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Memnir
03-12-2013, 09:34 PM
This is an editorial written by Cliff Bleszinski, the creator of Gears of War. And the subject matter is an important one, I think, to anyone who loves gaming as a hobby or a profession.


I cannot recommend this article strongly enough, and urge everyone to read it and then think about what is says. I think it's important enough to share, even though it has a few examples of NSFW language.


"If Video Games Are Going to Grow Up, Then the Bullying Needs to Stop. (http://kotaku.com/5990184/if-video-games-are-going-to-grow-up-then-the-bullying-needs-to-stop)"

Sir_Noob
03-12-2013, 09:53 PM
+ 1 to you sir!

Great article.

Silken-Akira
03-13-2013, 02:48 AM
Thanks for sharing this and a +1 it is more than worth.

SilkofDrasnia
03-13-2013, 02:53 AM
Was an interesting read. I would like to comment on the:


We're the gamers, the dorks. We're the ones who were on our computers during prom. We're the ones that were in the back of the lunch room who were playing D&D instead of tossing a football around on the quad. We were supposed to be the open, friendly ones, the ones who welcomed all into our wonderful geeky circle.

While most of us probably already know this I think it is the first time I have seen this in an article. Things have evolved and it seems to me the "gamers and dorks" do as much bullying as the "jocks" ever did.

The only difference is "jocks" do it physically while the "dorks" do it mentally, just take a look at most game forums, prime example would the the forum that cannot be named here.

It's a shame really you would think we would know better.

Archangel666
03-13-2013, 03:42 AM
Interesting reading Mem, thank you for sharing that.

BurningDownTheHouse
03-13-2013, 04:01 AM
Thanks for the read Mem, but I happen to agree with the first response to it myself:


Here's the thing. I am a woman, and I play video games. I built my own computer, I regularly upgrade it, and I play console, portable, and PC games with equal abandon.

I object to Sarkeesian not because she's a woman, but because she is being hailed as "the voice of the female gamer" when she decidedly does not represent me or the majority of female gamers. She takes a microscope to video games when what's actually needed is a magnifying glass. She narrows in on the things that represent her world view, and rejects any disagreement with said world view without hesitation.

Do I believe video games need to 'grow up', and that the industry needs to reevaluate itself in the face of a new generation of female gamers? Absolutely. But why the hell is Sarkeesian being placed on this pedestal, when we have women like Rhianna Pratchett who is actually working to change the atmosphere, to create characters who were, in the good ole days, characterized as sexual objects with gameplay and have been transformed through their work into actual characters? Why are we idolizing someone who sits on their ivory throne and gets to dictate how things should be according to her own master plan, instead of the folks who are actually in the trenches and making these changes happen?

It truly disgusts me that Sarkeesian gets as much screentime as she does. If something changes in the game industry because of her (and I mean, someone directly calls her out as their inspiration for a game), then I might give her some credit. But I would much rather devote my dollars and time to people like Pratchett who are making the change happen, instead of whining about it from behind a camera.

Dhalgren
03-13-2013, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the read Mem, but I happen to agree with the first response to it myself:

I see where you're coming from with that (and where the quoted poster is coming from), but I would offer this as a counterargument:

Sarkeesian is not on a pedestal. She is on a soapbox. She is speaking her mind, and not dictating anything--to dictate, people must be compelled to follow what you are saying. Nobody is obliged to do what Sarkeesian says. If others believe in what she has to say enough to support that (whether it be financially, or via links/follows/retweets/whatever), that just means that they agree with her--not that she has somehow compelled them to do so against their will.

Are others working within the industry to effect change? Yes. Is this important? Yes, of course it is. But it is also important that the very nature of the problem itself be publicized, and if that is where Sarkessian's talents lie, then where is the upside in talking her down from doing so? There isn't an upside. It's just sour grapes from someone who isn't quite bright enough (or is too emotionally invested) to realize that Sarkeesian and Pratchett are fighting the same battle but just using different tools to do so.

For someone to denigrate what one person is doing in the name of a cause because someone else is doing the same thing via other means is not merely pointless, but is actually detrimental to the cause itself. This Godhand person needs to give her head a shake and realize that it is the war, not the chosen theatre of battle, which is important.

Dribble
03-13-2013, 04:43 AM
Nothing "CliffyB" has to say is worth reading (that includes when that hacky **** stumbles onto points I might otherwise agree with). No idea why he is jumping on every piece of videogame news lately and sharing his two cents...i will assume he is gunning for some attention for some reason.

