Study About 'Sexist Games' is Severely Flawed

McElroy

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ThatOtherGirl said:
If I may interject, I think you are right but only because of a reinforcement loop. Basically, who owns gaming capable hardware right now? The people who play games. Who plays games? The people who enjoy the games currently on the market. What games are on the market? The games you describe.

I think that a sold fashion based game could sell like crazy, if the genre was established enough for there to be a strong audience. But I also think that a budget title in the genre could sell very, very well because it is a severely under served market. And any major company could produce it with little difficulty for fairly cheap. They could take shortcuts to create the game cheaper too, like reusing some of the hundreds of character models they have created for other games. The technology for in engine cut scenes also exists (for the runway/display portion of the game) and simply having models walk and pose is easy compared to the elaborate cut scenes game companies are used to making. It could be very cheap to create.
I dunno why I'm talking about a hypothetical fashion video game, but whatever :D. Anyone can whip up a dress up game. If one wants to dress up things, there are lots of games around. LOTS. Video game wise there isn't much more to add except a bigger budget (famous designers, models, other celebrities) or it becomes a pimped out Sims. If you don't get that... are people satisfied with dressing up an interactive mannequin with clothes that don't exist outside the game? What I mean is it seems that a possible fashion-centered game would be most profitable as a casual game by a fair margin.

evilthecat said:
I'm just hung up on this fashion game, as seen above. I simply can't imagine a legit attempt. A Punch Club -style "Fashion Model Club" would work, but that's still a small game in scale. And of course you could always replace the aesthetics with stuff clearly aimed at girls, but nobody would take that seriously. Okay, maybe a game about girl bonding in which you have a bajillion story branches based on how you interpret you friends' moods? These ideas become so weird I don't wonder why they haven't been made. A game in which you control a teenage girl trying to get popular in social media? That's just disgusting; nobody likes an attention whore after all.

Or actually... An action-adventure game set in an alternate world where people solve conflicts with dancing instead of violence. There it is, folks. A male gamer repellent of the highest order no matter how well done the mechanics are. (I'd still probably play it. I like dancing.)
 

wulf3n

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WinterWyvern said:
- Little Big Planet
- Dragon Age: Origins
- Saints Row The Third
- Beyond: Two Souls
- Heroes Of The Storm
- Skullgirls
- The Cave
- The Sims
- Mirror's Edge (I guess: haven't played it)
- Latest Final Fantasy games

Oh whoops those are all games that sold a lot of copies and were well received.
Depends on how you define sold a lot of copies, for the ones I could find [http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/]:

- Dragon Age: Origins (global, all platforms: 4.90m)
- Saints Row The Third (global, all platforms: 5.60m)
- Beyond: Two Souls (global, ps3: 1.78m)
- The Sims 4 (global, pc: 2.93m)
- The Sims 3 (global, all platforms: 13.6m)
- Mirror's Edge (global, all platforms: 2.36m)

Compare that to the cookie cutter shooter with generic grizzled white male protagonist:
- Battlefield 4 (global, all platforms: 13.75m)
- Battlefield 3 (global, all platforms: 17.32m)
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (global, all platforms: 21.64m)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (global, all platforms: 27.55m)

And open world shooter with with generic grizzled white male protagonists (and one black male protagonist)
- Grant Theft Auto 5 (global, all platforms: 53.52m)
 

Therumancer

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The problem with this study as I see it is there is no way to guarantee the people involved with "blank slates" beforehand, and what's more the belief that only one or two play sessions of specific missions could have any kind of lasting impact on the people involved. It's like saying that the oftentimes graphic depictions of sexual abuse in shows like "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" would turn the viewers into sociopathic molestation bombs ready to go off at any second. Even if you focus entirely on the "intense bits" devoid of context, which is one of the problems with the study not requiring these games to be played as a whole and just focusing on "relevant missions" I doubt that's going to have any noteworthy effect.

I suppose if you took the most intense moments of video games and TV shows and whatnot and used them as part of a brain washing regimin over a long period of time you might see people's attitudes begin to change, but you'd probably also need to feed them a steady diet of drugs and reinforcement torture. I mean it's possible to turn someone into a damaged sociopath, but it's not going to happen because of a few missions in "M" rated video games.

Besides which I'd also point out that half the point of those "M" rated Grand Theft Auto games is how "wrong" they are, which is why they are supposed to be for mature audiences. Overall context also matters, since both of the games they picked from the GTA series were ones that set out to be intentionally absurd, coming from the time before GTA decided to be the more "serious" open world crime simulator compared to "Saints Row" which took the absurdity to all new levels.
 

