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Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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or whether this stereotype is harmful/sexist?

This. Tho i care more about the harmful part. What's considered sexist i think ther's a big semantic gap between what i would define as such and what a dogmatic feminist defines as sexist.

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Jetsetlemming, stop stirring.

This is a forum for artists and designers, not the open university. Be thankful this topic isnt just "post tits" and move on.

I'm not really one to back down about something I care about, like equality. :) I expect much more from artists and designers than "post tits"

I haven't really followed her Kickstarter or anything before that video, so I got to see it without having any pre-existing opinions on her. I honestly don't see what's so bad about her video, at least not to the extent that warrants some of the very fiery posts here. Did anyone here actually pledge to her kickstarter? The series aren't even finished and it's too early to start judging her for how she has/has not used the money. I've browsed these forums for 3 years now, and I've never seen this degree of passion about any topic before. Why do you care so much?

You can't just attribute Nintendo's overuse of damsel in distress-trope to ignorance or lack of creativity. They're grown adults and they know perfectly well what they're doing. No, they're not "made with malicious intend". That's not what she's saying at all. She's criticizing that they don't give a shit. Nintendo uses Peach/Zelda as damsel in distress-plot devices for gameplay-purposes and they don't care about the sexist repercussions of it. Her video is an attempt to make developers more aware of these things.

The issue with the Fox/Krystal example isn't that they changed the sex of the protagonist, but that they did such a complete reversal of her role from a respectable character into a sexualized trophy.

Agreed 100%.

Though I think this debate is unproductive and don't buy gender is a cultural construct anyway.

I'm sorry you have this difficulty, but regardless of what you might thing about gender, it is a social construct. That aspect of gender is part of its very definition. Perhaps you're confusing it with sex, which is the inherent biological difference between male and female creatures? Boy/man/girl/woman/etc are cultural roles we fulfill, typically informed by how we are treated and raised based on our born gender. A number of people defy this role put on us after birth, either by choice or by instinctual compulsion, such as gender dysphoria (the psychological stress caused by one's biological sex differing from one's personal gender affiliation). Gender is a spectrum, not a binary difference, with extreme poles on either end (Mister Universe vs Phyllis Schlafly, perhaps), and many people in between. Women in modern American society are commonly expected to essentially fulfill both traditional gender roles; "Masculine" aspects like ambition, pride, strength, and athleticism, while also adhering to "Feminine" aspects like politeness, deference, cleanliness, and a focus on aesthetics.

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I'm not really one to back down about something I care about, like equality. :) I expect much more from artists and designers than "post tits"

See in my mind the whole issue isn't about equality at all. Equality isn't to take away from men the things they enjoy like depictions of sexy women with big wobbling breasts (and stigmatizing them for that they like such things). Especialy not in a free flowing medium like art. To try and suppress this for political reasons is an attack on freedom.

To me equality is about equal rights and opportunities, nothing more and nothing less, which i support 100% for both genders and everything inbetween.

Edited by Steppenwolf

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Though I think this debate is unproductive and don't buy gender is a cultural construct anyway.

I'm sorry you have this difficulty, but regardless of what you might thing about gender, it is a social construct. That aspect of gender is part of its very definition.

You’re right, I tripped over my words. I don’t agree that innate differences begin and end with the genitals, but certainly gender is socially and culturally generated. I’m going to steer clear of this semantics minefield because it’s not something I’m equipped to deal with, however I will try and expand this past the half a sentence you quoted. Do you agree with her point that because women are disinterested in science, computing, engineering and video games this implies in itself an active discrimination?

Edited by Taylor

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at this point i find it hard to believe someone would be so fanatic for something like being from opposite gender, to the point of making snide remarks towards other people for thinking otherwise. fucking master ruseman'd/10

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I had a talk with my parents today. It started with my father repeating an oldschool casualy sexist joke that he heard on the street the other day. Everybody laughed but i told him that such jokes are not really cool anymore in todays society and that he as an older man saying such things is basicaly the equivalent of old people making casualy racist remarks when he was a bit younger. Both mom and dad agreed.