Archangel666
03-13-2013, 05:06 AM
I see where you're coming from with that (and where the quoted poster is coming from), but I would offer this as a counterargument:

Sarkeesian is not on a pedestal. She is on a soapbox. She is speaking her mind, and not dictating anything--to dictate, people must be compelled to follow what you are saying. Nobody is obliged to do what Sarkeesian says. If others believe in what she has to say enough to support that (whether it be financially, or via links/follows/retweets/whatever), that just means that they agree with her--not that she has somehow compelled them to do so against their will.

Are others working within the industry to effect change? Yes. Is this important? Yes, of course it is. But it is also important that the very nature of the problem itself be publicized, and if that is where Sarkessian's talents lie, then where is the upside in talking her down from doing so? There isn't an upside. It's just sour grapes from someone who isn't quite bright enough (or is too emotionally invested) to realize that Sarkeesian and Pratchett are fighting the same battle but just using different tools to do so.

For someone to denigrate what one person is doing in the name of a cause because someone else is doing the same thing via other means is not merely pointless, but is actually detrimental to the cause itself. This Godhand person needs to give her head a shake and realize that it is the war, not the chosen theatre of battle, which is important.

Both are fair comments as far as I'm concerned.

I read both articles and watched her first video on the "Damsel in Distress", (would have watched the second part but she hasn't made it yet), I read and watched with an open mind, if anything I'm probably predisposed toward the "underdog" with a good cause.

I won't for a second try to claim that there isn't a problem, there clearly is, have you seen the Armour in most games? DDO is just as bad in this regard, though there are worse examples.

However, when watching her video, what struck me was this:

While her video was well made and cogent, I got the feeling that she may be guilty of over-analyzing a bit. I studied basic level Psychology when I was younger and when I got to the Sigmund Freud section I shuddered the whole way through it, but he did say one thing that stuck in my mind. What he said was this "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar". In other words sometimes we read more into a subject than is either warranted or even necessary.

The first part of the video on "Damsel in Distress" kind of illustrates that. She listed off game after game after game where this Trope was used and heavily implied (though later tried to claim that she wasn't implying) that this was almost a deliberate act. When the most likely answer was that the vast majority of the game companies used the Trope for the simple reason that it empowered young boys and men (Their target audience at the time) and that it worked.

This may be me reading more into the situation than is warranted but it almost seemed as though she lacked the confidence in her own ability to convey her message and so ended up over explaining. The problem with over explaining is that it can make your audience feel almost as though they are being talked down to, when I seriously doubt that was her intention in the slightest. We can all be guilty of this, I'm certainly no different.

Does the industry need to change? Absolutely.

Do campaigns like these raise awareness? Absolutely.

Is the cause a good one? Absolutely.

That's all I really need personally. I know that there's a problem, and I'm glad that someone is doing something about it.

On a side note and only tangentially related I did find her Youtube username a bit off putting (Only noticed after watching). I've never liked the word "Feminist", not because I believe that men and women are not equal, of course they are, and it's complete bullpoo to think otherwise. So why my distaste for the word? Simple. I've never met or talked to a Feminist who actually wanted Equality. Any prolonged conversation has always ended up with them essentially wanting to be/ feeling that they already were "better" than men. And to me, that's just the other side of the coin to Male Chauvinism and I find both equally repugnant.

Dhalgren
03-13-2013, 05:17 AM
Both are fair comments as far as I'm concerned.

I read both articles and watched her first video on the "Damsel in Distress", (would have watched the second part but she hasn't made it yet), I read and watched with an open mind, if anything I'm probably predisposed toward the "underdog" with a good cause.

I won't for a second try to claim that there isn't a problem, there clearly is, have you seen the Armour in most games? DDO is just as bad in this regard, though there are worse examples.

However, when watching her video, what struck me was this:

While her video was well made and cogent, I got the feeling that she may be guilty of over-analyzing a bit. I studied basic level Psychology when I was younger and when I got to the Sigmund Freud section I shuddered the whole way through it, but he did say one thing that stuck in my mind. What he said was this "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar". In other words sometimes we read more into a subject than is either warranted or even necessary.

The first part of the video on "Damsel in Distress" kind of illustrates that. She listed off game after game after game where this Trope was used and heavily implied (though later tried to claim that she wasn't implying) that this was almost a deliberate act. When the most likely answer was that the vast majority of the game companies used the Trope for the simple reason that it empowered young boys and men (Their target audience at the time) and that it worked.

This may be me reading more into the situation than is warranted but it almost seemed as though she lacked the confidence in her own ability to convey her message and so ended up over explaining. The problem with over explaining is that it can make your audience feel almost as though they are being talked down to, when I seriously doubt that was her intention in the slightest. We can all be guilty of this, I'm certainly no different.

