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Gamergate Primer


Michael Hardner

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Yeah I don't know if these guys can see it, but "there isn't a problem stop whining about it already" firmly resides on the same continuum of silencing tactics as "shut up slut."

Bullshit ad homs. You are selectively obsessing about one class of entertainment products that happen to target males. You are ignoring other entertainment products marketed at women who happen to target women which have the same deficiencies you are complaining about.

My position gaming companies should work to make their games more palatable to women because that simple makes business sense but such an effort should be driven actual market research - not by the complaints of politically correct nannies with an ax to grind.

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Bullshit ad homs.

Well, you know from bullshit, being such an ardent spreader of same. But I would invite you to do some homework before using terms you don't understand. Ad hominem attacks are against the person making the argument and not the argument. My post above was targeting the argument that people should shut up about this issue. An ad hominem would look more like:

Yeah I don't know if these guys can see it, but saying "there isn't a problem stop whining about it already" means they are total dicks.

That's an ad hominem.

You are selectively obsessing about one class of entertainment products that happen to target males.

Yes, we are selectivity looking at video games. We're not talking about movies, TV, books, music, or any other cultural products. The entire goddamned point of the discussion is to talk about video games.

You are ignoring other entertainment products marketed at women who happen to target women which have the same deficiencies you are complaining about.

Yes we are ignoring other entertainment products because they aren't relevant to a discussion of this particular entertainment product. You want to start a thread about all the sexism teh menz face in other media, go to town. Literally no one is stopping you. This discussion is about video games. Need me to repeat that part again?

My position gaming companies should work to make their games more palatable to women because that simple makes business sense but such an effort should be driven actual market research - not by the complaints of politically correct nannies with an ax to grind.

Ah yes tell us more about this ax to grind. I want to hear what the end game of this great conspiracy that's out there to make games look like sexist products designed by and for infantile manbabies. I definitely want to hear why, if this great conspiracy is real, why you and your fellow gamer bros think silencing critics through harassment and insults is a good tactic for proving how not-sexist you are.

Edited by Black Dog
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So I looked into this a little further. I guess it comes down to damsel in distress and women as eye candy.

I can't argue with that, there are many games that use those "tropes". Can't say they're trying to be sexist though.

How should a game like Tomb Raider or Perfect Dark be marketed? If you're going to make a woman the lead should she have to be dressed modestly? I know when men try to say women shouldn't dress in a sexual manor that's considered sexist as well.

The classic versions of damsel in distress don't really use sexism as it's motivation, more like chivalry.

The games I've liked don't really include these tropes in full force, and if they did it isn't what made me like the game. We have sports games where (short of cheerleaders) sex isn't even addressed. We have First Person Shooters that look to replicate a military experience or a science fiction experience. Often their interactive versions of movies that have existed for awhile. Then there are these mobile games that don't address gender roles at all, the characters are birds or crocodiles or the goal is to feed a cute monster candy.

Do these tropes apply to the likes of Wonder Woman? Black Widow? or any women in movies that are clearly marketed to the same crowd that play video games. Games are usually interactive movies. So you can't really go after games without going after pop culture as a whole. I know the appeal of games (sans Master Chief he pwns!!!) was the hero, it was how the game challenged me.

I'm not much of a gamer anymore, so maybe in the year or so I've largely ignored the industry things have changed. If so then that's too bad. But it appears the lady who started this has been at it since 2009.

And of course I'm not condoning cyber bullying or abuse that's being cast on any women that start this debate.

Edited by Boges
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No one has really argued that there's some nefarious intent behind the production and publication of these tropes, btw. That's not what Sarkeesian and others are saying.

There is nefarious intent behind the hate mail and response they have gotten.

Edited by cybercoma
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No one has really argued that there's some nefarious intent behind the production and publication of these tropes, btw. That's not what Sarkeesian and others are saying.

There is nefarious intent behind the hate mail and response they have gotten.

