Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

Recommended Posts

I'm qualified to say whatever I want. I went to college, and I'm an American.

You are FREE to say what you want, and I am FREE to call you out on it. You are also FREE to talk about, say, neurosurgery, but that doesn't mean that you are QUALIFIED to talk about it. See the difference?

Your statement was literally "I don't think gaming excludes or pushes women away." That isn't an opinion, but a statement of fact, even if you happen to add "I think". Since you weren't being specific and generalized all games and women, I just have to point to a single instance where a woman felt excluded or otherwise pushed away from a game to prove you wrong.

Edited by Tensei

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Holy hell is there ever a lot of genetic fallacy going on in this thread.

No kidding. I'm pretty sure this was all ground that was pretty well covered here about a year ago. http://ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=38909&highlight=sexism+videogames

But I like a good fight every now and then so i'll keep watching. :) Just keep it civil and remember. I love you guys...and chicks, i mean women! Of OCR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to ask, what does it mean to "check your privilege"? As for the concept of male privilege, you also have to take into consideration race, sexual orientation, social class, and disability status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That said, the use of the word "patriarchy" turns me away for her videos. It makes me feel like a villain for existing.

i think it's important that people step out of themselves a little bit in these kinds of discussions. too many men respond to this topic defensively, generally with some variation on the idea that women are accusing individual specific men of being the root of all evil in society, and that women themselves are blameless victims. the idea of patriarchy refers to an institutionalized, oppressive power structure (read: gender), rather than the individuals operating within it (@ brandon strader about women and twilight) - and that blindly accepting this system, whether out of ignorance, laziness, or outright contempt for your fellow human beings, should be unacceptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to ask, what does it mean to "check your privilege"? As for the concept of male privilege, you also have to take into consideration race, sexual orientation, social class, and disability status.

This:

It means someone believed that since you are not in the specific group harmed by the content we're discussing, you should measure your comments accordingly and be more open to listening to those who are claiming harm. That's not the same thing as being told to stop participating in the discussion.

The issue at hand is beyond the realm of the privileged person's personal experience. I agree all of those other things you mentioned are different sorts of privilege that should be considered too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to ask, what does it mean to "check your privilege"? As for the concept of male privilege, you also have to take into consideration race, sexual orientation, social class, and disability status.

You guys are going too deep with that stuff. I think everyone who commented in this thread is male unless I missed something. If we're going to start yelling at each other that none of us is qualified to talk about it then just close the thread. :-P That's just downright silly and the thread is rapidly going off course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think everyone who commented in this thread is male unless I missed something.

i kno youre bein rhetorical but this is actually a thing (like ab56 said about the female gamer data being too broad). it is true that many women play games and could be said to fall under the broad umbrella of "gamer", but i dont think you can argue that Gamer Culture is overwhelmingly the domain of men. we could talk about booth babes, or mutilated half naked torsos - but just look at the demographics of ocr. there are many talented artists and musicians here of all backgrounds, but i'd wager the community is overwhelmingly male. again, im not saying this as an indictment of any of the people here, or that ocr is somehow shutting out women, but as a well-established site of video game enthusiasts, i think we can reasonably take ocr as a reflection of gamer culture and realize that there is a trend here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're delving way off-topic here, but I guess ultimately my issue is the following: yes, video games are the "domain of men" if we look at consumer statistics. What do you propose we do about it? People play or don't play video games for a multitude of reasons that could be completely unrelated to sexist perceptions.

Back on topic, here's to seeing how she's able to develop her argument and to hoping that her kickstarter wasn't just an excuse to get people to pay for a lot of games for her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You guys are going too deep with that stuff. I think everyone who commented in this thread is male unless I missed something. If we're going to start yelling at each other that none of us is qualified to talk about it then just close the thread. :-P That's just downright silly and the thread is rapidly going off course.

Well, I didn't say men aren't qualified, I can't speak for anyone else though. I was just clarifying the concept of male privilege.

You hit on a good point though, just a bunch of dudes arguing over sexism towards women. I know there was a woman (Annie Felis) who posted earlier, but I haven't noticed more. It's kind of sad, and a little bit hilarious when you think about it. I'm curious as to why so few women have commented here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on topic, here's to seeing how she's able to develop her argument and to hoping that her kickstarter wasn't just an excuse to get people to pay for a lot of games for her.

Agreed. However, unlike others in this thread, I hope she doesn't get all "here's how we fix the industry" like a lot of other philosophical/informative video game shows tend to do. I like the history lesson, as well as the opinion piece, but I don't need the hackneyed revelation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

guys this is not about video games. video games are a symptom of a problem. these videos are not intended to suggest a "solution", they are simply critical readings of media which are largely subject to the sole perspective of males.

the videos are important because (self) critical thought and discourse are important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
People play or don't play video games for a multitude of reasons that could be completely unrelated to sexist perceptions.

