Prove to me that the Gaming Community Excludes Women

Dizchu

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The Almighty Aardvark said:
I've seen some other gaming sites that completely blow the Escapist out of the water in terms of sexist posts, so it's certainly one of the better places. It's still got some massive polarization issues though. Too often an extremist feminist seems to be "a feminist I disagree with". If I looked at the "7 Female game developers speak about gamergate" thread I'm sure I'd find people calling them extremists.
I am in agreement with much of this. I also saw an article about devs in favour of Gamergate, some of which were women that had to be quoted anonymously out of fear of harassment and losing their jobs. There's a lot of toxicity on the internet. Because people aren't speaking face-to-face it gives them a greater threshold for the amount of absolute filth they think they can throw at others.

I've never considered Tropes vs Women to be a confrontational title, and I don't think it's intended to be either. I also think that a lot of people misunderstand what exactly misogyny means, which is probably not helped by the vague and misleading definition. This is the one most people are probably using when they speak about misogyny.

Misogyny said:
Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women
As opposed the one most people who have an issue with the term go with which is "A hatred of women". I don't really watch her videos much because I find them bland and non-committal but I don't think those that I have seen even use the word misogyny, I'll search through the scripts of her episodes to see though.
I took my definition from the etymology of the word but that seems like a good definition too. It is an emotionally charged term which is why people take it personally when they are branded with it.

It appears I was mistaken when I said she uses the word often. I suppose it's just such a loaded term that it goes off like a nuclear bomb whenever it is used, and it distorts the argument. I apologise for that.

Said once in Women as Background Decorations Part 1 - "A line can be drawn from the crude sensationalized misogyny of Duke Nukem"
I know this is gonna sound awful but the casual sexism in Duke Nukem is extremely tongue-in-cheek. It's not an excuse but I get the feeling that the intent was to parody 80s action films rather than anything more malicious. That said, Duke Nukem Forever got blasted for it in a way Duke Nukem 3D didn't. Maybe because we're more culturally sensitive to topics like these nowadays? Maybe because the game itself just felt sleazy and awful?

As far as I've seen, she never really criticizes people, she criticizes tropes and uses of women that she thinks are objectionable. That's why I used the term non-confrontational.
I have watched a few of her videos and she tends to overplay negative stereotypes while downplaying both their context and their exceptions. It comes off as cherry-picking. Instead of framing the Damsel in Distress trope as a patriarchal storytelling device where women are used as an (often cheap) emotional incentive to involve (the typically heterosexual male) in the (often lazy) story, she claims its use is because of female objectification where they have no agency of their own. I can see what she's trying to say but her language makes the problem sound worse than it is.

Speaking about that Jack Thompson bit, I think it's really hard to claim that media doesn't influence people's attitudes. I'm not saying that if you watch misogynistic drivel then you will go off and beat women. However, when certain tropes are universally painted as normal or in a positive light I have a hard time believing that it won't influence your perception of it in real life.
Oh absolutely media influences people's attitudes. It's a circular process. However, I think issues of misogyny in the real world should be addressed if the misogyny present in certain games is a significant problem. This is the direction things are heading though, depictions of women in the media that were widespread in the 80s and 90s would be heavily criticised these days, due to factors like the growth in communication thanks to the internet and a growing trend of gender neutrality that I don't think will stop any time soon.

I think that violence is a lot easier to rationalize away because so often it's painted as so absurd you wouldn't assume it has any grounding in reality. How people act around each other or treat each other tends to try to appear grounded in reality though.
That's a good point. I think a case can be made for media perpetuating gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles, especially media published by those that grew up in the mid 20th century.

As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I share your opinion on throwing dismissive labels at people. If you're looking for any sort of discussion with someone you should keep as far away from personal attacks as possible. If your goal is to get them to shut down and stand over their corpse as the victor, sure it could maybe work. But if your goal has anything to do with convincing them that what you believe is right then you're shooting yourself in foot
Personal attacks are what made the whole gender discussion such a minefield in the first place. It's probably why I started this topic, social media consists of loud voices shouting on top of each other and I tried to seek refuge somewhere where an honest discussion might take place.

As to your last comment, that's one thing that I think depressingly gets lost in all of the talk about her objectification (something I have an issue with myself), just how god damn awful her design is in the first place
It's a terrible design and it made me cringe when I learned the game was getting released in the west just because I was anticipating the controversy. My friend has very strange and questionable tastes. She has the right to have them though.

