Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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Well I was trying to avoid the notion of artistic license, since I think we've covered the subject pretty thoroughly.

I just meant if you consider a game as a product, something that you want to sell. In the case of Spelunky, I don't think sex, or 'male power fantasies' (whatever that means) was a main factor in the game's appeal. So regardless of social progress or ethical implications, siding with Anita just makes business sense. In this context, you get sympathy from a currently very vocal group, coverage from video game tabloids and forums, and the backlash seems very minimal; not every decision is driven by personal ethics.

I'm not pretending to read Derek's mind. He might have genuinely been convinced by Anita's arguments, but I'm saying that in his situation, it would simply be a bad business idea to publicly disagree with her.

Edited by PriZm

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but I'm saying that in his situation, it would simply be a bad business idea to publicly disagree with her.

This to me speaks of a worse problem with Anita Dispensaheah: She's doing it wrong, and yet the entire thing is so toxic and volatile that you have to agree with her bullshit or you get mobbed.

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She's doing it wrong, and yet the entire thing is so toxic and volatile that you have to agree with her bullshit or you get mobbed.

I don't think that's really true at all. On Reddit, there are massive threads of people disagreeing with her vehemently (to put it extremely mildly) and I'm sure there's much worse on other forums. It all depends on where you look.

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I don't think that's really true at all. On Reddit, there are massive threads of people disagreeing with her vehemently (to put it extremely mildly) and I'm sure there's much worse on other forums. It all depends on where you look.

So instead of pulling gamers together to rally around what should be a relatively agreeable goal - more variety & depth for female characters in games - you're saying her work is having a splintering, polarizing effect?

You see what I did there...

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I don't think that's really true at all. On Reddit, there are massive threads of people disagreeing with her vehemently (to put it extremely mildly) and I'm sure there's much worse on other forums. It all depends on where you look.

Reddit is basically MRA Headquarters, though. They'll disagree with anything a woman says on principle, reguardless of the message.

I'll rephrase it slightly: Her work has made it be an All or Nothing deal. It's become impossible to separate "I disagree with her, because it's poorly researched grandstanding that's flawed at a very fundamental level and is hurting women in video games more than it's helping" people from "Suck my dick bitch whore" people.

If she was actually good, the entire base of detractors could be dumped, because it'd all be the latter. Instead, we have people agreeing and vehemently defending a very flawed analysis (if you can even call it that) because there is absolutely no middle ground.

Edited by Lyrai

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I don't think that's really true at all. On Reddit, there are massive threads of people disagreeing with her vehemently (to put it extremely mildly) and I'm sure there's much worse on other forums. It all depends on where you look.

Does it matter at all anyways, business-wise? There are massive threads about how Call of Duty or Madden or mobile gaming sucks and yet the sales are always very high.

I don't think there a sizable amount of people who would actually boycott a game because a developer/publisher agrees with Anita. On the other hand, I can see how people would buy a game to support a developer/publisher who speaks openly about being on Anita's side.

It sucks how you can't disagree with her without being dismissed as sexist or that you can't agree with her without being labeled a white knight (or is it feminazi? I forget) but that's just how things work for now.

So instead of pulling gamers together to rally around what should be a relatively agreeable goal - more variety & depth for female characters in games - you're saying her work is having a splintering, polarizing effect?

You see what I did there...

In her defense, being polarizing is a very effective way to get your message across. If her argument was more reasonable, it probably wouldn't be nearly as talked about as it is now. Even though I don't really care about her position, if her objective was to draw attention to the trope and spark up discussions, it was very skillfully done. From a philosophical standpoint, her analysis is deeply flawed. From a communications/PR standpoint (which has, as of now, more pragmatic uses), it was well done.

For example, I think your (djpretzel) argument is very well constructed, but even if I accept it, what am I going to do? Wait for more research? On the other hand, if I agree with Anita, I'm going to demand equality, be outraged, and act on it.

I think in this case, being vague is actually beneficial. Since her analysis doesn't present research and is scoped pretty widely, people associate her message with sexism at large. You've seen it in this thread, and I am sure on several other forums. Disagreeing with her means you're denying that sexism exist (at large) or that you want to 'cling' to your patriarchal agenda!

Edited by PriZm

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On the other hand, if I agree with Anita, I'm going to demand equality, be outraged, and act on it.

What is equality for you in this case, and when has it been achieved? What I'd like to see is how much would have to change in the gaming community/culture at large so people like Anita would be happy. Personally, I doubt there will ever be a day when a state of equality has been achieved in her mind.

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I think in this case, being vague is actually beneficial. Since her analysis doesn't present research and is scoped pretty widely, people associate her message with sexism at large. You've seen it in this thread, and I am sure on several other forums. Disagreeing with her means you're denying that sexism exist (at large) or that you want to 'cling' to your patriarchal agenda!

and here is the post of the thread in the past couple months

also, i might note that ZERO mainstream gaming sites are posting about her videos. at all. and i can see why; frankly, as prizm is saying, it would be bad business to acknowledge her in any way. think of the flame wars that would appear on an ign or a gamespot. she's bad press for anyone who associates with her, because the only thing she represents is "overt" sexism.

