Sweden Considering Sexism Labels For Video Games

TravelerSF

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This sounds like it could get horribly misdirected. Kinda like USA's movie rating board which counts the swear words, is horrified by nudity and human intimacy but on comparison has very little problems with violence and death.

I mean how do you judge sexism in an artistic medium. Can they lower the score if there are no significant female characters? Doesn't the artist have a right for that kind of vision? And what if the setting requires for it? Must all of the female characters be empowering with no moments of weakness? Will the screentime be split 50/50 between male and female characters? This really does sound like we'd just get more token female characters filling the space.

I mean for crying out loud, sexism in video games is such a subjective thing that even something like Bayonetta is splitting opinions. The personal and cultural influences everyone has just make this kind of judging practically impossible.
 

Genocidicles

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Goddamn I feel sorry for you see Sweden. A country that once produced vikings is now doing this.

Hopefully the contagion doesn't spread past your borders.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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We can't even figure out proper labeling for games as it is. Sometimes people can't even agree on the genre, but someone thinks that giving people power to label a product as sexist is a good idea. WOW!
 

Sandjube

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Eh, can't see it mattering that much, except people will likely miss out on good games because the sexism/racism/everythingism pie chart isn't split exactly how they want it. Either that or every single game will start to feature exactly 1 male, 3 females, 2 disabled people etc. Until then my fucks will continue to not be given. Let's see how it goes sweden I'm curious.
 

Davroth

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Here's a perfect example why the Bechdel Test is kind of worthless in its formulaic, simplistic way:

http://bechdeltest.com/view/5348/noah/

Yeah, sure, the movie passes on the three 'tests', no question there. But rather unsurprisingly, considering the source material, it basically reduces women to their biological functions. Not sure if I'd call that a 'female perspective', which from my understanding is what the Bechdel Test is supposed to evaluate.

I find it rather questionable that a country would employ such a flawed system to evaluate media, and if that's something they do, I find it rather questionable that they feel confident to evaluate sexism in video games. Yeah, I know, it's not the same people. This is just commenting on what seems to be the pervading mindset in Sweden, based on my very limited knowledge of it.
 

Abomination

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Alleged_Alec said:
Sweden, I used to like you. What's happening to you Sweden?
Exactly what I was thinking "You guys were leading the world in liberty and social considerations... and then you went off the deep end into that crazy territory to serve as an example to all where "too far" is.

A great shame, Sweden. You're better than this.

As long as Finland remains sane, Norway rich, and Denmark the little brother of Germany we'll continue to respect Scandinavia.
 

Grahav

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Violence, sex and nudity are objective things that can be seen and discussed in media and that are a fair warning.
In art they are tools to tell stories, appeal to escapist fantasies or focal elements of discussion.

erttheking said:
Smiley Face said:

As I said in that very post you replied to I KNOW THAT! I know that they don't need to be sexualized to be sexist. And I hate Marcus Fenix as a character, yet I still don't think he's sexist. Mainly because he's designed to appeal to men rather than dehumanizing him. That and by Gears 3 everyone in the cast, male and female alike, had devolved into the same neanderthal like mindset that he had. That and the thing is, if you don't want to play as a "big dumb ultraviolent musclebrained supersoldier" you don't have to look too far in gaming for something malewise there. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I consider sexualized female characters sexist, but only because there's usually a massive lack of alternatives.


Appeals to women. So, not sexist...



Basically there has to be equal treatment of characters in games for them to not be sexist.

If somebody has a set of values that says: "Women and men are different, each tend to be better at certain things, but one is not worse than the other because of that. In fact, this makes them need each other." That would be labeled sexist because it discriminates men from women saying that they are not equal, and that would be bad, mmkay?

Which is kind of ironic when we live in an age that (suposedly) praises individualism and diferences.

And sexism is really in the eye of the beholder. Much is talked about how princess Peach is just an object of lust to be rescued by Mario (instead of, let's say, the ruler of a fucking Kingdom).

Well, how about this. Mario is prepared to die for Peach. You know, stabbed crush, burned, etc? Multiple times. He fails if he doesn't, he loses. Bowser is a male monster who throws hundreds of troops to stop Mario and he kills them. At the end is Mario vs. Bowser competing for Peach. The weakest of them dies. Put out of the way forever and forgotten. The winner gets Peach. Better, the winner is worthy for Peach.

