Gaming and Social Justice (The #Gamergate Thread)

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What is your stance on GamerGate?

  • I am with the pro-GamerGate crowd.

    Votes: 6 19.4%
  • I am with the anti-GamerGate crowd.

    Votes: 11 35.5%
  • I take no stance on this issue.

    Votes: 14 45.2%

  • Total voters
    31
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You may have recognized names like Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn lately. You may have noticed that, in major gaming press and forums, social justice warriors (SJWs), mainly feminists, have received flak for things they do to video gaming industry and journalism. :irked:

GTPlanet, what is your stance on this? Please discuss this very seriously and with maximum civility.
 

BobK

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You may have recognized names like Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn lately. You may have noticed that, in major gaming press and forums, social justice warriors (SJWs), mainly feminists, have received flak for things they do to video gaming industry and journalism. :irked:
.
Actually, no I hadn't. Never heard of either of them.
 
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This guy has some great videos about the two of them. NSFW language included.





From what I know about the two of them and there is a whole lot more to them than what I'm about to say, is that Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist bloger who doesn't really like video games much and likes to talk about how there is so much sexism in gaming and that gamers are part of misogynist culture.

Zoe Quinn is an Indie game developer who slept with a bunch of game journalists and other industry involved people to further her career and get her game greenlight on Steam who then gave her positive reviews on their websites.
 

Joel

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Anita Sarkeesian's problem is that she's a hack.
It's a shame this is true because it gives too much of a good excuse for the knuckle draggers to throw insults at her ideas which aren't really all that earth shattering.

I find a lot of the vitriol about these kinds of discussions about games come from the same guys who think sexism or racism don't exist any more in the modern western world. Games are by and large designed in a way that reinforces stupid and sexist stereotypes about women. Things like the armour for female characters in RPG's being little more than an armoured bra, or all the female characters in Dota/League of Legends that have watermelon sized cans and wear skimpy outfits for little to no reason besides marketing.

You can still enjoy things even if they're sexist, but I guess people internalize the criticism of the games ("I like games and she says they're sexist, therefore she's saying I'm sexist").
 

The Bman

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Personally I think they should have their own right to speak for themselves, even though I disagree with what they say.

And it won't stop the stereotypical depictions of women, anyhow. A large number of games, movies, television, and music milk those tropes to their fullest extent and they still remain popular, even among some women themselves.
 
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Personally I think they should have their own right to speak for themselves, even though I disagree with what they say.

And it won't stop the stereotypical depictions of women, anyhow. A large number of games, movies, television, and music milk those tropes to their fullest extent and they still remain popular, even among some women themselves.
No one's taking their freedom of speech away though.

People are simply exercising it themselves, as they're entitled to do, by bashing their irrational arguments.
 

prisonermonkeys

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I find Sarkeesian's approach to be counter-productive at best. It's not feminism. It's self-aggrandisement. Rather than do something about the issue, like encourage women to get into the industry, she would rather just cherry-pick her arguments, piss off as many people as possible, and then call herself a feminist. The problem is that she's demanding a solution from a male-dominated industry having previously criticised said industry for being male-dominated, and so whatever solution they come up with is unlikely to satisfy her, giving her more ammunition for another video. So in the end, Sarkeesian isn't interested in facilitating change - she just wants to keep her fifteen minutes alive.
 

niky

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Watched one (1) of her videos. Of course, it's cherry picking, but she's pulling out examples to prove a point, and it's hard to argue that the problem exists... especially in a day and age where killing hookers for money (in GTA) has become something of an industry in-joke.

-

To be honest... it's a reactionary element of the gaming (and comic book) industry that has been building up for a long time. Sort of: "We're the true believers. We were here when none of you cared. 🤬 off and die, 🤬"

Don't like the message? Don't watch it. Plain and simple. Leave the death threats at home. While Sarkeesian also has the same right not to play the games she talks about, she also has the right to point out the tropes in those games. Just as people have a right to pick apart her videos and critique them. Unfortunately, she's clever in the sense that she makes no overt judgments (at least in the one I watched), instead simply putting up the laundry list and explaining them in a very dry, technical way... but laying the groundwork for some very obvious implications.

Thus, she gets the message across without using an argument that she needs to defend. Clever girl...

-

Agree with her or not... the problem is there, and it does need to be pointed out.
 
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No one's taking their freedom of speech away though.

People are simply exercising it themselves, as they're entitled to do, by bashing their irrational arguments.

If that was all it was and it stopped there, that would be fine.

When people get rape and death threats for expressing their opinion, that's over the line. One side is using tactics that are wholly unsavoury. One could say "well, that's the internet for you", but that's not that helpful. Once upon a time we used to stone people to death in the street (and some countries still do). We stopped because it became socially unacceptable, and I hope internet rape and death threats eventually go the same way.
 

