Controversial Tropes vs. Women in Video Games Series Comes to an End

Metalix Knightmare

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erttheking said:
webkilla said:
erttheking said:
webkilla said:
She tried to 'force' change by positioning herself as a moral arbiter - as a judge of what is good enough, and what not good enough. Well, she tried.

As for why her videos are bad? My favorite example is her "women in the fridge" video, where she talks about games using plot devices consisting of women getting hurt or killed, as motivations for the player character to get mad/get even/go on a quest of vengeance as a bad thing.

The trick is that she just says that's a bad thing. At no point does she stop and go "You know, wanting to save and help other people is a basic human drive - that its mainly men saving women is a bit one-sided, but ultimately wanting to help other people isn't a bad thing" - no, in her videos it is 100% a bad thing, with nothing good in it. Thats part of why her videos are so bad.
She's talking about the writing in the game. The problem is not that saving people is a bad thing, it's that it's lazy writing. I heard a quote a long time ago that easily describes the problem with this. "When you want to make a woman tragic, you hurt her. When you want to make a man tragic, you hurt a woman." It's a major trend in writing to have a woman character that only exists to get killed or kidnapped to make a man sad. She isn't the one who came up with the term Women in Refrigerators.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StuffedIntoTheFridge

I won't deny that the editing in her videos was sleazy, the Hitman example was a good one, but she also had a list of games where you can kill prostitutes and on it was Metro Last Light...yeah...you can't do that in Metro Last Light. But the problem is that Women in Refrigerators is a long standing problem. I don't see how her not saying "Well it's human to want to save people," has anything to do with it.
Friend, it has something to do with context and how you frame an issue

As you note yourself, she likes to frame things that aren't entirely true as fact - and indeed, most of the videos with her are just her opinions on things when you get down to it.

She thinks that games with women being the thing that a male player character have to save/avenge/whatnot is a bad thing.

She has NEVER given any kind of actual evidence to this, other than appeals to emotions. Oh she'll say that influences culture and society... but she has never given any solid proof of this.

Conversely, back in 2015 there was this lovely study that got published: A 3 year long study looking to see if playing video games made you sexist. It found that you did not become so via video games. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844719

That's another thing about Sarkeesian's vids: They're one-sided. In her videos it is assumed from the getgo that her premise is correct. She never tries herself to demonstrate anything that might prove her wrong, indeed that deceptive video editing and whatnot is a good example of that. If they're supposed to be 'documentaries' then they MUST look at both sides of the argument.

Hell, in one of her earlier vids she straight up said, while talking about the Mario games, that she completely ignores all the non-platformer games like Smash Bros, Mario Kart and whatnot, so she can maintain a fiction that in 'all' Mario games Princess Peach is but a helpless damsel. This is so disingenuous, because if you look at sales stats for mario games, then party games like Mario Kart and Smash Bros make up a huge part of the mario games being sold today - and in those games Peach can kick just as much butt as everyone else.

But we can't mention that... nope, not at all.

When it comes to science, a very important element is fallibility. Your theory must have room for it to be wrong - a theory that cannot be proven wrong is not scientific. Gravity can proven through experiments. Theorems on how to measure the tensile strength of metals can be proven via experiments.

You must always include mention of the things that prove you wrong. Cherry picking your samples is a great way to be branded a liar and a fraud. Sarkeesian, is a fraud.
I'm not talking about her, I don't care for her, but women in refrigerators is a thing, a well documented thing.
It's also not an inherently sexist thing. Heck, the tropes page brings up a bunch of examples using male characters. It's not about hurting or throwing away women, it's about hurting the main character through the people he treasures most, and that usually involves a girlfriend or spouse.

For crying out loud, the trope name doesn't even mention women anymore!
 

webkilla

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CaitSeith said:
webkilla said:
Ninjamurai said:
snip
Moral arbitrer? And what happened when she saw a game commiting a fault?
then she moaned and bitched about it in her videos. You can also see in the FemFreq twitter that she has repeatedly complained about people liking video games that she does not approve of - because, you know, not sharing her tastes and opinions makes you a bad person

that's sort of the definition of moral arbiter
 

webkilla

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Metalix Knightmare said:
erttheking said:
*snip*

I'm not talking about her, I don't care for her, but women in refrigerators is a thing, a well documented thing.
It's also not an inherently sexist thing. Heck, the tropes page brings up a bunch of examples using male characters. It's not about hurting or throwing away women, it's about hurting the main character through the people he treasures most, and that usually involves a girlfriend or spouse.

