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I must respectfully disagree with what The Amazing Atheist has to say on this subject. Not less than a minute in, I was groaning at the irony of the argument that "we, the audience, are not allowed to have an opinion..." as I'm sitting here listening to his opinion. Disabling comments doesn't stop discourse; anyone is free to post his or her own response in his or her own space.

That's a good point, but (somewhat agreeing and disagreeing with TJ) I think that closing the comments section says something about how this person is reacting to opposite points of view, rather than trolls. It doesn't shut down discourse but makes it easier for her to ignore trolls, but at the same time makes it easy to ignore other opinions. That might not be her desired effect, but it is an outcome of her actions.

It's the same feeling that I get when (for example) pro-creationist videos close comments and ratings. They just want to be able to ignore opposing views. Due to the amount of trolling she got, I think it might've been a more bold statement to keep the comment section open. So I sympathize with her in controlling her platform, but it looks more cowardly to it in this way.

Every video on YT gets troll comments, even though I recognize that she may have gotten a lot more than usual, they're still troll comments that just need to be ignored. It doesn't excuse the behavior, but the fact that she was making such a big deal about it made it worse.

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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

Oh yeah, the fact that she disabled comments and ratings both made me lol, and more or less make pin her exactly as I figured - another whiny would-be e-celebrity.

If you'd been paying any attention, you'd note she was forced to shut down comments on a few of her videos because the sheer amount of harassment she was getting made any kind of discussion absolutely impossible. If you've made yourself the number 1 target of hate and threats for daring to critique sexism in games, why leave channels open to yet more harassment? The trolls don't let anyone debate her points in good faith. Their spew overrides all others. No point in giving them a stage. Continual harassment like that affects people you know? I've seen far too many bloggers who discussed sexism leave the sphere of discussion all together because the harassment was causing them too much stress, depression, hell, even suicidal thoughts. It can get bad. I blame her not one bit for seeking to limit that sort of toxicity.

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She didn't just get "troll comments", people threatened to rape her, sent death threats, etc. Her Wikipedia page has been repeatedly vandalized. I know it might be hard for you to wrap your head around but that's not 'discourse'. That's not another opinion, that's pure vitriolic garbage. This isn't just "Oh Internet, you silly!" Nobody should have to put up with that bullshit. The reward of re-enabling comments for an occasional glimmer of intelligence in 140 characters is not worth being called a fucking slut, cunt lesbian bitch, etc. over and over.

Emperor: Sounds like you missed the point entirely!

I'm surprised she spent so much time nitpicking the 'damsel in distress' stuff when it's at its heart, a kids' thing. It's not like fairy-tales told to kids about boys who (as one person put it) 'put it all on the line' to rescue yonder lady - it's not like there isn't any positive reinforcement or connotations that come with that.

She said at the beginning that this trope is very old. The fact that it has been around for awhile isn't a defense. Also, she correctly pointed out that the trope IS positive... for the hero, who is usually male. It's all about them and their journey. The woman is just an object with no power when she is put in that situation. There really isn't much positive happening for them. The message is "You can't rescue yourself and be the architect of your own escape. You have no power."

And while she only barely touched on it, it's not just 'damsels' - hell Blaster Master was about saving your pet frog.

The title of the video is "damsels", not "pet frogs". How many games are there where a pet gets captured or kidnapped? Or a male character? She pointed out that overwhelmingly, it's women. And that's a problem. The trope isn't "objects, animals and males in distress", it's "damsel in distress". Why does it almost always have to be women?

She also seems to fail to realize that for most of video-games' history it has been a male-oriented past-time. Like, duh, NES games are going to have male protagonists. A lot of early games were meant to appeal to boys,

She explicitly said that. Again, how does this make it right or OK to continue that trend? How is that a defense...?

and in the same way you don't see Barbie doll manufacturers going out of their way to make Barbie more interesting for potential boy customers (they don't exist).

There's nothing inherent to video games that is unappealing for women. The fact of the matter is, as Anita said, a lot of the earliest games (starting with Nintendo) established the damsel-in-distress trope as a lazy way of establishing gameplay, and other developers carried the ball from there. It's not like this was some sort of inevitable thing. What if the first games had all been about men and women working together or partnering as equals? Maybe they would have been more appealing to women from the start. We'll never know.

As the industry grew and evolved, there were more female characters to control and 'play as' in video-games. Hell we have lots of great female protagonists at this stage. The whole 'damsel in distress' thing is hardly normative of video-game framing at this point.

