Gamergate

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PAstrychef
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Re: Gamergate

Postby PAstrychef » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:00 pm UTC

Claiming that there has been no public discussion of violence in video games overall is disingenuous. Plenty of noise has been made about FPS games and their effect on both actual levels of violence and ideas about violence in society. Personally, I find it scary that so many young men glorify killing in games no matter what or whom is being killed. That spraying an area with bullets until everything that isn't you is dead is considered fun just confuses me.
One telling statement is
Violence towards women is not endemic in games. Violence towards men is endemic. But somehow that's never a problem. You can mow down thousands of male mooks in a game, but one woman gets killed and suddenly your game is misogynistic. Most of these games won't even put a woman in a combat situation for fear of moral guardians. A game like GTA is the exception here, where all NPCs are treated equally. You can kill a prostitute a take her money, just like you can kill every male NPC and take their money. That's equality

Perhaps if there were thousands of female mooks, just like the male ones- not strippers, not slaves, not the prize, but just part of the crowd of "bad guys", then it would be less of a problem. Heck, more women should be in combat situations, as long as they have the same abilities to fight back as the men have.
Also, if a large number of the interactions between make and female characters involve violence, that's even more of a problem if there are only a few women in a game-because the default interaction with those characters becomes violence.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby sam_i_am » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:33 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Claiming that there has been no public discussion of violence in video games overall is disingenuous. Plenty of noise has been made about FPS games and their effect on both actual levels of violence and ideas about violence in society. Personally, I find it scary that so many young men glorify killing in games no matter what or whom is being killed. That spraying an area with bullets until everything that isn't you is dead is considered fun just confuses me.
One telling statement is
Violence towards women is not endemic in games. Violence towards men is endemic. But somehow that's never a problem. You can mow down thousands of male mooks in a game, but one woman gets killed and suddenly your game is misogynistic. Most of these games won't even put a woman in a combat situation for fear of moral guardians. A game like GTA is the exception here, where all NPCs are treated equally. You can kill a prostitute a take her money, just like you can kill every male NPC and take their money. That's equality

Perhaps if there were thousands of female mooks, just like the male ones- not strippers, not slaves, not the prize, but just part of the crowd of "bad guys", then it would be less of a problem. Heck, more women should be in combat situations, as long as they have the same abilities to fight back as the men have.
Also, if a large number of the interactions between make and female characters involve violence, that's even more of a problem if there are only a few women in a game-because the default interaction with those characters becomes violence.


I haven't played very much GTA, but from what I understand, I'm pretty sure that violence is not a default action with women in that game.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:37 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Claiming that there has been no public discussion of violence in video games overall is disingenuous. Plenty of noise has been made about FPS games and their effect on both actual levels of violence and ideas about violence in society. Personally, I find it scary that so many young men glorify killing in games no matter what or whom is being killed. That spraying an area with bullets until everything that isn't you is dead is considered fun just confuses me.


Yeah, that's not even really a gamergate thing. People worrying about violence in games has been super common.

As for scary, well...it's a model that works, and the video game industry is nothing if not derivative. There will be a brand new madden over and over again until that crap stops selling. FPS franchises, same same. They make the movie industry look positively original by comparison.

Perhaps if there were thousands of female mooks, just like the male ones- not strippers, not slaves, not the prize, but just part of the crowd of "bad guys", then it would be less of a problem. Heck, more women should be in combat situations, as long as they have the same abilities to fight back as the men have.


Female mooks basically are not a thing in shooters. That is odd. Granted, if it's a historical scenario then yeah, realism, blah blah blah...but a goodly chunk of them range from "not very historical" to blatantly invented. But, in certain games, yeah, the default interaction is violence. It's a conceit of the genre.

This really isn't that different from cinema. Look at the zombie movie deal...basically, at this point, that's one extended fantasy about how you can solve all problems in life by shooting them. Is it realistic? God no. But I'm not sure it's actually a problem. Everyone is fully aware that it's a fantasy, not an actual manual for how to behave. Things that bother me in video games are usually the more subtle things. The crappily written chars with no actual motivations of their own, bits like that. And in this, video games are not that different from movies again, even if they maybe do it more often. Because that casual disregard of other folks is...much more of a real world issue. Treating people as merely something for your enjoyment is a more subtle thing, and it probably isn't meant as anything bad...just lazy writing. It just happens.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby krogoth » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:11 am UTC

Hypothetical situations are not real situations, How people think or wish they would act isn't most of the time, how they would actually how they would act in that extreme situation.

If people can't see the difference between reality and fantasy, that's an issue they will have either way.
In the game it's just a story mechanic, in reality, "easily influenced people"(putting it politely) may think that's how you should act in reality. But that goes as said before with any media, can we say the bible and torah teach rape murder and bigoted attitudes because of characters in them? There are some good lessons in those shitty books. We have a word for people who lack empathy, psychopath.

As I said before, If you highlight only one part of the story like she does it's easy to make it sound evil.

You keep saying the change circumstance, means a change in power, I don't see why this is true. If anything I would think the damsil in destress is a good representation on helping others out of oppression.

No matter how strong a person is, they can still be confined.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:50 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:I would like to dispute this. It's usually pretty straightforward Dudesel in Distress whenever they're in the ring (and Peeta's obsession with Katniss rings pretty similar to a reward of love, even if Katniss doesn't exactly want it most of the time), but Katniss still gets a lot of the instant deferment and authority to set the plans on how they'll rescue Peeta. The very climax is...a flip on that, pretty much negating all of that effort in one fell swoop, but it seems to me to mostly be done to set up the next book rather than a natural evolution of what happened earlier in the story. In the next book, though, she again gets to lead the effort to rescue Peeta (if not on the ground, then by having the necessary authority to extract concessions from those who can be).

Hunger Games, to me, seemed to at most twist the trope by saying "what if we flipped the genders, and also the hero rescued the Dudesel just out of basic human empathy, and didn't give a twit about winning his hand in marriage."

Even more off topic and some spoilers about the final book in The Hunger Games:
Spoiler:
I meant the beginning of the third book where Peeta is actually kidnapped and she is trying to save him. Of course, it turns out that she fails to save him from captivity (he is pretty much handed back) and she also fails to help him deal with the psychological conditioning (i.e. emotional problems resulting from captivity). If you look at just their relationship, she is always the passive one. He is the one that notices her first and falls in love. He is the one that gets into trouble to get her food when she really needs it. He is the one that proposes they are together and he is the one that backs off when she can't make up his mind. He is the one that sacrifices himself so she can escape at the end of the second book. He is the one that puts in the effort of overcoming the psycological conditioning so he can be near her again. At the end of the story, he is the one that is her emotional support for the rest of their lives. By comparison Katniss just sits there and is loved at.

Honestly, I always just saw them as a reversal of the strong and silent type protagonist and the excessively emotional love interest tropes. Of course, the end of the story is a comment on how strong-and-silent doesn't mean self-sufficient and being able to express emotions can actually be a strength.


krogoth wrote:You keep saying the change circumstance, means a change in power, I don't see why this is true. If anything I would think the damsil in destress is a good representation on helping others out of oppression.
Well, a damsel in distress is by definition just a reward, not in control of her life. The story goes thus: the king tells you his daughter was kidnapped by a dragon, you bravely kill the dragon and rescue the princess, you marry the princess. At no point does the damsel have agency about anything. Saying the damsel is a badass warrior/ninja/sorceress/scientist without changing her role in the story doesn't make her any more equal to the proactive protagonist. In fact, it can make her seem even more incompetent by comparison if the captivity isn't adequately explained.

Now, other than Mario, I don't know of any other games where the trope occurs in quite so obvious a manner. Does Anita give any other examples?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby leady » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:00 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote: Personally, I find it scary that so many young men glorify killing in games no matter what or whom is being killed. That spraying an area with bullets until everything that isn't you is dead is considered fun just confuses me.


