Does sexist tropes in video games influence behavior? Violence =/= Sexism?

Atmos Duality

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Calbeck said:
I'd think it obvious: if millions of gamers are, collectively or individually, influenced by these games to the point it can reasonably be said to affect their behavior, then we would be seeing THOUSANDS of Columbines and Jack Thompson would have been 100% correct.

Ad absurdum, ad nauseum.
That's really the heart of the matter.
Influence does not automatically translate into action, or even the kind of action one is assuming because there are multiple ways to approach any given problem or subject.

Just on the subject of video game protagonists:

"Problem: Very few good female protagonists -> Cause: SEXISM! -> Result: Women want more favorable representation! Feminism!"

Alternative:

"Problem: Very few good female protagonists -> Cause: Stock, poorly written characters to save effort -> Result: Gamers are tired of the same old shit."

Neither of these are mutually exclusive; one doesn't have to be a feminist to want stronger female characters or females in leading roles etc. Yet, the gender issue seems to revolve around the former almost entirely, and the ugly implications is a big part of why this whole "Influence" issue keeps getting brought up.

"You are influenced by media to see women as objects. And that's why this is bad."

Alright. Why is this influence bad? Is there some evidence showing the consequence? Is this consequence significant?
Is that consequence even properly correlated with with your evidence?

Few, if any of those questions are really addressed specifically or conclusively so the implications are assumed; and where they're assumed, they're projected.

Which means the matter inevitably gravitates towards "guilt by association" bullshit.

Well, if anything, it's an easy if not cheap way to coerce others into the conversation like a honeypot.
 

Stephen St.

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Atmos Duality said:
Calbeck said:
I'd think it obvious: if millions of gamers are, collectively or individually, influenced by these games to the point it can reasonably be said to affect their behavior, then we would be seeing THOUSANDS of Columbines and Jack Thompson would have been 100% correct.

Ad absurdum, ad nauseum.
That's really the heart of the matter.
Influence does not automatically translate into action, or even the kind of action one is assuming because there are multiple ways to approach any given problem or subject.
And therefore the bit you quoted is a complete non-sequitur.

Atmos Duality said:
"You are influenced by media to see women as objects. And that's why this is bad."

Alright. Why is this influence bad? Is there some evidence showing the consequence? Is this consequence significant?
Is that consequence even properly correlated with with your evidence?
Why isn't it bad per-se? It's amoral to view women as objects, I hope we can all agree to that. Why do we need to wait for consequences?

This is my main question in this entire debate, what the fuck is it that we need to defend from the feminist critics? What exactly is there to fight for? Do Duke Nukem or Mortal Combat need our defense, and from what threat?
 

Batou667

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INH5 said:
That's the weird thing about controversies like this: the critics are always inexplicably immune to the dangers that they want to protect everyone else from.
Convenient, isn't it?

thaluikhain said:
I'm not seeing anyone (at least here) make this argument. There's a big jump from "videogames have an effect" to "videogames will kill us all".

Certainly, society isn't about to fall apart due to pinball machines or whatever, but that's not to say we shouldn't keep an eye on things that could cause problems.
Yes, video games could be said to have "an effect" on society, but only in the same sense that Coca Cola adverts, Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and cherry popsicles have an effect on society. Everything we consume has some kind of effect inasmuch that it forms part of the pervasive and incredibly complex tapestry of everyday experience. But like I said a few posts back, that's an utterly banal statement. When bloggers and activists claim "video games have an effect on society" they generally mean they're a potent and possibly negative influence on players' attitudes and behaviour.

Giving credence to the idea that computer games "could cause problems" isn't a neutral position, it's a statement of belief in itself. What led you (general, collective) to believe games could cause problems serious enough to lobby against, when comics, VHS tapes, indie music, mobile phones (and all the rest) turned out to be pretty damn benign?

thaluikhain said:
Would you agree that this is due, at least in parts, to the current culture and society in place? That is, culture and society play a part in issues such as violence and sexism? And that videogames are part of this culture?
Come on man, those are loaded and leading questions. The answer to each is "yes" but to draw a straight line from one to the next and conclude "see, games affect crime statistics" is both misleading and ignores the much wider picture of influences on society. If we're going down that route, compare the graphs of crime rates (steady downwards trends) with the figures on video-and-computer game ownership and player population (rising). Should we conclude that video games reduce violent and sex crime? Or would you concede that we don't have sufficient information to make bold and sweeping claims like that?

thaluikhain said:
Bit of a tangent, but it struck me that people seem to be working from the assumption that there is a consensus that aggression and violence is something we shouldn't be encouraging. Senseless aggression could be argued to be a virtue, at least in men.
I don't think senseless aggression is ever really a desirable trait; even in the most macho military or cowboy movie, the protagonist is usually calm and measured in comparison to the bad guy. I'm not really sure what you mean.
 