This video was explicitly covering the history of the trope, not how it is today, nor did it touch on positive examples because those are all for later videos. But you overlooked her point that a lot of these old games with the distress trope are continually remade, ported, etc. Zelda is still getting captured in every game. So is Peach. The chick in Double Dragon is still getting punched in the stomach and carried away even in the 2012 version. Get the idea?

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She didn't just get "troll comments", people threatened to rape her, sent death threats, etc. Her Wikipedia page has been repeatedly vandalized. I know it might be hard for you to wrap your head around but that's not 'discourse'. That's not another opinion, that's pure vitriolic garbage. This isn't just "Oh Internet, you silly!" Nobody should have to put up with that bullshit. The reward of re-enabling comments for an occasional glimmer of intelligence in 140 characters is not worth being called a fucking slut, cunt lesbian bitch, etc. over and over.

Unless the threats were real or had a reason to consider them credible (letters sent to her house, a phone call, etc) how is a rape comment not trolling? Unless it was credible, it's still just a troll wanting to get a rise out of her. Freaking out and calling more attention to it gives them what they want. Disabling comments doesn't filter out real threats.

If the majority of the comments really are just inflammatory, I can agree it's good to shut it down - at that point. But closing it from the get-go seems a little defeatist.

(I could see it from the other side that closing the comments feels empowering, but I disagree)

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If you'd been paying any attention, you'd note she was forced to shut down comments on a few of her videos because the sheer amount of harassment she was getting made any kind of discussion absolutely impossible.

I find it hard to believe that someone who has been in this 'internet show' thing as long as she has would still have thin skin towards youtube comments. All the same, it closes her off from a major source of critique, which is crucial in these type of shows. If not, she's just another talking head that we're all supposed to say "Nice video!" to when she's done. What's the point? It's a waste of time.

While at the same time, for advertisement purposes, I can see how she'd want to present an atmosphere free of those comments. I don't know if she has some forum for herself where there's a calmer venue for talking about this stuff, but I doubt it. Thus, we are again just left to hear her, end of story. I just think it's in some ways, bad form.

@zircon:

She said at the beginning that this trope is very old. The fact that it has been around for awhile isn't a defense. Also, she correctly pointed out that the trope IS positive... for the hero, who is usually male. It's all about them and their journey. The woman is just an object with no power when she is put in that situation. There really isn't much positive happening for them. The message is "You can't rescue yourself and be the architect of your own escape. You have no power."

I think you read too much into the 'trope.' If the story is about a hero, then of course it is all about the hero! In a hero's story, that's the only thing that matters. It's gender neutral - video-games are at their heart escapist fantasy. It is truly all about you - everything in the game serves to challenge you and reinforce just how damn great you are, for overcoming these obstacles (even in highly disempowering games, like survival-horror games).

I don't see how that is 'disrespectful.' Fairy tales aren't 'disrespectful' - we tell them because they appeal to our sensibilities (our love of heroism and in many cases ingenuity and selflessness) on a basic level.

The title of the video is "damsels", not "pet frogs". How many games are there where a pet gets captured or kidnapped? Or a male character? She pointed out that overwhelmingly, it's women. And that's a problem. The trope isn't "objects, animals and males in distress", it's "damsel in distress". Why does it almost always have to be women?

I explained why in the beginning it was usually women - it was easy, dramatic, and it worked - especially at appealing to young boys. And game stories back then didn't mean a damn thing (for the most part they still don't!). I believe you somewhat agree with this point, since your complaint is mainly why game companies still do it.

I already said that it's not a normative framing device anymore. At the same time, 'damsels-in-distress' are not anywhere near as harmful or offensive as it seems she (and you?) think it is.

Maybe they would have been more appealing to women from the start. We'll never know.

Pac-Man was made to appeal to women. He's arguably the most recognizable game character ever.

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I must respectfully disagree with what The Amazing Atheist has to say on this subject. Not less than a minute in, I was groaning at the irony of the argument that "we, the audience, are not allowed to have an opinion..." as I'm sitting here listening to his opinion. Disabling comments doesn't stop discourse; anyone is free to post his or her own response in his or her own space. Anita has simply taken control of her own platform for delivering her message. She is denying trolls, supporters, dissenters-- everyone-- free and unbridled access to the audience that her video pulls in. She's made it so that if TAA or anyone else wants to respond, then they'll have to work to find their own audience on their own youtube page, website, or platform. I think that's fair, especially considering the abuse Anita received on her kickstarter video page, and considering the general "quality" of the discourse I've seen in youtube comments. Youtube is great for getting a one-way message out to a wide audience, but there are better places for a serious discussion than the comments section of youtube, in my opinion.