Welcome to the dark tournament nature of the young male physche :)

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:37 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:Now, other than Mario, I don't know of any other games where the trope occurs in quite so obvious a manner. Does Anita give any other examples?


She has like a 20-minute rant filled with examples.

Which is why I bring up Peeta / Kaitness. I feel like Sarkeesian is painting with such broad strokes, that Peeta / Kaitness's relationship actually would fall under her classification. A quick summary of what Sarkeesian considers DiD from the first episode:

All that is really required to fulfill the damsel in distress trope is for a female character to be reduced to a state of helplessness from which she requires rescuing by a typically male hero for the benefit of his story arc.


IE: Peeta is completely helpless, and serves as a point of empowerment of Kaitness. Kaitness uses Peeta as a bargaining point and achieves diplomatic victories in District 13. True, Kaitness isn't the one to personally rescue Peeta, but she's the one to convince the higher-ups to save Peeta.

In either case, it is clear that Peeta would be left in his helpless state. His degenerating condition only proves that he is the "Dudesel", and is most definitely in "distress". Makeup covers up his scars as he appears on TV time and time again, but his withering body and helpless situation is fully understood by Kaitness.

So, based on Sarkeesian's expanded definition, yes, I do consider Peeta to be a Dudesel in Distress. I also don't necessarily enjoy Hunger Games, but I respect the series for what it offers. The only "difference" with Peeta, is that he's a dude awaiting rescue (in Kaitness's case, political rescue, as she convinces District 13 to do something, and rescue him from the clutches of District 1)

---------------------------

My point is that Sarkeesian is overly broad and cherry picks her examples. I think that she has a point on a lot of 80s and maybe early 90s stuff, like Double Dragon or the original Donkey Kong. But the "storylines" of these simple games are so straightforward that you can cover them in two or three sentences.

As games grew into storytelling through the mid 90s and onwards, "classic" Damsel in Distress becomes a lot less common. Zelda's role for example is no longer a classic Damsel in Distress. We discussed this earlier in the topic already, and the best people seem to be able to come up with is a short-time frame in Wind Waker. (Otherwise, Zelda is an active participant in the story in general). I'll give the point to "Tsundere" Zelda as potentially being demeaning for Zelda's character, but discussion of Tsunderes is kind of its own topic...

On Damsels... if we are reduced to "characters that get captured by the enemy", then all of a sudden Private Ryan from the movie "Saving Private Ryan" is a Dudsel in Distress. And I just find that definition so overly broad that it isn't useful at all. That's my qualm. Now if we want to talk about a truly harmful "Damsel in Distress", yeah, I'm willing to talk about real problems I see in video games, anime, TV shows and whatever.

A particular anime example sticks out to me as a recent example that I want to talk about. The "Faux Action Girl" trope, satisfied by Asuna from Sword Art Online (anime)
Spoiler:
Image

And a few episodes later...

Image


I can think of a couple of examples out there, but the "Faux Action Girl" is often introduced as a powerful character, equal to the male characters. The show may even go out of their way to establish a "moment of badassery" or two. Usually against mooks, or more commonly... the chick on the opponent's team.

But when push comes to shove, Asuna really does fall into the true Damsel in Distress trope. But even then, whenever battles start, the main character has to help Asuna out as she puts herself into trouble. Etc. etc.

See here for all examples: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/m ... actiongirl

It isn't so much the "Damsel" part that makes Asuna's position demeaning, its her fall from "alleged" Action Girl status. Its the position of being a female action hero, who is never really a "hero" and never really faces off against the villain.

I should note that "Faux Action Girl" is separate from tropes where a powerful character is defeated by an enemy to demonstrate that enemy's strength. Vegita for example, from Dragonball Z, serves this role. Indeed, the cast of "Primary Villains" (Freeza, Cell, and Buu) all defeat Vegita, before the main fight against Goku (Goku serves as the main character, Earth's last hope, the final hero, etc. etc.).

When "Faux Action Girls" are defeated, they aren't defeated to make the enemy seem like a serious enemy. They're defeated so that they can be put into Damsel in Distress positions (most commonly anyway). While the primary reason Vegita is defeated is to demonstrate that the fight deserves the attention of the hero.

So the Damsel in Distress trope, when associated with Faux Action Girl, is especially harmful. But I don't necessarily think that Damsel in Distress in general is a particularly bad trope. You can handle it decently (Peeta / Kaitness), and sometimes, you can handle it poorly (Asuna / Kirito from SAO). The devil is in the details, and those details are glossed over by Sarkeesian.

Generally speaking though, when video games have a playable female character, they are often balanced against the male characters. Female characters traditionally have been faster (Kasumi Dead or Alive, Chun Li from Street Fighter, Tifa from FFVII), or smarter (Yuna from FFX, Paula from Earthbound) than their male counterparts, giving them an edge in battle. So it is extremely difficult for me to think of demeaning "faux action girls", especially if they're part of the playable cast in video games.

Spoiler:
"Males are Stronger" has also been inverted a few times. Hitomi and Tina are amongst of the strongest characters physically, with Hitomi having a slow and powerful Karate style, and Tina being a wrestler. Now we can talk about their massive bouncing breasts some other time, but from a storyline perspective... DoA actually avoids a lot of the "evil tropes" like DiD.

Arguably Hitomi is an Ein clone, but transforming a former male character into a female character in the next iteration of the game (Ein in DoA2 -> Hitomi DoA3) is generally a good thing, right? Especially if Hitomi naturally fits in with the cast.

It should be noted that in Video Games, the trademarks of the "Powerful Female Character" is large breast size or a long skirt. Don't ask why, but that's the trope. I think this deserves discussion as well however, but its a separate topic.


-------------

I also think that "Designated Chick Fight" is a bit of a harmful trope as well, but video games generally are more inclusive of female playable characters. Lady Yunalesca (evil bad guy from FFX) gets a symmetric beatdown from the entire cast, male or female. The whole "Chicks can only hit chicks" rule is broken in most video games.

"Token Female" on both sides fight each other, almost every time. But that's because the "Token" trope is also harmful. (Token Black Guy. Token Chick. Token disabled person...). Its a rather lazy way to include "diversity" into an otherwise white-washed cast.

--------------

Another point from Sarkeesian recently was the all-male cast of Team Fortress 2. But then it seems like she's unaware of all-female cast of Touhou. I think single-gendered casts aren't necessarily a bad thing, and honestly... I play a lot more games with 100% female casts. (Skullgirls, Touhou, Arcana Hearts, FFX-2)

That's why I point out the "Token Chick" to actually be more demeaning than say, the all-male cast of Team Fortress 2. The "Token Chick" is the one female, lazily added to the rest of the cast so that feminists can shut up. And when you have a "Token Chick", she rarely fights at the same level.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:09 pm UTC

Derek wrote:Violence towards women is not endemic in games. Violence towards men is endemic. But somehow that's never a problem. You can mow down thousands of male mooks in a game, but one woman gets killed and suddenly your game is misogynistic. Most of these games won't even put a woman in a combat situation for fear of moral guardians. A game like GTA is the exception here, where all NPCs are treated equally. You can kill a prostitute a take her money, just like you can kill every male NPC and take their money. That's equality.

Devil's Advocate, almost all the time the men have the chance to fight back. Non devil's advocate, why would that be acceptable either?

The idea that just because entertainment portrays something means that society is ok with it is ludicrous, and never established in Anita's videos.

What is established in Anita's videos, by citing actual studies instead of people pulling things out of their ass on the net, is that playing games with misogynistic tropes tends to exacerbate the misogynistic prejudices in the player. Which is her complaint.

And I'm going to assume that you didn't just imply that society thinks killing prostitutes is ok.

Not "ok", sure, but certainly the going meme is that it's "less bad" than a vanilla murder. Heck, look at how long it takes for anyone to speak up against the cop that was raping all of those prostitutes.

Your first sentence is saying that games are only a reflection of a society that already holds harmful views. Your second is saying that games will cause society to adopt these harmful views. Which is it?