Areloch

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ThatOtherGirl said:
Areloch said:
You have utterly missed my point. The point is, a fashion game is INCREDIBLY niche.

...

So again, point blank: Do you honestly believe that if a AAA studio produced and marketed a fashion game, it would reach the same sales numbers as a Call of Duty game?
If I may interject, I think you are right but only because of a reinforcement loop. Basically, who owns gaming capable hardware right now? The people who play games. Who plays games? The people who enjoy the games currently on the market. What games are on the market? The games you describe.

I think that a sold fashion based game could sell like crazy, if the genre was established enough for there to be a strong audience. But I also think that a budget title in the genre could sell very, very well because it is a severely under served market. And any major company could produce it with little difficulty for fairly cheap. They could take shortcuts to create the game cheaper too, like reusing some of the hundreds of character models they have created for other games. The technology for in engine cut scenes also exists (for the runway/display portion of the game) and simply having models walk and pose is easy compared to the elaborate cut scenes game companies are used to making. It could be very cheap to create.

In fact, we already know of one game series that does this. It is created on a shoe string budget, usually only sells a couple hundred thousand copies per game and still manages to be worth creating: DOAX. Except that isn't a fashion game, unless you are talking about swimsuits.

The funny thing is you wouldn't even have to give up the fanservice aspects of a DOAX game. Fashion is often very sexy, and there is nothing stopping the developer from including a few sets of lingerie or swimsuits for each woman. This is a game that could appeal to a ton of people, it is even a proven concept if you include the fanservice to fall back on, but no one is making it.

But I am getting off topic. The point is that if games like this started to be made then people who enjoy games like this would start gaming, which builds the audience, which makes games like this more lucrative.
Oh, sure, but that's why I've been asking Wyvern if she feels that companies should be forced to try and target those niche genre demographics at the risk of tens of millions of dollars.

We know that those non-standard styles of games have the potential to sell really well if they're done well as covered in my comments before, but it's far from a guarantee, and mistakes at the AAA level are ludicrously costly. So the two approachers are slowly get a feel for those genres as indies explore them and the 'safe' formula is secured, or require them to risk tens of millions of dollars to attempt to drive a shift immediately.

My point is, there's nothing inherently WRONG with the current industry, but it could be made even better with more gameplay options. However, one either needs to accept a slower, steady progression as this stuff takes hold and is felt out over time, or somehow obligate companies to accept severe financial risks.

WinterWyvern said:
Areloch said:
Hopefully that answers your question.

What I really got from your answer is that you think the current situation is fine, you think there aren't too many shooters and white male protagonists (possibly Americans and with shaved hair) on the market, and you think that shooters and such games are so much the norm that if you create an exception it's going to be "quirky, casual, silly".

I'll give you some names of those that you define "quirky, casual, silly" games:
What on earth are you on about? I never said 'quirky, casual or silly'. You literally just made up an interpretation of what I said and put the words in my mouth and then tried to counter-point it, right in the same post.

- Little Big Planet
- Dragon Age: Origins
- Saints Row The Third
- Beyond: Two Souls
- Heroes Of The Storm
- Skullgirls
- The Cave
- The Sims
- Mirror's Edge (I guess: haven't played it)
- Latest Final Fantasy games

Oh whoops those are all games that sold a lot of copies and were well received.
As @wulf3n pointed out, all of those games, while not unsuccessful, still sold at 10-30% of the generic action shooter games. So that only serves to reinforce my point that clearly more people like action games than less standard, more niche ones. Which is kind of what niche means.

And yes, we also have the good ol'casuals:

- Angry Birds
- Candy Crush

Oh whoops they're games so popular that they're also played by those who don't normally play videogames. Filthy casuals!
And those are completely and utterly different types of games from AAA games. There actually ARE a bunch of fashion games and the like on mobile. So if you're going to pull out more casual mobile gameplay experiences, then the discussion is already over because there's plenty of games for girls to play there, right?

Could you answer mine now? Do you feel that companies should be obligated to take on tens of millions of dollars of financial risks to target niche demographics?

Didn't I answer it right above here?

Imagine if the guys behind Little Big Planet or The Sims had made a generic shooter with a grizzled male protagonist instead.

But sure, more than 50% of the potential buyers is a niche demographic anyway.
Well, no, you didn't answer my question at all, actually.

