So, I agree with pretty much everything in Anita Sarkeesian's Damsels in Distress video.

generals3

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LiquidGrape said:
That is, more or less, what I'm saying. But I believe I consider it a more insidious and widespread problem than you do. For instance, I do believe there is a marked and systemic discrimination being perpetrated towards women in and around games. The fact that this industry has generated advertisements such as Hitman: Absolution's infamous latex nuns [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ_jhw5TuxA], Uncharted 2's "my girlfriend is too dumb to realise this is a game and not a movie" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0q3qcLkw1A] and Dead Island's collectible dismembered female torso (with breasts intact!) [http://www.gamespot.com/news/dead-island-riptide-zombie-bait-edition-revealed-6402426] could ever have been deemed acceptable says plenty about how games aren't just pandering towards the most base heterosexual male interests, but that it also does so at the exclusion of any other audience.
Let me give you a marketing crash course: Advertisement is expensive and because it is expensive you're going to try and be the most efficient possible. Excluding a certain segment which is believed to care less about your product is simply using your marketing budget wisely. The marketing department is usually the one which suffers the first when budgets are cut, they can't just throw money away to pander to even the most irrelevant segments. Take that dismembered female torso for instance, if they wanted to use that marketing scheme in a non-exclusionary manner they would have need to also have a male torso, but these torsos aren't free and they would have probably ended up with lots of unused male torsos and the marketing department would have been yelled at for wasting money. And your uncharted example is one of the many examples of how people love to interpret things the worst way, the advert didn't say "my gf is too stupid to know this is a game" the advert tried to say "this game is so awesome that a non-gamer would think it's a movie". An advertiser has nothing to gain by insulting a gender, it does however have something to gain by making the game look awesome. So the latter interpretation is the logical one. And if the advert were to say "my gf is too stupid to realize this is a game" than that says nothing about the quality of the game. Please stop looking at what ISN'T there and look at what is.
 

LiquidGrape

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generals3 said:
LiquidGrape said:
That is, more or less, what I'm saying. But I believe I consider it a more insidious and widespread problem than you do. For instance, I do believe there is a marked and systemic discrimination being perpetrated towards women in and around games. The fact that this industry has generated advertisements such as Hitman: Absolution's infamous latex nuns [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ_jhw5TuxA], Uncharted 2's "my girlfriend is too dumb to realise this is a game and not a movie" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0q3qcLkw1A] and Dead Island's collectible dismembered female torso (with breasts intact!) [http://www.gamespot.com/news/dead-island-riptide-zombie-bait-edition-revealed-6402426] could ever have been deemed acceptable says plenty about how games aren't just pandering towards the most base heterosexual male interests, but that it also does so at the exclusion of any other audience.
Let me give you a marketing crash course: Advertisement is expensive and because it is expensive you're going to try and be the most efficient possible. Excluding a certain segment which is believed to care less about your product is simply using your marketing budget wisely. The marketing department is usually the one which suffers the first when budgets are cut, they can't just throw money away to pander to even the most irrelevant segments. Take that dismembered female torso for instance, if they wanted to use that marketing scheme in a non-exclusionary manner they would have need to also have a male torso, but these torsos aren't free and they would have probably ended up with lots of unused male torsos and the marketing department would have been yelled at for wasting money.
I don't see how that makes it any less problematic. I'm well aware of how marketing works. That doesn't mean it should be exempted from criticism when it is so blatantly operated by and towards suspect purposes. Abject sexualisation of female death and dismemberment is not an acceptable means of selling your product.
- Unless the party in question is producing a vile kind of erotic snuff film, I suppose. But then I would have even more reason to side-eye the practice.

And your uncharted example is one of the many examples of how people love to interpret things the worst way, the advert didn't say "my gf is too stupid to know this is a game" the advert tried to say "this game is so awesome that a non-gamer would think it's a movie". An advertiser has nothing to gain by insulting a gender, it does however have something to gain by making the game look awesome. So the latter interpretation is the logical one.
Emphasising a cinematic slant is perfectly fine. But that ad? Being unable to distinguish between a game and a movie, particularly when the player is supposedly seated right next to you, is such a ridiculous notion that the effect of the ad is very much the girlfriend being portrayed as though she was imbecilic. And it becomes yet another installment in the line of tired "my other half doesn't understand my dude hobbies" punchlines.
 

generals3

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LiquidGrape said:
I don't see how that makes it any less problematic. I'm well aware of how marketing works. That doesn't mean it should be exempted from criticism when it is so blatantly operated by and towards suspect purposes.
Because it isn't a problem to begin with. Being a good marketeer who uses money wisely is far from being problematic.

