selecting games to make her case. She isnt a bad person, she doesn't deserve the vial attacks she is getting and the fact that she is getting them at all is emblematic of the problems she is trying to point out, but getting those attacks doesnt make her videos better.

She starts from the assumption that you will agree with her, and then explains her opinions with loose ties to the games she shows.

I go into nearly everything from as neutral of a point of view as I can and try to listen to what is being said to sway me to support the idea, while it is going on I think of counter arguments. If I can come up with counter arguments without doing any research which I feel are more compelling than what you are presenting, you have failed as a presenter. I am a smart person and I understand that there is always more to to a subject than can be presented but if you spend 5 minutes talking about Super Mario Brothers and talk about Marios quest to rescue the princess but she is just a "object to be obtained" but fail to bring up that in the same game he rescues 7 male toads all of whom are effectively signposts is a failure to make your point.

As for Zoe Quinn it certainly seems like there is a lot of private information that we dont know, nor should we know. However it does seem like she did create some of the media flurry that helped her game be successful while doing some ethically questionable things. Again she doesnt deserve the vial attacks that are being put on her by any stretch of the imagination the attacks have gone way outside the realm of legitimate criticism. From what I have read and my ability to read between the lines of what the articles and interviews arent saying she was unfaithful to her boyfriend which is a shitty thing to do. She did have relationships with other people in the games industry, which is completely irrelevant she is an adult and can do whatever she wants with whoever she wants, it makes sense that she would be involved with people in her own industry, there is nothing unscrupulous about that.

From what I have read it seems like she created or inflated the amount and level of attacks she was getting when first working on her game and did so for publicity. That doesnt detract from it being a good game or mean that the only reason the game is getting attention is because of that. I haven't played depression quest so I cant say if I think its good or bad, but people I trust have said its a very good game with it has a intense and compelling idea but some flaws in the storytelling. It also isnt graphically stunning which some people feel is moving the game industry in the wrong direction, which is a poor idea that doesn't really hold up, but is a legitimate opinion.

It seems like there is a small portion of legitimate criticism of Zoe, rolled into a huge pile of "Im afraid of any change or criticism of the thing I love" and institutionalized misogyny.

I haven't seen Adam Baldwins opinions on this but there is a reason why I unfollowed him on twitter. He has extreme opinions and he is unafraid to share them which is good, he occasionally gets angry and aggressive but no more so than anyone else from what I have seen, people just pay more attention to him because he is a celebrity.
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AdmiralMemo
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby AdmiralMemo » 28 Aug 2014, 12:53

korvys wrote:Memo: Have you watched her latest video? (I ask sincerely, not sarcastically).
Honestly? No. I watched the first 3 episodes in this "Tropes vs. Women" series and learned several things:

  • I already agree with most of her points.
  • She doesn't seem to be bringing anything new to the table that I didn't know before.
  • She bores me.
  • Her voice really grates on my ears.

I'll take some time to look into the rest of this series, if it's important to the discussion, though.
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CSt
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Re: What is Adam Baldwin thinking?

Postby CSt » 28 Aug 2014, 13:03

AlexanderDitto wrote:Once the trope is established, the question in modern media studies becomes: why does this trope exist? Second: what impact might it have on people watching it? And here, the "positions" that Sarkeesian takes are hardly revolutionary. If you show someone lots of violence, they become desensitized to violence. Soldiers struggle with this upon return from war. If you put violence against women in games, and women who have experienced violence are made to feel very uncomfortable by it, women will not feel welcome playing games. Etc etc. You could make specific arguments as to why her points are not valid, but saying she "doesn't have data" rings pretty hollow.


Okay, I think you misunderstood. I am not saying she doesn't have data. On the contrary she has enough data, that I am willing to disregard the contamination through her faulty methodology and accept her point that the kind of trope she described exists.
But I cannot concede the other point and that is where I would put her failure: she doesn't do anything with the data she collected. You say yourself, modern media studies asks why something exists and what impact it has. But there is nothing there. The answers are not nearly as clear cut as you present them and can't just be accepted.
The argument in the video I watched was "This exists and that is bad.". It failed my expectations and frankly it failed your stated intentions as well.

Lord Hosk wrote:She starts from the assumption that you will agree with her, and then explains her opinions with loose ties to the games she shows.


That puts it so much better than I ever could.

AdmiralMemo wrote:She bores me.
Her voice really grates on my ears.


Yeah, if I may forget the content and go to the presentation, that is something bad. I wouldn't go so far to say her voice is a problem, but the whole presentation was listless reading without any emphasis or emotion.

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