I play to fulfill my male power fantasies. :) 'cuz that's all they are at this point.

If I can't be the good guy once in awhile and save the cute girl by walking to the right and punching everything in my way then I want to at least pretend I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're delving way off-topic here, but I guess ultimately my issue is the following: yes, video games are the "domain of men" if we look at consumer statistics.

But that's not true at all, if this is to be believed. Women make up half the market!

I've watched the video twice now, and...mmph. Trying to find the best way to say this without sounding like an ass.

For a video that's eight months overdue and received thousands of dollars in crowd funding, I am not impressed. On one hand, twenty minutes seems pretty short to me for what she's trying to go for. On another, I felt there were some things that could have been cut out or explained in a better fashion.

I think the thing that bothers me the most though, is how she either seriously downplayed certain things or outright left out details about others. Like the brief mention of Sonic CD. That part of the video has been really bugging me for the past couple days. She briefly mentions the game, as if to say "Even Sega is part of the problem with Sonic!" but then leaves out the fact that in most of Amy's other appearances, she's out fighting with Sonic or helping him in some way.

Hell, in Sonic Adventure 2, she's the one having to save HIM at one point!

I just...I understand what she's trying to do and trying to bring attention to, I just don't think this video did a good job of it.

And looking at her list of other videos in the series? Can anyone explain what the difference between "Mrs. Male Character" and "Man With Boobs" is supposed to be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For a video that's eight months overdue and received thousands of dollars in crowd funding, I am not impressed. On one hand, twenty minutes seems pretty short to me for what she's trying to go for. On another, I felt there were some things that could have been cut out or explained in a better fashion.

This is only part one of a two-part episode of a twelve-episode series. I don't really think discussing the quality of the video or her personal presentation is doing any good. It would be more fruitful to keep the discussion focused on the issues she's raising, because everything else is really a distraction from this important conversation that ought to be happening in gaming communities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a discussion forum, so I assume that if you're going to post something, you're trying to make a point. You were being overly dismissive about a topic that you implied you know little about, so I called you on it. Don't get huffy with me for that.

It was fairly clear though in my post which part of the post was the throwaway joke, and which part was the 'point' I was making. You just wasted time responding to the joke, and added some self-righteous reprimand in there for good measure. You don't need to waste your time, and you certainly don't need to waste my time.

But I'm not even saying that there aren't any games that drive away men. Why are you bringing that up?

My mistake for jumping at the bit too quickly. It seems to be heavily implied in this topic that games should always cross both genders and appeal to both sensibilities. I was bringing up the point that that wasn't necessarily the case (nor should it be), though when games do in fact do just that, they tend to sell really, really well.

What I think is funny is who are the people that like the DiD trope? Most of the defenders in this thread seem neutral to it at best, and are content to explain why it started rather than say that they like it. Let's face it, even putting aside sexism, it's a really tired cliche. So why do developers continue to use it? My guess is it's laziness rather than "it sells", so I think any video that can raise awareness of that kind of thing could be helpful in breaking these tired, minorly sexist attitudes in games. I liked the video overall and I'm interested to see more.

I think it's kitschy at worse, and altogether harmless. I am not going to get up in arms if another Ghosts n' Goblins game features Prin Prin captured by Satan, and no one in this topic would be either. It's cute and silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was fairly clear though in my post which part of the post was the throwaway joke, and which part was the 'point' I was making. You just wasted time responding to the joke, and added some self-righteous reprimand in there for good measure. You don't need to waste your time, and you certainly don't need to waste my time.

Have you considered that tone is not translated very well through this medium and that maybe you don't need to be as rude as you're being here? I'm not interested in quibbling over this nonsense anymore so I'm going try elevating the quality of this discussion. Let's talk about the substantive issues raised in the video.

As far as Damsels in Distress go, I think it is indeed a very big problem that a massive number of video games have historically used this trope. It's a problem because we cannot cite even a close to equally large number of games similar in stature that depict women saving men. It is gradually changing, but it's very fair to acknowledge that this has historically been a problem in gaming and often still is.

I think the video raises an interesting issue of whether video game franchises that release new games or remakes every couple years should be retrofitted or updated to excise their socially problematic parts, or somehow fix them to be more inclusive. I actually got into a big debate with a friend of mine (who isn't a misogynist, by the way) about exactly that issue. My friend and I focused on Mario as an example.

