Jump to content

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies


Recommended Posts

I don't know why we are still talking about the ThunderF00t response. I picked it apart a few pages ago, and no one challenged most of what I said. We probably shouldn't talk past each other, lest anyone thinks that video is anything more than a bad joke.

Some people still agree with Thunderf00t's video, despite your disagreements with it. What's there to not understand? I hope you don't think I was one that's talking past you because I did reply to your initial reply, I'm just not that interested in arguing for pages over something we'll just never agree on. I said my piece, you said yours.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 2.1k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Andy, I do think there's a line between criticism and advocacy (or, on an extreme end of the spectrum, propaganda)... criticism would be primarily interested in the merit of a work; advocacy would use

Well said; I just don't view it as zero-sum, nor do I view "hardcore" gaming as something that necessarily needs to evaporate to let the medium truly flourish. It can't be the standard-bearer for the

The nuance is that he doesn't believe that belief has anything to do with it, and that a person's actions are inseparable from their character or that there is any belief beyond what is in accordance

Some people still agree with Thunderf00t's video, despite your disagreements with it.

yeah see the problem though is that all of ash's disagreements with the video are more or less objectively correct

like I suppose it's your right to have an opinion about it but that doesn't make it valid or intelligent

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for being civil, Bleck. If you have a specific example to make that proves me wrong, then make it rather than calling me stupid for disagreeing with you. I personally thought Ash made some good points but missed the main arguments in the video.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for being civil, Bleck. If you have a specific example to make that proves me wrong, then make it rather than calling me stupid for disagreeing with you. I personally thought Ash made some good points but missed the main arguments in the video.

The point is that you're not actually showing WHY Ash is incorrect in your opinion. If you just dismiss a pretty sound analysis with no real justification, it makes you look close-minded.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is that you're not actually showing WHY Ash is incorrect in your opinion. If you just dismiss a pretty sound analysis with no real justification, it makes you look close-minded.

My point isn't that Ash was totally incorrect. My point is that the points (s)he made don't totally refute the video, as Bleck asserted. For me, his main point is that games aren't made the way Anita proposes they should be. It's backwards to make a story, and then say "this story doesn't empower women/makes women look weak, so we should shoehorn a strong female into it."

This goes back to my earlier point in that (in this case) these changes start at the societal level. In order for games like that to be made and be effective in delivering a positive example of a woman, it has to start at the initial conceptual level, just as it does for a positive male character.

Unless there's a market for it, that game won't be profitable and therefore unlikely to be made. Thunderf00t is saying that he believes that there isn't enough of a market for a feminist-centered games to be profitable, and that's why they don't get made.

Could there be more positive examples of women characters in games? Absolutely. But I don't think content creators should be coerced to do so, and I don't believe that using Peach or Zelda (Anita's main examples) are negative examples of women in games via the DiD "trope" as there are multitudes of examples already brought up in this thread showing that they're not the weak and frail characters that Anita frames them to be.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're misrepresenting my point. Anita never "proposed" that games should be created in a particular way. She pointed out a notable, common phenomenon of how women are being treated, gave her perspective at times, and let the viewer draw their own conclusions as to what should be done with that observation and perspective. If I recall correctly, she was careful not to prescribe a remedy.

Regarding your point about there being no market for games that portray women better, I'm just going to quote myself on a point you apparently agreed with, because it addresses what you're saying completely and has not been challenged:

Developers choosing to create products a certain way to appeal to a market does not make them immune from criticism when the results are a problematic portrayal. If it was profitable to use black face caricatures, that would not make their use less reprehensible. The gaming market has changed dramatically since the 1980s anyway, and the developers have not adapted as well as they could. Ms. Sarkeesian is pointing out one reason why she thinks that is, and developers are free to do with that information what they will. In the 1980s, 20% of gamers were female. Now 50% are, and the age range has changed a lot. Moreover, it's really unclear to what extent the developers have defined their own market through the types of games, plots and characters they have made.

ThunderF00t's video is garbage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You're misrepresenting my point. Anita never "proposed" that games should be created in a particular way. She pointed out a notable, common phenomenon of how women are being treated, gave her perspective at times, and let the viewer draw their own conclusions as to what should be done with that observation and perspective. If I recall correctly, she was careful not to prescribe a remedy.