No, they didn't. Read it again.

The number is heavily influenced by genre and platform. The audience for AAA action games is overwhelmingly male, usually 80+%. If you add "competitive" to that description, it goes to 90+%. These are the games that Anita spends most of her videos talking about. The audience for mobile games on the other hand skews towards women (not as overwhelmingly, maybe 60% or so), and simulation games, single player games, and co-op games are relatively more popular with women than other genres.

Wait wait wait:
The demographic argument is not as obvious as just looking at the number of female gamers though. If they aren't playing the AAA games (or any story driven game where the tropes generally come into play) the argument about target audiences becomes less clear. Looking at the ESA data it's not obvious if that breakdown by genre is available (at least publicly).

Where are we getting these numbers? The reddit link has coverage for individual games, as well as the Core-Casual thing, but I don't see something specifically about the AAA thing.

My point is that Sarkeesian is overly broad and cherry picks her examples. I think that she has a point on a lot of 80s and maybe early 90s stuff, like Double Dragon or the original Donkey Kong. But the "storylines" of these simple games are so straightforward that you can cover them in two or three sentences.

How is that cherrypicking? You brought up one example that doesn't even negate the trope, just show that there is at least one work with a genderflip. What is your point with Hunger Games? That men exist?

As games grew into storytelling through the mid 90s and onwards, "classic" Damsel in Distress becomes a lot less common. Zelda's role for example is no longer a classic Damsel in Distress. We discussed this earlier in the topic already, and the best people seem to be able to come up with is a short-time frame in Wind Waker. (Otherwise, Zelda is an active participant in the story in general). I'll give the point to "Tsundere" Zelda as potentially being demeaning for Zelda's character, but discussion of Tsunderes is kind of its own topic...

All of Phantom Hourglass, Four Swords Adventures, The Minish Cap, and Twilight Princess (until the end in which the Villain just takes her body, so she doesn't even get her mind), nearly all of Skyward Sword, a lot of Spirit Tracks has her explicitly stating that it's "her place" to just wait and let the hero get things done, until he convinces her to possess a Phantom -- and then the gameplay for the Phantom incorporates laughable stereotypes like her being brought to tears by the existence of mice -- and then the villain steals her body again until the end of the game. In Hyrule Warriors, she runs away for, like, no reason whatsoever, going undercover as Sheik while the heroes spend the first half of the game trying to rescue her.

So, no? I'm a longtime Zelda fan, and I'll still tell you that saying "she hasn't been a DiD since WW" is hugely inaccurate.

On Damsels... if we are reduced to "characters that get captured by the enemy", then all of a sudden Private Ryan from the movie "Saving Private Ryan" is a Dudsel in Distress. And I just find that definition so overly broad that it isn't useful at all. That's my qualm. Now if we want to talk about a truly harmful "Damsel in Distress", yeah, I'm willing to talk about real problems I see in video games, anime, TV shows and whatever.

What definition? The trope is "stock character that has their agency removed, with the message that it is best for them to rely on others to accomplish everything necessary in their survival". The problem is not so much that it exists at all, but that it is pervasibely used to depict women in that state. Heck, the most-active-damsel game in the Zelda series, which you chose to bring up again, even has her character very blatantly embody internalized damseling, claiming that there's nothing she can do and she should just let Link do all the work because that's "her place". Like, what do you think those lines were meant to reference? The idea that Zelda is totally the protagonist in all the other games, and is the one who always conquers the dungeons and defeats Ganon?

But I don't necessarily think that Damsel in Distress in general is a particularly bad trope. You can handle it decently (Peeta / Kaitness), and sometimes, you can handle it poorly (Asuna / Kirito from SAO). The devil is in the details, and those details are glossed over by Sarkeesian.

I seriously don't know how else to tell you that the problem Sarkeesian and literally every other critic is pointing out is not that the trope exists at all, but that it is almost eternally applied to men and women in the exact same format, with that trend implying that this is the "proper way of things". Seriously, the Spirit Tracks game you referenced yonks ago had referencing and then dismantling this way of thinking as its entire goal.

Female characters traditionally have been faster (Kasumi Dead or Alive, Chun Li from Street Fighter, Tifa from FFVII), or smarter (Yuna from FFX, Paula from Earthbound) than their male counterparts, giving them an edge in battle.

While male characters are traditionally stronger and able to deal with problems face-to-face instead of relying on ranged weapons, right?

You can tell that that's a trend you're talking about, right? That saying "you have to be in this box to be in the proper role" is the problem we're pointing out?

"Males are Stronger" has also been inverted a few times.

You get that 5 on one hand, 1000 on the other makes the 5 basically negligible for the paradigm we're talking about, right?

DoA actually avoids a lot of the "evil tropes" like DiD.

Seriously the "Tropes" is in the name. No one is arguing that if there was only one book with these plot templates in them, it would burn women on contact like some kind of Un-Holy Water. It's the fact that this is what they're surrounded with everywhere that wears them down.

I meant the beginning of the third book where Peeta is actually kidnapped and she is trying to save him. Of course, it turns out that she fails to save him from captivity (he is pretty much handed back) and she also fails to help him deal with the psychological conditioning (i.e. emotional problems resulting from captivity). If you look at just their relationship, she is always the passive one. He is the one that notices her first and falls in love. He is the one that gets into trouble to get her food when she really needs it. He is the one that proposes they are together and he is the one that backs off when she can't make up his mind. He is the one that sacrifices himself so she can escape at the end of the second book. He is the one that puts in the effort of overcoming the psycological conditioning so he can be near her again. At the end of the story, he is the one that is her emotional support for the rest of their lives. By comparison Katniss just sits there and is loved at.

Honestly, I always just saw them as a reversal of the strong and silent type protagonist and the excessively emotional love interest tropes. Of course, the end of the story is a comment on how strong-and-silent doesn't mean self-sufficient and being able to express emotions can actually be a strength.

That's fair, I guess. I saw Peeta as more of the stalker type, with Katniss and Gaiayle (sp?) as the actual relationship she had any interest in -- and in that one, she seems a lot more dynamic.

If people can't see the difference between reality and fantasy, that's an issue they will have either way.
In the game it's just a story mechanic, in reality, "easily influenced people"(putting it politely) may think that's how you should act in reality. But that goes as said before with any media, can we say the bible and torah teach rape murder and bigoted attitudes because of characters in them? There are some good lessons in those shitty books. We have a word for people who lack empathy, psychopath.

Um.

Like...you see what you said, right?

"can we say the bible and torah teach rape murder and bigoted attitudes because of characters in them?"

Yeeeeesss? I mean, like, historically, non-controversally, resoundingly, yes? Huge amounts of rape, murder, and bigotry have happened stemming from how people interpreted these books? Like, that's a thing that's happened. Wars and centuries-long unrest have happened because of them.

Did you not know that?

We have a word for people who lack empathy, psychopath.

Okay, it's nice that we have a word for them, but...they still exist, you get that right? Knowing what to call them doesn't save those around them from getting hurt.

Just to make it clear -- Anita is not saying that the mere existence, in any quantity, of these tropes is harmful. She's not saying that good people aren't allowed to enjoy the works that have them in them. I enjoy the hell out of the Cthulhu Mythos, even though it's almost top to bottom racism -- I just make sure I'm aware of that, and catch myself if my mind starts applying the fictional narrative to real life. But that's the whole point -- these messages are everywhere, and pretty undeniably color how people think. The way DNA works in crime shows is complete bullshit, but guess what? Now people think that's how DNA works, and trials have been ruined by it. The idea that fiction doesn't affect how people view the world around them is such gargantuan, rose-tinted bullshit that it's hard to even respond to seriously.

As I said before, If you highlight only one part of the story like she does it's easy to make it sound evil.

Jesus.

She is seriously not saying "these games are evil". She's saying "this is a trend that pervades the medium and can be harmful because of that pervasiveness, if you don't understand the mechanics of the trope then here's an illustration."

