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Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies


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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

The Southern Poverty Law Center is keeping its eye on Gamergate as a hate group.

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/10/16/hatewatch-headlines-101614/

‘Gamergate’ reflects not an apolitical consumer movement, but a swelling of vicious right-wing conspiracism.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/13/gamergate-right-wing-no-neutral-stance

The larger a mass, the greater its gravitational pull. This also applies to social media bandwagons. Gamergate, the months-long online consumer revolt, fomented by anti-feminist reactionaries and loosely held together by a Twitter hashtag, certainly wants to give the impression of being a planetoid, and as a result has drawn into its orbit a whole range of protagonists. Some have petty or personal grievances, others exaggerated concerns rooted in genuine issues. Some have just smelled money, or fear.

There’s an element of symbiosis in the relationship between those involved. The worst – disingenuous ideologues, agitators, power-drunk vigilantes – are able to use the diversity of participants as a fig leaf for their agenda, while those with smaller axes to grind get to harness the energy and aggression of the extremists while simultaneously disavowing them. Marching under the incredibly vague banner of “journalistic ethics” allows bona fide neo-nazis to hold hands with ticked-off customers and claim common cause.

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The point is that it is as I originally said before you chimed in. Telling the developers to change their output is not an effective way to enact societal change. Not sure what you planned to get out of proving my point in some needlessly antagonistic manner.

They are not looking for societal change specifically. They are looking for a broader and as a consequence, fairer representation of women (and other minorities.) That is what the critics are doing. They are calling for such. And is why Bayonetta gets such low reviews (7.5, not 9.0 or 10.0.) The belief is that if you have a broader representation of women, you will not have adolescent men growing up, playing lots of video games and reading lots of comic books, with women represented in a limited set of tropes, especially the Virgin-Whore duality. Because these limited set of tropes are especially confining for women looking to play games and later make games.

Not sure why, I'm not really insecure on my opinions about media and I'm not going to give it more thought unless you have something substantial to counter with. Try human conversation, please.

Because you interpret a botched ending is several magnitudes more important than flimsy character development.

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Bayonetta 2 actually got really high scores. There was only one 7.5, and that's not even a low score. That's pretty good, actually.

Of the 61 listed critic reviews for Bayonetta 2 on Metacritic (which I'm only linking as an index of said reviews), only 14 were below 90. And of those 14, only 3 are below 80.

Bayonetta 2 gets really high reviews, actually.

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Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

Note: This article was published in Social Text #46/47, pp. 217-252 (spring/summer 1996).
My approach will be as follows: First I will review very briefly some of the philosophical and ideological issues raised by quantum mechanics and by classical general relativity. Next I will sketch the outlines of the emerging theory of quantum gravity, and discuss some of the conceptual issues it raises. Finally, I will comment on the cultural and political implications of these scientific developments.

Over the past two decades there has been extensive discussion among critical theorists with regard to the characteristics of modernist versus postmodernist culture; and in recent years these dialogues have begun to devote detailed attention to the specific problems posed by the natural sciences.75 In particular, Madsen and Madsen have recently given a very clear summary of the characteristics of modernist versus postmodernist science. They posit two criteria for a postmodern science:

A simple criterion for science to qualify as postmodern is that it be free from any dependence on the concept of objective truth. By this criterion, for example, the complementarity interpretation of quantum physics due to Niels Bohr and the Copenhagen school is seen as postmodernist.76

The alternative is a profound reconception of science as well as politics:

[T]he dialogical move towards redefining systems, of seeing the world not only as an ecological whole but as a set of competing systems -- a world held together by the tensions among various natural and human interests -- offers the possibility of redefining what science is and what it does, of restructuring deterministic schemes of scientific education in favor of ongoing dialogues about how we intervene in our environment.92

It goes without saying that postmodernist science unequivocally favors the latter, deeper approach. In addition to redefining the content of science, it is imperative to restructure and redefine the institutional loci in which scientific labor takes place -- universities, government labs, and corporations -- and reframe the reward system that pushes scientists to become, often against their own better instincts, the hired guns of capitalists and the military.

