Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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Agreed. His recent blog post on "Gamergate" is pretty well-thought out as well.

Thanks for linking, had missed this. Great stuff, well written and thought out as you said.

Also, the spoken version on soundcloud, is that a great idea or what :D Thats like relaxation therapy

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I honestly and truthfully find it ethically HELPFUL and informing to see things depicted as I suspect they really were; a palpably barbarous past should make us appreciate our present, by contrast, much more. Unless, of course... we are impressionable imbeciles... I liked The Borgias for this reason; of course Game of Thrones is fictional, but I think it actually depicts a more realistically HUMAN past than most works of historical fiction manage.

There is something to be said for the power of COUNTEREXAMPLE. Unless, of course... you're Anita...

True, but I've heard the following point which I find has some truth as well. If we take a high fantasy game with dragons, wizards, magic, and lots of other totally made-up elements, it's not reasonable to say that violence/degradation of women is necessary for 'realism'. If we accept all the other made-up stuff, it's fair to say we can also accept a historical past where women are not degraded as much.

I can certainly understand the historical angle, just saying, it's not always a compelling argument if the game is full of heavy fantasy elements (and/or a world that is entirely fictional).

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True, but I've heard the following point which I find has some truth as well. If we take a high fantasy game with dragons, wizards, magic, and lots of other totally made-up elements, it's not reasonable to say that violence/degradation of women is necessary for 'realism'. If we accept all the other made-up stuff, it's fair to say we can also accept a historical past where women are not degraded as much.

I can certainly understand the historical angle, just saying, it's not always a compelling argument if the game is full of heavy fantasy elements (and/or a world that is entirely fictional).

I don't think it's necessary for realism, but even with dragons, wizards, magic, and lots of other made-up elements, high fantasy is still identifiably archaic/ancient in its social structures. You still usually have kings (and queens), for example, which implies divine right to rule and lack of democracy. Unless EVERYTHING ELSE is coming along for the ride, and you're going to address all of the MYRIAD social injustices in these antiquated environments, cherry-picking just smacks of ideology run amok.

  • Who elected these kings? This game promotes dictatorship....
  • Are these knights being paid? Were they drafted and are they potentially fighting against their will?? This game promotes militant nationalism and fascism...
  • Why are dark elves always more evil? Das racist. This game promotes racism...
  • Why does this game depict religion as factually accurate? This game promotes magical thinking...

You're dealing with a fantasy world, sure, and a lot of it is completely made up, sure, but it is still a WORLD. Plausibility in world-building needs to emanate from somewhere, and usually we look to... ourselves. I'm not saying "throw random violence against women into your fantasy game so it seems more real," I'm saying "violence against everyone, including women, was more prevalent in our own barbaric past, and many games are channeling that same past". My point isn't that game developers HAVE to do things this way, or even that game developers SHOULD do things this way, but merely that when they DO choose to do things this way, it shouldn't raise knee-jerk accusations of misogyny without additional contextual analysis of the work as a whole, which Anita rarely does. That's a form of criticism that is EVERY BIT AS LAZY as that which it attempts to lambast for... lack of creativity!

It also really, really, really bears mentioning that gratuitous violence is common in games, period. It is difficult to argue for any sort of equal treatment of women in games while at the same time flinching five hundred times harder when any of that violence is directed toward women. Offhand, this seems like the very same protective instinct that feminism often decries (correctly) as the root problem behind so many troublesome male behaviors, simply flipped on its head and used (rather hypocritically) for the very cause that condemns it!! Please show me how that's incorrect, because to me it seems like having your cake, eating it too, taking someone else's cake, eating THAT, and then proceeding to complain that there's no cake left. Because misogyny.

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I think lobbing these questions publicly without waiting for more information from the PD is a pretty shitty thing for this Nero person to do. For all we know, he might be drumming up controversy over a non-issue. Or it may be that she's lying. It's also unclear that she specifically contacted the SFPD rather than some other police entity. In any case, waiting for the PD to complete their investigation and researching some more on one's own beforehand would be more respectable.

Edited by Ab56 v2 aka Ash

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Not a surprise that a writer for an ultra-conservative publication like Breitbart is being a shitlord.

https://twitter.com/TheQuinnspiracy

Quinn did donate to iFred.

As for Anita, like Ab said, there are a million explanations for why the SFPD didn't have Anita on record. (1) She might have contacted a different police department - the most obvious explanation. (2) She might have used a different name. (3) She might not have gotten to the point of filing a report, in which case there would be no record. etc.