Thaluikhain

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Batou667 said:
Yes, video games could be said to have "an effect" on society, but only in the same sense that Coca Cola adverts, Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and cherry popsicles have an effect on society. Everything we consume has some kind of effect inasmuch that it forms part of the pervasive and incredibly complex tapestry of everyday experience. But like I said a few posts back, that's an utterly banal statement. When bloggers and activists claim "video games have an effect on society" they generally mean they're a potent and possibly negative influence on players' attitudes and behaviour.

Giving credence to the idea that computer games "could cause problems" isn't a neutral position, it's a statement of belief in itself. What led you (general, collective) to believe games could cause problems serious enough to lobby against, when comics, VHS tapes, indie music, mobile phones (and all the rest) turned out to be pretty damn benign?
While there are some people claiming that games are somehow inherently worse than other things, I don't see that as being true for all of the criticism. A lot of it seems similar to the complaints raised against particular elements and examples of, say, advertising.

While there are some people arguing against videogames themselves, most seem to be arguing about problems to do with the current state of the industry and community.

Batou667 said:
The answer to each is "yes" but to draw a straight line from one to the next and conclude "see, games affect crime statistics" is both misleading and ignores the much wider picture of influences on society.
Why? I'm hardly saying that videogames are the sole, or even a particularly important influence, merely that they are one of them.

Batou667 said:
If we're going down that route, compare the graphs of crime rates (steady downwards trends) with the figures on video-and-computer game ownership and player population (rising). Should we conclude that video games reduce violent and sex crime? Or would you concede that we don't have sufficient information to make bold and sweeping claims like that?
No, that's post hoc ergo propter hoc, which is completely different.

Batou667 said:
I don't think senseless aggression is ever really a desirable trait; even in the most macho military or cowboy movie, the protagonist is usually calm and measured in comparison to the bad guy. I'm not really sure what you mean.
"Senseless" is a judgement, so not the right word, true. But...resorting to an aggressive response to a problem then.
 

INH5

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Stephen St. said:
This is my main question in this entire debate, what the fuck is it that we need to defend from the feminist critics? What exactly is there to fight for? Do Duke Nukem or Mortal Combat need our defense, and from what threat?
First, because they're effectively calling for censorship. Sure, they've never explicitly advocated government regulation, but any time you say "these works should not exist because they are bad for society," you are advocating censorship, if only through public pressure. Note that during the 20th century movies and comics ended up under massive self-censorship regimes in response to public outcries without any state or federal governments passing censorship laws. This actually isn't necessarily a bad thing if you can demonstrate that not making these sorts of media would have significant public health benefits, but so far they have not.

Second, even if many "sexist" games are bad (but then so are many "wholesome" games), we can never say that a great game with that sort of content will never come along, or already has come along, depending on your opinion. One of the most critically acclaimed TV dramas of the past decade [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903747/?ref_=nv_sr_1] depicts, among other things, murder, gang violence, spousal abuse and rape, prison violence, police brutality, violence against women, violence against children, and suicide bombing, much of which is carried out by the protagonists. And you can't just say "oh, we'll let good games do whatever they want and only attack the crap ones," because who gets to decide what is good enough? And how can anyone know whether or not a game is going to be a classic during the initial planning stages, which is where these sorts of creative decisions would actually be made?

Third, they frequently employ misrepresentations and falsehoods. There's the infamous Hitman thing, but really that whole video's argument boils down to "games where you can kill everyone are sexist if 'everyone' includes sex workers and women in general." You could use the same logic to say that those games are racist because look at this video montage of the player character killing black NPCs.

It wouldn't be so bad if the gaming press hadn't kept sucking up to them. I was kind of on Sarkeesian's side at the start, but with each video the representations got more dishonest and the logic got more strained, but no one in the gaming media seemed to notice. It was always "she's being harassed, so all of her critics must be misogynists," never mind that Jack Thompson got just as much crap back in the day, up to and including death threats.* And if she had limited herself to saying "these plot devices are overused, frequently done poorly, and can potentially alienate players, so maybe game developers should try something different for a change," I wouldn't have any problem with it. But the moralizing can't help but imply that anyone who likes these games is a bad person, no matter what disclaimers are put at the beginning of the video.

* If anyone tries to argue that Anita's harassment is worse than Jack's, I can show you some old forum posts and comments directed at the latter that would curdle milk. If anything, the average quality of gaming discourse has gone up since then.
 

QuicklyAcross

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Stephen St. said:
Atmos Duality said:
Calbeck said:
I'd think it obvious: if millions of gamers are, collectively or individually, influenced by these games to the point it can reasonably be said to affect their behavior, then we would be seeing THOUSANDS of Columbines and Jack Thompson would have been 100% correct.