Finally, postmodern science provides a powerful refutation of the authoritarianism and elitism inherent in traditional science, as well as an empirical basis for a democratic approach to scientific work. For, as Bohr noted, ``a complete elucidation of one and the same object may require diverse points of view which defy a unique description'' -- this is quite simply a fact about the world, much as the self-proclaimed empiricists of modernist science might prefer to deny it. In such a situation, how can a self-perpetuating secular priesthood of credentialed ``scientists'' purport to maintain a monopoly on the production of scientific knowledge? (Let me emphasize that I am in no way opposed to specialized scientific training; I object only when an elite caste seeks to impose its canon of ``high science'', with the aim of excluding a priori alternative forms of scientific production by non-members.
Postmodernism: So useful that its entrance into the mainstream took half a century and manifest through blogs and gaming news! Edited by Turbo
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There was some blowback for that single 7.5 review, especially regarding the critique that accompanied it.

True, but your phrasing seemed to imply that it was getting a lot of 7.5 reviews, when that was really far from the facts.

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I'm totally in opposition to the modern feminist movement, but even I have to wonder where this joke about murdering men comes from. I haven't seen that rooted anywhere outside that Valerie chick's SCUM manifesto, I just see feminists acting childish. The violence part is unknown to me. :P

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The Southern Poverty Law Center is keeping its eye on Gamergate as a hate group.

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/10/16/hatewatch-headlines-101614/

It took 7,000 people to get the SPLC to stop taking money from Cathy Brennan and even after that they still won't classify Gender Identity Watch, an organization that exists only to attack trans* people, as a hate group.

Let me repeat that: The SPLC took money from, and continues to give a free pass to, a literal hate organization run by someone convinced that trans* people are a threat to womankind and who has gone so far as to lobby against their basic human rights at the international level.

And you seriously think these people have any credibility left.

Regardless of what GG is *now*, the Zoe "controversy" IS actually what prompted gamergate. The person who actually created the #gamergate hashtag, Adam Baldwin, coined it while linking to the InternetAristocrat videos. Let's not revise history here.

Again: Nobody is arguing against ethics in game journalism. But the GG movement comes across as petty, obsessive, and, dare I say a bit misogynist, when it obsesses over people like Anita (not a game journalist), Leigh (who writes opinion pieces), Brianna (not a game journalist), or Zoe (not a game journalist) while seemingly ignoring the far larger ethical issues at hand.

Zoe "prompted" gamergate in the sense that everything from the deplorable wizardchan raid to gaming journalists refusing to report honestly on the attacks against TFYC's game jam and mass censorship of anything to do with her lit a powderkeg that was already there.

As for allegedly obsessing over those three womenHard Math simply doesn't support that. Less than 10% of gamergate's tweets have gone to Anita, Zoe, Brianna, Kotaku, Leigh, Grayson, and Totilo combined. Even then 85-90% of the tweets to them were neutral, and Zoe, Anita, and Leigh got the least amount of negative tweets.

Compare that to the tweets against gamergate where Leigh, Zoe, Chipman, Chu, and other major figures publicly condone and sometimes even take part in doxxing, filing false police reports, and as of the last day or two escalating to attempted SWATting. If you want misogyny and racism you need look no further than the tweets of people screaming slurs like "house n**" and the something like thirty odd people that have gotten knives and syringes in the mail, had the police sent to their homes, their income or internet cut off by fake reports, and even lost their jobs. Most of them weren't white, weren't cis or straight, or were women.

The idea that they're ignoring larger issues is also simply not true. Even the Shadow of Mordor issue had the whistle blown by gamergate supporters and was a significant issue of discussion. Asking why gamergate isn't doing more about AAA companies right now is, basically, asking why they aren't doing gaming journalists' jobs for them even as said journalists obstruct every attempt at doing so.