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If this were simply an issue of awareness and nothing more, Anita would be doing a superlative job getting the message out - can't argue on that point at all, because as Pascal mentioned, she's been very effective in reaching & energizing people. That *is* definitely important, don't get me wrong, but I think this is really an issue of BOTH awareness AND persuasion, and that failing to do the latter - or even doing more harm than good and pushing people further into their cultural trenches - seems insufficient, even if you're reaching a lot of eyes...

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uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Right well the semantic meaning of any "-ist" is normally asserting the superiority of something, and not the equality. At least that's how it usually works. I think the majority of feminists believe in equal rights, though, and the primary goal of third wave feminism seems to be a meaningful equality of a very concrete, pragmatic nature. That doesn't mean there aren't also those individuals whose identification under the label comes closer to the meaning I articulated above, i.e. primarily as an airing of one-sided grievances, demonizing of men, etc.

Personally, if someone describes themselves as a feminist to me, I usually assume they mean the larger, egalitarian movement that I myself identify with and NOT the extremities, and I'm usually (and fortunately) right. Individuals like Anita confuse things a bit because they embed vitriol and hyperbole and ideology inside an otherwise reasonable presentation, which hooks people in without realizing they've blurred their own compass a bit... (for better or worse)

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If this were simply an issue of awareness and nothing more, Anita would be doing a superlative job getting the message out - can't argue on that point at all, because as Pascal mentioned, she's been very effective in reaching & energizing people. That *is* definitely important, don't get me wrong, but I think this is really an issue of BOTH awareness AND persuasion, and that failing to do the latter - or even doing more harm than good and pushing people further into their cultural trenches - seems insufficient, even if you're reaching a lot of eyes...

In an ideal world, I would agree with you. However, I think you are neglecting the political approach in favor of the academic one.

The only thing we know for certain is that she wants to mitigate the prevalence of the damsel in distress trope. What better way than to stir up heated discussions about the issue, where you obviously have the moral high ground? Preaching to the choir, yes, but you are enforcing already existing ideas and making the group more vocal. You're giving ammunition to major media outlets; I wouldn't be surprised at all if game reviewers started to bring up tired usage of the damsel in distress trope in their reviews because of her videos or, more specifically, because of the online attention that they've had.

That's why I was saying that being vague is beneficial. It reaches all people who feel strongly about sexism in general, whether the argument itself is strong or not. It doesn't even matter if you're right or wrong, because people are much more emotional about an issue like sexism than about preserving artistic license in video games.

It's certainly not intellectually honest, and I'm not even saying that Anita is doing this on purpose. But to me, it sure seems to be more effective than a reasonable, academic discussion.

Also, remember that we're talking about internet forums, where smarmy, vague, accusatory one liners generally get a lot more attention than honest discussions.

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The only thing we know for certain is that she wants to mitigate the prevalence of the damsel in distress trope. What better way than to stir up heated discussions about the issue, where you obviously have the moral high ground? Preaching to the choir, yes, but you are enforcing already existing ideas and making the group more vocal. You're giving ammunition to major media outlets; I wouldn't be surprised at all if game reviewers started to bring up tired usage of the damsel in distress trope in their reviews because of her videos or, more specifically, because of the online attention that they've had.

Because of how she's mishandled it, and how she presents herself and her ideas, bringing up any part of her series will almost immediately make the article about Anita, not anything she's presenting. It has become impossible to separate the issue from the spokesperson now, and the best course of action imo is for Anita to find someone else to be the face of this whole thing. Someone who, hopefully, does their fucking research beyond skimming a wikipedia article.

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uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

you serious dude? you think that feminism equals gender equality in modern western world? :lol:

I don't mean to be rude or anything but that's so 1920's

Edited by RiverSound

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you serious dude? you think that feminism equals gender equality in modern western world? :lol:

I don't mean to be rude or anything but that's so 1920's

uhhhhhhhhhhhh

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you serious dude? you think that feminism equals gender equality in modern western world? :lol:

I don't mean to be rude or anything but that's so 1920's

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

From wiki.

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Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

From wiki.

That's a fantastic definition of what feminism should be...

...and often what it indeed is. But included in that collection of "movements & ideologies" are some elements that really don't fall under any sort of egalitarian umbrella. It's also worth mentioning that fictional characterizations (and the cultural theory involved in casting wide nets as to their implications) require a bit of a crowbar to truly fit into the enumerated "social rights" category...

As quoted, it's a definition of feminism that represents the most ethical & pragmatic of principles, and a definition I would be proud to aspire to & label myself.

Michael Crichton sometimes identified himself as an "Egalitarian Feminist" for a reason - the qualifier is necessary precisely because there is often more at play than equality, and more being asserted than the plainly observable inequalities we still need to address.

As with all -isms & their legions of -ists, in practice there is a wide deviation & a signal-to-noise ratio does exist... the signal is equal pay, reproductive rights, domestic violence, the criminalization of rape, representation in government & religion, and working towards the reduction & elimination of bias in academia and culture at large.

In the well-meaning but often overzealous & logicblind pursuit of this last category can be found almost all of the noise...

Edited by djpretzel

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