Ad absurdum, ad nauseum.
That's really the heart of the matter.
Influence does not automatically translate into action, or even the kind of action one is assuming because there are multiple ways to approach any given problem or subject.
And therefore the bit you quoted is a complete non-sequitur.

Atmos Duality said:
"You are influenced by media to see women as objects. And that's why this is bad."

Alright. Why is this influence bad? Is there some evidence showing the consequence? Is this consequence significant?
Is that consequence even properly correlated with with your evidence?
Why isn't it bad per-se? It's amoral to view women as objects, I hope we can all agree to that. Why do we need to wait for consequences?

This is my main question in this entire debate, what the fuck is it that we need to defend from the feminist critics? What exactly is there to fight for? Do Duke Nukem or Mortal Combat need our defense, and from what threat?
Nothing really but its the most "debated" topic on escapist currently and it brings in traffic so why wouldnt we post more and add fuel to the fire?
 

aliengmr

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INH5 said:
* If anyone tries to argue that Anita's harassment is worse than Jack's, I can show you some old forum posts and comments directed at the latter that would curdle milk. If anything, the average quality of gaming discourse has gone up since then.
You know, I'll give you that, they received the same shit.

But...

Anita Sarkeesian was NOT legally pushing for censorship. In fact she specifically stated she wasn't doing that, yet for some reason is given the same level of hate as man who actually was.

You're equating critique with censorship and saying that because someone has an opinion all of a sudden things change. Wrong. Just look at what's right in front of you. Look at the games today. So long as the market wants these things it will remain.

Meanwhile EA has seen that DLC is on track to be worth a billion dollars. I'll be honest, I'm more concerned about games being gutted and pieces being hidden behind several pay walls.

But no, let's worry about the "censorship" that isn't happening.
 

Atmos Duality

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Stephen St. said:
And therefore the bit you quoted is a complete non-sequitur.
And therefore bacon.
See? I can pull incomplete assertions out of my ass too.

If my point wasn't clear, it's that asserting "influence" is not enough to assert causality or consequence.

Why isn't it bad per-se?
Because there's no evidence, perhaps?
Burden of proof is on those making the argument that it is bad. Not on me.

It's amoral to view women as objects, I hope we can all agree to that.
Ayup...
Too bad that wasn't my point in the first place.

Why do we need to wait for consequences?
Because consequence provides the basis for relevance.
Just because you say something is a significant problem does not make it significant (though it can be a problem).

Here's another "non-sequitur" (by your reasoning anyway):

Lightning kills people every year, without question.
It is a real problem with real consequences.
People are dying, so obviously it's very significant, right?

Actually no. Lightning fatalities comprise an unbelievably TINY proportion of all fatalities in the US. I'm talking tens out of hundreds of thousands annually.

That isn't terribly significant. Sure, we can do things about preventing lightning fatalities, (promoting awareness etc), but it will never reach a significant level of controversy or widespread moral outrage because the event is rare.

Compared to something like Heart Disease in the US; which is not only a major cause of death, but one of the biggest by a large margin. And there is related controversy over it (like the recent hooplah about food standards in public schools and obesity in children).

And I'm being fair with those because at least they have some measurable impact and consequence.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/heart-disease.htm

(I'll save you trouble of hunting the numbers: avg 596,577 for heart disease vs 51 lightning deaths on a 30 yr average)

Good luck measuring highly interpretative social issues like correlating gaming tropes with ANY kind of negative behavior; especially those with some underlying crap like "Rape culture" (a popular feminist topic as of late).

Nevermind that the biggest shakers on the subject have little more to offer than criticism, which is highly subjective to begin with and hardly evidence in itself. So far, the worst consequence of all this is me having to listen to some nutters assert what a horrible misogynistic person I am (or will become) by playing these games.

This is my main question in this entire debate, what the fuck is it that we need to defend from the feminist critics? What exactly is there to fight for? Do Duke Nukem or Mortal Combat need our defense, and from what threat?
I actually agree with that, but from a different direction.
My question: Why should I take feminist critics seriously in the first place? Why should I care? Why should I believe them when they say these tropes are influencing my behavior negatively?

Gaming doesn't need defense when the "offense" is so weak and poorly researched to begin with.

Call me cold if you want, but I'm frankly tired of the empty moral posturing and I'm REALLY fucking tired of the pretense coming from those that preach it.

The most I can do is empathize as such: "You know, more games with strong female characters would be nice".
Ironically, something I already believed well before gender politics ever became this ubiquitous in gaming.