Anyway, the next 5 minutes of TAA's video are dedicated to tearing down Radical Feminists who don't really have anything to do with Anita's video. I guess his point is that he welcomes this kind of dissent-- highlights it, even. But I suppose my response to that would be... why? What do you gain by cherry-picking the most hateful comments to dissect and respond to? It seems like a waste of time to me. When Anita addressed these kinds of comments at her TED talk, she gave a few specific examples but otherwise simply referenced the sheer volume of the comments to illustrate that the backlash against her isn't just from a few fringe actors-- it's a widespread pathology. TAA has a point when he says that what the Radical Feminist bloggers had to say isn't any less sexist, but I think he's missing the larger picture here. At 6:38 in his video, when he compares Anita's feedback to his own, I couldn't help but notice how Anita's graphic is plastered with dozens of examples of the hate-speech and threats she received, while on TAA's side of the comparison, we have a solitary blogger. To me, that graphic plainly illustrates a large inequality, but disappointingly, TAA never recognizes it.

The video kind of derails from there, imo. TAA says that disabling comments and ratings sends a signal that Anita can't handle the criticism. Well, that's not the signal I got. I just figured she was tired of the flood of unintelligible trolls, much like any one of us might hit the mute button on someone blasting music or screaming in the mic in an online game. I don't think that voluntarily subjecting oneself to unsolicited annoyance is a sign of personal strength-- that line of reasoning doesn't register with me. Next, TAA sets up a false dichotomy between Pro Feminists and Anti Feminists. The issue is much more complex than that. Radical Feminism (the kind that TAA addresses earlier in his video) has largely been replaced by the more even-tempered Modern Feminism, which casts off the misandric tendencies of its predecessor. TAA doesn't ever seem to acknowledge this, from what I can see. He characterizes all of Feminism solely by the characteristics of Radical Feminism, which is a fallacy of composition.

I hope I don't come off as combative in this post... I love you all and I don't think anyone is a misogynist if they disagree with Anita, or me. I feel that TAA missed the mark on his video though.

This is pretty much exactly how I felt about that video.

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I find it hard to believe that someone who has been in this 'internet show' thing as long as she has would still have thin skin towards youtube comments. All the same, it closes her off from a major source of critique, which is crucial in these type of shows. If not, she's just another talking head that we're all supposed to say "Nice video!" to when she's done. What's the point? It's a waste of time.

Let me clarify a few things. From what I read on this topic, it looks like she's been getting harassment comments that are beyond trolling to the point of her taking the reins and stopping the nonsense. Critiques are typically meaningful, and obviously, harassment isn't meaningful. Yes, critiques can be harsh, but not to the point where it's quite literally an ad hominem. Critiques can bring across the person's point, but attacking the person doesn't prove any point at all; it only shows that you can't at all be credible. She didn't want to be a person that attracted highly critical trolls who insist on badgering her. Mature self-defense, that's what it is.

@zircon:

I think you read too much into the 'trope.' If the story is about a hero, then of course it is all about the hero! In a hero's story, that's the only thing that matters. It's gender neutral - video-games are at their heart escapist fantasy. It is truly all about you - everything in the game serves to challenge you and reinforce just how damn great you are, for overcoming these obstacles (even in highly disempowering games, like survival-horror games).

I don't see how that is 'disrespectful.' Fairy tales aren't 'disrespectful' - we tell them because they appeal to our sensibilities (our love of heroism and in many cases ingenuity and selflessness) on a basic level.

Actually, if a story is about a hero, that's what zircon was saying---it's supposed to be about the hero, but instead, the focus is placed on the damsel. Without a damsel, what would the "hero" really be? The "hero" develops his/her (let's say his) character throughout the game, and when he rescues the damsel, he can then be called a "hero". Without a damsel, the structural content of the game is essentially nothing; Anita was emphasizing that the damsel is the meat of the plot in many of the older games and is still continuing on in certain series. Developers of those series try to make the game about the hero, but really, the backbone of the story revolves around saving the damsel in cases such as Zelda, Mario, etc.