She makes sure to say "it's okay to like these games as long as you remember to separate fiction from reality" in nearly every episode, indeed, almost every speech she's ever made. Like, do you guys need her to say it every paragraph before you'll remember that she said it? You're massively misunderstanding what the complaint even is, much less coming up with a cogent rebuttal for why she shouldn't be bothered by it (or even what would actually be helpful, a solution!).
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:40 pm UTC

While male characters are traditionally stronger and able to deal with problems face-to-face instead of relying on ranged weapons, right?


Erm... every character I listed there is a female hand-to-hand combat user. The fighting game chicks are all hand-to-hand by nature of their design: Chun-Li, Kasumi, Tina.

For the RPG girls, I'll give you Yuna / Lulu in FFX, but the cast of Final Fantasy girls is pretty well distributed. While there are the "summoners" like Yuna and Rydia who fight from the backlines, there are plenty of female characters like Tifa Lockheart (FFVII) or Lightning (FFXIII) and Fang (FFXIII) that fight on the front-lines.

In fact, Tifa Lockheart is the front-line bruiser of her game. The backliner of that game was Barret, the husky token black guy. For FFXIII, the children "Hope" (male) and "Vanille" (female) are backliners. Of the adults, only Sahz is a backliner, with his dual pistols. In fact, the "frontline" of characters with melee attacks are Lightning, Fang, and Snow. 2/3rds of which are female.

This isn't getting to more obscure examples, like Malik from the Tales of Graces. Yeah, he's a mage, a backliner.

Other examples of "front line" girls range from Lucina, Titania, Lynn, and Erika (FE Awakening, FE 9/10, FE 7 and FE 8). The weapons of choice there are Sword, Axe/Lance, Sword/Bow, and Sword/Lance. Lynn can't even wield a bow until damn near the end of the game, she fights on the front-lines like everyone else. If we go into minor characters, like Nephenee or Meg in FE10, you see heavily-armored females who are designed to hold the line with massive defense. Amelia for FE8, and so forth.

I am pretty sure that Kerrigan is like... the only melee Hero unit in all of Starcraft... outside of maybe Zeratul.

Despite being a WW2-ish setting, you've got Selvaria (enemy) with her lance/shield deflecting Tank Shells in Valkyria Chronicles. The Male Villains (Maximillian, Jaeger, etc.) are Tank commanders, very far in the rear of enemy formations. It was only Selvaria who stepped out and charged, lance and shield, at ... erm... your line of tanks. And Won. Ugghh.

Anyway, your captain of machine gunner shock-tropps is Rosie, who boasts high defense and gets defensive bonuses for charge directly into enemy gunfire. She eventually gets a Flamethrower to one-hit-KO enemies up close and personal, and she's amongst the best units to use in this strategy. (due to her defensive buffs while charging against enemy fire).

I haven't played the PSP games, but I'm aware of the swordmen / swordwomen in those games. Dunno the characters.

So yes, I do think that Video Games are a bit more balanced than other media when it comes to "balanced" playstyles. Video games have to be. If a female character is weak, they buff her so that balance can be achieved.

How is that cherrypicking? You brought up one example that doesn't even negate the trope, just show that there is at least one work with a genderflip. What is your point with Hunger Games? That men exist?


My point is to question you. Is it "wrong" for Peeta to be the Dudsel in Distress in the Hunger Games? A lot of people seem to be arguing that the very existence of "X in Distress" is an illegitimate trope to use. You do address it more in your next quote though.

What definition? The trope is "stock character that has their agency removed, with the message that it is best for them to rely on others to accomplish everything necessary in their survival". The problem is not so much that it exists at all, but that it is pervasibely used to depict women in that state.


Okay then. So if we see more and more inverted examples... such as Lilac's rescue of Torque in Freedom Planet, Peeta / Kaitness in Hunger Games, or whatever, then it will be better?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Derek » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:43 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Devil's Advocate, almost all the time the men have the chance to fight back. Non devil's advocate, why would that be acceptable either?

When the men are mooks for you to kill, yes they can fight back. When they are being killed because the plot of the game calls for it, they often can't. The question then is why don't women show up more often in mook roles. Part of the answer here is realism, and part of it is that given how moral guardians have react to games that let you kill random female NPCs, it's not a big surprise that many games published by large, conservative corporations choose the easy route of not having female NPCs to kill.

The answer to your second question is "because it's entertaining".

What is established in Anita's videos, by citing actual studies instead of people pulling things out of their ass on the net, is that playing games with misogynistic tropes tends to exacerbate the misogynistic prejudices in the player. Which is her complaint.

Care to link those studies? People have also claimed that violent games cause players to behave violently in real life, but studies have repeatedly failed to prove any link. No one is arguing that media doesn't influence people, but it doesn't influence people in a simple "monkey see, monkey do" way.

The number is heavily influenced by genre and platform. The audience for AAA action games is overwhelmingly male, usually 80+%. If you add "competitive" to that description, it goes to 90+%. These are the games that Anita spends most of her videos talking about. The audience for mobile games on the other hand skews towards women (not as overwhelmingly, maybe 60% or so), and simulation games, single player games, and co-op games are relatively more popular with women than other genres.

Wait wait wait:
The demographic argument is not as obvious as just looking at the number of female gamers though. If they aren't playing the AAA games (or any story driven game where the tropes generally come into play) the argument about target audiences becomes less clear. Looking at the ESA data it's not obvious if that breakdown by genre is available (at least publicly).

Where are we getting these numbers? The reddit link has coverage for individual games, as well as the Core-Casual thing, but I don't see something specifically about the AAA thing.

Are you doubting that most AAA games have a male majority audience? To be clear here, AAA games are defined as games with large budgets, big development teams, and usually released at a price point of $50 to $60 (maybe $40 if it's a 3DS game). There are AAA games with even demographics, or even female biased demographics (like The Sims), but most AAA games hare a large male majority in their player base.

Um.

Like...you see what you said, right?

"can we say the bible and torah teach rape murder and bigoted attitudes because of characters in them?"

Yeeeeesss? I mean, like, historically, non-controversally, resoundingly, yes? Huge amounts of rape, murder, and bigotry have happened stemming from how people interpreted these books? Like, that's a thing that's happened. Wars and centuries-long unrest have happened because of them.

Did you not know that?

Those people also interpret the Bible as the literal word of god, not a fictional book.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
While male characters are traditionally stronger and able to deal with problems face-to-face instead of relying on ranged weapons, right?


Erm... every character I listed there is a female hand-to-hand combat user. The fighting game chicks are all hand-to-hand by nature of their design: Chun-Li, Kasumi, Tina.

And there are other female characters. That's the point -- you're complaining about cherrypicking, so when I say "let's look at the trends, then"...shouldn't you be happy to do that?

For the RPG girls, I'll give you Yuna / Lulu in FFX, but the cast of Final Fantasy girls is pretty well distributed. While there are the "summoners" like Yuna and Rydia who fight from the backlines, there are plenty of female characters like Tifa Lockheart (FFVII) or Lightning (FFXIII) and Fang (FFXIII) that fight on the front-lines.

Do me a favor.

Do a quick spreadsheet of the various playable characters in the FF series. Stick to just the numbered/prominent games if you want, we don't need this to go into every single candy crush-style phone game. Organize the characters by direct and indirect fighting.

Tell me if you see a trend in who ends up in which group.

"There are women who are not X" is NOT a negation of "X is generally portrayed as appropriate for women." That there are men who happen to be nurses, or women who happen to be doctors, does not negate that nursing is still overwhelmingly seen as the "woman's job".

So yes, I do think that Video Games are a bit more balanced than other media when it comes to "balanced" playstyles. Video games have to be. If a female character is weak, they buff her so that balance can be achieved.

You're still massively cherrypicking, dude. You're picking a few examples created in order to buck a trend, to claim that the trend wasn't even there in the first place.

