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

Raioken18

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Dammit, got carried away.

Problems with her Tropes vs Women: DiD vid:
-Low quality
-Little research
-Deadpan, I've had 60 year old lecturers with more depth
-Very opinionated
-Perspective driven
-Generalizations made about whole male gaming community
-Finger pointing
-Lacks a suggested solution and does not encourage discussion in this branch of thinking.

Problems with Anita's past 'work'
-Implies that gamers and men are responsible for 4chan via association
-Self righteous
-Preechy
-Focuses a lot on just how women are portrayed in a vacuum (she doesn't compare or contrast that to other characters in the same setting)
-Conflicted - Gender swapping isn't the solution, because women are different to men, but you should treat them as equal and non-sexualised beings. She's had a go at Pokemon for assuming it could gender swap their main characters and they would be considered equal... >_> Frankly I thought wearing a short skirt for a long journey in a predominately sunny continent was a much smarter fashion choice than jeans...


Me? I like the base concept of feminism which is equality, and I don't think that the sexualization of women is disempowering, degrading or unequal. Wait, I'm going somewhere with this.

For example, I and most of my male friends like watching Miranda Kerr do pretty much anything because it sexually arouses us. While my girlfriend and her friends love watching Chris Hemsworth for the same reason.

Both sexes are more attracted to sexualized material of the opposite sex (usually), and the buying power of those individuals determines the overall content level of what is produced. Trust me, Chris Hemsworth taking his shirt off is in very high demand.

So basically, the portrayal of women in media only reflects a profitable market in the real world, one that has a lot of male customers but who both men and women can participate in equally (at least in most countries). The exception to this being that women are a large supported of part of the industry in their purchasing of fashion magazines, something that in my view would likely also have an effect of the extent to which women are sexualized.

So... it still isn't anti-feminist to drool over attractive pictures of the opposite sex.

Video games are a part of that media, as such the buying potential for games where men are the hero are in very high demand. The buying power is aimed towards the feeling of heroism as opposed to the degradation of those who are in need of help.

Though video games these days having the odd function of having gender swaps for the main character means that it gets harder to claim that a certain sex is being devalued solely for the appreciation of the other.

So, I guess what I'm saying is I fail to see how this relates or contributes to actual feminism or gender equality in any way...
 

runic knight

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Raioken18 said:
So, I guess what I'm saying is I fail to see how this relates or contributes to actual feminism or gender equality in any way...
Because it doesn't, not really. Female portrayals in games, and the various complaints, issues and decisions relating to that, don't stem from an attack-able mindset, rulebook or sexist bias within the games or game developers themselves most of the time. They come from a mix of business motivations, consumer culture and social culture. To that effect, the best that one can draw from video games is that they are a symptom of a larger underlying issue about gender that stems from culture as a whole. Like most art, games can clearly reflect aspects of the culture they are made in, and demographic targeted made-by-committee business decisions that lead to a lot of the female issues in games certainly reflect larger themes in society itself. Unfortunately, with every disease, you get people who don't understand it and instead blame the symptom for being the problem rather then being a sign of it. And in much the same way that someone with a respiratory infection might just take cough suppressants rather then find out and deal with the actual issue, so to do some people point and attack "sexism in games". And like the example I gave, this can also be a very bad thing to do, as it gives a false impression the issue is being fixed when it may be allowing it to get worse for not treating the true underlying cause.

But that is just my understanding of it anyways. And an explaination of my motivation in disagreeing with Anita's views. Believe I have used the terms "toxic" and "Cancer" to describe her contributions to video game discussions before...
 

Eddie the head

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Chemical Alia said:
I know very well what a "bias blind spot" is. I have absolutely no reason to believe angry rumors on the internet like that. I've seen nasty rumors with more "evidence" than that purported as facts by people with an axe to grind that I knew for certain were untrue. What I'm giving her is called "the benefit of the doubt", it's pretty cool and it works for me.
Well that was tangentially related to what I said. I mean I did talk about biases and you did mention them. But other than that I don't know what the hell you are talking about. Look all I said was you're more bias than you think you are, and just because someone is bias that doesn't make them wrong. Then you reply with something about knowing some evidence is untrue, and giving someone the "benefit of the doubt." Well then that's wonderful but it has little to nothing to do with what I just said.
 