Emphasising a cinematic slant is perfectly fine. But that ad? Being unable to distinguish between a game and a movie when the player is supposedly seated right next to you is such a ridiculous notion that the effect of the ad is very much the girlfriend being portrayed as though she was imbecilic. And it becomes yet another installment in the line of tired "my other half doesn't understand my dude hobbies" punchlines.
No, it is simply exaggerating the cinematic value of the game. It's like saying a washing product would remove any kind of stains. That's a blatant exaggeration, the kind of exaggerations used in marketing all the time. Again, if the advertisement was somehow being negative towards the GF than that would cannibalize on the idealization of the game itself. The only thing you can blame this ad for is being way too positive about the games' cinematic value.

Let me give an example of a truly offensive type of ad: This is so simple to use even women can use it. Here you use the stereotype of women being dumb to reinforce the idea your product is easy to use. The stereotype helps conveying the message you want to convey.
However in this case if you assume the add is representing the gf as stupid than the add conveys nothing because the game is confused to be a movie because of stupidity and not the cinematic quality of the game.
 

LiquidGrape

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generals3 said:
LiquidGrape said:
I don't see how that makes it any less problematic. I'm well aware of how marketing works. That doesn't mean it should be exempted from criticism when it is so blatantly operated by and towards suspect purposes.
Because it isn't a problem to begin with. Being a good marketeer who uses money wisely is far from being problematic.
How is it not a problem. Ignore the matter of cost-efficiency for a moment. Consider the ethical ramifications that comes with this kind of gendered and exclusionary marketing. How is that not detrimental to both the potential accessibility of the product, and the culture surrounding it?

Emphasising a cinematic slant is perfectly fine. But that ad? Being unable to distinguish between a game and a movie when the player is supposedly seated right next to you is such a ridiculous notion that the effect of the ad is very much the girlfriend being portrayed as though she was imbecilic. And it becomes yet another installment in the line of tired "my other half doesn't understand my dude hobbies" punchlines.
No, it is simply exaggerating the cinematic value of the game. It's like saying a washing product would remove any kind of stains. That's a blatant exaggeration, the kind of exaggerations used in marketing all the time. Again, if the advertisement was somehow being negative towards the GF than that would cannibalize on the idealization of the game itself. The only thing you can blame this ad for is being way too positive about the games' cinematic value.
I will concede it was probably not the best example to put next to those other two marketing ploys I originally mentioned. Ninja Gaiden: Sigma 2 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbcMI0FjlBg] provides a far less subliminal example to demonstrate my point.
All the same, I still believe there is an argument to be made with regard to the Uncharted trailer and how it entrenches the idea of gaming as a man's medium which those silly women-folk have yet to fully comprehend. Unlike the other trailers and materials I have exemplified, however, I don't believe this trailer was made from a position of conscious and deliberate exploitation. It's a clumsy ad with some unflattering implications, which is actually something you could apply to a number of things associated with representations of gender in games.

But like I said, I'll concede it was a bad comparison to the other two.
 

generals3

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LiquidGrape said:
How is it not a problem. Ignore the matter of cost-efficiency for a moment. Consider the ethical ramifications that comes with this kind of gendered and exclusionary marketing. How is that not detrimental to both the potential accessibility of the product, and the culture surrounding it?
First of all I don't see how marketing towards a specific target necessarily creates a bad culture. Nor reinforces one for that matter. What is actually the culture surrounding video games to begin with? Is there one?

And the accessibility is the same for everyone, the games are there in the stores for everyone to buy at the same price.

I will concede it was probably not the best example to put next to those other two marketing ploys I originally mentioned. Ninja Gaiden: Sigma 2 [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbcMI0FjlBg] provides a far less subliminal example to demonstrate my point.
That add is probably meant to be humorous and nothing more. And if any offense were to be found there it's probably towards male gamers.

