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Gender Diversity / Politics in games (was Tropes Vs. Women)

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If only we could get as worked up about these issues, as we do about the fate of some pixels with boobs, or how many rapes there are on game of thrones, or stupid offensive jokes.

But fuck that. Let's focus all our rage and indignation on this trivial beach ball of an issue that we can bat back and forth forever, So we can keep telling ourselves we're making a difference.

Vote ukip.

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So, what are you doing to address those issues? Apart from trying to use them to distract away from the issues discussed in this thread?

The reason these issues are important is the depiction of women and gender relationships in media does a lot to teach, reinforce and normalise a problematic worldview. And it's that worldview that lets those other things happen.

We primarily discuss games in this thread because this is the games part of the forum and the thread came about because of Anita'a videos about the prevalence of these tropes in games.

I believe games can be the artistic medium of the 21st Century in the same way that film & TV was for the 20th. There is power in this medium. It can be argued that what is depicted is simply a reflection of what is, but is that all we can be? If we aspire to be something better then we have to do better in terms of representation and not falling back on lazy tropes. If we are going to help change things then we cannot simply reflect the current state of the world back at itself.

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I probably didn't think too much of it because there were achievements for shooting the faces off of hundreds of men, chopping up animals left right and centre and even causing the extinction of one species. All the achievements in RDR reward pretty reprehensible behaviour, not just towards women and it is just another terrible thing to check off the terrible list. If the game didn't provide well rounded characters of all sexes and give a little bit of context then you'd think the whole thing was awful. We should just get rid of achievements full stop, they're pointless.

Well yeah. Have you ever had a tough time transferring saves from one machine to another, or one 'account' to another? Well I have, apparently modern consoles have DRM for saves, locking them to the player and the machine they were made on. This is ostensibly to stop people from just being able to download saves with 100% achievement for games, which would of course render the whole system meaningless! Can you imagine how awful that would be?

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I've been thinking about this over the weekend and I think one of the issues that the big studios are trying to struggle with is co-ordinating a large team. An indie would probably look at something like that and remove it in order not to spoil the tone of the game, whereas like you said someone probably threw it in the game and since it didn't break the game there it stayed.The solution is either studios need to rein things in a bit (you can have a game get too bloated, Assassin's Creed 3 is the perfect example) or they'll need to create a role for some sort of editor/producer to oversee the project and look out for things that might not match with the rest of the game.

It's kind of ironic given Ubisoft has a semi-secret cabal of editors whose only job is to oversee the creative direction of projects and keep them in line.

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So this may be a dumb question but how "must see" are the tropes vs women videos because I watched the first one when it came out and wasn't very keen on it, if anything it just came out as 30 minutes of listing off examples of representation and equality done badly. Should I actually give it another go or is it not really essential viewing to someone who already believes that women aren't widely well represented in games?

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That's what they all are, nothing worthwhile there unless you're some sort of caveman.

That's an odd thing to say considering you have spent the last couple of pages debating the issues the video has raised, and suggesting that she had taken some of her examples out of context.
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Not really, my whole point comes from the fact that I think her videos are rubbish.

I guess it just seemed strange to me that you are suggesting the videos are simultaneously obvious (and not worth bothering with), and wrong.
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I guess it just seemed strange to me that you are suggesting the videos are simultaneously obvious (and not worth bothering with), and wrong.

I've only argued that certain specific parts were wrong. You're taking my comments out of context..

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Wow, what an incredible post. I'm taking a break from the forum at a moment but after checking on my notifications and seeing this gem and how totally galling it was I felt I just had to respond.

You know something about these posts really rubbed me the wrong way, and I have been trying to put my finger on what it is. And now I've figured it out. The wording puts the problem in my perception and reaction to events, rather than in the events we are discussing. Like finding the way that sex workers are depicted in certain games disgusting is just down to my fluffy protected life in which I'm oblivious to the majority experience of the man on the street (which you presumably think you typify).

Firstly Geekette the posts you are quoting there are me responding to specific objections of the depiction of violence towards women and purely that - the simple depiction of it. I am not going to explain why I objected to the logic behind this criticism - i've already done that.

So you're sentence starting 'like finding the way' is incorrect and misleading because I was talking about flat objections to depictions of violence against women as seen in the video - *not* your criticisms or concerns about the way prostitutes are shown, which is not something I disagreed with generally and offered a note or two of support in favour of. All of this seems to have been forgotten in your rush to take a dump on me.

Lastly the accusation that, in objecting to your comments about the uniquely shocking nature of virtual violence against women and critiquing them I was somehow trying to imply that I 'typify' the 'majority experience of the man on the street' is hilarous. What on earth is it based on? It's complete nonsense, an insult based on pure supposition plucked out of the air. When I have displayed swagger or the air that I think I'm some sort of common, populist, salt-of-the-earth type people's sage or something? What the fuck are you talking about?