I say that is preparing boys to risk everything for the ladies not mattering how little they know them and also not giving a fuck about unknown men.

Sleeping Beauty, the original. The prince barely knew Aurora. He has to battle an army of PIG-like men (nobody remembers them) pass through thorns and slay a freaking dragon. All of this because some female fairies passed to him the mission of saving Aurora


Well, Super Mario and Disney are White Knight makers. Who would have imagined?

Gynocentric as hell.
 

Alleged_Alec

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immortalfrieza said:
Alleged_Alec said:
immortalfrieza said:
Now it's me that has to say "what?" I think you got it backwards? I said take something subjective and create an OBJECTIVE measure out of it
That's not how objective works.
Yes it does, or do you think things that are objective just magically started out that way with everybody suddenly agreeing without exception that that's the way things work? No, they were subjective until somebody came along and decided nail down precisely what that something was and get everybody else to agree with that.
Agreement is not the same as something being objective. Just because people agree murder is bad doesn't mean it's objectively wrong.

One cannot be objective about anything without facts and/or a baseline to base it on, and up until those facts and/or baseline is established EVERYTHING is subjective. A rating system like this can (not likely, but can) provide the baseline needed to make it possible for things like sexism/racism/whatever to be able to be discussed in objective manner, which is what is needed to affect change.
Debate on something objective is useless by definition.
Wrong. Objective means

"(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts."
And you think that a board making these guidelines on what is sexist or not is not subject to their opinions?

People can still debate on whether the facts are really "facts", whether they are relevant, or whether those facts are being distorted, misrepresented, or otherwise altered to present a person's point of view. One can debate something objective, otherwise the word "debate" itself would be meaningless.
Then you're not having a debate. That's one person going "these facts are wrong" and the other going " nu-uh!".

Also yes, the ESRB IS objective, that's it's entire purpose. The ESRB and systems like it are designed to be used to decide what is and what isn't too much for a person's age and decide policy around that. Now, some people may think the ESRB too lenient or too harsh and that much is subjective, but regardless it is thus far the only objective standard available for video games around here. Like all rating systems perhaps the ESRB could be better and even may ultimately change, but it is the authority on how much is too much regarding violence/sex/drugs/etc. in video games at the moment.
So you're saying that the ratings of the ESRB are not in any way influenced by the opinions and beliefs of the people creating the guidelines?

Alleged_Alec said:
immortalfrieza said:
So? A label like this has to start somewhere, or it'll never happen. I'm pretty sure the ESRB rating system labels didn't just pop up on video game boxes spontaneously, somebody had to have made it and they had to have something to base it on, same with the MPAA rating system. If this happens with video games and proves effects similar systems will no doubt be born out of it for other forms of media.
But there's no reason for there to be a label like this in the first case.
If there isn't a reason to have a label like this in the first place then there is no reason to have an ESRB or MPAA or whatever label on anything else either. A label that more or less says "this has a lot of sexism" is no different than a label that says "this has a lot of violence". It serves to show how much and how often.
[/quote]

I agree. Those labels are pretty useless as well. I'd much rather that parents used their own judgement.

Abomination said:
As long as Finland remains sane, Norway rich, and Denmark the little brother of Germany we'll continue to respect Scandinavia.
Finland? Sane? I don't know man. High alcoholism, depression and whatnot. Futhermore: look at their weapon. Three retarded lions.
 

Nergui

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immortalfrieza said:
No, I am not, and I have no idea how the thought could even enter anyone's brain that I could be trolling. I never said creating a sexism rating system would allow it to transcend subjectivity, I said it would establish a common ground, a benchmark of what is and what isn't sexism. One can still disagree whether something is sexist or to what degree, but without that benchmark there's no end to that debate and no point in having that debate at all. We need something that most if not everybody can agree on when it comes to sexism/racism/whatever or these issues will NEVER be solved.
I think you are missing the point of his/her posts. Who's ideology decides on that benchmark? eg. Anita Sarkesian's or Christina Hoff Sommers?

Captcha - seek beauty
(captcha is being superficial)
 

Ishigami

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Okay? IMO it is stupid and redundant.
Most reasonable nations in Europe use the PEGI to rate their games.
The PEGI offers already content labels for ?discrimination?, ?sex? and ?nudity?.
Sweden is using PEGI already, if you didn?t know.