So here is again, do you feel that companies should be forced/obligated to take on extreme financial risks to appeal to a niche market that MIGHT sell well?
 

Silvanus

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Areloch said:
Oh, sure, but that's why I've been asking Wyvern if she feels that companies should be forced to try and target those niche genre demographics at the risk of tens of millions of dollars.
Any time a game is made, it's a risk on some level, with the lowest level of risk being in a game that apes a tried-and-tested formula with as little innovation as possible. Of course, while that's the lowest level of risk, it's also a terrible model for us to encourage in the industry: the less innovation we have, the more homogeneity, derivative work, and bland repetition. Little-to-no risk, and we have a stagnant industry, especially in the arts.

So, sure, what Wyvern is suggesting is a risk to the bottom dollar. So is every innovation, and innovation is vital if we want anything other than what we've had before, repackaged, and an industry in decline.

Areloch said:
As @wulf3n pointed out, all of those games, while not unsuccessful, still sold at 10-30% of the generic action shooter games. So that only serves to reinforce my point that clearly more people like action games than less standard, more niche ones. Which is kind of what niche means.
Must every game be a colossal financial success? Is moderate success not fine? Plenty of creators are happy with moderate success, if they get to actually create something new. This is art, after all.
 

Silvanus

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ravenshrike said:
For AAA games, yes. This is why all the soul was sucked out of both the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises as they became more popular. It's why the DLC for Fallout 4 is a mirror copy of the DLC for Skyrim.
Right; you're saying much the same as me, that that "huge success only" attitude has, in fact, had a deleterious impact on the games themselves.

Just because the studios operate under that apprehension does not mean they must. It is their choice. Either way, any non-AAA studio (or even non-main-IP design team within an AAA studio) still has greater the freedom to innovate.
 

Areloch

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Silvanus said:
Areloch said:
Oh, sure, but that's why I've been asking Wyvern if she feels that companies should be forced to try and target those niche genre demographics at the risk of tens of millions of dollars.
Any time a game is made, it's a risk on some level, with the lowest level of risk being in a game that apes a tried-and-tested formula with as little innovation as possible. Of course, while that's the lowest level of risk, it's also a terrible model for us to encourage in the industry: the less innovation we have, the more homogeneity, derivative work, and bland repetition. Little-to-no risk, and we have a stagnant industry, especially in the arts.

So, sure, what Wyvern is suggesting is a risk to the bottom dollar. So is every innovation, and innovation is vital if we want anything other than what we've had before, repackaged, and an industry in decline.
Well, lets be honest. EVERYONE wants to take as few financial risks as possible. The point behind my inquiry is that does she feel that it's right to force companies to take risks that no one would reasonably want to take to satisfy some kind of social obligation or subjective personal ideology.

Besides, companies that do well often do branch out and try to innovate on their own, without having a boot to their throat. Which is where my perplexion of Wyvern's insistence of sticking to there being "Too Many" "dudebro action boy-things" games comes from.

And I don't know that it's a terrible model to encourage. I see it as how people have a day job that brings home the bacon, but work on their real interest in the hope of success on the side. Those safe, stable form-games give the companies enough resources that, as mentioned above, they often branch out and try unique games on a smaller scale as well, because they can afford the risk at that point.

Obligating companies to consistently take on financial risks strikes me as less feasible than that in the long run.

That, and obviously the safe, formulaic games are obviously what consumers want to some degree as long as they're done well, otherwise they wouldn't be selling. So forcing companies to make other types of games would be removing products from those customers that are happy with the games being sold as-is, which as also covered before, clearly are the majority.

Areloch said:
As @wulf3n pointed out, all of those games, while not unsuccessful, still sold at 10-30% of the generic action shooter games. So that only serves to reinforce my point that clearly more people like action games than less standard, more niche ones. Which is kind of what niche means.
Must every game be a colossal financial success? Is moderate success not fine? Plenty of creators are happy with moderate success, if they get to actually create something new. This is art, after all.
Colossal? I don't think so. But it does have to be a success. AAA games are expensive to make. There's absolutely some bureaucracy-style bloat that drains money needlessly in a production, but it's less than what most people would assume. Half the budget or more for a AAA goes into marketing, but that's because of the frantic need for a success.

While publishers do need to cut out the crap of 'If this doesn't make back 10000% profit, it's a failure', the games do at least need to turn SOME profit. So targeting a genre that has proven to turn back around 10% of what your tried and true games do is unsurprisingly not an appealing endevor.