In any case, as Quinn mentioned via Twitter, these ridiculous accusations put the *victims* in the position of having to basically doxx themselves by releasing private information publicly to appease internet trolls.

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From an unbiased source in this debacle, from the ifred facebook page.

sorry zircon but those that believe in their hearts that quinn is the devil will never listen to her.

"IFred, International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression shared a link.

2 hours ago

To all those asking about the Depression Quest game. To clarify, as of yesterday we were not aware of any donations made on behalf of the game. However, it was brought to our attention that donations were made by an individual, and we can confirm these donations were made as stated here: http://ohdeargodbees.tumblr.com/post/97275528664/depression-quest-donations

Additionally, we were aware that there was a link to our organization as it has sent many people needing help to our website for education and resources. We weren't aware of any direct relationship to donations, though we welcome and are thankful for support given to our organization through this effort. We do not endorse the game but we do see it has done a lot to raise awareness for depression and hope to use some of the gaming skills to create tools we think teach kids about the importance of hope and health brains.

To those that have made donations in the past day because you thought Depression Quest did not donate, we are happy to refund those donations and we plan to follow-up directly on paypal with that note as well. We would appreciate if you can share this information with your networks so we can get back to our work with the limited resources we do have at hand - teaching and sharing hope, and ending stigma. If you haven't done so, please do check out our new www.schoolsforhope.org program and get involved in your local community.

Thanks much for all that have been reaching out to ensure transparency and accountability. We appreciate the support of our mission and wish you all health and healing. Thanks for helping to #shinelight #endstigma #sharehope. Let's all get back to making a positive impact on the world!"

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Yeah so, that "blowing off the lid stuff"... real good journalism. It was all proven false. Zoe did donate to IFred. Anita did talk to the FBI. Even that scumbag writing for Breitbart admitted it himself. No apologies or anything - it's totally cool to make 100% fabricated accusations up and then not say "I'm sorry" when they're proven false.

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Yeah so, that "blowing off the lid stuff"... real good journalism. It was all proven false. Zoe did donate to IFred. Anita did talk to the FBI. Even that scumbag writing for Breitbart admitted it himself. No apologies or anything - it's totally cool to make 100% fabricated accusations up and then not say "I'm sorry" when they're proven false.

It's worked in politics forever.

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Yeah so, that "blowing off the lid stuff"... real good journalism. It was all proven false. Zoe did donate to IFred. Anita did talk to the FBI. Even that scumbag writing for Breitbart admitted it himself. No apologies or anything - it's totally cool to make 100% fabricated accusations up and then not say "I'm sorry" when they're proven false.

Whether or not you apologize for being incorrect about a baseless accusation has more bearing on your being a decent human being than a good journalist ;-)

Actually, assuming he did what he said he did, he took some initiative and established that everything checked out and that the claims made were valid - from purely a journalistic point of view, that's far more than most people have been doing, and while his overall attitude seems shitty and his initial line of inquiry seemed prosecutorial, at least he uncovered something that contradicted his expectations, and reported on it. Just sayin'; I'm personally glad he did take the time to prove himself wrong. It's better that this information is out there as it eliminates doubt. "Trust but verify" is a good journalistic principle, and while he didn't do the former (at all), at least he came through on the latter. There seem to be a lot of people glomping on to this brouhaha in a very public fashion, just to ride its coattails into escalated analytics...

Anyone wanna pick the thread on Anita back up, or is it all #GamerGate, all the time?

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Anyone wanna pick the thread on Anita back up, or is it all #GamerGate, all the time?

There's over 100 pages about her and I don't think anyone has been adding anything fresh about her for the last dozen. I'm ok with expanding the topic.

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There's over 100 pages about her and I don't think anyone has been adding anything fresh about her for the last dozen. I'm ok with expanding the topic.

Truuuue could really just use this thread to post the new videos and comment on those, this other stuff could have gone elsewhere... but..

...this about covers it, wraps it all up

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Or we could all stfu about this and move on with our lives.

im personally sick of this situation.

Its most likely an elaborate trolling by 4chan and the best way to stop trolls is to ignore them.

no one is winning in this war.

everyone is suffering from the fallout.

if we as a community want to last we need to stop now because we won't if this continues any longer.

games are for fun, this bullshit is not fun.

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There's over 100 pages about her and I don't think anyone has been adding anything fresh about her for the last dozen. I'm ok with expanding the topic.