Bakuryukun said:
Ha. Buddy, the burden of proof is on you.
I'm not trying to assert anything, sorry if my initial post came off as "hurr you're all delusional idiots betcha can't prove this". I wanted evidence that such a large amount of exclusion was happening from people with rational points of view, not the mindless hyperbole you'll get elsewhere.
 

Dizchu

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Aaron Sylvester said:
But still Anita represents the more extreme (and fucked up) side of feminism
For the love of god never go on Tumblr.
I've seen enough crazy shit to come to the conclusion that Anita is relatively tame. I think she misses the point often... but she's nowhere near extreme. Not even close.
 

Dizchu

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T_ID said:
I mean, it's nice if the person behind it is a hatemonger out to prove that indeed all these horrible men are pigs and the things that daddy did to her are only because the lot of men are all evil, but if you want to call it science, it falls flat on its face.
I think you brought up some good points but there was no need for this.
 

Thaluikhain

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DizzyChuggernaut said:
Aaron Sylvester said:
But still Anita represents the more extreme (and fucked up) side of feminism
For the love of god never go on Tumblr.
I've seen enough crazy shit to come to the conclusion that Anita is relatively tame. I think she misses the point often... but she's nowhere near extreme. Not even close.
Yeah, never go onto tumblr, it's full of angry rants, weird porn, and celebs asking their fans how tumblr works.

Extremism is a matter of distance, you have to be way, way over there for Anita to be considered extreme.
 

Bruce

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You need to define what you're talking about here. If you mean gaming as a whole - it doesn't really. The majority of gamers are female, and the biggest ROI in gaming is in genres dominated by female buyers.

If you mean AAA gaming - then you see the big problems crop up.

Okay first, core gamers.

They're the ones who do things like this:

http://www.themarysue.com/gamergate-harms-women/

Now it is a minority of core gamers who do that, but then it was only a minority of airline passengers who crashed those planes into the two towers. It doesn't take a lot of people to make a situation distinctly shitty for everyone else.

Second the publishers.

Multiple development companies have spoken about having problems getting women into their focus groups, or having trouble getting to use female protagonists.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-04-09-naughty-dog-forced-to-request-female-focus-testers
http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/18/4120694/remember-me-publishers-balked-at-female-lead-character

One should also note that games with female protagonists tend to get less favourable marketing - only getting 40% of the budget assigned to games with male leads.

http://www.themarysue.com/why-games-with-female-protagonists-dont-sell-and-what-it-says-about-the-industry/

You will note here the problem isn't strictly the developers, it is all about the dominance of marketing departments.This is part of the history of gaming,

http://www.polygon.com/features/2013/12/2/5143856/no-girls-allowed

Now you may say this isn't sexism, it is capitalism - except it is capitalism based on how the market looked twenty years ago, with no real update to fit with moving times and mores.

Gaming has gone from 2d sprites to 3d, the average gamer has gone from being a child to an adults with children, we have entirely new ways to game - and marketing is still stuck in the late Nes era.

With the marketing focus of most publishers, this has an impact on the developers - which means that while most devs are not sexist, in real terms they are being bossed around by a bunch of people who haven't updated what gamers think since those same gamers thought girls had cooties.

Which isn't entirely their fault considering the most vocal members of the core gaming community still appear to think girls have cooties. They also happen to be the ones nobody else wants to play with. Even 4chan wants nothing to do with them.

All of this adds up to women being excluded from the industry because there isn't a terrible lot one can do about the terrible elements of the community so long as the publishers themselves think appealing to them is the only way to sell their way overly-expensive titles.

The solution in the long term is not actually more female protagonists or suchlike (as it would only be window dressing), but rather more developer freedom. There are sexist devs, but for the most part devs are happy to adapt and change, it is what they have been doing their entire careers.

Give the devs the power, and the problem will slowly sort itself out while producing more and more varied good games.
 

DrWut

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Bruce said:
Which isn't entirely their fault considering the most vocal members of the core gaming community still appear to think girls have cooties
I take issue with that statement. An overwhelming majority of the game community has exactly 0 problem with women and more games with women. People who take the trolls and try to set them as an example of the community are no less trollish and they are feeding the rage wheel, sometimes for fun and profit.

Claiming that the marketing department is catering to such a small minority is completely unfounded.
 

Jesterscup

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"Go make me a sandwich"

the simple fact this sentence exists, that that you probably already know it's in use is evidence enough.