INH5 said:
I was kind of on Sarkeesian's side at the start, but with each video the representations got more dishonest and the logic got more strained, but no one in the gaming media seemed to notice. It was always "she's being harassed, so all of her critics must be misogynists"...
That's where I ended up with Sarkeesian. She's a critical darling with most of the popular games journalists because she brings in controversy, and controversy brings in the ad-hits.

I've never once seen a critical piece run on her on this site. In fact, I've seen the complete opposite: tons and TONS of gushing, unilateral support of her work, method and opinions.
(and I don't mean "critical" to be "scathing" or "in stark opposition to", I mean in terms of neutral or authoritative analysis; y'know, real journalism?)
 

Stephen St.

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INH5 said:
First, because they're effectively calling for censorship. Sure, they've never explicitly advocated government regulation, but any time you say "these works should not exist because they are bad for society," you are advocating censorship, if only through public pressure. Note that during the 20th century movies and comics ended up under massive self-censorship regimes in response to public outcries without any state or federal governments passing censorship laws. This actually isn't necessarily a bad thing if you can demonstrate that not making these sorts of media would have significant public health benefits, but so far they have not.
Why do I need to prove a negative? How about you prove the positive, that something worthwhile would have come about without the so-called "censorship"? Yes public pressure will determine what works get published for the public to see, that has and will always be the case, despite the direction the public pressure is taking. There is public pressure right now shaping games the way they are which is plainly visible. What I am asking for is a reason why the current state of the medium is better than the state the critics are advocating (or, in other words, why the current public pressure is preferable to the public pressure you fight against).

INH5 said:
Second, even if many "sexist" games are bad (but then so are many "wholesome" games), we can never say that a great game with that sort of content will never come along, or already has come along, depending on your opinion.
Nor can we ever say how many great games we miss by not changing the way games treat sex. Since we therefore literally cannot say anything either way, this whole argument is a non-starter.

INH5 said:
Third, they frequently employ misrepresentations and falsehoods. There's the infamous Hitman thing, but really that whole video's argument boils down to "games where you can kill everyone are sexist if 'everyone' includes sex workers and women in general." You could use the same logic to say that those games are racist because look at this video montage of the player character killing black NPCs.
You are probably not surprised if I say I have a slightly different view of the videos. The fun thing about the tropes vs. women series is that in the beginning of an episode, there are lot's of claims that seem unsupported and things that seem taken out of context ("complaining about strip clubs? but that's just realism!" was one that went through my head). It's ususally by the end that I beginn seeing the bigger picture and realize some of the supposed mistakes weren't mistakes at all, the point was just not what I had assumed it was (like, why is it that with all the parts of reality we omit in games, exploitation of females is the one thing that has to be in). But anyways, let's assume that the videos are factually wrong. Then someone else will come along and make factually correct videos(indeed, there are tons of counter-videos out there). It will be enough to simply point out the mistakes and be done with it, nothing more. Truth always wins out in the end. It doesn't warrant anything close to the current debate.

INH5 said:
It wouldn't be so bad if the gaming press hadn't kept sucking up to them.
If you directly assume everyone you disagree with is either and idiot or part of some conspiracy, you are very liable to being manipulated by echo-chambers.

INH5 said:
I was kind of on Sarkeesian's side at the start, but with each video the representations got more dishonest and the logic got more strained, but no one in the gaming media seemed to notice. It was always "she's being harassed, so all of her critics must be misogynists," never mind that Jack Thompson got just as much crap back in the day, up to and including death threats.* And if she had limited herself to saying "these plot devices are overused, frequently done poorly, and can potentially alienate players, so maybe game developers should try something different for a change," I wouldn't have any problem with it. But the moralizing can't help but imply that anyone who likes these games is a bad person, no matter what disclaimers are put at the beginning of the video.
This sounds like a blatant ad hominem, but: If the boot does fit... I am going to make a confession: I enjoy some of the sexualizing displays in games. I consider it amoral, and that makes me feel guilty. That is, I feel guilty if I accept that the depiction of women is sexist and that sexism is wrong. The other option would be to simply challenge these assumptions and continue my consumption guilt free.

What does all of this have to do with your point and the apparent insult? Simple: If acceptance of what the video says makes me feel guilty, then it would seem like the video is attacking me. It isn't though. It's not an attack on any individual gamer, it's our own realization that what we are enjoying might turn out wrong that turns it into an attack on us. The attack isn't in the video (as the mentioned disclaimers clearly show) it's in the interaction of that video with our feelings.
 

Stephen St.

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Atmos Duality said:
And therefore bacon.
See? I can pull incomplete assertions out of my ass too.

If my point wasn't clear, it's that asserting "influence" is not enough to assert causality or consequence.
I wasn't referring to your point though, but to the fact that your statement was in direct opposition to the bit you quoted.