Then i told my mom, who is an avid Nintendo DS player, that ther's a woman on the internet who made a video about how Princess Peaches is harmful to young girls and that she gets lots of support and hate for it. My mom looked very baffled and first she asked "Why, because she flies around with an umbrella?". And i said no that's a different game and explained the Damsel in Distress trope to her and that it's about Mario. It made my mom laugh out loud (not kidding you) and she said she thinks it's utter nonsense.

On a different note i watched a video from girlwriteswhat today who made a good analogy imo about how the feminists attempt to control what men are allowed to see and enjoy is basicly like removing the burka from womens bodies and strapping it in front of mens eyes instead.

Edited by Steppenwolf

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Though I think this debate is unproductive and don't buy gender is a cultural construct anyway.

I'm sorry you have this difficulty, but regardless of what you might thing about gender, it is a social construct. That aspect of gender is part of its very definition.

You’re right, I tripped over my words. I don’t agree that innate differences begin and end with the genitals, but certainly gender is socially and culturally generated. I’m going to steer clear of this semantics minefield because it’s not something I’m equipped to deal with, however I will try and expand this past the half a sentence you quoted. Do you agree with her point that because women are disinterested in science, computing, engineering and video games this implies in itself an active discrimination?

Yes. Girls are raised from birth to fulfill a feminine role, which is not one of computer science or engineering. Women are absolutely capable of programming and designing things, but are told their entire lives that they must be pretty and focus on aesthetics and other people and be nice and kind and polite and respectful and defer to others and be a wife and be a mom and be a caretaker. This is what those mean ole feminists are talking about when they talk about the Patriarchy. Do you think that most nurses are women and most doctors are men because of an innate biological difference? Do you attribute anything whatsoever except the differences in reproductive role to innate biological differences which are universal per-gender? If so, how do you square people who aren't "normal" male or female on the biological spectrum, such as those with XYY, Adrenal Insensitivity or Hyperactivity, Hermaphroditus, etc?

To Steppenwolf: Mainstream feminism doesn't want to take away your porn, your ridiculous fantasy wobbly women, or your damsels in distress. The problem is their over representation and domination of the depictions of women in general, not their very existence.

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Love this lady. Pointing out that Peach is playable in 46 games is hellaciously damning figure, and goes to show that cherry-picking your examples (e.g. "core games") is a great way to lie by omission.

I also really like that she brings up the basic, obvious, and necessary discussion about how technology is a driving factor in the stories we can tell with games. The vast majority of games that are made deal primarily with physical conflict, whether that's fighting, shooting guns, driving a car, running an obstacle course, whatever. Games are very good at depicting physical conflict and not-so-good at narrative or emotional conflict. To be clear here, when I say they are not-so-good at narrative, I'm referring to the fact that the vast majority of virtually any game's content typically consists of "game mechanics" which are rules set down beforehand that can govern the nigh-infinite gameplay space, while story is typically non-interactive and generated directly and painstakingly by humans rather than execution of rules within the computer.

I am actually currently working on an indie RPG and our dialogue tree for the introductory area is almost 50 pages long -- That's just for the introduction. There is a real challenge narrative-driven games face as choice and non-linearity are givens in the interactive medium of games, but both of these are, to certain extent, at odds with the idea of a coherent narrative. The technology for games to adapt narrative on the fly to player choice is not there yet and won't be there until we get much more sophisticated procedural and AI-like tools.

Though I think this debate is unproductive and don't buy gender is a cultural construct anyway.

I'm sorry you have this difficulty, but regardless of what you might thing about gender, it is a social construct. That aspect of gender is part of its very definition.

You’re right, I tripped over my words. I don’t agree that innate differences begin and end with the genitals, but certainly gender is socially and culturally generated. I’m going to steer clear of this semantics minefield because it’s not something I’m equipped to deal with, however I will try and expand this past the half a sentence you quoted. Do you agree with her point that because women are disinterested in science, computing, engineering and video games this implies in itself an active discrimination?

Yes. Girls are raised from birth to fulfill a feminine role, which is not one of computer science or engineering. Women are absolutely capable of programming and designing things, but are told their entire lives that they must be pretty and focus on aesthetics and other people and be nice and kind and polite and respectful and defer to others and be a wife and be a mom and be a caretaker. This is what those mean ole feminists are talking about when they talk about the Patriarchy. Do you think that most nurses are women and most doctors are men because of an innate biological difference? Do you attribute anything whatsoever except the differences in reproductive role to innate biological differences which are universal per-gender? If so, how do you square people who aren't "normal" male or female on the biological spectrum, such as those with XYY, Adrenal Insensitivity or Hyperactivity, Hermaphroditus, etc?