Can you imagine saying that my discomfort about watching a skinhead suggest to my friend (who had recently shaved his head after losing a bet) that they go out and find some niggers to beat up was me being "squeamish"? Or my discomfort at hearing how a suicidal teenage boy was being bullied and called gay and faggot at school for not being aggressively masculine enough, whilst the teachers seemed to assume he was homosexual despite his stated preferences was just me "not liking to see stuff I don't like to see"? Or my reaction to hearing about domestic violence, rape, child abuse and neglect, is that not really a problem and just me finding it "icky"?

Again I was critiquing and arguing against your specific comments about you being 'shocked' at the depiction of virtual violence. And no I don't find that it's absolutely appalling just because you do. For a start I don't share your timid and hysterical response to videogame violence nor your rather sexist attitudes about how bad that violence is when specifically applied to virtual women (because, uh, men are 'gangsters' in games).

It is somewhat important to remember that we're talking about imaginary violence here and to distinguish between that and the real examples you give there.

Or is it just that I'm not allowed to express my opinions when they differ from yours?

Well yes, of course it is. Seriously though, why even bother writing something like this? What do you expect me to say in response? What argument can be made against this supposition? I'm fairly sure you're aware i can't marshall evidence against it. Your seething contempt is obvious and this has gone far beyond a debate.

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However, there is clearly still a problem, and the fact it needs pointing out by someone like Sarkeesian and that there is so much resistance to the message shows how far we still have to travel. If you can't see the problem, that is pretty clear evidence that you've habituated to an unacceptable norm. In fact I'd go so far as to say that to advocate that there isn't a problem with the representation of women in video games means you are part of the problem.

Finally we come to the accusation that far too often people in these kind of debates gravitate towards. I suppose it's a relief that it didn't take your very long to get to it. It's honest a least, I suppose and obviously not surprising at all at this point.

But you and people like you ought to just simply the statement and the process made around making it. Firstly, make it straight away as soon as someone disagrees with the majority view in this arena. At least that way that person knows what you're thinking and where you're (inevitably) going to go.

Secondly, make that statement explicit. Put it out there, front and centre. Maybe put it in the title of the thread:


Or maybe a simpler and more punchy:


I mean, just get to the point with it, yeah? There are no arguments that can be made against that stuff without that at being at least hinted at.

Anyway, that's that bit done. Let me turn now to whether what you've said is actually true (spoiler: it isn't).


I have never 'advocated' that there isn't a problem (or should that be 'problems') with the overall depiction of women in games. Incredibly Geekette, just because I have critiqued this video and disagree with you on some specific points doesn't mean I don't have views on the myriad other topics and issues within the debate. I have said multiple times I agree with not only the general notion (there is a problem) but, of course, also that there is much yet to be done for gender equality.

Indeed, within this very thread and my last few posts I have made points about how there clearly *is* such a problem. I'm not going to go and dig them out because I'm not about to brush over your laziness in not examining them or your rather obvious eagerness to attack me. You can read them if you like, just as everyone else can. Suffice to I've made those statements 'just now' in terms of the thread. The facts are there and they completely undermine your offensive suggestion that i'm part of the problem.

It is so utterly depressing and exasperating to see this predictable and sad post by you come to pass and to consider everything deflating it reflects about this supposed debate. But as I said i knew this would happen if I dared to criticise Saint Anita and one of her videos, or the logic behind them. It didn't even matter that one of the most prominent voices in this thread, Wiper, criticised it too. You've brushed over that, naturally. I critiqued some of your comments so i'm obviously 'part of the problem'. You, rather foolishly, think you know me so you take all so very personally and what's more you clearly seem me as an inferior and an upstart who needs to be put in his place. Worse still, i'm smartasrse who disagrees with you, and I've got a cock! A cock!

Please don't ever again talk about me, to me, or with my friends behind my back again. That's the end of that. You can go back to gossiping with your mates about me.

I agree, but I wonder if you've missed the irony of this point?

Haha, oh my. In disagreeing with you and arguing against *some* of your points I was 'brow beating' you? Really? What a delicate flower you are. You and your place within the established and vocal majority of the thread, being 'brow beaten' by someone arguing with your logic.

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There is no seething contempt from my end. Did you experience any when you lived in my house for 6 weeks? Was it my seething contempt that meant I bought you top quality steaks to barbecue despite my household being vegetarian? My seething contempt that gave you a brand new Macbook Air? My seething contempt that drove you back and forth to south London? My seething contempt that is still storing boxes of your stuff in my garage?

What the fuck have the events of nigh-on TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO got to do with anything? I know you're fond of ostentatiously displaying how kindly and generous you are but jesus, at least try and disguise it a little. But of course I know why you bring it up - this is personal for you and you're looking for 'personal' ammunition to use.