RACECAR

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I do agree that death threats are far over the line. Hell, I despise Kanye West and Justin Bieber to the biggest degree but even with them I don't feel the need to wish they were dead. And its not just with this woman from what I hearing, its with a lot of things. I'll even look at a video with a race driver people don't like and see people wishing death upon them just because they wrecked they're favorite driver (doesn't even have to be on purpose either).

I find Sarkeesian's approach to be counter-productive at best. It's not feminism. It's self-aggrandisement. Rather than do something about the issue, like encourage women to get into the industry, she would rather just cherry-pick her arguments, piss off as many people as possible, and then call herself a feminist. The problem is that she's demanding a solution from a male-dominated industry having previously criticised said industry for being male-dominated, and so whatever solution they come up with is unlikely to satisfy her, giving her more ammunition for another video. So in the end, Sarkeesian isn't interested in facilitating change - she just wants to keep her fifteen minutes alive.

So basically (I've yet to watch any of her videos), she's doing the same thing some of these girls that call themselves "Feminists" are doing: Using a false cause not for the better but just for attention.
 
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niky

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Think it's better to look at the videos first then discuss what the intent is.



(each is the first in its subseries)
 

RACECAR

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I'll have a look but based on what I've read so far, I'm not so sure its gonna be a lot different from how I've summed up prisonermonkeys's post (though I'll likely have a lot more weight to support it).

Edit: Well I watched them and while they were surprisingly more organized then I expected (because usually, this sort of never happens), they still are exactly what I thought.
 
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prisonermonkeys

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So basically (I've yet to watch any of her videos), she's doing the same thing some of these girls that call themselves "Feminists" are doing: Using a false cause not for the better but just for attention.
I don't doubt that her intentions are pure - I just think she's a little bit compromised by the way she has a vested interest in seeing the problem continue. And it doesn't help that she's essentially drawing attention to a problem, but expecting someone else to resolve it to her satisfaction without offering any constructive ideas on how the problem can be remedied.

It reminds me of a short story I was studying with Year 9 a few weeks ago called "The Woman Who Sailed The Soul". It contains a character like Sarkeesian - a self-proclaimed cutting-edge feminist whose bold and provocative statements are never backed up by any meaningful action, and which ultimately damage the main character, her own daughter, Helen. For her part, Helen actually achieves something momentous, but she does it without the need for an audience, or even to further the feminist movement.

There are two types of people in this world - those who demand respect, and those who command it. Sarkeesian is very much in the former. Her method is to make her target audience feel guilty, thereby making hers the more moral position, and feeding back into itself. It's as sexist an attitude as the one she claims to be drawing attention to, and she essentially justifies it by saying "well, this is how you make women feel". She wants to inspire people to action without having to be responsible for that action but nevertheless able to claim credit for it. Because to her mind, pointing out the problem is enough, like a celebrity who attends a benefit without donating because they think their presence alone is more than enough.
 

HighSeasHoMastr

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I lurk in this section of the forum much more than I post, and I have to admit that I rarely see things eye-to-eye with @prisonermonkeys but I have to say, that was one of the best posts I've read in awhile, and does an excellent job of summing up the matter.
Tip of the hat to you sir. Quite well said.
 

RACECAR

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I don't doubt that her intentions are pure - I just think she's a little bit compromised by the way she has a vested interest in seeing the problem continue. And it doesn't help that she's essentially drawing attention to a problem, but expecting someone else to resolve it to her satisfaction without offering any constructive ideas on how the problem can be remedied.

After watching the videos, I'm not sure her intentions are pure so much as they are thinly veiled under the guise of an educated activist actually trying to open everyone's eyes. Interestingly enough as you said, I have not once seen any suggestion by her on how to fix any of these issues, only a series of scare tactic style statistics (which seems popular if you want to make people feel like they have to do something without actually saying it), which mysteriously have no sources named.

It reminds me of a short story I was studying with Year 9 a few weeks ago called "The Woman Who Sailed The Soul". It contains a character like Sarkeesian - a self-proclaimed cutting-edge feminist whose bold and provocative statements are never backed up by any meaningful action, and which ultimately damage the main character, her own daughter, Helen. For her part, Helen actually achieves something momentous, but she does it without the need for an audience, or even to further the feminist movement.

Sounds like an interesting story, would be interested in actually hearing more on that.

There are two types of people in this world - those who demand respect, and those who command it. Sarkeesian is very much in the former. Her method is to make her target audience feel guilty, thereby making hers the more moral position, and feeding back into itself. It's as sexist an attitude as the one she claims to be drawing attention to, and she essentially justifies it by saying "well, this is how you make women feel". She wants to inspire people to action without having to be responsible for that action but nevertheless able to claim credit for it. Because to her mind, pointing out the problem is enough, like a celebrity who attends a benefit without donating because they think their presence alone is more than enough.