That said, I think AAA publishers do need to mess around with scaled back developments. We've actually been seeing more and more if it of late, where smaller, bite-sized games are produced from major studios, but ironically BECAUSE they're not the big, shiney bombastic experiences of the main AAA, they also appeal to a smaller audience and thus proportionately less return.

It's exceedingly rare to get a game with low amounts of money funneled into it and get lots amounts of money in return. Minecraft is the mindboggling exception.

Edit: whoops, formatting.
 

Silvanus

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Areloch said:
Well, lets be honest. EVERYONE wants to take as few financial risks as possible. The point behind my inquiry is that does she feel that it's right to force companies to take risks that no one would reasonably want to take to satisfy some kind of social obligation or subjective personal ideology.
Well, I've heard nothing about "forcing". I've heard about criticism, encouragement, blah-de-blah, which is just what consumers should be taking part in.

Areloch said:
And I don't know that it's a terrible model to encourage. I see it as how people have a day job that brings home the bacon, but work on their real interest in the hope of success on the side. Those safe, stable form-games give the companies enough resources that, as mentioned above, they often branch out and try unique games on a smaller scale as well, because they can afford the risk at that point.
Do they? Many of them are quite happy not to do so, but merely to pump as much money as possible into the same formula-- making bigger and bigger projects, with bigger outlays and bigger expectation of return-- and then declaring it a failure when demand doesn't increase with supply.

ravenshrike said:
Except they still need to get paid. Indie has the greatest freedom to innovate because for most indie programmers it's not their actual job. As you go up the chain and it becomes their primary source of income, on average in order to succeed they must become risk adverse. Then there's the fact that men and women shop VERY differently. Among other differences on average women are much more flighty with their brand loyalty while men take a much larger marketing campaign to hook. Men and women also, on average, have different tastes in play. The same tendencies have been noticed in chimpanzees in the wild, so any claim that nurture does anything other than reinforce biological constants is a load of bollocks. Thus, those making the game must decide on who they want to primarily aim the content of their game at, and for any larger investment game, males are very much the more lucrative market.
Indeed, but we're not arguing about what the single, top-of-the-market example must target. Market share is never absolute; all companies catering to the same demographic, even if that single demographic is the biggest, is still pissing away potential revenue.

It's perfectly normal (and to be encouraged) for companies to offer different things to different people. They need not abandon the biggest demographic, and nobody is asking them to sacrifice that target for the smaller ones. The request is for a broader net, not just one with different holes; if Wyvern wants a game marketed towards her, then obviously nobody expects a company to forego its other projects; we just want either a different company, or a different team within that company, to fill the gap.
 

sumanoskae

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The Enquirer said:
Well what a stupid fucking study. There's an age gate on more mature games for a reason. Let's also not forget Jim's video on violent video games. Even though it is mentioned in the video and was originally published on this very website, please keep the warning in mind Jim gives regarding the violent clip. The suicide footage starts at 1:20 and ends at 1:50. Skip this portion if you are not comfortable with it
Anyone who even entertains the idea that violent video games cause violent behavior NEEDS to see this Jimquisition; it perfectly underlines the fundamental fallacy of the argument.

My 2 cents: You're gonna, what, do a survey on somebody and use that as a metric to predict their capacity for sexual violence? You really see no problem with that logic?

Because, you know, the human race is famed for it's lack of hypocrisy and ability to elegantly express it's deep seated emotions. It's not like anybody who has every committed rape has been unwilling to admit it! Right? 8D

There is a hell of a lot more that goes into the psychology of a rapist than spouting off macho bullshit, and there is no way in hell that you can judge someone's ability for empathy by showing them a picture and telling them a story.

Labeling people like that is down right fucking dehumanizing.
 

wulf3n

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WinterWyvern said:
The dumbest lowest common denominator sells more: what a shock!

This just in, Birtney Spears sells a million more copies than the most skilled and amazing jazz performer who wrote and played his own songs.

Is that a reason NOT to make more intelligent or simply diverse things?
Not a reason to, simply a reason why
 

Something Amyss

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Honestlyk, to the folks here who keep bringing up Call of Duty:

Do you honestly feel that comparing average games to what is generally considered the high water mark in AAA non-subscription game sales is even remotely honest? Because by that metric, companies shouldn't even take risks on most of the AAA market. Everyone should just make Call of Duty. I think we're better off now that everyone and their mother has stopped trying to make COD killers. And honestly, I thought that was the consensus of these boards: that we'd had enough shitty COD clones and MMSes.