As for saying they have to be balanced, I'm not sure where you're getting that claim at all. Unless a video game is designed to be competitive, they don't always try to ensure the characters are balanced. There's a ton of "this is the best character" for almost every game under the sun -- even if we look at your FF examples, almost all of them has an "ideal team" or "mandatory character", with the only one I can think of being done so is when they make all the characters interchangeable, as with FFXII (which...would actually be a good thing for the purposes of this discussion). FFX also had them interchangeable, with some initial role-setting that was very much along traditional lines. FFXIII bucked that trend a bit, very intentionally, which, again, does not demonstrate an absence of the trend.

My point is to question you. Is it "wrong" for Peeta to be the Dudsel in Distress in the Hunger Games? A lot of people seem to be arguing that the very existence of "X in Distress" is an illegitimate trope to use. You do address it more in your next quote though.

No, it's not wrong, and Anita never said it was wrong. She said it was harmful when it becomes pervasive. Telling a woman she can grow up to be a nurse is not WRONG, not in the least. Telling all women, and only women, that they can grow up to be nurses is harmful, just a bit.

Okay then. So if we see more and more inverted examples... such as Lilac's rescue of Torque in Freedom Planet, Peeta / Kaitness in Hunger Games, or whatever, then it will be better?

...yeah, if it is no longer so incredibly pervasive that every work is either following along with it or having to intentionally react to it, it should be fine. Like, if an author can write a work without having to think to themselves, "I need someone to be rescue, so let's create a female character" OR "I don't want anyone calling me out, so let's make them MALE instead" (tokenism) -- when it's not ingrained into how people construct their narratives, then yeah, it will be better.

(This is not to say that tokenism is inherently bad -- after all, some progress is better than no progress, by a wide margin, but you just straight up can't say racism/sexism/etc. is over, when people are still having to consciously reject it.)


When the men are mooks for you to kill, yes they can fight back. When they are being killed because the plot of the game calls for it, they often can't. The question then is why don't women show up more often in mook roles. Part of the answer here is realism, and part of it is that given how moral guardians have react to games that let you kill random female NPCs, it's not a big surprise that many games published by large, conservative corporations choose the easy route of not having female NPCs to kill.

The answer to your second question is "because it's entertaining".

What realism? Are you implying that women aren't in combat roles? Are you aware that that is historically inaccurate?

And I mean, yeah, it's not a surprise that stuff created in a sexist context ends up having sexist tropes. I don't think anyone is "surprised" by this, they're just pointing out "hey, that doesn't make it okay."

Care to link those studies? People have also claimed that violent games cause players to behave violently in real life, but studies have repeatedly failed to prove any link. No one is arguing that media doesn't influence people, but it doesn't influence people in a simple "monkey see, monkey do" way.

(1) When I get home to my other computer, I'll look it up.
(2) Studies have failed to show that violent games will cause a normal player to commit violent acts. HOWEVER, they have shown that violent games will exacerbate aggressive tendencies that already exist in a person. That is the entirety of the crux of the distinction. We've had previous threads in this forum about it, and the objection is usually "Oh, those people were already aggressive"...well, yeah. That doesn't stop them from existing. "Toxin increases mortality in people with disease", that doesn't mean that the toxin is no longer a toxin. It still does the thing. That there is already a seed present doesn't mean that watering it will not cause it to grow.

And even more, that doesn't mean the thing needs to be banned. I can't overstate this enough -- the people pointing out these problems, by and large, are not the ones demanding they be banned over "think of the children" reasoning. What they're asking is that authors and players examine their thought processes and try to consume this stuff critically, instead of consuming it uncredulously like, say, the stereotypical Fox News viewer, or the person who reads a headline and starts screaming that Vaccines are giving children autism.

Are you doubting that most AAA games have a male majority audience? To be clear here, AAA games are defined as games with large budgets, big development teams, and usually released at a price point of $50 to $60 (maybe $40 if it's a 3DS game). There are AAA games with even demographics, or even female biased demographics (like The Sims), but most AAA games hare a large male majority in their player base.

I'm saying I'd like to see where your specific numbers came from. The post above yours claimed that the surveys being done did not nail down numbers on a genre-wide basis. The link you cited gave a lot of helpful numbers for individual games, but did not seem to support the actual numbers you gave.

Those people also interpret the Bible as the literal word of god, not a fictional book.

(This is toeing a fine line in my wording here, since I am a Christian and do interpret the Bible as a message from God, but since it seems you don't then my analysis should still work)

And your point is, what?

That there are people who interpret messages in fiction as nonfiction, and live their lives accordingly?

Like, for example, that completely fabricated book about satanic cults in preschools that led the USA on a witchhunt and put completely innocent people in jail for life?

It sounds like you're saying that there are people who will consume messages, especially when the messages are coming at them from all around, and even if that message isn't factual, will often assume uncritically that the message in that work of fiction represents how the world really works, and will live their lives accordingly.

Is this what you're saying? If it is, I think the conversation is complete, because it sounds like you agree with Anita's central thesis.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Derek » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:23 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:What realism? Are you implying that women aren't in combat roles? Are you aware that that is historically inaccurate?

In most of these games you're fighting generic terrorist-y bad guys (or at least countries that have mandatory male-only conscription). So you would expect to be fighting almost entirely men. Now if you were fighting against the US army or some other western European armies, you would hope to see some female soldiers.

I probably should have put realism in quotes though, these games are more "Hollywood realism" than anything else (because as it turns out, real war isn't fun). They portray what their audience expects real war to look like.

I'm saying I'd like to see where your specific numbers came from. The post above yours claimed that the surveys being done did not nail down numbers on a genre-wide basis. The link you cited gave a lot of helpful numbers for individual games, but did not seem to support the actual numbers you gave.

My number was spitballing based on the specific examples I have seen, and was intentionally left vague. I'm not aware of any studies that have gone into depth breaking down every game, every genre, etc. Most of these numbers are based on statistics that developers have voluntarily released for their own games, or formal studies that don't go any deeper than casual/core/hardcore.

And your point is, what?

"If the literal, non-metaphoric word of god says rape is ok, then it must be ok." This is very different than "GTA lets me kill hookers, so killing hookers must be ok".

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:38 pm UTC

Derek wrote:I probably should have put realism in quotes though, these games are more "Hollywood realism" than anything else (because as it turns out, real war isn't fun). They portray what their audience expects real war to look like.

Very much so, yes, since there are definitely plenty of female terrorists and eastern european soldiers. As strange as it is, even the most misogynistic, "women are literally the spawn of satan sent to tempt men into damnation and must be kept uneducated and servile at all costs" terrorist cults still manage to find women willing to support them.

My number was spitballing based on the specific examples I have seen, and was intentionally left vague. I'm not aware of any studies that have gone into depth breaking down every game, every genre, etc. Most of these numbers are based on statistics that developers have voluntarily released for their own games, or formal studies that don't go any deeper than casual/core/hardcore.

As long as we're clear on that, then. Cool, thanks for the citation.

"If the literal, non-metaphoric word of god says rape is ok, then it must be ok." This is very different than "GTA lets me kill hookers, so killing hookers must be ok".

First off: while I'm not at all claiming that the faithful (TM) haven't done some awful things, I'm not so sure that rapists would never have done what they did if not for tortured bible-based logic. There may be some truly damaged people who believe it's their spiritual duty, or something, but for most the religious angle is, at best, something they tell themselves long after the fact to not feel like they've done something bad, rather than the reason they did it in the first place. And I really don't believe there's any rapists super horrified and uncomfortable with what they're doing, but doing it because they feel they must.