This contradiction alone is what puts her in the same position as these "Feminists" I mentioned (and its actually putting here in the same "Power" position as the very thing she's talking about). She's basically doing the same sort've thing only she's disguising her intention to look like she's invested in the cause and educating people about it.
 

prisonermonkeys

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It's called "The Woman Who Sailed The Soul", and it appeared in a short story anthology called "The Rediscovery of Man". To be honest, it wasn't my choice to include it; I find it obtuse and heavy-handed.

Anyway, the problem here is that while feminist ideology has evolved since Mary Wollstonecraft's original treatise on the role of women, the tactics haven't. Sarkeesian is trying to be as aggressive and as assertive as Wollstonecraft, but that no longer works.
 

RACECAR

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So here's some bits where I find her points quite terribly flawed in just the two videos I watched:

1. In the "Damsels In Distress" Video, she uses the game "Double Dragon" as an example of the formula (which explains as woman just being objects for a goal or victory) and simply says that "Here's a guy that punches a girl in the stomach, puts her over his shoulder and she has to be rescued". What she fails to mention is that the girl being kidnapped (if memory serves me correct) is not just any girl as she's actually the girlfriend of one of the protagonists, thus naturally giving them a reason to go and rescue her. Pretty sure by virtue of that fact, it means that girl is not just a simple "object"

2. She says that the Damsel In Distress formula "Often depicts Women as fundamentally weak, ineffective or ultimately incapable" after showing "Double Dragon Neon" (in which she earlier stating it "Reintroduces gamers to this oppressive crap yet again") , yet this is the same game where this same "Damsel" (who was kidnapped earlier) punches the living hell of this space villain thing at the end. Pretty sure that's the complete opposite of being "Fundamentally weak, ineffective or ultimately incapable"

3. In the "Women as background Decoration" video, she talks about how the NPCs are used and how they "Could've had stories and the player could have an attachment to them". Thing is, that's just it: They aren't supposed to have stories. Just like in a movie or a TV show, the Main character(s) ARE the story while the NPCs are the game equivalent of supporting cast or extras.


That's the first few I found so far, bit too tired to find more for now.
 

KSaiyu

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I don't doubt that her intentions are pure - I just think she's a little bit compromised by the way she has a vested interest in seeing the problem continue. And it doesn't help that she's essentially drawing attention to a problem, but expecting someone else to resolve it to her satisfaction without offering any constructive ideas on how the problem can be remedied.

Welcome to politics.
 

prisonermonkeys

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People frequently point to the GTA series as an example of sexist or misogynistic gaming, but consider this: nowhere in GTA V is there a requirement for the player to knowingly harm a woman. Only two women die over the course of the story - Debra, whose death could be considered self-defence as we never see the actual act; and Molly, whose death is an avoidable accident, and which the player only has a direct hand in. It's possible to kill Ashley during "Mr. Phillips", but it's missable.

Furthermore, GTA V is a game about dishonest people. If you choose the "loud" option for "The Jewel Store Job", Michael boasts to his accomplices that he is a successful thief, but when his son accuses him of being a criminal, he lashes out. Meanwhile, Franklin frequently admonishes Lamar over his ambitions to stay in the gang, but admits to Lester that he enjoys killing people as much as the next person. I say this, because they're hypocrites. But Trevor, on the other hand, is not. Despite his obvious psychopathic tendencies, he does not tell a single lie over the course of the story. More importantly, he is the only person who displays *any* concern for the welfare of Tracy, a vulnerable teenage girl with an absentee father (he also does the same for Jimmy). He also goes to a lot of trouble to protect Patricia, admonishes Wade for calling a woman a bitch, and a lot of his dialogue alludes to his concern for women. His way of expressing all of this is, of course, unhealthy and a result of his obvious issues, and the game does play this up for laughs, but I don't think that dilutes the effect. The only way to make Trevor a compelling and tolerable character was to give him some redeeming qualities.

So why isn't Sarkeesian drawing attention to this? Or does the idea of a male character expressing concern for a woman qualify as sexism?
 

KSaiyu

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People frequently point to the GTA series as an example of sexist or misogynistic gaming, but consider this: nowhere in GTA V is there a requirement for the player to knowingly harm a woman. Only two women die over the course of the story - Debra, whose death could be considered self-defence as we never see the actual act; and Molly, whose death is an avoidable accident, and which the player only has a direct hand in. It's possible to kill Ashley during "Mr. Phillips", but it's missable.