You may not like my logic, but it's logic nonetheless.

Atmos Duality said:
Because there's no evidence, perhaps?
Burden of proof is on those making the argument that it is bad. Not on me.
Sure, and in return, you will give us evidence as to why slavery is bad per-se, right?


Atmos Duality said:
Ayup...
Too bad that wasn't my point in the first place.
I am glad you agree anyways :)

Atmos Duality said:
Because consequence provides the basis for relevance.
Just because you say something is a significant problem does not make it significant (though it can be a problem).
Sure, but then I don't care if you or anyone else considers it significant (on the grand scale of things, it probably isn't even remotely). I just wonder why, if this is all so insignificant, so many people are up in arms about it.

Atmos Duality said:
Here's another "non-sequitur" (by your reasoning anyway):

Lightning kills people every year, without question.
It is a real problem with real consequences.
People are dying, so obviously it's very significant, right?

Actually no. Lightning fatalities comprise an unbelievably TINY proportion of all fatalities in the US. I'm talking tens out of hundreds of thousands annually.

That isn't terribly significant. Sure, we can do things about preventing lightning fatalities, (promoting awareness etc), but it will never reach a significant level of controversy or widespread moral outrage because the event is rare.

Compared to something like Heart Disease in the US; which is not only a major cause of death, but one of the biggest by a large margin. And there is related controversy over it (like the recent hooplah about food standards in public schools and obesity in children).

And I'm being fair with those because at least they have some measurable impact and consequence.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/heart-disease.htm

(I'll save you trouble of hunting the numbers: avg 596,577 for heart disease vs 51 lightning deaths on a 30 yr average)

Good luck measuring highly interpretative social issues like correlating gaming tropes with ANY kind of negative behavior; especially those with some underlying crap like "Rape culture" (a popular feminist topic as of late).

Nevermind that the biggest shakers on the subject have little more to offer than criticism, which is highly subjective to begin with and hardly evidence in itself. So far, the worst consequence of all this is me having to listen to some nutters assert what a horrible misogynistic person I am (or will become) by playing these games.
Well, this probably isn't a non sequitur, because you have just presented me with a number of facts and no conclusion. I now know that lightning strikes are insignificant compared to heart disease and that measuring cultural impact is hard, and also you consider the tropes vs. women videos to not be very good. Thanks for the info :)

Atmos Duality said:
I actually agree with that, but from a different direction.
My question: Why should I take feminist critics seriously in the first place? Why should I care? Why should I believe them when they say these tropes are influencing my behavior negatively?

Gaming doesn't need defense when the "offense" is so weak and poorly researched to begin with.

Call me cold if you want, but I'm frankly tired of the empty moral posturing and I'm REALLY fucking tired of the pretense coming from those that preach it.

The most I can do is empathize as such: "You know, more games with strong female characters would be nice".
Ironically, something I already believed well before gender politics ever became this ubiquitous in gaming.
Perhaps you shouldn't take them seriously, then. And since you don't take them seriously, why not just treat this whole controversy like anything else that is non-serious, like say 9/11 truthers or something? Point out facts, maybe, and be done with it.
 

INH5

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Stephen St. said:
INH5 said:
Second, even if many "sexist" games are bad (but then so are many "wholesome" games), we can never say that a great game with that sort of content will never come along, or already has come along, depending on your opinion.
Nor can we ever say how many great games we miss by not changing the way games treat sex. Since we therefore literally cannot say anything either way, this whole argument is a non-starter.
So if we can't prove that changing the way games treat sex will make them better or worse, or that whether or not they will make society better or worse, then why bother advocating for that? Why do anything at all? The position advocating for change is the one that should be expected to make their case for how changing things in that way would improve things.

Stephen St. said:
But anyways, let's assume that the videos are factually wrong. Then someone else will come along and make factually correct videos(indeed, there are tons of counter-videos out there). It will be enough to simply point out the mistakes and be done with it, nothing more. Truth always wins out in the end. It doesn't warrant anything close to the current debate.
The debate has certainly gotten way more heat and attention that it deserves, I'll give you that. But her critics aren't the only ones responsible.
 

Batou667

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thaluikhain said:
While there are some people claiming that games are somehow inherently worse than other things, I don't see that as being true for all of the criticism. A lot of it seems similar to the complaints raised against particular elements and examples of, say, advertising.

