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


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52 minutes ago, geekette said:

Right, and a particular american football team wouldn't be the same without their star player either, but sometimes the stigma of what they have done makes them drop the player anyway.

 

That's just not true though. I don't know American Football, but there are at most 4 footballers in the world who genuinely make a difference that can't be directly replaced. If one of those did something of note then it might be interesting, but generally they'll just replace them with someone as good and everyone will be happy. There's literally only the cost of the replacement that needs justifying and that's it.

 

Art needs to be separated from the artists. You'd never listen to Wagner or look at a Caravaggio or a million other things if the careers of artists were curtailed as soon as they did a Bad Thing. And who knows where the line is for deciding that.

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Imagine even tweeting that.

I have doubts about posting nonsense about games or even this very post but imagine being enough of a dick to think that was worth the wear on your fingers let alone the eyeball strain to read such utter narrow minded blinkered bullshit and think anyone would ever want to hear your backwards opinion.

Just imagine.

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I think my point still stands. If you think that sort of thing is "bants" on something as global and open as twitter then you're an idiot anyway.

 

You wouldn't stand in the middle of the street and shout about how, I dunno, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King should get his fucking n word loving bullshit out of the history books/ TV or something and just expect to go; yeah but "bants", as an excuse would you?

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In general sexual harrassment news, Noel Brown has been banned from the 2016 Evo tour for harrassment (groping). For those unfamiliar, Evo's basically one of the biggest tournaments in competitive gaming, covering Street Fighter, Tekken, Pokken, Smash Bros, ArcSys games and more besides. EG:

 

Quote

Today Capcom issued a statement on the matter, explaining that it's looked into the issue and found Brown's behaviour inappropriate. He will be banned from the rest of the Capcom Pro Tour. Should another similar incident occur with Brown, he will be banned for life.

"We have worked closely with the tournament organiser of Combo Breaker to gather all details surrounding the incident. We have found that the victim, who wishes not to be named, has gone on record and confirmed this was an inappropriate act from Noel Brown and was not consensual," Capcom said in its statement.

"We do not condone any acts of harassment and we want all of our players and fans to know we will continue our work to ensure that all Capcom Pro Tour events provide safe, inviting environments where the focus is on healthy competition and exciting rivalries."

 

That EG link also has a gif from the incident - watch the guy in the foreground on the right, in the white shirt. As if the FGC didn't already go through enough of this crap with Aris' behaviour on Cross Assault :facepalm:

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It's one of the problems with copycat culture, a lot of people grew up watching MTV stuff like Jackass and Punk'd and have found they can become internet celebrities creating the same kind of content, difference being that MTV is a professional production which has to adhere to a code of ethics used universally in television production. Online video makers rarely do this, they rarely adhere to a code of ethics or get people to sign consent, this attitude leads to their "anything goes" style of video making which causes stress for members of the public such as the woman in the guardian article.

These video makers may be becoming popular off the back of it now but someday it is going to come back to bite them hard. It might take some time though, especially as online communities are constantly wary about authoritative bodies who attempt to pass bills and laws which they consider to be obstructive or harmful to their community.

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I haven't necessarily watched them all, and I definitely don't remember the early ones very well. But that one strikes me as my favourite to date. It's a little less po-faced, a bit more willing to just express the frustration of having to repeatedly point this stuff out, and quite how facile it is.

 

I also enjoyed the focus on Bayonetta's self-serving justification, and the mockery of Quiet's setup.

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I haven't watched any of them for a while because I started to find the whole thing increasingly depressing, but I did watch this one and generally liked how it was laid out, especially the counterexamples and explanation thereof at the end.

 

With the usual disclaimer that I'm a man so my opinion on appropriate presentation of fictional women is less useful than that of most women, though, that opening bit feels like quite a facile reading of an advert for Perfect Dark which could prompt some interesting discussion - I could see it as intentionally playing on tropes itself, with "what will you wear to work?" being a visual joke hinging on the explicitly made point that the clothes are of course unimportant, it doesn't matter that you happen to play a female character in this game: you're a shooter and so it's the weapons you care about. Granted it's not 2016-vintage feminist awareness, but for 2000's cultural context it looks to me to do a reasonable job of playing expectations with the point being that this character's gender is not as important as you might think. That she ends up wearing pretty inconspicuous military/police uniform would support that reading. Maybe TvW's point is that those expectations shouldn't be in the first place for the advert to subvert them, but if so it's not clearly made.