For crying out loud, the trope name doesn't even mention women anymore!
It that lovely double standard:

Its bad if women are getting hurt

It doesn't matter if men are getting hurt

Galbrush paradox
 

IceForce

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Metalix Knightmare said:
She launched a kickstarter that was then spammed on 4chan, which would basically be kicking the hornets nest, and then crying that you got stung.
It got 'spammed' by Third Party Trolls[sup]TM[/sup]. You can't pin the blame on Anita for that at all.
 

Winnosh

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webkilla said:
Metalix Knightmare said:
erttheking said:
*snip*

I'm not talking about her, I don't care for her, but women in refrigerators is a thing, a well documented thing.
It's also not an inherently sexist thing. Heck, the tropes page brings up a bunch of examples using male characters. It's not about hurting or throwing away women, it's about hurting the main character through the people he treasures most, and that usually involves a girlfriend or spouse.

For crying out loud, the trope name doesn't even mention women anymore!
It that lovely double standard:

Its bad if women are getting hurt

It doesn't matter if men are getting hurt


Galbrush paradox
Yes it is a double standard that exists and it's bad. However ignoring women getting hurt, doesn't stop men from being hurt.
 

nomotog_v1legacy

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Metalix Knightmare said:
erttheking said:
webkilla said:
erttheking said:
webkilla said:
She tried to 'force' change by positioning herself as a moral arbiter - as a judge of what is good enough, and what not good enough. Well, she tried.

As for why her videos are bad? My favorite example is her "women in the fridge" video, where she talks about games using plot devices consisting of women getting hurt or killed, as motivations for the player character to get mad/get even/go on a quest of vengeance as a bad thing.

The trick is that she just says that's a bad thing. At no point does she stop and go "You know, wanting to save and help other people is a basic human drive - that its mainly men saving women is a bit one-sided, but ultimately wanting to help other people isn't a bad thing" - no, in her videos it is 100% a bad thing, with nothing good in it. Thats part of why her videos are so bad.
She's talking about the writing in the game. The problem is not that saving people is a bad thing, it's that it's lazy writing. I heard a quote a long time ago that easily describes the problem with this. "When you want to make a woman tragic, you hurt her. When you want to make a man tragic, you hurt a woman." It's a major trend in writing to have a woman character that only exists to get killed or kidnapped to make a man sad. She isn't the one who came up with the term Women in Refrigerators.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StuffedIntoTheFridge

I won't deny that the editing in her videos was sleazy, the Hitman example was a good one, but she also had a list of games where you can kill prostitutes and on it was Metro Last Light...yeah...you can't do that in Metro Last Light. But the problem is that Women in Refrigerators is a long standing problem. I don't see how her not saying "Well it's human to want to save people," has anything to do with it.
Friend, it has something to do with context and how you frame an issue

As you note yourself, she likes to frame things that aren't entirely true as fact - and indeed, most of the videos with her are just her opinions on things when you get down to it.

She thinks that games with women being the thing that a male player character have to save/avenge/whatnot is a bad thing.

She has NEVER given any kind of actual evidence to this, other than appeals to emotions. Oh she'll say that influences culture and society... but she has never given any solid proof of this.

Conversely, back in 2015 there was this lovely study that got published: A 3 year long study looking to see if playing video games made you sexist. It found that you did not become so via video games. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25844719

That's another thing about Sarkeesian's vids: They're one-sided. In her videos it is assumed from the getgo that her premise is correct. She never tries herself to demonstrate anything that might prove her wrong, indeed that deceptive video editing and whatnot is a good example of that. If they're supposed to be 'documentaries' then they MUST look at both sides of the argument.