While there are some people arguing against videogames themselves, most seem to be arguing about problems to do with the current state of the industry and community.
OK, fine, but those are separate issues. Possibly online communities are generally hostile to female gamers. Possibly the way female characters are depicted annoys or even offends some female gamers. Those are both issues I'd sit down and listen to. But I object to faulty reasoning or bad data being used to support even a legitimate argument. The argument for more diversity in gaming stands up just fine without having to invoke phoney pop-psychology.

thaluikhain said:
Why? I'm hardly saying that videogames are the sole, or even a particularly important influence, merely that they are one of them.
If videogames are just one of the thousands of factors that influence society, why are they being singled out? It's disproportionate. And why are games being lambasted for influencing sexist attitudes when the equivalent argument about violence has been thoroughly debunked? That's inconsistent.

thaluikhain said:
No, that's post hoc ergo propter hoc, which is completely different.
Not really, because the decline of crime and rise of gaming are concurrent. I'll grant you however that we should be very suspicious about jumping to conclusions about correlation - and likewise we ought to be suspicious about the unsubstantiated links being made between gaming and sexism in society. As far as I can see there's nothing to support the notion that depictions of women or the existence of tropes in games has the capability to significantly alter the player's attitudes to women in real life.
 

INH5

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aliengmr said:
INH5 said:
* If anyone tries to argue that Anita's harassment is worse than Jack's, I can show you some old forum posts and comments directed at the latter that would curdle milk. If anything, the average quality of gaming discourse has gone up since then.
You know, I'll give you that, they received the same shit.

But...

Anita Sarkeesian was NOT legally pushing for censorship. In fact she specifically stated she wasn't doing that, yet for some reason is given the same level of hate as man who actually was.

You're equating critique with censorship and saying that because someone has an opinion all of a sudden things change. Wrong. Just look at what's right in front of you. Look at the games today. So long as the market wants these things it will remain.

Meanwhile EA has seen that DLC is on track to be worth a billion dollars. I'll be honest, I'm more concerned about games being gutted and pieces being hidden behind several pay walls.

But no, let's worry about the "censorship" that isn't happening.
You're right, maybe I did go too far in calling it censorship. But the arguments use a lot of the same language in terms of games being a threat to society.

No, I don't think Anita's videos are going to have much if any influence on the actual industry. I just think there are more constructive ways of critiquing games. There's plenty of stuff to criticize without turning it into a moral issue.
 

Atmos Duality

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Stephen St. said:
I wasn't referring to your point though, but to the fact that your statement was in direct opposition to the bit you quoted.
I was 100% in agreement with Calbeck.

Calbeck was begging the question in relation to the claims of Jack Thompson, etc, and I expanded upon that by explaining why their assertions were bullshit. Because they only wanted the public to see the issue from their perspective: that violent influences in games creates violence in real life.

That their interpretation was the ONLY valid one. Which was obvious bullshit, because there is more than one way to interpret something.

None of which is contrary to what Calbeck was saying.
Ergo, not a non-sequitur.

You may not like my logic, but it's logic nonetheless.
Yes, broken, incomplete in its formation and requiring tortuous omission of context and intent.
But it's logic...of a sort.

I prefer to call it "bullshit".

Sure, and in return, you will give us evidence as to why slavery is bad per-se, right?
Oh lets see...
-Well over a century of extreme social-economic disparity
-Segregation in every sense of the word
-Legal double standards up to and including torture and corporal punishment

Vs
-Subjective/critical interpretations of fictional women in gaming

Golly gee, I just don't see the difference. They're just so SIMILAR!

Sure, but then I don't care if you or anyone else considers it significant (on the grand scale of things, it probably isn't even remotely). I just wonder why, if this is all so insignificant, so many people are up in arms about it.
Because it's tired, overdone and based on flimsy logic.
None of which is actually contrary to my original reply so...frankly, I don't see the point of you asking me that actually.

In fact...

Why isn't it bad per-se? It's amoral to view women as objects, I hope we can all agree to that. Why do we need to wait for consequences?
All of that inquiry requires me to engage the subject of feminist criticism directly; which sounds awfully contrary towards your later stated purpose.

Which is akin to asking someone to grab a hot pot on a stove for them and then questioning them why they are getting burned.
It shows less than honorable intentions on the part of the requester.
I'm tired of dealing with such, so welcome to my ignore list.

Well, this probably isn't a non sequitur, because you have just presented me with a number of facts and no conclusion.
Well since you've demonstrated trouble with comprehension of basic logic, I'll be explicit.
My conclusion was to demonstrate how saying something is a problem is not in itself reason to take it seriously as a problem.

Though from what I've seen it seems you care little about what I'm saying except to mock it.
Oh the sacrifices I make.

Perhaps you shouldn't take them seriously, then.
I took them seriously before, but that has changed over time.
Their evidence and methods don't really hold up to even basic scrutiny and my interest in the subject is more related to openly dismissing it so that new discussions may begin.