To Steppenwolf: Mainstream feminism doesn't want to take away your porn, your ridiculous fantasy wobbly women, or your damsels in distress. The problem is their over representation and domination of the depictions of women in general, not their very existence.

Of course some of this observed difference in interest may be due to sexism / gender roles -- But how much? Can we break it down more specifically? Is biology 50% of the difference, the other 50% being gender roles? 75/25? 99/1? Is it a good mindset to assume the answer, even part of the answer, before we can support it?

It is as if we have phenomena where, when an object is dropped from a height, it falls to the ground. The prevailing theory among one group is that the falling behavior is because of these evil spirits, "Thetans" that we can be free of if we atone and give them money, status, and power. Later scientific research reveals that the falling behavior is merely caused by a universal force we identify as gravity. The Thetan-group's argument backtracks then -- We know why things fall, it's gravity, but gravity doesn't explain why a feather falls differently than an apple, so that difference must be caused by "Thetans." Later scientific research reveals that drag causes these different behaviors in falling. Again, the Thetan-group posits that we know why things fall and how they fall, but that we can't explain why some objects seem heavier than others after they fall, so that must be caused by "Thetans." And once again, scientific research tells us about the concept of mass which explains the perception of weight.

Our scientific knowledge of biology is still vastly incomplete, but it's actually rather shocking to me how woefully uninformed or misinformed popular culture notions are on the subject ...

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Yes. Girls are raised from birth to fulfill a feminine role, which is not one of computer science or engineering. Women are absolutely capable of programming and designing things, but are told their entire lives that they must be pretty and focus on aesthetics and other people and be nice and kind and polite and respectful and defer to others and be a wife and be a mom and be a caretaker. This is what those mean ole feminists are talking about when they talk about the Patriarchy. Do you think that most nurses are women and most doctors are men because of an innate biological difference? Do you attribute anything whatsoever except the differences in reproductive role to innate biological differences which are universal per-gender? If so, how do you square people who aren't "normal" male or female on the biological spectrum, such as those with XYY, Adrenal Insensitivity or Hyperactivity, Hermaphroditus, etc?

I'm pretty sure I clarified my position this very clearly, so I’m not sure why you’re assuming I said the differences were mostly biological. Now you’ve now taken this to the extreme of me denying cisgende/cissexual people exist, which is a blatant misrepresentation. If you do this again I will just exit this conversation with a big fuck you.

There is a different to men and women being uninterested in jobs because of gender roles (which we can and should change) and being uninterested in jobs because of an active sexist discrimination from those within it. Nursing is a female dominated profession; is this evidence of an activate discrimination within nursing to stop men taking these jobs? I would say, like the above, it is not.

Edited by Taylor

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Yes. Girls are raised from birth to fulfill a feminine role, which is not one of computer science or engineering. Women are absolutely capable of programming and designing things, but are told their entire lives that they must be pretty and focus on aesthetics and other people and be nice and kind and polite and respectful and defer to others and be a wife and be a mom and be a caretaker.

That bullshit imo in todays western world. Girls/women have access to the same ressources as men. Girls are also intelligent human beings who can make up their own mind about what they want to be and what they want to do. If you say all that is decided by external factors and not their own capability to make decisions then you are undermining their intellect. And guess what that's sexist as fuck.

This is what those mean ole feminists are talking about when they talk about the Patriarchy. Do you think that most nurses are women and most doctors are men because of an innate biological difference? Do you attribute anything whatsoever except the differences in reproductive role to innate biological differences which are universal per-gender? If so, how do you square people who aren't "normal" male or female on the biological spectrum, such as those with XYY, Adrenal Insensitivity or Hyperactivity, Hermaphroditus, etc?

I recommend you watch this documentary. There are indeed biological reasons why males and females get attracted to different occupations tendentionaly. There are always exceptions from the rule and im totaly fine with that. That's what equality is about to not put obstacles in their way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrsF7wyUxs8

To Steppenwolf: Mainstream feminism doesn't want to take away your porn, your ridiculous fantasy wobbly women, or your damsels in distress. The problem is their over representation and domination of the depictions of women in general, not their very existence.