Does the industry need to change? Absolutely.

Do campaigns like these raise awareness? Absolutely.

Is the cause a good one? Absolutely.

That's all I really need personally. I know that there's a problem, and I'm glad that someone is doing something about it.

On a side note and only tangentially related I did find her Youtube username a bit off putting (Only noticed after watching). I've never liked the word "Feminist", not because I believe that men and women are not equal, of course they are, and it's complete bullpoo to think otherwise. So why my distaste for the word? Simple. I've never met or talked to a Feminist who actually wanted Equality. Any prolonged conversation has always ended up with them essentially wanting to be/ feeling that they already were "better" than men. And to me, that's just the other side of the coin to Male Chauvinism and I find both equally repugnant.

Can't find an awful lot in what you wrote that I disagree with.

Honestly I'd rather see "Personists" than "Feminists". Maybe that's just me (and maybe you).

Archangel666
03-13-2013, 05:23 AM
Can't find an awful lot in what you wrote that I disagree with.

Honestly I'd rather see "Personists" than "Feminists". Maybe that's just me (and maybe you).

Probably. People are people, gender has bugger all to do with it.

Silken-Akira
03-13-2013, 05:30 AM
@ Archangel666: Nice view. I indeed share the opinion that discrimination goes both ways. When I went to Thailand some years ago it was refreshing the lack of positive discrimination they had there. The fact they hardly had no groups to fight for homophiles or disabled people shows they just accepted as equals. Point, nothing further. Women, disabled and such just could do any work like someone else if they wanted to (amzing how many women work ther in construction building for example) and if they needs differ there a bit then there were adjustments. I blame their boedhism :).

phillymiket
03-13-2013, 07:07 AM
Thanks sir

Here is a link to the video by Anita Sarkeesian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6p5AZp7r_Q&feature=youtu.be

Even more interesting than the video itself it the reactions it is causing.

The backlash against Ms. Sarkeesian was immediate and vitriolic.

To comment on a point in the article by Mr. Bleszinski, I don't think video games represent the harmless nerd in the back of the lunch room anymore. It's a cross section with young males heavily represented. In other words: it's the football team as well as the lunchroom geeks that play games.

Ms. Saekeesian was the focus of not just sexism and hatred but of some serious trolling as well.

I'm not at all surprised.

It is also interesting to see the bit theamazingathiest posted asking why feministfrequency (Ms. Sarkessian) disabled comments and ratings and the backlash against him from supporters of feministfrequency which was also immediate and vitriolic. (admittedly TAA can be a bit hard to take and brings these reactions upon himself)

It seems many people have an axe to grind and look for any place on the internet to spew garbage (I know, big revelation).

So as always, I support reading this article, as well as feministfrequency's stuff and even theamazingathiest but suggest not reading too much into the internet reactions which are trollified beyond reality.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the majority of the **** on the interwebs comes from a very small percent of the population that posts very heavily and doesn't care or even realize that they are taking what is one of most powerful tools humanity has ever had, the ability to communicate instantly with each other, and turning it into a soundboard for their hatred and childish trolling.
.

Bekki
03-13-2013, 09:20 AM
Very interesting read.
+1 sir

And very thought provoking as well.
What has the critics up in arms that she is asking us to do the unthinkable...
Put a mirror up to ourselves and truly see how we treat others online...

We should ask ourselves... "How are we perceived by others?"

If we were to be able to see just how we come accross to others...
Many of us may not like what we see?

Before we arbitrarily pass judgement on what she wants to do...
Maybe we should see what she finds out in her research.
It may be a true eye opener for us...
Or are all so afraid of what she may uncover...
That we the bullied have somehow found our niche where we...
Have become... the bullies...

Something to think about...

Just my http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-forum/2c.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

NytCrawlr
03-13-2013, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the share Memnir, wiish I could +1 you. Very excellent read. :)

SableShadow
03-13-2013, 09:50 AM
tbh, I wouldn't even have noticed the vid (saw it some time ago) if there hadn't been an "opposition".

Seems like they're selecting themselves out. :)


So why my distaste for the word? Simple. I've never met or talked to a Feminist who actually wanted Equality. Any prolonged conversation has always ended up with them essentially wanting to be/ feeling that they already were "better" than men. And to me, that's just the other side of the coin to Male Chauvinism and I find both equally repugnant.

That.

Aliss7
03-13-2013, 01:17 PM
Meh. That was poorly written and all over the place. I honestly don't know what his point was more than, "Hey guys! Let's all be nicer to each other!"