(And yes, I tried ignoring it before; yet this ridiculous subject spread like wildfire anyway, to the point where it has invaded all my regular circles of game discussion and that's a problem I will no longer tolerate quietly, thus the address. So before you resort to the not-at-all-clever observation of "hypocrisy" or such, know that doesn't really work or apply here)

Which is exactly why I quoted Calbeck's post and replied as I did: A simple agreement that their method is similar to Jack Thompson. And just like in Thompson's case, the evidence of didn't really match up with the consequence of real life.
Ad-nauseum, ad-absurdism.
 

Stephen St.

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INH5 said:
So if we can't prove that changing the way games treat sex will make them better or worse, or that whether or not they will make society better or worse, then why bother advocating for that? Why do anything at all? The position advocating for change is the one that should be expected to make their case for how changing things in that way would improve things.
Well if you want my reason for advocating, it's because I actually believe it influences society and I consider it amoral. Other reasons have been brought forward, like people wanting better written characters, which seems to be something everyone agrees on.

INH5 said:
The debate has certainly gotten way more heat and attention that it deserves, I'll give you that. But her critics aren't the only ones responsible.
No, that's true, both sides of the debate are making it a big deal. What the critics sometimes do, though, is making it look like the criticism is in and of itself a great injustice, and needs to be purged with fire and sword (slight dramatization on my part).

Atmos Duality said:
I was 100% in agreement with Calbeck.

Calbeck was begging the question in relation to the claims of Jack Thompson, etc, and I expanded upon that by explaining why their assertions were bullshit. Because they only wanted the public to see the issue from their perspective: that violent influences in games creates violence in real life.

That their interpretation was the ONLY valid one. Which was obvious bullshit, because there is more than one way to interpret something.

None of which is contrary to what Calbeck was saying.
Ergo, not a non-sequitur.
Well, I am sorry if I missed the larger context of the conversation and misinterpreted what you were saying. What I saw was Callbeck saying "if this were true, we would see tons of shootings" and you saying "influence does not need to lead to action", which is basically the direct counter to Callbecks point. If influence doesn't necessarily lead to action, then it may very well be that games have a bad influence, it's just that it doesn't lead to action.

Atmos Duality said:
Oh lets see...
-Well over a century of extreme social-economic disparity
-Segregation in every sense of the word
-Legal double standards up to and including torture and corporal punishment

Vs
-Subjective/critical interpretations of fictional women in gaming

Golly gee, I just don't see the difference. They're just so SIMILAR!
I didn't claim they were similar. I was pointing out the problem in demanding "evidence" that something is bad. Because whether or not something is bad is a philosophical question, and cannot actually be proven with evidence. Slavery being a good example because it's incredibly obvious that it's bad, and we know that without needing evidence.

Atmos Duality said:
Because it's tired, overdone and based on flimsy logic.
None of which is actually contrary to my original reply so...frankly, I don't see the point of you asking me that actually.
Because it's the discussion I want to have.

Atmos Duality said:
All of that inquiry requires me to engage the subject of feminist criticism directly; which sounds awfully contrary towards your later stated purpose.

Which is akin to asking someone to grab a hot pot on a stove for them and then questioning them why they are getting burned.
It shows less than honorable intentions on the part of the requester.
I'm tired of dealing with such, so welcome to my ignore list.
My question was always the same one, namely why some people feel these critics need to be vehemently opposed on the basis of there being "no evidence" when there is really no harm in trying anyways. The question is: given what we stand to gain, what are the terribly important things we stand to loose if we don't oppose the "feminist critics"?

Atmos Duality said:
Well since you've demonstrated trouble with comprehension of basic logic, I'll be explicit.
My conclusion was to demonstrate how saying something is a problem is not in itself reason to take it seriously as a problem.
Truely, a world shattering discovery was made here.
 

Riotguards

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thaluikhain said:
An individual instance of murder is going to be worse than an individual instance of sexism (unless that happens to be particularly nasty), sure, but murders are comparatively rare, sexism isn't.
but take for example prototype in which you senselessly kill thousands of people for fun or GTA where running people over is the way to drive kinda makes your entire point, moot

murder far outweighs sexism by a hundred fold but its nothing compared to sexism? only when its women i guess

More importantly, though, why must we ignore murder, or anything else, in order to care about sexism? There's no reason why people can't care about more than one thing.
more importantly you missed the point of the argument, you said that

"well apparently if i can be influenced by sexist behaviour in games then i can also be influenced by murder in games as well since lets face it, whats the difference between fictional sexism and fictional murder?"

so if sexist behaviour can influence people therefore by that logic murder / genocide can influence people as well, the fact that you can't come up with a reason as to why it doesn't effect people but apparently sexism can only shows that you just making facts up as you go along

lets just look at it like this

if i said watching TV made you blind but then someone else said "well sticking pencils in your eyes makes you fully blind" its obvious which is the worse one

only people who wish to spite themselves would say that TV is worse for you than a pencil to the eye
 

Karadalis

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Real people have an affect on Real people.