Oh yes they do. Anita doesn't promote more variation she wants these things gone. Just watch her old videos and the things she complains about. If she thinks a sexy ad for Bayonetta promotes sexual assault then of course she wants to see such things gone.

You are completely right about the over representation tho. I agree with that and said it before in this thread. But the burden to even this out isn't just on men. Females have to participate if they want change. Like in one video complains Anita that wikipedia is 90% dominated by males. Then what stops her and other females from registering there, learn how it works and what the rules are and then start writing articles herself? And it's the same for every other medium that she criticises. Comics are dominated with male themes? Then find some women who like comics and start drawing some damn comics. It's not even like you need anyones permission or money nowadays to create any kind of content in a time where a shit load of stuff gets released on the internet by indie people.

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I'm pretty sure I clarified my position this very clearly, so I’m not sure why you’re assuming I said the differences were mostly biological. Now you’ve now taken this to the extreme of me denying cisgende/cissexual people exist, which is a blatant misrepresentation. If you do this again I will just exit this conversation with a big fuck you.

There is a different to men and women being uninterested in jobs because of gender roles (which we can and should change) and being uninterested in jobs because of an active sexist discrimination from those within it. Nursing is a female dominated profession; is this evidence of an activate discrimination within nursing to stop men taking these jobs? I would say, like the above, it is not.

You misunderstood me, I apologize. I'm not accusing you of being transphobic or believing things are "mostly biological." I'm the one taking an extreme point here. I'm claiming that, for the biological differences between the two primary sexes (distinct from the biologically variety between individual people or families), they do not have any influence on our lives beyond reproduction. Even the supposed differences higher levels of androgen or estrogen are easily countered by individual variety, such as sensitivity to these hormones, and current body state. Women are not the "weaker sex," rather men are trained to be strong. Women are not the "emotional sex," boys are strictly forbidden from displaying strong emotions. Women are not the "artistic sex," boys are demanded to be practical in focus. These are gender roles enforced by the cultural stereotypes we see every single day when we look at media. There is no reason for this, beyond the arbitrary cultural tradition of male-dominated western culture.

I'll continue this later, but for now I've got to go, so I'll leave you with this:

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-work-of-artifice/

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You misunderstood me, I apologize. I'm not accusing you of being transphobic or believing things are "mostly biological." I'm the one taking an extreme point here. I'm claiming that, for the biological differences between the two primary sexes (distinct from the biologically variety between individual people or families), they do not have any influence on our lives beyond reproduction. Even the supposed differences higher levels of androgen or estrogen are easily countered by individual variety, such as sensitivity to these hormones, and current body state. Women are not the "weaker sex," rather men are trained to be strong. Women are not the "emotional sex," boys are strictly forbidden from displaying strong emotions. Women are not the "artistic sex," boys are demanded to be practical in focus. These are gender roles enforced by the cultural stereotypes we see every single day when we look at media. There is no reason for this, beyond the arbitrary cultural tradition of male-dominated western culture.

I'll continue this later, but for now I've got to go, so I'll leave you with this:

http://www.poemhunte...rk-of-artifice/

Nice how again instead of providing some evidence for your claims you appeal to emotion via a poem. It's the same shtick Anita thrives on.

Not to mention it's obvious nonsense what you write. Again watch the documentary i linked above.

If men and women are equal biologicaly outside of reproduction organs then why we still seperate them in physically demanding sporting activities? Because if both are trained to be strong the male athletes still have a physical advantage for biologic reasons.

Who forbids boys to show emotion? It's 2013 not the 1950's. If it still happens it's an issue not a cultural norm. Women the "artistic sex"? Now you're pulling stuff out of your ass. I haven't even heard of such a stereotype and how can that be considering how many famous artists have been males throughout the ages?

If you don't happen to live in a sharia state you can't say with a straight face that anyone is enforcing these stereotypes. Culture and social norms are shifting. They have been for the last 50-100 years and will continue to.

If you're not happy with how things are you have everything at your disposal to make an individual effort to accelerate cultural shift. You do that by creating culturaly relevant content not by moaning about patriarchy.

Edited by Steppenwolf

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