All the same, I still believe there is an argument to be made with regard to the Uncharted trailer and how it entrenches the idea of gaming as a man's medium which those silly women-folk have yet to fully comprehend. Unlike the other trailers and materials I have exemplified, however, I don't believe this trailer was made from a position of conscious and deliberate exploitation. It's a clumsy ad with some unflattering implications, which is actually something you could apply to a number of things associated with representations of gender in games.

But like I said, I'll concede it was a bad comparison to the other two.
Is it entrenching anything or playing on it? Marketing is most often market driven and adapted to the culture/ideas not vice-versa. It is playing on the idea the person more likely to be a gamer is the guy.
 
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MysticSlayer said:
someonehairy-ish said:
I'd agree that women tend to be written poorly in games (so do men though) - but I'd disagree that women are usually represented as a 'reward'. Play Mario and the reward is the acknowledgement that you have successfully bested the game. Humans are tuned to feel good when they feel that they've achieved something, and that's why they like to beat games where the core engagement is challenge, like Mario. No player has ever said that they enjoyed Mario because they got gratitude off Peach at the end. The gratification is that you've beaten the game, rescuing peach is just a narrative justification for the game to end at that point.
Well, if you compare it to a sport, there is sort of a sense where Peach is a "trophy". In a sport, you get satisfaction if you win the championship, but the trophy that goes along with it is a more tangible representation of that victory than the victory itself is.

Edit: I think I just analyzed the game that shouldn't be analyzed...Whoops.
Ha! I thoroughly agree with your "edit", and was bemused by why she would spend so long on Mario in that video.

I have a very hard time believing that Peach being repeatedly captured is anything other than a running joke at this point. To believe otherwise seems to be assuming an insane lack of awareness on Nintendo's part.

Murais said:
Now what I don't get, truly cannot fathom AT ALL, is why feminism, not just as a concept but also simply as a word, is so damned reviled in the gaming community.

Feminists do not want to pee standing up and bite your penis off as a trophy for the Ovarian master race. They want women to be treated equally to men. The end. That's it. Equality. That shit we promise to people so they don't feel like their opinion doesn't matter and their social presence holds weight.

What's the problem? Own up to some gender biases in the industry and move on with a better mindset. It's totally okay to do so.
This is fine, so long as the analysis that takes place doesn't repeatedly gloss over any and all non-malicious reasons for gender-bias to be prevalent. "Look at this, this is bad" isn't exploring the depths of anything.
 

unpronounceable

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EstrogenicMuscle said:
I saw thunderf00t and TJ's response to Anita's videos and I didn't see a single instance of a strawman argument.
Do you know what a strawman fallacy is?
It's when someone misrepresents the opponent's position and uses this distortion to refute an argument that actually hasn't been made.
I didn't see them doing any of that.
In fact, TJ was largely in agreement with the points made in Anita's video.
Are we talking about the same people here?

EstrogenicMuscle said:
A statement that has sadly, mostly fallen on deaf ears. As many of the arguments against her are on the argument that she feels and claims the opposite. A strawman argument that ignores the fact she said this, because it doesn't go along with their agenda against her.
Who has ignored this?
The fact that she manages to enjoy games with perceived sexism in them is not relevant.
They are making arguments against the merits of her case.
I don't see what her enjoyment or non-enjoyment has to do with anything.

A strawman is when you distort the opponent's position.
In claiming that Anita's opposition has used the idea that she doesn't enjoy games where she perceives sexism, you have distorted the opposing argument.
No one is arguing this.

EstrogenicMuscle said:
it should be noted that both thunderf00t and TJ "The Amazing Atheist" have a strong vendetta against feminists and both of them are very defensive about white heterosexual male atheists and like to think they are a minority. And that being white men makes them every bit as much of a minority as being atheist.
Two things.
Number one. Thunderf00t is gay. He's not defensive about heterosexual anything.
But he knows when something goes too far.
Secondly, what is "And that being white men makes them every bit as much of a minority as being atheist" supposed to mean?
You're either insinuating that atheists are not a minority, which is false, or you're insinuating that they've claimed that white men are minorities, which they haven't done.
I know it's easy to try to force everything into your pre-written narrative, but the facts don't fit the argument.