Disclaimer.............
We're not actually a 'community' at best we are a group with a singular common interest. That being said there are communities within gaming culture.
There was an issue not long ago about a verbal attack that was highly sexist on a girl-gamer in a competition ( some sort of fighty game I believe ) that was justified, by the excuse "this is the culture here, if you can't stand the heat...."

I know a couple of girl gamers, one is a 'core' gamer the other bordering between core and casual. Both have related to me more than one story of leaving a game due to harassment.


Your title and the question you ask in the OP are different things....

Do games themselves exclude women? Not being a woman I can't answer that, I'd guess for the most part no, but I'm sure there are exceptions. I'll ask my girl gamers what they think.
 

DrWut

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Jesterscup said:
"Go make me a sandwich"

the simple fact this sentence exists, that that you probably already know it's in use is evidence enough.
No, it really isn't. The sentence may exist, may be used and it may offend you, but in itself it is evidence of nothing, much less of a systematic discrimination of women in the gaming industry. Offense is not evidence.
 

Bruce

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Jesterscup said:
"Go make me a sandwich"

the simple fact this sentence exists, that that you probably already know it's in use is evidence enough.

Disclaimer.............
We're not actually a 'community' at best we are a group with a singular common interest. That being said there are communities within gaming culture.
There was an issue not long ago about a verbal attack that was highly sexist on a girl-gamer in a competition ( some sort of fighty game I believe ) that was justified, by the excuse "this is the culture here, if you can't stand the heat...."

I know a couple of girl gamers, one is a 'core' gamer the other bordering between core and casual. Both have related to me more than one story of leaving a game due to harassment.
I am not saying it is a sexist conspiracy (in fact I link to an article explaining how it happened), I am saying that marketing departments rely on outdated ideas of what their potential market is, which has the effect of making the industry more sexist than it need be.

Particularly given the power marketing tends to have over actual development.
 

Dizchu

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Bruce said:
You need to define what you're talking about here. If you mean gaming as a whole - it doesn't really. The majority of gamers are female, and the biggest ROI in gaming is in genres dominated by female buyers.

If you mean AAA gaming - then you see the big problems crop up.
I meant gaming as a whole, or at least the kind where players will call themselves "gamers", which might be a much narrower group now that I think about it. Good point though, it's worth clarifying which demographic has members that are causing the problems.

Now it is a minority of core gamers who do that, but then it was only a minority of airline passengers who crashed those planes into the two towers. It doesn't take a lot of people to make a situation distinctly shitty for everyone else.
If we're to use the same analogy, it's unfair to characterise all Muslims as terrorists because the terrorists were Muslims. From my point of view recent opinion pieces came off to me the same way "Islam is over, the Muslim identity is dead" would. There are plenty of peaceful Muslims that would take issue with being compared to the hijackers.

Now you may say this isn't sexism, it is capitalism - except it is capitalism based on how the market looked twenty years ago, with no real update to fit with moving times and mores.
I actually agree with you here. I think many people would, publishers these days have come under a lot of criticism for homogeneous games and poor customer relations.

With the marketing focus of most publishers, this has an impact on the developers - which means that while most devs are not sexist, in real terms they are being bossed around by a bunch of people who haven't updated what gamers think since those same gamers thought girls had cooties.
I think you're spot-on here.

Which isn't entirely their fault considering the most vocal members of the core gaming community still appear to think girls have cooties. They also happen to be the ones nobody else wants to play with. Even 4chan wants nothing to do with them.
If you're talking about the recent Gamergate cull here then I have to take some issue with this statement. I do agree with the sentiment as a whole though, sexist assholes on most reasonable gaming forums are usually called out for being complete idiots conforming to a dated stereotype that people want nothing to do with.

All of this adds up to women being excluded from the industry because there isn't a terrible lot one can do about the terrible elements of the community so long as the publishers themselves think appealing to them is the only way to sell their way overly-expensive titles.
I wouldn't go as far as saying it is exclusion, but I have to say that a lot of the industry side seems apathetic at best. I don't see many females interested in game design, I studied it in university and there were only a handful of them on my course. I think the industry has an image problem rather than the community being reluctant to accept women.

I also don't think the community at large is willing to reject female developers. There are a refreshing number of well-respected women working in the industry. Although to play devil's advocate, I think many of them are on some level apathetic to making gaming more inclusive to women because they got into gaming when its bias towards male gamers was much worse, and have come to accept it as part of the job.