Saints Row The Third was, to that point in their lifespan, THQ's best selling non-licensed game (according to their own financial reports). Should they have not made it or its sequel, the superior Saints Row IV (yeah, they tanked before it came out, I know), simply because they weren't getting COD numbers? THQ considered the game a pretty big success and touted it hard. It was one of the first properties snatched up when they crashed, too.

Hey, remember when everyone was incredulous that Squarenix was disappointed with Hitman, Deus Ex and Tomb Raider for "only" selling 4-6 million a pop? I do. I still think it's absurd that these numbers are considered "bad," but they're not COD numbers. Or remember when people got pissed off that a game that only sells a couple hundred thousand units traditionally wasn't coming to the West at all?

It seems like if we shoot specifically for those numbers and set them as a measure of success, then we're disqualifying most of gaming. Including the games "for guys."

sumanoskae said:
My 2 cents: You're gonna, what, do a survey on somebody and use that as a metric to predict their capacity for sexual violence? You really see no problem with that logic?
Weeeeeeeeell, except that's not what the study said or did.

This is the problem. There's two debates going on. One among academics and one among gamers. Whenever one of these studies comes out, it's a case of gamers and/or the gaming press turning them into "games make you murderers/rapists!" and then railing against that strawman and it never seems to end. No matter how reasonable or uncontroversial such a study is, it sparks "controversy" if it finds anything even potentially negative about gaming.

Which is weird, because we as a whole seem to intuitively understand things like cultivation theory are real when it's media depicting gaming in a negative light. Suddenly, such depictions are biased and poison the mainstream against us. This study and its coverage will probably be used as exactly such an example thousands of times.

There is a hell of a lot more that goes into the psychology of a rapist than spouting off macho bullshit, and there is no way in hell that you can judge someone's ability for empathy by showing them a picture and telling them a story.
And there's a hell of a lot more to these studies than the reductive argument that's being made against them. Hell, I'm not even sure where the "therefore, rapist" mentality comes from. I'm not sure why it's wrong for this hypothetical/fictional other group to overly simplify things, but it's absolutely fine to reduce a study on decreased empathy response among people who view sexualised media (neither new nor controversial in academic or scientific circles) into this crusade against video games. That this specific study charts a correlation between identification with the protagonist and lack of empathy still doesn't even come close to My 2 cents: You're gonna, what, do a survey on somebody and use that as a metric to predict their capacity for sexual violence?

They might full well see a problem with that logic, because it's not theirs. However, that's the problem: since they never said any of this, there's no way to know. And since they're not going to post here, asking loaded questions is even less helpful. They might even agree that there's more to the psychology of a rapist, but then, they never address that issue, either.

I'm wondering how many of the people outraged here have actually read the study. Or so much as looked at the abstract.

Or did they just Listen and Believe when they were told they should be outraged at this study because it says...I don't know, the claims have become so distorted it's hard to keep track.
 

axlryder

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I have a weird feeling that if this article had been trying to debunk, say, a widely reported study of similar quality whose findings corroborated feminist views regarding representation in video games then the positions would be mysteriously flipped here.
 

wulf3n

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WinterWyvern said:
You honestly need to give producers a reason to finance movies like "The Shining", "Duck You Sucker", "Kwaidan", "Brazil"..... instead of making "40 Shades Of Grey", "Scary Movie 6", "Blockbuster Soulless Superhero Film 10"?

You honestly need to give producers a reason to finance books like "Lord Of The Rings", "Watership Down", "Lord Of The Flies"..... instead of giving money to "Twilight", "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies", "The Story Of The Life Of This Famous Pop Culture Figure, Not Really Written By Themselves Tho"?

You honestly need to give producers a reason to finance songs like "The Unforgiven" instead of "Fuck Me I Am So Hot Lolz"?

If so, there really isn't much I can say.
That's still "a reason to"

The why has no intent, it's not about what should or should not, it just an explanation of what is.

WinterWyvern said:
Except maybe one thing: a wise man long time ago said, the majority of people is stupid. You do not want to make something that appeals to the lowest common denominator. Do not trust the intelligence of the masses because it's below zero; trust the intelligence of the individual.
The intelligence of the consumer has little bearing on their ability to consume media. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.
 