Chemical Alia

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Eddie the head said:
Chemical Alia said:
I know very well what a "bias blind spot" is. I have absolutely no reason to believe angry rumors on the internet like that. I've seen nasty rumors with more "evidence" than that purported as facts by people with an axe to grind that I knew for certain were untrue. What I'm giving her is called "the benefit of the doubt", it's pretty cool and it works for me.
Well that was tangentially related to what I said. I mean I did talk about biases and you did mention them. But other than that I don't know what the hell you are talking about. Look all I said was you're more bias than you think you are, and just because someone is bias that doesn't make them wrong. Then you reply with something about knowing some evidence is untrue, and giving someone the "benefit of the doubt." Well then that's wonderful but it has little to nothing to do with what I just said.
But it does make them "wrong" in that spreading rumors you have no proof of is wrong. As in, I think that is a bad thing and that is my point.

Because who cares what my opinions are in this case? I don't see what that has to do with what I said, like at all. Angry internet nerds stating their suspicions as facts (and as a reason to further hate someon they're mad at), and expecting to be taken seriously is something I've seen happen time and time again. And it's not right.
 

generals3

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MeTheMe said:
I will say, I think she makes some good points. I don't think I agreed with -everything- she said, but she made points that made me think. Personally I think the fact that she made it was more important than some of her points, she started a dialogue I think we should be having, we're discussing the issue now when we aren't having knee jerk reactions. It's something we should be talking about at the least, and I like that she started it. I'll be watching her videos, even if I don't agree with everything she says, I'll respect her side of the argument.
Actually she didn't start a dialogue at all. When you go around and say these tropes reinforce toxic views of women in RL you aren't really seeking a dialogue. Who the heck is gonna say "i like games which essentially reinforce toxic views of women". No one. If this statement was phrased as a question than yes a dialogue could be had. But like most feminists dialogue is the last she wants, imposing her will by convincing people of her twisted views is what she wants. And that's why i don't respect her side of the argument.
 

Eddie the head

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Chemical Alia said:
But it does make them "wrong" in that spreading rumors you have no proof of is wrong. As in, I think that is a bad thing and that is my point.

Because who cares what my opinions are in this case? I don't see what that has to do with what I said, like at all. Angry internet nerds stating their suspicions as facts (and as a reason to further hate someone they're mad at), and expecting to be taken seriously is something I've seen happen time and time again. And it's not right.
So how dose that make what you said any more logical? You think that what they are doing is wrong. Ok, fine. I think that making illogical arguments is wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. The fact they might be wrong, doesn't mean you are justified in making illogical arguments. I don't care what these people are doing, that's not the issue, I care what you are doing.
 

Uhura

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Aug 30, 2012
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Eddie the head said:
The fact they might be wrong, doesn't mean you are justified in making illogical arguments.
I've been following this exchange between you and Chemical Alia and I was wondering, what exactly were these "illogical arguments"? Could you quote them?
 

chikusho

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Sarkeesian made one of the most generic, obvious and on the nose videos about well known tropes and you agree.
This clearly warrants discussion.
 

Eddie the head

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Uhura said:
Eddie the head said:
The fact they might be wrong, doesn't mean you are justified in making illogical arguments.
I've been following this exchange between you and Chemical Alia and I was wondering, what exactly were these "illogical arguments"? Could you quote them?
Umm. My first post I clearly state it and lay out why it's illogical.

Eddie the head said:
Furthermore what you appear to be doing is a "Argument from Bias." (is that a thing, if not it should be) Just because someone is suffering form a bias that doesn't mean that they're wrong. The halo effect tells us that people have a tendency to let attractive people off the hook easier. People are much more likely to acquit an attractive person for a crime then an ugly one. This is a bias. Dose that mean attractive people are more likely to be guilty? No.
You could also call it a bit of an argument form ridicule with the "I want to believe pic." Although I would just call that a joke.

For another thing I could call this whole "it's that they are wrong" as a red haring. As it has nothing to do with what I was saying. It's irreverent that they might be wrong. Because the statement was that you can't make the assumption that they are wrong. I am arguing the validity of the argument not the validity of the conclusion.
 

Uhura

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Eddie the head said:
Umm. My first post I clearly state it and lay out why it's illogical.
It really isn't that clear, but ok. Maybe Alia has managed to decipher it.
 