EstrogenicMuscle said:
Why is it lazy? It's a strawman argument and that completely misses the point. There is nothing wrong with wanting to help others, have empathy for others, wanting to protect those you care about. And this is not what Anita is attacking. In the majority of these games, female characters have cheap, one dimensional characterization, and are made as an excuse, not as characters in and of themselves. Nary is it implied that Mario and Peach care for each other. And the majority of these "damsel" characters, are females made to be helpless, without explanation other than them being women. With no other explanation for their helplessness and needing of saving, than being women. It is cheap, lazy characterization, and it is a double standard in which men are allowed to be heroes, save the day, and save others, while women are reduced to being helpless objects.

It is natural and good to want to help others. It is sexist to create a double standard where female characters are tended to be rendered helpless and in need of saving rather than men. And in the majority of the cases where the trope is applied, the female characters are treated more like objects than loved ones. Their feelings and desires and agency are not expressed.
I don't see thunderf00t's response as being lazy at all.
It could just have easily been the main character's male best friend that is abducted or kidnapped or otherwise rendered helpless. If that were the case, I don't think you would have a problem with it.
Sure, you could interpret it as being a conscious or perhaps unconscious manifestation of society's misogyny, but what makes you think this is the case?
This type of haphazard psychological analysis of the causes behind the dev's decisions isn't really productive or useful.
I could offer alternative explanations that are equally as plausible with equally as little evidence for it.

I think what is, in fact, more likely is that they were simply pandering to their market audience.
Most of the gamers of that era and even today are heterosexual males.
How do you apply maximum emotional torque with as little narrative as possible?
Easy answer: love interest.
Who are the majority of the target audience?
Young (therefore predominantly horny) boys and men.
What you have to remember is that NOBODY was well characterized in days of gaming that anita cited.
Even now, good characterization is something that's pretty rare in games.
The fact that they are not well characterized is not evidence for anything.

In fact, to "express" their "feelings and desires" would detract from the game.
Where do you have either the time or the resources to be able to do this?
The point of a game is to entertain, not to sate your frustration stemming from short-sighted beliefs about what constitute sexism.
You're asking them to make a decision that takes away from the enjoyment of the game in order to satisfy your need for one of the plot devices to have extensive characterization.
And yes, the girl is a plot device. Almost every character is a plot device in video games.
This isn't evidence of misogyny.

EstrogenicMuscle said:
The idea that a man's worth is judged by how much sex he's having, and how desirable the women he's having sex with are seen by the average man. In societies' dating game, women are treated as a possession of value depending on their looks and number of sexual contacts. Which is extremely predatory and sad, but that's a topic for another time.
What? I can't seem to agree with the premise.
Why is men wanting to have sex with women sad?
What is so appalling to you about the idea of a friend zone?
While I agree that it doesn't make sense for a man's worth to be judged by how many women he's had sex with, that's not really a reflection of misogyny or patriarchy.
I really don't see how women are viewed as objects in the dating game.
Elaborate on it.

And before you start assaulting me from your high horse with "righteous" indignation, let me gently ease you off of it.
Telling me "You don't get it" or that I'm experiencing a blindness caused by the patriarchy is not productive.
If you truly have strength in your convictions, let your argument stand on its merits!
Tell me WHY.

EstrogenicMuscle said:
But in contrast with the damsel in distress trope, male characters are typically allowed some kind of agency in their own escape.
That's because men are usually the main characters.
It doesn't make sense for supporting characters to be doing their own shit.
If you're the player, it's YOUR story.
It doesn't make any sense from a narrative perspective.

When do supporting characters ever escape without the help of the hero?
Male or female?
Even when it's a guy, the hero goes in, guns blazing, and rescues the comrade, with whom he shares a bromantic moment.
Gender does not factor into this formula.