Do you realise how cheap and tawdry a tactic this is for you to display? To chuck around these completely irrelevant private and personal details like so much confetti because you're angry at my sheer cheek for disagreeing with you?

Is this piece of shit post going to typify the level of your response to my two long and carefully written posts above? You're not going to address the parts where I say you're flat-out wrong but instead dig around for some crap in your slops bucket to throw at me?

Do you see the difference between our posts, Geekette? Does everyone? I addressed your points, rebutted them with arguments and evidence. Here you've gone for

1: Some sad attempts to insult me

2: ''You're just attacking me because i'm a woman''.

This is fucking incredible. Why bother to carefully respond to your posts when you're going to come out with drivel like this? What a load of hand-waving bullshit. Look everyone, I did some stuff for Smitty once. Hey look Smitty's a dickhead. He's only criticising me because I have a vagina. Jesus H Christ.

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What I'm seeing is a person who is making judgements about me based on your perception of my gender and socioeconomic status

Your gender? What the hell are you talking about? FUCK your gender! I don't give a fuck that you're a woman, I really don't and I fucking totally resent baseless accusation that I do. How about, I don't know what the right words are here, fuck you?

My 'judgements' in this instance were actually entirely based on, get this, the posts you made. The hilarious 'video nasty' hysterical comments about videogame violence for instance. I'm judging that attitude, explicitly. But again, why go over this when my arguments are there in the individual posts?

And why bring up stuff that is completely and totally irrelevant to the discussion except that you calculate it will make you look good and me bad? Should I talk now about all the private information I have about you that you don't want to be shared here? I mean, it's completely irrelevant to the topic of Anita's poor video and tabloid-style analysis or your posts but I mean, fuck, you've disagreed with me man. Maybe I should just splash some shit about for the hell of it?

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Ah, the 'i'm not arguing' canard. That way you can look non-combatative whilst also escaping the need to address a rebuttal specifically made to your comments about the person you're so serenely refusing to argue with.


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How the fuck did I miss this until now? God, you think a thread has descended into a bleeding heart circle jerk, and then suddenly it turns into gold.

This is not "gold", this is awful. Smitty starts out with some fairly even-handed critique of the videos, and as soon as people start disputing the viewpoints, it becomes "I'm logically right" and quickly devolves into aggression. We've seen this before, this is not a question where Rllmuk is the solution.

Edit: And I don't mean that Smitty is awful, but this current thread of discussion is fucking toxic and I hope geekette and Smitty carry on the conversation in private. If they wish.

Edited for accuracy.

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This is not "gold", this is awful. Smitty starts out with some fairly even-handed critique of the videos, and as soon as people start disputing the viewpoints, it becomes "I'm logically right" and quickly devolves into abusive nonsense to good people who attempt to help. We've seen this before, this is not a question where Rllmuk is the solution.

Edit: And I don't mean that Smitty is awful, but this current thread of discussion is fucking toxic and I hope geekette and Smitty carry on the conversation in private.

What are you talking about? Are you saying I've argued anything even vaguely resembling "I'm logically right"? What quick abuse? Who are the" good people who are trying to help"?

As for continuing it in "private" - can anything be considered private with a person who brings up shit from two years ago to score points because they're annoyed?

But I suppose everyone most know of her saintly deeds. It is by their miracles that saints are known, right?

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Here's a tip for you - don't ever accept any generosity from Geekette (real name, profession and various embarrassing details withheld) because believe me you'll never hear the end of it - in person and eventually in public. First from her mates (super stu) and then from her.

I don't think she got the memo about how act an of kindness doesn't make a person beholden to you, that acts of charity should not be paraded and that gifts aren't something you can later start acting like there was a bill to pay.

I love that she went back to her post to edit in "vegetarian household". It's not enough that she bought me some steak, which it was it said pre edit. It's important to her that you know the full extent of her selflessness and my wretched villainy.

Here's another top tip: if you want to have a constructive debate come into a thread and immedietly call the proceeding discussion "disgusting"* and proceed to smear everyone who you disagree with.

*without naming names, of course, you're a coward after all. Just keep it vague and passive aggressive.

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The least you could do is give her her laptop back you monster. She probably needs it to make crispin his website

I don't have her fucking laptop. I gave it back to her when I left hers. I don't have something that she gave of me entirely of her own violation.

It's weird how a gift (that turned out to be temporary) can be used as a weapon isn't it? Even a thin and light Air can be used to batter someone around the head with two years later.

Here's a tip for you - just bite your fucking tongue when someone has gone so out of their way to help you. You ungrateful cunt.

Oh, fuck off Adam.
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Smitters, If Geekette was so keen to bang on about what a saint she is why has she waited two years to mention all this stuff?

Maybe she's just upset by the way you treated her in this thread and was hoping that by confronting you with details of her generosity, you would see that you were off the mark by accusing her of disliking you because you have a cock, or whatever.

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