Chemical Alia

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Uhura said:
Eddie the head said:
Umm. My first post I clearly state it and lay out why it's illogical.
It really isn't that clear, but ok. Maybe Alia has managed to decipher it.
No, I'm super confused too. Think I'll back out now, I try to avoid weird forum stuff when I'm on vacation. Best of luck with this fun topic.
 

SnakeCL

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My main problem with the "damsel in distress" trope, is that its only sexist if its used it a derogatory manner towards men.

It supposes that the only reason a man would save a woman is because he views her as property or a non-person.

Basically, it hinges on the idea that men lack empathy.
 

Krispness

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tl;dr meh, I don't hate her...I just didn't like her videos. She offered very little information and didn't make any argument other than using examples to support the claim that damsels in distress do exist in videogames. Perhaps I'd be more interested once her video series was finished and she went more in depth, but there was supposed to be a DVD released last month of the entire series and she's only finished 1 video after making 154,000$+ of her goal to make the series.

@OP You agree with her? I'm glad. She brought up some really good arguments like how Peach is a damsel in distress. Personally, I didn't find her videos very informing and a little uneducated in her research on gaming. I don't disagree that there's an issue with sexism in gaming, I just didn't see any real point to her video. She told us some examples of damsels in distress, most of them from an er where Hollywood was doing the same thing and videogames were very niche and marketed directly to teenage boys, while glossing over the fact that a lot of that has changed and even in the past female protagonists existed by saying that they exist and moving on.

Those who brought down mass troll/hate on her gave her a lot more attention than what was necessary. Jimquisition did a better job in 5 minutes explaining how people in game marketing still think up stupid reasons to keep women out of main roles for fear of it not selling well and that went a few levels deeper. Starfox Adventures was not a good example because she missed the fact that there was a male protagonist, he was replaced by Fox as is often done at Miyamoto's discretion not because he feels females don't fill the role properly, but because using existing IPs can get experimental ideas off the ground more quickly. Without that we would never have Smash Bros., instead it would Dragon Fighter The Tournament or whatever it was originally. Does that mean Crystal doesn't play a Damsel in Distress? No. I just think if your going to find examples they should be used for something other than as proof for a claim that no one can really disagree with.

I don't have any real issue with her videos, just disappointed she decided to tackle such a large topic while adding very little to the discussion and bringing out points she could have found with a few google searches. Peach is the epitome of Damsel in Distress, I don't need to be told that. However, she never really explains anything about her or the topic just uses it as an example leaving wondering if this is supposed to be filed under the misogynist view category. Donkey Kong, Mario and Pauline were just reskins of Popeye and his own love triangle. Popeye being from another era Nintendo just adopted the Damsel in Distress without meaning much behind it since Mario was never meant to have much substance or be analyzed to that degree. I mean hell, at the time he was called Jumpman and if you couldn't tell from the fact an ape named Donkey Kong was holding a blonde women captive was related to King Kong then I just don't know. She made it seem like Miyamoto had bad intentions, he was just a creative designer with no care for story or motivation but without her really going into anything but showing pictures of Peach asking for help she just sort of insinuated he didn't believe a women could fill the role.

I could write an essay on how Zelda is an amazing character who is targeted for her importance and how Link is constantly ignored as if he weren't a threat and that's why she is the one on the short end of the stick. I mean, ignore the Sheikahs and the Gerudos for one but her time spent as a multifaceted character in most of the games far outweighs the ten minutes she spends captive at any point. To me she just always represented another piece of the triforce Ganon was after and her solidarity meant she'd give her life to keep him from it. She sacrifices herself in TP and SS. In WW she had to hide because Ganon was scouring for her while Link could fly under the radar, even when he had Link in the palm of his hands he tossed him away. Once it came to fighting and they were ready she joined the fight, the way she did in TP, the way she survived for 7 years in OoT. These are related to the story, and are much more important to me than her being a goal for the player. If Zelda was meant to be the playable protagonist then it'd be a very different game. One Nintendo isn't ready for. They've never done a female protagonist before, let alone the first and most popular one.
 

Korica

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I don't agree with everything Anita says/does. As somebody I argued with on these forums once said, a man could hand Anita a glass of water and she would find several ways in which it was somehow sexist. I think the fact that she disables comments on ALL her videos displays a great amount of weakness on her part - then again, I've never had to deal with harassment like she has. Still, this is the internet, and I tend to take the stance of "grow thicker skin or go home".