You're right, fairy tales aren't disrespectful or sexist, but fairy tales and video games are under completely different contexts, so that's actually a false analogy. Fairy tales were typically meant to entertain children and the general audience in the context of books, worldwide TV, and movies, whereas usually, video games entertain those that enjoy the relaxation time away from more stressful activities in the context of electronic graphics generators and personal TV use (XBox, PS2, DVDs, etc.). However, the fact that developers were continuing the trend found in those video games instead of deviating from that demonstrates an inherent laziness (which zircon did say) on forming a more creative plot structure. It's like how people used to sample other artists' music and lots of songs had copyright issues because of non-originality; with video games like those mentioned above, the problem doesn't extend to copyright issues, it lies within the raw originality of the structural content.

There's nothing inherent to video games that is unappealing for women. The fact of the matter is, as Anita said, a lot of the earliest games (starting with Nintendo) established the damsel-in-distress trope as a lazy way of establishing gameplay, and other developers carried the ball from there. It's not like this was some sort of inevitable thing. What if the first games had all been about men and women working together or partnering as equals? Maybe they would have been more appealing to women from the start. We'll never know.

I explained why in the beginning it was usually women - it was easy, dramatic, and it worked - especially at appealing to young boys. And game stories back then didn't mean a damn thing (for the most part they still don't!). I believe you somewhat agree with this point, since your complaint is mainly why game companies still do it.

I already said that it's not a normative framing device anymore. At the same time, 'damsels-in-distress' are not anywhere near as harmful or offensive as it seems she (and you?) think it is.

I don't believe zircon said it was harmful, necessarily, to leave women as damsels, but rather, I believe he was just clarifying or explaining your misconception with some hypotheticals without connecting the proposed consequence with the proposed antecedents, which would then not be any sort of argument. Edited by timaeus222
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Regarding the comments things, she had death threats, rape threats, her website got DOSed, Wikipedia page vandalized, people made games about beating her up, etc etc. This was beyond "u suck" in YouTube comments, this was really pretty terrible harassment. If you are the victim of that kind of thing it is certainly your right to disallow commenting, but remember, the comments were NOT off by default... she only turned them off after the hate stream begin.

Really though, how often do you see an intelligent civil discussion in YouTube comments anyway? If 90% of the comments are garbage is it really worth keeping them open for the 10%? Most creators do not view comments as viable or important discourse. The real interesting discussion comes from written essays, articles, video responses, or forum discussions like these.

As for the trope being 'harmful'... I agree with what Anita says. It's not that the games are terribly damaging or that we can't enjoy them. But they don't exist in a vacuum. We live in a world where a significant % of people think women are not equal (or SHOULD not be equal), that they deserve lesser rights, that rape is the woman's fault, or that they deserve no education. etc. The United States has become better about this but humanity as a whole certainly doesn't place women and men on equal footing. Video games have more influence than ever before so when games use stereotypes and tropes that enforce a very wrong and sexist world view, it just makes it that much harder for things to be balanced.

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I would actually argue that the central element of Mario and Zelda are not rescuing their princesses - it's about exploring the Mushroom Kingdom and Hyrule - the fantastical journey if you will. This is explicitly clear in later Mario games as they have gone about as far as they can without explicitly saying their plots are just excuses to have fun in whatever scenario they can concoct. The 'backbone' of the games are about exploring the worlds contained within. The princess is just an excuse to get you out the door. In some cases it's lazy, yes, but I don't think it's something that was ever the central focus.

I don't think anyone played Double Dragon precisely because of that gut-punch (but what would it be without it!), it was a set-up to go through the zany gang of thugs.

@Derrit, if you all you are going to do is troll me, maybe a mod can get rid of your posts.

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I would actually argue that the central element of Mario and Zelda are not rescuing their princesses - it's about exploring the Mushroom Kingdom and Hyrule - the fantastical journey if you will. This is explicitly clear in later Mario games as they have gone about as far as they can without explicitly saying their plots are just excuses to have fun in whatever scenario they can concoct. The 'backbone' of the games are about exploring the worlds contained within. The princess is just an excuse to get you out the door. In some cases it's lazy, yes, but I don't think it's something that was ever the central focus.

I don't think anyone played Double Dragon precisely because of that gut-punch (but what would it be without it!), it was a set-up to go through the zany gang of thugs.

Exactly. The way you said it, when you said "...because of that gut-punch (but what would it be without it!)", it sure demonstrated the idea of the "central focus" being the damsel, at least in that case. However, thankfully it's progressively gotten better in the later editions of series such as Zelda and Mario, like you said. These days, the idea of the woman being kidnapped and all those "save me!" moments is fading into the background a tad, allowing more interesting plot twists to develop, which is great.