Justin bieber will have more of a negative influence on your daughter then any video game ever could

The modeling industry today has a more sexist and damaging influence on how we view women then princess peach could ever have in 300 mario games.

Ms Sarkesian is fighting windmills here if she truly beliefs that video games instill sexism in games.

Its also quite convenient to claim that these games "reinforce" allready existing notions. Cause its almost impossible to proof if they reinforce whats allready there because it is allready there. How do you measure how sexist a person is? You dont. You either are.. or youre not. Youre not just a "little bit sexist" and video games make you go from "a little bit" to "raging women hater"

Lets take a look at the modelling industry:

Its all what some girls dream of to be a model. What they dont realise is that you are just a walking talking manequin for the clothing industry. Youre told to hunger yourselfe down to rediculus levels, get treated like shit (since the stars of the show are the designers and not the models) and in general are viewed as disposable... unless you are one of the lucky few who manage to make it onto the cover of sports illustrated.

The problem here is that these are REAL people, showing our kids that it is actually "possible" to get rich and famous by selling your body to the clothing industry.

While princess peach is an imaginary figure... and people know that. They know super mario is nothing but a fantasy game, that its fake.

And aslong as this security measure in your brain functions, that you KNOW that what you see is pure fiction, it wont have any influence on you.

You wont believe that you will grow to 2 metres tall if you eat mushrooms or think that mushrooms will help you grow taller in general because mario downs them like they are going out of fashion.

However if you want to become a modell you will be very likely looking up to certain people and try to imitate them, because hey! They made it... so why dont do it yourselfe? Including hungering yourselfe to near death, and being reduced to a walking clothing hanger.
 

Deadcyde

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Jan 11, 2011
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I get the sense that all of this is steeped in the "holier then thou, cheap generalizations and clip clopping on the high horse judgments" style of thinking that:

A. Refuses to treat people as individuals with agency and the ability to think for themselves
B. Generally relies on making people convinced they are actively taking part in positively changing the world when in fact they are just running on the mouse wheel with everyone else. (Like recycling plastic and paper)
C. Ignores any mitigating factors that don't exclusively support the point they are making.
D. Have been done before with so many other topics that came to the conclusion that the original point is over simplifying and pointless, yet this eventually conclusion is neatly forgotten. (Violent video games cause violence.)
E. Is generally more supported by people pushing an agenda then anyone actually involved in the medium being discussed. (excepting of course the few examples that are generally the driving force or spokespeople for one side or the other)
F. Generally ignores any underlying issues because of what i outlined in B. as they are too complicated to cause the feeling described in B. to be established.
G. Ignores any factors that the arguers themselves may be guilty of/ ignores important issues i favor of pointing out factors the other party is guilty of as if that absolves any issue.

tl;dr people doing this because it feels good to think they are helping when in fact they don't really care about underlying problems, treating people as individuals, realizing that things are far more complicated and never black and white/us and them.

I'm sick of it.
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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grassgremlin said:
What's going on here, I need to understand.
Most agree that, while video games don't cause violent behavior, they can desensitize us to violence. There's evidence to that, which is more than any of the other claims can boast.

To me, the issue is with what type of behavior the game can promote/endorse/encourage.

Violent behavior? No, not really. That requires a very active role on the part of the person doing the behavior. No one will imitate violent behavior unless they were already very heavily leaning that way -- the game might just provide them ideas on how to do it, or whatever. It is often claimed that people who cite videogames as the cause of their violent behavior were already violent people, and this was just one tiny straw that broke the camel's back.

But can a game influence a person's thoughts passively? Yes. Absolutely.

And the problem is, as I see it, that many people in the world already, passively, have absorbed sexist modes of thinking. We're programmed to associate blue with boys and pink with girls. We're programmed to picture athletes as male and models as female -- thus associating "being capable" with masculine and "being nice to look at" with feminine.

Sexist tropes in games (like violence to the already violent-minded folk) adds fuel to an existing fire, and one that is MUCH, MUCH harder to fight. A murderer can't deny they have killed a person, but a sexist ass can deny the true motivation behind a bad thing they did.

As with the claims of violence, the idea is that the content is tapping into an already-existing reservoir of behaviors and responses. Sexism, however, is far more common than the urge to mass-murder, and it is much easier to hide (from oneself, as well as others), in the same way crazy people don't know they're crazy.

So, really, the two issues are being treated by the same standard, when you really look at it. It's just more people are forced to face accusations of sexism, so the social backlash is larger.