I'm not much for games anymore. I just know my own motivation for liking games when I did. They rarely if ever had sex as a motive. I did buy that volleyball game you mentioned earlier. (I'm being 100% honest here) I got the game because I like volleyball. The role playing nature of the game was rather creepy. Apparently that type of game is big in Japan.

I think the tropes mentioned here are almost exclusively found in action adventure and RPG games. Not genres I piticularly ever enjoyed.

My favourite games were always Military FPSs. You'd have to really look hard to find sexuality in those games.

Edited by Boges
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No, I said the majority of games don't even have a primary human protagonist at all.

Of the games featuring playable characters, how many let you play as a female? A small minority. Also, I can think of very few single-player portions of FPS's that don't feature a male protagonist. Also, the large majority of FPS's do feature single-player campaigns with fleshed out stories: Call of Duty, Halo, Bioshock, Half-Life, Killzone, Far Cry, Deus Ex, Resistance, Killzone etc.

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Of the games featuring playable characters, how many let you play as a female?

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.

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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.

Again, we're talking about the biggest and most commercially successful games here, so yeah, it's fair to use "games" as shorthand when discussing this issue. Does it really even need to be said that #notallgames have sexist tropes? As for gamer culture, well that's a whole other kettle of fish.

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It's absolutely a textbook ad hominem because it's making everything about her and not the argument which is not contingent upon whether she likes games or not.

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

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.

So her contradicting herself on how she really feels about games invalidates her arguments about women and video game tropes? That's idiotic.

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

Except the people these games are made by and marketed to aren't the people who care much about women's portrayals in these games. As you and others have already claimed: it's actually a selling point.

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

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

Think about it: if the argument is "negative portrayals of women in video games keep women from buying games and participating in games culture" your "solution" is women should do something they already do (don't play the games). And this is supposed to lead to change...how?

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?

It's pretty easy to look around and see sexualized imagery because sexualized imagery is everywhere. It's not even lik eyou have to know what you're looking for to see it.

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.

I dunno, you tell me why male gamers aren't upset about how men are portrayed in games.

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.

I don't play the games for realism, and not many people do.

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

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Of the games featuring playable characters, how many let you play as a female? A small minority. Also, I can think of very few single-player portions of FPS's that don't feature a male protagonist. Also, the large majority of FPS's do feature single-player campaigns with fleshed out stories: Call of Duty, Halo, Bioshock, Half-Life, Killzone, Far Cry, Deus Ex, Resistance, Killzone etc.

No One Lives Forever I and II featured a talented spy named Kate Archer. Both were fantastic games with great stories.

Mainly with RPGS and online games is where you find the option of playing a male or female character. As you said FPSs are mainly about a story and play like an interactive movie.

Real Time Strategy (RTS) games have little of these tropes. Most puzzle games don't have them.

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Again, we're talking about the biggest and most commercially successful games here, so yeah, it's fair to use "games" as shorthand when discussing this issue. Does it really even need to be said that #notallgames have sexist tropes? As for gamer culture, well that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Games is to generic. Want to throw board games in there as well?

Maybe all FPSs should feature a male character instead and possibly no women at all. That way there would be no female tropes to bitch about. But then the complaint would be 'why no women in games .. so misogynist ...

Genre's of games.

Puzzle/solving games.

Mystery adventure. Survival adventure games, adventure games period.

First Person Shooters, Third person shooters.

Real Time Strategy and Turn Based Strategy.

Role Playing Games (it's called role playing for a reason, aka escapism)

Massive Multiplayer RPGs (World of Warcraft , Everquest)

Mutli person party challenge games (Mario Party)

Racing simulators, but simulators in general. (Kerbal Space Program is very fun)

Arcade type games.

Realistic simulators

FPSs are only a portion of gaming on the whole. Anyone who plays games KNOWS THIS. FPSs become even a stranger issue since a certain FPS title will be exclusive to one platform like Xbox or Playstation and not even available on PC. So you have to seek some of these games out.

I play on average about 25 hrs a week on games.

She should visit some comicon events where the ladies dress up as their fave character and ask them what they think. I think she would be surprised at the result.

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