EC isn't trolling, by the way. It's more like he's getting information (or debating), if you will, through arguments that promote more extensive explanations.

Edited by timaeus222
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It's more a flavor thing, for me. Those dudes were so bad they'd even sock a gal in the gut. Thus, they all deserved the judicious beat-down they were to receive.

I didn't play the game thinking "I need to rescue my girlfriend!" I played it thinking "this game is really silly." Maybe it was just me. I tend not to think too much about story or implications in games with blatant excuse-plots.

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Really though, how often do you see an intelligent civil discussion in YouTube comments anyway? If 90% of the comments are garbage is it really worth keeping them open for the 10%? Most creators do not view comments as viable or important discourse. The real interesting discussion comes from written essays, articles, video responses, or forum discussions like these.

I can see your point that comments aren't exactly the cream of the crop, but it's also kind of annoying that ratings are disabled too. Is it an all or nothing thing or can you choose to disable them separately?

I don't really have anything on-topic to say so I guess I'll bow out now.

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I can see your point that comments aren't exactly the cream of the crop, but it's also kind of annoying that ratings are disabled too. Is it an all or nothing thing or can you choose to disable them separately?

I don't really have anything on-topic to say so I guess I'll bow out now.

You can disable them both separately. I would assume that the same people who made those over-the-top comments also disliked the video, and she doesn't want to lose her credibility to trolls that almost solely hate her, barely considering her arguments from a more objective standpoint.

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I completely agree with zircon as to the impropriety of YouTube comments. There is nothing wrong with Ms. Sarkeesian closing those comments off. Unless you've literally gotten death and rape threats and nigh endless bigotry spewed at you by hundreds, if not thousands of people, I'm not sure you are in a place to fairly judge her decision. Even then, it's her choice, and no one is entitled to comment or rate on her video if she doesn't want that feedback. Moreover, if you truly want to critique or discuss her work, you can do it in other discussion spaces like this very forum, or pay a visit to her Facebook page. There are many people critiquing her content there; I paid a visit and commended her for a great video.

I'm not at all concerned that this video was mostly focused on the 1980s and 1990s rather than more recent games because this is only part one of a much larger series. Thematically, it is a good introduction to everything that is still a problem today and will be covered in future videos in this series. For reference, here is her line-up of upcoming episodes:

1. Damsel in Distress

2. The Fighting F#@k Toy

3. The Sexy Sidekick

4. The Sexy Villainess

5. Background Decoration

6. Voodoo Priestess/Tribal Sorceress

7. Women as Reward

8. Mrs. Male Character

9. Unattractive Equals Evil

10. Man with Boobs

11. Positive Female Characters!

12. Top 10 Most Common Defenses of Sexism in Games

Edited by Ab56 v2 aka Ash
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Here's my two cents: there's a reason so many people want to harp on the amount of money she received from her kickstarter or how poor the production value is - her argument is rock-solid and convicting, and fanboys and closeted sexists are grasping at straws (straw men, in fact) to criticize her. If you feel you need to defend a game you love from slander, remember that you can enjoy a product while still maintaining moral scruples about its content; feminists do this all the time. I, for one, adore Mario and Zelda in much the same way Anita describes - I grew up with the series, but I recognize they have their issues. If you're an actual sexist, though, come out and admit it; we can have a much more fruitful discussion about how you justify gender inequality than we can about how much money it costs to make Internet videos.

Also, I would argue that the perceived "frivolity" of video games, fairy tales, et al does not mean they get to be immune from critical moral analysis - in fact, just the opposite: these stories creep into your mind and normalize explicit sexism in the "real" world. If anything, these children's games should receive more scrutiny, not a free pass, because they're more likely to influence you unknowing. If I wrote a manifesto entitled "On Women and Their Wimpy Utter-Helplessness," I doubt it would convince you; you probably wouldn't even read it. But you're much more likely to take away sexist impressions subconsciously, especially if you have a blast while doing it. That's why it's important to point out these patriarchal structures in stories so that we can consciously reject them as the poison that they are.

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I'm sure there are costs we're not aware of, and this is a series (anyone know how many installments?), but speaking strictly on the production... yeah, I think a bit more cash should've been tossed in that direction. Modus' "infotainment sprucing" remark is appropriate.