Hell, in one of her earlier vids she straight up said, while talking about the Mario games, that she completely ignores all the non-platformer games like Smash Bros, Mario Kart and whatnot, so she can maintain a fiction that in 'all' Mario games Princess Peach is but a helpless damsel. This is so disingenuous, because if you look at sales stats for mario games, then party games like Mario Kart and Smash Bros make up a huge part of the mario games being sold today - and in those games Peach can kick just as much butt as everyone else.

But we can't mention that... nope, not at all.

When it comes to science, a very important element is fallibility. Your theory must have room for it to be wrong - a theory that cannot be proven wrong is not scientific. Gravity can proven through experiments. Theorems on how to measure the tensile strength of metals can be proven via experiments.

You must always include mention of the things that prove you wrong. Cherry picking your samples is a great way to be branded a liar and a fraud. Sarkeesian, is a fraud.
I'm not talking about her, I don't care for her, but women in refrigerators is a thing, a well documented thing.
It's also not an inherently sexist thing. Heck, the tropes page brings up a bunch of examples using male characters. It's not about hurting or throwing away women, it's about hurting the main character through the people he treasures most, and that usually involves a girlfriend or spouse.

For crying out loud, the trope name doesn't even mention women anymore!
Um... I can't tell if your being serious or joking. Something so very common these days.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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webkilla said:
Galbrush paradox
Galbrush fallacy, more like. It falls apart as soon as you glance at a game with more than one female character, and a lot of them with only a single female character.
 

Erttheking

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Metalix Knightmare said:
It's also not an inherently sexist thing. Heck, the tropes page brings up a bunch of examples using male characters. It's not about hurting or throwing away women, it's about hurting the main character through the people he treasures most, and that usually involves a girlfriend or spouse.

For crying out loud, the trope name doesn't even mention women anymore!
The over saturation of it kind of is though. It's a lazy cliche that doesn't really add much at the best of times. Sure, a clever spin on it can make things interesting, but most of the time it's just "oh boy, THIS again. I already know exactly how it's going to play out before things even start." Does it really add that much? I mean the most famous example has to be Barbra Gordon from the Killing Joke. It shows all the problems with the trope. The only real identity the person it happens to is to make them a victim, that's really all there is to it. Jim Gordon had an arc about staying sane and upholding his values in that story. He had an identity beyond "person that has bad things happen to him." But Barbra? She got shot, paralyzed and possibly sexually assaulted (it was clarified that she wasn't, but you'd be hard pressed to figure that out without Word of God) and that's it. Sure, later she became Oracle, but that hardly happened within the Killing Joke itself, nor was it planned. And I have to ask...why? What did her getting shot ADD to the story? Was Joker incapable of driving Jim Gordon mad without it? Did it really add that much to the themes of the story? Not really. There's a reason Alan Moore looks back on the Killing Joke with dislike. If it was a handful of isolated examples, it'd be weird and stupid, but not sexist. The sheer regularity at which it happens though...

Doesn't change the fact that it mainly happens to women. Sure there are some male examples in there, but not a whole lot compared to the number of female examples.
 

Erttheking

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webkilla said:
Apparently that wasn't blatantly clear enough. When a woman is fridged, her only identity is that of a victim. There is nothing else to her. Her identity begins and ends with victim. If she had a character beyond that, she wasn't being fridged. I've already made it clear that it takes more than a woman simply dying for it to be an example, making me wondering if you're ignoring what I'm saying and arguing beyond me, rather than at me.

Uh, I know there are women in gaming that aren't victims. I don't recall claiming otherwise. This point seems like a bit of a non-sequitur

No. I did not say that. You just made that up. I flat out gave an example of two women who died and weren't fridged. I said that they're reduced to being nothing but victims WHEN THEY'RE FRIDGED!

Yeah, but with all those examples, there are still plenty of major male characters to take over when everything is said and done. In Hotline Miami, Hooker is the only female character and she gets murdered for a few cheap sad points. That's what being fridged is. Only female character in a game with the exception of maybe a minor role or two, no real importance in the story beyond being a girlfriend or wife to be brutally killed for a few cheap points.