Regarding your point about there being no market for games that portray women better, I'm just going to quote myself on a point you apparently agreed with, because it addresses what you're saying completely and has not been challenged:

ThunderF00t's video is garbage.

so then she's making a video that says 'even though this is not the majority of games, this isn't necessarily bad, and shouldn't necessarily be changed. just saying.'

nobody buys that. also, there are only two conclusions that you can draw from this video, and that is that she's right in every way and games are sexist and must be changed, or she's full of bullshit.

also, all of this demographic change is 150% moot because these people started playing the currently available games, and enjoyed those. nobody became a gamer while not liking currently available games. so either there are so many games that women don't find offensive that the number of women who play games grew to such a large percentage, or just about all of them really couldn't care less about said 'misogynistic portrayal of women.'

And here's the biggest thing. Nobody except the people who truly, truly don't matter are disputing the point that women deserve to be respectable within video games. The question in point is whether or not ANYone except the most hard of the core of feminists actually thinks that things like princess peach getting captured in Mario games are degrading towards women. If you ask me, the shameless marketing of romance movies and novels to women shows a lot less respect to women than getting captured in a video game.

There are so many conversations that are infinitely more important to the positive portrayal of women than a simple 'woman gets captured' story. If they were all like Knight's Tale, I'd see your point. But pretty much none of them are, especially not within the past 10 years.

Like I really truly am interested to hear where people draw the line of 'hey that's degrading/disrespectful/i don't like it.'

Edited by The Derrit
Link to post
Share on other sites
so then she's making a video that says 'even though this is not the majority of games, this isn't necessarily bad, and shouldn't necessarily be changed. just saying.'

nobody buys that. also, there are only two conclusions that you can draw from this video, and that is that she's right in every way and games are sexist and must be changed, or she's full of bullshit.

also, all of this demographic change is 150% moot because these people started playing the currently available games, and enjoyed those. nobody became a gamer while not liking currently available games. so either there are so many games that women don't find offensive that the number of women who play games grew to such a large percentage, or just about all of them really couldn't care less about said 'misogynistic portrayal of women.'

And here's the biggest thing. Nobody except the people who truly, truly don't matter are disputing the point that women deserve to be respectable within video games. The question in point is whether or not ANYone except the most hard of the core of feminists actually thinks that things like princess peach getting captured in Mario games are degrading towards women. If you ask me, the shameless marketing of romance movies and novels to women shows a lot less respect to women than getting captured in a video game.

There are so many conversations that are infinitely more important to the positive portrayal of women than a simple 'woman gets captured' story. If they were all like Knight's Tale, I'd see your point. But pretty much none of them are, especially not within the past 10 years.

Like I really truly am interested to hear where people draw the line of 'hey that's degrading/disrespectful/i don't like it.'

Why are you trying to read so much into it? All that I get from the video is that she's talking about examples of a particular trope that appeared in older videogames, and in what ways it could be considered problematic for its treatment of female characters.

I don't really understand the rest of your arguments either. So what if romance movies and novels are problematic too? That's outside the scope of the video and this thread, and I actually know for a fact that Feminist Frequency has a bunch of videos on those subjects already.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest flaw I see with pointing these things out is the following:

Other people have pointed out the existence of these tropes already. This isn't new ground, and at this point it isn't worth discussing them unless we look at the causes, effects, and solutions therein. Otherwise it's pretty superfluous and, as Arek pointed out, a cash grab.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Why are you trying to read so much into it? All that I get from the video is that she's talking about examples of a particular trope that appeared in older videogames, and in what ways it could be considered problematic for its treatment of female characters.

I don't really understand the rest of your arguments either. So what if romance movies and novels are problematic too? That's outside the scope of the video and this thread, and I actually know for a fact that Feminist Frequency has a bunch of videos on those subjects already.

Then what weight does her video have? And what does it accomplish? I guess it's neat that someone dedicates so much time&money to point out some silly shit in games, but it's sort of... pointless. But as I said earlier, at least she got some money. So she definitely serves a market, as thunderf00t mentioned in his video. So it can't be totally garbage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Then what weight does her video have? And what does it accomplish? I guess it's neat that someone dedicates so much time&money to point out some silly shit in games, but it's sort of... pointless. But as I said earlier, at least she got some money. So she definitely serves a market, as thunderf00t mentioned in his video. So it can't be totally garbage.