That being said, I still support her and enjoy her videos. The first I heard of her was that Kickstarter campaign, and I was super psyched to see somebody prepared to make an in-depth analysis of sexism in games. It's a topic I personally take interest in. (It was the subject of my Senior Research Paper back in high school.)

Sure she goes overboard sometimes, sure she gets facts wrong sometimes (people love to rag on her Bayonetta video that she has since removed) but none of that really matters BECAUSE ... in the end her core message is still solid. Sexism in the game industry exists, it is prevalent, it is bad, and it needs to change. I have no idea why it is so hard for people to see that.
 

Your Gaffer

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What is the point of dredging this stuff up over and over again? Haven't we been through this enough times already here?

I found her video to be pretty good actually, based on her earlier youtube videos I have to admit I was not expecting very good videos, as she was not very objective in her previous videos and made a lot of assumptions. The Damsels in Distress video was actually much, much better than that previous work. Perhaps some of the more rational critique of her work spurred her to improve.

In any case, if the quality remains high then I am glad she is doing this video series.
 

Lady Larunai

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Korica said:
I don't agree with everything Anita says/does. As somebody I argued with on these forums once said, a man could hand Anita a glass of water and she would find several ways in which it was somehow sexist. I think the fact that she disables comments on ALL her videos displays a great amount of weakness on her part - then again, I've never had to deal with harassment like she has. Still, this is the internet, and I tend to take the stance of "grow thicker skin or go home".

That being said, I still support her and enjoy her videos. The first I heard of her was that Kickstarter campaign, and I was super psyched to see somebody prepared to make an in-depth analysis of sexism in games. It's a topic I personally take interest in. (It was the subject of my Senior Research Paper back in high school.)

Sure she goes overboard sometimes, sure she gets facts wrong sometimes (people love to rag on her Bayonetta video that she has since removed) but none of that really matters BECAUSE ... in the end her core message is still solid. Sexism in the game industry exists, it is prevalent, it is bad, and it needs to change. I have no idea why it is so hard for people to see that.
I don't think its that people don't see the sexism, i've gone through a lot of the sarkeesian threads and not many people claim sexism doesn't exist its just anita went about it the wrong way.. as you said you did this same topic in high school as a research paper, i did the same topic in high school as my film and television major assessment.. but im betting neither you nor i asked for money to do it.

anyone on these forums could write the same thing she did without needing to ask for money.. as a "lifelong gamer" she should have had at least a small library of games she would have played and could use for research as most people on this forum would as well, this isn't information you need to ask people money for, even if the video's were her only form of income whats to stop her from doing the series normally, why not ask for donations of preowned games on the channel?.. most gamers have full time jobs or go to high school or some form of higher education and still find time to play games, write forum posts, do youtube video's in their spare time without the need for a kickstarter..

I've watched most of her video's including the now removed but still on youtube Bayonetta video, some things i can agree with but its hard to look past all the uninformed bias that goes with it, and that there is never a "this is how we can fix things section" they all ended up as complaints, not well lego could solved these issues by making the boxes purple or red or adding a girl into the advertisement.. yes they are stupidly simple ideas but theres no mention of them.. just what the problem is not how to rectify it.

I also don't really think a study on old games is all that prevalent either, sure mention origins but maybe keep the sexism to the past 5 years not the past 30.
 

Maevine

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Yuuki said:
Maevine said:
Guys, it's a couple of videos. You didn't fund them, they're not about you, and you don't need to watch them
???

I personally didn't help fund this project (thank goodness) but almost 7000 people DID fund it, with real money.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games

Most of it went into the intro animation and the rest went was spent on Anita's makeup.
My point exactly. You didn't fund them---but I was one of her many backers. I didn't fund her because I wanted to dictate how she used my money or demand she make her videos in a certain way. I did it because I liked her cause, and I had some cash to blow in the name of feminism (and later, McDonald's) that day. Suffice to say I'm not disappointed in my investment ^^

PS: I find Anita very attractive >3> I don't mind if my money went to her make-up at all~
 

Calibanbutcher

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Krispness said:
They've never done a female protagonist before, let alone the first and most popular one.
Ok, have you played Metroid at any given time?
As far as I am concerned, there are only very few female protagonists more bad-ass than Samus, which, imho proves to show that Nintendo is in fact capable of creating a good female protagonist.

On topic:
I am quite sick of topics arguing about the series, seeing as not all videos have been published yet and mentioning her name will only result in a new shitstorm.