If you want to claim someone else is ignorant, actually pay attention to what they're saying first. It makes your argument stronger. As it stands, your insults aren't leaving much of an impact on me, because they don't have a good leg to stand on. You clearly weren't paying attention to half of what I was saying and were pulling strawman after strawman at me. The closest thing that I could see where you pull all of this from is when I said "The problem isn't that women get killed, but because they exist to only be a victim," which I admit could be taken the wrong way and I admit I was typing that up in a hurry on a phone, but it came after I said " I didn't say women could only be victims, just that they're reduced to only being victims when they're fridged, and that games that do this often don't have women in other roles," and before I said " the two female fans from the sequel died, but they had a role beyond being victims," as well as "Tomb Raider and Horizon Zero Dawn aren't example of women being fridged. Mainly because they're, well, alive st the end of the story, and their pain is about them, not someone else feeling bad that their girlfriend died." You really didn't read any of my post if you're honestly making those arguments about me. Seriously man. Argue about what I actually say this time, not what you're thinking I'm saying.

And it's Jon Snow, not John Snow, or are you trying to compare me to a British doctor who studied Cholera? Kind of amusing that you accuse me of not knowing what I'm talking about, then go and make a goof like that.
 

Erttheking

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altnameJag said:
webkilla said:
Galbrush paradox
Galbrush fallacy, more like. It falls apart as soon as you glance at a game with more than one female character, and a lot of them with only a single female character.
To be frank, I refuse to accept that this is a thing, because I refuse to accept that developers are that cowardly.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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erttheking said:
altnameJag said:
webkilla said:
Galbrush paradox
Galbrush fallacy, more like. It falls apart as soon as you glance at a game with more than one female character, and a lot of them with only a single female character.
To be frank, I refuse to accept that this is a thing, because I refuse to accept that developers are that cowardly.
Like I said, it's a fallacy. Lots of people think it's a truism, but look at just about any female character present in any game and it turns out to be false. Lotta nerds have convinced themselves it's true though, so it's still a talking point because feels before reals.
 

Chewster

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I hope her next series makes even more gamers froth at the mouth because frankly, the overreaction to her very ordinary videos only served to point out out how utterly pathetic and tribal "gamer" culture can be and it was pretty fucking funny watching people getting worked up over nothing.

Give her even more talks at the UN, I say.
 

RedRockRun

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I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars she'll need for her next, "Necessary," project?
 

webkilla

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altnameJag said:
webkilla said:
Galbrush paradox
Galbrush fallacy, more like. It falls apart as soon as you glance at a game with more than one female character, and a lot of them with only a single female character.
The Tomb Raider reboot game was criticized heavily for having a sequence where the female player character almost got raped. I cannot recall a single instance of anyone ever complaining that a adult man was subjected to sexual violence in a video game - at least not in recent times.

And while not a game, then another example of the galbrush paradox was from the Avengers 2 movie. Joss Weadon was basically hounded off twitter by angry feminists, who were pissed that he had made their favorite female hero show weakness and hurt in the movie. https://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/joss-whedon-driven-off-twitter/

I know that's not from a game - but it still falls under the galbrush umbrella.

I cannot think of a single game outside of horror games that show female player characters really getting hurt - not just "minus 35 HP" hurt, but legit abused and damaged. Compare this to how common it is in games for male player characters to get captured, tortured a bit, then have to escape and fight his way to freedom?

I'm sure there are more examples than just the Tomb Raider game - but for the love of it, then I cannot think of any. Even the recent Horizon Zero Dawn never really featured the main character getting hurt that badly - it was usually other people getting killed and her having to run off and avenge them.
 

webkilla

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RedRockRun said:
I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars she'll need for her next, "Necessary," project?
depends on what she'll go into next.

She's already earning loadsa money doing her speaking engagements - milking her gamergate funtimes until there's nobody left who wants to listen to that.

plus her getting political during the presidential election might signal a switch to working with political advocacy? Having gotten her name recognition, she has proved that if she slaps her name on something then hundreds of thousands of curious clicks will come her way - no matter if half of them are haters that want to see what she's up to. She can leverage that to join political organizations.

maybe she'll pull a Wu and run for congress?
 

Dalsyne

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Necrozius said:
It's opinions like this that make me not ever want to identify as a "gamer". What petulant bitterness.
Excuse me very much, Inspector Necrozius of the Tone Police. Because I care about what labels you stamp on yourself so much, let me assure you that my opinions are my own and I am as representative of gamers as a whole as Anders Breivik is.
 