Which segues into the rest of your post...

This explains why there is such concerted effort to attack and punish Gawker. Surely otherwise intelligent people realize that doing this isn't really going to effect positive change; Gawker has responded to their tactics with hostility. But GG doesn't care about that - they care about "winning the war" and punishing an organization they don't like. If they DID really care about ethics in journalism, the focus would be very different... say, for example, by creating and/or promoting sites that have stronger policies, or by appealing to journalists reasonably, as opposed to attacking Kotaku by carpetbombing its advertisers.

Objections to that analysis?

You make two major claims here that are both patently untrue:

1. Gamergate did not "appeal to journalists reasonably" and

2. Gamergate did not create/promote sites with better policies

First off Journalists started this by publishing profanity filled screeds against "pissbabies" "obtuse shit slingers" and calling everyone ugly sexless white men while even reddit deleted over 25 THOUSAND posts on the subject. People TRIED to be reasonable, gamergate happened specifically because journalists refused that. The leak of the JournoList, which even Jimmy Wales himself has said is definitive proof of many of gamergate's claims, gives you a pretty good idea of why.

Your second point is also objectively wrong. One of the very first things Gamergate did was promote or create alternate media sources with better ethics policies. You can't swing a cat in KotakuInAction or the hastag without someone linking you to multiple websites. They've even given a lot of respect to ChristCenteredGaming for showing exactly how you can review a game professionally and according to cultural/moral issues.

I'll be honest Zircon I don't actually believe you spent any time on KotakuInAction. There's simply no way you could have missed this stuff unless you were deliberately trying to avoid it.

Edited by Shadowe
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Not really interested in rehashing the same discussion points over and over, believe what you want. I do visit KiA every day, for better or worse.

I thought this was a really good interview with Stephen Totilo and TotalBiscuit.

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Not really interested in rehashing the same discussion points over and over, believe what you want. I do visit KiA every day, for better or worse.

I thought this was a really good interview with Stephen Totilo and TotalBiscuit.

This is actually really good and it's great to get some answers about some of this stuff.

As for the Colbert thing.... I'm kind of amazed at how hard gamer gate is being exploited for monetary gain and exposure in the media.. Anita herself there talking about it? Well ok. I still think it was very wrong for Anita and Zoe to antagonize people (including using the hashtag directly to insult people) and announce whenever they're threatened on twitter but it seems to be working out for them now that GG is purely focused on them and their topics.

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As for the Colbert thing.... I'm kind of amazed at how hard gamer gate is being exploited for monetary gain and exposure in the media.. Anita herself there talking about it? Well ok. I still think it was very wrong for Anita and Zoe to antagonize people (including using the hashtag directly to insult people) and announce whenever they're threatened on twitter but it seems to be working out for them now that GG is purely focused on them and their topics.

No, she's getting exposure because she has valid points, and partly because of the way people reacted (i.e. death threats, rape threats, etc). I've not seen any evidence of Anita insulting and antagonizing people, do you have any specific examples? Anita and other women, on the other hand, have been repeatedly harassed and threatened. I really don't understand how anyone can accuse Anita and Zoe of insulting people, when they are the ones who were targeted.

By the way, gamergate started with harassment of mostly women who were critical of sexism in gaming culture, and people attempted to change the subject to "ethics in game journalism". It's strange to me that so much anger was stirred simply because some women want more diversity in video games, and have spoken out against harassment of women by some in the gaming community.

(edit: changed wording a bit)

Edited by Cash
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By the way, gamergate started as reaction to portrayal of women in video games, and people attempted to change the subject to "ethics in game journalism". Something many in this thread don't seem to understand.

Really? My understanding was that the initial thing was the "female game dev sleeps with gaming journalists for good reviews" (which appears to have been debunked, but was still the issue that got everything started) and it sort of merged with the people who already hated Sarkeesian and the like already (or the people making noise about Quinn were the same group of people making noise about Sarkeesian and the two originally-separate issues assimilated each other?) at some later point.