The solution in the long term is not actually more female protagonists or suchlike (as it would only be window dressing), but rather more developer freedom. There are sexist devs, but for the most part devs are happy to adapt and change, it is what they have been doing their entire careers.

Give the devs the power, and the problem will slowly sort itself out while producing more and more varied good games.
Yes! I can't agree more. Most of the best-selling games have had developers with creative freedom. Some, like Minecraft, were built completely without the need of a publisher to fund it and amassed an audience on its quality alone. I think games that are cynically marketed with all the sharp edges and unique features erased tend to sell well but are rarely breakout successes or notable within gaming history as a whole.

T_ID said:
Feminists claiming that I'm a psychopath and a rapist just because I happen to be born with a particular gender and sexual orientation also sort of didn't help. Calls for persecution tend to cause tensions.
You are referring to an extremist fringe segment of feminism. Sadly they're very vocal, nothing damages the image of feminism quite like complete idiots that want to cry persecution for a quick buck or use aspects of patriarchy that benefit them to manipulate others. The best thing to not give them a rise. They're basically trolls, they're not worth anyone's time.
 

Jesterscup

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T_ID said:
Jesterscup said:
"Go make me a sandwich"

the simple fact this sentence exists, that that you probably already know it's in use is evidence enough.
Can't you see how you're massively generalising, stereotyping and slandering a group millions strong here?
Yeah Actually I can. The simple (and perhaps sad ) fact is that when a community allows such behaviour within it's confines it becomes exclusionary. Perhaps only a small percentage of people within that community may behave in that way.

Jesterscup said:
I know a couple of girl gamers, one is a 'core' gamer the other bordering between core and casual. Both have related to me more than one story of leaving a game due to harassment.
I know several people who changed their behaviour due to crimes committed against them by members of ethnic minorities.

Can this be taken as proof that all immigrants are criminals, or is both this idea and your (essentially identical) generalising statement wrong?
No not at all. At no point did I say "this proves every gamer is sexist" or anything like that. You're putting words into my mouth and trying to stretch my point beyond it's validity.

I did not say "they tried to play this game, and everyone was sexist/abusive" What I AM saying is " They played this game and received enough harassment for it to not be fun for them anymore". This does not require EVERY person, or even a majority of people. It simply requires enough people to behave like that.

There is a very clear difference ( especially online ) between saying a community is exclusionary, and saying All the people within it are exclusionary.

I stand by that on a game-by-game community basis. as a whole are we? Personally I'd like to think not. But it's often the most 'radical' voices that are the loudest. And without a counter-balance to that then we are going to be seen as such.



DrWut said:
Jesterscup said:
"Go make me a sandwich"

the simple fact this sentence exists, that that you probably already know it's in use is evidence enough.
No, it really isn't. The sentence may exist, may be used and it may offend you, but in itself it is evidence of nothing, much less of a systematic discrimination of women in the gaming industry. Offense is not evidence.
firstly i the 'industry' I've no idea, don't work there, can't say. certainly I'm kinda hopefully it wasn't the COD devs who created that phrase...

Oh I beg to differ, on the "offence is not evidence" point here. How much offence are you willing to put up with before you stop doing something thats fun, because it's not fun anymore? Because, on a game-by-game basis thats the level, the watermark. A community where it's acceptable to behave like that to a group = exclusionary, it doesn't matter whether it's 'everyone' or not, it just has to happen ( and be allow to happen) enough.
 

agent9

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it's an open forum, while I have no proof I can't plausibly deny it (GG excluding women) either. I figure some people joined the band wagon for the wrong reasons but I think the idea or premise is a good one.
 

DrWut

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That has the bold assumption that it is acceptable to behave like that. I think nobody here thinks is acceptable and honestly, I have not seen a single instance of that happening in my experience, so I very much doubt that is something widespread outside of the 12-year old COD "I fucked your mom" demographic. This is again taking a few instance of offensive behavior and trying to force them to represent a multimillion dollar industry. It's VERY disingenuous.
 

Mouser_House

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MarsAtlas said:
Except when they're not games because you don't shoot people in the face, see: Gone Home and The Walking Dead. Not trying to imply that you feel this way, but its hard to take many people who don't believe such a thing seriously when they say "well then make your own game", like its an easy feat, and then when somebody actually does it, they say its not a game, and they reject it as being a game because they want to be unassociated with the game or the cultural values it brings with it.
People were angry at a tiny little house made in unity that initially came with a $20 price tag. It's going to be compared to products that provide more concrete value in terms of technical excellence and potential hours spent playing, all sold at lower prices. The audience is sensitive to technical capabilities. When one side defends itself by branding the critics as backwards homophobic misogynists, they ignite a pointless war that is going to invite vicious trolls as well as REAL homophobic MRA types fueling the flames out of spite.