Necrozius

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altnameJag said:
She's an opportunist is an opinion that offends you to the core?
Sorry thread: my angry comment was in response to a post that either no longer exists, or I quoted the wrong person. I was reacting to someone who said something along the lines of "I hate casual geeks and I want my hobby back as a boys only club".

I'm fine with Anita's series. I just fucked up with my forum-use ability.
 

maninahat

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webkilla said:
The Galbrush paradox
The Galbrush paradox is a case of putting the cart before the horse. The reason why people criticise the instances in which women are depicted is because:
a) There is a lot of negative stereotypes around women, and anything seen as enforcing the stereotypes thus get criticised.
b) There is a lack of female characters in general, so the few that get to feature end up having to act as the sole representative for the entire sex. As such, they're subjected to the "magical negro" effect where writers are compelled to make them flawless to show how progressive they are.

The paradox implies creators are hamstrung because audiences will only accept a very narrow treatment of female characters. The reality is that its specifically because they've written so few female characters into their games, so much attention is concentrated on the very few they include.

If you have more than one woman in a game, the problem tends to go away very quickly. People mentioned Tomb Raider as an example of the paradox, but in that same game we have Sam, a woman who is the single most pathetic and useless individual in the World. As annoying as she is, she's accepted for the most part because she doesn't wind up representing women - there are at least two other women standing next to her, not acting the same way. As soon as you have more female characters, writers can explore a few different contrasting roles for women, including ones with negative qualities.

It's also worth noting that in the original example mentioned in the paradox, the entire premise of Guybrush Threepword is that he mocks the stereotypical male lead. He's a guy who wants to be a powerful, competent hero who rescues the girl, but is actually a weak willed loser, trying to aid a heroic woman who doesn't need saving. The whole joke doesn't work half as well if the lead is an incompetent woman because it isn't subverting any established 90s game stereotype - it's enforcing it. Such a parody might work in this day and age, because it is about time we get to make fun of the 20 something female superwomen we're getting now - then again, you'd only need to look up Rebecca Front's comedies to see she's already started on that sort of thing.
 

CaitSeith

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webkilla said:
CaitSeith said:
webkilla said:
Ninjamurai said:
snip
Moral arbitrer? And what happened when she saw a game commiting a fault?
then she moaned and bitched about it in her videos. You can also see in the FemFreq twitter that she has repeatedly complained about people liking video games that she does not approve of - because, you know, not sharing her tastes and opinions makes you a bad person

that's sort of the definition of moral arbiter
Moaning, bitching and complaining. How does that force change?
 

CaitSeith

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nomotog said:
maninahat said:
And to discuss the video itself; She's picked some interesting examples to illustrate her point. Ellie, Alyx and Elizabeth are widely considered some of the roundest, most well written female characters in gaming history. I get her point about how Elizabeth is basically a walking dispenser throughout the gameplay, but outside of the gameplay Bioshock Infinite becomes her story.

It says to me that a major flaw with game design is just how limited it is when it comes to interactivity. Bioshock Infinite is a story about a detective getting stuck in a fantastical, retrograde, flying city. In practise though, it is eight hours of shooting people in the face. With gameplay like that, there is only so many ways a player can interact with the world. Elizabeth is someone you can't shoot, so she can only exist to help you shoot other people. If she shot people too, it would undermine the story they wanted to tell. Ironically they have to pigeonhole her into a cheap support role just so they can make her a better character in the story that's segregated from the gameplay.
Wo. You can't talk about the video! :p

Can you really say outside of gameplay when talking about a video game? Gameplay is a good chunk of a game and it's rather important too. It would be like saying outside of my job I am a good worker. They really shouldn't have had gameplay like that if they wanted to make the game about Elizabeth. They could have made a crazy cool game about switching between different realities as Elizabeth.
In previous examples, several of her analysis have been done outside the gameplay itself: cutscenes, camera angles, model animations, story, etc. It makes sense to define the characters from what they can do gameplay-wise and/or what they do outside the gameplay.