Furthermore, GTA V is a game about dishonest people. If you choose the "loud" option for "The Jewel Store Job", Michael boasts to his accomplices that he is a successful thief, but when his son accuses him of being a criminal, he lashes out. Meanwhile, Franklin frequently admonishes Lamar over his ambitions to stay in the gang, but admits to Lester that he enjoys killing people as much as the next person. I say this, because they're hypocrites. But Trevor, on the other hand, is not. Despite his obvious psychopathic tendencies, he does not tell a single lie over the course of the story. More importantly, he is the only person who displays *any* concern for the welfare of Tracy, a vulnerable teenage girl with an absentee father (he also does the same for Jimmy). He also goes to a lot of trouble to protect Patricia, admonishes Wade for calling a woman a bitch, and a lot of his dialogue alludes to his concern for women. His way of expressing all of this is, of course, unhealthy and a result of his obvious issues, and the game does play this up for laughs, but I don't think that dilutes the effect. The only way to make Trevor a compelling and tolerable character was to give him some redeeming qualities.

So why isn't Sarkeesian drawing attention to this? Or does the idea of a male character expressing concern for a woman qualify as sexism?

As in life, the most un-PC character (openly "racist", "sexist") is probably the one most likely to judge everyone equally.
 

Dotini

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In my area, we have gaming casinos operated by native American tribes which bring in huge, undreamt of revenues for the tribes. There is a certain amount of social justice in this, as the Indians have lived in poverty and neglect for quite some time. Now, instead of being fleeced by the white man, the shoe is on the other foot! :lol:
 

Pupik

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Let's play zero-sum games all day! For every stereotype of the scantily-clad and impossibly voluptuous lady in video games, I present the stereotype of the user over-fascinated with a lack of reality. In the end, if you don't like it, then don't play it. Don't give them your money. The truth is that the ultra-machismo games sell, because that's the target audience. Want to counteract it? Create your own games...Unless someone is so mentally warped, far too young, or very immature, I don't think most folks equate a game with reality, no matter how sexist they appear.

The fact is, many ladies prefer to play games on cell phones and tablets, or browser-based games like those as on Facebook. I see no lack of games played by women in that regard...and what do they play? Usually those with lots of bright colors, shiny stuff, and cutey faces. There's no saying you can't play whatever you want to play, no matter who you are...my wife enjoys the Grand Theft Auto series, for example.

Interestingly (although not surprisingly), most racing games or simulators seem to be quite gender-neutral.

Now, instead of being fleeced by the white man, the shoe is on the other foot! :lol:

Only if they want to play in the first place.
 

Danoff

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Watched/listened to some of the videos.

Don't care. Yes there are sexist and racist elements in video games. Yes those things make them more attractive to the target demographic... sex sells... the end.
 

RACECAR

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People frequently point to the GTA series as an example of sexist or misogynistic gaming, but consider this: nowhere in GTA V is there a requirement for the player to knowingly harm a woman. Only two women die over the course of the story - Debra, whose death could be considered self-defence as we never see the actual act; and Molly, whose death is an avoidable accident, and which the player only has a direct hand in. It's possible to kill Ashley during "Mr. Phillips", but it's missable.

Exactly. Unfortunately according to her, just the fact that it can happen "Encourages this kind of behavior".

Furthermore, GTA V is a game about dishonest people. If you choose the "loud" option for "The Jewel Store Job", Michael boasts to his accomplices that he is a successful thief, but when his son accuses him of being a criminal, he lashes out. Meanwhile, Franklin frequently admonishes Lamar over his ambitions to stay in the gang, but admits to Lester that he enjoys killing people as much as the next person. I say this, because they're hypocrites. But Trevor, on the other hand, is not. Despite his obvious psychopathic tendencies, he does not tell a single lie over the course of the story. More importantly, he is the only person who displays *any* concern for the welfare of Tracy, a vulnerable teenage girl with an absentee father (he also does the same for Jimmy). He also goes to a lot of trouble to protect Patricia, admonishes Wade for calling a woman a bitch, and a lot of his dialogue alludes to his concern for women. His way of expressing all of this is, of course, unhealthy and a result of his obvious issues, and the game does play this up for laughs, but I don't think that dilutes the effect. The only way to make Trevor a compelling and tolerable character was to give him some redeeming qualities.

So why isn't Sarkeesian drawing attention to this? Or does the idea of a male character expressing concern for a woman qualify as sexism?

Apparently according to her, a Male expressing concern is just a male Going after "an Object", nevermind whether his actions are the opposite of someone who just sees another person as one.
 
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prisonermonkeys

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Exactly. And that's where Sarkeesian loses all credibility - any existing content which might actually support her demands is automatically constructed as being sexist simply because it involves a male character, because if the game industry makes any progress independently of her, she's no longer relevant. It's a bit like that episode of "The Simpsons" where the kids start playing pee-wee football, and Lisa strides onto the field, proudly and boldly announcing "What position do you have for a *girl*?" and Ned Flanders is happy to take her on, as there are already three girls on the team.