?

This is from the kickstarter:

I love playing video games but I’m regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented. This video project will explore, analyze and deconstruct some of the most common tropes and stereotypes of female characters in games. The series will highlight the larger recurring patterns and conventions used within the gaming industry rather than just focusing on the worst offenders. I’m going to need your help to make it happen!

I don't really know what you were expecting otherwise, as far as I can see the video delivers on what she set out to do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the point is to generate awareness and discussion so that in the future, developers would think to create characters with greater variety when it comes to gender roles. She didn't ask to retroactively change all these games, nor did she ask for some sort of quota or a specific way to depict characters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
?

This is from the kickstarter:

I don't really know what you were expecting otherwise, as far as I can see the video delivers on what she set out to do.

I see. Not gonna argue that. She surely accomplishes the goal of achieving nothing, just being sort of informative. And not even bringing anything brand new to the table. Truly a noble and ambitious goal. :roll:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, she has done a lot to generate interest and discussion about changing gender roles in gaming. More people are talking about this topic now than I've ever seen before. In addition to these videos, she gives talks at conferences and does interviews in magazines. I think some level of self-promotion is actually good, because it gives her a greater platform to speak about these creativity issues where the developers might actually pay attention. But I digress--why are we attacking her as a person again? Isn't this thread about video games?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I see. Not gonna argue that. She surely accomplishes the goal of achieving nothing, just being sort of informative. And not even bringing anything brand new to the table. Truly a noble and ambitious goal. :roll:

I don't really see how sarcasm is warranted. Aside from maybe an episode of Extra Credits there really hasn't been that much high profile material on this subject.

I found the video pretty informative and useful. Are you actually attacking her now for *not* being vitriolic enough?

Edited by Tensei
Link to post
Share on other sites
You're misrepresenting my point.

I didn't mean to imply that. I think it was my mistake when I said "his point", I meant Thunderf00t, not you.

Anita never "proposed" that games should be created in a particular way. She pointed out a notable, common phenomenon of how women are being treated, gave her perspective at times, and let the viewer draw their own conclusions as to what should be done with that observation and perspective. If I recall correctly, she was careful not to prescribe a remedy.

First point taken. I shouldn't have said that she proposed anything. My point still stands even without that assertion though. Most of her examples are from games made 20-30 years ago. Developers don't make a game trying to forsee what society will be like 3 decades from today. If this trope was still such a problem then she should've used more recent examples, and retro remakes don't count because they have to stay true to the original.

Developers choosing to create products a certain way to appeal to a market does not make them immune from criticism when the results are a problematic portrayal. If it was profitable to use black face caricatures, that would not make their use less reprehensible. The gaming market has changed dramatically since the 1980s anyway, and the developers have not adapted as well as they could. Ms. Sarkeesian is pointing out one reason why she thinks that is, and developers are free to do with that information what they will. In the 1980s, 20% of gamers were female. Now 50% are, and the age range has changed a lot. Moreover, it's really unclear to what extent the developers have defined their own market through the types of games, plots and characters they have made.

They're not immune from criticism, no. Where I disagree is your use of the word "problematic". Blackface was more problematic because it portrayed something objectively false and offensive. There's nothing innately offensive or false about portraying a woman that gets kidnapped and needs to be saved.

Regarding the bolded part, I think you're completely wrong. Yes, the trope is still used, but it's a lot closer to equal now. Men get captured, women as main characters get captured and are able to escape, Women save men, men save women, etc. I think that games are much better now and your assertion isn't descriptive enough. How "well" should developers be "adapting"?

Link to post
Share on other sites
If this trope was still such a problem then she should've used more recent examples, and retro remakes don't count because they have to stay true to the original.

The Damsels in Distress video is split into at least two parts. I believe it was said she is going to cover more modern games in the next part.

There's nothing innately offensive or false about portraying a woman that gets kidnapped and needs to be saved.

Context is everything, and I feel you are ignoring the context of the vast majority of games using the DiD trope rather than having women saving men or anything like that.