EstrogenicMuscle said:
So, I'm sorry I'm not sorry. Because she's right and I completely agree with her. Also, one common criticism of her video is that she's "playing captain obvious". And I agree that, yes, most of the stuff in her video should not be mindblowingly new to most people. Her points should be obvious. However, given how many people defensively and viciously disagree with her, I would say that stating the obvious is still quite important, because many people clearly do not see that her points are true.
I sense a hint of passive aggressive combativeness.
"I'm sorry I'm not sorry"?
Really, now?

And her points are not obvious, mainly because they aren't true.
Her observations have varying degrees of truth to them, but her analysis is completely off.
Do not assume that what you believe is true.
It's easy to get into the echo-chamber mentality when you're only exposed to people that think alike.
 

JellySlimerMan

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LiquidGrape said:
generals3 said:
LiquidGrape said:
I don't see how that makes it any less problematic. I'm well aware of how marketing works. That doesn't mean it should be exempted from criticism when it is so blatantly operated by and towards suspect purposes.
Because it isn't a problem to begin with. Being a good marketeer who uses money wisely is far from being problematic.
How is it not a problem. Ignore the matter of cost-efficiency for a moment. Consider the ethical ramifications that comes with this kind of gendered and exclusionary marketing. How is that not detrimental to both the potential accessibility of the product, and the culture surrounding it?
Pfff. You think that they teach "ethics" on the Marketing department? don't be silly, billy. If porn sells, they will market it. If BDM sells, they will market it. If games were bought primarily by men in its infancy, then they will market that proverbial safe pool until Armageddon comes (i am still waiting for someone to say that women played games back in NES day, so i can reply: "Then why nobody complained back then? where WERE these mystical females that were so into games to do it in public arcades without fear of repercutions like the males usually do for not doing "manly" things?")

In the other hand, studies confirm that women in 2012 were almost the 50% of gaming audience.
http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

So that means that the publishers and marketers are just being retarded. Soooo business as usual, i guess. Just another bad decision in a sea of bad decisions, like DRM and SEGA taking down Shining Force videos on Youtube for no apparent logical reason.
 

generals3

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JellySlimerMan said:
Pfff. You think that they teach "ethics" on the Marketing department? don't be silly, billy. If porn sells, they will market it. If BDM sells, they will market it. If games were bought primarily by men in its infancy, then they will market that proverbial safe pool until Armageddon comes (i am still waiting for someone to say that women played games back in NES day, so i can reply: "Then why nobody complained back then? or where WERE they?")

In the other hand, studies confirm that women in 2012 were almost the 50% of gaming audience.
http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp

So that means that the publishers and marketers are just being retarded. Soooo business as usual, i guess. Just another bad decision in a sea of bad decisions, like DRM and SEGA taking down Shining Force videos on Youtube for no apparent logic reason.
The big question is what type of games do they play? There is a big difference between playing minesweeper and games like uncharted for instance. My mother is probably a gamer by definition because she sometimes plays "solitaire" but she's not the type of gamer targeted by big budget games.
 
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generals3 said:
James Joseph Emerald said:
You've got such a naive way of looking at things, I don't even know where to begin. At this point I'm just fascinated someone could be so out-of-touch.
An other example would be a game which undoubtedly tries to convince you women are nothing more than objects, however this is something that goes far beyond using bikini armor, juggling tits or even using the damsel in distress trope. You see japan once made a rape game, where the player could go around and grope women in several situations. Now that is wrong because in the game every single women is your sexual toy and only that. And the opinion of the women in the game are also totally disregarded in that setting. (and do note there is a difference between the playable character and side-characters. The playable character has no inherent dignity because it's your tool, the other characters however are not)
So basically, a glorification of violence against women is where you draw the line, but anything less than that you consider ultimately harmless fun? Are you actually from the 1920's?

And what about the "double standard" that you can jiggle the female character's tits, but you can't jiggle the male character's junk?
 

Requia

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Amaror said:
Requia said:
Amaror said:
I pretty much quit the video as soon as she was dismissing Biology, as a mysogonistic myth.
Men being strong is not valid biology. Men are weak, being less weak on average than women is not a point in their favor. People who train for strength are strong, and while differences exist, the gap is people who train vs people who don't, not men vs women.
I never said all men are strong, or all women are weak.
Just what you said, that men are generally stronger then women, because they have an easier time getting muscles as women.
What she dismissed as an obvious social myth.
You're completely missing my point.