As for the message, wish I had time to elaborate further, but I think the "big picture" analysis is quite a bit too big for the subject, especially for older platformers and beat-em-ups where she discusses a plot device in games with NO PLOT. "Get from Point A to Point B" had about a ton of setups in early gaming (quite honestly a form of light entertainment not worth the consideration she might have been expecting), and "Damsel" was just one. No one played Double Dragon for the express purpose of enjoying the assault and the panty shot. However, the trope is definitely overused, and calling attention to it in order to move away from it is absolutely worthy. Ep 2, which looks like they'll examine the trope in more modern, complex games, should be more interesting.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Charlemagne; nice work!

Edited by José the Bronx Rican
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I was going to say this earlier but didn't want to go off topic but now that Jose has posted I think it's relevant, Jose could make a video nicer than that in a day. :-P

Without $158,000 though maybe there's a stipend of the OCR Kickstarter funds that he could receive. :-)

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I find it hard to believe that someone who has been in this 'internet show' thing as long as she has would still have thin skin towards youtube comments. All the same, it closes her off from a major source of critique, which is crucial in these type of shows. If not, she's just another talking head that we're all supposed to say "Nice video!" to when she's done. What's the point? It's a waste of time.

While at the same time, for advertisement purposes, I can see how she'd want to present an atmosphere free of those comments. I don't know if she has some forum for herself where there's a calmer venue for talking about this stuff, but I doubt it. Thus, we are again just left to hear her, end of story. I just think it's in some ways, bad form.

Yeah, this is pretty much how I feel.

Here's my two cents: there's a reason so many people want to harp on the amount of money she received from her kickstarter or how poor the production value is - her argument is rock-solid and convicting, and fanboys and closeted sexists are grasping at straws (straw men, in fact) to criticize her.

So anyone who has a criticism is automatically a sexist? Agree with her or you're sexist, is that what it has come to?

EDIT: I guess I missed the fanboy part, but still that's the vibe I get.

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Anita Sarkeesian has been making Feminist Frequency videos for a long time, so there is a clear track record as to the quality of her videos. No one should be surprised at what she ultimately churned out. She also got way more money than she actually requested. It's very likely that most of her expenditures were on research material. We also don't know how much of the money she actually used on this project or will have used by the time it is complete.

It's pretty clear that a lot of the people criticizing her are doing it because they hate her, a woman who dared critique a medium riddled with problems. These people's misogyny, or the influence misogynists have on them, best explains the extraordinarily high level of vitriol thrown her way. It's not conclusive proof of misogyny, but it is strong evidence.

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Yeah, this is pretty much how I feel.

So anyone who has a criticism is automatically a sexist? Agree with her or you're sexist, is that what it has come to?

EDIT: I guess I missed the fanboy part, but still that's the vibe I get.

I'm being honest about ulterior motives. Otherwise, why would her getting (admittedly, very many) symbolic gestures of good will for a progressive cause arouse so much debate? Where's your outrage over how much actors, rappers, and athletes get paid?

And instead of dealing in the abstract, let's talk about your concrete disagreements. I'm willing to bet that any serious disagreement stems from sexism. It's not a mark of shame to be sexist, but it is shameful to remain so once you've been educated.

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I'm being honest about ulterior motives. Otherwise, why would her getting (admittedly, very many) symbolic gestures of good will for a progressive cause arouse so much debate? Where's your outrage over how much actors, rappers, and athletes get paid?

And instead of dealing in the abstract, let's talk about your concrete disagreements. I'm willing to bet that any serious disagreement stems from sexism. It's not a mark of shame to be sexist, but it is shameful to remain so once you've been educated.

I never claimed to disagree with her, and in fact I don't. I'm simply questioning your claim that criticisms arise either from fanboyism or sexism.

It's pretty clear that a lot of the people criticizing her are doing it because they hate her, a woman who dared critique a medium riddled with problems. It's the only thing that explains the extraordinarily high level of vitriol thrown her way. It's not conclusive proof of misogyny, but it is strong evidence.

What about the possibility that they are trolls looking to get a rise out of her? I don't think very many of those people hate her, but simply they enjoy pissing people off. Especially those who paint themselves or a particular group of people as victims.

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I never claimed to disagree with her, and in fact I don't. I'm simply questioning your claim that criticisms arise either from fanboyism or sexism.

I was using the general you. Anyway, what are some alternative reasons for disagreement? I think your evaluation sounds reasonable on the face of it, and in principle I agree that critics shouldn't be instantly branded. But in this case, we have a woman who is correct in diagnosing deeply entrenched sexism in videogames. Why so much hate? I can think of two reasons, which you mentioned. What else is there?

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