Secondly: It is if the person frames it that way, yes. It's not so functionally different if the medium isn't making it clear that what they're depicting is fictional. Again, I bring up the DNA example -- everyone's very aware that CSI, itself, is fictional, but a too large portion of its audience are unaware that that facet of it is similarly imaginary. I mean, I'm not even trying to argue something like "The matrix makes people think that it's okay to kill those around them, because they're not real", because from what I understand of the case, the person was lying about actually believing that, basically throwing excuses at the wall and seeing what sticks. I'm saying -- yes, the audience recognizes that the events of a story are fictional, but part of how fiction works is to engage you in the setting, and there is a very common and documented phenomenon of the audience not always recognizing that the setting is bullshit as well, especially if the story plays itself off as "set in the real world", or something.

Hell, look at how black people are depicted in the media. That's not accurate, right? It's sometimes vaguely similar to the stories we hear in the news, but we can agree that there is a lot of stereotypes at play in fiction, right? Now, take a look at some of your friends who aren't too familiar with black people, or examine your own thoughts -- can you not detect them treating the claims made by the stereotypes as fact? I mean, I know I live in the Midwest, which is not traditionally known for racial sensitivity in the first place, but I have absolutely caught acquaintances saying something false about "how black people are" and responding with, "uh, no, that's how Family Guy characters are."

I mean, fuck, that's 90% of how stereotypes are propagated in the first place, is through stories.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby jseah » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:53 am UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:For the same reasons that most Holywood movies failing the Bechdel test is a problem. And that is hard to find a movie which fails the reverse-Bechdel test. It shows a terrible trend of treating women a shallow background characters at best, or beautiful eye-candy sex prizes for the men at worst. It highlights the lack of female writers, and how mostly males are directing our culture.

I would agree that this is a social problem. Social problems require a social solution.

I also file this entire scrap under the heading of "society stuff". People and ideas trying to fight it out in the social sphere. So long as it does not exit the social sphere, I don't really care.
(A classic example of my position: Games and media ratings should be voluntary / informative. I don't believe in punishing parents who give their children games rated too old for them, even if those games were pornographic.
EDIT: also sales bans based on ratings is also not something I believe in. But retailers may effectively ban a game by refusing to sell it, that's just good business)


I presume she's not trying to get the law involved? Essentially, merely exercising free speech and social influence? Then, eh. Do whatever.
They're also free to put out counter-videos, call her insults. I draw the line at physcial threats though (doxxing).
And of course the social backlash against insults is also perfectly justified. All part of the strategy of the manipulation of the behaviour of society.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

jseah wrote:I don't believe in punishing parents who give their children games rated too old for them, even if those games were pornographic.

Have any parents ever actually been punished? I know the clerks will try to stop you unless you have parent permission (which is already totally acceptable), but I thought most of the ire at these incidents is thrown at the stores for purportedly "tricking" the parents into buying something inappropriate for their children. "How dare you sell this filth!", etc.

I may be wrong. Is anyone aware of any cases of a parent being charged for letting their child play an inappropriate game?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:34 pm UTC

I'm not aware of any laws designed to punish parents who provide age-restricted video games (or films, for that matter) to their own underage children and, say, underage guests at their own children's parties. (Although I was mightily miffed once when a parent showed a scary movie to my 10-year-old daughter at a birthday party without clearing it with me in advance, that's not the sort of situation in which a legislative solution would have been the best one, anyway.)

The purpose of the laws restricting the sale of such things to minors without parental consent is to support parents' right to set their own restrictions on their own kids, not to criminalize parental decisions.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:50 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
Those people also interpret the Bible as the literal word of god, not a fictional book.

(This is toeing a fine line in my wording here, since I am a Christian and do interpret the Bible as a message from God, but since it seems you don't then my analysis should still work)

And your point is, what?

That there are people who interpret messages in fiction as nonfiction, and live their lives accordingly?

Like, for example, that completely fabricated book about satanic cults in preschools that led the USA on a witchhunt and put completely innocent people in jail for life?

It sounds like you're saying that there are people who will consume messages, especially when the messages are coming at them from all around, and even if that message isn't factual, will often assume uncritically that the message in that work of fiction represents how the world really works, and will live their lives accordingly.

Is this what you're saying? If it is, I think the conversation is complete, because it sounds like you agree with Anita's central thesis.


There is a significant difference between "fiction portrayed as non-fiction" and "fiction sold as straight up fiction". I suspect most of us are cool with a certain degree of fictionalized fantasy in games, books or whatever, but are less thrilled with people passing off BS as fact. The latter is obviously dangerous. If you know fiction is fiction, then whatever. Leaving aside the specific bible bit, your example comes across as straight up fraud.

Gamers, both male and female, are generally capable of distinguishing fantasy from reality, and thus, something portrayed as fantasy is not different than a similarly fantastical movie. Your comparison is a bit like saying "faked documentary, fictional movie, what's the difference?"

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:29 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote:
Those people also interpret the Bible as the literal word of god, not a fictional book.

(This is toeing a fine line in my wording here, since I am a Christian and do interpret the Bible as a message from God, but since it seems you don't then my analysis should still work)

And your point is, what?

That there are people who interpret messages in fiction as nonfiction, and live their lives accordingly?

Like, for example, that completely fabricated book about satanic cults in preschools that led the USA on a witchhunt and put completely innocent people in jail for life?

It sounds like you're saying that there are people who will consume messages, especially when the messages are coming at them from all around, and even if that message isn't factual, will often assume uncritically that the message in that work of fiction represents how the world really works, and will live their lives accordingly.

Is this what you're saying? If it is, I think the conversation is complete, because it sounds like you agree with Anita's central thesis.


There is a significant difference between "fiction portrayed as non-fiction" and "fiction sold as straight up fiction". I suspect most of us are cool with a certain degree of fictionalized fantasy in games, books or whatever, but are less thrilled with people passing off BS as fact. The latter is obviously dangerous. If you know fiction is fiction, then whatever. Leaving aside the specific bible bit, your example comes across as straight up fraud.

Gamers, both male and female, are generally capable of distinguishing fantasy from reality, and thus, something portrayed as fantasy is not different than a similarly fantastical movie. Your comparison is a bit like saying "faked documentary, fictional movie, what's the difference?"

Not quite.

Obvious fantasy can still have elements it portrays as real fact. Case in point, how DNA is treated in CSI, or more on topic, whether transwomen are "real women", or what is the appropriate role for a woman or PoC -- especially whether having women or PoC in places of prominence or martial roles in historical fiction is "realistic" or not, because HOLY SHIT are many gamers (well, people in general), not able to tell fact from fiction on that account. It's often like they think "going to other countries" was invented in the 1600s, or something.

IN THIS REGARD, there's not a whole lot of difference between a faked documentary and obviously fictional movie, before we even get into the people who thought Rose was really on the Titanic, etc. The events may be recognized as fictional, the setting, incredibly and astoundingly often, is not. We would not have problems like the legal system decrying the pollutive influence of CSI on jury trials if this was not true.

In short, it really shouldn't be so controversial to point out that humanity is composed of a shit-ton of credulous people who'd try to start bonfires and try to get stuff banned before actually checking how the Bible defines a witch (essentially, as necromancers who make deals with spirits, not as xmen who "God has seen fit to bless"), or send people to jail for life based on exactly nothing more than a work of fiction, sooner than they'd do even the barest minimum of research or even just call up the author and say "hey, did this actually happen?"

If something is portrayed as fantasy, I totally agree! We probably weren't going to be able to mitigate the damage the person who lives as if it was real causes anyway. That's not what people are taking issue with, however.

Derek -- I'm still waiting on getting access to my home PC, I'll try to get you the link as soon as I can. Sorry for the wait.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:25 pm UTC

Clarification: My point is not that all fiction is inherently okay...it isn't. Just that the lines are different for fiction vs reality, and thus, it's not an inherently apples to apples comparison.

Hell, you can have a fiction that's very clearly portrayed as fantasy, but be disturbing on the level of "holy crap, why are they fantasizing about THAT".

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:04 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Clarification: My point is not that all fiction is inherently okay...it isn't. Just that the lines are different for fiction vs reality, and thus, it's not an inherently apples to apples comparison.