Not that it really makes a difference as the two are definitely tied together at this point anyway.

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Really? My understanding was that the initial thing was the "female game dev sleeps with gaming journalists for good reviews" (which appears to have been debunked, but was still the issue that got everything started) and it sort of merged with the people who already hated Sarkeesian and the like already (or the people making noise about Quinn were the same group of people making noise about Sarkeesian and the two originally-separate issues assimilated each other?) at some later point.

Yes, they were false allegations by her former boyfriend. But also it started with various articles critical of gamer culture and sexism in the culture, than #gamergate was used to harass those who made such criticism. I should say gamergate started with harassment of mostly women who were critical of sexism in gaming culture.

But my point was that it didn't start as ethics in game journalism.

Edited by Cash
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No, she's getting exposure because she has valid points, and partly because of the way people reacted (i.e. death threats, rape threats, etc). I've not seen any evidence of Anita insulting and antagonizing people, do you have any specific examples? Anita and other women, on the other hand, have been repeatedly harassed and threatened. I really don't understand how anyone can accuse Anita and Zoe of insulting people, when they are the ones who were targeted.

This isn't her directly insulting someone, but I think it was in pretty poor taste of Anita to post this: http://femfreq.tumblr.com/post/58161053721/spider-man-recruits-the-help-of-anita-sarkeesian-to

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I don't know how to search it with their system (notoriously bad at using twitter, all I do is type in the text and hit post status) but search for instances where Anita or Zoe used the #gamergate hashtag and ask yourself if any of it seems antagonizing

You're the one making a claim here, you support it. Two women are continuously harassed and threatened, and somehow they're the ones antagonizing and insulting other people? I don't buy it.

This isn't her directly insulting someone, but I think it was in pretty poor taste of Anita to post this: http://femfreq.tumblr.com/post/58161053721/spider-man-recruits-the-help-of-anita-sarkeesian-to

Am I missing something here? It looks like a fanfic from a tumblr that creates fanfics based on user submission. What about this is poor taste? Is there more to the story that I don't know about?

Edited by Cash
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Personally I don't know much about this whole movement, but I remember all the shit around Anita and her nutjob feminist views, making thousands of dollars for her shit via kickstarter that hates on men and wants females to be the heroes.

Damsels in distress is't a big deal, there were female heroes like Samus back in the day as well.

It pisses me off when politics are being formed around video games, when there should not be.

If you want to make a game like "Tampon Run" http://www.today.com/health/tampon-run-period-themed-video-game-you-didnt-know-you-1D80148651

Then go for it, but don't hate on video games with male leading roles.

It's ridiculous how our society complains about things, and wants changes, when the people themselves don't create the change.

Tampon Run is an example of girls who wanted to create something themselves, though I don't remember if they have hate view towards games like Anita does, but Anita is a special kind of nutjob.

So again, you can make w/e games you want, but don't tell me what kind of games I can play/make.

People could make all sorts of comments towards tampon run, or other weird female-only games that seem to try and make a point, but who cares because it doesn't affect them...

Some people will complain about anything to get attention and money. Exploiting the masses is how you get things done, and bringing up the hot topic of feminism, in a huge community of gamers, and you get yourself a money making business.

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Well, that's like arguing you can't review films without being a film director. Anita is entitled to share her views and you're entitled to disagree and share your own opposing views. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is saying you "can't" play or make certain games. That's not what critique is. Anita even prefaces all her videos by saying that you can play and enjoy a game while still being critical of certain aspects.

As to "exploiting the masses", if people want to pay to support you, that's capitalism, free speech, and democracy at work. Nothing immoral or unethical about it. She produces videos that contain her opinion on feminist issues in games, and raised money to do that. I don't see any harm or wrongdoing there at all.

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