Sound and fury.

Cheezburgerz
03-13-2013, 01:21 PM
That article makes me want to bully myself.

Paryan
03-15-2013, 09:03 AM
http://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/gaming-doesnt-need-creeps

Here is another article related to Anita Sarkeesian and the trends of how women are portrayed in gaming.

cdbd3rd
03-15-2013, 09:44 AM
"If Video Games Are Going to Grow Up, Then the Bullying Needs to Stop. (http://kotaku.com/5990184/if-video-games-are-going-to-grow-up-then-the-bullying-needs-to-stop)"

"...I'll be the first one to post a sexy picture of my wife or..."

Oh, he made me a fan right there, but am betting not-so-much-so his wife. :D

Dawnsfire
03-15-2013, 10:20 AM
Thanks Mem it was an interesting read.

Games have had a history of treating men and women differently. I do suspect the young lady is correct that it empowered young men partly because they were the ones playing at the time. I do hope she has fun analysing this phenomenon but I really think she already has it solved. Games cater to men because the game maker assumes that is their audience. As game makers wake up and realize that there are:

1: More woman then men
2: They enjoy games too
3: 'Hello Kitty Online' does not count

I suspect games will become more and more welcoming of women. As soon as they figure out that there is money there, they will serve the market because they are greedy ;)

I had a bit of trouble with the author's need to call those he disagreed with 'Taliban' though. Yes the h8ers are pretty thick and nasty there but if he wants to stop 'the bullies' he really needs to drop the **** himself (unless of course he has caught them actually stoning or beheading folks).

Missing_Minds
03-15-2013, 10:31 AM
While her video was well made and cogent, I got the feeling that she may be guilty of over-analyzing a bit. I studied basic level Psychology when I was younger and when I got to the Sigmund Freud section I shuddered the whole way through it, but he did say one thing that stuck in my mind. What he said was this "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar". In other words sometimes we read more into a subject than is either warranted or even necessary.

This is why, not because of Freud though, I hated Symbolism in high school English classes and called bullcarp on it every single time. The only person who actually knows what they were intending to signify is the creator themself. Anyone else is only guessing and placing their personal perspective on the matter as if it were fact.

And look at all the issues created in the past and today that are caused by such. If they want to treat it as a philosopy and creative thinking? Hey, sweet, I like it. But to treat it as fact? bullarky.



Sarkeesian is not on a pedestal. She is on a soapbox.
The interesting thing about that is that now, because she got attention and a subsequent fanbase, she is placed on a pedestal.
Like many of the forumites here, they started on a soapbox, then after a time they became a "champion" of some of the others and then placed on a pedestal.

Everyone starts somewhere.

Me... I came to all this realization 10+ years ago, only the methods to have a soapbox didn't exist as they do today. Nor did I care about being vocal about such when I knew I wouldn't be able to make a different because I didn't have the energy to bother with it. Does this make me better than them? Nope. Just means it is old news to me.

FestusHood
03-15-2013, 11:51 AM
I agree that bullying is unfortunate, there is no excuse for it. That being said, and having watched the video about the subject 'damsel in distress', i can see why someone would disagree somewhat with her viewpoint.

Personally, i dislike when people put political correctness above reality. Near the end of the video, she mentions that there is some fallacy involved with portraying women as needing to be protected by men. That the idea that women are not as strong as men is a myth. Huh?

In any real life situation where a man and a woman face an actual violent situation, in 99% percent of cases, the man will be expected to face the antagonist, if physical violence is called for. If a man stood by and watched his wife or girlfriend being beaten, he would be a parriah. Hell, even if he watched it happen to a woman he didn't know. Now reverse the roles. A woman comes across a man being beaten to a pulp by another man, and she physically beats down the attacker to rescue him. You see that story all the time. Oh wait, you don't.

There is a reason all sporting events are divided into womens and mens divisions. Due to biology, not stereotyping, women simply are not as strong as men. Can you find an exception where a woman who devotes her life to working out is stronger than an unusually out of shape male? Of course. But let's be real here, the average woman is not going to be able to beat the average man in a fight. Not without involving weapons.

Her example, which seemed to really bother her, was Double Dragon, where a woman is punched in the stomach before she is kidnapped. Now most people might be bothered by this because of the depiction of a woman being brutalized, generally considered to be a heinous act, second only to brutalizing a child. Her problem seemed to stem from the idea that the thug was able to beat her up, not the criminal nature of it.

I guess if she's right, all of the uproar about battered women must be some kind of a scam. There must certainly be just as many battered men.