Yeah I'm not really interested in talking about her... just what she's saying/arguing.

It also really, really, really bears mentioning that gratuitous violence is common in games, period. It is difficult to argue for any sort of equal treatment of women in games while at the same time flinching five hundred times harder when any of that violence is directed toward women. Offhand, this seems like the very same protective instinct that feminism often decries (correctly) as the root problem behind so many troublesome male behaviors, simply flipped on its head and used (rather hypocritically) for the very cause that condemns it!! Please show me how that's incorrect, because to me it seems like having your cake, eating it too, taking someone else's cake, eating THAT, and then proceeding to complain that there's no cake left. Because misogyny.

I'm sorry this didn't meet your definition of "fresh," but I'd still like to see if anyone else wants to tackle what I perceive as an extraordinarily paradoxical/hypocritical argument and see if they can lay it all out in a way that holds together...

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I'm sorry this didn't meet your definition of "fresh," but I'd still like to see if anyone else wants to tackle what I perceive as an extraordinarily paradoxical/hypocritical argument and see if they can lay it all out in a way that holds together...

It doesn't hold together. People are always going to call anything misogynistic.

No violence against women? You think women are weak. You're misogynistic.

Violence against women? You hate women and get sick pleasure out of seeing them hurt. You're misogynistic.

There's no "safe ground". There's nothing you can do to placate the people who are essentially drumming up trouble for the sake of attention.

Or we could all stfu about this and move on with our lives.

im personally sick of this situation.

Its most likely an elaborate trolling by 4chan and the best way to stop trolls is to ignore them.

no one is winning in this war.

everyone is suffering from the fallout.

if we as a community want to last we need to stop now because we won't if this continues any longer.

games are for fun, this bullshit is not fun.

Calm down, sir, it's just a debate. OCR's community isn't being hurt by anything. There's like 5 people in this thread talking right now.

If anytime a thread makes you feel bad or sick about something, you're more than welcome to leave it.

Regardless, your stance of apathy is just plain wrong. Nothing becomes solved when you stop looking at it.

Edited by Neblix

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I was merely being broader with my scope, not ocr as a community, I meant gamers.

there is no "debate" if both sides are just throwing insults. It doesn't fix anything,because at the end of the day the legit people wanting less corruption in gaming journalism are being shouted down by the feminist opposition who are also being insulted and shouted down.

I see no solution here.

I see two people fighting over which issue is more important.

Both and neither are important.

There will BE no safe ground till everyone calms down ignores it and then maturely ask the question of what we CAN do as a community to solve both these problems.

But you can't do that while everyone has fire in their eyes.

and lets face it I could leave this thread but I can't escape it everywhere else in the gaming community.

Edited by psychowolf

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Quite honestly, the best thing I've done with regards to this whole gamergate thing is that I've abandoned almost all major gaming web pages. Why should I trust them? They all spread an article that "gamers are dead", within almost hours of the original post, then make a blacklist of people and proudly gloat about it. I rarely see any game journalists that can write a decent article or review, and I already know most over hyped ad spread AAA games will not score below an 8.

I'm using YouTube videos, Twitch streams and independent game sites for coverage, I have no faith in the current games press. Some I still trust, others can just take their leave for all I care. The gaming press has generally made me feel disgusted, and has at one point even taken my enjoyment of games down, I don't need that kind of depressing crap in my life, and their usefulness has come to an end.

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Quite honestly, the best thing I've done with regards to this whole gamergate thing is that I've abandoned almost all major gaming web pages. Why should I trust them? They all spread an article that "gamers are dead", within almost hours of the original post, then make a blacklist of people and proudly gloat about it. I rarely see any game journalists that can write a decent article or review, and I already know most over hyped ad spread AAA games will not score below an 8.

I'm using YouTube videos, Twitch streams and independent game sites for coverage, I have no faith in the current games press. Some I still trust, others can just take their leave for all I care. The gaming press has generally made me feel disgusted, and has at one point even taken my enjoyment of games down, I don't need that kind of depressing crap in my life, and their usefulness has come to an end.

Gamer gate in a nutshell :cry: It's sad.

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I'm sorry this didn't meet your definition of "fresh," but I'd still like to see if anyone else wants to tackle what I perceive as an extraordinarily paradoxical/hypocritical argument and see if they can lay it all out in a way that holds together...