Regarding the bolded part, I think you're completely wrong. Yes, the trope is still used, but it's a lot closer to equal now. Men get captured, women as main characters get captured and are able to escape, Women save men, men save women, etc. I think that games are much better now and your assertion isn't descriptive enough. How "well" should developers be "adapting"?

Can you support this point with evidence? I am unconvinced that things are almost equal now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The Damsels in Distress video is split into at least two parts. I believe it was said she is going to cover more modern games in the next part.

Okay. I'll reserve judgement on the next video until it comes out then.

Context is everything, and I feel you are ignoring the context of the vast majority of games using the DiD trope rather than having women saving men or anything like that.

I'm saying that in general, by itself, a woman being saved by a man isn't offensive, while blackface is, so it's a little bit of a false equivalency.

Can you support this point with evidence? I am unconvinced that things are almost equal now.

I can point to examples like the new Tomb Raider game. (woman saving a woman), Skyward Sword (Zelda made the choice to sacrifice herself - showing courage and strength. Even though she was an NPC, I felt she exemplified more bravery and strength than Link). I actually just played a cool little game called Thomas was Alone that focused on a group of characters - all having their own unique attributes - male and female. But that's really just anecdotal evidence.

The closest I can get is a Wikipedia article about gender representation in games. They say that women as an optional playable character was at 45%, and exclusive women as playable characters is at 4%. That's not really my argument as it doesn't mention role reversals, or the DiD hook at all. The cited article is a pretty good read though. The data given was from a talk in 2011, but I couldn't find the span of time the games they played were from.

So I can't back up that statement with evidence. I suppose I was just speaking about my personal opinion based on the games I've been playing lately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
?

I don't really know what you were expecting otherwise, as far as I can see the video delivers on what she set out to do.

I see. Not gonna argue that. She surely accomplishes the goal of achieving nothing, just being sort of informative. And not even bringing anything brand new to the table. Truly a noble and ambitious goal. :roll:

Her kickstarter campaign promised an 'examination' followed by a 'debate'. So far this has ticked both boxes (yeah, we're self fulfilling that part by having this conversation.)

Neither brings anything new to the table. Going a 'little' off topic here but 'debate' isn't where answers are found. The answers can potentially be found by (depending on your preference); Scientists (/academics), Religious Leaders or business entrepreneurs. The entire purpose of politicians and 'debate' is to bring those ideas to a larger audience...

We 'know' video games, this is a field we're 'experts' on. Of course there'll be nothing new brought to the table, particularly in episode 1 of a 12 part documentary. As far as I can tell the audience this video is directed towards is a much wider audience than 'just' us.

I have a degree in Chemistry. Every time I see a documentary on chemistry on the TV the few times I've bothered tuning onto any Science documentaries I spend 99% of my time going "I know that.... I know that... Oooh, I'd forgotten that, but yeah, already knew" and just 1% going "This is interesting."

On a documentary on video games the documentary was well paced to explain her complaint in simple, well broadcast messages with clear examples. Of course to us it wont have anything interesting or ambitious, we already know it all because we're already invested in what she's talking about. The larger audience, the 'not us' watching however may benefit from this background information on where the debate comes from. For some people this context setting might be vital.

So, I can't disparage her for starting this debate (or, re-igniting rather than starting I suppose) and that's regardless of whether I agree or disagree with what she says.

She's been fairly careful not to proscribe 'treatments' for this or start preaching too heavily. She's just highlighting the issue and broadcasting it to the larger world.

Edited by Swifthom
Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly though, who IS her audience? How many laymen are actually watching what she's saying, and more importantly, caring? My mom just figured out how to use Youtube on her phone a month ago. If she's trying to reach out to a layman audience and educate 'em(a worthy endeavor), then she should have used other venues other than those that only relatively tech savvy net users and gamers are fluent in.

If we're her audience, then she literally has nothing new to add to the table that we don't already know and probably agree with. Thus she's just preaching to the choir, and taking money while doing so. Naturally you're right about it just being part one, but if I recall, another example of trope she's going to talk about is the "fighting fuck toy". OK? Welcome to circa early 90's(Mortal Kombat II Kitana/Mileena)? I don't really know that we're going to get to a profound level of discussion, especially if a large portion of the target victim(ostensibly women) don't choose to participate anyway.

Edited by Malaki-LEGEND.sys
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...