 

The rest of the video all makes sense, but given it's all about revealing clothing it does seem a bit strange to lead off with Joanna Dark's N64 incarnation. Seems like they were looking for an advert to pastiche.

 

I still find the Bayonetta thing weird, maybe because I think Bayonetta looks more like a Daddy Long-Legs than a sex object, so I can make the satirical reading quite easily, but I do see how that reading becomes conflicted if you actually think she looks like a desirable sex object while she's pulling all those ridiculous poses. But maybe that's partly the point - if I was a straight woman I presumably might just be seeing another female character doing weird "sexy" stuff for no discernible reason. This whole thing is about having the distance to be able to see things like that from someone else's perspective, after all, and here that perspective tells me that even if I do think Bayonetta is just really, really into herself, someone designed the character that way and it's a way which will support TvW's reading quite as well as my own.

 

The other thing I was thinking about during the closing comments, which I've not thought about before, is how severely opposed the TvW worldview is to that of their loudest detractors, and how that probably has a lot to do with desensitisation and acclimatisation to sexual titillation. If you spend your time - as I do at the moment - looking after your child, listening to folk music, reading old books and occasionally playing a new videogame, then your social conditioning makes it quite easy to see how weird it is from those last counterexamples that sex in games is almost always for titillation rather than for saying something about the world. If on the other hand you spend your time - as I know not every TvW-hater does but suspect is more common than I'd like - playing a lot of videogames, watching youtube, being exposed either intentionally or casually due to your internet time to lots of pornography, I can see how it might become quite difficult to get over the roadblock of your own particular normalised and conditioned attitudes in order to engage with the TvW arguments and actually even understand the key point of it - not that sexualised characters should be "banned", but that it's really not healthy for them to be in all these places. Of course you'll struggle to hear that. I wonder if it's a block that anyone can help diminish, especially given that the people with the critical distance necessary to really identify those issues are almost necessarily those people not as entirely immersed in videogame culture, not as obviously speaking from within the culture.

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That was the first TvW I've watched with my partner, and I had my head in my hands pretty much throughout. Obviously, they're using the most embarrassing footage they can, but it's still a pretty shocking indictment of just what you can get away with in mainstream videogames. Even your average Michael Bay film is less sexist than some of that guff; Hideo Kojima's seen as a respected auteur in videogames, but that Quiet sequence made me cringe myself over the back of the sofa. It's just painfully, embarrassingly, juvenile.

 

That said, the shot of the guy from the Witcher naked on the back of a horse made me nearly collapse with laughter. 

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The Witcher 3 (2015) looks an awful lot like The Witcher 2 (2011). :ph34r:

 

I get the impression that this subject is something that's visibly improving in games quite rapidly at the moment though, thankfully. There's a massive difference in how The Witcher series presents women between the original and The Witcher 3, for instance, although the original did include women as literal collectables so that wasn't particularly hard. More significant are games like Life Is Strange that simply present women as interesting well rounded characters, and failing that a number of recent games have featured female leads who are at least sensibly dressed.

 

Bayonetta's a funny one for me though. I love the games, and I think Bayonetta herself is a really fun character who somehow doesn't come across as being crass. I also agreed with every word Anita said about the games in context, and I guess that's what makes tropes far more of an issue than specific examples.

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16 minutes ago, Harsin said:

 

Once you recognise the secret reason for her exposure, you will feel ashamed of your words and deeds.

 

The thing is, I knew about that quote, but didn't know the secret reason for her exposure. I sincerely hope Hideo Kojima was speaking for himself then, because he certainly should be ashamed of his words and deeds. 

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8 hours ago, Mogster said:

More significant are games like Life Is Strange that simply present women as interesting well rounded characters,

 

Life is Strange was signed to Eidos because they were literally the only publisher who didn't ask them to make Max a man.

 

This isn't going to get your head out of your hands I accept.

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