Hell, you can have a fiction that's very clearly portrayed as fantasy, but be disturbing on the level of "holy crap, why are they fantasizing about THAT".

Okay. I hope I clarified my point to your satisfaction, at least?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby jseah » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:43 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Hell, you can have a fiction that's very clearly portrayed as fantasy, but be disturbing on the level of "holy crap, why are they fantasizing about THAT".

So long as it stays fictional, I have no problems.
Well I could get annoyed if they tried to push something I didn't like.

I don't think it would even prevent us being friends, so long as there are other compatible traits.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Felstaff » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:48 pm UTC

Interesting read on how the tactics of Gamergaters should have been seen as a template for the emergence of the alt-right movement.

Looking back, Gamergate really only made sense in one way: as an exemplar of what Umberto Eco called “eternal fascism”, a form of extremism he believed could flourish at any point in, in any place – a fascism that would extol traditional values, rally against diversity and cultural critics, believe in the value of action above thought and encourage a distrust of intellectuals or experts – a fascism built on frustration and machismo. The requirement of this formless fascism would – above all else – be to remain in an endless state of conflict, a fight against a foe who must always be portrayed as impossibly strong and laughably weak. This was the methodology of Gamergate, and it now forms the basis of the contemporary far-right movement.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:04 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Interesting read on how the tactics of Gamergaters should have been seen as a template for the emergence of the alt-right movement.


The tactics employed by Gamergaters (at least, the "evil" ones harassing, causing death threats, and whatnot) were equivalent to the tactics employed by the anti-Scientology crowd, which were equivalent to the tactics developed by /b/ and SomethingAwful almost a decade ago. Forum invasions, rallying your supporters through online messaging?

That's tactics, not politics.

The SOPA==Censorship (which took over Wikipedia and online social media by storm) has the same tactics employed. BBC confuses politics for tactics. There's nothing "alt-right" about online harassment or rallying through the internet. They're simply tactics used by the people who know how to control crowds online.

What I can agree with is that Donald Trump managed to tap into this crowd... probably accidentally. /r/The_Donald was brigading votes and making fake news stories across Facebook. These are standard tactics that have been "weaponized" and practiced for the past decades through online discussions at /b/ and SomethingAwful.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:12 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The tactics employed by Gamergaters (at least, the "evil" ones harassing, causing death threats, and whatnot) were equivalent to the tactics employed by the anti-Scientology crowd, which were equivalent to the tactics developed by /b/ and SomethingAwful almost a decade ago. Forum invasions, rallying your supporters through online messaging?

That's tactics, not politics.

The SOPA==Censorship (which took over Wikipedia and online social media by storm) has the same tactics employed. BBC confuses politics for tactics. There's nothing "alt-right" about online harassment or rallying through the internet. They're simply tactics used by the people who know how to control crowds online.
The alt right is notorious for similar tactics; they've only recently begun emerging as a political force. The comparison still stands: Imagine if Gamergate had enough momentum to break into politics.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:50 pm UTC

Imagine if Gamergate had enough momentum to break into politics.

I tried to imagine how that would be different from the Trump campaign.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:12 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:The tactics employed by Gamergaters (at least, the "evil" ones harassing, causing death threats, and whatnot) were equivalent to the tactics employed by the anti-Scientology crowd, which were equivalent to the tactics developed by /b/ and SomethingAwful almost a decade ago. Forum invasions, rallying your supporters through online messaging?

That's tactics, not politics.

The SOPA==Censorship (which took over Wikipedia and online social media by storm) has the same tactics employed. BBC confuses politics for tactics. There's nothing "alt-right" about online harassment or rallying through the internet. They're simply tactics used by the people who know how to control crowds online.
The alt right is notorious for similar tactics; they've only recently begun emerging as a political force. The comparison still stands: Imagine if Gamergate had enough momentum to break into politics.


My point is that it isn't "only" the alt-right employing these tactics. These are the tactics of an internet that has the ability to affect politics. Eight years ago, the politics of the internet allowed Barrack Obama to become President, and on the small scale the harassment and trolling was still happening at that time.

This year, the /r/The_Donald crowd and Alt-Right managed to employ the tactics decisively. But I don't think it is any more fair to associate /r/The_Donald with GamerGate. They are uniquely different movements.

True, /r/The_Donald, GamerGate, Anonymous, Anti-SOPA, and Anti-Scientology all were internet-based political forces. But the groups are very different. It is a mistake to lump them all together as a singular group or entity... they are at best connected to each other as much as the "proto-entities" of the early 2000s: LUEsers, /b/tards, and SomethingAwful.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:17 pm UTC

I don't think the article is doing that? I should probably read it more carefully, but it seems to be describing them not as the same movement, but movements which come from the same kind of uber-macho fascist impulse.
Zamfir wrote:I tried to imagine how that would be different from the Trump campaign.
Didn't Charlie Brooker once describe Twitter as the most popular game ever? That makes Trump one of the greatest gamers ever.

Not sure how to feel about that.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby Sizik » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:21 pm UTC

I would be surprised if a vast majority of gamergaters are not also Trump supporters, especially given that both movements are supported by Breitbart.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:30 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I don't think the article is doing that? I should probably read it more carefully, but it seems to be describing them not as the same movement, but movements which come from the same kind of masochistic fascist impulse.


I'm assuming you're taking this line and running with it:

Many had embraced Gamergate because they felt it wholly matched their ideals, and yet – quite consistently – no one in the movement was willing to be associated with the abuse being carried out in its name.


This is not unique to the alt-right or Donald Trump.

ALL movements have this problem. Were you around when Occupy Wall Street was taking place a few years ago? People were literally shitting on cop-cars, starting arsons, taking advantage of the environment of the protests to loot shops... etc. etc. But Occupiers were also unwilling to be associated with those people.

And why should they? If Occupiers in New York City were peaceful... but it was Occupiers in Oregon who fucked up that day... why should Occupiers from New York City feel like they're responsible for the actions of Occupy Oregon?

----------

The article is written from the same bullshit perspective of blaming people for crimes that other people have committed. It has happened with Trump supporters (non-racist people... and everyone was trying to convince them that they're racist). It has happened with Gamergate (just people who didn't like Kotaku's writing style... and all the feminists trying to convince them that they were misogynists). And finally with Occupiers (people who didn't like Wall Street... but everyone was trying to convince them that they were rioting, looting, black-bloc jackasses).

Its a line of argument that just doesn't work, because these are not groups or even ideologies. No one is loyal to the name of Gamergate, Occupy Wall Street, Donald Trump, or even ISIS and Al Qaeda.

-------

So the article fundamentally misses WHY these movements were invulnerable to criticism, while simultaneously trying to write as if they're related. It fundamentally doesn't "get" why these online movements gained power and spends paragraphs and paragraphs talking about bullshit hypotheticals. The author fundamentally don't understand what has happened, and spends many paragraphs proving their ignorance.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:37 pm UTC

But the people associated with the Wall Street movement were trying to break down a system that objectifies, and -- like, literally -- produces death and misery. The Gamergate people were concerned about... What was it? The state of video gaming journalism?

When the stakes are that ridiculously low -- and a significant portion of your movement is engaged in abusive behavior -- it's probably time to step back and seriously reassess. I think we can understand the anger of something like the Occupy movement, and why it might get out of hand; fuck me if anyone can understand how the state of video game journalism somehow led to rape threats.

Edit: I see you added more before I posted! I think you're reading more into the article than what's there; I think it's just (correctly) connecting the ideological dots between Gamergate and the alt-right; the entitlement, the macho fascism, and the desperate quest to maintain one's relevance in a world that's rapidly expanding beyond the boundaries of white middle-class male experience.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:42 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:fuck me if anyone can understand how the state of video game journalism somehow led to rape threats.


Because that was the tactics that are used to spread a movement online. What part of that don't you understand? The threat of physical attacks were a huge part of what made the Anti-Scientology thing work years ago. People glorify threats and use that to rally behind a cause. It forces opponents to overreact, and that's when you make a move.