Then I believe this is effort is biased so I doubt any reasonable respectable result will come out of it.

Well have fun wasting your tax money Sweden.
 

INeedAName

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lionsprey said:
as a swede all i can say is, wow are you guys are taking this seriously? i mean even if it would be passed (currently a non- goverment organisation recieved funding to investigate this) and used in sweden do you honestly belive the rest of the world would give a shit?

as for "or when some of the nation's movie theaters and TV channels began issuing ratings indicating whether or not films being shown passed the so-called "Bechdel Test."" this is the first i have heard of this. any other swedes around to point out what channels/publications actually do this?
Same. Swede here, and this was the first I've heard of the Bechdel test thing.

Also, it's weird to see so many people decrying Sweden for essentially dropping pocket change onto some people to investigate doing this. Granted, I think it's a silly and wasteful idea, but going by the comments here, you'd think Sweden had actually... I dunno... done something horrendously despicable.
 

rgrekejin

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Inglorious891 said:
I mean, it's not like whether or not a particular trope/character/etc. is or isn't sexist isn't in the eye of the beholder, and very much so up for debate. Nope, not at all.
Yup. If there's one thing I've learned from this whole "Gamergate" kerfluffle, it's that absolutely no one agrees on what is sexist and what isn't, let alone which forms of sexism are more insidious than others. There's absolutely no objective standard that's going to be helpful here.
 

Czann

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As if any publisher cares about Sweden... or anything other than money.
 

Denamic

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As a Swede, I like that we're so big on equality, but we're starting to get way too PC. It's getting pretty ridiculous.
 

Andy Shandy

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At least somebody's trying something, even if I think it's the totally wrong way to go about it.
 

Nomad

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INeedAName said:
lionsprey said:
as a swede all i can say is, wow are you guys are taking this seriously? i mean even if it would be passed (currently a non- goverment organisation recieved funding to investigate this) and used in sweden do you honestly belive the rest of the world would give a shit?

as for "or when some of the nation's movie theaters and TV channels began issuing ratings indicating whether or not films being shown passed the so-called "Bechdel Test."" this is the first i have heard of this. any other swedes around to point out what channels/publications actually do this?
Same. Swede here, and this was the first I've heard of the Bechdel test thing.

Also, it's weird to see so many people decrying Sweden for essentially dropping pocket change onto some people to investigate doing this. Granted, I think it's a silly and wasteful idea, but going by the comments here, you'd think Sweden had actually... I dunno... done something horrendously despicable.
Those were pretty much my thoughts as well. I also think that the headline of the article is screwing up the debate, because people don't seem to actually read the article text. It's not Sweden that's doing this, it's the Swedish games industry that's doing it, completely by their own accord (i.e. DICE, Paradox and so on) through their industrial association.

Literally the only thing "the government" (as if it was an amorphous blob) is doing here is giving them pocket change - as IneedAName so succinctly put it - to explore the idea. Vinnova doesn't even actively back individual projects like this, they just put a big bag of money on a table and hand portions out to whoever fulfills the requirements of the grant. In this particular case, the bag of money was distributed among 19 different projects that had some sort of connection to exploring social norms. Other examples of projects receiving funding from the grant is the Board of the Swedish Police getting money to develop drug addiction profiling, and a hotel organisation getting money for designing ways for handicapped people to run hotels.

For more reading, and less unfounded outrage, check the actual source [http://www.vinnova.se/sv/Aktuellt--publicerat/Pressmeddelanden/2014/141111-Dataspel-ska-ges-jamstalldhetsmarkning-/] (in Swedish, so either use google translate on the linked page, or find the message on the English version [http://www.vinnova.se/en/] of the page.)
 

Gearhead mk2

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...there's already a "discrimination" label. And I can't think of one game where it's been used. Even Wolfenstien, which is about NAZIS, hasn't used it. If you really want to point out sexism in games on the box, use that. Though frankly I don't think you should, because sexism has a lot of personal interpretation and unless the game is blatantly and cartoonishly sexist I don't really think there can be one flat rating for it. And if they do put it in, is it going to be used for all media or unique to games?
 

PsychicTaco115

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I wonder how it'll work if they try to do something similar with Racism labels

Because Sweden is pretty dang racist yo