The chicken or the egg?

MarsAtlas said:
Even in games they can't reject as "not games", they find other reasons to object to the inclusivity. See: Bioware romances. I never heard anybody complain about them before Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2, but once they're including non-heterosexual romances, all of a sudden, it "ruins" the character to be romancable by the same sex in somebody else's completely separate playthrough because the character being romancable by both genders just ruins it because... reasons. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM...
There are non-heterosexual romances in Dragon Age 1 and Mass Effect 1 and 2. Contrarians on 4chan will attack Bioware when they start "shoe-horning social justice issues and pandering to tumblr" while leaving Dragon Age 2 a broken and unfinished game and leaving Mass Effect 3 riddled with problems and with a hastily written ending so disappointing that it had to be modified in DLC.

It's something of a problem between 4chan and tumblr et al. Web rebels must go to war against the moral police and vice versa. The problem is that everybody forgets about EA rushing these games out the door. The absolute last people who will ever criticize EA are the developers trying not to starve to death. Bioware appears to have joined the trend of saying "the product isn't shit, the audience is shit" so they can count on the online moral police to fight their wars for them.

At this point you can say whatever you want. If the product sells, you can congratulate yourself on proving that the audience is ready for your progressive genius. If the product doesn't sell, you can congratulate yourself on being too innovative for your backwards audience and too far ahead of your time. EA will still axe your company and kick your progressive ass out the door.
 

Thaluikhain

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Jesterscup said:
Oh I beg to differ, on the "offence is not evidence" point here. How much offence are you willing to put up with before you stop doing something thats fun, because it's not fun anymore? Because, on a game-by-game basis thats the level, the watermark. A community where it's acceptable to behave like that to a group = exclusionary, it doesn't matter whether it's 'everyone' or not, it just has to happen ( and be allow to happen) enough.
A year or two ago, the developers of one biggish name game claimed that that sort of thing was a vital part of the gaming experience, at least for their game.

Can't remember what it was, some fighting game.

DrWut said:
That has the bold assumption that it is acceptable to behave like that. I think nobody here thinks is acceptable
That's based on the assumption that everyone know what "like that" is, that it is overt, intentional and obvious, though. It's easy to cause problems because "that's just the way it is", and people act without thinking about it.
 

Dizchu

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agent9 said:
it's an open forum, while I have no proof I can't plausibly deny it (GG excluding women) either. I figure some people joined the band wagon for the wrong reasons but I think the idea or premise is a good one.
Considering many of the most vocal GG supporters are female I'm not sure it centered around female exclusion. I can't deny that exclusion exists either, there are definitely parts of the gaming community at large that do and they should be called out for it if they start harassment.

DrWut said:
That has the bold assumption that it is acceptable to behave like that. I think nobody here thinks is acceptable and honestly, I have not seen a single instance of that happening in my experience, so I very much doubt that is something widespread outside of the 12-year old COD "I fucked your mom" demographic. This is again taking a few instance of offensive behavior and trying to force them to represent a multimillion dollar industry. It's VERY disingenuous.
I think it represents at least a segment of the market. A very vocal and disappointingly lucrative segment, though. But definitely not enough to warrant exclamations of the "gamer identity" being dead.

Jesterscup said:
Oh I beg to differ, on the "offence is not evidence" point here. How much offence are you willing to put up with before you stop doing something thats fun, because it's not fun anymore? Because, on a game-by-game basis thats the level, the watermark. A community where it's acceptable to behave like that to a group = exclusionary, it doesn't matter whether it's 'everyone' or not, it just has to happen ( and be allow to happen) enough.
This is a good argument. I won't be surprised that there are certain communities (XBLA anyone?) that are filled with mindless adolescents that want to piss on everyone and ruin everyone's fun. I think that like cheaters and hackers they are generally not accepted. I was on a server playing anonymously and was called a "fat ****** jew". I didn't think they were racist or antisemitic I think they're just being morons. I think the same can be said for a lot of the griefers spouting sexism on XBLA, they're not interested in the gameplay experience, they just want to be a bully. People don't like bullies though, so it's no wonder they'd rather not have to put up with them.