CyanCat47_v1legacy

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Why do everyone suddenly defend unpopular AAA industry any time someone brings up an important question about the way videogames and the games industry works and wether something about it should change. I'm not saying that uninformed, agenda-driven studies like this one are valid but there is an alarming ammount of people in this thread who would sooner defend the otherwise maligned, risk averse practices of big publishers rather than actually have a serious discussion about the representation of women in games. This survey is certainly not a very good discussion of the matter but the digressions none the less are rahter alarming
 

Metalix Knightmare

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So, forcing players who may not be sexist to do sexist actions in GTA makes GTA a sexist game. OK.

And, what's this, forcing them into gang violence? You can simply avoid violent actions entirely and enjoy the landscape can't you? Like any man/woman we choose to perform these actions -- it's a Sandbox game for god's sake. Forcing players to engage in this in a study is already skewing the results. Allowing actions is not Encouragement of those actions. Freedom to X is not Glorification of X.

And then they say "Masculine Beliefs" are amplified? What the heck is a masculine belief? "Real men are tough and aggressive," is... wrong?

It sounds like "Masculine Beliefs" are being confused with the knowledge one has control of their own actions. That humans have individuality and drives. Aggressiveness may be being confused with assertiveness. Toughness may be confused with strength of character.

Another complaint I have is that, in Half Life you play as a guy who basically does anything a woman says, and in GTA:SA you play as a guy who gets back in touch with his family after the loss of his mother. Although, those elements aren't focused on for some reason. And no questions were asked about the importance of trusted female figures? Or how you in fact are fighting to defend females at times?
Is the importance of CJ's sister not explored in San Andreas too?

Second is my complaint that GTA:Vice City steals largely from the movie Scarface, does Scar Face promote "Masculine Beliefs," being a tragedy about the drunkening aspects of power and wealth?

My third complaint is that Images of "female violence victims" has no control for male violence victims, or children?

How do we know if this uniquely applies to "abused women?" Why isn't this explored? Is empathy reduced because identifying as the main character (who defend women occasionally) makes them less ready to coddle a sobbing woman, and more likely to beat the fuck out of their abuser?
What is defined as empathy? I believe it's mistaken for Sympathy because not all men have been abused, and not all men know what it's like to be abused. Nor do all women. Sympathy would be more accurate.

And somehow, women are unaffected? What? Are men just stupid? Is it because the women cannot invest themselves in the videogames? Does this show a lack of sympathy for men (male main characters), and a heightened sympathy for women? Doesn't that show an undercurrent of female-on-male sexism?

This study is freaking terrible. It draws so many pre-baked conclusions and it was clearly demonstrating sections specifically to promote the less tasteful areas of a game -- totally out of context with the rest of the game. And in doing so it likely alienated the women who may have been interested in the GTA games.
It comes to poor conclusions based on lack of control variables, and the data is read with pre-loaded assumptions about men and videogames.

This isn't a study, it's freaking propaganda. It takes less than 10 seconds of thought to see through the stupidest aspects of it, and how it assumes so many things such as masculine beliefs being bad.
 

Synigma

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CyanCat47 said:
Why do everyone suddenly defend unpopular AAA industry any time someone brings up an important question about the way videogames and the games industry works and wether something about it should change. I'm not saying that uninformed, agenda-driven studies like this one are valid but there is an alarming ammount of people in this thread who would sooner defend the otherwise maligned, risk averse practices of big publishers rather than actually have a serious discussion about the representation of women in games. This survey is certainly not a very good discussion of the matter but the digressions none the less are rahter alarming
To be fair the defense of them is focused on why they do what they do not what they are actually doing. Most of the responses I've read aren't saying that AAA publishers are doing it right, just that they are doing what they know will make their money back.

They will expand their horizons in 2 situations: when their current well dries up and they have to go searching or when they see another plentiful source.


For example an established shoe maker; we'll call him Abraham A. Ali. Mr AAA has a famous working shoe line he's been working on for years, he sells his shoes to everyone in walking distance who wants one, mostly men who work the fields but some women who also enjoy them. The time is upon him to create the next year's style; he invests a lot of his personal time and money into this and can only come up with one style for the year. He employs most of the town in his shoe workshop so there are is a lot of of people's lives riding on the continued success of his shoe line.

Does he stick to something he knows works: a hearty work-boot. Or does he decide to try out something new that he heard is catching on in France: a hearty work-highheel? After all, it's more versatile; good for the field and the dance floor! And it appeals to more women which is a market he hasn't gotten much traction in.