It's really not fresh to me. You've made your opinions on Anita's overly rigid presentation abundantly clear to the point that no one's really disagreeing anymore. Not to discourage discussion in this thread, but I seriously doubt you'll find the counterargument you're looking for in a thread full of people who mostly agree with you already.

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It's really not fresh to me. You've made your opinions on Anita's overly rigid presentation abundantly clear to the point that no one's really disagreeing anymore. Not to discourage discussion in this thread, but I seriously doubt you'll find the counterargument you're looking for in a thread full of people who mostly agree with you already.

This point wasn't as general as simply criticizing overall rigidity. It was specifically pointing out the inherent conflict in simultaneously arguing for equal treatment of women in games while insisting on special consideration of violence against women in games as being disproportionately problematic.

I think a counterargument can be made... I just think it would usually be a weak/crappy one. But shit, let ME try - in earnest:

"On first glance, it might seem that advocating for more egalitarian & varied depiction of females in games would be at odds with also giving "special" consideration to depictions of violence against females, and that seeking to reduce the latter while encouraging the former involves a certain paradox. There are a couple points to be made that can reconcile these apparently competing goals:

  1. By increasing the number of strong female characters, or at the very least female characters who are not primarily victims or innocent bystanders, the nature of the violence in question changes from a misogynistic predator/prey dynamic to one of combat/struggle against competing forces - females become protagonists instead of trophies to be won or damsels to be rescued, and thus violence done upon them shifts in quality and character as well. In other words, by diversifying female characters, any violence such characters are involved in is also diversified, and while the question of whether violence in games in general is problematic is a different debate entirely, at least the issue has been decoupled from sexism.
  2. Violence against females in games is especially problematic because of the intersection with sexualization of females in games. These two qualities don't necessarily have to be intentionally coupled by game developers to be disturbing; a female character might be hyper-sexualized just as an attempt to appeal to a heterosexual male demographic, but when that same character is depicted as such in situations involving physical violence and overwhelming force, the result is a conflation of the two, resulting in sexualized violence. Acknowledging that gratuitous violence in games is common across the board for BOTH male and female characters, what's being objected to is the more specific brand of violence, predominantly leveled at female characters, that so often involves both victimization and inappropriate sexualization at the same time..."

There you go; if this thread didn't jump the shark dozens of pages ago, this has gotta do it, because I just argued against myself...

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The fact that this thread has jumped the shark from Sarkeesian is probably a good thing. Outside of her first video, which I guess to throw her supporters a bone might have gotten the "conversation started", she hasn't really provided any thought provoking discussion.

Does sexism exist? Sure it does. I don't have any hard data on whether or not it is still as legally and professionally pervasive as it was pre-feminist movements, but on a micro-,individual level it's still very much alive and well.

Does sexism in video games exist? Well first what the hell does that even mean? Are we talking about sexism in the industry itself or in the content in question? If it's the latter, then context is absolutely key. Otherwise we're just handling the problem superficially, and when has that ever been a good thing?

Is Sarkeesian necessary to keep this conversation going? Not really.

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This point wasn't as general as simply criticizing overall rigidity. It was specifically pointing out the inherent conflict in simultaneously arguing for equal treatment of women in games while insisting on special consideration of violence against women in games as being disproportionately problematic.

I think a counterargument can be made... I just think it would usually be a weak/crappy one. But shit, let ME try - in earnest:

There you go; if this thread didn't jump the shark dozens of pages ago, this has gotta do it, because I just argued against myself...

And kudos for that. I think your "steel man" argument hit most of the points I was about to bring up; basically, it's not just the use of violence against women, as no one is breaking out the pitchforks when Mario hits Peach in Smash Bros...it's also the way in and extent to which it is used.

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The fact that this thread has jumped the shark from Sarkeesian is probably a good thing. Outside of her first video, which I guess to throw her supporters a bone might have gotten the "conversation started", she hasn't really provided any thought provoking discussion.

Does sexism exist? Sure it does. I don't have any hard data on whether or not it is still as legally and professionally pervasive as it was pre-feminist movements, but on a micro-,individual level it's still very much alive and well.

Does sexism in video games exist? Well first what the hell does that even mean? Are we talking about sexism in the industry itself or in the content in question? If it's the latter, then context is absolutely key. Otherwise we're just handling the problem superficially, and when has that ever been a good thing?

Is Sarkeesian necessary to keep this conversation going? Not really.

Does OCR have a like button around here or something?

All that said, I have real grave suspicions about #gamergate. It is one of the lamest scandals I have ever tried bothering time with. Ugh.

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