Its the exact same reason why Black-Bloc joined Occupy Wall Street. Because threats and trolling creates press, press creates outrage, and outrage spreads the message of the movement. But how many people inside of Occupy Wall Street acknowledged the Black Bloc jackasses who helped get more attention to the movement?

Nobody, because nobody wants to be associated with the assholes.

Win / Win for everybody.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:08 pm UTC

Okay, but that doesn't seem to counter the article's point? Which is that Gamergate's nastiness comes from the same sort of macho fascist impulse that spawned the alt-right; these movements seem to share a lot of genetic code, and it's unsurprising to see some of the people involved in Gamergate also involved in the alt-right.

(Unless you're claiming that Gamergate *wasn't* a complete cesspool like the alt right was?)

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:05 pm UTC

I deleted my previous post and sent you a PM with regards to my personal memories of the subject.

2014 was a long time ago I guess. I don't trust myself to accurately describe the situation anymore publicly. But to answer your question...

The Great Hippo wrote:(Unless you're claiming that Gamergate *wasn't* a complete cesspool like the alt right was?)


No. I don't believe it was. And I believe the entire point of Gamergate was that they weren't. Based on my personal experience hanging around 8chan, 4chan, and KotakuInAction... my conclusion of the situation was that the major hubs of Gamergate were anti-doxxing, anti-Nazi, anti-harassment.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby maybeagnostic » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:13 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Which is that Gamergate's nastiness comes from the same sort of macho fascist impulse that spawned the alt-right;

I find that hard to accept when there was plenty of nastiness on both sides. Unless you are saying that both sides of Gamergate were inspired by a macho fascist impulse?
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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:29 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:Which is that Gamergate's nastiness comes from the same sort of macho fascist impulse that spawned the alt-right;

I find that hard to accept when there was plenty of nastiness on both sides. Unless you are saying that both sides of Gamergate were inspired by a macho fascist impulse?


Worse: plenty of unattributable nastiness.

We all knew that nasty things were happening to both sides of people involved in Gamergate: both on the Zoe Quinn side and on the Gamergate side. But neither side took responsibility for the nasty behavior.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:42 pm UTC

Fair enough, and I apologize for implying that it was a simple dichotomy between nasty people and nice people. I'm certain that, like most things, it was more complicated than that.

To be more precise, though: I think it's easy to see where the nasty parts of the pro-Gamergate crowd share a certain genetic code with the alt-right. Those specific parts (let's call them the ass-hats), in my (notably limited) experience, expressed strikingly similar views to what the article is describing... Views which also align deeply with the alt-right: An uber-macho fascism that describes the enemy (for there always must be one) as both laughably impotent and horrifyingly powerful; an enemy that threatens to metaphorically castrate men, feminizing spaces that were once "male-dominated", while also shoving diversity down everyone's throats.

I'm more than open to the idea that these asshats don't represent Gamergate in totality, but they were part of Gamergate (in some sense), and they're pretty much the entirety of the alt right now.

I think there's definitely a connection, there, and we stand to learn something by examining that connection.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:50 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Fair enough, and I apologize for implying that it was a simple dichotomy between nasty people and nice people. I'm certain that, like most things, it was more complicated than that.

To be more precise, though: I think it's easy to see where the nasty parts of the pro-Gamergate crowd share a certain genetic code with the alt-right. Those specific parts (let's call them the ass-hats), in my (notably limited) experience, expressed strikingly similar views to what the article is describing... Views which also align deeply with the alt-right: An uber-macho fascism that describes the enemy (for there always must be one) as both laughably impotent and horrifyingly powerful; an enemy that threatens to metaphorically castrate men, feminizing spaces that were once "male-dominated", while also shoving diversity down everyone's throats.

I'm more than open to the idea that these asshats don't represent Gamergate in totality, but they were part of Gamergate (in some sense), and they're pretty much the entirety of the alt right now.


I'll toss you a bone. The term "Social Justice Warrior" (and the concepts behind that) was coopted by the alt-right and "weaponized" to be used through the last election. The term was no longer "SJ Ws" but "PC", but the concept is shared between the two groups. (Holy shit: SJ W has been word-filtered)

But that's about where I'll draw the line. It's not about "metaphorically castrating men", or "Feminizing spaces". I do recall plenty of Gamergaters who were fine with self-described feminists. Consider: Gamergate found Factual Feminist / Based mom fine. And they worked to spread her message throughout the Gamergate movement as "The Feminist who gets Gamergate".

The concept here, is that if you make yourself an enemy of the left, they will do everything in their power to make you look like a misogynistic, racist asshole. And yes, that was certainly a concept shared by both the Alt-Right and Gamergate. One group is more deserving of that label however than the other.

Besides, I hardly think that Gamergate's platform was successful. It was kind of just an internet drama that unfolded years ago. Tying the election of Donald Trump to Gamergate seems rather ridiculous to me.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:08 am UTC

When I talk about the people involved in Gamergate who were saying things like that, I'm thinking of actual people -- like Phil Mason, aka thunderf00t (from YouTube fame) -- who's opposition to feminism and it's "intrusion" into gaming spaces was so absurdly alarmist that you might mistake his stance on feminism for a stance on, like, the KKK. Or other people I've interacted with personally, who's opinions seem to boil down to Clarence Boddicker's nuanced position on "bitches".

These are individual cases; I understand it wouldn't be fair to describe Gamergate by pointing at the most repulsive participants anymore than it's fair to describe Occupy Wall Street by pointing at their most repulsive participants. But those repulsive elements existed; they had a distinct flavor of misogynistic anti-diversity to them. What's even more important is that these people were computer-literate -- something which is very relevant when considering the alt right.

I think liberals -- and, hell, just anyone who doesn't like misogyny, racism, and xenophobia in general -- presume their side has a monopoly on technology, media-savvy, and computer literacy. The alt right -- and the nastier elements of Gamergate -- demonstrate that this is not the case.

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Re: Gamergate

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:14 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:What's even more important is that these people were computer-literate -- something which is very relevant when considering the alt right.


Why would that be surprising?

I bet you that the alt-right (aka: Stormfront) gets more trolls and hacking attempts in their forum than anybody else. If you want to hold a location online (and if you're a "hated" group, like white-supremacists), the constant barrage of attacks forces you to be good with technology.

When I talk about the people involved in Gamergate who were saying things like that, I'm thinking of actual people -- like Phil Mason, aka thunderf00t (from YouTube fame) -- who's opposition to feminism and it's "intrusion" into gaming spaces was so absurdly alarmist that you might mistake his stance on feminism for a stance on, like, the KKK.


Thunderf00t seems to be just anti-Sarkeesian however. He probably sided with Gamergate because Sarkeesian sided with Zoe Quinn.

There's a bit of silliness to the whole drama. The whole Gamergate thing included a bunch of weird people drawing arbitrary lines in the sand. Part of the issue is that neither side was very well defined.
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Re: Gamergate

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:23 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Besides, I hardly think that Gamergate's platform was successful. It was kind of just an internet drama that unfolded years ago. Tying the election of Donald Trump to Gamergate seems rather ridiculous to me.
I think it's less "Gamergate was the Trump campaign's beta" and more "the nastier elements of Gamergate were a harbinger of the alt right -- a movement steeped in white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia -- and armed with computer literacy and an interest in social media".

I don't think Gamergate is responsible for Trump; I don't think the article is claiming that, either. I think the article is pointing out that you can see how there's a strong resemblance between Gamergate's asshats and the alt right; they share some sort of genetic code.
Why would that be surprising?
I don't think it should be surprising, but I think it nevertheless surprises a lot of people. It's easy to think of people with horrible views as being unintelligent, or incapable of adapting along with technological progress.

I was giving it as an example of one thing we can learn by comparing the two: Being in the moral right doesn't give you a monopoly on things like knowledge or science.


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