Nearly all men are weak. To ascribe strength as a male attribute is complete bullshit, because men have to do exactly the same thing as women to be strong.
 

YazBar

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To all of those wondering "why this needs a thread", doesn't it deserve one just as much as all those "use the object to your right as a weapon!" threads?
 

Gormers1

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Tenmar said:
So wait, you are saying it is a reward because a man can buy the game. You do realize a woman can also buy the game correct?

But if we want to go deeper here you do realize that you aren't presenting a fact but just your opinion. You are even using MARKETING as evidence that somehow the game is sexist or is discriminating against women to which it really isn't. What do people do at the beach? Sunbath, play volleyball, play games at the pool all while wearing bikini and since these are FICTIONAL characters and the PLAYER is playing AS A WOMAN shouldn't the PLAYER have the choice to decide what they want the character to wear?

None of you play in that game is discriminating against women. Hell, it is still one of the better volleyball games that existed for both console generations and actually let players experience a genre of the dating sim that is very limited to Japan.
Females might enjoy lesbian porn as well. That does not change the fact almost all of it is made for guys.
Dead or Alive Extreme 2 is one of the most extreme cases of objectifying women in video games there is.

I dont really mind the game that much, since its a niche game and so up front about what it is, a doll house and fap material directed at men. Im kind of surprised that you dont see that the game is primarily that though. The thing that had the most work put into that game was the horrible boob physics, and making sure the camera focuses on butts and boobs as much as possible.

The truly worst example of sexist stuff Team Ninja has put out is obviously Metroid: Other M.
 

Silenttalker22

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Silenttalker22 said:
It's painfully obvious.
So painfully obvious people feel that what she actually says on the matter is secondary to these "obvious" claims.
Yes, it's blindingly, stunningly obvious. She twists things to make a point, thus invalidating that point. Like in her Bayonetta video, where she said the story is irrelevant. Um.. no. This is an examination. You can not say you're talking about the main character of the game and then pick and choose what you're going to look at. To say nothing of her Tropes video. Selective isn't even the word. My god.

The problem is the stuff that she ignores or twists, in everything I've seen of her's, are the proof that are signs of progressiveness. She finds trouble where there isn't any and invalidates her opinion in the process. The tropes video was so slanted and selective, flat out ignoring obvious things that went against her point, that I literally had to stop every paragraph to let the stupid wave pass. So that's the crux of it. People ignore her points and focus on her evidence because her points are made irrelevant by being based on crap evidence. Give me a champion of the cause that doesn't need to lie and I'll be all ears.
 

Schadrach

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grimner said:
Also, it has to be said that the Metal Gear Solid series has The Boss, which is as strong a female character as one could hope to find. Every bit as competent as the men of her world, capable of not only matching them, but even mentoring the would-be Big Boss, and pretty much someone EVERYONE in the game looks up to.

It's exactly this kind of selective memory that undermines her research for me. Again, not denying the existence of those tropes, but just pointing out that that there are a lot of instance in the examples she chooses that do counter her established conceptions.
To be fair, her video doesn't mention later Metal Gear titles, and only makes a passing reference to Metal Gear (not even by name, just a reference when talking about men saving themselves and showing it in the panel in the background). So I'm not sure blasting her for The Boss is really fair.

James Joseph Emerald said:
So basically, a glorification of violence against women is where you draw the line, but anything less than that you consider ultimately harmless fun? Are you actually from the 1920's?

And what about the "double standard" that you can jiggle the female character's tits, but you can't jiggle the male character's junk?
Of course, there's also the whole "it's OK to glorify violence against men, even domestic violence or male rape -- for example what both Citra and Buck do in Far Cry 3 or the fact that Boyfriend Trainer for iOS was ever a thing (and was rated 4+ no less) while if there had been a "Girlfriend Trainer" that was identical but with the genders switched it would have caused the internet to spontaneously combust.

As for jiggling junk, check out the final boss from Dante's Inferno: It's hard to tell in most of the video, but once you hit the second part of the fight where he's much smaller and walking around the room he has jiggle-physics junk.