I argued that developers would preserve everything essential to Mario games by simply reworking a minor plot element in these games. For example, Bowser's motivation could shift from kidnapping the princess to wanting to take over the Mushroom Kingdom. That would make the narrative less problematic from a social standpoint while freeing up Peach to be a playable character too. Although Peach getting kidnapped is a classic part of Mario games, it's not the fundamental reason people love Mario or care to play it. That small change wouldn't take away from the rich and colorful environments in the Mario universe or the platform-heavy gameplay people love Mario games for, so it would be a faithful update to the franchise. Updates to old franchises are desirable because at this point, they are ingrained in gaming culture and aren't going to disappear any time soon.

In contrast, my friend argued that this would fundamentally change what Mario is about. He is more in support of leaving franchises like Mario and Zelda alone, and instead creating competing franchises that ultimately would become the new standard. In his view, changing old franchises like this would essentially do to them what SEGA has done to Sonic: the games will forget their roots and become unfaithful to what they really are. For reference, Sonic '06 is the bane of his existence. Nobody ventures to change classics like Charlie Brown because it would ruin it, so nor should we change classic gaming icons. He suggests starting anew.

Thoughts? Can games be tweaked to fix their gender issues while remaining faithful to the source material? If so, what factors should developers look at to decide how the games should be revised?

Edited by Ab56 v2 aka Ash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just want to point out that even in cases where it's more or less justified to do so, actually saying the phrase 'check your privilege' is literally the douchebaggiest possible way to tell people to learn more about class/gender/race issues and by doing so you're just making everything worse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In contrast, my friend argued that this would fundamentally change what Mario is about. He is more in support of leaving franchises like Mario and Zelda alone, and instead creating competing franchises that ultimately would become the new standard. In his view, changing old franchises like this would essentially do to them what SEGA has done to Sonic: the games will forget their roots and become unfaithful to what they really are. For reference, Sonic '06 is the bane of his existence. Nobody ventures to change classics like Charlie Brown because it would ruin it, so nor should we change classic gaming icons. He suggests starting anew.

Thoughts? Can games be tweaked to fix their gender issues while remaining faithful to the source material? If so, what factors should developers look at to decide how the games should be revised?

I think the Nintendo examples are easy enough to change, Peach has already been not helpless before in a few games(my favorite character in SMB2, floating!). A game where Mario gets kidnapped and Peach has to save him isn't farfetched in that series' canon. LoZ is defined by a rather rigid formula these days but even if changing Zelda herself significantly were deemed too much, the series has had stronger female characters like Midna and Impa. I think giving players the option to change Link's gender would also be reasonable considering that the entire purpose of his character is to be a proxy(or at least was originally)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the Nintendo examples are easy enough to change, Peach has already been not helpless before in a few games(my favorite character in SMB2, floating!). A game where Mario gets kidnapped and Peach has to save him isn't farfetched in that series' canon. LoZ is defined by a rather rigid formula these days but even if changing Zelda herself significantly were deemed too much, the series has had stronger female characters like Midna and Impa. I think giving players the option to change Link's gender would also be reasonable considering that the entire purpose of his character is to be a proxy(or at least was originally)

I think even Zelda games could be done very well without the Damsel in Distress element. Majora's Mask, for example, didn't have a damsel. You were saving Termina and Skull Kid. I'd call that game just as "core" as any of the rest of the Zelda games. Also, in Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, Zelda was independent and helpful rather than in distress for a huge stretch of the game. It was pretty cool that Zelda was even helping you in the final battle in Ocarina of Time. If they made a few stylistic tweaks for the end game to keep the archvillain threatening without going with the DiD trope, the games would be just as solid in my eyes.

I totally agree with you on having a male or female Link. Traditionalists can have the option of playing as male Link if they want. It would be smart to give people options.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the Nintendo examples are easy enough to change, Peach has already been not helpless before in a few games(my favorite character in SMB2, floating!). A game where Mario gets kidnapped and Peach has to save him isn't farfetched in that series' canon.

They did that. Super Princess Peach on the DS.

That's a whole other can of worms though.

Edited by Dexie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think even Zelda games could be done very well without the Damsel in Distress element. Majora's Mask, for example, didn't have a damsel. You were saving Termina and Skull Kid. I'd call that game just as "core" as any of the rest of the Zelda games. Also, in Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, Zelda was independent and helpful rather than in distress for a huge stretch of the game. It was pretty cool that Zelda was even helping you in the final battle in Ocarina of Time. If they made a few stylistic tweaks for the end game to keep the archvillain threatening without going with the DiD trope, the games would be just as solid in my eyes.

The first dungeon of Majora's Mask involves a DiD though. It isn't important though since it's a small part of the game.

What about Zelda's role in SS? If I recall correctly, she isn't captured until the last scenes of the game, and I don't think that should be offensive in any way. In the rest of the game she's exploring the land with Impa and is actually a good character IMO. The part where she is imprisoned is a bit strange but it shouldn't be representative of the DiD trope.

Share this post


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.